Berry busy day for Tommy
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Soft 7. (N/R) denotes no rating.
IT is 37 years this weekend since Ron Quinton steered Kingston Town to the second of his three Cox Plate wins and with that record about to fall, seemingly, tomorrow, it’s apt that he can train the first winner at Royal Randwick tomorrow with 2. ROYAL CELEBRATION (70). This horse has some unbelievably deep form including a couple of seconds to The Autumn Sun and Yulong January who won a stakes race after beating this son of Excelebration. The 1400m at home is a big plus, he is third-up and the small field suits. 5. EVALINA (66)
a Lonhro-eqsue filly by I Am Invincible out of a Lonhro mare. The Kris Lees-trained 3YO won well at Wyong firstup before a closing 0.2-lens second to I Like It Easy in the Listed Reginald Allen on Everest day over this same course and distance. It was a leader dominated race so all power to this filly for hitting the line as well as she did. 1. NICCO’S LAD (70) was once third to Royal Celebration last campaign. He has won 2 of 4 this time notably that easy as you like win at Newcastle in a C1 over 1300m on Oct 16. Drawn to get a gun run for Tommy Berry.
5. HIGHWAY (72) got a great Deanna Panya ride second-up when a narrow second on the Kensington track over 1550m on Oct 1. She is back to 1400m tomorrow which I can’t really say is a positive or a negative for her given she was stakes-placed third to Youngstar in the Gold Coast Bracelet over 1800m. That said, she is 26-days between runs and Steve Englebrecht is a master trainer so, at the end of the day, we have to go with his judgement that she is sweet for 1400m. 3. SEXY EYES (74) is one of a big, big number of dual acceptors – she’s down to run at Canterbury tonight – so we’ll leave it there, suffice to say she is a pretty handy mare and capable of winning wherever she goes. 1. OUR MALAMBO (85) has a benchmark rating that is 23 points higher than the lowest ranked horse and still a massive 9 above the Queenslander 2. STELLA VICTORIA (76) who is herself aiming for four straight wins. Our Malambo is a Randwick winner but even with Sam Weatherley’s claim, she still has to give away plenty of weight the others including 4kg to handy 4. TARABAI (71). Tough race!
SPEAKING of tough races, the Highway is a really competitive affair with loads of chances and so much divergent form. I reckon I have tipped (and often backed and sometimes won on) 14. RAPTURE MISS (64) who is another great Tommy Berry ride on the day. This Matthew Dale-trained mare lines-up for her third Highway either side of a dead-heat at Moruya. There was certainly merit in her two Highway runs, one a 6th of 13, the other a 9th of 14 but bear in mind that last one, she was only beaten 3.8-len and it a diminishing margin, trust me. That over a mile here, this is 1800m and there is everything to suggest that she will run it very strongly. 9. ATHENA’S VOICE (57) is a considerable threat. First of all, Rod Northam is flying – he won 3 races with 3 starters at Coonabarabran on Monday including the Cup. This mare was so good when she won at Coonamble on Oct 7 in that C3 over 1600m just sweeping home down the outside to win by 2-len. Has won up to 1750m so the 1800m is cool. 2. VELARO (63) was 3-len 6th of 15 in a Highway over 1400m on Everest day. Goes to 1800m very quickly but she us a great trainer and she was an easy winner over 1700m at Wellington towards the end of the last very successful preparation.
GREAT to see a race named in honour of Filante on Cox Plate day. This mighty horse ran second in consecutive Plates in the late 1990’s, one of them by 0.2-len. And like this year’s Cox Plate, only a small field assembles here, no Winx in this, but I think Waller will win it anyway with
3. SAMBRO (95) with that man, Tommy Berry, in the saddle. Sambro was a very good 3YO winning the Hawkesbury and Queensland Guineas. He was 0.7len third to Best of Days first-up then was a far from disgraced 3.9-len seventh 13 in the Group 3 Cameron at Newcastle on Sep 14. He trialled really well at Randwick over 1050m Oct 15 so is ready and able to get back into the winner’s stall. Note that he is placed 4 from 5 at HQ and 6s 2-1-2 at 1400m including a Group 2 and Group 3 win of course. 2. SPECTROSCOPE (99) is highly credentialed Godolphin import who goes well both at 1400m and when fresh. He is a stakes winner in Australia and multiple stakesplaced. His first-up run last time was a huge 1.9-len fourth to Lanciato in the 1400m Group 2 Newcastle Newmarket. Trials were good. Free runner 1. FABRIZIO (104) is the only horse racing in Sydney on weekend with a triple figure benchmark. Granted, he got there from deeds past, and is first-up off a long break but his trials have been good, the last one was very good – beating nothing but beating them like old Fab.
SYDNEY’S unluckiest horse and trainer combine here and of course I speak of 9. VALENTINO ROSSA (73) and Jason Coyle. This son Testa Rossa has won just 3 from 30 but he has placed 9 times and I can’t count how many of his fourths and fifth should have been thirds, seconds and even firsts. He went to Port Macquarie for the Cup and finished from the back to run a distant 2-len second Exoteric who landed plonk here last weekend just to frank the form. Back to 1800m is sweet, he just needs a good pace, a clear run and fair track – on that, I have no idea how the extravagant rail placement will affect his chances. It might help who knows. Waller has 4 of the 9 runners, the one I think will medal out of four is 5. INSTANT DE REVE (84) who is going to peak now at the 1800m and at 2000m after that in time. The handsome French-bred galloper is an on-pacer who has won up to 2100m and is rock hard fit now at his fifth run into the first Aussie prep. Ran last of 5 in a Warwick Farm 1175m heat other day but was really running through the line. If the track is favouring on-pacers, he could be the one. 8. AQUA D’IVINA (73) was a dual acceptor but almost certainly runs here in a much easier race than what she was fourth emergency in. The 1800m suits her better the 2000m at this stage anyway. She has barely put a foot wrong reflected in her career record of 6s 3-3-0. Big test for her against these old hard heads but she is a quality mare.
