AUSTRALIA Day beckons this Tuesday and Randwick is hosting a cracking day of racing.
With eight races on the card, punters have plenty of opportunity to spend their day off on the punt and there will be some hotly-contested events including the Schweppes Benchmark 71.
Talented youngsters Ultimate Shock, Cana and Cannyescent will do battle in Race 6 with the Gabrielle Englebrecht-trained Cannyescent taking plenty of action with Sportsbet.com.au, so sign up and get the best odds while they’re available.
Australia Day racing kicks off with the McGrath Estate Agents R71 where a small but talented field line up.
Race 1 – McGrath Estate Agents R71 (1800m)
The Chris Waller-trained Trafalgar hasn’t done much wrong in three career starts, winning two and finishing a very close second in the other. The three-year-old carried 61kg to victory last start and it gets a valuable 1.5kg off its back via the apprentice claim of Rory Hutchings. Has firmed in from $3.80 to $3.70 so follow any more positive market movement.
Chandana has given punters a headache in its last two starts as it arguably should have won both. Also a Waller-trained runner, the High Chaparral filly flew home late last start, but left its run too late. Senior jockey Hugh Bowman takes over the riding duties and that could make all the difference. $2.30 available for the win.
Unbiased has improved with every run this campaign and it finished only a nose behind Trafalgar last start. The Godolphin colt gets the services of the inside barrier draw and James McDonald in the saddle. Drops in weight and looms as a winning chance at $3.60 after opening at $3.80.
Race 1 tip: Chandana ($2.30) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 2 – Tab More Than Just Winning Maiden (1200m)
Team Hawkes line up Euro Angel which has looked impressive at the trials in preparation for this. The three-year-old filly was well backed earlier in the week, but has since drifted out to $5. It has drawn well enough in barrier two after to vital scratchings and Tommy Berry is one of the best sprint racing jockeys in Australia.
Al Nader lines up for Gai Waterhouse and Emirates Park after running a solid trial at Randwick earlier this month. The son of Al Maher has been the best backed runner at $3.90 in a very even field and its chances appear bright based on that. From barrier 11 it will likely head forward and be tough to run down.
Cul de Sac is another strong debutante which is well bred and looks primed for a strong showing. The John O’Shea-trained colt opened at $4.60 in the betting and has stayed steady at that price throughout the week. Drawn well in barrier five and it should run well.
Race 2 tip: Euro Angel to win ($5) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 3 – Vili’s Pies Australia Day Cup (2400m)
Destiny’s Kiss has been well backed after the rain came late last week. The Joe Pride-trained gelding has an amazing wet track record of nine wins and six placings from 31 starts and the small field will help its chances. Small field can often trip punters up, but they have confidently backed it at $2.10.
The enigmatic Vilanova scored a classy victory in the Listed Tatts Cup last start and it has a chance of going back-to-back. The Chris Waller-trained gelding is only five-years-old and has had 39 starts, but that experience could count for something. Punters might be wanting a better price than $3.30 but respect its ability.
Dream Folk is an each way chance at $5.50 after running a solid third placing in the Gosford Cup. The six-year-old turned around its poor behind when it finished 1.5 lengths behind Destiny’s Kiss and it drops nicely down to 54kg for this. Win chance in an even field.
Race 3 tip: Destiny’s Kiss to win ($2.10) at CrownBet.com.au
Race 4 – Tab Rewards R78 Handicap (1100m)
Northern Fury was a handy winner at Canberra last start and its form prior appeared good enough to race in the city. The Matthew Dale-trained mare has won three from five and has placed once on this track. It is unbeaten in two starts on rain-affected going and it could give punters a sight at the weights.
Thud was a beaten favourite last start at Canterbury where it was seen running on strongly. The four-year-old mare by Snitzel has been knocking on the door for awhile now and it’s about time it paid punters off. Hugh Bowman takes over from apprentice Koby Jennings and it should be tough to beat.
The in-form Peter and Paul Snowden team line up Kangarilla Joy which scored a narrow win last start. The Lonhro filly has only disappointed in one of three starts which came in the Group 2 Silver Shadow against some quality opposition. This looks easier and it will likely start as favourite.
