The following is a survey of Australian horse racing tips for Saturday, December 11. The focus is on the racecards at Eagle Farm, Flemington and Randwick. The highlight of the day is the Group 2, $750,000 Villiers Stakes (Race 8) at Randwick.
More tips will be added as they become available.
View bookmaker racing promotions (not available to NSW or WA residents)
These bets may change leading up to the race day.
Flemington Race 2: 2. Eluding at 2.80 (bet365)
Flemington Race 4: 5. Seawhatyouthink at 3.80 (PlayUp)
Flemington Race 5: 4. Arran Bay at 3.10 (Sportsbet). Consider Exacta or Quinella with 3. Guardian Spirit.
Flemington Race 6: 2. Lighthouse at 2.45 (PlayUp)
SO TAKEN (6) Came on strongly to finish 3rd last start at Doomben but going up in weight. Blinkers on could be an important change. Good enough for this and worth a bet. COULDN’T REFUSE (7) Placed 2nd last run at Sunshine Coast and gets a favourable draw. Should get a lovely cart into it from just behind the leaders. Has the ability to figure. GREEK HERO (4) Rattled home nicely into 3rd last start at Newcastle and goes well third up. Finishes off strongly. Open to improvement and is a strong chance again. SMART METEOR (5) Snuck in a place when 2nd two runs back here and suited by the weight drop. Second up. Deserves consideration.
VETTA VELOCITA (3) Did enough to win last time at Sunshine Coast and backing up quickly. Might take a while to wind up but should be hitting top gear in the straight. Prominent showing expected and won’t be far off them. ARTERO (1) Finished on top two runs back at Wyong but goes up in weight today. Will be competitive. MAXIMUM OUTPUT (2) Landed the spoils when winning last start at Sunshine Coast but racing in stronger company. Been in the money 5 from 6 attempts this preparation. Warrants a bet. OUR RED PLANET (6) Came on strongly when 2nd two runs back at this venue. Likely to get a nice run behind the speed. Has to be included.
PALAZZO SPIRIT (1) Made every post a winner to win by a short half head last start at the track and having second run today. Resuming after a spell. Look for a bold run. SWISS EXILE (7) Pariah 2yo trained by Annabel Neasham having first race start. Place looks more likely. INEQUALITY (4) Produced an eye catching run when 2nd last time at Newcastle and fitter for debut run. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Respect against this field. PROUD OF YOU (6) 2yo first starter by Pride Of Dubai for trainer Allan Chau. Each way claims.
EXO LADY (1) Led throughout when winning by a margin of 3/4L last time at Doomben and let up. Hasn’t put a foot wrong this preparation with 2 wins from 2 runs. Definite winning chance. BETTER GOLIGHTLY (11) Danny J Bougoure trained 2yo by Better Than Ready having first race appearance and can save some energy from the gate. Respect the betting. BETTERDEEL (7) Scored a victory last run at Rockhampton and having second career run. Honest enough to be an each way player. ENZINA (12) Menari 2yo trained by Adrian Bott & Gai Waterhouse on debut. Place claims at least today.
APACHE CHASE (1) Nice effort when winning two runs back at this venue and racing consistently this campaign. Displays good tactical speed. Expect a strong showing. PALAISIPAN (8) Solid win last time at Ipswich but up in grade. Third up from a break. One to watch and an each way chance. GOOD CHAT (5) Couldn’t keep the pace going when 2nd last start at Rosehill and first start for a new trainer Billy Healey & Dale Healey. Second up. Watch market moves closely. DZSENIFER (9) Fought on well to win three runs back at Doomben and hard to fault at the trip. Third up today. Can’t be left out of trifectas.
SNAPDANCER (2) Couldn’t maintain the momentum going throughout when 3rd two runs back at Caulfield and goes down in grade. First up from a break. Prominent showing expected and won’t be far off them. EXPAT (3) Showed a clean pair of heels to win by a margin of 1 1/2L last run at Rosehill and shows good early pace. Having second run back from a spell. Can have an impact. GEORGIE’S PRIDE (7) Gave a strong sight when 3rd last time at Rosehill and freshened up. Should race on the speed. Respect against this field. ELOQUENTLY (5) Displayed potential when winning three runs back at this track. Third up from a spell. Can give this a shake.
