The rail is out +3m the entire circuit, and despite being listed as a Soft 6 surface, we expect the track to be drying out in the coming days, so we’ll be doing the form for a Good 4 to Soft 5 for Saturday. The first race is set to get us underway from 12:20pm AEDT.
Keep reading for our free race-by-race preview and quaddie selections.
Race 1: MIDWAY BM 72 HANDICAP (1100M)
We kick off the card at Randwick with a competitive BM72 contest over the 1100m and we think Dalaalaat will be very hard to beat again. The six-year-old gelding is looking for back-to-back wins after getting a much deserved break through at Rosehill on January 14 when he rocketed through a gap to put his rivals to be with 150m to go. It was an impressive win as he went on to score by 2.5 lengths on the line and now only receives a 2.5kg penalty for his trouble, with gun apprentice Dylan Gibbons getting 2kgs off his back with a claim. Trainer Nathan Doyle has sent Dalaalaat back to the trials to keep him ticking over nicely and with a month between runs looks to produce his best when fresh. He’s drawn softly again and with the perfect run in the trail you’d have to think his best will be too good for this company.
Mogo Magic is a fair favourite in this Highway contest; however, we much prefer to take the each-way price on offer for the Paul Messara-trained Sumptuary. She won on debut at Muswellbrook on January 16 and has had a solid hit out at the barrier trials since, suggesting this Snitzel filly can be running boldly in this 1000m sprint. Her win was by a 1.3 length margin going away from her opposition and although it was only a maiden race, we liked the ability we saw from her, especially considering how green she was on that occasion. She’ll only improve on Saturday and with a perfect run stalking the hot tempo somewhere mid-field, the price on offer compared to the short-priced favourite is too good to ignore. Mogo Magic may prove too good, but we only need Sumptuary to be running a hole to snag a decent return on the race.
The first of the two-year-old features on Saturday is the Skyline Stakes and is for the Colts. Ganbare is another each-way prospect on the program and we can’t believe the price on offer with online bookmakers. His effort in the Inglis Millennium behind current Golden Slipper favourite, Learning To Fly, was something to behold. Outside of the eventual winner, you’d be hard pressed to find a galloper hitting the line better and that had more excuses than Ganbare. They drew the carpark on that occasion and were forced back to last and made up plenty of ground late running into seventh, just 2.1 lengths away. We may have learnt something new about this son of Maurice as well, because his first-up win was a an effort that saw every post a winner at Canberra on January 20. Now we know he may be more effective with a sit and this time the step up to 1200m looks ideal. Regan Bayliss takes the reins for the Waterhouse and Bott yard and with any luck from another awkward draw can be finding a win here on the way to the Golden Slipper.
Glory Daze looks one of the better bets on the Randwick program and we simply have to be with him in this 2000m BM88 contest. Ciaron Maher & David Eustace have this Irish import flying in his first Australian preparation and will be searching for back-to-back wins after a huge win second-up at Sandown. It was a perfect steer by Mark Zahra on February 4 when pinching runs up the inside running rail before holding off some late chargers like Threeeandfourpence. He’s third-up now and has fitness in his legs getting out to the 2000m this time in and looks like it shouldn’t be a problem at all for this son of Cotai Glory, particularly based on his sublime European form. He’s got credentials to Epsom Derby winner, Westover, and gallopers like Stone Age and Desert Crown prior to that. He’s an exceptional type and on his two runs in Australia should be unbeaten since his arrival. James McDonald hops aboard and from a soft draw we’d be shocked if Glory Daze wasn’t figuring strongly late in this one.
Hope In Your Heart is a mare returning from a 98-day spell and we think can be winning on resumption. Her form from last preparation jumps off the page with a 1.5-length fourth behind I Wish I Win in the Golden Eagle and in her latest effort over the mile running second behind Riodini in The Gong. You can make an argument she was unlucky not to be winner both of those races and this looks much easier despite being first-up. The Kerry Parker-trained four-year-old has had two strong barrier trials and has looked set for this race since going to the paddock, albeit a brief time away from racing, so we expect some residual fitness to go along with those trials. She’s got class on her rivals here and the fact she’s only got to give 1.5kg to the minimum is a luxury. Tim Clark will have her somewhere mid-field with cover before showing her electric best to score.
This is the second of the two-year-old features and is for the fillies. We find another race we’re keen to play and this time it’s in the form of Blanc De Blanc for James McDonald and Michael Freedman. We spoke about Ganbare being a massive forgive in the Inglis Millennium, the same can be said for this filly out of I Am Invincible. She just continues to be unfortunate from the barrier draws and that does continue this time drawn out in 11, but with no Learning To Fly in this race we think she can overcome the draw. James McDonald will be getting her back quick to find some cover throughout the 1200m which should see the best out of Blanc De Blanc as well. The only other form that has caught our eye here comes from the Gold Coast with Skirt The Law and Summer Loving bringing some different references for the race. All that said, we’re sticking strong with the Inglis Millennium form and we think Blanc De Blanc can frank it on Saturday.
The Surround Stakes is for the three-year-old fillies and with superstar In Secret a short-priced favourite for the race, can something spoil the party for trainer James Cummings and team Godolphin? Sunshine In Paris ($6) and the resuming Zougotcha ($6) are the only ones the markets says can do the job.
The champion of the spring Anamoe leads the betting at $1.70 for the weight-for-age feature event on Saturday afternoon looking to put another Group 1 on his resume. Most of the form comes through the Apollo Stakes with Fangirl ($8), Mo’unga ($8.50) and Hinged ($11) all looking to turn the tables.
If we can see the best of Profondo on Saturday he’ll be very hard to beat in the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup. You only need to reference his first-up run last preparation 1.9 lengths off Anamoe in the Winx Stakes over 1400m. He just kept finding tough assignments on wet tracks and he needs firming ground to be at his superb best which we can hopefully see on Saturday. His barrier trial behind Artorius on February 16 suggests Richard Litt has him back ready to fire here over the shorter trip and on class is simply too good for this field if he is at his peak. He hasn’t won since the Spring Champion Stakes in 2021; however, if he can reproduce that peak, he’s one of the better bets on the card at Randwick. He draws to be in the one-one if Chad Schofield wants it and we think Profondo can win this race to get his racing career back on track.
We save the toughest race for last at Randwick on Saturday with a race that has the market set at $4.50+ the field. Never Talk looks a nice price to us though in the finale. She comes here off a 105-day spell but with two strong jump outs heading here for Kris Lees, this looks a nice set up for the five-year-old. She has some nice form-lines through Brigantine and Sky Command who would be short-priced commodities in a race like this, so with the double figures on offer in the last we can side with her. She does have a nasty habit of missing the kick and she can’t afford to do that here, but if she does get away well enough, Dylan Gibbons can slot in somewhere better than mid-field to be firing a late shot. It’s one of the harder races on the card in our opinion, so just a minimum invest in the finale for Never Talk.