NEWCASTLE trainer Ben Smith will be chasing his second upset win in Sydney in less than a week when Anecdote races at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
The seven-year-old will race in a Benchmark 80 Handicap (1100m) and is set to be sent out at least a $20 chance. But that’s nothing for Smith, who won the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick last Saturday with $105 chance El Dorado Dreaming.
ANALYSIS: QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES PREVIEW
Anecdote may have finished 10th of 13 last start at Newcastle and is now stepping up in grade, but Smith has one of the best strike rates of any trainer in NSW and knows his horse will be an improver on Wednesday.
“He’ll run really well and he’ll surprise people at 25/1 because he’ll put in a much-improved effort from his first-up run,” Smith said. “He’s never been very effective first-up but he turns the corner second-up and he’s really trained on since that last run.
MATT JONES’S BEST BETS
BEST BET: PEACOCK (Race 7, No.2)
He drops in grade but rises in weight and has drawn wide, which might get his price out a bit. He’s got a top jockey on and, if he jumps well, he can lead and control the race.
NEXT BEST: YULONG XINGSHENG (Race 8, No.1)
She drops back from a Group 1 race and despite getting the topweight she has a very good apprentice on board for some weight relief. She was good against the Group 1 horses too last start.
VALUE BET: ANECDOTE (Race 6, No.1)
He will be a big improver second-up and his last run can be forgotten. His trainer knows how to place his horses to win and the stable is flying of late.
Race 5: 2, 5, 9, Race 6: 1, 3, 4, Race 7: 1, 2, 3, Race 8: 1, 11
TRAINER TO WATCH
JAMES CUMMINGS has a good team headed to the races and he’s got a knack of getting a few over the line at these midweek Warwick Farm meetings.
JOCKEY TO WATCH
After a trip to Dubai, apprentice JEAN VEN OVERMEIRE returns to have a couple of winning chances on Wednesday.
SCROLL DOWN FOR SHAYNE O’CASS’S EXTENDED PREVIEW & TIPS
“The 1100m will suit him a lot more than 900m of last start where he had a lot of weight and was caught wide and just knocked up a little bit. He got to the line solid enough last time but we had no expectations of him winning that day but he’ll be better this time.”
Anecdote will come out of gate 10 with Corey Brown on board. The seven-year-old is looking for his ninth win at start 33 in the Benchmark 80 race over 1100m.
He finished off his last campaign with a victory in the Spring Cup at Tamworth and Smith can’t fault his preparation ahead of Wednesday’s task.
“He had a nice, solid hitout on Saturday morning where he worked super and on Monday morning he did a bit of three-quarter work, so he’s ready to go,” he said.
“It’s not beyond him. We’re happy with him and I’m just trying to place him where he can be competitive and he will be in this race.”
Smith was still considering whether or not he would run Golly Miss Solly in the last race of the day. She’s a half-sister to Sires’ Produce winner El Dorado Dreaming and is first-up shooting for four-straight wins.
“It’s another step up but hopefully she’s come back better,” he said.
Smith admitted he was “still having nightmares” about his star mare In Her Time’s luckless third placing in last week’s TJ Smith Stakes and will now take her to Brisbane for a run in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and possibly the Stradbroke Handicap.
But the main goal is the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick in the spring. “Hopefully we can gain a spot in The Everest,” Smith said. “It’s out of my hands now. It’s up to the owners and slot holders to sort a deal out. I’ve just got to keep preparing her for each run. I’m thrilled that she’s being spoken about and right in the mix this far out from the race.
“Last year we were flying under the radar, but it’d be different now.”
El Dorado Dreaming will back up from her Sires’ Prodeuce win and race in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) next week at Randwick.
“As long as she keeps doing well and her blood work and trackwork is still good, we’ll go there,” smith said. “With the way she’s pulled up, I’d say she’ll go around.”