SHOOTING FOR GOLD (3) Handy enough when winning two runs back at Doomben and generally strong second up. Likely to get a nice run behind the speed. Live winning chance. TOTALLY CHARMED (5) Good performance to run into 2nd last start at Sunshine Coast and proven performer at this distance in the past. Second up. Worth a bet. SUGAR BOOM (4) Did well when 2nd three runs back at Gold Coast and Stephanie Thornton is a bonus. Had a break from racing and returns to competition. Should come to hand quickly. Can figure in the finish. USMANOV (1) Was average finishing 10th last time at Grafton but Baylee Nothdurft rates highly. Expecting to settle positively. Each way hope.
GARIBALDI (7) Out of character when 6th at Sunshine Coast. Expecting improvement today and possesses good finishing speed. Ryan Maloney is a key engagement. Sure to be thereabouts again. GAROPPOLO (12) Bold effort to win last start at this track but resuming after a spell. Finishes off strongly. Right in this. MASS DESTRUCTION (13) Rattled home nicely into 3rd last time at the track and gets some weight relief. Had a break from racing and returns to competition. Worth a ticket. DUSTY TYCOON (14) Did well when 2nd three runs back at Doomben and proven record second up. Won’t be far away during the run. Capable of getting into the money.
ALL TO DO (5) Was much too speedy in front when winning by 2 1/4L last time at Ipswich and having third run back from a spell. Won’t be far away during the run. Warrants a bet. JAKAMA (6) Really dug deep when winning last run at Ipswich. Drawn to sit just in behind the speed. One to watch and an each way chance. HIDDEN EYES (2) Finished 2nd last start at Sunshine Coast and gets a nice run behind the speed. Been in the money 5 from 6 attempts this campaign. Looks a great place bet. CLAIRVUE STAR (14) Kept finding the line when 2nd last time at Ipswich. Likely to race off the speed. One to watch and an each way chance.
Race 1: Greek Hero
Race 2: Maximum Output
Race 3: Palazzo Spirit
Race 4: Exo Lady
Race 5: Apache Chase
Race 6: Expat
Race 7: Shooting For Gold
Race 8: Dusty Tycoon each-way
Race 9: Jakama each-way
The Summer Carnival rolls into Eagle Farm on Saturday with more feature racing to look forward to. As I type Wednesday morning the forecast is for some rain/showers however mostly before Friday/Saturday & we know it won’t affect this track anyway. Alderman who went around at Ipswich on Wednesday likely to lead Couldn’t Refuse if runs & fair to say both are not racing in the best of form. SO TAKEN has never raced on this track & has never won on a dry surface so he’s got a few things against, the positive is his recent form is better than most. SMART METEOR the danger.
Selections: 6. So Taken (Top Tip), 5. Smart Meteor, 3. Alderman, 7. Couldn’t Refuse
Nice little compact field of 3yo’s set to go around here where the debut winner Indiscreetly should lead just as she did at that win, she jumped from alley 13 on that occasion, today she’s drawn the pole. Going with OUR RED PLANET who’s form has been a bit of a ‘mixed bag’ this prep, his best run clearly was here two starts back when flashing home into second spot in a race not run to suit tempo wise. Any repeat of that has him going very close to winning this. Similar story ARTERO who visits from down south, following his pattern he’s due for a win! The Kendrick pair 2 & 3 in the mix also.
Selections: 6. Our Red Planet (Top Tip), 1. Artero, 3. Vetta Velocita, 2. Maximum Output
First of our Listed 2yo races this afternoon is for the boys where of the raced division I’d expect to see nos.1 & 4 go forward, expect others though. The Annabel Neasham duo of MAN IN THE MIRROR & SWISS EXILE create plenty of interest. Both trialled at the recent Canterbury session with the former running second in quicker overall time than the latter who won. I’m with SWISS EXILE who looked to have plenty left in the tank whilst MAN IN THE MIRROR was pressured & proved no match for the winner. PALAZZO SPIRIT coasted home in a Doomben trial Tuesday, has the score on the board.
