Date: 7th September
Track Condition: Soft 7 but drying
Track Expectations: At this stage, Randwick is not forecasted to receive any more rain so we should see a few track upgrades. I would be doing the form for a Soft 5 type track. It should be a fair surface for most runners. The slick outside rail is somewhat in-play with the rail out so far, especially in sprint races and larger fields.
Key runners and ones to watch:
- Te Akau Shark the boom kiwi with more wraps than school cafeteria faces one of his stiffest tests to date. The field is not outstanding by any stretch, but it is his first start in Australia. The horse is on an Epsom and potential Cox Plate path and ran super first-up at Te Rapa over 1200m. Step up in trip suits and is without doubt the horse to beat. If he runs to his projected number he is a moral and if he was facing this field in New Zealand he would be $1.90 not $2.50 — can he deliver in Aus?
- Libertini What hasn’t been said about her win first-up after that hot trial? She went enormous and did it with heaps left in the tank. Just how much left and how hard she would be to beat in say, an Everest. I’m not sure we will find out on Saturday as she is likely to put this field away with ease.
- Nature Strip Fascinating to see what McDonald/Waller decide to do on this gelding. He is the fastest horse in the race, if I knew he was going to be ridden that way I’d be unloading at the $2.30. The owners have been non-committal about spring plans and McDonald did grab a very tight hold in the recent trial behind Redzel. It is a hot race and I can’t wait to see it!
Superium improved sharply second-up, a repeat run would have him go very close here. Pandemic doesn’t have the traditional platform to jump to 1300m on a testing track but has been rather impressive so far. Still plenty of improvement to come, deserves to be top pick.
Tricky market to bet into so early with emergencies and plenty of market percentage in play. Coup De Main is fourth emergency and the horse I was really keen to see run here. Time will tell! The yard will be crucial here with a few key chances resuming and I would suggest not betting early.
Bleu Roche placed in an easy race here for what I presume they are thinking is a ‘kill’ but I don’t love the weight situation she has got herself into fresh. Jay Jay D’Ar is fit and consistent, could do worse at double figures!
Baller is really well placed here. I was hoping to bet around him second-up before he gets out in trip and fully fit but this race is pretty soft. All Too Free coming off a career peak looks well found at $5 and we do note that Tim Clark jumped off her to jump on Murillo in this race.
It should just be the Libertini show. She was super fresh. What price would I take? $1.50 but I doubt she gets there. Expect Kiamichi improves off a rather plain first-up run. She loves tracks with the sting out and her runs 2nd, 3rd and 4th up last prep were her best.
Six of the best sprinters in Australia! Nature Strip is the one to beat but I am worried about tactics. Redzel not sharp enough for this, Pierata wants further and Sunlight I prefer when fit. Doesn’t leave many alternatives!
Avilius up to 1600m will improve sharply. He’s absolute quality and in my mind, still the number one seed for the Cox Plate. Expect he asserts himself as the middle distance WFA benchmark come Saturday afternoon.Unforgotten sets up supremely well here, she will run a drum while Finche could start now and still not win. $12 in the market now should be more like $51.
Te Akau Shark is a serious horse. If his form travels, he will win. Invincible Gem is going really well, hard to see her not running well but not excited about the price to win. Dreamforce should put himself into the race and give them something to chase.
Five of the 19 are fresh, so certainly keep an eye on the mounting yard if you can. Roheryn faces a task but K McEvoy is the right jockey to ride the horse patient and get him right down the outside in front of the patrons to win this late. Special Missile and La Chica Bella are two on-pacers that hold live chances.