The Saturday Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central form expert Ron Dufficy analyse all the big-race chances on Day One of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!
Race 6, No.1: ANAMOE
Race 9, No.1: MUGATOO
Race 2, No.4 THE IRISHMAN
Race 6, No.1 ANAMOE
R1: WIDDEN KINDERGARTEN STAKES (1100M)
Ron Dufficy: I’m a huge fan of Vandoula Lass. She impressed on debut in Melbourne and then was spelled after her defeat at Randwick. I couldn’t find any trial or jumpout, which is unusual for the stable, but it makes me think she is going well. Subterranean looks a nice horse. He had good form in Queensland late last year and has had a nice soft trial leading into this race. King Of Sparta has run in all the right lead-up races to perform well. Bahama is having her first start but she looked the part in a synthetic track trial where she was hard held and moving really well.
Ray Thomas:King Of Sparta has been freshened since his solid effort when fourth in the Silver Slipper. He looked to trial really well inside Billiondollarbaby the other day and that filly won nicely on debut at the midweek. Vandoula Lass is a very talented filly and will make a race of it with King Of Sparta. I also thought Bahama looked to trial really well and Paulele has been freshened so expect an improved run.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 2. Subterranean $8-$9 ($500 @ $8.50, $400 e/w @ $8.50/$2.80), 11. Bahama $8-$6.50-$6 ($1,000 @ $7.50)
R2: CARBINE CLUB STAKES (1600M)
Dufficy: I’m leaning to The Irishman as the form out of the Phar Lap Stakes when he ran second has been franked. He will be wound up as he is off to Hong Kong after this race. The soft track seems okay for him, too. The big improver is Poland. He went out a touch too keenly in the Phar Lap Stakes when first-up for five weeks. He’ shad a nice tick-over trial since and will strip fitter. Wheelhouse is an underrated horse who toughed it out really well in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas. The best of the rest is Kiku, an improving filly who has been dominant in her two runs back.
Thomas:The Irishman does look hard to beat. He beat older horses first-up at the midweeks then beat all but Hungry Heart in the Phar Lap Stakes. Hungry Heart then won at Group 1 level last start. The Irishman is drawn to get all the favours. Wheelhouse is an emergency for the Doncaster but if he runs here he rates as the main danger. High Supremacy is a promising horse and is primed now after two runs from a spell. Kiku is in very good form.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 2. Wheelhouse $4.60-$4.20-$4.60-$4.40 ($750 @ $4.60, $500 @ $4.40, $400 @ $4.40), 4. The Irishman $2.90-$2.70-$2.80 ($550 @ $2.80), 8. High Supremacy $8.50-$7.50 ($500 @ $8.50, $500 @ $8, $500 @ $7.50), 12. Kiku $8.50-$6.50-$4.80 ($1,000 e/w @ $6.50/$2.10, $2,000 @ $5.50)
R3: COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL (1400M)
Dufficy:Art Cadeau is so genuine he has to be top pick. He never runs a bad race and is yet to finish further back than second in 10 starts which says it all. Another One is the danger. He has had an easy trial win since Wagga and he’s a talented three-year-old with plenty of upside. Rothenburg is a tough customer who is never far away and he has form around Art Cadeaux. There is not much speed in this race so he could take up a position here. Charmmebaby won easily at Scone but I was even more taken by her run behind Yao Dash last start and that is very good form for this race.
Thomas:Art Cadeau hasn’t raced for two months since winning his heat at Goulburn but the horse is in very good hands with trainer Terry Robinson and he will be ready to run up to his best here. If that is the case, from his good draw and with even luck in running, he is the one they have to beat. Healing Hands was coming off a long break when he closed late for third in the Mudgee heat and he is a very good each way chance. Rothenburg is very consistent and Activation will be finishing strongly.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 3. Art Cadeau $3-$2.60-$2.80 ($500 @ $3), 7. Baileys $11-$12-$10 ($500 e/w @ $12/$3), 13. Charmmebaby $51-$26
Art Cadeau looks hard to beat in the Country Championship Final. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph
R4: ADRIAN KNOX STAKES (2000M)
Dufficy: I’ve been waiting for Flexible to hit 2000m and she has drawn to get the right run. I don’t think she will be far away from winning this race. It’s hard to believe Salto Angel is still a maiden after nine starts. She was the runner-up in the VRC Oaks last spring and is setting up quite well to peak again this autumn. Chequerboard appears a genuine filly, winning the Tasmanian Oaks and has had a solid trial between runs. Land Ahoy is a promising staying prospect with successive wins at a mile and she will be strong late.