Selections: 7. Swiss Exile, 1. Palazzo Spirit, 5. Man In The Mirror (SCRATCHED), 6. Proud Of You
Now it’s the fillies turn & there’s plenty of them, numbers will decrease to 10 at the most come Saturday morning. Likely solid tempo through the likes of Goddess Of Peace, Exo Lady & others (2, 6, 8 etc). Hoping the local BETTER GOLIGHTLY gains a start as her two trials have both been very good. All set to make her debut a few weeks back she took off on the way to the start & was a scratching. Sat 3 deep no cover in her heat win Tuesday pulling clear late not knocked about. EXO LADY has done nothing wrong winning her two starts from the front. Liked MOUETTE’s trial & debut win, form franked.
Selections: 11. Better Golightly (Top Tip), 1. Exo Lady, 6. Mouette, 12. Enzina
The well named ‘The Gateway’ is just that with the winner scoring a golden ticket into next years Group 1 Stradbroke & I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t APACHE CHASE who has lengths on these. You will never see a horse so well in at the weights as he is here under the set weights conditions. He’ll lead, bowl along & once Jimmy Byrne hits the ‘go button’ in the straight is should be a case of how far or how easy! Down the bottom PALAISAPAN & DZSENIFER can fill placings on their best form whilst the ex Kiwi PUNTURA who won a trial on Tuesday (from the front?) can also figure.
Selections: 1. Apache Chase (Top Tip), 8. Palaisipan, 2. Puntura, 9. Dzsenifer
Georgie’s Pride & Expat both like to lead & will likely set the tempo here with nos.1, 4, 11 & 12 all capable of keeping the pressure on both. Tough race, TYCOON EVIE might be the way to go on an each-way basis, she backs up off a close up 5th at Doomben last Saturday when finding the line nicely late. Her record at this track is a very good one & she maps to get a good run behind that probable solid tempo. Definite respect for the visitors SNAPDANCER & EXPAT who are both capable of winning should things pan out. ELOQUENTLY another on the 7 day back up, where to from that gate though?
Selections: 6. Tycoon Evie (Top Tip), 3. Expat, 2. Snapdancer, 5. Eloquently
Good speed here from the Gollan pair Sugar Boom & Niedorp, there’s others as well with nos.1, 2, 6, 8 & 13 all capable of taking up a forward position. TOTALLY CHARMED is yet to win on this track however he has placed on all 5 occasions, his first up run at the Sunshine Coast behind Zoustyle was a cracker, he’s at his best when fresh & will get tempo to suit up front. Stable mate SHOOTING FOR GOLD just loves it here, he’s 3 from 3 & was just as good first up, mishap at the gates last Saturday cost him a start however no such issues in a Doomben trial on Tuesday. 1, 6 & 12 all in the main mix.
Selections: 5. Totally Charmed (Top Tip), 3. Shooting For Gold, 12. Simply Fly, 6. Kylease
Dusty Tycoon drawn an inside gate a big chance to lead, opposition comes from 6, 8, 10, 15 & maybe 5? GARIBALDI was very well supported as soon as first markets went up when resuming at the Sunshine Coast before drifting right out on raceday. His run was a good one after missing the start & back to Class 6 Plate company does appear well placed to win. GAROPPOLO is a nice type resuming, unbeaten fresh & really enjoys racing here on this track, look for him to be flashing home late. With no weight DUSTY TYCOON will give a great sight second up & obviously fitter.
Selections: 7. Garibaldi (Top Tip), 12. Garoppolo, 14. Dusty Tycoon, 15. Explosive Quality
What a way to finish! A country cup type event with a host of winning chances. 5 & 16 go forward however I fear there will be others. With no confidence whatsoever I’ll go with HIDDEN EYES who is a very consistent type drawn a good alley, Jimmy Byrne will give him every possible from there & although yet to win he’s placed 4 from 7 here on the track. ALL TO DO beat a smart type in Virtuous Miss second up after no threat behind HIDDEN EYES first up however likely needed that run, if able to get across ok early on can run a big race. JAKAMA in the mix also.
Selections: 2. Hidden Eyes (Top Tip), 5. All To Do, 6. Jakama, 13. Beau Arrow
Race 2: #5 ROYAL ORDER (11.00) – BEST VALUE
Race 6: #2 LIGHTHOUSE (2.50) – BEST BET
Race 6: Lighthouse (2.50) – BEST BET
STUPENDO (5) 2yo first starter for Danny O’brien by Supido. Each way bet. HELL HATH NO FURY (8) 2yo by Hellbent having first race appearance for trainer Danny O’brien. Contender at a nice price. VA VIA (10) Astern 2yo on debut for trainer James Cummings. One of the leading players. KUMICHO (3) Finished strongly when 5th last run at Caulfield and was a debutant last start. Gets a nice run behind the speed. Don’t disregard.
