Track: Good 4
Rail: +6m 1600m to WP, +4m remainder
Weather: Mostly sunny
Easter Saturday racing at Royal Randwick and two more Group 1s to round out the Sydney Carnival. This day 12 months ago the track was on fire and the 1200m course record was broken. Expect a slight rails-in-run advantage, but nothing ‘prohibitive’ in the straight.
Speed map/race shape: The Highway Handicaps are back! Typically strong tempo predicted, with Concrete and Prince Jacko leading from Kruanui and Scorching in the trail.
Advantaged runners: Poor Tash Burleigh endured a nightmare Country Championship Final. Bocelli ran second last and AL MAH HAHA was cratched at the gates. He’s here to make amends, but will have to do it with 62kgs. He’ll be making his run alongside the lightly-raced AMORITA who renews her association with Jason Collett after their success at Grafton a month ago. She’s lightly raced and on the up, as is LEGION OF BOOM, who can be forgiven his run on the Heavy at Gosford when he was on a hiding to nothing. They’ll all need to run down CONCRETE who has finally put it all together after once being considered stakes class.
Speed map/race shape: Chapelco and the emergency Noble Joey possess the most early toe here and can lead over 1200m in a race that may not break the clock.
Advantatfged runners: At time of writing it was $6.00 the field in the BM88 – an open race! TRIBAL WISDOM doesn’t really appreciate wet ground so his first up failure was no surprise. That said, he was only 6.6L off Nature Strip which is a ripping reference here! He then trialled alongside MURILLO who is first up in Australia with good UK form as a guide, but a big market watch. PROBLEM SOLVER is a consistent mare and G Ryan first up is always one to be acutely aware of. CHARGE and TEST THE WORLD next best, chances don’t end there.
Speed map/race shape: Greysful Glamour has been kept up for this and you’d assume she’ll lead, with Amangiri and On The White Turf also close to the speed, doubt they go too hard.
Advantaged runners: With a kinder run in transit, AMANGIRI will be hard to beat. She worked hard throughout in the Adrian Knox. Her main rivals will be running on from the back half. THE CHOSEN ONE came widest on the turn to finish on the placegetter’s heels in the Derby, while CARIF produced a similar effort in the Tulloch. Both races had the same quinella so the form lines up. HOUSE OF CARTIER was good at Hawkesbury and looks progressive, but DEALMAKER remains a query at this trip after a flat Carbine Club run.
Speed map/race shape: Strong pace anticipated in the JHB Carr courtesy of Etana, Major Wager and Ragazze who should all look to go forward. The likes of Alison Of Tuffy, Fiera Vista, Into The Abyss and Laburnum should all look to race handily. Hot tempo!
Advantaged runners: Eight of the 13 come through the G3 PJ Bell (1200m) a fortnight ago. INTO THE ABYSS ran a close second there and should be able to race handily enough from barrier one here. EAWASE had no luck in that event but attacked the line late, she beat Into The Abyss home last time they clashed at 1400m. LABURNUM stuck on well after a tough run, SO TAKEN was unfancied but ran well for third, while SHE’S FURLINE was also huge at $151 there. JEN RULES ties into the PJ Bell form by running second to Multaja at the start prior, both she and the third horse across the line have also won subsequently this this is a class rise. MY XPRESSION is G1 placed in NZ and ETANA brings different ‘Melbourne form’.
Speed map/race shape: Taikomochi should have no trouble leading over 2000m here from the wider draw. There may be a few with eyes on settling close by including Satono Rasen, Goathland, Emperor’s Way and maybe even Sedanzer.
Advantaged runners: Waller has half the field in the G3 JRA Plate. His best hope is the ex-Weir galloper HARIPOUR who should settle forward of midfield from barrier 5. He’s third up off a strong win in the Bendigo Golden Mile. Also third up from his crew are both LIBRAN and MCCREERY and while a chance, they will be making similar runs late to horses with younger legs. Most prominent of those is OUR LIBRETTO – she was a strong second up winner at this trip and chased home the G1 Coolmore Legacy winner Kenedna prior. EMPEROR’S WAY was rather unlucky behind her last start. Fellow on-pacer GOATHLAND was stiff not to beat TAIKOMOCHI over this trip two back and both have claims.
RACE 6 – GROUP 1 CHAMPAGNE STAKES
Speed map/race shape: Lady Lupino looks to have the lead all to herself in the Champagne, with either Chia or Dawn Too Good likeliest to sit OSL. Loving Gaby gets the ‘gun run’.