Thomas:Land Ahoy is racing in top form and is crying out for this trip. She’s a promising staying filly and I’m leaning her way over Flexible who should also run the 2000m right out. Seduction Queen got tired and ran about a little near the line last start and probably should have won. She’s a chance here at big odds. Duais is an improving filly with claims.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 3. Flexible $4.80-$4.60 ($700 @ $4.80), 5. Duais $11-$6.50-$4.80 ($500 @ $11, $350 @ $7.50, $1,000 @ $6)
R5: CHAIRMAN’S QUALITY (2600M)
Dufficy: This is an impossible race. I quite like the timing of Selino who I think is on target to run well in the Sydney Cup next week. There was noticeable improvement from him in the Manion Cup last start and gets to 2600m on Saturday which gives him a good opportunity with 53kg. Collide is a nice horse and I loved his first-up run but he disappointed last start. I can’t let him get under my guard as he is better than that. Paths Of Glory was a hidden run last week. He had the best last 200m of the day in a walking race where he had no hope out the back. Concert Hall is an interesting Kiwi mare who won a Group 1 at the end of her last preparation, she has won up to 2300m so she could be dangerous.
Thomas:Sacramento is as tough as they come, stays all day, is racing in great form, handles rain-affected tracks – he ticks all the boxes. He’s deep into his preparation but is racing very consistently. Dadoozdart can mix his form but he’s a strong stayer suited by the soft track. Quick Thinker won the Derby on a wet track last year and he has been improved by recent racing. Rondinella didn’t have much luck last start and in an open race, she’s an each-way chance.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 12. Paths Of Glory $15-$13-$12
R6: INGLIS SIRES (1400M)
Dufficy: I feel Anamoe is the best bet of the day. He was enormous from a wide draw in the Golden Slipper, we all know that, and he only has to take up some position from that barrier and hold his form to win. Tiger Of Malay has had a month between runs and a good trial hitout in between since his gallant defeat in the Pago Pago. He just needs a touch of luck from his draw to find a position early. Four Moves Ahead is a good filly who had an interrupted run into the Golden Slipper. She maps well and should run boldly. Lightsaber has had five weeks between runs since beating Saif in the VRC Sires and that form reads well now. All the other form around him is good and he is the one who can put himself on speed.
Thomas: It’s hard to tip against Anamoe. He has been great without much luck in the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper and gets his chance to win a Group 1 here. Hilal and Tiger Of Malay are fresh horses on the scene and both appear certain to run a strong 1400m. Four Moves Ahead ran gamely in the Golden Slipper and gets the run of the race from her inside barrier. I’m not ruling out Captivant, either. He is another suited over this trip.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 1. Anamoe $2.30-$2.40-$2.20-$1.90 ($500 @ $2.40, $1,500 @ $2.30, $500 @ $2.30, $799 @ $2.25, $1,000 @ $2.20, $915 @ $2.20, $800 @ $2.20, $500 @ $2.20 TWICE), 3. Lightsaber $11-$9-$9.50 ($2,500 @ $9.50, $500 @ $9.50 TWICE, $250 e/w @ $9/$2.40), 8. Four Moves Ahead $6-$5-$5.50 ($400 @ $5.50, $500 @ $5)
Sky Lab is Ron Dufficy’s top pick for the Australian Derby. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph
R7: ATC AUSTRALIAN DERBY (2400M)
Dufficy: I’m sticking with Sky Lab. He was very good making a long, sustained run in the Rosehill Guineas. He has looked a Derby type all the way through and he should be hard to beat. I’m very wary of Montefilia. She has had a light preparation coming into this but she is ready to go judging on her last start effort. Khoekhoe was very good riding the speed in the Rosehill Guineas where he just wasn’t seasoned enough second-up. I suspect he is a real improver. Lion’s Roar was tightened for room in the straight the other day and never really got balanced up. He is back at Randwick which will suit him.
