The Championships Day 2, Royal Randwick Preview: Saturday 13 April

ROYAL RANDWICK

Track: Soft 5 (Wednesday)

Rail: +3m entire

Weather: Mostly sunny

Could it be? A Good track is on the cards for Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick this Saturday with Sydney enjoying mostly fine weather. As is customary the rail moves out three metres and we’d should start seeing winners in the wider lanes as the day evolves.

RACE 1

Speed map/race shape: There isn’t much natural speed in the Fernhill. Perhaps Lucky Imperator and Extraordinary can lead them up in a canter as they step up to the mile.

Advantaged runners: Nine of the 12 are maiden gallopers and the only winner of multiple races is VINCO. He reeled his rivals in at Mornington over 1500m last start, nabbing POWER SCHEME on the line. Both shouldn’t be bothered by 1600m, nor should AUTOCRATIC who performed admirably in the Ballieu on a Heavy 10. His issue may be getting too far back from barrier 11. AMERCEMENT brings likeable Kiamichi form via the Magic Night, but this is a big jump in trip under a weight penalty.

RACE 2

Speed map/race shape: From barrier four Green Aeon should be able to once again roll to the front, with Agassi and Fasika for company in a sit and sprint affair.

Advantaged runners: The South Pacific Classic shapes as an outstanding race. It is hard not to be impressed with GREEN AEON. At two Sydney starts he’s shown talent to lead and kick clear. He’s still learning the caper but this looks a perfect step for him now. Likewise FASIKA is unbeaten and proved she could do it the hard way last start. The interstate form via TAHITIAN DANCER and MILLARD REACTION is enticing, particularly the former who should get a two or three back trail. It wouldn’t shock to see GEM SONG turn the tables on KRONE and WILD PLANET from the Darby Munro.

RACE 3

Speed map/race shape: A busy speed map in the Provincial Championships Final should see Mandylion (if she starts) find the front from Golden Tycoon, Oakfield Twilight and Archdemus. There’s a risk It’s So Obvious is stuck leading the three-wide line.

Advantaged runners: It is hard to fault ARCHDEMUS. Everything has gone to plan, including the barrier draw, and he will lob in a perfect trail and is every chance to make a sixth straight win a big pay day. Kim Waugh brings a strong team and there isn’t much between SAFADO and SPRING CHARLIE, slight advantage to Charlie with a weight swing from their Hawkesbury qualifier and a better lead up ‘clear out’ run. GOLDEN TYCOON was awesome in his qualifier but won’t get an easy lead here, leaving EVALINA with less work to run him down, while her stablemate TURNBERRY was huge in the Heavy at Wyong. Cracking final!

RACE 4

Speed map/race shape: Kiamichi should bounce to her customary leading role with Apicus coming across for company. Expect Villami to hold an advantaged position along the rail, Cheer Leader to lob handily and Anaheed to look for cover from the widest gate.

Advantaged runners: KIAMICHI is still going. The Golden Slipper winner knocked up in the final 50m of the Sires and is now back to 1200m with that extra fitness. She will be hard to get past but CHEER LEADER may have a chance. Her Listed victory at The Valley was sensational and she’s proved she isn’t a one trick pony with her racing pattern. The Godolphin army have a further four runners in this event besides the leader, PIN SEC looks the one who could make the most ground straightening, she didn’t handle the Heavy in the Slipper. Of course ANAHEED did it tough in the Slipper and may be improved with cover.

RACE 5

Speed map/race shape: Bit of speed on as you’d expect in the Arrowfield. Baller may again try and push on from wide to lead with Jonker and Sheriff, leaving Advantage and Classique Legend to settle behind. A few wider runners may need to be content with trailing here.

Advantaged runners: All this speed may set things up for ENCRYPTION. He doesn’t win out of turn but it wasn’t long ago that he went within a length of winning the Oakleigh Plate. There’s a chance for LEAN MEAN MACHINE to benefit from a similar pattern if you’re willing to overlook the Newmarket flop. They’ll be hunting down the boom horse CLASSIQUE LEGEND and the Kiwi ADVANTAGE who should enjoy an on-pace trail. Then there’s ZOUSAIN, who has his detractors but has spent his life matching motors with a talented crop. The map is too muddy for him though in our humble.

