SKY Racing form analyst Brad Davidson runs the rule over every race, including speed maps and suggested bets for Randwick Guineas Day at Royal Randwick on Saturday.


Performer (Race 4, No.2)
Clearly Innocent (Race 6, No.2)
I Am Excited (Race 2, No.6) + something small on JORDA (No.4)
Sugar Bella (Race 8, No.9) + something small on RAVI (No.1)


Track: Soft 6. Rail: 6m out 1600m to winning post; 4m remainder.



R1 (12.30pm): ASPIRATION QUALITY (1600m)

OVERVIEW: Good race to start the day. I’m with The Pinnacle, I just think third-up here she should go close. She will be up on the pace in a race that doesn’t appear to have a heap of speed. She was probably just half a run short last start. Nettoyer was super last weekend in stronger grade when caught on the worst ground. She has only had one start beyond 1400m for a 10-length win (at 2000m at this track on a heavy surface) and she will be flashing late. Shagra comes out of a stronger race than this and I liked the way she picked up late to be beaten just 2¼ lengths in The Vanity in Melbourne. Her last 50m was pleasing and she looks as if she will appreciate a mile. Oklahoma Girl is unbeaten third-up and can improve here, while Karavali wasn’t suited by a slow early tempo fresh and also has claims. Risking Dreams Of Paris and the maiden mile race went as good as her effort last start in Melbourne.

SPEED MAP: I expect The Pinnacle to roll forward and probably lead with Perfect Rhyme and Pioneering handy. The speed doesn’t look strong.

DID YOU KNOW: Shagra finished alongside Aloisia last start, who then come out and was luckless in the Australian Guineas.

SUGGESTED BET: Boxed quinella 4,6,9.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Nettoyer $4-$3.40 ($667 @ $4, $371 @ $3.70, $500 @ $3.50, $200 @ $3.30)



R2 (1.10pm): FIREBALL STAKES (1100m)

OVERVIEW: I’m keen to play in this race and I’m happy to oppose the favourite Houtzen. I just think she is short enough for a filly that has to prove she is still up to this top level as a three-year-old. Yes, she was only beaten three lengths in an Everest but she was losing plenty of ground late and I just worry about the last 200m. I Am Excited’s late splits were very good first-up and I don’t think the sting out of the track will faze her. She can park midfield and finish over the top of these. I also want to be with Jorda IF she isn’t a big drifter on race day. She has only had the one shortcourse trial coming into this but she was stiff not to finish much closer in the San Domenico first-up at this distance last prep. If she is fit enough, she can win this. She is only a small filly but late betting will be key as Godolphin generally leave a bit of improvement in their horses first-up.

SPEED MAP: Expect Houtzen to lead with Debonairly up there as well. Speed should be solid.

DID YOU KNOW: Jorda beat home I Am Excited at her last start albeit in a photo finish at Group 3 company on Oaks Day at Flemington.

SUGGESTED BET: Main play I AM EXCITED to win. Small win play JORDA but play late and only if she is solid in the market.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Houtzen $2.50-$2.40 ($1,000 @ $2.50, $300 @ $2.50), I Am Excited $4-$4.60- $3.60 ($278 @ $4.60, $313 @ $4.20, $570 @ $3.80)

R3 (1.45pm): REISLING STAKES (1200m)

OVERVIEW: The bookies are taking no risks with Estijaab and she should be winning this. I’m still convinced she beats Sunlight last start if she wasn’t taken on mid-race, and they smashed the clock. Outback Barbie has trialled really well for this and will be working home strongly. I doubt she wins this but she was only 2¼ lengths off Sunlight in a Magic Millions. She should get an easier time of it here and just has to have come through that run to be winning this. Gongs was well beaten by Estijaab first-up but needed that run because it was run at a strong tempo and she was chasing a long way out. She will be fitter here.

SPEED MAP: Estijaab and Nuclear Blitz look the two leaders. Speed looks even.

DID YOU KNOW: Sunlight clocked an overall time about .4s quicker than I Am Excited over the same trip on the same day when defeating Estijaab by less than half a length in the Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill on February 24. The two race shapes were very different though.

SUGGESTED BET: Exacta 2 from 1.

R4 (2.25pm): TODMAN STAKES (1200m)

OVERVIEW: I see no reason to jump off Performer here and the even money seems a fair gamble as well. He is two from two and he overcame a slow early tempo and carrying 3kg more than his rivals to score first-up. I expect him to be finishing over the top of these. Aylmerton is only coming out of midweek grade but I wouldn’t be shocked if he runs well here. It was a nice style of win on debut and he only had the one trial coming in. Exceltic is another one I expect to relish the 1200m and he would love a race with a bit of tempo. Bondi beat Performer in a recent trial over 1050m, but can he run 1200m? That’s the query. I respect Ef Troop but first-up at 1200m has to be a concern and I have to risk him here.

