Exceltic to go back-to-back
NOTE: RACES are assessed for an improving Soft 7. (N/R) denotes no rating. The rail is out 9m from the 1600m to the WP, 7m the remainder.
I THOUGHT the Gary Portelli trained 8. EXCELTIC (65) was a Golden Slipper chance very early on – he was trialling like
really good horse before his debut. It comes as s surprise then that it took 8 starts for him to break his maiden but he’s on the way now I reckon. Bear in mind too he was placed the Canonbury and the Pierro Plate at his first two runs and beaten 1.3-lens in the Rosebud 5th in the G3 Ming Dynasty as a 3YO. Back to win though – he just ran straight past them from the back at Gosford and Randwick will suit him even better. Has 53kgs – down 4kgs on the win.
10. RIVIERA (65) is 50kgs. This All Too Hard filly out of Lonhro mare so Team Hawkes should know what makes her tick! Tipped out after an on-pace narrow win at Sandown-Hillside in May. Nice trial at Rosehill on Jan 2. Danny Williams pair 6. ACQUITTAL (62) and 9. HIGHWAY SIXTYSIX (640 have claims.
7. DESIGNER MAID (69) is lightning fast but I wonder about the last 50m with her at Randwick. 1. STAR FALL (74) is better than handy and comes here chasing a hat trick. Accepted for the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas but drew 17 there.
1. HEMMERLE (68) should even be in this race! In fairness, he ought to be a winner of 5 races, three Highways! The Danny Williams trained son Lucas Cranach has been so unlucky in his two runs this campaign
the Rosehill and then the WF Highway (s). He has lucky 13 barrier tomorrow which might be a plus for him in the long run home. I would much rather see him three-wide with cover and 6 off the fence motoring up the rise rather than bailed on fence climbing all over them. 5. HAAMES (60) is a Colt Prosser trained gelding with the fine record of 12s 2-3-3. The gelding was 3rd in a Highway at Rosehill on Jun. 2 last year where Hemmerle was 2nd. Haames ran 4th in another Highway 2 weeks later so he is well up to this level. Placed at Taree back back leading into this. This is his trip.
4. TRUMBO (62) is something of a rarity in that he owned, bred and trained by Mick Miladinovic. This son of California Dane is a leader/on pace style of galloper who is on trial at the mile – tough time and place to go 1600m for the first time but he is a last start winner.
Big watch/respect on and for the Hemmerle’s stablemate 8. BIODYNAMIC (57) who ran in
2016 Epsom Derby!
HANDY mare 7. PUMPKIN PIE (75) is ex-Danny Williams now with Richard Freedman. She is 4s 2w second-up which excites given that her first-up run – a closing 6th to Clipper here over 1200m on Dec. 29 – was indicative of a horse who would be better next time. There are two ex-Godolphin horses here that should play a role namely 1. CATESBY (78) and 2. GHOSTLY (76) even though I have their former stablemate 10. TANIKO (72) above Ghostly but behind Catesby in ranking order. It is worth noting that Taniko and Ghostly were dual acceptors their respective trainers ended up on this race so that has to be taken into account. The Joe Pride trained gelding 4. SIKHING GLORY (74) is a dangerous horse to leave out of place given that he either won or placed at every single one his last 10 starts. I haven’t mentioned 5. LISDOONVARNA (77) which shows what a tough race this is when you bring her up as the sixth horse mentioned when she can absolutely win race without any surprise at all.
DO you remember the day 11. SEAHAMPTON (68) won a 1400m race here on Jul. 7? It was unbelievable! I was thinking she’d go on and win a big mares race in Melbourne at the carnival a few months later but things sort of went awry after that. The new campaign has been quite sound. Typical Waller really – good first-up, better again next time and now perhaps she is ready to peak. If she runs to that peak – i.e., the Jul. 7 rating, it’s all over people. Stablemate 6. TORYJOY (72) showed tremendous desire to win on the Kensington track Dec. 21. Not only did she respond when challenged, seemed to get her second wind and was coming away. It was quite impressive to watch. Added to that is that the 3rd horse, Ivy’s Court, won at Canterbury on Wednesday. 3. SWEET VICTORY (75) is back in class from her Dec. 28 appearance in the G3 Belle of the Turf where she was 6 7 beaten 3.1lens. Sweet Victory’s best would be good enough to test most of these out, Seahampton included. Back to Randwick and in this class, she’s a chance to hit back hard.
3. MARSUPIAL (91) was outstanding here at HQ on Melbourne Cup day winning the Choisir, the feature of the day. he ran 1.01.90s for the 1100m bearing in mind that Redzel holds the course record at 1.08.83s. Marsupial was 1.2-lens off Invincible Star in the Starlight after that then finished 10-lens last in the Razor Sharp. He just had a bad day that day. Trialled since, went super. Good draw for him in 8 and Glyn Schofield will know the drill – back, middle of track, boom. That be precisely modus operandi employed by whiz kid Robbie Dolan on 8. SINGLE BULLET (82). Weights might mean much over five furlongs but 49kgs on Single Bullet’s back tomorrow is 7.5kgs less than Marsupial and 12.5kgs 1. JUNGLE EDGE (107). Wow. The weight is important in that Single Bullet a horse who is best ridden stone cold before making his 250m sprint to the finish. Single Bullet was very impressive at this same t/d on Cox Plate – oh, and he had 60kgs that day! Osborne Bull’s half brother 2. BADAJOZ (94) is 4s 2-1-0 at Randwick and is a winner over this trip elsewhere. Wasn’t beaten too far at Doomben in a Listed race last start. Back to Randwick and the small field is plus, plus for him.