INSIDE MAIL WITH SHAYNE O’CASS
RACE 1 (12.50pm)
Chris Waller and Qatar Bloodstock (the Zoustar link) have two nice colts by that stallion up against each other. 3. Charge and 1. Altair were sold at the same Magic Millions sale for $450,000 and $510,000 respectively. Charge has trialled super and could be a force in the Brisbane winter, while Altair had bad luck from his inside draw on debut here. Drawing barrier one is a worry. 4. Gem Song impressed winning a trial at Wyong.
BETTING STRATEGY: CHARGE to win; Quinella Nos. 1, 3.
RACE 2 (1.25pm)
4. Omineca is another Waller/Qatar Bloodstock horse in action on Wednesday. He was $17 into $12 on debut at Newcastle on March 1, when he raced handily and held his ground for third behind Sondelon and Gresham in a deep provincial maiden. He has trialled OK since and up to the mile suits him. Stablemate 6. Semper Fidelis has placed in three from five and 1. Singa Glory will be prominent from the outset.
BETTING STRATEGY: OMINECA to win.
RACE 3 (2pm)
6. Animalia had excuses at Kembla. He had to go back then took off early and was wide with a big weight. Look to his fourth to Main Stage in a Listed race at Flemington on October 7 and his fifth in the Geelong Classic. Third-up and ready to peak. 1. Higher Ground has only missed a place once in six starts and that was a fourth in a good race at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day. 9. Excelsior was beaten a mere 2.9 lengths in the Provincial Championship Qualifier at Wyong three runs back.
BETTING STRATEGY: ANIMALIA to win; Duet Nos. 6, 9.
RACE 4 (2.35pm)
8. Destiny’s Hero came from last of 14 runners for a 1.2-length second to the smart Schubert in a 1300m at Hawkesbury first-up. He’s at home but the inside draw may be against him because he needs a clear run at them. 1. Toga Picta has raced in Group races, which shows how highly Godolphin rates him. Blinkers first time. 12. Sasuba will be getting home hard.
BETTING STRATEGY: DESTINY’S HERO each way; SASUBA place.
RACE 5 (3.10pm)
6. Braces was $51 into $34 in early TAB Fixed Odds betting, and the locally-trained gelding is over the right sort of trip first-up. But he needs good luck and good rides. 5. Art Of Excellence went up at $6 but is entitled to be favourite given his form and first-up run. 4. Spirit And Fire has claims.
BETTING STRATEGY: BRACES each way; SPIRIT AND FIRE each way.
RACE 6 (3.45pm)
Trainer Ben Smith is coming off a Group 1 win in the Sires’ with a $105 shot, and he can cause another boilover with 1. Anecdote at $26. This former Warwick Farm-trained son of Lonhro trialled well before his unlucky first-up run at Newcastle. Corey Brown is in the saddle here. 3. Marsupial is a deserved favourite if even money is your thing. 4. After All That brings Robert Thompson to town.
BETTING STRATEGY: ANECDOTE each way; Quinella Nos. 1, 3; Box trifecta Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6, 10.
RACE 7 (4.20pm)
6. Philosophy has compelling numbers: five wins from nine starts; two from three here; two from three first-up. She might have run 10th of 10 in the second of two trials but she just went around for a stroll. 12. Mariquita is a Saturday-class mare who just needs a good tempo and clear running from the 400m. Well weighted (53kg) for a mare of her quality. 2. Peacock and 8. Arancini are in the mix.
BETTING STRATEGY: PHILOSOPHY to win.
RACE 8 (4.55pm)
An open race with an opportunity to back two first-uppers at double-figure odds, namely 10. Can Dream and 8. Golly Miss Solly, who has won three of her five starts and has trialled well. Similar story for top pick Can Dream, who will look to race handily from the middle draw. 5. Resin, going for three in a row, has to be respected.
BETTING STRATEGY: CAN DREAM each way; GOLLY MISS SOLLY each way; Duet Nos. 8, 10.