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Randwick Betting Tips for February 17, 2024 - Race-By-Race preview for Apollo Stakes day

Last updated: 15 Feb 2024
Alex Marsh 15 Feb 2024
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  • Randwick host the Sydney metropolitan program on February 17
  • The track is currently a Good 4, but there could be downgrades
  • Saturday's Best Bet is well placed first-up
  • Our race-by-race preview is included below
Randwick Tips for 17.02.2024
Four Group races feature on Saturday's Randwick meeting. (Getty)

Randwick will run a ten-race program on February 17 and our free preview for Saturday is available below.
  • Randwick Tips February 17
  • Race 1 - 12:30PM Coolmore Pierro Plate Tips (1100m)
  • Race 2 - 1:05PM Midway Handicap Tips (1000m)
  • Race 3 - 1:40PM TAB Highway Handicap Tips (1800m)
  • Race 4 - 2:15PM Kia Ora Stud Handicap Tips (1300m)
  • Race 5 - 2:50PM James Squire Expressway Stakes Tips (1200m)
  • Race 6 - 3:25PM Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes Tips (1200m)
  • Race 7 - 4:00PM Petaluma Apollo Stakes Tips (1400m)
  • Race 8 - 4:35PM TAB Light Fingers Stakes Tips (1200m)
  • Race 9 - 5:15PM Ranvet Handicap Tips (1600m)
  • Race 10 - 5:55PM Chandon Garden Spritz Handicap Tips (1400m)
  • Randwick Quaddie Tips:

Randwick Tips February 17

Race 1 - 12:30PM Coolmore Pierro Plate Tips (1100m)

Best: 1. Shangri La Express. It's a fascinating opener, where two unbeaten Golden Slipper contenders in Shangri La express and Switzerland dominate the early markets.

Without much confidence from a betting perspective, I'm leaning towards the Waterhouse & Bott-trained colt, who was the Golden Slipper fav before Storm Boy's Gold Coast romp.

He was really made to earn his Golden Gift victory before a spell, where Shangri La Express did it at both ends and despite that, he still won comfortably in the finish.

Value: 8. Fly Fly. The first foal out of Group 2 winner Dawn Dawn, Fly Fly has won both lead up trials by narrow margins and she's looked well above average in both hit outs.

The Team Hawkes juvenile was eased back in those heats and after cruising into proceedings, this debutante has impressed under a hold each time.

The market was always going to find the pair of race winners, but if you're backing them solely off the trials, then Fly Fly is a silly price in the opener.

Race 2 - 1:05PM Midway Handicap Tips (1000m)

Best: 4. Rebel Dean. He was an eye-catcher of a BM72 at Canterbury on February 2 and the sectionals backed that up, while he had been competing in BM78 company before that.

That form through Our Kobison and Tintookie reads very well for Rebel Dean, who's now contesting a Midway, while the slight drop in trip is no negative.

From barrier one under Tommy Berry, the four-year-old will do no work in transit and with even luck, he should go close in this grade off current form.

Value: 13. Mad Darcey. She hasn't always been the easiest galloper to catch, however, off two strong trials and a terrific return win, she might have turned a corner this time in.

That Gosford victory on February 1 was an arrogant performance to the eye and the clock backed it up, with the five-year-old running the fastest last 200m of the meeting.

Perhaps keeping her to these shorter trips is the key, as she does have a nice turn-of-foot under the right conditions and a Midway isn't out of reach.

Race 3 - 1:40PM TAB Highway Handicap Tips (1800m)

Best: 13. Brok Cafe. She saluted on debut last winter at Newcastle and despite laying in via the run home, she recorded a comfortable win on soft ground.

Spelled following that July 25 outing, not much has gone the way of Brock Cafe in four runs this time in, which includes last start at Newcastle, where she was held up at key stages.

The three-year old was stepping from 1400m to 1880m there, so she will strip fitter with that distance run under the belt and this is a weak race, even for Highway standards.