ELUDING (2) Finished on top last time at Sandown and shows good early pace. Going well this preparation winning 2 from as many starts. Goes close. REDWOOD SHADOW (9) Dashed home into 2nd two runs back at Warrnambool and gets some weight taken off today. Might take a while to wind up but should be hitting top gear in the straight. Warrants a bet. BRASADA (7) Game effort to win three runs back at Pakenham and suited by the weight drop. Possesses good closing speed. Modest chance for multis. HASSELTOFF (4) Weakened under pressure when 12th last run at the track and carrying more weight than last time. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Watch market moves closely.
DANCE TO DUBAI (9) Led throughout to win by a margin of 2 3/4L last time at Moonee Valley and won’t be far away during the run. Very tidy this preparation winning 2 from as many attempts. Good chance and wouldn’t be surprised to see it pick up a win. CHOSEN BLONDE (12) Won by a huge margin two runs back at Morphettville and having third run back from a spell. Displays good tactical speed. Can’t knock. FLORESCENT STAR (6) Ran on strongly when 2nd two runs back at Caulfield and Dean Holland rates highly. Having second run back from a spell. Winnable race. DIAMONDS (1) Really dug deep when winning two runs back at Morphettville but rises in weight today. Drawn to sit just in behind the speed. Market watch advised and can run into the money.
SEAWHATYOUTHINK (5) Caught the eye when 3rd last time at Ballarat and going well this preparation. Should enjoy a cosy run off the pace. No surprise to see a win. RURU (10) Game effort to win last start at Sandown and will benefit with the weight drop. Likely to race off the speed. Contender. PILOTE (9) Won with a leg in the air last start at Geelong and gets some weight relief. Should be very competitive and is a genuine threat. GRAVITELLE (11) Stormed home when 2nd last run at Sandown and will appreciate the drop in weight. Racing consistently since returning from a break. Chance.
ARRAN BAY (4) Was much too speedy in front when winning by 4 3/4L last time at Morphettville and goes down in weight. Should jump out and bowl along. Goes very close. GUARDIAN SPIRIT (3) Got the upper hand late when winning last start at Sandown and having third run back from a break. Likely to get a nice run behind the speed. Strong form this campaign winning 2 from as many starts. Big danger. DUBAI NIGHTS (5) Displayed potential when winning two runs back at Traralgon but up in grade. Market watch advised and can run into the money. SECRET GLAMOUR (10) Winner three runs back at Cranbourne and dropping weight today. Second up from a spell. Up to these.
LIGHTHOUSE (2) Did a good job when winning last run at Ballarat and third up. Should just about get the run of the race. Very tidy this preparation winning 2 from as many starts. Can dominate and win. BERMADEZ (4) Got the upper hand late when winning last time at this venue and third up from a spell. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Very tidy this campaign winning 2 from as many starts. Major hope. ANOTHER AWARD (14) Game effort to win two runs back at Morphettville and dropping in grade. Displays good closing speed. One of the main dangers. DERIVE (15) Really dug deep when winning last start at Sandown and carrying less weight this time. Has been a model of consistency since returning from a spell. Capable of better.
MILEVA (6) Bold effort to win two runs back at Caulfield. Freshened up. Deserves consideration. HALVORSEN (1) Fought on gamely when winning last start around here and second up. Andrew Mallyon is a bonus. Should be swooping on the field late. Suited. TEQUILA TIME (11) Got the cash when winning last run at Morphettville and having third run back from a spell. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Flying this campaign with 2 wins from as many starts. Ticks plenty of boxes and looks like value. SARTORIAL SPLENDOR (2) Controlled the pace when winning by a margin of 3/4L last run at Caulfield but resumes from a break. Shows good early pace. Respect against this field.
ROYAL MILE (1) Displayed potential when winning two runs back at Morphettville but rising in weight. Should muster plenty of early speed. Strong claims. SIGN OF USSURI (3) Brave effort to win three runs back at Gawler and goes down in weight. Drawn to sit just in behind the speed. Hard to knock and looks a nice each way proposition. GOOD AND PROPER (11) Produced an eye catching run when 3rd two runs back at Sale and drops back to a suitable grade. Trainer has gone for the winkers on, take note. Possesses very good finishing speed. Don’t leave out of trifectas. JUST BENJAMIN (6) Handy enough when winning last time at Ballarat. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Betting is the best guide and has each way claims.