Thomas: I’ve gone the other way, Ronnie, with Montefilia to beat Sky Lab. They ran the placings in the Rosehill Guineas two weeks ago and both should run the 2400m right out. Fillies don’t have a great record in the Derby but Montefilia has beaten the boys before in the Spring Champion Stakes and can do it again. Sky Lab is tough and genuine, probably settles in a forward position and he is always strong through the line. Lion’s Roar didn’t have much luck in the Rosehill Guineas and will enjoy getting back to Randwick. Yaletown is the likely leader, continues to improve with racing and earned his chance on Saturday with a tough win in the Tulloch Stakes.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 1. Lion’s Roar $9-$10-$9.50-$8.50 ($500 @ $10 TWICE, $500 @ $9), 3. Sky Lab $5 unchanged ($1,000 @ $5, $500 @ $5 TWICE), 8. Khoekhoe $11-$10, 10. Explosive Jack $34-$19 ($500 e/w @ $34/$8, $500 @ $21), 16. Montefilia $3.50-$3.60-$3.70
R8: TJ SMITH STAKES (1200M)
Dufficy: I don’t know where to go here. I’ve ended up wanting to give Bivouac another chance. He has had an easy trial since racing too keenly without cover in the Canterbury Stakes. He has drawn an inside barrier and that makes me put him on top. Nature Strip has also had a trial since his last run when he was edged out in record time. The softer track and better draw appeals. Eduardo is airborne this autumn and would have been top pick if he had an inside draw but with Nature Strip inside him I’m a little concerned. Masked Crusader has come back a much more mature and stronger horse who could go right on with it now.
Thomas: What a race. I know the big three have dominated the pre-race hype but I think Masked Crusader is right in the contest. His win in the William Reid Stakes was exceptional, he will be stalking the leaders into the straight and he will find the line. Eduardo is in career-best form and despite his awkward draw, he has the tactical speed to get into the right position early. Nature Strip is favoured by the draw and will be the one to catch. The stable confidence around Bivouac can’t be ignored and on his day, he is very capable of winning this race.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 1. Bivouac $6-$4.80-$4 ($500 e/w @ $6/$2.10, $400 x $500 e/w @ $6/$2.10, $1,500 x $2,000 e/w @ $5.50/$2, $500 @ $5, $1,200 @ $4.80, $1,000 @ $4.40, $500 @ $4.40), 2. Nature Strip $3.60-$3.90 ($500 @ $3.80, $500 @ $3.70, $1,000 @ $3.50), 3. Eduardo $4.60-$4.80-$4.40 ($500 @ $4.80, $600 e/w @ $4.60/$1.85, $500 @ $4.40), 11. September Run $15-$12-$11 ($500 @ $15 TWICE)
The Kris Lees-trained Mugatoo is shooting his first Group 1 in the time-honoured Doncaster Mile. Photo: Brett Holburt/Racing Photos via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
R9: DONCASTER MILE (1600M)
Dufficy:Mugatoo is the one to beat. He is a class horse and was a brilliant winner of the All Star Mile last start. The soft track is beautiful for him — just give him clear running and I think he will win. Aegon disappointed last start but I’m prepared to forgive him for that loss and judge him on his Hobartville Stakes win. He gets back on to a soft track, he has been freshened for this race, he has 53kg, and is good odds so there is a lot to like about him. I’m not ruling out Avilius. He may not have won for a long time but he is racing really well and is right in this race. The best longshot by far is Dalasan. I was taken by the way he paraded last start with improvement to come. He will enjoy the Randwick mile and soft track.
