Ex­celtic to go back-to-back

The Sportsman Weekend - - Royal Randwick Preview - WITH SHAYNE O’CASS

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.

RACE 1

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.

RACE 2

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!

RACE 3

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.

RACE 4

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.

RACE 5

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.

RACE 6

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.

RACE 7

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.

RACE 8

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).

RACE 9

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.

Mar­su­pial.

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