THIS is a tough race made all the harder by multiple runners from the Waller camp, that said, we aren’t sure who comes or who stays or goes elsewhere. Surely one of the Winx stablemates who does show up is 5. SOLO MISSION (75). This son of the mighty Sea The Stars tailor-made for this race. The horse is 3s 0-1-1 at HQ and is 5s 1-1-2 at the trip. Solo Mission won his first start in Australia but is yet to do it a second time. To be fair, he hasn’t really run a bad race in all of his time here. He is a long way off being moral but if I owned him, I would be going there thinking he runs a place. 14. VIHARI (65) was ‘out of this world’ impressive at Newcastle in that Bm64 over 2350m last start. She was going to win a long way from home which says a bit about the (good) ride and the fact that she travelled so well which is a big advantage, nay a must, when it comes to stayers. She on the up no doubt and thus there is better time to bring her to town for what is a suitable race. Way up in class but has 52kgs. 7. TUNERO (72) is entered for a race at the Gold Coast. 8. The John Sargent trained stayer EQUIPPED (71) has a profile that could easily see him in the finish.
JUST so I can say it on record, the bets am guaranteed of having tomorrow is a Kaepernick win bet and Kaepernick/ Egyptian Symbol quinella in the Gold Coast Snippets Sprint tomorrow – I wish they weren’t in same race. I mention that as a segue to 2. STRATHMORE (89) who is a 7YO half brother to Egyptian Symbol. This son of Fastnet Rock has a very interesting backstory. He won his first start in a race in May of 2014 in a Griffin Race at Sha Tin by 2.5lens with fella called Tommy Berry riding. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then – too much to detail here, expect to say that he is having his third run for Chris Waller tomorrow. I could find some merit in the first two (Tommy Berry rode him at his Oz debut). He’s had a break of about six weeks between runs but the 1030m trial at Rosehill on Jan 2 was a ripper. I rekcon he’ll be specked tomorrow. Stablemate 3. PARET (84) was 3rd first-up last campaign then put three wins together. He has had the X-factor and boom on him since that awesome debut win at Canterbury back in the day. Just followed them around in his Jan 2 trial where star of the heat was none other than Egyptian Symbol. I reckon one
two Waller horses will win, hopefully it’s the at longer odds! Plenty of others hopes – 5. ORGANZA (85) was 4th in the G3 Belle the Turf last start. 6. SWEET DEAL (85) is an in-form mare.
CHRIS Waller recruit 8. EAGLE BAY (73) is back for his third campaign under the Waller management. Eagle Bay is ‘78x9700x’ in his runs for but the fact that he has started $4,$8,50, $26, $8, $12 and $10 is reflective of some of his eyecatching runs. He is prone to getting way back in races but often is the one flashing up late. You get sense that one day he might put it all together, get the tempo run to suit, come home uninterrupted down the outside and win like he had been doing in NZ before she came over. Has two great trials under his belt. 1. TURNBERRY (80) in contrast to Eagle Bay is ‘1x1223’ at last handful of starts. He is starting
creep up in the weights now but Kris Lees has called dibs on Robbie Dolan here and so that 3kgs off his 61kgs is much more manageable. Barrier 2 is as good as Lees could have wished for. If it is on-pace bias then Turnberry comes in a roll, Eagle Bay goes out to $101 but Randwick is a fair track mostly. 9. THY KINGDOM COME (73) beat Love Shack Baby by almost 5-lens last start and Love Shack Baby has won twice since one time when beating 12. CHALK (63).
2. COLLATERAL (80) is $51 with TAB Fixed odds which is shorter than the $81, $71 and $61 he has SP’ed at his three previous runs but still a very generous quote if you ask me. Sure, if you just look at those numbers before his name – a lot of zeros I concede, you’d think I am insane but go and have look at the three runs this prep over 1300m then 1600m then 1800m. The margins are far from huge and for a horse who appears to be going ordinary (on paper), he’s been running through the line – that’s the key. He has a benchmark rating that is equal with Astoria and Live And Free and they are much shorter in the market. In my book, $51 chances should be horses with no hope – Collateral is not one of them. 5. ASTERIUS (770 has been excellent in his three runs back from a bleeding ban. He was tearing into the ground late to finish 2.9lens 7th to 3. LIVE AND FREE (77), 2-lens ahead of Collateral at the finish. 6. DALMATIA PRINCE (77) was a massive improver second-up and is 2s 1-0-1 at this trip. He is handy horse – not many win 7 from ‘only’ 33 with 7 placings too. Duets are no way to get rich but if Collateral and Dalamatia Prince happened
feature in the placings, you’d find a big divvy.