Advantaged runners: Not the deepest Group 1 field here. The major unknown is has LOVING GABY had enough? We’ll find out. Either way she gets plenty of favours here and brings the right form through three strong runs at this level. If she’s fit to go, the only other feasible worry is that she may hit the front too far out! That would make her a sitting shot for CASTELVECCHIO. He finished alongside the filly last start and looks most advantaged stepping up to the mile – this is a target race. For him, the query is how much of a start he gives Loving Gaby off a slower tempo. Of the rougher hopes, LADY LUPINO could look to pinch it on the pace again, while PERSAN was most unlucky not to win when copping interference and falling behind POWER SCHEME in the Fernhill last week. Assuming all is ok?
RACE 7 – GROUP 1 ALL AGED STAKES
Speed map/race shape: Speed in the G1 All Aged comes via Manuel and Le Romain with the blinkers on, from Siege Of Quebec and Naantali. Many of the major hopes are run-on types and this looks like being run at an even gallop for this level.
Advantaged runners: OSBORNE BULLS is the obviously place to start as a three-time bridesmaid at this level this prep. The 1400m is no concern but barrier one may be, pattern depending. PIERATA finished alongside him in the TJ Smith and draws to swing wide in the straight here, but our (unpopular) query is whether he produces the same sharp sprint at this distance. The blinkers went on CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES in the TJ Smith and she finished in that clump as well, she needs to prove herself at the trip. The distance is no worry for LE ROMAIN, he’s an old marvel and gets blinkers for the first time. If they press on to lead he’ll give them something to catch. D’BAI is an unknown and hard to bet with confidence at $5.
Speed map/race shape: A fairly straightforward map in the G3 Hall Mark with Music Magnate and Easy Eddie the major players to lead, with Dothraki and Home Of The Brave handy.
Advantaged runners: HOME OF THE BRAVE was scratched from the All Aged on Wednesday to run here and it was no shock to see him at evens after that announcement. Presuming he sits in the ‘one-one’ position in running, the race should pan out favourably and he looks hard to hold out. He will need to get past EASY EDDIE who is up and running, most recently placed at G1 level! He’s adept on all surfaces and has been kept fresh for this. Can see BRAVE SONG being backed on raceday if a wide/run on pattern develops. He’s trialled well and his spring form ties in with HOTB, Osborne Bulls and TREKKING who was last seen chasing Easy Eddie in unsuitable wet ground. He and stablemate VIRIDINE could reasonably be expected to make up ground in the run home – but will they spot HOTB too big a start?
Speed map/race shape: Capacity field for the last, but the speed comes primarily from the inside via Sweet Scandal, Mahalangur, Special Missile and Dark Eyes drawn barriers 1-4. Sorting themselves out quickly would be advantageous for all four!
Advantaged runners: Looking down the bottom at the lighter-weighted hopes in the Benchmark 100. Emergency MAHALANGUR is sweating on a run but could enjoy things on-speed with just 53kgs. If he doesn’t start then Tommy Berry will ride SWEET SCANDAL instead and she’s similarly suited to rolling along on the pace. She’s been given time to recover after coming through hot races this prep. STAR OF THE SEAS will look to reel them in from a midfield position. He’s coming off consecutive wins on the Heavy but clearly enjoys this trip. Also running on will be SEAWAY, who flopped when fancied in the G2 Ajax. If you put that down to the Heavy, then he’s right in this off a freshen. So too is TAKE IT INTERN, who presents first up with good Spring form in Melbourne as a reference. FLOW may do it tough from an awkward draw but on best form is a huge chance as well.
Track: Good 4
Rail: True Entire
Third Saturday in a row at Caulfield but importantly, the rail moves back to the True position after being +13m last week. We’d assume a relatively fair pattern for all in this configuration. This is a good Easter Saturday meeting with two Group 3s the highlight.
Speed map/race shape: Two leaders engaged in the first but expect All Over Bossanova from the low draw to hold out My Biddy. Rewarding Laughter and Grey Shadow can settle handy.
Advantaged runners: ALL OVER BOSSANOVA has been sold and shipped south to Phillip Stokes. She’s a speedy mare who only knows one way, and was last seen making Easy Eddie work to win a Group 3 – he was subsequently Group 1 placed. With a cosy trip in front she should have a kick left on the turn, but will be in GREY SHADOW’s sights. The ex-Weir mare possesses pleasing fresh form and enjoys the Caulfield 1100m. Her main concern is finding cover from the outside barrier. MISS VIXEN finished over the top of MY BIDDY last time at Sandown against the bias and you’d expect her to be running on in similar fashion here.