SPEED MAP: Expect Ef Troop to lead with potentially Bondi, Aylmerton and Ragged Rascal there. Performer should be midfield.

DID YOU KNOW: Ef Troop’s 1000m trial win on the Gold Coast recently was almost six lengths slower than what Outback Barbie clocked in her 1000m trial on the same day.

SUGGESTED BET: PERFORMER my best bet of the day at $2+.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: EF Troop $6-$5.50 ($300 @ $5.50, $200 @ $5.50), Performer $1.90-$2 ($250 @ $2, $500 @ $1.90)

R5 (3pm): CHALLENGE STAKES (1000m)

OVERVIEW: Redzel has rightfully earned the title as the best sprinter in the country and he is the horse to beat once again here. His winning streak may have come to an end last start but he lost no admirers with the narrow Lightning defeat. English has a great record in this race and there’s no reason why she can’t give this a shake fresh providing the track is allowing horses to run on. Viridine is an up-and-coming sprinter who can also be in the picture here. Where he is at after just one trial is the concern but he is a bit untapped.

SPEED MAP: Expect Ball Of Muscle and Super Too to take it up with Redzel and Jungle Edge not far behind them. Speed should be genuine.

DID YOU KNOW: English has won this race the past two years, including a narrow win over Redzel last year.

SUGGESTED BET: Redzel the horse to beat but I couldn’t suggest a bet at $1.50. I think the gap between him and English is a bit big and I could entertain a small play on ENGLISH at $5.50+ (I think she will get out a touch) as a result.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Redzel $1.50 unchanged ($500 @ $1.50, $300 @ $1.50, $290 @ $1.50, $200 @ $1.50), Viridine $9-$9.50- $7.50 ($200 @ $9.50, $200 @ $7.50)

R6 (3.35pm): CANTERBURY STAKES (1300m)

OVERVIEW: Solid edition of the Canterbury Stakes. I have to be with Clearly Innocent. He is a horse that loves the sting out of the track and he probably should have won first-up on a good track when he had no luck at all. Happy Clapper is just a beauty and he used to be a horse that needed a run fresh but he won well first-up last campaign and has trialled very well for this. Global Glamour returned to form last start and she was the run of the race in the Apollo Stakes. She comes back 100m in trip here but will be tough on speed again. Invincible Gem is an underrated mare that has trialled well for this and won the Missile Stakes well first-up last preparation.

SPEED MAP: Global Glamour and Showtime look the two on-pace runners. Invincible Gem has raced forward in a few recent trials and may go forward.

DID YOU KNOW: Global Glamour will wear the blinkers again.


TAB MARKET MOVERS: Clearly Innocent $4.60-$4.80 ($250 @ $4.80, $200 @ $4.80, $200 @ $4.60), Invincible Gem $8-$7 ($200 @ $7), Global Glamour $6-$5.50

R7 (4.20pm): RANDWICK GUINEAS (1600m)

OVERVIEW: I would have liked a better barrier but I’m with D’Argento at the odds to win the Randwick Guineas. He just has a mile written all over him and his late splits were outstanding in the Hobartville Stakes. Kementari is the horse to beat on form but he has to prove he can run out a strong Randwick mile. He got tired in the Caulfield Guineas last spring (although the pace was a cracker) and he will look the winner at the 300m, but I’m hoping D’Argento can get him late. I really think it is a two-horse race. You can make cases for Trapeze Artist (peaks third-up but a mile is a query), Pierata (does he run a mile?), Peaceful State and Kiwi Age Of Fire (although the form out his last Group 1 win is ordinary), but I’m happy to bank on D’Argento and Kementari.

SPEED MAP: Siege Of Quebec will want the front but is he quick enough up in trip? Condor may bowl along and use his fitness. Expect Trapeze Artist to take a sit as they try extend him to a mile.

DID YOU KNOW: Trapeze Artist’s two dominant performances in the Black Opal and Golden Rose have both come third-up. He is third-up in this race.


