Race 1 - 12:40PM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 3 PLATE Tips (1000 METRES)
Off the back of no public trials, 12. TICKLER is hard one to gauge (betting?) but does look the most progressive galloper in the field and I suspect Kerrin McEvoy had the choice between he and the race favourite Tejori, a mare that he won a Highway on last preparation.
This son of Deep Field competed in town via his entire first preparation which included a debut win at Warwick Farm and although safely held on both occasions following that, wasn't disgraced behind genuine city class gallopers that include Tailleur, Switched, Travest, Frosty Rocks and Dancing Gidget. They are clearly the best form lines for this contest and he's likely to camp just behind a hot speed.
9. Tejori looked beaten a long way out when resuming at Benchmark 70 level at Kembla Grange but she continued to box on late. She won a Highway second-up last campaign and she'll likely be ridden a shade colder here.
There's plenty of contenders for the early lead and they include 10. Affinity Beyond who resumed with a strong win at Wagga and her last three victories have come by big margins and 6. Remlaps Gem who has been a little flat either side of two easy wins and has an average starting price of $1.78 across her last three outings.
Race 2 - 1:15PM FAREWELL PAT WEBSTER HIGHWAY CLASS 3 PLATE (1000 METRES)
* Pinnacle Prince has been scratched from Race 2 at Randwick.
At the top end, this looks stronger than your average Highway and heading the market is the returning colt 13. PINNACLE PRINCE whose debut win rated very well for the July 20 program from Scone before a 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.
Although she did succumb to injury, It's Me does look at minimum a stakes class galloper, which her times have continually reflected and in that last outing, Pinnacle Prince put almost three lengths on Emilette, who has since won at Provincial level. The public trial on November 17 was quiet, so it will be interesting to see what the market does late, especially given the wide draw.
1. Toro Toro didn't quite come up in two runs back in early September but his prior form suggested he could be a city class horse and the two trials leading into this return have been faultless. He draws for a lovely run on the speed from barrier four.
5. Tallis hasn't put in a bad run in 12 outings to date and did win a Highway last preparation. He can progress a little further this time in and the Taree trial on November 30 was excellent. Including another honest type in 6. Reveal The Magic who arrives off a freshen-up following a Provincial victory on November 7.
Race 3 - 1:50PM EASTERNBUILT HANDICAP Tips (1100 METRES)
Tough race to line-up with many key threats resuming and with most of those having further targets in mind, 8. BALLISTIC LOVER appeals as one of the safer options in this event.
Following a pair of wins to begin her spring campaign, this three-year-old attempted the Listed Brian Crowley where she was well beaten (didn't handle the wet track) but off a freshen-up and with winkers being applied, she bounced straight back with a brave Warwick Farm victory after racing three-wide throughout. With a 3.5kg weight drop along with a soft draw, she looks to get enough favours.
With some strong three-year-old form lines at the back-end of her last campaign, 9. Redoute's Image
does looks over the odds ($18.00 @ Sportsbet
). Her quiet trial leading into this was inconclusive and it suggested a Magic Millions aim (holds two nominations) however, she was a first-up winner in July.
2. Travest is arguably the most talented galloper in this line-up but resuming at 1100m off just the one trial? He doesn't want it any shorter and 1. Knickpoint has some claims. He didn't appear to handle the wet tracks over autumn/winter and although pushed out to win his most recent trial, I suspect they're looking for a forward showing fresh.
Race 4 - 2:25PM DE BORTOLI WINES CHRISTMAS CUP Tips (2400 METRES)
*Accountability has been scratched from Race 4 at Randwick
Can 8. ACCOUNTABILITY run out a strong 2400m? With the form he's in currently and plummeting 6.5kg off last week's unlucky third-place finish, he'll get every chance to do so in what is a very weak listed affair.
This son of Dubawi turned the corner with a victory seemingly out of nowhere back in May following a slow start to his Australian career and has continued to progress this preparation where with a more positive steer, makes a winning hat-trick last week. From barrier two under Tommy Berry, I'd be surprised if they were spotting them such a big start this week.
