Midweek racing on the East coast heads to Sandown Hillside, Gosford and Ipswich this week for three fascinating meetings.
Our partners at Racepal have once again previewed every race at all three meetings – you can check them out at Racepal.com.au
They’ve also made a special announcement in this week’s ‘1K-10K Autumn Bankroll Challenge’ video! Check it out in the player below.
Track: Soft 5 (Tuesday)
Rail: True Entire
Back to the Hillside after many weeks on the Lakeside track. With improving weather in Melbourne we should be in the Good range by race day. No notably historical bias for this configuration but pay attention to any information put out by the club re irrigation etc.
Speed map/race shape: Hard to get a true handle on a ‘map’ given the unknowns here. Note the 1000m track is the unique dog leg shape. Exposed runners Judgement and Bush Christmas can go forward, while Magnicity has potential to be more prominent.
Advantaged runners: We’ve only ever seen four of the 12 on race day before. Of the raced, JUDGEMENT has the best prior performance over 1000m. But the newcomers look to have some talent. FLIRTING is one of Anthony Freedman’s Godolphin crop, both he and the main camp are running hot with two-year-olds. She comes through a good trial too. CILIATA also comes through a stable that is making waves from its new Victorian set up but gets an awkward draw, while we can respect KOOWEERUP as well. Watch the market!
Speed map/race shape: Fairly moderate tempo over the 1400m, with Lady Lupino the only designated leader. Mozella could go forward and Chenier won’t be far away.
Advantaged runners: Well CHENIER has come up $1.45 early and this is a Group 1 trial for him. He was spectacular in his 5.5L debut romp and Kerrin McEvoy is down from Sydney to ride, with a view of taking on the Champagne Stakes 10 days later. He should settle off from fence and it will take a good one to stop him. MOZELLA and WALKING FLYING come out of his debut run and both have place claims in this. STAREDOWN was deemed good enough to debut in the Sires and SURREAL STEP comes out of a hot race.
Speed map/race shape: Big field of 16 to jump from the 1300m starting point. Good tempo expected with Do You Reckon, Gaelic Dream, Grand Bernini and I Am The Dark all prominent in the early stages, there’s a handful of others that will be right up there too.
Advantaged runners: MUSIC BAY is on notice, she was rolled at $1.40 first up and then couldn’t get past Tahitian Dancer (that’s forgivable) second up. Regardless, this race sets up extremely well for her and she is going to go around pretty short again here. With the right run trailing the early speed she should be too good. SEARCH SQUAD and LECTURE did the most work in running last start and ran the quinella, while MERCY STREET was a gritty first up winner. All go in as knockout hopes if the favourite stumbles.
Speed map/race shape: Another big field and above average tempo over 1300m. This should be set up by the likes of Jentico, Lady Loft, Our Sea Goddess and Sensation Ally, with Dancing Tycoon and Miss Adequate not far behind either.
Advantaged runners: A host of chances, but looking specifically at those that would enjoy the tempo. MRS O’MALLEY is one of them, but she isn’t a super high percentage play given her likely settling position at the rear on the fence. CASH AFFAIR may end up back there with her if he’s run off his feet early, but has the grounding to run a strong 1300m. DANCING TYCOON put in a flat run last time but may enjoy the possibility of a little cover in this. There’s no Tahitian Dancer for GHEEDAA to contend with today. MISS ADEQUATE has been freshened and dropped back in trip after a poor run but needs luck from the gate.
Speed map/race shape: Kevikki, Maddison Avenue and Winkelmann are the designated leaders from the mile start. There’s plenty of time for them to idle to the front down the back straight too, so don’t expect a great deal of pressure.
Advantaged runners: Wide open fillies and mares race to kick off the quaddie. KEVIKKI comes through the Alexandra Stakes, that was a complete write off for her. She gets the favours in front. HOKKAIDO MISS was superb first up at the Lakeside track against the pattern, as was MUSIC OF THE NIGHT, the Hillside suits both better. LIMESHOW was superb first up and quickly to 1600m, she’ll be running on with WOMAN who may end up being slightly overbet. PLAY THAT SONG and INDIANA LILY aren’t without hopes. Good race.
Speed map/race shape: Not as much natural pace here and you’d expect they settle into formation quickly. Sentimentalist and Gretzky should roll forward and lead from Heir To The Throne and Blinder settling in behind from low draws.