Speed map/race shape: Big field for the 2000m event. Can see Mitrust and Wetakemanhattan pushing on from deep to take up the running with LA Belle Jude prominent as well. Sasko and Ryan’s Fender should get the run of the race.
Advantaged runners: There’s a few lightly-raced ones here on an upward curve. RYAN’S FENDER stands out among them as a four-year-old working through his grades. He was dominant at Moonee Valley over this trip and gets a similar run here. We await a replacement for Linda Meech (& wish her well) on GRINZIGER STAR. She produced a beautifully judged ride to lift the three-year-old to victory over Mr Quickie a fortnight ago and he’s ready for this trip now. WETAKEMANHATTAN is up and about, his chances depend on how comfortably he races at the pointy end. He recently beat DARK PEARL who then ran second to Mosh Music, he’s a fit stayer who will attack the line. This is a step up for DIVANATION but she’s lightly raced, very progressive and well bred for this trip.
Speed map/race shape: A few go-forward types in this, with Intueri, Pria Eclipse and Sunday Pray the most prominent early. Each of Angelucci, Handsome Return and Prometheus can also be handy in a solidly run mile.
Advantaged runners: INTUERI dragged the field up to a free-striding leader and was still too strong at this track/distance last start. He did that seven weeks fresh so can kick on here. ANGELUCCI settled handily there and just missed, he’ll do so again and gets a weight advantage. HANDSOME RETURN was a dominant winner in Adelaide on the same day and has shown a real liking for this distance range, he’ll also get an ideal tow into the straight. PROMETHEUS was 14 months between wins when sent to Flemington in search of dry ground and scoring well. These key on-pacers look to have the race between them.
Speed map/race shape: Another mile event, this one for the Fillies only. Expect a strong tempo courtesy of Kevikki and Nassayim, with half a dozen others keen to be prominent around them as well.
Advantaged runners: The key hope will look to run on from midfield or worse. MUSIC BAY scored a long-awaited second victory at Sandown a week-and-a-half ago. On a leader-dominated day she put them away from mid-pack without fuss. PRINCESS JENNI was controversially scratched in Sydney so is a month between runs. Her G3 Alexandra Stakes victory was all class though and she’ll make a similar run around the field. Then there’s SURE KNEE who may be a touch underrated, her first up win when wide without cover was full of merit. ZARGOS is ‘best of the rest’ after storming home to win second up.
Speed map/race shape: More Than Exceed and Morrissy look the fastest of this three-year-old bunch and can lead from the chute start. Expect a bit of pressure with most keen to be up there in the run.
Advantaged runners: A couple of these may be able to take advantage of the early tempo. One of those is POISED TO STRIKE who is fit and brings form via good Group 3 and Listed events. He was ‘best of the rest’ behind a runaway trifecta in the Darby Munro, third was a subsequent Group 2 winner and second has placed again in Stakes grade. HIGH RATIO ground over the top to win at this trip last start, while CRISTAL EYES pulled up with issues at her last run, she won her previous two at this distance. Query over MORE THAN EXCEED second up. His first up winning time wasn’t too flash and won’t get the same luxury here.
Speed map/race shape: Another fillies-only event, this one over the sprint trip. Irresistable Girl should look to ping to the front from wide, with Jentico, Maitri and Tropezina also prominent. The jockeys may be happy to sit in a three-wide line out of the chute.
Advantaged runners: THRILLSTER heads the ‘advantaged’ runners on class, not necessarily the run she’ll get in transit. Team Corstens will claim 3kg off her 61kg impost via Liam Riordan, but he’ll have a task slotting her into the three wide line from an outside stall. She can win if it goes to plan. A much nicer run is on offer for GOLDEN HALO off the inside draw and she’s had to fitness-building runs now. TOFANE gets barrier two and she’ll also be poised to pounce if not buried in the pack. TELL ME may get cover today, she let and was pipped by last outing at this track/distance. THINE IS THE POWER is never far away either.
Speed map/race shape: Just nine acceptors for the Victoria Handicap over 1400m. Sircconi looks the obvious leader off the inside along with Streets Of Avalon, giving Manolo Blahniq and Naantali the ideal trial. Doubt they overdo it in front here.
Advantaged runners: MANOLO BLAHNIQ was desperately unlucky last time out when held up trying to get clear running in the straight. He surged home when clear but NAANTALI had the jump on him. The Caulfield 1400m suits both to a tee. Manolo gets the weight swing, but is a chance of getting held up on the inside of Naantali. Slight leaning to the former. KEMONO trailed them both in last time – is he another one of these Japanese imports that can’t seem to win? STREETS OF AVALON just keeps racing, he wasn’t beaten far at this track in Open class last time and will sit up on the pace again. Look for FASTNET TEMPEST late.
