The Sportsman Weekend

Godolphin sprinter is the one to beat

- NEIL EVANS @NeilEvansm­ail

NORMALLY, I like them going the other way. Sydney to Melbourne for a specific ‘kill’ and generally early in the preparatio­n.

This time though, one comes back the other way and deep into current prep, but he’s bursting to win.

Viridine, now a seven-yearold yet still lining up for only his 40th start, can return a hit-and-run win in the feature Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.

Yes, in a perfect world, he would like softer surface, but don’t think he can’t put this lot to the sword on a firmer track. Viridine should have won

Group 3 Bletchingl­y Stakes at Caulfield (1200m) two weeks back when next to nothing went right.

Well off an awful muddling and stop-start tempo, he over-raced and virtually pulled himself off the track through the middle part.

He even lugged wider on the turn, yet despite all that still worked home to be beaten under a length and was only really getting warmed up in the last few strides.

Back to the bigger Randwick circuit, from a softer draw where he can settle that little bit closer and down 2.5kg with a Sydney hoop thankfully back on, look out.

Admittedly, through all the rescheduli­ng chaos, this is still a handy Missile field and hard-fit Viridine gets another tick under the set weight conditions carrying just 1kg more than resuming high class mare and early favourite Fasika who draws the inside.

Away from that, last start July Sprint winner fresh Chat must be a danger, although up in weight in more cat-andmouse affair might not suit, but no doubting his ability to

run a powerful closing sectional.

MY MISSILE STAKES TIPS:

1. VIRIDINE; 2. Fasika; 3. Chat; 4. Kolding

Earlier on the big 10-race card, save plenty for tough sixyear-old Harpo Marx who can hit straight back in a Benchmark 78 over 2400m.

Despite missing place at Rosehill and carting a hefty 62.5kg; I’d love to be as confident of ending “lockdown” I am this bloke winning tomorrow.

On a softer trailing draw, with J-Mac taking over in a race less depth, Harpo Marx can be ridden a little more economical­ly and power

past them over the final 250m.

MY BENCHMARK 78 (RACE 2) TIPS:

1. HARPO MARX; 2. Terwillike­r; 3. Spencer

Before all that, in an open meeting at Tamworth today, Australia’s No.1 provincial­based trainer Angela Davies launches an exciting twoprong sprint attack with a pair of four-year-old mares.

Lightly raced Scissor Kicksired Sheer Success has been given four weeks since being swamped late at Scone in a handy form maiden.

That day, she was resuming from a seven month spell for only her second start and the effort was very good considerin­g she drew the slower part

of the track.

Today in a Maiden Plate (1000m) at set weights, Sheer Success can either lead or sit right behind from a useful draw and hit the button early in the straight.

Then in a very competitiv­e Benchmark 66 (1200m) high class Pleading shoots for three straight wins in a pivotal assignment that could launch a metropolit­an campaign.

Off an outstandin­g Class 3 win at Taree where she easily gunned down speedster Superior Witness, Pleading will again settle back around midfield before launching a pivotal final 400m.

Good Luck

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 ??  ?? Harpo Marx is Neil’s top pick in Race 2 at Royal Randwick tomorrow. Pic: Grant Guy.
Harpo Marx is Neil’s top pick in Race 2 at Royal Randwick tomorrow. Pic: Grant Guy.

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