Advantaged runners: The runners in the first four might be hard to overhaul here. HEIR TO THE THRONE looks well in despite the weight, he was excellent against the pattern chasing home Won Ball first up – that horse has won again since. He’s also handled second up 1600m before and gets a cosy run. So too does BLINDER who had his momentum halted at a crucial stage in the Bendigo Guineas. He gives weight to the older horses but has talent. GRETZKY began awkwardly at Pakenham and that was costly, but so is he with just one win from 15. Keep an eye on ACCREDITATION and DINNER LAKE as blowout hopes running on.
Speed map/race shape: A few speedy ones in the 1000m dash – Big Reel and Written Choice probably have enough pace to force The Centaurian to take a sit. Only a field of eight in this.
Advantaged runners: Momentum is sometimes everything over this track and distance. WRITTEN CHOICE will be free-rolling towards the front in his first up assignment. He won his last two at this level before progressing to Listed company. Likewise, THE CENTAURIAN will race handily and added to his excellent fresh record at Mornintgon. The 3kg claim helps him out here. From the back, JOSEPHINE SEA produced one of her better performances to blow away a lesser field at Mornington, her best efforts come fresh so she may have one more in her. KYZAMBA is not to be left out but is yet to make an impact at this level.
Speed map/race shape: A big field tackles the last over 1800m. Silent Roar should have it her own way in front, with All Too Huying for company. The likes of A Shin Rook, Admiral’s Joker, Barry The Baptist and Main Stage should all settle forward of midfield.
Advantaged runners: This is a step up for SILENT ROAR but she looks a leading hope nonetheless. The progressive mare won like a good thing under minimal pressure second up and will look to emulate that here stretching to 1800m. MAIN STAGE is a big danger. He raced upside down in an attempt to counter the bias at Rosehill and knocked up, he drops sharply in grade and is very fit. A SHIN ROOK went close in the CS Hayes and could settle closer, possibly leader’s back, in this. He has won in similar grade before. Kerrin rides LYNCH MOB for Unlcle Tony, his picket fence was only broken by a live Oaks contender, so has real claims. He’s the one if they’re making ground from the back.
Track: Soft 6
Weather: Possible Tuesday thunderstorm, fine Wednesday race day
The threat of a brief Tuesday storm means Gosford looks set to stay in the Soft range for its metropolitan Wednesday meeting. With the rail in the true position, expect the track to favour runners away from the rail.
Speed map/race shape: Small field in the opener. Amami should roll to the front comfortably and lead from Anachrondite, doubt they’ll overdo it.
Advantaged runners: The Waller trio look like being prominent here. AURMAN ZOU gets a 3.5kg weight swing over ANACHRONDITE for finishing less than a length apart last time. But the former may get bottled up on the rail here, so a slight advantage to the latter in the small field. The stable’s third runner BANTEUX finished 2.5L behind Aramayo second up last prep which is good form for this. FLYING LEGEND has been freshened since a forgivable run behind Amangiri and should lob in the ‘one-one’ prime striking position.
Speed map/race shape: Big field for the two-year-old sprint. Of the known runners Apicus (em), Iskander and Our Girl Snitti have shown the most speed to date, but this race looks up for grabs if any of the leading contenders are given an assertive ride.
Advantaged runners: Five first starters here over 1200m. BADIA was superb behind a Stakes-placed filly second up and showed the wet was no concern. Godolphin + 2yo = yes right now! OUR GIRL SNITTI and ISKANDER defied their SPs to finish within 1.5 lengths of the leading pair there and will be prominent in the run. Badia’s stablemate JETSKI got close to Dresden Green/Killin next start, they went on to tackle Group 1 company the following start. Waller has three others in the race we’re yet to mention – the draw looks a little awkward for each of them.
Speed map/race shape: Koonunga draws widest and despite her early speed will probably sit outside Mollyfied in this field. If those two find their positions early, we may get a sit and sprint style affair for the mares.
Advantaged runners: The race shape above hands the ascendancy to the on-pacers – they also bring the best form. KOONUNGA has trialled twice since going down at odds on at Canterbury. She’s better than that and enjoys playing a prominent role in running. So too does Mollyfied who has been freshened nearly eight weeks for this outing, she won two on the bounce at this level by leading all the way prior. ALART drops in grade and Clenton’s claim eases part of the weight burden, she maps for the drop on the leaders, while each of STROME and ELLIE’S ENCORE also receive some slight class relief.
