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THE Daily Telegraph’s racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy analyse the big races at Royal Randwick and Flemington on Saturday.

SUGGESTED BETS

DUFF’S BEST RAY’S BEST
Race 4, No. 2 PERFORMER Race 9, No.8 ALWARD
NEXT BEST NEXT BEST
Race 1, No.9 SHAGRA Race 8, No.9 SUGAR BELLA

ROYAL RANDWICK

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

Thomas: I’m leaning towards Nettoyer. She ran a very good race in the Guy Walter Stakes, she is third-up here and getting to the Randwick mile on a track which has some give in it. The race sets up nicely for her. The Pinnacle is also fitter after two runs from a spell, Karavali is a smart mare and Perfect Rhyme can run a race at odds.

Dufficy: Tricky start to the day. I like one at massive odds here in Shagra, the Victorian visitor. The TAB went up at massive odds of $41 but she is into $16 now. She comes out of a strong form race with Rimraam and Bring Me Roses, I like David Brideoake when he travels his horses to Sydney, and third-up at a mile she might shock a few of our mares. I concede Nettoyer is a danger. She is lightly raced but very talented and was fantastic last week. The Pinnacle is at her peak now and Karavali is suited second-up at a mile.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Nettoyer $4-$3.40- $3.50 ($667 @ $4, $371 @ $3.70, $500 @ $3.50, $200 @ $3.30), Shagra $41-$16

TOP TIPS: WEEKEND BEST BETS

RACE WATCH: DAVO’S TIPS FOR RANDWICK

CUMMINGS’ STARS READY TO RUMBLE

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

Thomas: I Am Excited was terrific first-up when she came from off speed and unleashed late. She is a filly who has always shown ability and looks to have come back in great order. Houtzen is the class runner and obvious threat. She has trialled well and we know she is a brilliant filly. Jorda found form late in her preparation last spring and Za Zi Ba is fit and racing well.

Dufficy: I’m with I Am Excited as well. She was very good coming from the back last start, running good sectionals. She has race fitness on her side now and will be hard to beat. Jorda could be the danger. She resumed off a big spring win and I like the way she savaged the line in a recent. No knock on Houtzen, I concede she is very likeable except the price. Perast is a talented colt who might slip under everyone’s guard here.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Houtzen $2.50-$2.40-$2.50 ($1,000 @ $2.50, $500 @ $2.50, $300 @ $2.50), I Am Excited $4-$4.60-$3.60 ($278 @ $4.60, $313 @ $4.20, $570 @ $3.80), Shudabeen $81-$51

media_cameraI Am Excited has been well backed to beat Houtzen in the Fireball Stakes. Picture: AAP

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

Thomas: Estijaab was outstanding in the Silver Slipper when just beaten by Sunlight. Estijaab was taken on in front that day but found plenty when challenged by Sunlight and they put seven lengths on the third placegetter Gongs. Estijaab is very short but should win comfortably and make a statement ahead of the Golden Slipper in two weeks. Gongs will improve here but I can’t see her making up seven lengths. Pure Elation has always been held in high regard by the Snowden stable so I’m giving her a chance and I respect Outback Barbie, she is a very smart Queensland filly.

Dufficy: I can’t get away from Estijaab. She was gallant in defeat after being softened up in the Silver Slipper. She is set to stamp herself a real Golden Slipper chance here. All she has to do is recover from that tough run last start. Outback Barbie is likeable. She has had 56 days since her Magic Millions placing and that form has been franked through Sunlight. She was brilliant in a recent trial in fast time so I am not selling her short. I agree with Pure Elation and the fact they are happy to train on with her is a good sign. Gongs is a nice filly but has too much ground to make up on Estijaab.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Outback Barbie $7.50-$6.50, Estijaab $1.35 unchanged ($800 @ $1.35, $750 @ $1.35)

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

Thomas: I know you have been on his bandwagon since day one but I think Performer is the real deal. He might have only scrambled home in the Canonbury Stakes but that was five weeks ago and was nowhere near peak fitness. He has had a trial in between and, with the Golden Slipper two weeks away, he will be pretty close to the mark. Performer to stay unbeaten. Ef Troop is very fast and will give Performer something to chase. Exceltic will get back but be running on strongly and Legend Of Condor was much better last week.

Dufficy: It is a hard race to assess because nine of these runners are in the Black Opal. I love this colt, Performer. He will enjoy getting out to 1200m here and I expect he will finish right over the top of them. I’m a big wrap for Aylmerton. What I have seen of him is all quality and he can run a place here, or be hard to beat in the Black Opal. Ef Troop went out far too hard in the Magic Millions but he is a very good two-year-old. Plague Stone had his excuses in the Blue Diamond and he can run well here.

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

media_cameraBoo Bailey’s cartoon tip at Randwick.

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

Thomas: Redzel is the one to beat. He was only collared right on the line in the Lightning Stakes and will have derived improvement from that first-up run. He has good second-up statistics, is very good at Randwick, handles all track conditions — he should just win. Viridine is a very promising colt and there is a good vibe from Godolphin about how he is coming up for autumn. English is going for a third consecutive Challenge Stakes and is a top quality mare. Terravista can run well today.’