9. Purrfect Deal is an interesting visitor from the Queensland stable of Michael Costa. I'm not overly convinced with what she's been beating, but all you can defeat is what you're up against and the Doomben victory November 28 should've been by further than the eventual two and a quarter length's as she was held-up for much of the run home.
6. Stockman is more effective on wet ground but is another progressive one down in the weights and coming up from Benchmark 78 level whilst we'll include 1. Sweet Thomas who is dropping back from a two-mile tilt but is a proven weight carrier and is the class runner of this line-up.
Race 5 - 3:00PM INGLIS NURSERY Tips (1000 METRES)
The field barring four are all on debut for the $500,000 Inglis Nursery which has been a good form reference in recent years with prior winners that include Wild Ruler, She Will Reign and Extreme Choice, who all went on to bigger and better things.
Hard to find absolute standout from the trials although the pick of them was arguably 3. OVERMANN with the Hawkes gelding cruising to the line for a narrow Rosehill heat win on November 30. The time wasn't flash for that morning albeit he wasn't asked to extend and the winkers go on from that outing.
He just got the better of well-bred Coolmore colt 4. Acrobat and although hard to separate, this two-year-old was pushed on a little more on that occasion. By Fastnet Rock and out a Group Two winning mare Hips Don't Lie, Acrobat is a full brother to stakes winners Ennis Hill and Lake Geneva and the blinkers go on for race day.
In-form trainer Annabel Neasham prepares 11. Ashema who was runner-up at those same Rosehill heats behind an impressive debut winner in Fake Love. This filly wasn't knocked around in what was the fastest 900m heat that morning and another to run good time at their most recent trial was 13. Shocking Force who was given time following a fair first showing back in September.
Race 6 - 3:40PM SYDNEY COMMERCIAL INTERIORS HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
Although there's a little more depth to this contest, the first-up win of 5. SNAPDANCER via a Benchmark 78 on Ballarat Cup Day was quite an arrogant one in the end where after being three-wide, sprinted away for a comfortable win in good time for that program (quickest last 400m of the card and went around two lengths faster than the open Handicap over 1200m).
This is her first-time race day on her "other leg", which is always a query although the Maher & Eustace camp do have a great record when attempting this and from barrier three where Hugh Bowman can park handy, the map does look favourable for this mare.
With four wins from five starts and three of those being by big margins, it's hard to knock 1. Tailleur who is resuming here. It's hard to take much out of her sole trial leading in which was fair albeit quiet and there's decent query on what she was beating up on last campaign. Hard one to measure.
This is tougher for 2. Threeood but the first-up win was outstanding after covering ground throughout and the times backed it up. She's perhaps going to a new level and giving some chance to 10. Starla who was a good thing beaten fresh but this is as stronger race and her strike rate overall is poor.
Race 7 - 4:20PM QUINCY SELTZER RAZOR SHARP HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
Although he was a little disappointing irrespective, not much went right for 3. SNITZ first-up in the Starlight who after being continually blocked for a run in the straight, was shoved back into a pocket at a key stage and surrendered when forced back to the inside in a first-up attempt where he was heavily supported in the lead-up.
The form around his late autumn when defeating Greyworm second-up who comfortably accounted for Trekking the start prior (won the Goodwoood after that) before a third behind Classique Legend, does speak for itself. Tim Clark takes the ride who may elect to kick up early then have a bunny to follow in Spaceboy and there's no speed drawn inside of him this time around, which is a positive.
7. Athiri broke a long drought in September and backed that up with another victory in Benchmark 88 grade prior to a third in the Group Three Nivision. This four-year-old returns off a little spell and has trialled superbly, but just not sure she gets in from barrier nine.
Although he's a little hard to catch, 'The Hunter' effort of 2. Tactical Advantage
was excellent against the pattern and he's since trialled well. From ideally a midfield position, the map suits as one of the better closers at decent odds ($14.00 @ BlueBet
) along with 6. Southern Lad
who can chime in late if they overdo it up front.