Speed map/race shape: Third straight 1200m event so we’ll have an idea of the pattern by now on raceday. This one is for three-year-olds only and Kylease has the most early dash, but there’s a handful keen to be prominent so expect solid tempo/pressure in run.
Advantaged runners: Joe Pride continues to space KYLEASE’s runs and she returns to Gosford fresh and looking for three straight wins. She absorbed plenty of pressure last time and still won. She also has both a fitness and speed map advantage over her major rivals. They include REGINAE, whose attempted return was aborted in January but does boast form through Mystic Journey last Spring, and REELEM IN RUBY, a city maiden winner. Neither UNGUARDED or BARE NAKED LADY can be dismissed at each-way odds either.
Speed map/race shape: One would assume Foreign Territory would roll to the front and dictate from the 1900m start. Makdanife, Scotti Be Gotti and Seababe should all be close by.
Advantaged runners: MAKDANIFE made FOREIGN TERRITORY work in the run at Hawkesbury – the former went on to win and the latter dropped out. Slight advantage to the latter today though, assuming the track isn’t in the Heavy range. But by rights both should be vulnerable to the colt MANGIONE, who finished a respectable five lengths off Derby winner Angel Of Truth in the G2 Tulloch Stakes. The inside draw isn’t as big a problem in the middle distance event if he races handy to the speed. Chances also to CAPE WICKHAM bouncing off a win and WINE BUSH going off his defeat of Taikomochi three back.
Speed map/race shape: Should be a genuinely run mile contest this. White Boots has the speed to lead, but Got Unders, Bastia and Hogmanay can all keep him company.
Advantaged runners: If we’re trusting our read of the track then HARMATTAN looms as a major contender. She’s been competitive on Group 3 mares company and now gets an ideal midfield run back in grade, giving her access to the best part of the track. The other one in that boat is INSENSATA who was on a hiding to nothing on a leader-biased track in the Emancipation, she was stakes competitive prior. They’ll be chasing WHITE BOOTS who lost no admirers when second best to Supernova, and BASTIA who finds another competitive affair after failing to qualify for the Provincial Championships Final.
Speed map/race shape: A few of the rougher chances might run this along, including Americana Magic, Gauguin and No Escape.
Advantaged runners: Gosford Guineas winner MILITARY ZONE returns to the scene of the crime. Ironically he sets up for an almost identical run from the latter half of the field. Would be surprised if he’s not wound up and ready to win after three March trials. WAGNER didn’t handle the Heavy track in the Darby Munro, he’ll be making a run with the favourite and attempting to emulate his powerful first up win. STAR OF MONSOON will try and get the jump on them but he’s no punters pal. PIRACY’s best efforts always come deeper into his prep so that’s a positive sign for today, he’ll need to be good to hold off the big guns.
Speed map/race shape: Lots of forward pressure here in the last Thinking Bella Vella leads with The Pharaoh, leaving Another Larga, Difficult To Get, Koonunga, Mr Grumpy, Queen Ablaze and Oriental Runner ALL looking for a handy sit.
Advantaged runners: This will be a charge of the light brigade. Josh Parr can win it with a brave ride on QUEEN ABLAZE, despite the inside barrier. He will need gaps to appear though. Of course, KOONUNGA is a chance but she looks an even better hope in Race 3 and I’d be shocked if she was here, despite the “better” barrier draw. ORIENTAL RUNNER brings good form but like all of these on pacers how hard will they go? It leaves us casting our eye to rougher hopes running on from the back like PRINCE MAYTED, who was far from disgraced at Eagle Farm, and BRAVISSIMO, who may be contend with a three-wide trail today.
Track: Good 4
Rail: False Outside Rail W/Post-1666 Chute; 4m 1650-300; 2m Remainder.
Weather: Mostly fine, possible light race day shower
A midweek card at Ipswich where we expect the track to dry into the Good range by Wednesday. A complex rail position as they try and avoid some of the dodgy spots that have caused recent havoc, so treat this card with caution.
Speed map/race shape: Morgause can roll to a comfortable lead in a fairly below-average tempo from the 1200m start.
Advantaged runners: A relatively ordinary maiden to start the day. ROYAL FACTOR wasn’t bad on debut in October and first/second over the line have won again. From a handy position in run he will go close. A LITTLE CRAFTY is only lightly raced and can use the low draw to advantage, while BRAHMA AMOUR backs up after being ‘best of the rest’ behind VEGA ONE last week.
Speed map/race shape: Perhaps some early argy-bargy for the lead with Lady Belzone, Moa’s Girl and Ruella all keen to race handy. The first starters also have some speed too.
Advantaged runners: Three of ten 2yo fillies making their debut. REEF BUG arrives for her first start off two recent trials, the latest a victorious one. She and fellow debutant PURRONI bring attractive breeding credentials to the table and can hit the ground running. Of the raced, HOWITZER is building towards a win, RUELLA was beaten by a good one last time out and LADY BELZONE will appreciate the extra distance today.
Speed map/race shape: Embattled knows one way and will look to take up the running again, expect Kalik to go forward with him and ensure a decent gallop.
Advantaged runners: Colts division of the 1200m 2yo maidens, with two on debut. EMBATTLED has had a few goes and puts himself up the pointy end each time. KALIK put in a poor showing on debut but bounced back in a recent trial. STAR CENTRE will be back in the run but is ready to do something third up and the form through Miss Cavallo reads well. Keen to see how the market reacts to the return of SCOUT from the Edmonds camp.
Speed map/race shape: Westrock only knows one way but will have company with each of Foxy Affair, So You Wish and Starkers going forward to ensure a genuinely run 1680m.
Advantaged runners: It looks like Rob Heathcote has found the secret to FOXY AFFAIR who is racing in great heart this prep. He’s racing on the pace these days and has matched it with the likes of recent Saturday winners Cymbalism and Reiby The Red, a win is around the corner. Expect improvement from SO YOU WISH who comes through similar form lines and typically needs a couple of runs to show his best. The Waller pair of TIVOLI STREET and SEAHAMPTON will be looking to come over the top of them, advantage to the latter who is much better than her last start would suggest.
Speed map/race shape: Good speed over the 1200m courtesy of American Genius, Mr Strachan and Rich Affair all pressing on.
Advantaged runners: The likely tempo provides a few of these with an ideal platform to sprint over the top in the straight. QIJI PHOENIX should in theory be a major beneficiary but he’ll need to show his first up failure was an anomaly. He’s acquitted himself in better company before. ELUSIVE MELODY is the mare in form, winning three on the bounce since her Queensland sea change, this is her hardest test though. The conditions also suit QUICK KETCH. They’ll all have to get past MR STRACHAN who was too fast for his rivals first up. Look for MR CONSTANTINE late with an eye to his future starts.
Speed map/race shape: A dash for the fillies and mares set up by wide-drawn pace-setters Bella Occhi and King’s Lady. Sailor Gerry can poke up and be handy as well.
Advantaged runners: No doubt these leaders will really run this along and give a horse like LADY I AM her chance. The former Sydneysider didn’t come up last prep down South but her prior best would be very competitive here. BIMINI ROAD’s form through Splitter looks good, the market will tell the story of whether she’s ready to go here off a freshen up. CLOCKWISE has lost her since producing excellent two-year-old form, is another market watch. Don’t discount SAILOR GERRI either although the big weight isn’t ideal, while BELLA OCCHI will need a breather in the run at some stage to hold on you feel.
Speed map/race shape: Good speed in the male division here courtesy of Chikorita, Don’t You Know Him and The Big House from out wide, with For The Records kicking on the rails underneath them.
Advantaged runners: Tough race. Looking at the three-year-old HARDLY TOUCHED to camp just off the speed and build on his second up win. He beat home FOR THE RECORDS who did it tough and battled away well considering the run in transit, he gets the inside draw here. IL RICCIO was run off his feet last start by Want To Bolt but he was ‘best of the rest’ and that form looks pretty good after Saturday. The on-pacers THE BIG HOUSE and DON’T YOU KNOW HIM aren’t without hope – the former is an intriguing runner back 250m in trip here.
Speed map/race shape: The day’s only 1350m event out of the long chute comes in the last. Fanx, Miss Amanda and Zilitor should be among those to race forward in an even gallop.
Advantaged runners: FANX will be up there throughout and is ready to win third up, this distance is right in his wheelhouse. He had the better of ANIMAL INSTINCT last time out, that galloper is also third up and typically needs a couple of runs to find his best. He maps for a delightful trail off the leaders. MISS AMANDA can be forgiven her disappointing efforts on Heavy ground recently and has major claims from a similarly helpful on-pace run, no knock ZILITOR from on the speed as well. BEIDI is the big watch, he gets Waller’s ‘golden switch’ to Queensland today.