SIXBYSIXTYTHREE (8) Winner last time at Pakenham and shows good early pace. Flawless this preparation with 3 wins from 3 runs. Capable of getting into the money. KENTUCKY CASANOVA (13) Chimed in with a win last start at Sandown and expecting to settle positively. Having second run back from a break. No shock to see a win. PIONEER RIVER (9) Hit the line well when 2nd last run at Kilmore and suited by the weight drop. Drawn to sit just in behind the speed. Leading chance. YULONG CODE (10) Game effort to win two runs back at Murray Bridge. Races well fresh winning 2 from 4 starts. Should get a lovely cart into it from just behind the leaders. Market watch advised and can run into the money.
Race 1: La Via
Race 2: Redwood Shadow
Race 3: Award Winner
Race 4: Seawhatyouthink
Race 5: Dubai Nights, saving on Butter Blonde
Race 6: Lighthouse
Race 7: Tequila Time
Race 8: Royal Mile and Good And Proper
Race 9: Yulong Code
Race 2: Eluding
Race 5: Arran Bay
Race 6: Lighthouse
Race 8: Good And Proper
3. Kumicho, 5. Stupendo, 10. Va Via, 4. Out Of Aflica
3. Tatunka, 4. Hasseltoff, 5. Royal Order, 2. Eluding
2. Modear, 6. Florescent Star, 8. Award Winner, 9. Dance To Dubai
2. Saracen Knight, 5. Seawhatyouthink, 11. Gravitelle, 10. Ruru
3. Guardian Spirit, 8. Royal Fox, 2. Sunfall, 4. Arran Bay
2. Lighthouse, 4. Bermadez, 14. Another Award, 13. Do You Reckon
6. Mileva, 2. Sartorial Splendor, 1. Halvorsen, 14. Capriccio
1. Royal Mile, 10. Fifth Position, 6. Just Benjamin, 11. Good And Proper
8. Sixbysixtythree, 2. Proper Rogue, 9. Pioneer River, 16. Barragunda
KUMICHO swung wide on debut and ran home well. The race was won in slick time (but was wind-assisted). OUT OF AFLICA won what looked a decent race on paper at debut. The time was just fair though. JAMARRA can improve lengths away from very wet ground on debut. All the newbies have shown ability at trials/jumpouts. STUPENDO and VA VIA perhaps the pick of them?
Selections: 3. Kumicho (Top Tip), 5. Stupendo, 10. Va Via, 7. Jamarra
1 and 9 key dual acceptors. ELUDING has come back very well. He sat wide fresh yet was too strong then beat in-form horses at Lakeside. He can sit on a (likely) modest tempo here too. TATUNKA comes back a few notches and may well have the back of Eluding in the run. ROYAL ORDER was good last week in a strong BM78, he backs up quickly and comes back to 1600m. He has dropped in trip before but that flop was a forgive run. JESTA DREAMA ran on well late when five weeks off. The 1600m looks okay. REDWOOD SHADOW can win. MOSTLY SUNNY gets an easy lead and has 2kg on BRASADA from a November clash.
Selections: 2. Eluding (Top Tip), 3. Tatunka, 5. Royal Order, 7. Brasada
1, 4, 12 key dual acceptors. DIAMONDS was beaten in fast time in a stakes race in Adelaide last start. Go back two runs and she won dropping back to 1100m. MODEAR is always a threat in these and she’s good fresh, stable don’t give us jockeys in time (SIGH!!!) but assume they’re claiming? CLOUDY led (bias onside) and battled well at Rosehill on very wet ground. Better on drier for mine. FLORESECENT STAR was good fresh without luck in the same race AWARD WINNER was wide. Both went well and have second-up form. This ties in DANCE TO DUBAI, and VESPERTINE (from last prep). CHOSEN BLONDE can win if here.
