How to play it: Igniting WIN.
Race 2 – 1:55PM DOUG CARROLL HANDICAP (1300 METRES)
If you saw 2. Ljungberg win on the Kensington track last start, you don’t need me to tell you he’ll be hard to beat here. Surprised he isn’t odds on already. The I Am Invincible gelding gave his rivals a galloping lesson to roar clear by a widening 3.8L at the finish. This is the same grade of race (BM72) over the same 1300m trip. The differences are he goes up 1.5kg and has to take on not only his own age but also the four-year-olds. Still, there is nothing here that should trouble him. He was only second up there last start and having only his fifth career run. Ron Quinton will know full well he hasn’t got to the bottom of Ljungberg yet.
Dangers: We’ve only seen 6. Vegadaze once and he chased down You’re Next (racing again on Friday night) to win at Canterbury. He’s the X-Factor horse here simply due to how lightly raced he is. Confident Ljungberg has the remainder of them covered, having seen the rest of them plenty of times before. Vegadaze should be able to settle closer from the draw after being slowly away on debut. 5. Matowi did a good job to win first up but shapes as if he’ll want further than 1300m now.
How to play it: Ljungberg WIN.
Race 3 – 2:30PM MAURICE ROLFE HANDICAP (1100 METRES)
There is a stack of speed here (even allowing for the scratching of Gwenneth). That’ll set it up for 1. In Good Time to dash home late over the top of her rivals. The Time Thief mare didn’t win over the spring in Melbourne but did run fourth in a Group Three and third in a Listed feature at Geelong. Prior to that she had won six straight, working her way through the grades. In the last of those wins she beat She Knows in the Listed Denise’s Joy. The four-year-old isn’t a big horse so the the 59kg, even after the claim of Brock Ryan, is the leveller. She is first up here but only ran in November so there’ll still be residual fitness.
Dangers: 4. Alassiogave a huge sight at Canterbury last time out and it took a handy one in Sylvia’s Mother to run her down. She’s one dimensional and drawn out where she is, James McDonald will have no other option than to press the button early. 10. Witherspoon will punch up to hold the fence and get running with 53.5kg on her back. Could we see a different side to 7. Miss Celebration? It’s the perfect race to ride her with cover to find out if she can produce like she does when in front. She has won four from five and impressed first up at Randwick.
How to play it: In Good Time WIN.
Race 4 – 3:05PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
1. Nicconita should have just about won a BM70 at Canterbury last start. The four-year-old mare found a few dead ends after settling out the back but rattled home through the field to run third behind Aperitif and Luskintyre Lass. The latter has subsequently won a midweeker at Warwick Farm, and by a comfortable margin. Third up out to 1400m on a dry deck looks perfect. She has tackled four Highways in the past and run second in each of them. The daughter of Nicconi will carry 57kg after the 2kg claim of Robbie Dolan and although drawn wide, if she can get cover in a three wide running line that’ll allow her to stay out of trouble.
Dangers: Nothing has gone right for 3. Risk And Reward in his two runs back. First up he was posted wide on speed and faded before last start he never got completely clear. He is another horse that has been knocking on the door in Highways in the past. Don’t be surprised to see Glyn Schofield drive him straight to the front this start. 4. Andy’s A Star worked to the line nicely at Randwick last time out. The 1400m suits him too. 2. Hit The Target was impressive at Scone last start and of the four 1300m races on the day, his was easily the fastest. Have no doubt that he’ll measure up here. 19. Lolita Gold looked slick winning at Canberra first up.
How to play it: Nicconita WIN.
Race 5 – 3:40PM JHB SYNDICATIONS SPRINT (1100 METRES)
It’s amazing how much difference an 1100m race can be from a 1200m race. Case in point for 2. Bon Amis. In races 1100m or less Bon Amis has won six from eight (and run second in the other two). In races beyond 1100m he is zero from six. That includes last start when he plugged away in fourth at Warwick Farm. He doesn’t have the same dash at the end of his races when extended out. Now granted that last start effort was behind the flying Easy Eddie, subsequently pipped in the Takeover Target Stakes on Thursday, but it’s hard to deny the facts around this horse. As for Saturday, 1100m at Rosehill with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, he’ll get his chance to bounce straight back.
Dangers: 3. Paret is a fascinating runner here. Was keen on his chances last week over 1400m before he was scratched. Instead, Chris Waller trialled him on Tuesday at Rosehill and now here he is four days later in an 1100m race. Forget his Epsom Handicap flop the last time we saw him as he bled. 1. Special Missile and 4. All Over Bosanova matched motors in a trial at Canterbury back in December and there was nothing between them. Both look to be ticking over well but the latter is certainly the more genuine sprinting type.
How to play it: Bon Amis WIN.