I WAS very keen on 5. BEACON (74) first-up where he finished fifth behind his two Godolphin stablemates Esperance and 1. REVENIRE (79) but I saw James Cummings interviewed by Greg Radley after the race and he was quite praiseworthy of Beacon’s effort given he was first-up on a Heavy 9 and not in the same obliging real estate and his stable partners. Beacon will very much appreciate the drier track tomorrow and as fit as he was first-up (he’d been trailling super!), doubtlessly he will fitter again for the outing. Rachel King is riding as well as anyone. Cummings, he did at Randwick on Everest day, might quinella this race too because Revenire is definitely a big player. He hasn’t missed place in his last 6 runs, 2 of them are wins. On top of that he is 3s 2-1-0 at the trip and placed in all 4 runs Randwick. No reason at all why it won’t be 5 after tomorrow. 3. BROOK MAGIC (79) is another one who has some compelling figures. The Joe Pride trained mare is deadly fresh being 4s 3-1-0 and this is her trip 7s 3-2-0. That’s 3 of 4 wins at 1000m, the other one at 1100m. She is lightning fast and drawn 1 so I can’t see anything crossing her but in terms of pressure, 10. GOLDFINCH (77), will fly out from gate 10 and do her usual thing which may set it up for a horse like Beacon to swoop late.
COX Plate runner-up (2011) Jimmy Choux’s son 7. CHAUSSURE (71) can give Tommy Berry another winner at Randwick tomorrow. I wonder what price he is in the TAB Jockeys Challenge? Will he be Winx-like odds? Should be. Anyway, this Waller-trained galloper has been gelded since he last run which is a big gear change of course, maybe the biggest. The horse wasn’t too shabby as a colt winning 2 of 3 and running massive second on debut. The Debbie Kepitis-owned horse was scratched from a race at Warwick Farm on Wednesday that I thought he could win so the fact that they are saving him for this means that must be going even better than I thought. Trialled super at the Farm the other day. Stablemate 8. METAMORPHIC (71) was terrific when running 4th on the Kensington track at his last start. He drew wide and covered ground but refused to surrender. Drops down from 59kg that day when 1. CHAPELCO (79) beat him by 2.2-len. Chapelco stays on the 60.5kg and that might make a measurable difference to their finishing positions on the weekend. It’s all about Chaussure IMO though and so please keep a big watch on the betting exchange (s) with him.
OH look, Tommy Berry again! Berry is on 4. RAQEEQ (76) tomorrow – the horse deserves a win, he’s so prone to bad luck by either climbing all over their backs late or having the pace run against him. We know that he has a good sprint at end of these middle distance races and you’d think that Berry can work his magic and give the horse every single favour from barrier 4. Waller may have as many as four runners in this race well and I have the danger to Raqeeq being another of the GB-imports namely 5. SOLO MISSION (76) who the 2kg off for Sam Weatherley has really hit his straps in recent times. Solo Mission comes off a first-up third on the Kensington track over 1800m Oct 1. He had been up in Brisbane so he has plenty of residual fitness in his legs and so forth. I am not worried about the 16-days between runs because he trialled at Warwick fFarm over 1175m on Oct 19 and was doing his best work late as you would expect from a horse like him. 3. SAVACOOL (81) can give Waller the trifecta. I would love to know how many times
has trained a trifecta in his time – it must be fair number! Savacool come back super and is rock hard fit now and a last start winner. Outside of those, it’s definitely the Godolphin import 1. DROCHAID (81) but he has the dual obstacles of a wide gate and top weight.
IN A recent Sydney barrier trial wrap up, I said there are two horses that will win anywhere they go first-up, one of them was Ronstar whom I know is going to race at Rosehill next Saturday and the other one was 12. KAWAIKINI (74) from the Jason Coyle stable. As an avid follower and fan of Coyle, I can say that when you see a horse trial like this from this yard, you be almost guaranteed that it will run well on race day. Coyle had her in the Evening Star tonight at Canterbury – that’s how well primed she is but runs here instead owing to vastly contrasting barriers. Very keen! Went up $11 with the TAB on Wednesday but was $7.50 in the evening
– a scratching or two yes, but still it is positive sign. Here’s the best roughie on the card – 7. BLUE TYCOON (75) from the Hayes/Dabernig stable. The horse has drawn 14 which is a potential deal breaker but if the track happens to get much better in terms of firmer that is, his chances will soar. I am certain he is going well, we have to forget that first-up run on the slop. 1. O’RACHAEL (84) is now with Mick Price and owned by Aquis who no doubt have one of their amazing stallions in mind for this well credentialed daughter Northern Meteor. Has the best form of all and goes well fresh being 4s 0-3-0.
Chaussure, main, is one of many winning chances Tommy Berry, inset, has at Randwick.