Race 1 - 11:35AM WIDDEN KINDERGARTEN STAKES Tips (1100 METRES)
In probably the most open race of the program, we'll lean the way 3. KING OF SPARTA who is an each-way price. Touched off by a freak effort from Hilal on debut before being outclassed behind the eventual Golden Slipper winner, he was set a big task seven days in the Silver Slipper. Tommy Berry takes over, who was aboard for a recent trial win where he did jump well and take a position. Needs to do that again here from barrier one.
8. Vandoula Lass bolted in on debut back in December, running slick time when defeating Translation in the process who recently won her Maiden by a big space. She looked to be cruising following that but was reeled in by the tough Rocket Tiger, who has since placed in both the Black Opal and Silver Slipper. No recent trials, however.
Stablemate 11. Bahama is on debut and was super impressive when rattling home late under a hold in a Warwick Farm trial on March 23. Hard to gauge given she didn't work against the cream of the crop but wouldn't need to be a world beater to win this. Watch the betting.
stuck to the task behind a dominant Enthaar on debut and was three-wide the trip when Najmaty reeled her in fresh, who gave them a galloping lesson last week in Melbourne. Strips fitter with a recent trial and has claims at a fair quote ($17.00 @ Palmerbet
Race 2 - 12:10PM FUJITSU GENERAL CARBINE CLUB STAKES Tips [GROUP 3] (1600 METRES)
Didn't think there much separating the above selections but will lean the way of 2. WHEELHOUSE who was brave two back in the Randwick Guineas when sticking on after a wide run before contesting the Rosehill Guineas, where he was again honest but testing ten furlongs just saw him out. 2000m back to 1600m has been a successful pattern for Chris Waller and this overall, lacks the depth of those recent events.
4. The Irishman looks the obvious with the Hungry Heart form, with the subsequent Vinery winner reeling him in late in the Phar Lap Stakes and he was fair in a recent tick-over trial. I'm not sold on his prior form and the mile is perhaps a slight query, but he maps for the favours under Josh Parr. Short enough at sub $3 but one of the leading chances.
8. High Supremacy has as much talent as any of these, but he is frustrating, having thrown away a few handy races since winning a Provincial Maiden last campaign. The March 23 trial was excellent and is now third-up to a mile, which looks ideal. Can he put it together on race day?
Winning both races comfortably this campaign at midweek level is 12. Kiku who is improving and deserves her chance at Stakes level now. Hasn't beaten much of late but plummets to 54kg here. McDonald jumps off to ride High Supremacy which is interesting.
Race 3 - 12:45PM NEWHAVEN PARK COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL Tips (1400 METRES)
A super honest competitor who hasn't missed a top two finish from 10 starts, 3. ART CADEAU broke a run of five consecutive seconds four starts back in nice style in a Kembla Grange. A winner of the Goulburn Qualifying heat back in February, the recent trial for this gelding was strong and while 1400m is as long as he wants, barrier two allows Tommy Berry to give him a soft run in transit.
While can put in the occasional shocker, but I've got plenty of time for 4. Another One
, a three-year-old that they haven't completely got to the bottom of yet and one of the very few in this field that could be city class in time. Coming from nowhere to grab the Wagga Heat, he has tactical versatility and was superb in a March 25 trial. Is a good each-way price ($13.00 @ bet365
Quite like the map her for 12. Spiranac who should be able to camp midfield off a good tempo before launching late, which she did when taking Tamworth Qualifier. Thrown in at the deep end prior to that in a Group Three, she won a Provincial race back in January.
8. Pure Fuego
arguably should've won that same Tamworth event and while a little plain as favourite following that, I suspect he just needed to run somewhere before this Grand Final. Can improve at long odds ($21.00 @ Sportsbet
Race 4 - 1:20PM TAB ADRIAN KNOX STAKES Tips (2000 METRES)
She's getting so deep into her first campaign, however, James Cummings and Godolphin pulled off something similar in this race last year with Collette and are aiming to repeat the dose with 3. FLEXIBLE who had a winning hat-trick denied by a leader-biased track before working strongly through the line on March 17. This well-bred filly (half-sister to Ambidexter, Sidestep and Skilled) gets the nod in a race that lacks a standout.
