The Championships are back!
Day one of New South Wale’s premier racing event features four group 1 races, as well as the always-exciting Country Championship.
Featured on the 10-race card is the Group 1 Inglis Sires’ Produce, where many of the Golden Slipper runners are having another crack at the million dollar purse. That’s followed by the $2 million Australian Derby, where Tarzino holds sway in the betting markets.
The Darley T.J. Smith Stakes makes it three consecutive group 1 races – it will feature Australia’s best sprinters and a possible match-race between Exosphere and Chautauqua.
The final group 1 of the day is the $3 million Doncaster Handicap where the best horse in Australia is set to cement its champion status. The Chris Waller-trained Winx has captivated Australian racing over the past few years and winning a Doncaster would take it to a new level.
Not only do we have great group 1 action, we also have the Country Championships Final where the best country-trained horses run for the big $400,000 prize.
It’s all on this Saturday and CrownBet is offering a bonus bet if your horse finishes second or third in any race at Randwick.
Race 1 – Widden Kindergarten Stakes (1100m)
El Divino will likely be the first favourite of the day after producing a huge performance on debut. The Gai Waterhouse-trained colt won by 4.8 lengths at Gosford and it justified its $1.70 price tag. Punters are getting $2.40 here which looks a good price for favourite backers.
Astern is backing up after running 11th in the Golden Slipper. The John O’Shea-trained colt is capable of backing up and jockey James McDonald is confident of a victory. The son of Medaglia D’oro won its first two races by three lengths combined and the wide draw of 16 wouldn’t have helped it last start. It’s close up in the betting at $2.70 and it looks a strong chance.
Lionhearted is still a maiden runner, but it has been competitive in some tough races. Trained by David Hayes and Tom Dabernig, the two-year-old finished second behind Good Standing in the Skyline Stakes which should be a good form guide here. Hugh Bowman takes the ride and it could provide some each way value at $6.
Race 2 – Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)
The Robert Smerdon-trained Odyssey Moon has a winning strike rate which punters will want to ignore, but it continues to run solid races. The colt by Snitzel has won one from 13 starts, but it pushed Silent Sedition to within 2.25 lengths in the Bendigo Guineas and that should be respected. Blake Shinn takes over the riding which is a positive. $4.40 on offer after opening at $4.20.
Data Point is a handy youngster which has won once and placed twice in four starts. The Mick Kent-trained colt ran on well behind Le Romain in the Randwick Guineas and that form looks the best guide for this race. It needs to find a length in order to progress through the grades, but this isn’t a strong Carbine Club field. $3.70 appears to be a good price.
Moher found its winning ways at Kembla Grange last start and bookmakers are continually trimming its price. The Godolphin runner opened at $10 and is now paying $7 for the win following the 1.3-length win. That came at midweek level, but its form prior was solid and it could add some value to multiples.
Tip: Data Point to win ($3.70) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 3 – Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m)
Dee I Cee is a former New Zealand runner which should score its first Australian win soon. Now with Gai Waterhouse, the four-year-old has placed in both runs at Randwick and the rise in distance should suit. It finished fourth in the New Zealand Derby behind Mongolian Khan and the light weight will be ideal over the 2600m. Chance at a value price of $8.
Libran brings the best form into the race having won back-to-back. The Chris Waller-trained import scored impressively in the Manion Cup last start and despite rising up 2kg for this, it looms as the toughest horse to beat, It is untried at this distance, but by all accounts it should see it out and punters are confident at $2.25 in the betting.
Waterhouse also lines up Cafe Society which has had plenty of support in the betting at $5.50. The imported runner fought well behind Libran last start and many are expecting it to handle the distance better than the current favourite. It will have a 4kg advantage over Libran which helps and the $1.65 for the place isn’t a bad multi-bet inclusion.
Tip: Libran to win ($2.25) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 4 – The Country Championships Final (1400m)
Clearly Innocent is the clear favourite at $2.50 after winning its last three. The Greg Bennett-trained gelding has scored three impressive wins this year, taking its overall tally to five wins from seven starts. It has drawn perfectly in barrier two and Tommy Berry is a master at riding in sprint races. It will be a competitive race, but it looks the horse to beat.
Lofty’s Menu must be respected after finished second behind High Midnight last start at Rosehill. The John Bateman-trained gelding has won six from 11 and it won its qualifying race by 2.3 lengths in very easy fashion. Drawing barrier 13 won’t help its chances, but the $4.60 is a good price and it could win if the breaks go its way.
Profiler is a capable gelding which has been dealt a harsh blow in the barrier draw. The Stephen Lee-trained gelding has drawn barrier 17 which won’t make it easy, but it comes into this race having won its last two starts. Its win at Grafton was good where it carried 59kg and its opening odds of $34 have been slashed into $21. Each way chance.
Tip: Clearly Innocent to win ($2.50) at WilliamHill.com.au
Race 5 – Dilmah Tea P.J Bell Stakes (1200m)
Egyptian Symbol hasn’t been able to win in its last five starts after starting its career with three consecutive wins. The Bjorn Baker-trained filly has been taking in tough company and it was gallant in defeat behind Southern Legend last start. Drawing barrier 10 is ideal as it will get a cart into the race and it’s much better when it’s chasing. $4.60 chance with bookmakers.
The Andrew Noblet-trained Super Cash brings in solid Victorian form after winning the Moomba Plate at Flemington last start. The Written Tycoon filly has form in behind the likes of Petis Filous and Miss Gunpowder which should hold up nicely at this level. Drawing barrier 15 does make it tough, but expect it to find a forward position and be tough to hold out at $6.50.
