WEDNESDAY’S Warwick Farm meeting will tell trainer Brad Widdup if he’s got at least two horses that could go on to bigger and better things at this year’s Sydney autumn carnival.
Widdup will give Schnapps his debut in the opening event on the card, a two-year-olds’ sprint over 1100m. And if comes out and runs a big race he will make a late charge towards the better juvenile races during the carnival. He’s had a couple of encouraging trials but does have to get the job done from barrier 11 with Christian Reith on board.
“He’s a good, natural two-year-old who seems to do everything right to be racing in this sort of race but he’s drawn awkward,” Widdup said.
“We’re getting right to the tough end of competition with the two-year-olds so we’ll see how he goes. He’ll be a nicer horse in six months’ time because he’s got ability. He’d have to do something outstanding to go to a Saturday race after this, but he’s trialled really well and will now have to aim up from a wide gate.”
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: ISAURIAN (Race 5, No. 7)
It should be good to see how well this horse returns and he looks to have class. Natural improvement off a break should see him hard to beat here.
NEXT BEST: SEMPER FIDELIS (Race 3, No. 5)
Now that she’s up to a mile, this is the day for Semper Fidelis to show her best and I’m expecting a big performance.
VALUE BET: CENTRO SUPERIOR (Race 7, No. 9)
His form isn’t as bad as it reads on paper and will get conditions to suit so he may be flying under the radar
Race 5: 2, 4, 7, Race 6: 2, 3, 5, Race 7: 2, 3, 7, 9, Race 8: 1, 10, 11
JOCKEY TO WATCH
Apprentice JEAN VAN OVERMEIRE has six rides and they all look to be placed well so he can continue his hot city form.
TRAINER TO WATCH
I think CHRIS WALLER can win at least two of the four races he has horses in.
SCROLL DOWN FOR MATTY’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
Widdup’s two leading chances to impress and go on to Group races are Workdrinks and Dancers. Workdrinks drops well back in class in a Benchmark 70 Handicap (1200m) after running sixth behind I Am Excited at Rosehill on February 24.
That was a much harder race and she finished third behind Torvill in the Listed Regional Allen Quality (1400m) a run before last preparation. Torvill has come out and run third to Alizee and second last weekend to Shoals in the Group 1 Surrounds Stakes.
“I think she’ll run very well and we’ll ride her a bit more positive than we did first-up. She’ll be better suited to that,” Widdup said. “If you look at her form around Torvill, she may have got beaten by her but she did have a tough run that day and was beaten less than a length.”
If Workdrinks does well on Wednesday she will head to The Championships for a race like the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m). But she has to beat stablemate Legadema who, despite not having as much natural ability, is fitter from two very nice runs back in this preparation and Widdup isn’t counting him out either.
“He’s carrying a bit of weight but it’s only over a short distance and he’s going really well this preparation,” he said. “It was a pretty strong race last start. Spending To Win has almost won $200,000.
“It will depend on what runs they get. If he gets a soft lead he’s going to be a hard horse to catch, but Workdrinks won’t be far off him and we’ve got the services of Hughie (Bowman).
“You’d probably have to side with Workdrinks but the other horse is in form as well.”
Dancers is Widdup’s other runner of the day in the final event, a Benchmark 78 Handicap (1300m), and she is nominated for races such as the ATC Oaks.
Widdup said she will be given her chance to prove she deserves a shot at Group company and she’s coming off an eye-catching third behind Oriental Runner at Canterbury.
Widdup just wants to see her hitting the line hard once again.
“If she finishes off like she did the other day we’ll aim higher at the fillies races over the carnival and I think she can do it because she’s a nice filly,” Widdup said. “I’ve given my fillies time to furnish into this time of the year when you can have a go at the better races.”
Widdup’s had a great first season as a trainer with 35 winners 147 starters and says today’s runners all have the ability to go to town on a Saturday.
“They’re nice horses to have on Wednesday. I haven’t got them in these races because I think they’re midweek horses. I’m just trying to get them to bigger races,” he said.