Thomas:Mugatoo has topweight of 56kg but I don’t think he is badly weighted given his outstanding win in the All Star Mile. Mugatoo is blessed with brilliant acceleration, he has drawn well and enjoys soft track conditions. He’s the horse to beat in the Doncaster. Think It Over is racing in top form and has beaten the handicapper. He won the George Ryder Stakes last start and drops 6.5kg on Saturday. He has to be in the mix. Mo’unga is a tough colt and comes off his Rosehill Guineas win into a Doncaster with only 49kg. He’s drawn off the track so will need a touch of luck. Avilius is also well weighted given his record, he’s racing well and the race set up suits him.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 1. Mugatoo $4.50-$4-$4.20-$4 ($9,900 @ $4.50, $1,000 e/w @ $4.20/$1.95, $1,220 @ $4, $1,000 @ $4, $500 @ $4 TWICE), 2. Avilius $13-$14-$12 ($1,072 x $3,450 e/w @ $14/$4.40, $600 @ $13, $500 e/w @ $13/$4.20, $1,000 x $500 e/w @ $12/$3.90, $500 e/w @ $12/$3.90), 9. Aegon $14-$12 ($500 e/w @ $14/$4.40, $800 @ $13, $400 e/w @ $13/$4.20), 10. Cascadian $21-$16-$14 ($2,500 x $500 e/w @ $17/$5, $400 x $100 e/w @ $16/$4.80), 20. Forbidden Love $17-$18 ($400 x $100 e/w @ $17/$5), 21. Icebath $34-$21
R10: PJ BELL STAKES (1200M)
Dufficy: I’m going with the proven filly Macroura. She is very genuine, maps perfectly, ticks every possible box as far as track conditions, where she is in the run and distance. She has to be top pick. Marboosha is a very similar type of filly but she hasn’t ticked the 1200m box yet which is the only concern. If I’m thinking they are the two good hopes then Supreme Idea must go in as she has form around both those fillies at her past two starts. Perfect Radiance is having her first run for trainer Joe Pride but she has had a good grounding with three trials and should run well.
Thomas: This race often throws up an upset result and I am going wide here with Tudor Music. She is eligible for much easier races and has to prove she can run a strong 1200m but she is an emerging filly and her trial effort alongside Nature Strip was good. She handles soft tracks, drawn well and I feel she is way over the odds at $71. Never Talk will be charging home and Najmaty is fitter now and ready to win. Marboosha and Macroura are the ones to beat.
TAB MARKET MOVES: 6. Never Talk $8-$4.60-$3.90 ($250 e/w @ $8/$2.80, $2,000 e/w @ $6.50/$2.50, $1,000 e/w @ $6/$2.30, $400 @ $5, $300 e/w @ $4.60/$1.95), 13. Perfect Radiance $26-$13 ($200 x $300 e/w @ $21/$6, $400 @ $19)
SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS
Race 4 No. 7: PRETTY ELSA
Trialling like a bomb before her disappointing debut but to be fair, it was a Heavy 8 and she may have been in the worse going. Loaded with talent.
Race 3 No. 4: GRACE AND HARMONY
Did more than enough in her brief first campaign to suggest she has a future well beyond provincial grade. The 1400m suits first-up.
Race 6 No. 9: TROPHIES GALORE
Only beaten six lengths in the Newmarket here and was quite good in the Wayne Harris after that despite what the form guide says.
Race 5: 5,9,12
Race 6: 1,8,9
Race 7: 7,8,9,12
Race 8: 2,5,11
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Lee Magorrian has seven rides in eight races today; the three for Chris Waller are all winning chances.
Race 1 No. 3: MICK’S REGRET
Bruce McHugh-bred, Sue Grills-trained gelding who has only won 1 from 26 but went very close indeed in a better race than this last start.
Race 2 No. 4: NEVERCAN
Sur Grills (again) here with this son of Sebring whose best would see him go close. Should eat up the 1400m.
Race 4 No. 2: BENTLEY BOY
Was $3.50 to $5 on debut and was never really a factor but then again, he trialled on a Good 4 and strikes a Heavy 8 first time to the races.
Race 2 No. 4: RAMSEY’S LAW
Ross Stitt trained gelding who hasn’t done much wrong in his seven starts, nothing yet has been better than the last couple.
Race 4 No. 10: KATAWAY
Tipped out after a very, very good debut run at Port Mac back on October 25. Tuned up for the return with a ripper trial at Wyong albeit a month ago.
Race 5 No. 3: TEXAS STORM
Good luck to Bob Milligan in the Country Championship Final at Randwick. He has the wet tracker Texas Storm ready to win here.
Originally published asRay and Duff: Anamoe to Produce something special
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