Dufficy: Redzel is our best sprinter and although beaten first-up, he is set to make amends here around the bend and on his home track. If there is a danger it is Viridine. He has had a trial and jumpout at home and you are right, Ray, there are very positive vibes coming out of Godolphin about this colt. I think English is better in autumn than spring so there are good signs she can sprint well fresh. With pressure upfront don’t be surprised to see Terravista finish hard from back in the field.

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)

Thomas: This is a terrific race and with the likelihood of the track being in the soft range, it brings all nine runners into play, even rank outsider Derryn. I like Showtime at the odds. He ran a super race in the Futurity Stakes, fighting back hard when challenged by two very good horses in Brave Smash and Tosen Stardom. He will be up on speed again here and give a great sight. Happy Clapper is all class and sprints well fresh, Global Glamour is improving with racing and is ready to win, while Clearly Innocent will be finishing fast.

Dufficy: Wide race, anything can happen. I would be surprised if Clearly Innocent doesn’t go close. He has good second-up statistics, the sting out of the ground suits and he will be hard to hold out. Happy Clapper won the Tramway Handicap first-up at this track last preparation, albeit at 1400m and this race is only 1300m. Global Glamour was very good in the Apollo Stakes when she was caught on the wrong part of the track and the blinkers go back on here. Endless Drama was tough winning the Apollo but coming back slightly in distance is the query.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Clearly Innocent $4.60-$4.80- $5-$4.60 ($495 @ $5, $250 @ $4.80, $200 @ $4.80, $200 @ $4.60), Invincible Gem $8-$7 ($200 @ $7), Global Glamour $6-$5.50, Tulip $13-$11

Track update

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

Thomas: This is the race of the day. Kementari was ridden upside down from a wide barrier at Rosehill and he was still too good for his Hobartville Stakes rivals. The key here is his soft barrier — from the four gate he can get the run of the race and with his superior turn of foot, he should claim his first Group 1 win. Pierata was very good taking ground off Kementari late in the Hobartville and he is suited getting to 1600m. Kaonic is a horse at odds I will be throwing into my multiples. He is suited getting out to the mile and will enjoy Randwick. D’Argento hit the line strongly in the Hobartville, producing the best closing sectionals and he should run well again.

Dufficy: A great race. I agree with you the barrier is the key for Kementari. He is going to get the right ride and his acceleration gives him the advantage. He will be in the first six here and then when they sprint, he is the one they have to run down. D’Argento has been tuned up very nicely for this race and his Hobartville effort was very good. Pierata will improve off his last-start run and I am not underestimating Ace High. He will settle on top of the speed here and will be competitive. There is a good tip for Peaceful State, too.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Kementari $2.50-$2.80- $2.60 ($1,000 @ $2.80, $1,000 @ $2.60, $853 @ $2.60, $500 @ $2.60 MULTIPLE TIMES, $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)

Thomas: I really like Sugar Bella. She has won five of her six starts and raced her way through the grades over summer. She has had a freshen-up going into this race but looked sharp in a strong Gosford barrier trial 10 days ago. Perizada is an underrated mare who keeps winning, Ravi is a talented mare but she has to concede the emerging Sugar Bella 6kg. Imposing Lass always races well fresh.

Dufficy: This is a competitive race. I don’t think the handicapper has got Perizada yet. She has won both starts this preparation and last spring she ran second to Ravi when there was only a 1kg between them but here Ravi has to give her 5.5kg. I have to go Perizada’s way with the fitness edge. Sugar Bella is a good mare who will be very competitive. Slow Burn has Tim Clark’s seal of approval as he is riding her after winning on Perizada last start.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Perizada $6-$6.50- $7 ($1,000 e/w @ $6.50/$2.35), My Country $11-$16, Sugar Bella $8-$4- $3.10 ($350 @ $7, $400 x $200 e/w @ $7/$2.50, $200 @ $6, $500 @ $4.60, $250 @ $4.60, $300 @ $4.40, $250 @ $4.40, $350 @ $4, $200 @ $4 TWICE, $447 @ $3.80, $385 @ $3.60, $400 @ $3.50, $417 @ $3.40, $500 @ $3.30, $750 @ $3.20, $400 @ $3.20)

media_cameraSugar Bella ridden by Aaron Bullock wins race 8 at Royal Randwick in Sydney. Pic Jenny Evans

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

Thomas: Alward couldn’t a run at all when resuming at Rosehill for a luckless third to Cellarman. He should have won that race and has clearly come back in great order. I like him a lot second-up and at 2000m. Emperor’s Way has been great all preparation, he is very genuine and gets his chance at stakes level. Auvray will improve after two runs from a spell.