Value: 7. Heir Jordan. Although he has a difficult draw to overcome, the gelding is going a lot better than his long odds suggests and he has a nice platform for 1800m.

Heir Jordan sustained a long run to salute over 1650m third-up before finding traffic at Canberra last time out, while he has proven himself over a similar trip to this.

The son of Spieth hasn't done a whole lot wrong in her last few campaigns and carrying 3kg less from his last attempt, he's among the each-way chances here.

Race 4 - 2:15PM Kia Ora Stud Handicap Tips (1300m)

Best: 8. Whinchat. He didn't appear to beat much on paper when first-up on the Randwick-Kensington circuit, although that victory rated very well for the January 31 card.

Whinchat is well up in grade to a BM88 here second up, although it's not a strong race for this benchmark and he carries 5.5kg kilos less as a result.

A galloper who is effective on good and soft ground, this four-year-old appears to have plenty of upside and with nice run up on the speed, he can go on with it here.
Value: 6. Ruby Flyer. He will improve from this return outing, especially as the distances increase, however, ability can take Ruby Flyer a long way here.

A lightly raced five-year-old who recorded back-to-back wins last winter, the son of Flying Artie rounded out that prep with a third at listed level and he was well backed there.

He's lead-up work has been fine and while the two market elects are better suited over the trip, a testing terrain 1300m might bring him into this fresh in a thin race.

Race 5 - 2:50PM James Squire Expressway Stakes Tips (1200m)

Best: 4. Buenos Noches. This dual-stakes winner has also placed a few times at Group 1 level and connections will be very hopeful for a Group 1 win this prep.

Buenos Noches wasn't far off achieving that in the Champions Sprint before a spell, where he was half a length off Imperatriz, who is arguably the best sprinter in Australia.

Anything resembling that performance would win this and any rain around will suit the entire, who has recorded two first-up wins and both of those were on wet tracks.

Value: 3. Golden Mile. The 2022 Caulfield Guineas winner appeared to be going nowhere last year, with a disappointing autumn followed by two plain runs to open his spring.

A Group 2 Theo Marks win third-up seemingly come out of the blue and he mostly held his form following that, with placings recorded in the Epsom and Golden Eagle.

At 1200m, he might lack the brilliance Buenos Noches, but Golden Mile does map for a soft run and the Godolphin galloper did move well in February 5 trial.

Race 6 - 3:25PM Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes Tips (1200m)

Best: 4. C'est Magique. It's competitive at the top of the market and it'll be interesting to see how this Grahame Begg-trained sprinter resumes on Saturday,

While most of the beaten margins were not long, C'est Magique still looked on the plain side throughout her spring campaign, which culminated in a Group 1 tilt.

All things equal, she's the best sprinter in this field and this yard doesn't take them on the road if they're not ready, with the four-year-old arriving of two decent workouts.

Value: 6. Diamond Dealer. She is well up in grade off an impressive first-up win last month, although she was competitive in a pair of stakes attempts last spring.

Off one quiet trial on December 12, not much was expected of Diamond Dealer in that January 13 dash from Rosehill, yet she proceeded to bolt in there.

The Bjorn Baker stable is absolutely flying in February and with a few of the class runners in this small lineup resuming, an upset result wouldn't shock here.

Race 7 - 4:00PM Petaluma Apollo Stakes Tips (1400m)

Best: 10. Militarize. While it was an unlucky showing when contesting the Cox Plate at the end of his spring campaign, that experience against older rivals will hold the colt in good stead.

Resuming at 1400m gives him a genuine sniff first-up and while the son of Dundeel has never been the best trialler, his most recent work was an improvement off prior lead-up trials.

On firm ground, the Chris Waller-trained colt might just lack the brilliance to roll Fangirl, however, rain is predicted on Thursday and Friday, and that forecast favours Militarize.