INSIDE MAIL with MATT JONES
RACE 1 (12.55pm)
1. Cyclonite had been racing OK in good company before he was given a kill at Newcastle last start and that confidence booster will help him a lot here. 2. Lilith looks good heading into this off a couple of good runs and a trial off a break. 8. Schnapps is out to impress on debut and the $460,000 Snitzel colt trialled well for this race and should be a contender. 12. Sangita raced OK as an early two-year-old and after a let-up and two trials we should see a better showing this time in. 11. I’m So Sweet is an improver as is 10. Glamour Cruise, who can win this.
BETTING STRATEGY: GLAMOUR CRUISE to win.
RACE 2 (1.35pm)
Expect 1. Legadema to take up the running and his chances will depend on whether or not he’s left alone to control the race. 2. Limbo Soul has sensational form but will still need to produce her best to win because 3. Workdrinks looks to be the real deal and will be breathing down the necks of the leaders. 5. Tarabai will enjoy getting out to 1200m and it might be the key to victory. 6. Boorooj showed promise last time in and the Snowdens will have her ready to fire off two lead-up trials.
BETTING STRATEGY: WORKDRINKS to win.
RACE 3 (2.15pm)
5. Semper Fidelis is ready to stake her claim and the 1600m will suit her, being by High Chaparral, so look for improvement. 2. Neruda is another who will show better form at this trip but will have to improve to win. 1. Smiling Manolito ran more than six lengths behind a smart pair last start so that form isn’t as bad as it reads. 6. Madame Markievicz is another who wants 1600m and her debut run was encouraging enough to give her a chance here.
BETTING STRATEGY: SEMPER FIDELIS to win.
RACE 4 (2.50pm)
2. Tangmere is on a ATC Derby path and will enjoy getting back on to a bigger track, so he will improve a few lengths off his last run at Canterbury when he finished off well against So You Win. 3. Danzie can be forgiven for going down as a $1.35 chance. He’ll enjoy a firmer track here. 4. Turnberry had a bit too much to do last start and can improve, but it’s worth noting that Tangmere did look stronger at the end of that race when he beat him home.
BETTING STRATEGY: DANZIE to win.
RACE 5 (3.25pm)
7. Isaurian looks the goods here. He impressed when winning on debut in the spring and has been saved for this time of the year, which is a good sign, and the well-bred colt will take some beating. 2. Brook Magic looks well placed here by Joe Pride and she races best at her home track. Any rain will help. 4. Rebel Miss is a first-up specialist having won three times fresh and at the track. 5. Goldfinch has the ability to figure in the finish but it will have to be a big run to win.
BETTING STRATEGY: ISAURIAN to win.
RACE 6 (4.05pm)
5. Tip Top is having some campaign this time in and can be relied upon to run a good race. He was unlucky behind Onslaught last time who has since won again. 2. Drochaid is having his first run in Australia for Godolphin and they have a good record of bringing horses here and doing well with them. 3. Star Of Mosoon has good form and should be right in the finish. 4. Ataraxia is racing as a gelding for the first time and has been given two quiet trials.
BETTING STRATEGY: STAR OF MONSOON to win.
RACE 7 (4.40pm)
2. Groundbreak has showed plenty of promise and will race well fresh. Brenton Avdulla jumps off last-start winner 3. Oriental Runner to ride the Team Hawkes horse. 7. Crafty Tycoon has form behind a handy one last time and should find this race a touch easier. 9. Centro Superior hasn’t finished better than fifth at three runs in but hasn’t been far off the winners either, and he gets out to his best distance and track.
BETTING STRATEGY: GROUNDBREAK to win.
RACE 8 (5.20pm)
11. Sexy Eyes looks well placed and going up to 1300m won’t hurt her chances after running well against some nice horses last start when he stormed home over 1100m. 1. Irithea was good last start when it looked like she might fade late but she dug deep and looked strong on the line, but so did 10. Dancers who is a real threat in this race and the stable expects her to be in the placings again. 3. Missile Coda has form that would suggest she’s going to race well in this event if she runs out the trip.
BETTING STRATEGY: SEXY EYES to win.