The Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy discuss the chances for the meeting at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!
R7 No.7: GREAT HOUSE
R4 No.8: LA CHEVALEE
R8 No.11: BLONDEAU
R7 No.7: GREAT HOUSE
Race 9, No.13: EIGHT DIAMONDS
R1: SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1400M)
Ron Dufficy: I thought Honeycreeper did enough last start against older horses at benchmark 72 level. She is back to her own age and 1400m appears suitable. War Eternal showed nice improvement when beaten by a handy type last start and maps well for the in-form Bjorn Baker stable. Miss In Charge ran good late sectionals winning on the heavy last start and should be strong late again. Revivalist is on the quick back-up off a solid win and has blinkers.
Ray Thomas: Honeycreeper is a promising filly. She finished strongly to win first-up at Newcastle then was doing her best work on the line when fourth against older horses at Rosehill. Her progression of distances to 1400m is ideal. The one to beat. Revivalist finished strongly to win at the provincials over 1200m and is well placed here going out in trip. War Eternal went with Dragonstone as they pulled clear of their rivals at Warwick Farm last start in a strong race. He is jumping quickly to 1400m which is the query. Tympanist won well over 1400m at the provincials and looks an improver.
R2: TAB HIGHWAY (1200M)
Dufficy: A few promising three-year-olds may hold the key. Private Agent may have had a few issues but has looked good in a few recent trials. Artie’s Aura is a lightly raced filly who has trialled well. Danzadel hasn’t trialled but I’m expecting she will be strong late. She has always looked an improver. Anethole was much better two starts back then ran into dead-ends last start. He must be a good chance with luck. If Cavalier Charles happens to scrape into the field, would be close to top pick.
Thomas: Anethole has been luckless at past two starts, particularly his seventh to Hellenism when he was held up on the inside right to the line. He just needs even luck in running and he will be right in the finish. Lady River comes out of the Hellenism Highway where she finished powerfully wide out for a close third. Like Anethole, she will appreciate the Randwick 1200m. Private Agent is lightly raced but promising and his two recent trials have him primed for this race. Mr Hussill is resuming off a long spell but he’s looked sharp in his trials.
R3: THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HCP (1200M)
Dufficy: A hard race. I think Kinloch is a nice horse. He had a lot to do after a moderate beginning last start. I thought he appeared well placed here. Yangarra Rose had no luck last start and her previous wet-track win was dominant. Fastconi always gives his all and Joviality is much better than what we saw first-up and she could lift dramatically.
Thomas: I don’t mind Miss Jay Fox at odds. She is very genuine, races on the speed making her own luck, handles heavy tracks and just needs to run out a strong 1200m. Vreneli wasn’t beaten far when resuming and is the big improver. Bubbly Lass has ability and there has been a strong push for the Victorian raider. Diamonds’n’Stones reeled off three successive wins last summer and has trialled well leading into this race.
R4: CITY TATTERSALLS CLUB HCP (1800M)
Dufficy: La Chevalee’s Sydney runs have been great and she can race closer from this draw. The rise in distance should pose no issues for her. Badoosh was much better last start and has won twice at this trip. It won’t be easy for Zing against the boys with that weight but she is in top form. O’Mudgee continues to hold his form with no indication of him training off.
Thomas: I’m also with La Chevalee. She had no luck at Randwick then was doing her best work on the line at Rosehill. Drawn well, should settle closer, has James McDonald and the extra distance suits. Zing is in great form and scored a deserved win last start. Mr Gee did well to win at Canterbury and the form from that race has held up. O’Mudgee is another in very good form.
Bring The Ransom was an impressive last-start winner. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
R5: ELITE SAND AND SOIL HCP (1600M)
Dufficy: I loved Criminal Code’s first run and have to forgive him for last start when he was wide. I am on the wrong side of the fence with Papal Warrior but he probably has the best form. Cafe Royal might get all the favours upfront as will the very fit Kobe Rocks who slides forward as well.
Thomas: Bring The Ransom was dynamic winning at Kensington last start. The heavy track is a slight concern but she is down in weight, drawn to get the right run, gives the impression the mile will be OK and is at generous odds. Papal Warrior has learned how to win now and will be hard to beat again. Cafe Royal is racing consistently but also has to prove she can run the trip right out. Matowatakpe is coming off an impressive midweek win.
R6: MIDWAY HCP (1200M)
Dufficy: Just Field was enormous from the back last start on the heavy track. She has a much better draw this time and only has to run the 1200m right out to prove hard to beat. Stablemates Catapult and Wander were both very good in the Midway a fortnight ago. Henschel loves it wet and makes her own luck on top of the speed.