Secret Agenda was no match for the best sprinters in the Newmarket Handicap, but it is more suitable to this level. The Mick Price-trained filly has won three from eight and it defeated a handy field in the Red Roses at Flemington last November. Dropping back in grade will help its chances and bookmakers have kept it safe at $6.50.
Race 6 – Inglis Sires’ Produce (1400m)
Yankee Rose produced an impressive run for second in the Golden Slipper last start and it should prove tough to beat here. The David Vandyke-trained filly won its first two starts by beating the likes of Faraway Town and Good Standing. It opened at $3.75 for the win and has since been backed into $3.50. There is plenty of support around and it looks a strong winning hope.
Telperion has always come in for support. The John O’Shea-trained colt opened at $4.20 and is currently $3.80 following a fourth-placed finish in the Slipper. It flew home late along the inside and having drawn much better in barrier four for this, it looks an outstanding chance of winning. James McDonald is confident and it looks the better horse going forward.
Zamzam is only a little mare, but it shows great heart. The Redoute’s Choice filly won well at Moonee Valley last start and it could be the surprise packet here. It ran on nicely behind Extreme Choice in the Blue Diamond and stepping up to 1400m looks ideal. $21 is a crazy price for a talented type and there is good each way value there.
Tip: Telperion to win ($3.80) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 7 – Australian Derby (2400m)
Jameka was scratched from racing last Saturday in preparation for this and the filly could turn the tables on current favourite Tarzino. The Ciaron Maher-trained filly finished third behind Tarzino in the Rosehill Guineas and the rise up in distance will suit as it won the Crown Oaks over 2500m last November. It has drawn wide which shouldn’t matter over this distance and punters have backed it into $6.
Tarzino has the form on the board and it has always looked like obvious Derby favourite since winning the Victorian Derby during the spring carnival in Melbourne last year. The Mick Price-trained stayer scored a decisive victory in the Rosehill Guineas and it will take an incredible performance from another runner to beat it. It has been at $2 for most of the week, but it has now shortened to $1.95. It will be running through many multi-bets.
Tally has done nothing wrong this campaign with four consecutive victories. The John O’Shea-trained colt defeated Palentino by 2.25 lengths in the Alister Clarke Stakes last start and it looks the most improved runner in this field. Seeing out the distance is the big question punters are asking and that’s a concern again horses which are tested at the distance. Place chance at $1.80.
Race 8 – Darley T.J Smith Stakes (1200m)
It’s clear that Exosphere doesn’t handle going left-handed, but it returns to Randwick where it demolished a good field by 3.3 lengths in the Roman Consul Stakes. The Godolphin colt is a three-time winner at this distance and punters are liking its chances of returning to the winners enclosure once again. It opened at $2.70 and has come in for support to $2.60. We should see the best of Exosphere in this.
Chautauqua is a professional sprinter which has won 10 from 20 starts with eight placings. It couldn’t quite find its best form in the Newmarket last start which was disappointing, but the change in scenery might help and it has won and placed at Randwick. It is a gelding that needs a few things to go its way and there looks to be a genuine quick tempo here which will suit nicely. Drifting in the market and is currently $3.50.
Terravista will enjoy heading back to Randwick as it hasn’t won since winning the Premiere Stakes on this track. The Joe Pride-trained gelding has won five of seven at Randwick and although its run in the Galaxy wasn’t good, we like its chances of bouncing back. Punters won’t get Terravista paying $13 very often and that looks like good value for each way backers.
Race 9 – The Star Doncaster Handicap (1600m)
We can’t preview a race without first talking about Winx. The champion mare has won 12 of 18 starts which included the Group 1 Cox Plate and despite the weight scale being against it, Winx is a special type of thoroughbred. The Chris Waller-trained four-year-old has won as it liked this season and drawing barrier 11 shouldn’t deter any punter. It has drifted from $1.85 to $1.90 which is surprising, but money should come for it late.
Kermadec produced a lovely run for second behind Winx in the George Ryder and it’s looking to defend its 2015 title. The Chris Waller-trained horse last won in the George Main Stakes on this track and a return to the winning ranks wouldn’t surprise many. It has the ability to overthrow its stablemate and it might get out to a double-figure price. Currently at $8.50 after opening at $7.50.
Stratum Star is a tough horse for Darren Weir which has the ability to cause a big upset. The four-year-old is paying $41 to win which is way over the odds and punters that like a flutter at big odds should be attracted to this. It drops nicely in weight to 55kg and the $8 for the place should be considered.
Race 10 – Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)
Alaskan Rose comes over from Melbourne with trainer Michael Moroney and it has been wanting more ground all campaign. The three-year-old is a dour filly which looks suited to the 2000m after running on well behind Felicienne last start at Flemington. This is a wide open race and bookmakers have it as the current $4 favourite.
Sacred Eye showed plenty of ability last campaign when it won the Neil Robinson Stakes at Caulfield. The daughter of High Chaparral hasn’t quite found the same form since, but the sharp rise in distance is ideal and this could be a slowly run race which will suit. It’s on the second line of betting at $4.60 and we’re expecting that price to stay steady.
Daisy’s Joy was pretty average last start at Gosford, but we’re going to allow it one more chance. The Snowden-trained filly carries only 54kg in this which helps and its form prior to running seventh last start was solid. Needs everything to go its way, but the $8 is a good price.
Tip: Sacred Eye to win ($4.60) at WilliamHill.com.au