Value: 4. Buckaroo. Another galloper who won't mind sting out of the surface is Buckaroo, a two-time Listed in Europe who joined the Chris Waller stable ahead of last year's Spring Carnival.

European imports often improve in their second Australian campaign as they become more acclimatized and Buckaroo was sharp in his first summer trial on January 26.

All of his winning form in Europe was in the 1600m-1700m range and while his last trial was quiet, the blinkers weren't on for that workout and they're reapplied for race day.

Race 8 - 4:35PM TAB Light Fingers Stakes Tips (1200m)

Best: 3. Learning To Fly. With versatility and professionalism shown over her first three starts, Learning To Fly was one of last seasons top juveniles going into the Golden Slipper.

A long lay-off followed that feature attempt, where the Coolmore filly dislodged the rider, while injury and a few setbacks saw her miss the spring as an early three-year old.

There are obvious queries here first-up off a decent break, especially in a Group 2 that has some depth, but her trials have been terrific and she might still be the class runner here.
Value: 12. Stefi Magnetica. This Bjorn Baker-trained filly has had no luck in two metro tilts following a return victory at Orange, however, she's been terrific in those appearances.

After being on the wrong side of the Flemington straight second-up, Stefi Magnetica was badly checked at the 200m last time and she appeared to be bolting prior to that.

It was an enormous effort from the three-year-old to recover and while this a massive challenge at Group 2 level, it's well worth a shot at the stumps against her own age.

Race 9 - 5:15PM Ranvet Handicap Tips (1600m)

Best: 13. Claim The Crown. His soul Australian win came second-up at Randwick last year and that February 4 triumph followed a fresh flop when in the market.

Claim The Crown then failed to fire over late autumn and early winter, and as a result, connections gave him plenty of time ahead of his third prep Down Under.

He caught the eye late when resuming on January 20 behind a fitter and in-form pair, and in arguably the most from race on the program, he has each-way claims at a big price.

Value: 4. Perfect Thought. He looked a progressive middle-distance type after being spelled following a Group 3 win at Flemington as an early three-year-old.

While there's been some decent efforts following that, there's also been no consistency with Perfect Thought and as a result, he's now been gelded.

With three summer runs under the belt and with a solid tick-over trial completed since his last, he should have a solid enough fitness base for this mile tilt.

Race 10 - 5:55PM Chandon Garden Spritz Handicap Tips (1400m)

Best: 8. Time Quest. He appeared workmanlike when taking out a Warwick Farm trial on January 30, but a solid 1200m hit-out leading into a seven furlong return will help.

The Matthew Smith-trained import showed potential in his first Australian prep, winning two of five starts and with any luck, the gelding would have won his first four.

A galloper who is still open for improvement, especially in what is just the second campaign Down Under, Time Quest finds a very weak BM78 first-up and his current quote is reasonable.
Value: 10. Byron. He appeared to be ticking over well before putting in a shocker at Warwick Farm on January 26, so it might pay to forgive one bad run.

Also, the six-year-old maps to be a sole leader in this field, so he may finally get his own way up front and it's also worth noting he was around a month between runs last start.

With just 52kg after the Jet Stanley claim, the son of Dawn Approach could give a big speed on the speed, especially if there's some downgrades on the surface.

Randwick Quaddie Tips:

Race 7: 1,4,7,8,10
Race 8: 1,2,3,5,6,9,12
Race 9: 2,3,4,7,9,13
Race 10: 8

$210 gets you 100% of the Quaddie.


Our best & value bets for Saturday's Randwick program are:

Best Bet1: Buenos Noches To Win @11/10 at Boombet - 4 Units
Best Bet2: Time Quest To Win @41/10 at betfair - 2 Units
Best Bet3: Whinchat To Win @11/10 at betfair - 2 Units
Best Bet4: Rebel Dean To Win @4/1 at Ladbrokes Australia - 2 Units
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Betting Slip | 17 Feb 2024

Randwick - February 17