Race 1 - 1:15PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
Tough race and most of the nine could prevail without surprising. Speed comes from Malkovich with Delacour and Dawn Too Good work across which should allow Tom Sherry the box seat or at least get cover from barrier two aboard 1. MATOWATAKPE.
Somewhat of a query with the drop in trip although he had some excuses when feeling the pinch late over 1200m when working early and is a more effective galloper with a sit and then being produced late. Can improve, especially with just the one trial leading in and should get a nice run.
2. Malkovich is a one-trick pony but is well down in grade after contesting the Gosford Guineas and the step back to 1100m suits. Wet track is the query but this colt should find the front from barrier one and this isn't much harder to the Canterbury event he won two starts back.
Don't love the form around 3. Triple Ace
but all you can do is win and that he has done with four consecutive victories. This isn't a vintage Saturday race to continue that picket fence while 5. Brazenpine
could be the value now ($12.00 @ Palmerbet
) third-up and down in grade. Was plain second-up but her prior form was good enough for this.
Race 2 - 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
You're doing pretty well to get 4. PINNACLE PRINCE beat here who was outstanding in that return run on Boxing Day where he was the only galloper to break 34 seconds (for the last 600m) on that Randwick program (33.64) when rattling home from the rear.
Following a debut win that rated very well for the July 20 program from Scone, he was runner-up to his subsequent Kosciuszko winning stable mate It's Me on August 22 in another event that stacked up well for the card and she's at minimum stakes class. Draws kinder this time around and if the current form is at least held, he should win again.
will likely get over more ground in what is now his third racing preparation but he's better than his long opening price suggests ($26.50 @ Sportsbetting
). The Maiden win as a two-year-old against older opposition last time in had merit and the son of Nicconi has won a trial by a fair space in readiness for this.
1200m/soft track is the query for 2. Step On Fire
, but he was brave when camped wide off a hot speed on December 12. That won't be an issue here from barrier one and another at fair odds ($21 @ Sportsbet
) is 8. Joey's Chance
. Probably spots them a decent start but was strong late at Provincial level last time and the form has been franked from that with Dame Kiri since bolting in on the Kensington circuit.
Race 3 - 2:25PM SCHWEPPES HANDICAP Tips (1600 METRES)
After a disappointing return, 7. MACLEAY had a few slight gear alterations ahead of his second-up tilt at Newcastle where he was a well-supported favourite ($4.40-$3.20) and although ideally, we would've liked to have seen a little more, this three-year-old was a set a big ask and it was an improved showing.
The first preparation was promising when reeling in a handy Black Bolt (won two this campaign) on debut before a half-length defeat behind Acrophobic (Group competitive in the spring). Tim Clark jumps on this Saturday, who has ridden five winners from nine engagements for the Ryan & Alexiou stable this season and third-up at a mile, Macleay makes some appeal.
9. Fifteen Aria had every favour on debut and won accordingly from Flexible who franked that form with a big win at Warwick Farm on Wednesday. Maiden to a Benchmark 72 is never easy but down in the weights, she'll have some fans and wouldn't need to be a world beater to prevail again.
2. Foxborough doesn't win out of turn but to be fair, it was a brave victory on December 23 and she gets good relief here with the claim. Does she get across early this time? Respecting 4. Zing third-up who was 1300m-1600m last start, however, she looked to have every chance and this isn't any easier.
Race 4 - 3:00PM THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
The bookies haven't missed 5. ALL TIME LEGEND who is short enough at even money off a return win at Benchmark 78 level, but this doesn't appear to be the strongest of 88's and the son of Zoustar is progressive enough to go on with it versus many of these that don't appear to be going anywhere.
It was a strong performance to make it four from six now overall where after drawing wide in that Boxing Day attempt, was taken back to the rear and despite over-racing a shade before the turn for home, exploded when clicked up at the 300m to record an easy two and a half length margin on the line.
The race could revolve around the returning Godolphin gelding 4. Subedar, who was last seen getting home for fourth in the 2019 Caulfield Guineas which followed a runner-up finish to dual Group One winner Shadow Hero. The long lay-off brings obvious question marks but he made ground to win a December 21 trial and they are going straight to 1400m first-up. Massively respecting the betting with this gelding.
I'd be somewhat surprised if the winner didn't come from the above two albeit 7. St Covet's Spirit
had definite excuses last start when nearly falling after finding heels in the straight and at big odds, 1. Intuition
is a top three/four hope at a big price ($43.00 @ Sportsbetting
) coming all the way back to 78 level where he's very well in after the 3kg claim.
MELBOURNE MAIL: Race-By-Race Flemington Preview
Race 5 - 3:40PM RANVET HANDICAP Tips (1500 METRES)
On an each-way basis in a competitive event, I kept coming back to the honest 1. JUVENTUS who began the preparation with an enormous effort for third at Kembla Grange before running as our Value Bet on the December 12 Randwick card, beating all bar I Am Vinnie in a race that's produced two subsequent winners.
The Kris Lees-trained six-year-old should've finished closer on December 26, but was held-up for a key stage in the straight and the 2.5kg drop in the weights could prove crucial here. Providing they are more positive from this better gate, then he should go close if the breaks come in the run home.
