Royal Randwick Preview: Saturday 20 April

ROYAL RANDWICK

Track: Good 4

Rail: +6m 1600m to WP, +4m remainder

Weather: Mostly sunny

Easter Saturday racing at Royal Randwick and two more Group 1s to round out the Sydney Carnival. This day 12 months ago the track was on fire and the 1200m course record was broken. Expect a slight rails-in-run advantage, but nothing ‘prohibitive’ in the straight.

RACE 1

Speed map/race shape: The Highway Handicaps are back! Typically strong tempo predicted, with Concrete and Prince Jacko leading from Kruanui and Scorching in the trail.

Advantaged runners: Poor Tash Burleigh endured a nightmare Country Championship Final. Bocelli ran second last and AL MAH HAHA was cratched at the gates. He’s here to make amends, but will have to do it with 62kgs. He’ll be making his run alongside the lightly-raced AMORITA who renews her association with Jason Collett after their success at Grafton a month ago. She’s lightly raced and on the up, as is LEGION OF BOOM, who can be forgiven his run on the Heavy at Gosford when he was on a hiding to nothing. They’ll all need to run down CONCRETE who has finally put it all together after once being considered stakes class.

RACE 2

Speed map/race shape: Chapelco and the emergency Noble Joey possess the most early toe here and can lead over 1200m in a race that may not break the clock.

Advantaged runners: At time of writing it was $6.00 the field in the BM88 – an open race! TRIBAL WISDOM doesn’t really appreciate wet ground so his first up failure was no surprise. That said, he was only 6.6L off Nature Strip which is a ripping reference here! He then trialled alongside MURILLO who is first up in Australia with good UK form as a guide, but a big market watch. PROBLEM SOLVER is a consistent mare and G Ryan first up is always one to be acutely aware of. CHARGE and TEST THE WORLD next best, chances don’t end there.

RACE 3

Speed map/race shape: Greysful Glamour has been kept up for this and you’d assume she’ll lead, with Amangiri and On The White Turf also close to the speed, doubt they go too hard.

Advantaged runners: With a kinder run in transit, AMANGIRI will be hard to beat. She worked hard throughout in the Adrian Knox. Her main rivals will be running on from the back half. THE CHOSEN ONE came widest on the turn to finish on the placegetter’s heels in the Derby, while CARIF produced a similar effort in the Tulloch. Both races had the same quinella so the form lines up. HOUSE OF CARTIER was good at Hawkesbury and looks progressive, but DEALMAKER remains a query at this trip after a flat Carbine Club run.

RACE 4

Speed map/race shape: Strong pace anticipated in the JHB Carr courtesy of Etana, Major Wager and Ragazze who should all look to go forward. The likes of Alison Of Tuffy, Fiera Vista, Into The Abyss and Laburnum should all look to race handily. Hot tempo!

Advantaged runners: Eight of the 13 come through the G3 PJ Bell (1200m) a fortnight ago. INTO THE ABYSS ran a close second there and should be able to race handily enough from barrier one here. EAWASE had no luck in that event but attacked the line late, she beat Into The Abyss home last time they clashed at 1400m. LABURNUM stuck on well after a tough run, SO TAKEN was unfancied but ran well for third, while SHE’S FURLINE was also huge at $151 there. JEN RULES ties into the PJ Bell form by running second to Multaja at the start prior, both she and the third horse across the line have also won subsequently this this is a class rise. MY XPRESSION is G1 placed in NZ and ETANA brings different ‘Melbourne form’.

RACE 5

Speed map/race shape: Taikomochi should have no trouble leading over 2000m here from the wider draw. There may be a few with eyes on settling close by including Satono Rasen, Goathland, Emperor’s Way and maybe even Sedanzer.

Advantaged runners: Waller has half the field in the G3 JRA Plate. His best hope is the ex-Weir galloper HARIPOUR who should settle forward of midfield from barrier 5. He’s third up off a strong win in the Bendigo Golden Mile. Also third up from his crew are both LIBRAN and MCCREERY and while a chance, they will be making similar runs late to horses with younger legs. Most prominent of those is OUR LIBRETTO – she was a strong second up winner at this trip and chased home the G1 Coolmore Legacy winner Kenedna prior. EMPEROR’S WAY was rather unlucky behind her last start. Fellow on-pacer GOATHLAND was stiff not to beat TAIKOMOCHI over this trip two back and both have claims.

RACE 6 – GROUP 1 CHAMPAGNE STAKES

Speed map/race shape: Lady Lupino looks to have the lead all to herself in the Champagne, with either Chia or Dawn Too Good likeliest to sit OSL. Loving Gaby gets the ‘gun run’.

Advantaged runners: Not the deepest Group 1 field here. The major unknown is has LOVING GABY had enough? We’ll find out. Either way she gets plenty of favours here and brings the right form through three strong runs at this level. If she’s fit to go, the only other feasible worry is that she may hit the front too far out! That would make her a sitting shot for CASTELVECCHIO. He finished alongside the filly last start and looks most advantaged stepping up to the mile – this is a target race. For him, the query is how much of a start he gives Loving Gaby off a slower tempo. Of the rougher hopes, LADY LUPINO could look to pinch it on the pace again, while PERSAN was most unlucky not to win when copping interference and falling behind POWER SCHEME in the Fernhill last week. Assuming all is ok?

RACE 7 – GROUP 1 ALL AGED STAKES

Speed map/race shape: Speed in the G1 All Aged comes via Manuel and Le Romain with the blinkers on, from Siege Of Quebec and Naantali. Many of the major hopes are run-on types and this looks like being run at an even gallop for this level.

Advantaged runners: OSBORNE BULLS is the obviously place to start as a three-time bridesmaid at this level this prep. The 1400m is no concern but barrier one may be, pattern depending. PIERATA finished alongside him in the TJ Smith and draws to swing wide in the straight here, but our (unpopular) query is whether he produces the same sharp sprint at this distance. The blinkers went on CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES in the TJ Smith and she finished in that clump as well, she needs to prove herself at the trip. The distance is no worry for LE ROMAIN, he’s an old marvel and gets blinkers for the first time. If they press on to lead he’ll give them something to catch. D’BAI is an unknown and hard to bet with confidence at $5.

RACE 8

Speed map/race shape: A fairly straightforward map in the G3 Hall Mark with Music Magnate and Easy Eddie the major players to lead, with Dothraki and Home Of The Brave handy.

Advantaged runners: HOME OF THE BRAVE was scratched from the All Aged on Wednesday to run here and it was no shock to see him at evens after that announcement. Presuming he sits in the ‘one-one’ position in running, the race should pan out favourably and he looks hard to hold out. He will need to get past EASY EDDIE who is up and running, most recently placed at G1 level! He’s adept on all surfaces and has been kept fresh for this. Can see BRAVE SONG being backed on raceday if a wide/run on pattern develops. He’s trialled well and his spring form ties in with HOTB, Osborne Bulls and TREKKING who was last seen chasing Easy Eddie in unsuitable wet ground. He and stablemate VIRIDINE could reasonably be expected to make up ground in the run home – but will they spot HOTB too big a start?

RACE 9

Speed map/race shape: Capacity field for the last, but the speed comes primarily from the inside via Sweet Scandal, Mahalangur, Special Missile and Dark Eyes drawn barriers 1-4. Sorting themselves out quickly would be advantageous for all four!

Advantaged runners: Looking down the bottom at the lighter-weighted hopes in the Benchmark 100. Emergency MAHALANGUR is sweating on a run but could enjoy things on-speed with just 53kgs. If he doesn’t start then Tommy Berry will ride SWEET SCANDAL instead and she’s similarly suited to rolling along on the pace. She’s been given time to recover after coming through hot races this prep. STAR OF THE SEAS will look to reel them in from a midfield position. He’s coming off consecutive wins on the Heavy but clearly enjoys this trip. Also running on will be SEAWAY, who flopped when fancied in the G2 Ajax. If you put that down to the Heavy, then he’s right in this off a freshen. So too is TAKE IT INTERN, who presents first up with good Spring form in Melbourne as a reference. FLOW may do it tough from an awkward draw but on best form is a huge chance as well.

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