Selections: 9. Dance To Dubai (Top Tip), 8. Award Winner, 6. Florescent Star, 1. Diamonds
SPEED: 6, 12 can lead. Any/all of 3, 5, 8, 9, 10 handy. CHAINS OF HONOUR was left a sitting duck at MV but kept kicking for a tough win, beating home Epsom Days, who’d just beaten GRAVITELLE. That mare then went to Lakeside and rushed home to just miss RURU. She has a 2kg swing on that girl, both get to 2500m for the first time. WERTHEIMER went to a staying trip and beat CANFORD in good time. Canford had Nobel Heights form, which ties in with Chains Of Honour. SEAWHATYOUTHINK just missed at Ballarat in a strong BM84. He won at 2400m at home. SARACEN KNIGHT ran on well there vs pattern: overs?
Selections: 5. Seawhatyouthink (Top Tip), 11. Gravitelle, 10. Ruru, 8. Wertheimer
SPEED: 4, 6 may lead 5, 7? Deep BM70. SUNFALL made ground fresh with 59kg against the pattern. He beat Forgot You in one of these in August. GUARDIAN SPIRIT looked in need of 1400m to my eye latest but was able to run them down anyway. ARRAN BAY was aided by the pattern in Adelaide but he raced away and ran time. DUBAI NIGHTS was pipped by a couple of handy older horses at Lakeside at start two. They ran useful time also. PHILADELPHIA STORM and ROYAL FOX come off neat maiden wins, and Royal Fox had form around BUTTER BLONDE from earlier in the year. SECRET GLAMOUR improver/overs?
Selections: 4. Arran Bay (Top Tip), 3. Guardian Spirit, 2. Sunfall, 5. Dubai Nights
SPEED: 13 can lead 12, 16 but plenty of others can be handy. LIGHTHOUSE has looked good in two Oz wins and did beat last week’s winner Frankie Pinot at Ballarat, I’m not convinced he is the next coming of Phar Lap just yet though. BERMADEZ is also off two nice wins this prep. He is five weeks off back to 1400m today. ANOTHER AWARD and EXTREME THRILL ran on late in Adelaide and race was won in fast time. Another Award can sit closer this time. AQUEDUCT stuck on well fresh off long break and is a good second-up horse: overs?
Selections: 2. Lighthouse (Top Tip), 14. Another Award, 4. Bermadez, 12. Aqueduct
HALVORSEN was back to his best here in Cup week and is drawn to swoop. SARTORIAL SPELENDOR is good fresh and 1000m is his trip. He beat Halvorsen here in April (meets 2.5kg worse) and beat ZIPPING BOY in recent jumpout. GRANDVIEW AVENUE had excuse fresh (lame). MORRISSY had excuses last prep and did run well in G3 Standish here. PARSIFAL has weight swing on Halvorsen and comes out of that fast City of Marion in SA. Gate 1/ 1000m? MILEVA takes on boys here but is going super. TEQUILA TIME best of City Marion winner before another 1000m win. CRESTANI a hope, 1000m? CAPRICCIO beat Bella Nipotina here in Feb.
Selections: 2. Sartorial Splendor (Top Tip), 6. Mileva, 14. Capriccio, 1. Halvorsen
SPEED: 1, 8 and 12 all go forward. ROYAL MILE was gallant in the Eclipse Stakes and comes back to BM84 class. GOOD AND PROPER is going super but continually is having plenty against her. Last time it was a slow tempo, her 10.92 last 200m among the day’s fastest. HUNTLY CASTLE was not in the A-ground when beaten by a luckless FIFTH POSITION here. He then won the Traralgon Cup. Fifth Position was then wide and a forgive run at Ballarat. JUST BENJAMIN was good in that Fifth Position race then won that Ballarat race. SIGN OF USSURI has 4.5kg on him. PORTLAND JIMMY is in it also.
Selections: 11. Good And Proper (Top Tip), 1. Royal Mile, 10. Fifth Position, 3. Sign Of Ussuri
KENTUCKY CASANOVA impressed fresh and ran time. Liked the jumpout of YULONG CODE and he is proven fresh. SIXBYSIXTYTHREE is unbeaten and yes there is merit ”on the clock” there. YULONG JUSTIFY jumped out quite well. HOUSAY and PROPER ROUGE are chances. ZAC DE BOSS jumped out satisfactorily. PIONEER RIVER is going well for this stable and his best run was up the straight here. Many other hopes, good luck!