RACE 6 – Group 1 Australian Oaks

Speed map/race shape: Happy Every Day looks the designated leader in an Oaks without much speed. The likes of Autumn, Maracaibo and Mrs Madrid could be handy. This is the kind of race we’d expect them to ‘get going’ early.

Advantaged runners: In a race that looks hard to ‘sort out’, it is logical to start with the best performed horse, VERRY ELLEEGANT. She put them away in her typically sizzling but ungainly fashion in the Vinery and looks a much more mature horse than her last attempt at this trip. FRANKELY AWESOME was left a little flat footed when they straightened there but took plenty of ground off Verry Elleegant late, with VRC Oaks winner ARISTIA third. They may have the race between them, but ALIFEROUS, CLEMENTINA and MARACAIBO all have genuine place hopes.

RACE 7 – Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Speed map/race shape: He’s Eminent was a brave leader in the Ranvet and looks like going forward along with Mask Of Time, followed by Happy Clapper and Harlem. It is hard to see any of these taking off early, but such a situation may play into Winx’s hands anyway.

Advantaged runners: The build up to the Queen Elizabeth has reached new heights this year as racing fans prepare to farewell WINX. It seems everyone except the owners have confirmed she is retiring! Regardless she only has eight rivals and should be beating them comfortably. Expect a quiet ride from barrier nine, with Bowman easing her out and building momentum from the 600m or so. Happy to spec the internationals DANZDANZDANCE, HE’S EMINENT and KLUGER in Winx out markets. No knock on either HAPPY CLAPPER or HARTNELL who have both been a gallant second to her many times.

RACE 8 – Group 1 Sydney Cup

Speed map/race shape: There’s enough pace in this one, on paper at least, to ensure a genuine staying test. Expect The Taj Mahal to go forward with any of Dubhe, Midterm, Rodrico and Vengeur Masque. The mares Semari and Rondinella should trail them.

Advantaged runners: There is so much to like about DUBHE. The lightly-raced European stayers have asserted themselves in Australia in recent years and this one comes off a powerful, on-pace 3200m win. The trainer knows how to pick a race here too and he has the right jockey. Of course Team Williams deserves respect and their leading candidate MIDTERM does his best work when rolling up front, if he gets the trip he’s right in this. SHRAAOH gets the cold smother and is ready to produce, GALLIC CHIEFTAIN beat him home last time out but the tables may turn here. RONDINELLA is another one who gets a soft run.

RACE 9 – Group 1 Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf

Speed map/race shape: Expecting a genuinely run Randwick mile for the girls. Consensus, Daysee Doom and Fundamentalist will look to come out running from the deep and join Invincible Gem, Miss Siska and Spanish Reef up top. A three-wide line would be no shock.

Advantaged runners: The Queen Of The Turf is the final Group 1 of the day and as always a deep field of fillies and mares will take part. Half a dozen top chances in our opinion. Of those, PROMPT RESPONSE gets the best run in transit. She comes through the G2 George Ryder behind Winx and the Doncaster quinella. Speaking of the Doncaster, ALIZEE was a bit of a non-participant out the back. Trouble is she might be there again. So too AMPHITRITE who concedes an edge in her age group to NAKEETA JANE, but she’s drawn wide and will need luck. She only battled late in the Vinery as well. DIXIE BLOSSOMS flew home in the Doncaster and won the Coolmore prior! She’s in top form. Suspect UNFORGOTTEN will appreciate the firmer ground here too. Great race.

RACE 10

Speed map/race shape: There’s a scattering of on-pace runners drawn across the track, with Mandylion (emergency) the likely leader from Irithea and White Moss. The Godolphin trio of Manicure, Resin and Savatiano, plus Quilista, can all be handy.

Advantaged runners: Another strong field of mares in the G2 Sapphire Stakes. The Godolphin mares should all settle in ideal trailing positions here. Slight lean towards RESIN third up but both MANICURE and SAVATIANO have both trialled well since failing in the Coolmore. Resin’s first up effort was in a hot race behind WINTER BRIDE and SPRIGHT. The issue for them here is being buried away from low draws – the track pattern may not favour the rails in run by this stage either. Both have serious claims on form though, as does INVINCIBELLA, an excellent fresh sprinter. I AM EXCITED will appreciate the drop to this company after chasing Nature Strip and Pierata! She will spot most of these a start, though.

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