Speed map/race shape: We may have a muddling tempo here if the likes of Magnapal and Octabello find the front with ease. Anticipate Ambitious, Odeon and Furrion will be close.
Advantaged runners: A few old mates doing the rounds in the Easter Cup. NIGHT’S WATCH plummets in grade. He didn’t handle the Heavy (and maybe the class?) in the Ranvet and wasn’t too bad in the Australian Cup prior. He’s a track and distance winner. PLEIN CIEL was outmuscled to the line when hooking right around them here last week. He’s up to 2000m for the first time in Australia but switches to the inside gate for a softer run. FURRION disappointed in the Bendigo Golden Mile but was hooked back from the wide gate. He can settle closer and get the jump on MANTASTIC who closed well for second there and is racing well. ALFARRIS is the interesting runner at his second Australian start and could have claims.
Speed map/race shape: The last on the card sees a trio eager to find the front in Dollar For Dollar, Princeton Spirit and Working from home. Strong tempo expected in the get out!
Advantaged runners: Little bit of Group 1 form here which is exciting. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR gives them all plenty of weight but is a known fresh sprinter and has gone down a whisker in a G1 at this venue. Of the on-pacers, he’s the one to be with. ADDICTIVE NATURE is also fresh and has only run once in 12 months when he nearly beat BRAVE SONG. His prior fresh run was third to Trapeze Artist, so he can run. He’ll also follow the pace-setters and get a good shot at them. Despite winning five from 11 HAUNTED has never been one of Godolphin’s stars, that said he’s hard to dismiss from a similarly handy run. SPIRIT OF AQUADA is a strong closer but may get shuffled back on the inside, leaving fellow backmarkers SUPERHARD and CHAUFFEUR to potentially get a head start on him.
Track: Good 4 (Wednesday)
Rail: +3m entire
Weather: Showers predicted Wednesday - Friday
There’s a smell of Brisbane Winter Carnival in the air this Saturday, with four Listed races on the card at Doomben. On Wednesday the track was rated a Good 4 but with showers predicted in the lead up to race day, expect a Soft track to be presented on the day.
Speed map/race shape: We begin with the customary staying event. Bargannon and Ruby Guru are both stepping up in trip and can go forward, leaving the low-drawn Waller runners like Xebec, Vaucluse Bay and Wu Gok to slot in handily.
Advantaged runners: The Toowoomba Cup is the main form reference with six of the 10 coming through that race. MISHANI VAIDRA had to make a sustained run from the back and stormed into the placings. She just pipped XEBEC for third, he did it tough on pace and may get a sit here. Both go up sharply in the weights. SKYTREK finished mid-pack there but made up some ground late suggesting this trip might suit, that said he hasn’t troubled the scorers for a while. RUBY GURU won a different event on the same day and is proven at this trip.
Speed map/race shape: As you’d expect in a two-year-old event there’s a few keen pace-setters in Gem Of Scotland, Howwonderfullifeis and Winning Shot. Expect plenty of pressure to be on throughout.
Advantaged runners: GEM OF SCOTLAND is undefeated in three goes, most recently edging out HOWWONDERFULLIFEIS. The latter was on debut though, settled outside the leader/winner and kept kicking, so may have the advantage from the inside draw. DEVIL’S MARBLES gets an extra 100m to run them down here but did have every hope from the one-one trail last time. WINNING SHOT impressed on debut winning on the Heavy, the winella put a huge gap on third. MAGIC BEANS has the extra fitness to run over the top if the leaders cut each other up in front.
Speed map/race shape: Again some genuine tempo will be injected into the race courtesy of I’ve Gotta Nel and Meet Mr Taylor, who could lead from Allround Glory and Dantga.
Advantaged runners: Hard to believe a few of these have only won one metropolitan race, as per the conditions. COOL DRAFTS’ winning strike rate is somewhat hampered by her racing pattern, but if they’re making up ground down the middle then she’s a huge chance off the hot tempo. Likewise POWER COMMAND who stormed past a subsequent winner to score first up. They’ll still have a task to get past I’VE GOTTA NEL and MEET MR TAYLOR who may have them strung out at the home turn. SUPER SUAVE drops in grade for this and shouldn’t be dismissed either, while three-year-old POET’S LANDING is the wildcard.
Speed map/race shape: Full field of 15 + four emergencies tackle the mile. The speed is drawn across the track with Borazon and Kilmacurragh the likeliest to lead from Lady Bing and Reiby The Red.