Resuming off a short spell on March 31 was 5. Duais, who couldn't have been any more impressive over the mile, pinning the ears back and reeling in Darling Diamond with ease in the end. She wants the track at least getting back into the Soft range, which it should and the 2000m shouldn't be an issue. Was perhaps better suited if drawn out a shade more though.
It wouldn't be an autumn carnival without trainer John Sargent having a few three-year-old's set for Oaks and Derby campaigns, with 6. Land Ahoy
perhaps being his leading filly now for these staying features. This is harder but she's won her last two at a mile and shouldn't be dismissed despite her price ($21.00 @ Palmerbet
Following a Class 1 win at the Provincials, it was hard to miss 8. Obvious Step
finding the line behind Kiku last start, albeit was still well held. Sharp distance rises (1400m-2000m) aren't uncommon for David Payne runners and she's worth thought for the exotics at bolters odds ($34.00 @ Sportsbet
Race 5 - 1:55PM SCHWEPPES CHAIRMAN'S QUALITY Tips (2600 METRES)
The winner of this is exempt from ballot and penalty for the Sydney Cup next Saturday where the 11. SELINO has just 50kg should he make it. It's been a slow build for this OTI import who was tipped out following his Australian debut last spring and has been steadily ticking along with his chasing effort against the pattern of the Manion Cup being clearly his best performance for Waller. A fair chance in a very open race.
Kiwi veteran 3. Sir Charles Road
put in a shocking campaign last autumn but may have turned the corner if his Auckland Cup effort was any indication. He's no stranger to Sydney and won this event back in 2018, carrying the same weight this year (56kg). Has been thereabouts in stronger races than this and has claims at a decent quote ($21.50 @ Sportsbetting
6. Sacramento is very deep into his campaign now but is holding form, with a winning hat-trick followed by a runner-up to talented stayer Mount Popa (Mornington Cup winner) and stayed on in the Manion Cup. He drops 2kg off that performance.
9. Collide was honest behind Sacramento despite finding the 2000m a little short on his Australian debut and never got into the Manion Cup from an impossible position. Can settle closer here from a better gate here and could be the big improver in this field now getting to 2600m.
Race 6 - 2:30PM INGLIS SIRES' Tips [GROUP 1] (1400 METRES)
The only knock I have for this Saturday with 1. ANAMOE is that he is now approaching his fifth run of the preparation, so if he hasn't had enough, then he simply looks too good for them here. This colt arguably should be unbeaten where after being beaten a pimple fresh, drew wide and rattled home for placings in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond either side of a victory in Todman Stakes.
2. Captivant can't beat Anamoe based off that Slipper run alone but the son of Capitalist is still very much building with only two runs so far this preparation, twice finding the 1200m a little sharp and was held-up at a key stage of the Slipper. Peter & Paul Snowden prepared King's Legacy to win the 2020 Inglis Sires' second-up and Captivant is going every bit as well.
No idea what to make of the Golden Slipper effort from 8. Four Moves Ahead, who was easily out-sprinted but still boxed on okay. We know she has the class, just wonder whether that last one was potentially an end of preparation performance.
9. Queen Of Wizardry
should've run a clear second to Shaquero in the Magic Millions 2yo Classic and although plain in the Golden Slipper, was first-up off a setback. Jamie Kah jumps on and this filly can improve at big odds ($51.00 @ Palmerbet
Race 7 - 3:15PM BENTLEY AUSTRALIAN DERBY Tips [GROUP 1] (2400 METRES)
READ: Full Australian Derby Preview
3. SKY LAB found himself back against his age group for the first time this preparation in the Rosehill Guineas, a Group One he all but won, providing a perfect tow in for the eventual winner Mo'unga but the effort was a definite pass mark with the Australian Derby in mind. It is worth noting he was a month between runs in that latest attempt and he draws kinder for James McDonald this Saturday.
Although the last 600m times didn't quite back it up, the return performance from 16. Montefilia was visually much better to that of Hungry Heart's, who has since won two including last Saturday's Vinery Stud Stakes, defying an on-pace bias at Rosehill in the process. A dual Group One winner, she's the class runner in the field as it stands.
7. Young Werther was crying out for ten furlongs which he got in the Alister Clark, but it wasn't run to suit and faced a similar scenario in last week's Tulloch Stakes, with arguably the run of a race that has produced the last four Australian Derby winners. The blinkers now go on.