Dufficy: Another tricky race with eight of these also in the Canberra Cup. I’m with Alward as well. He was unlucky first-up, he looks to have returned well and he is carrying more weight than when he was last in work so a lot of positive sighs. I’m very wary of Patrick Erin as some of his New Zealand form is very good. Singing had to go back to the trials after having cardia arrhythmia last start and I was very impressed with his trial effort, he looked sharp.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Alward $7-$4.20 ($400 @ $6, $250 @ $5, $595 @ $4.60, $300 @ $4.60 THREE TIMES, $500 @ $4.20, $300 @ $4.20), Emperor’s Way $4.60-$5.50

FLEMINGTON

R6 (3.15pm): NEWMARKET HCP (1200m)

Thomas: Merchant Navy is the one to beat. He won the Coolmore Stud Stakes up the straight last spring, his first-up run was a beauty, he has always had a boom on him and he gets 5.5kg off Redkirk Warrior. Merchant Navy to beat the straight course specialist Redkirk Warrior who comes off his Group 1 Lightning win over Redzel, which is super form. Catchy can improve and Brave Smash is very fit now and in the zone.

Dufficy: I like Rich Charm. He has only 52.5kg on his back and won’t know himself. He is unbeaten over this course and distance in two previous attempts, he was luckless first-up and is here to run well. Merchant Navy is untapped, he was good first-up and this is his more his go racing down the Flemington straight. I do respect Redkirk Warrior, who is in great form, and Rock Magic is an each-way chance.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Redkirk Warrior $7.50-$6.50 ($500 e/w @ $6.50/$2.45, $220 @ $6.50 THREE TIMES), Brave Smash $9-$7.50, Rich Charm $7-$7.50- $7 ($200 @ $7.50 THREE TIMES, $300 @ $7), Merchant Navy $4.40-$4.80 ($1,000 @ $5, $500 @ $5 TWICE, $200 @ $5 TWICE, $2,000 @ $4.60)

R8 (4.35pm): AUSTRALIAN CUP (2000m)

Thomas: I watched Hartnell work with Kementari at Osborne Park on Tuesday morning and both horses went super. Trainer James Cummings pointed out that Hartnell has taken a lot of improvement out of his Peter Young Stakes third placing, he gets to Flemington and 2000m where he always races very well. Gailo Chop is racing in great form and will be hard to beat. Single Gaze doesn’t know how to run a bad race and we know how well Almandin races at Flemington.

Dufficy: I like Almandin. He is a top-class stayer, kept nice and fresh for this and his Flemington record is second-to-none. I think he can perform on the big stage here. I’m respecting Single Gaze. She is racing so well and will tough this race right out. Hartnell could easily bounce back third-up here and I have a very close eye on the Japanese horse Ambitious.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Almandin $6-$5.50 ($500 e/w @ $6/$2.10, $400 @ $6, $2,000 @ $5.50), Gailo Chop $2.70-$2.80- $3.20 ($500 @ $2.80, $300 @ $2.80, $200 @ $2.80), Single Gaze $9-$8 ($1,000 @ $9, $2,500 x $1,500 e/w @ $8.50/$2.65, $500 @ $8.50)

TAB MArket Update Randwick Guineas

TAB MArket Update Randwick Guineas

SATURDAY EXTRA

SHAYNE O’CASS’ BEST BETS

HAWKESBURY

BEST BET: VAISHALI (Race 1, No. 4)

A daughter of Sepoy out of the bonny mare Republic Lass whose foals include South African G1 winner, The Conglomerate. Vaishali is a Chris Waller-trained, Chad Lever-ridden, 3YO who was very good at Kembla before a spell and trialled super on February 15.

NEXT BEST: BALTIC SUCCESS (Race 4, No. 3)

Is another one that avid trial watchers will have been waiting for. This Bjorn Baker-trained son of Exceed And Excel won heats at Kembla and Gosford last month in the style that would win most midweekers in town.

VALUE: LADY ELIZABETH (Race 5, No. 9)

Is from the prolific Jason Coyle stable. This typical Magic Albert mare gets back but has a powerful finish. This circuit should really play to her strengths.

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW

NOEL CALLOW has a wonderful book of rides at the Qualifier meeting, including Japanese import Hallelujah Boy in the main event.

QUADDIE

Race 5: 1,8,9, Race 6: 2,5,13, Race 7: 1,2,3,5, Race 8: 1,4,11

COROWA

BEST BET: BEZAZZALLED (Race 5, No. 1)

Trialled very well before his distant sixth of 14 at Albury on debut. The key is the step to 1300m, the 1175m just wasn’t his ‘go’ first time out.

NEXT BEST: SKIING GIRL (Race 3, No. 9)

Four-year-old mare having her first run. If she runs up to her trial at Albury last month, she’ll be in a C1 next start!

TUNCURRY

BEST BET: BOLWARRA BEN (Race 2, No. 4)

Ran a huge race at Tuncurry three starts back. Will be giving away a decent sized start again but he always finds the line.

NEXT BEST: BANGALLEY LAD (Race 3, No. 1)

Made up a considerable amount of ground at Taree at start two of his career. He goes out to 1400m here.

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