QLD RACING: Eagle Farm Best Bets
Race 8 - 5:00PM THE AGENCY VILLIERS STAKES (1600 METRES)
A big field has been assembled for Saturday's Randwick feature where the winner will book their place in the 2021 Doncaster Handicap and from the Festival Stakes, one at a decent each-way price is 8. SAMBRO who does draw for a much softer run-in transit here.
The poor winning strike rate is evident, however, trainer Chris Waller has made a habit of somewhat turning around these types (Matowi, Dealmaker, True Detective etc) and this six-year-old recorded the second fastest last 600m of that Group Three on return in a tough affair to make ground in. There's no reason why he can't settle much closer this time around in gate two.
12. Through The Cracks notched up the fastest last 600m in that same contest and he did camp closer second-up when winning at Newcastle so it'll be interesting to see what Brenton Avdulla does and whether this gelding can stretch his brilliance to a mile.
7. Royal Celebration was three-wide in that Festival Stakes and only just missed, would have him on top here with a better draw but still has to be considered as does 15. Criaderas who has been freshened right up since the Golden Eagle. He looked a classical down in the weights Doncaster type when forecasting ahead from the early spring and the blinkers now go on following a December 3 trial, which was wasn't flash.
Race 9 - 5:40PM DRINKWISE MILE (1600 METRES)
At first glance, 12. SPIRIT RIDGE did look short enough on paper stepping up from Benchmark 78 level off a fair return but it really isn't a strong Benchmark 88 when you strip it back and with most of the speed drawn to his outside, this import from the Mark Newnham stable should be able to work across.
He was tipped out following a last stride debut win over Agassi (won two at Saturday level later that preparation) on his Australian debut and was spotting 7kg to Super at Newcastle fresh, a galloper that completed a winning hat-trick in the process. The blinkers now go on and even if Regal Stage along with one or two others put the foot down early, this gelding is a winner over 2400m so a fast run mile in this grade should suit.
15. Kirwan's Lane
recorded back-to-back wins to begin his spring campaign and had excuses in a Heavy track defeat following that. Off a freshen-up, the Kembla Grange effort was fair and he now finally draws a gate for Bowman. In a thin race, he could bob up at a fair price ($10.00 @ Ladbrokes
I suspect 16. New Arrangement
runs top four or thereabouts by default if nothing else. He covered ground second-up after over-racing early and can improve whilst at bolters odds ($43.00 @ Sportsbetting
), 9. Aqua D'ivina
isn't hopeless. She needed the run fresh but has won two of four second-up and was only beaten three lengths this time last year in the Villiers prior to a fourth in the Group Three Belle Of The Turf. That's certainly good enough for this.
Race 10 - 6:20PM FUJITSU GENERAL HANDICAP Tips (1400 METRES)
In competitive last event to finish Saturday's program from Royal Randwick, the double figure odds for 4. JUVENTUS is appealing on an each-way basis with the honest six-year-old arriving off a great return at Newcastle where he was the pick of the closers in a stronger Benchmark 78 to what he finds here.
The form has been franked from that contest with both Pandemic (won a Benchmark 88) and Mo's Crown (third in the same race) performing well last Saturday up in grade and with Hugh Bowman sticking, it's a good lead for Juventus who can sprint off any tempo and providing he's not too negative early, then this a winnable assignment.
The 1400m is perhaps a query for 10. He's A Hotshot, especially now he goes up in the weights off that Rosehill win but he looks the likely leader without too much of a hassle and including 6. Snowfire who was a brilliant winner first-up over Rammstein and that galloper was runner-up in this grade last week. The son of Star Witness has as much upside as anything in this line-up.
Victorian visitor 2. I Am Vinnie has won two from two in Sydney and both victories have come in this Benchmark which includes a win at 50/1 back in January. He arrives off a fair second-up effort at Ballarat and draws to do no work from an inside draw.
RANDWICK QUADDIE TIPS: