NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Soft 7. All horses considered starters unless notified by Thursday at 1 PM. (N.R) denotes no rating. RACE 1 2. DARHAD (N/R) is a really good looking All Too Hard colt out of multiple stakeswinner Kakakakatie. He was trained by Michael Freedman up until he made the announcement that he was off to HK and, thus, this fellow was relocated Team Hawkes. His three runs have all contained merit but the best I can remember him going was in his trial win at Rosehill on Apr 10 – it was a bobby dazzler. Perhaps it’s an All Too Hard quinella because I fancy the danger might be the 1. THE MIGHTY FED (N/R) from David Payne yard. This son of stakeswinner Swiss Rose was okay on debut behind Condor Heroes but stepped up a f ew rungs straight after winning at the Farm by 2-lens. If he has i mproved again off that, he’ll be in the finish tomorrow. No knock at all on 4. DEBONAIRLY (N/) who is 3s 2w and those wins have come with hefty margins a fair amount of class and quality. RACE 2 SPEAKING of class and quality, Peeping’s little brother 7. FRANCE (68) has both. This Snowden Racing colt
some quite deep form already in his four starts and he has always looked like he’d make the grade. He reminds me a little bit of Calanda actually, maybe not yet at his level but he is headed that way. Turned in a smashing trial in a deep, deep heat at Randwick on Mar 31. 3. I THOUGHT SO (75) is as good looking a horse as there in Sydney. Man, he is stunner! This son of So You Think 4s 2-1-0 and that second was when beaten a nose in the Gosford Guineas last start. He’s been back to the trials since his Mar 31 placing and was a predictable but nonetheless super impressive 2-lens winner. Nice colt! 1. TESSERA (78) is more than likely on his way to Brisbane for some stakes races for the 3YO’s and he won’t be out of place once he gets there. Two quietish trials, got a bit weight here I lament (61kgs). RACE 3 2. BLACK ON GOLD (74) was a moral IMO at Newcastle first-up off his trials and I happily took the $8 TAB Fixed Odds a few hours before his easy emphatic win. Kudos to Jeff Penza, he gave it faultless ride but, to the horse’s credit, he responded and quickly put them away half way up the straight. Boom! I am sure he’s come back a better horse now and sometimes with these Waller trained horses, they just go up and up keep surprising. 3. CAERLESS CHOICE (74) went into the Country Championship Final with 4 wins under the belt. The Paul Messara trained brother to Metrop winner Tawqeet ran a tremendous race coming from 11th at the 800, 9th at the 400m to finish .8-lens from Free Standing. He is bred to be a super miler even though his only run at the 1600m before this was a nose win home at Scone. 7. OKLAHOMA GIRL (71) is another of the Waller runners (he has three). This Ingham bred Fastnet Rock/Shawnee Girl got a great ride by James Doyle to win at WF on Apr 12. I didn’t have her on top that day (d’oh) but, in hindsight, she put the writing on the wall 10-foot high with Newcastle return. Me - thinks she’s going well folks. RACE 4 IN the old days when it came to tricky little 2400m races like this I used say ‘when in doubt, go Zabeel’. Times have made that virtually i mpossible these days so I have refined it to ‘when in doubt, go Waller’. Enter 8. RICHARD OF YORKE (72), a Waller import up Sydney from very profitable and meritorious stint down south. He is ‘43212’ in recent times, and plenty fit too having run in a 2500m two 2400m races at his last three appearances includ
a 6-lens win at Hillside on a Soft 6. Reads well. 5. DIVINE SANCTION (72) was touted as a Cups horse by someone early on – okay, it was me. I like him as a horse but he’s too one paced to ever make it to the level that thought he would. Still, being is some - thing, and he might not need much more to take this out. It’s no Caulfield Cup! 4. DOC HOLLIDAY (73) is a tough and genuine stayer who is never far away from winning but he’ll have to turn the tables on both 6. MORE ENERGY (72) and 7. PARAGON (72) who beat him home at the Farm last start. RACE 5 HIGHWAY time and a typically open and interesting affair. I had $20 on 5. SCHEDULE (58) at Scone so I can re - port first hand what a massive win it was. The son of High Chaparral had plenty to do at the top of the straight but Chad Lever times run to perfection as he got there bang on the wire. Don’t be mislead by the margin, it was a mighty effort from all concerned – horse, j ockey and trainer who has worked wonders with a seemingly prob - lematic gelding. 4. LIKE A SHOT (60) has a handy record of 7s 1-2-0 and fits the profile of so many previous Highway winners. He has gate 1 Tommy Berry which is a plus, more so the jockey than the barrier perhaps but who knows how this track will play tomorrow. 3. NOT FOR EXPORT (63) was unbelievably good in the Dubbo Qualifier behind the Bourke horse Stoneyrise. He wasn’t flash at his two before the Final hence 2-1 but he ran out of skin to finish third. Doubt there is one with a bigger finish racing all day tomorrow. Massive watch on 1. BARBASS (69) who ran around in a Group 1 last start albeit beaten nearly 40-lens. RACE 6 IT’S hard to make a sane case for my top pick 3. HIMALAYA DREAM (82) here, more so in light of the Rosehill first-up last of 11 when he drifted from $21 to $41. That said, let us not forget that he is 7s 0-1-0 first-up but 6s 3w when second up. And how’s this. The horse has won 5 times okay. His runs be - fore each win were 16/16, 7/8, 6/13, 14/14 and 11/11! Hmm, maybe not so insane after all huh? 2. MONTAUK (85) has been something of a revelation in 2017. He went from despised non-winner to a horse that was ever so consistent and answered every call that Waller made on him. He last raced on Mar 4 running a great fourth to Astronomos in the Listed Randwick City Stakes over 2000m on heavy 10 but has trialled since and finished 0.5-lens 4th of 5 in the WF 740m heat. Tidy work from him. if not tomorrow then soon and when up to 2000m. 8. MY PSYCHIATRIST (78) is a lightly-weighted mare from the Joe P ride camp who is 2s 1-0-1 at trip. Second-up record a concern but she is surely a player. RACE 7 TRIAL watchers will be all over 6. NIETA (89) here after the mare’s two trial placings at Randwick and Rosehill in recent weeks. The John Thompson trained mare is 10s 5-1-1 1 for 1 at the t/d, 4s 3-0-1 at the 1000m. She has a bit of weight I concede but it is only 1000m and Blake Shinn is worth double any potential claim. Barrier 6 of 10 is the clincher, she gets the good run now in behind the speed and unloads late. 5. ZIGGY WILLIE (86) stands in contrast to 5 of 10 horses here who are firstup and that race fitness could prove crucial on the testing track . Sure he hasn’t raced sine Mar 10 but he trialled well in a very deep heat at the Farm on Mar 30. Ziggy Willie has raced 30 times and has finished in placings 21 times, that’s some inducement for each-way punters. 7. PAINTE (83) is a Joe pride trained galloper who trialled quite well at Kembla the other day. On top of that, the son of Strada is 4s 1-2-0 fresh. Gun rides. RACE 8 THE Sydney Cup re -run and while I am sad for the loss of Almoonqith in the no -race, it’s great to have an op - portunity to get involved in a big race AFTER the carnival is over. How ironic and perhaps fitting then that the (hopeful) winner of the Cup is Almoonqith’s stablemate 7. HARLEM (101) who has drawn Chad Schofield back home from HK to ride him. In case you didn’t know, Harlem topped the Tatts Horses in Training Sale in our spring making 525,000 guineas or a little over $1m. The press about the sale afterwards included a statement from the agent who bought horse was that he was purchased by HK stable client with the singular intention of winning
Sydney Cup. Wow, that’s what you wanna hear! Wishin’ and hopin’ doesn’t guarantee anything but this is has been a fair while in the planning. Re the form, he was fourth a Kergolay before the sale, third Blamey at his Australian debut and 20-lens behind Winx in the QE 2 at the other/last start. I think
danger is 7. KINEMA (97) who started to attract some support at big odds with the TAB and the corporates nationwide in final minutes of betting in no -race. I backed him too because once the track started to dry out, his chances soared. He actually has very similar form to Grand Marshal who won the Sydney Cup a few years back at $41. Impossible to deny the chances of 7. BIG DUKE (104) given extraordinarily compelling record of Manion and/ or Chairman’s winners in the big one. RACE 9 BART Cummings bred last week’s All Aged winner Tivaci and he also bred my top pick here – 9. COLOSSEUM KING (72) who is from the same family as the Cups Kings mighty mare Dane Rip - per. This John Sargent trained, Jess Penza ridden gelding has been luckless in some previous runs in town which is why it was great to see him get the well earned win at Beaumont two runs back . he ran 9th of 14 last time but bear in mind was only 3.6-lens from the winner and more importantly, he was 1350m (twice) back to 1200m hence 1400m this time is far more up his alley. Has each-way claims at the odds. 2. ROARING TO WIN (77) has been in all five runs this campaign baring his National Sprint failure. The Snowden galloper turned in a mammoth performance last start at the Farm when coming from to be beaten a nose in that 1400m Bm88 midweeks. Seems very close a win now and he thoroughly deserves one. 10. PIANISSIMO (71) got few favours a very good ride by Lee Magorrian when he bolted in at the big odds at the midweeks. Good to see that Waller has rewarded the young fella with a city ride and a red hot chance of a Saturday win. RACE 10 2. VIA NAPOLI (75) is a blueblooded Fastnet Rock mare from the Waller camp who won back to back races here prior to her second last weekend’s stakeswinner Top of My List. Via Napoli spelled after that particular run and has had two easy trials ahead of this winnable assignment. If not tomorrow then next time. 7. GRETNA (72) is a Waller stablemate, this Denise Martin runner put her best hoof forward with that last start 1.3-lens win at the Farm with Tommy Berry up then as he i s again this weekend. 4. COTTAGE (74) was off her game first-up at the Farm but it was a heavy 8 that day. She’s been back to trial since and went really well in deep -ish heat. Cottage’s best would have her in the finish this weekend no fear.