Advantaged runners: A host of chances here. DANSEZ was sharply up to this distance when edged out by Le Juge last time – he’s won again since and she’ll have taken plenty from the run, should get a nice trip from barrier two. THE CANDY MAN pipped KILMACURRAGH over 1350m at this track first up, this distance is more suitable for both but advantage to the former who is still lightly raced. Old timers MURAQABA and REIBY THE RED, plus PONYTALES, all finished in close quarters in the Ruby Guru race at Toowoomba. Muraqaba comes right into calculations in this race if the track is a mid-Soft or worse.
Speed map/race shape: Tom Melbourne should get his own way in front here with no other leaders engaged. Hallelujah Boy can sit off him and the rest are run-on horses or stayers. Perhaps Tangled can be at the head of the rest.
Advantaged runners: The Tails Stakes is the first of four Listed races on the card. It is also a Waller-a-thon. You’d be a brave punter to ‘tip’ him, but in theory TOM MELBOURNE looks hard to catch here. He’s fit after four runs this prep and is coming off a good third in the Doncaster Prelude. Of his stablemates, MY NORDIC HERO will take plenty of improvement from his first up effort in the same race, while SAVVY COUP has class but hasn’t hit her straps since crossing the ditch. ORDER AGAIN looks the best of the locals and should enjoy a comfortable midfield trail, he was a class above last time out in Open company. Former Victorian COOL CHAP beat Tom home in the Blamey and has been freshened for this.
Speed map/race shape: Decent speed over the 1200m courtesy of I’m A Rippa who can lead from Bold Chance and Mr Marbellouz. This leading trio might be hard to catch.
Advantaged runners: How hard they go in front will decide this race. MR MARBELLOUZ was a little disappointing in the Weetwood when out-sprinted on the way home, but does get one more chance here. He faces a worthy opponent in I’M A RIPPA, who has never missed the placings first up and can control this from the front. He didn’t put a foot wrong last prep at this level. BOLD CHANCE can’t be written off either on the speed, but he’s untested in this grade. If they overdo it then TYZONE is the one to look for running over the top. He was a little unlucky in the Weetwood but that’s a product of his racing pattern.
Speed map/race shape: Spirit’s Choice will want to lead from barrier one, but there’s going to be a charge of the light brigade coming across from out wide to pressure her. That cluster will include Exactamente, Jami Lady, Pennino, Pizonie and Takotsubo.
Advantaged runners: This is a good race. Unfortunately for SPIRIT’S CHOICE, it is hard to see a situation where she isn’t hounded the whole way, and you wouldn’t want to be on her if she if forced to give up the lead and get boxed up. So then, we need a run-on horse. EF TROOP’s Spring campaign was aborted after dual failures but a recent trial showed he’s back on his game. ROCK BEAT has won four of five and has recently enjoyed savaging the line off strong tempos. PLAGUE STONE should relish that as well – he’s a gelding who has been given time to mature by the Godolphin crew after mixing it in top company as a two-year-old. The Dunn pair THE FIRE TRAP and SANGLIER are also right in this with similar patterns.
Speed map/race shape: A big field of fillies tackle the Doomben mile. A number of these are stepping up in trip but the tempo doesn’t look too hectic. Word For Word For Word can lead, with the likes of Axella, Light Up The Room, Shahzade and Think Free all handy
Advantaged runners: She quickly reaches the mile second up but you had to be impressed with the way WORD FOR WORD got the job done first up. She could control the tempo again here and her only other run at this distance range was a second to Derby horse Cossetot. She holds an advantage being that her major rivals will all need to reel her in. They include BAREFOOT, who was rather unlucky when second to ROSENDAHL RED in the Toowoomba Guineas. Both could end up settling midfield and beyond, along with BACCARAT BABY who hasn’t found her best yet this prep but has claims on her Spring form.
Speed map/race shape: Big field for the last and the speed comes from out wide with Bel Burgess, Deep Image and Prince Of Tie all going forward along with Courtza King. Expect a frantic tempo here to round out the meeting!
Advantaged runners: There are so many chances in this one – it is $7.00 the field at time of writing!. The wide barrier won’t really matter for SNITCH who gets back anyway. He’s attacked the line strongly at both starts this prep and the extra furlong suits here. We think he’s a knockout hope. A horse like IMPASSE should get a kinder off-speed run and can improve back on drier ground, SECRET MO was very impressive beating him there. Of the leading trio, PRINCE OF TIE did it tough last time out in a similar event and was still too strong. He’s found the zone at this track and trip and goes into everything. This is the kind of race that might give TAWFIQ BOY or VELADERO the chance for a long-awaited breakthrough. There’s others too, but we can’t list them all!