TAB MARKET MOVERS: Kementari $2.50-$2.60 ($853 @ $2.60, $300 @ $2.60, $200 @ $2.60 TWICE, $400 @ $2.50), Pierata $7-$6.50- $7 ($250 e/w @ $7/$2.30, $200 x $300 e/w @ $7/$2.30, $200 @ $6.50, $1,000 @ $2.15 PLACE), Peaceful State $11-$8.50 ($200 e/w @ $8.50/$2.55), D’Argento $5 unchanged ($250 @ $5)

R8 (5pm): WENONA GIRL QUALITY (1200m)

OVERVIEW: This looks a real two-horse race for mine between Sugar Bella and Ravi. I’m leaning towards Sugar Bella just from the weight perspective and she gets 6kg off Ravi here and is getting in well as she is on the way up. Ravi is a really good fresh horse and she carries weight really well. It’s just whether she can give 6kg to an up-and-coming horse like Sugar Bella. I liked Perizada last start and she got the job done but she had all the favours in a weaker race. She has drawn awkwardly this time and bumps into a couple of nice mares. Smart Amelia has only won the one race but can run a cheeky race fresh, while Gibraltar Girl just peaked on the run fresh and looks next best.

SPEED MAP: Speed looks even with Slow Burn likely to press forward. All Over Bosanova and Miss Gunpowder should be up there as well.

DID YOU KNOW: Sugar Bella is the second favourite for the Provincial Championships Final but will be ineligible for the series if she wins this race.

SUGGESTED BET: Happy to suggest a 7-unit win SUGAR BELLA and 3-unit win RAVI.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Perizada $6-$6.50 ($1,000 e/w @ $6.50/$2.35), All Over Bosanova $11-$9, My Country $11-$15, Sugar Bella $8-$4 ($350 @ $7, $400 x $200 e/w @ $7/$2.50, $200 @ $6, $500 @ $4.60, $250 @ $4.60, $300 @ $4.40, $250 @ $4.40, $200 @ $4 TWICE)

R9 (5.40pm): RANDWICK CITY STAKES (2000m)

OVERVIEW: Hard race to finish the day only made tougher by the fact several of these are among the acceptances for the Canberra Cup on Sunday. Alward was a good thing beaten first-up and he just might be ready to go to a new level in his second Australian prep. He finds Kerrin McEvoy here and fitness second-up at 2000m is the only knock. You can’t knock Emperor’s Way and he has been in fine form of late. He has won his past three starts and should negate his wide draw and push forward early. Liapari showed last time he can get beyond a mile now and maybe he is looking for 2000m on a big track now. He will appreciate the sting out of the track as well. Auvray probably wants it a bit drier and longer but he is flying this prep and he might be the one with ‘be on me next time’ written all over him after this. Singing, who pulled up with cardiac arrhythmia last start, Carzoff, More Energy and Patrick Erin are all capable as well.

SPEED MAP: Solid tempo here with Singing, Show A Star, Emperor’s Way, Shalmaneser and Imperial Aviator (blinkers again) likely to be positive.

DID YOU KNOW: Alward is unbeaten in five runs at 2000m.


TAB MARKET MOVERS: Alward $7-$4.20 ($400 @ $6, $250 @ $5, $595 @ $4.60, $300 @ $4.60 THREE TIMES), Emperor’s Way $4.60-$5.50


Ray Thomas and Matt Jones discuss their best bets for the weekend.

MJ: G’day mate, the autumn carnival continues to heat up and we’ll know more about the make-up of the Golden Slipper field after the two-year-old races at Randwick on Saturday, but will we see a new star come out of the very hot Randwick Guineas field?

RT: The Guineas is the race of the day for me. This three-year-old crop is so deep in talent. Kementari has been super in both his starts this preparation and won the Hobartville when ridden upside down. He’s drawn the right gate and should get the run of the race. How do they beat him, Matty?

MJ: Well I thought he was near unbeatable a week ago but I’m starting to get scared of D’Argento after his slashing run in the Hobartville and he doesn’t have a question mark on him at 1600m but there’s a slight query on Kementari. However I’ll be sticking with him. What about the two-year-olds? What are you most looking forward to?

RT: Estijaab! I thought her run in the Silver Slipper was absolutely outstanding. I think she is the real deal.

MJ: As do I and the only concern is how she comes off that very tough run against Sunlight. Let’s hope she didn’t break her heart that day. If not, she’ll win this well. Is there any case for Redzel getting beaten again? He was super in defeat last start.

RT: In a word – no. Redzel’s a machine. He will lead, or sit up on the speed, and just prove too good again.

MJ: I could go on forever about why I think Clearly Innocent is a special in the Canterbury Stakes, but I’ll let you explain who will win?

RT: With the cut in the ground, you could make a case for each of the nine runners, even the outsider Derryn, but I was really impressed by Showtime’s effort in the Futurity Stakes. He’s hit peak form now.

MJ: I’m concerned about Performer heading into the Todman Stakes but I’ve tipped him. I just want to see more of him before I think he’s a genuine Slipper chance. Are you backing him?

RT: I won’t be backing him tomorrow but I might in the Golden Slipper. He’s a racehorse.


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