|Where||Royal Randwick Racecourse – Alison Rd, Randwick NSW 2031|
|When||Saturday, April 16, 2022|
|Feature Race||Race 8: Group 1 All Aged Stakes (2000m)|
|First Race||11:30am AEST|
Racing returns to Royal Randwick on Saturday for what is the final race day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, before Australian racing fan’s attention turns to South Australia and Queensland. Two Group 1 races headline a 10-race program, with two-year-old filly Fireburn attempting to rewrite history in the Champagne Stakes (1600m), while Tofane will look to bow out a winner in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) later on in the program. HorseBetting’s New South Wales racing analyst presents you with his race-by-race preview, as well as his best bets and quadrella selections.
The track is yet again rated a Heavy 8 – as it has been for the last eight weeks in Sydney – while the rail will be out 8m from the 1600m to the Winning Post, and then out 5m for the remainder of the course. The first race on All Aged Stakes Day is scheduled to jump at 11:30am AEST, while the Champagne Stakes will go around at 1:10pm and the feature Group 1 of the afternoon at 3:50pm.
Race 1: Class 3 Highway Handicap (1200m)
After a short spell, Highway races return to the regular program in Sydney on Saturday, with a big field of 14 with a further six emergencies having assembled for the 1200m clash. We are with the Brett Cavanough-trained Street Power who is coming off a midfield placing in the Country Championships Wild Card at Scone. Four starts back he was only narrowly beaten in a Highway at Randwick, before going on to beat Shelby Sixtysix at Newcastle in his next start. The four-year-old gelding is going to role forward from barrier seven under Keagan Latham and should take some running down.
Race 2: Benchmark 72 Midway Handicap (1400m)
This weekend’s Midway over the seven furlongs is a pretty average race to be quite frank. Different Strokes is one horse who we have always liked, but he just hasn’t come back all that well based on what we saw in his first-up run. We are hoping that Kim Waugh has worked her magic on the three-time winner to have him firing second-up on Saturday in an easier race. Barrier 18 is pretty ordinary, but as we saw late in the day last weekend, the outside was the place to be, so if Jay Ford can get the four-year-old into a nice spot and come wide in the straight, he can be winning at around $9.
Race 3: Group 3 Frank Packer Plate (2000m)
A number of horses come to the Frank Packer Plate on the back of Australian Derby runs, but one horse is hasn’t been on that path is the Chris Waller-trained Straight Arron. The son of Fastnet Rock couldn’t have been more impressive last start in the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over the mile when racing away to win by 2.66 lengths. His ability to sprint quickly off a slow tempo last start was very impressive, so we have to be with him against horses who are coming back from 2400m to 2000m. James McDonald sticks with him and he should be too good.
Race 4: Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m)
Fireburn is looking to become the first two-year-old filly since 1992 to complete the Sydney Triple Crown on Saturday, and the first horse to do it since Pierro in 2012. In her way is just five rivals, many of which she defeated comfortably in the Sires’ Produce Stakes a fortnight ago. Can she do it? Read our Champagne Stakes betting preview here.
Race 5: Group 3 J H B Carr Stakes (1400m)
In all honesty, we have not been overly big fans of Espiona given the huge amount of hype surrounding her and lack of runs on the board, but he form is certainly good enough to justify being odds on in this race. Contrary to what some people may have said pre-Sydney Autumn Carnival, this filly isn’t the reincarnation of Winx, but she does have some class. After going down to a subsequent Group 1 winner in her first-up run and then placing third to Hinged and Fangirl in the Surround Stakes at Group 1 level, we can see why she is very short in this market. James McDonald hops back aboard, which should be enough to get her over the line here.
Race 6: Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes (1200m)
It’s pretty hard to type these words if we are truthful, but Kementari goes on top here. The James Cummings-trained enigma that is Kementari trialled like a jet at Warwick Farm last week, which was enough to suck us in for another preparation. This Group 1-winning galloper won a Listed race at Doomben first-up last preparation on a Heavy 10, so while this will be a bit tougher, there is nothing to really suggest that he can’t get the job done on Saturday over 1200m. He is sure to be closing off strongly late on the back of a hot tempo which will be set by the race favourite, Big Parade. He’s certainly good enough.
Race 7: Group 3 JRA Plate (2000m)
A good field of 11 gallopers will face the starter in this year’s JRA Plate over 2000m. Numerian was solid late a fortnight ago in the Doncaster Mile at Randwick, finishing just seven lengths off Mr Brightside. Trainer Annabel Neasham actually used this race with Zaaki 12 months ago after the Doncaster, so it will be interesting to see where they go next with the talented import. With Tommy Berry in the saddle from barrier eight, we are confident that he can run his first good race in Australia.
Race 8: Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m)
The final Group 1 of the Sydney Autumn Carnival is here, with the running of the $600,000 All Aged Stakes. It is a wide open betting race, with a number of live chances, while there is a pretty long tail to the race. See our full runner-by-runner preview of the 2022 All Aged Stakes here.
Race 9: Benchmark 100 (1400m)
Coming out of the Doncaster Prelude is Our Playboy, who looks very well placed in a Benchmark 100. The Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained four-year-old relishes heavy tracks and he should be suited to the bigger track at Randwick like he was at Newcastle prior when narrowly beaten by a smart colt. James McDonald replaces Jamie Kah, so that is a fantastic booking, while barrier 12 is going to allow this son of Sebring to find clear air much earlier in the straight compared to last time he raced. This is his for the taking.
Race 10: Benchmark 88 (1200m)
What a way to end the carnival – a Benchmark 88 over 1200m! It is a pretty tricky field all things considered, but we are going to go back to the well with Maotai one more time. Kacy Fogden has had a good few months, and this three-year-old can send her out of the Sydney Autumn Carnival on a high. After winning well first-up and then dominating in a trial between runs, he disappointed a lot of people at Newcastle, but the few horses who beat him home are contesting Group races earlier in the day, so hindsight tells us he was probably a touch outclassed at this time of his life. He will roll along on speed from barrier three under Nash Rawiller and should take plenty of mowing down.
Saturday quaddie picks for Royal Randwick
Randwick quadrella selections
Saturday, April 16, 2022
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