Not sure that the Randwick Guineas winner 1. Lion's Roar can turn the tables on Sky Lab and Montefilia from that Rosehill Guineas, but he did have some excuses there. Has drawn out again but that's not a big disadvantage for him.
Race 8 - 3:55PM HEINEKEN T J SMITH STAKES Tips [GROUP 1] (1200 METRES)
READ: Full TJ Smith Stakes Preview
As a five-time Group One winner, 2. NATURE STRIP is still the most talented sprinter in Australia when he's in the mood and the six-year-old bounced back with a first-up victory in the Lightning Stakes before remaining at 1000m via the Concorde Stakes, where it took Eduardo breaking a 1000m track record to deny him. He won this sprint feature off the same third-up pattern last autumn.
Although 9. Libertini did go down as favourite via her fresh attempt in the William Reid Stakes, the four-year-old had excuses when racing in what was clearly the inferior going on that March 19 program at The Valley. Did fail second-up last Spring in the Everest, but was three-wide and back in a hard run affair whereas here, she draws softly in gate one.
Certainly no knock on 3. Eduardo, who is now clearly the most in-form sprinter in the country and even though he was spotting weight to his rivals, the lightly raced seven-year-old gave them a galloping lesson in The Galaxy. Can he peak for a third time this preparation?
With competitive efforts last spring around Classique Legend, Eduardo, Nature Strip in Sydney, 6. Dirty Work
is clearly no slouch and is going better than his recent form suggests. Isn't without a top three or four hope for the exotic players at a rough price ($41.00 @ Sportsbet
Race 9 - 4:35PM THE STAR DONCASTER MILE Tips [GROUP 1] (1600 METRES)
READ: Full Doncaster Mile Preview
Although 1. MUGATOO will now have to spot weight to rivals, at 56kg, he is well weighted at Handicap level as barring the three-year-old's, there isn't a great spread in the weights between this gelding and what look to be genuine handicappers in this line-up. With a freshen-up following his All-Star Mile victory, there's no reason to suggest the six-year-old can't produce again, especially from a soft gate under Bowman.
While 19. Mo'unga did manage to run out the 10 furlongs last start, connections have made the right move to dodge the 2400m staying test of the Derby and instead look to cash in as a three-year-old in Doncaster Handicap where he'll carry just 49.5kg. If within striking distance, he can pounce late and put his sharp turn-of-foot to use if the conditions allow.
20. Forbidden Love
was able to explode late to bolt in with the Surround Stakes and with just 49.5kg, has the tactical versatility to settle closer under Dean Yendall, who was aboard in her Empire Rose attempt last Spring. She was luckless last start as favourite in the Coolmore Classic and is fair odds here ($18.00 @ TopSport
Winning like a champion on his Australian debut was 7. Aegon who then tasted his first career defeat via the Randwick Guineas. Freshened-up and winning an April 1 trial, it'd be foolish to write him off from just one bad run, especially with a return to a soft track.
Race 10 - 5:10PM CHINA HORSE CLUB P J BELL STAKES Tips (1200 METRES)
Over the same track/trip for the three-year-old fillies, this is similar to the Light Fingers Stakes, a February 13 event which saw 6. NEVER TALK rattle home and comfortably record the fastest last 600m/400m/200m when just missing behind Every Rose, who she has a 3kg weight swing on. Making ground for an eventual fourth-place finish in the Surround Stakes, the freshen-up and drop to 1200m looks ideal. Appeals as one of the best bets of the day in a thin race.
Respecting 2. Macroura who although was still competitive, didn't quite come up in the spring but bounced back with a first-up victory in the Typhoon Tracy Stakes. Already a Listed winner in Sydney, the daughter of Snitzel handles any conditions and can land straight on the speed from gate two. She should be thereabouts again.
The Snowden's had 3. Marboosha ready to fire fresh and she duly saluted, recording her first black-type victory up the Flemington straight but appeared a little flat of that with what was only a fair performance in the Darby Munro. Wary of a third-up spike but is she perhaps a little more dynamic on top of the ground?
This seems to fall away after the above three but still including 1. Every Rose who has drawn poorly but is one of the class runners in the field. Her best chance is if Josh Parr puts the foot down early following a somewhat sluggish getaway in her last attempt. Soft 6/7 is about perfect.