Race 6 – 4:20PM ROGER HAWKE HANDICAP (1350 METRES)
Chris Waller put his hand up after 2. Sweet Scandal won on the Kensington track last start conceding they had ridden the four-year-old “too pretty” in her first and second up runs. Ride her “ugly” he said and she responds. That was certainly the case last start. It helped that The Art Of The Bar fluffed the start allowing her to control the race from the front with Punters Intelligence revealing a first 700m split of 41.98s, which is steady at best, before slipping home in a quick 33.75s for her last 600m. 10. The Pharoah opts for this over Canterbury and although he’ll keep her honest in front, she should still prevail.
Dangers: Struggled to find a genuine threat to be honest. All going to plan, the usual suspects in this profile of race will file in behind her. 1. Mapmaker was fine last start back to 1150m. He tacked on late. Then there is Godolphin pair 4. Schubert and 9. Regent. Both will get back in the run and rattle home to be thereabouts. Neither win out of turn though. 8. Pipeline will improve plenty off his return at Randwick.
How to play it: Sweet Scandal WIN.
Race 7 – 5:00PM ERIC ‘MO’ CONLON HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
7. All Too Royal dictated from the front to win at Canterbury last start and although this is harder again, he maps to get another very cosy time of it. The start prior to that he was edged out by Tell Me, which stacks up well for this. Jean Van Overmeire has been engaged to ride, taking 2kg off the 59kg impost. The All Too Hard four-year-old hasn’t finished outside of the top two in all five of his runs this campaign. Doubt that trend is stopped here. He’s fit, in winning form and the way this race looks set to play out, he’ll get every chance to win again.
Dangers: Imagine Tommy Berry lets 5. Poetic Charmer slide across from the wide draw to sit outside of All Too Royal in the run, pending tactics on 10. Call Me Brad. That’ll give the Snowden-trained gelding his chance. Slight knock back to 1200m off 1400m and 1300m runs. 2. Kool Vinnie pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia at Randwick last time out, so pen that effort where he tailed off. Prior to that he ran past Redouble to win at Rosehill, and that horse has gone right on with it since then with two wins from his subsequent four starts. Wanted to make a winning case for him to win but couldn’t with the lack of speed up front and the start he’ll give away.
How to play it: All Too Royal WIN.
Race 8 – 5:40PM BOOKMAKER RECOGNITION RACE DAY TROPHY (2000 METRES)
6. Zip A Dee Doo Dah’s fourth last start behind Live And Free had as much merit as 2. Asterius’s seventh in my eyes yet the former is double the odds. Zip A Dee Doo Dah ran his last 600m in 33.63s (Punters Intelligence) with Asterius clocking 33.57s. Both would have finished a touch closer if they had room earlier. Kris Lees’ seven-year-old is five runs into a campaign but tipping that 1800m hit out will bring him on again as he tackles 2000m here, a trip he has already won at in the past. Drawn 1, Jason Collett should be able to settle him midfield without too much niggle and with the right splits in the straight, he’ll be right there in the finish again.
Dangers: Some of the gloss is starting to come off Asterius’s reputation but that still doesn’t stop TAB posting him the early favourite. He has looked more dour than ever this preparation, taking an eternity to click through his gears. He’ll give away a big start again but be grinding home at the finish. Like the booking of J-Mac who isn’t afraid to make an early move. 9. Creedence beat Kilmacurragh home by 2.5L at Caulfield last start when running second. Kilmacurragh ties the form in with 8. Missybeel. She beat him 3.3L two back in Sydney. Creedence is a player but is short enough.
How to play it: Zip A Dee Doo Dah EACH WAY.
Race 9 – 6:15PM RICHARD HUTT HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
There is no denying that 1. Reflectivity was disappointing last start at Randwick but willing to forgive that out of character run. Prior to that this Hawkes-trained galloper had raced himself into career best form, beating Turnberry and running second to Organza. It was a BM94 he raced in last start so the drop back to 78 company will be more to his liking as will getting back onto Rosehill where his three prior runs had been. All going to plan Brock Ryan will bounce the gelding out to settle in the first four and he’ll get his chance from there. King Tomlola has been scratched so we’ve lost some of the early speed already. There is still plenty of it engaged but as mentioned, this four-year-old is versatile.
Dangers: 12. Zidane sneaks into this race on the back of a sixth that was better than it reads on paper. Punters Intelligence reveals his last 600m was the quickest of the race (33.70s) which was dominated by Samadoubt from in front. His strength through the line, running a last 200m of 11.46s, suggests he is looking for more ground now. 10. Let’s Party Marty was confidently backed last start but didn’t fire. He can bounce back. 4. Nicci’s Gold and 2. Dawn Raid are both racing at the top of their games at the moment while 6. Harmattan did enough fresh.
How to play it: Reflectivity WIN.
Tips supplied by Racing NSW.
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au.