Thomas: I’m also with Just Field. She was very unlucky not to have won the inaugural Midway when she came from last on the turn and charged through the ruck for second. As you pointed out, Ron, she drew wide at Rosehill and had to go back but, from her good draw this time, she should be able to settle closer. Catapult was also unlucky in the same Rosehill race, finishing fast for fourth. Henschel and Get The Idea both come off impressive last-start wins on wet tracks.
R7: ACY SECURITIES HANDICAP (1800M)
Dufficy: Great House seems to be in a suitable race with enough speed upfront. This race sets up perfectly and he is the one to beat. Opacity will really appreciate getting back to Randwick. Mubariz has two recent wins at this distance and the wet track is not an issue for him. Toryjoy did a lot of work up front last start and held on quite well. She could surprise but has to cope with the pressure upfront here.
Thomas: Great House is showing considerable potential and will enjoy sitting off the pace in a solidly run race. He will be charging to the line. Canasta settles on the speed and is very tough. He has been looking for this trip. Opacity has found form again and Mubariz is another enjoying these winter tracks.
Ray and Duff are both keen on Great House. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
R8: BOWERMANS FURNITURE HCP (1400M)
Dufficy: Blondeau had far too much to do last start but he can race closer from the better draw and that is the key to him. The wet track suits as well. Oscar Zulu is in fantastic form and is shooting for four straight wins. Dropping back to 1400m is no problem at all. Itz Lily has been freshened and has some beautiful formlines for this race. Charretera is slowly improving with racing this preparation and has been placed in six of his seven heavy track starts.
Thomas: Oscar Zulu is in such a rich vein of form and can make it four straight. He is in the zone at the moment and revelling on heavy tracks. Mirra Vision is an underrated mare but she is very genuine and is over the odds. Blondeau is down on the limit here and should be very competitive again. Itz Lily is well placed and Kordia looked more like his old self in a recent trial win.
R9: TAX TODAY HCP (1400M)
Dufficy: Expat is in great form, gets the claim which really helps, and only has to bring her Rosehill form to Randwick to prove hard to beat again. Eight Diamonds was fairly dominant winning an easier race first-up on the heavy and could be ready to go on with it this preparation. Steel Diamond was great first-up but a little flat last start. She is worth another chance. Exotic Ruby hasn’t had much luck this preparation and James McDonald might make the difference.
Thomas: Eight Diamonds could not have been more impressive winning first-up, beating a handy field easily. Promising filly who should continue to improve. Expat is flying this winter. She is a brave on-pacer and gets her rivals off the bit and chasing a long way out. Fortune Seeker is an emerging type and her first-up run indicates she is in for a good preparation. Steel Diamond is worth another chance.
Expat is the one they have to catch. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
R10: HEINEKEN HCP (1000M)
Dufficy: Irish Angel looked an honest midweek performer early on but she has returned in very good form and I’m expecting she will shape up to Saturday class here. Our Bellagio Miss loves the wet and should be in the finish again. I Am Power has a big weight but has plenty of quality. The Bopper is untried on wet tracks but showed a lot of talent earlier in his career.
Thomas: The Bopper, winner of the Brian Crowley Stakes last spring, went winless in a three-start preparation this year but he’s a promising young sprinter. He’s quite forward in condition after two good barrier trials. Nikohli Beagle struggled on the heavy track second-up but he gets in with a light weight after the claim and can improve. Our Bellagio Miss is a very good wet-tracker and I Am Power has class on his side.
SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS
Race 2 No. 7: MOVEMENT
I Am Invincible gelding from the Chris Waller stable who sent out all the right signs that a win was imminent with that closing first-up placing at Newcastle 140 days ago.
Race 4 No. 3: SHAOLIN TEMPLE
This Lonhro replica could be in for a good campaign this time in, his trials have been hugely impressive. Barrier 2 and Jeff Penza – tick, tick.
Race 8 No.2: COBIA
Another ‘city class’ horse headed to Goulburn. This will be his first run for Brad Widdup. His Rosehill trial was outstanding. Has talent beyond this.
Race 5: 1,4,6
Race 6: 3,8,15
Race 7: 1,2,6
Race 8: 2
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Jeff Penza has a good book of rides at Goulburn today, none better than Shaolin Temple.
Race 2 No.8: MULLUMOVA
Good showing on debut; just found the 1210m a bit too far first time out. Back to 1110m and at her home course. Makes serious appeal.
Race 6 No.3: PUMPS
Another of the Daniel Bowen trained string, this son of Jimmy Choux is third-up now and ready to peak. Has barrier 1 for a third straight time too.
Race 1 No.3: STAR QUEST
Tough stayer who revelled in the wet when he won his long distance maiden at Beaudesert last Saturday. Trainer has found the perfect follow-up for him.
Originally published asRay & Duff: Great chance for stayer
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