The 1300m looked a little on the short side for 6. Brutality first-up but on a Soft 7, he powered away for a nice return win and the extra furlong here is a plus. Probably has much upside as any of these and will relish the conditions if it is testing, but just not sure where he lands from gate 10.
4. Ulysses has a nice weight swing on Brutality from that clash at Warwick Farm where the son of Dawn Approach didn't quite handle the Soft 7. Can turn it around if the going is firmer and including 5. Come Along who is right at his ceiling now but is consistent and the drop in trip in suits.
Race 6 - 4:20PM HEINEKEN HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
We may find out once and for all here whether the Jekyll and Hyde ways are still there with 2. BIG PARADE who was backed as if unbeatable prior to his Kembla Grange return where he went hard in front, then was vulnerable late with the blinkers being removed which resulted in him settling better and bolting in on December 19.
Gelded prior to this campaign and trialling up strongly, this four-year-old is no stranger to carrying weight and off such an easy win, it's hard to see 59kg stopping him in what's a similar race. That last performance at least showed that he doesn't necessarily have to lead, so Josh Parr has a few options from barrier one.
11. Pandano arguably should've won fresh off lengthy lay-off (held-up in the straight) then was five weeks between runs when finishing behind the favourite last start and It's worth noting that there was money for him ($16-$10). Interesting that they are persevering at Benchmark 88 level with a rating low enough to find something much easier.
Team Hawkes bring 4. Bandersnatch back to Sydney off a somewhat unlucky second-up effort as a beaten favourite which followed a Moonee Valley win. Don't mind the drop in trip and including the returning 7. Handspun who generally comes to hand early in her campaigns.
MAGIC MILLIONS CARNIVAL: Gold Coast Tips
Race 7 - 5:00PM JANUARY CUP Tips (2000 METRES)
At 34.15, 11. FULMINA comfortably recorded the fastest last 600m of her first-up attempt and at 11.13, ran the slickest last furlong as well which saw her as a very popular favourite on the December 19 program from Randwick but she never looked likely there and let down the punters.
On further viewing, I'm not sure the run was that horrible (picked-up again late) and staying at the mile, the effort in the Group Three Belle Of The Turf was sound following that despite looking a little dour. Back on a big track and up to the 2000m, we'll give her one more look.
2. Spirit Ridge recorded a much deserved third-up win in the Summer Cup and isn't all that badly treated at the weights with 55.5kg given his rating now. He does draw further out this time though, so Robbie Dolan will be working early to try and find spot close to the speed.
has turned a corner of late with three wins from his last four and remains at 54kg for the drop back to 2000m. Soft track is the knock for him and the pick of the outsiders ($26.00 @ PlayUp
) is perhaps the Waller-trained 9. Humbolt Current
. This six-year-old has been ticking over okay and up to 2000m third-up, could be a big improver here.
Race 8 - 5:40PM PRECISE AIR HANDICAP Tips (1800 METRES)
It was hard not be impressed with the brave Boxing Day return of 6. SACRAMENTO who worked wide throughout that 1800m contest and was still clearly the pick of the on-paced brigade for an eventual third-placed finish, putting two lengths on the next runner home in the process.
The concern is now whether the flat one comes second-up off such an effort, especially with longer trips in mind later this preparation, but the 2020 St Leger winner was a second-up winner last time in off the same break following a huge Maiden victory and draws kinder in four.
With a better gate, I would've just sided with 1. Kiss The Bride who is perfectly placed back to a Benchmark 78 third-up after two solid efforts at a mile. Is a proven weight carrier and handles any conditions, just whether he gets across early or not which is the query.
5. Criminal Code
was a model of consistency over November and December while he draws better in three following the chasing effort last start. He's clearly a leading hope with perhaps 7. Loveisili
being one for the multiples at long odds ($31.00 @ TopSport
). Perhaps still a run or so short but the return at 1500m off a long break was sound and the extra 300m is a big tick.
SA SELECTIONS: Murray Bridge Best Bets
Race 9 - 6:15PM TAB HANDICAP Tips (1500 METRES)
Can the talented and lightly raced 10. MORE PROPHETS run out a strong 1500m? Being a half-sister to stakes winning sprinter Prophet's Thumb doesn't exactly support that but with the influence of sire Smart Missile, who has produced numerous middle-distance progeny, it may bode well.
Following a nice first-up win at Warwick Farm, this four-year-old stepped straight up to the 1400m on December 19 where she was there to win if good enough but the two inside of her did less work and ran the quinella. Stripping fitter and drawing for a nice sit off a good pace, she can bounce back.
12. Bowery Breeze has been working towards that last start triumph on December 26 where she got a much deserved win when stepping up to the mile. Looks much more comfortable around these trips and she'll look to chime in late once again if they overdo it up front.
I wouldn't be ruling out 8. Strawb who has the best turn-of-foot in this field but as is usually the case, she needs her fair share of luck and didn't see any great reason as to why 6. Dame Kiri can't complete the hat-trick. She admittedly found the fast lane at Kensington, but it was an easy win and Mubariz has franked the form from that with a dominant victory on Wednesday.
RANDWICK QUADDIE TIPS: