Royal Randwick: The Everest Day, 13 Oct 2018
Finally, the $13 million sprint: The Everest has arrived. Unfortunately, so too has the rain. Last weekend Randwick descended into Heavy 9 Hell, expect another wet one folks. The outlook could improve over the coming days, but not enough to dry out the track.
Despite the looming presence of wet weather (the Bureau of Meteorology predicts a 70% chance of rain as at Wednesday evening 10th October), we’ll keep an eye out and add to the comments section below if and when conditions change.
With the Everest taking centre-stage, it will be backed up by a solid support cast of races on the undercard, including the Sydney Stakes (consolation prize for those horses who didn’t make the final cut of The Everest), the St Leger Stakes over 2600m featuring horses who raced recently in the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap, plus the Craven Plate over 2000m featuring some of the best middle distance horses based out of Sydney.
As a special, there is The Kosciuszko, which is the $1.3 million race eligible for NSW country trained horses. This is a great incentive for horses trained as far afield as Port Macquarie in the north, Dubbo in the west and Albury in the south. I think other states should follow suit, particularly in Victoria given the number of regional racetracks and meetings held there.
It’s a full race day, featuring ten races.
Royal Randwick Race 1
Harrolds Victory Vein Plate
Race Time: 12:30 PM
The day kicks off with a race for debutant two-year-olds mostly, though two have already been to the races. The market is headed by four youngsters: SPEEDYCOM, ZOUSHACK, ANAHEED and DISRUPTOR. All are at the $5 mark, and it wouldn’t surprise if one of these got over the line. This is an even betting race with 8 of the 10 runners at $11 or less. Overall though in a race like this, it’s ‘finger in the air’ stuff.
BFF Picks: Speedycom, Zoushack, Disruptor
Value Price: Vendeval $8.50
Roughie: Mesmer $10.00
Royal Randwick Race 2
TAB Highway Handicap (C3)
Race Time: 1:05 PM
It’s a big field for this one, but there are three scratchings so far (Thursday lunchtime). I backed THINK LIKE A FOX at her last start where she was the beaten favourite. I’m prepared to give her another shot, and so too the punters it would appear. On the same line of betting is Mudgee galloper VELARO who has compiled a nice record, but this will be his first go on a true rain-affected track. $8.00 chance MEDITERRANEAN looks to have the best wet weather form and may end up favourite by race time. The only doubt; he’s carrying 60kg.
BFF Picks: Think Like A Fox, Mediterranean, Velaro
Value Price: Aragula $12.00
Roughie: Vee Eight $91.00
Royal Randwick Race 3
Daily Telegraph Reginald Allen
Race Time: 1:40 PM
This is a race for the three-year-old fillies with Godolphin topweight CRISTOBAL heading the betting. She ran third behind Gem Song who is racing in the Caulfield Guineas this Saturday. That looks like a solid form-line. I’M SO SWEET is trained by Team Hawkes and comes in on the back of a mid-week win at Rosehill. She could be competitive in this. The Chris Waller pair of BUBBLES’N’TROUBLES and MADAME ROUGE also come into the mix. The former was last seen on Moir Stakes night but has returned to Sydney. Both would need to improve on their current form.
BFF Picks: Cristobal, I’m So Sweet, Bubbles’N’Troubles
Value Price: She;s Furline $10.00
Roughie: Evalina $17.00
Royal Randwick Race 4
The Star Mile (BM100)
Race Time: 2:15 PM
This is a handicap event with some horses carrying very large weights. Topweight is SENSE OF OCCASION who is carrying a mammoth 64kg. Is pretty good on a heavy track, but still… DANON LIBERTY is the Darren Weir horse with top jockey Ryan Moore riding. Also likes a wet track and with those two positives in mind, he gets my vote. Chris Waller’s KAONIC looks like the early favourite, GOODFELLA too is right up there, and is probably suited to this class than the Epsom Handicap where he finished down the track. FIERCE IMPACT is nominated in Sydney and in Melbourne this weekend, so if he starts here, he could figure in the finish. if not, follow him down at Caulfield.
BFF Picks: Danon Liberty, Kaonic, Goodfella
Value Price: Danon Liberty $12.00
Roughie: All Too Huiying $17.00
Royal Randwick Race 5
The Kosciuszko (restricted NSW country trained horses only)
Race Time: 2:50 PM
Restricted to NSW country trained horses, The Kosciuszko is a whopping $1.3 million, a swag of cash going to winning connections. The best-known horse here is THE MONSTAR from Scone, and he shapes up in a class race like this after competing well in Group company. That should hold him in good stead, so too the wet track. The other favoured runners include VICTOREM and DON’T GIVE A DAMN, both priced under $5.00 SP on the market. Victorem won the Country Championship Final back in April, and on that form-line will probably go out favourite. Don’t Give A Damn has two runs back this prep and will strip fitter for this. AFTER ALL THAT ran a slashing fourth in the Group 2 Shorts Stakes, coming in ahead of rival The Monstar and the recently retired mare English. On that form-line, you’d have to include him somewhere.
BFF Picks: Victorem, After All That, The Monstar
Value Price: Awesome Pluck $17.00
Roughie: Fuel $51.00
Royal Randwick Race 6
Camera House Sydney Stakes
Race Time: 3:30 PM
Is this the consolation prize for not making The Everest final cut? It sure looks like it, and with wet weather about, some of these gallopers will thrive. In particular, I’m looking at JUNGLE EDGE who is a like a fish in these conditions. The market knows this too, he is backed into $5.00 SP. PIERATA is back to 1200m after failing badly in the 1600m Epsom two weeks ago. Not proven on a wet track but has class. So too former Japanese horse KEMONO who has never raced on a heavy or soft track. The form is improving but there is a question mark. SPRIGHT has been racing in Group company recently, flashing home for third in Viddora’s Moir Stakes win. That is very good form to work with. Let’s not forget Group 1 winner CLEARLY INNOCENT who also is decent on a wet track, while one of the likely favourites TACTICAL ADVANTAGE has three virtues: good form, good barrier (#1) and handy on a soft/heavy track.
BFF Picks: Jungle Edge, Tactical Advantage, Spright
Value Price: Dothraki $16.00
Roughie: Dal Cielo $34.00
Royal Randwick Race 7
Race Time: 4:15 PM
This is the big one. Many chances. I’m going to keep this one brief as this is the most over-analysed race in weeks. I’m going for Irish galloper U S NAVY FLAG who is the only class international of the field. I think he’ll eat up Randwick, even on a wet track. Aidan O’Brien wouldn’t bring him this far for nothing. Ryan Moore is a big race rider. The situation is made to suit. The consistent SANTA ANA LANE and SHOALS to be or thereabouts. One thing all three horses have in common; they’re all three-time Group 1 winners. Class rises to the top like cream.
BFF Picks: U S Navy Flag, Santa Ana Lane, Shoals
Value Price: Viddora $17.00
Roughie: Le Romain $19.00
Royal Randwick Race 8
360 DMG Craven Plate
Race Time: 4:50 PM
A good field of middle distance gallopers assembles for the historically significant Craven Plate, a race with a rich legacy going back decades. Some of the best horses to have ever graced the Australian turf have won this race. Wakeful, Gloaming (x3), Phar Lap (x3), Chatham (x3), Peter Pan, Flight, Beau Vite, Tulloch and more recently Tie The Knot. Wet track specialists will enjoy conditions this weekend, that’s why EGG TART starts a warm favourite, while others like COMIN’ THROUGH and IT’S SOMEWHAT don’t mind it soft either. Victorian MOSS’N’DALE could be the the surprise packet here, while the consistent DIXIE BLOSSOMS is reasonable in wet conditions but is untried at 2000m. Barriers may play a part, as the 2000m chute is just past the post and horses will need to get across early before they head into the back section of the course.
BFF Picks: Egg Tart, Moss’N’Dale, It’s Somewhat
Value Price: Moss’N’Dale $9.50
Roughie: Mandylion $26.00
Royal Randwick Race 9
Bisley Workwear ATC St Leger Stakes
Race Time: 5:35 PM
This race was only recently added back to the racing calendar. Previously raced in the Autumn, it has a history which goes way back to the 1840’s. It is the Spring equivalent of Randwick’s other staying handicap, the Chairmans, which is raced in April. There are a handful of Victorian horses that have come north, looking to get some mileage into their legs. Other staying tests in Melbourne await, like the Moonee Valley Gold Cup and the Hotham Handicap (previously the Lexus), the latter being a ballot exemption race for the Melbourne Cup. Darren Weir’s HARIPOUR and RED CARDINAL are two contenders, the former will likely start favourite. Lindsay Park’s SIKANDARABAD ran well for third in the Metropolitan, and looks better weighted here with main rival PATRICK ERIN going up to 59.5kg after carrying only 51kg to win the Metrop.
BFF Picks: Haripour, Sikandarabad, Patrick Erin
Value Price: Harpers Choice $26.00
Roughie: Etah James $41.00
Royal Randwick Race 10
Race Time: 6:10 PM
The last on the card is a short-dash 1000m race which features three Godolphin gallopers as the top three picks. ESPERANCE, BEACON and REVENIRE. The three of them are lightning quick so expect to see the Godolphin blue prominent at the finish. Victorian sprinter BRYAN is a cult favourite back in Melbourne. Good form, decent on a soft track, but carrying 62kg could be an impost. Will be an interested observer. Joe Pride’s four-year-old mare BROOK MAGIC will relish the wet track and will race on the speed. These two things are in her favour.
BFF Picks: Esperance, Beacon, Brook Magic
Value Price: Bryan $11.00
Roughie: Royal Hootenanny $34.00