Race 4 tip: Thud to win ($3.60) at WilliamHill.com.au
Race 5 – All Too Hard @ Vinery (2000m)
Banksters Bonus has been changing in the market throughout the week and it has finally settled at $9. The John Sargent-trained gelding is coming off a couple of poor recent efforts, but it does drop down in grade significantly and that could make the difference. It has three wins on a soft track and with the in-form apprentice Andrew Adkins taking 3kg off its back, it looks an each way hope.
Game Pie is a talented import which has two Australian wins to its name. Now with Kris Lees, the four-year-old from Great Britain won well at the lower levels and it had no luck last start at Canterbury. This is another rise in grade and it is facing some handy customers, but the betting suggests a forward run is expected. It opened at $3.70 and has been bet into $3.50.
Pico Turquino is another type which has been well backed. The Waller-trained daughter of Teofilo was last seen running on at Canterbury and the rise up to 2000 metres will suit nicely. It has drawn wide in barrier 13 which means James McDonald will likely settle it back, but watch for a late burst. $4.40 available currently.
Race 6 – Schweppes R71 Handicap (1100m)
The Anthony Cummings-trained Ultimate Shock is a former Kiwi which won well at Randwick before running sixth last time out. It led in that race which was unsuited and if it can find a spot just behind the pace it should be tough to beat. Unknown in the conditions, but based on the breeding it should be able to handle the cut out of the track. Solid each way price available.
Cannyescent is a talented gelding which found the Ming Dynasty too tough last time out. The Gabrielle Englebrecht-trained three-year-old was a winner on debut at Goulburn by 1.5 lengths before taking on the big guns in the Up And Coming Stakes. It managed to run fifth after not seeing clear air in the straight racing in this grade should suit nicely. Will handle the conditions and it looks a strong winning chance.
Cana has impressed in two starts to date. The Hawkes-trained filly beat a very nice field at Randwick last start and it won a trial to prepare for this. Dropping back to 1100 metres probably won’t be to its liking, but it has the breeding on its side and it looks to have untapped potential. It’s another solid winning chance in a tough rating 71 race.
Race 6 tip: Cannyescent to win ($2.80) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 7 – Pro-Ride R67 (1400m)
Miss Denni has been costly to punters recently, having won just one race from 10 starts. The Chris Waller-trained mare has potential which always makes it a winning chance and it has placed in all three starts at this distance. Drawing wide won’t help its chances, but consider at $4.80 in the betting.
Stalwart improved nicely for third last time out at Kembla Grange and punters have gained confidence in the gelding. The Godolphin three-year-old is at $6 for the win and that’s partly due to its wet track form. It has placed three times in the wet which bodes well for this. Chance from a good barrier draw in a big field.
Majaska is having its first start on this track after three consecutive runs at Canterbury. The Joe Pride-trained gelding went forward last start and was run down late, but that race should be a good form guide for this. Its form prior was strong behind some solid types and the $6 suggests it has a winning chance.
Race 7 tip: Miss Denni to win ($4.80) at Bet365.com.au
Race 8 – Tab.com.au R83 Handicap (1400m)
Four-time winner Richard The First gets barrier one to jump from and a handy 3kg claim from Koby Jennings. The Les Bridge-trained gelding has won twice at this distance and it has very good wet track form. It should settle closer than usual and give punters a sight at $8.
Religify looked a nice horse in the making early on, but its form has since dried up. The Waller-trained gelding has won five from 11 and after running on last start, Waller has opted to try it over more ground. It will have to carry 60.5kg, but punters would have dreamed of getting $9 for this gelding a few starts back.
Lunar Rise is only a three-win gelding, but it is the current $4.60 favourite after running second at Randwick last start. The six-year-old has placed four times on this track and it drops slightly back in grade for this. It has placings on wet tracks, but has never won so we’re prepared to risk it at the odds.
Race 8 tip: Religify to win ($9) at CrownBet.com.au