Selections: 13. Kentucky Casanova (Top Tip), 10. Yulong Code, 8. Sixbysixtythree, 9. Pioneer River
Race 8: Brutality (9.00, 3.00) (each way)
MISS OSTEND (22) Solid win three runs back at Moruya and looks well placed in this grade. Back after a break. Open to improvement and has a show in this field. CASINO LORD (2) Winner two runs back at Tamworth and let up. Should get going late. Has the ability to figure. MIDSUMMER RAIN (8) Displayed potential when winning two runs back at Mudgee and gets a reduction in weight. Resumes from a break. Worth entertaining from a place and exotics perspective. IN SPADES (18) Tidy effort when 3rd last start at Newcastle and will try to take advantage of the gate. Racing again inside a week. At least a place chance.
TRAVEST (1) Good run when finishing 2nd last start at Kembla Grange and third up from a spell. Will be motoring home late. Big chance. MEDIA STARGUEST (3) Flashed home late into 2nd last run at Rosehill and looks well placed in this grade. Drawn to sit just in behind the speed. Big chance. HEZA GENTLEMAN (2) Blitzed its rivals when winning last start at Canterbury but carrying more weight than last time. Should come to hand quickly. Minor prospects. LEASE (6) Peaked on the run when 2nd last time at Rosehill but hoping that the added weight won’t hurt. Expecting to settle positively. Place wouldn’t shock.
DRAGONSTONE (2) Got the prize when winning last time at Kembla Grange. Second up from a break. Strong win bet. BACCHANALIA (9) Finished on top last start at Canterbury and third up. Should race just behind the speed. Good enough for this and worth a bet. LADY OF LUXURY (7) Brave effort to win two runs back at Canterbury and dropping weight today. Races well in these conditions so do not discard. TINY (8) Dashed home into 2nd last time at Canterbury. Not without claims.
HERMAN HESSE (4) Ran 2nd last time at Rosehill and goes down in weight. Will be pushing for a forward position early. Racing consistently since returning from a break. Looks suited and should just win this. MIGHTYBEEL (1) Did enough to win two runs back at Newcastle but going up in weight. Tracking very well this campaign. Look for a bold run. HUSH WRITER (2) Ran well when 3rd last run at Newcastle but bit of extra work to do with more weight today. Some confidence with T Mike Clark doing the steering. Has early speed and positions nicely. Leading chance. KING’S CHARISMA (5) Sub-standard effort when 7th at Newcastle. Gets in nicely and drops back to a suitable grade. Looks to have a good chance of placing.
BOLDINHO (2) Managed to run into 2nd last time at Caulfield and was a debutant last start. Looks well placed. ATHLETICA (1) Led throughout to win by a margin of 3/4L last start at Newcastle and having second race start. Should just about get the run of the race. Big danger. VALSPAR (9) Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes 2yo runner on debut by Spieth and will appreciate a good alley. Can figure in the placings. EL PADRINO (5) Displayed good finishing speed when 2nd last run at Cranbourne and having second run today. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Meeting a good field and you can take on trust.
IRISH ANGEL (4) Winner last run at Rosehill and second up. Should just about get the run of the race. Winning prospect. INCREDULOUS DREAM (3) Stormed home when 2nd last run at Kembla Grange and possesses good finishing speed. Having second run back from a break. Should go close. SELBUROSE (5) Should bounce back from the last run when 8th at Kembla Grange. Should bounce back and dropping weight today. Been in the money 5 from 7 attempts this preparation. Respect against this field. EXOTIC RUBY (6) Won narrowly last start at this track and will appreciate the drop in weight. Having third run back from a spell. Include in chances.
SNAPDANCER (10) Couldn’t maintain the momentum going throughout when 3rd two runs back at Caulfield and goes down in weight. Resuming. Serious contender. ELEVEN ELEVEN (1) Fought on well to win last start at Kembla Grange and Keagan Latham is a plus. Likely to race off the speed. Can’t knock. SOUTHERN LAD (2) Was all too good winning two runs back at the track and has minimal work to do from the alley. Third up from a spell. Worth consideration. VULPINE (6) Showed a clean pair of heels to win by a margin of 3/4L last time at Rosehill. Shows good early pace. Looks promising in this race.
STEELY (15) Landed the spoils when winning last start at Kembla Grange and third up from a break. Should land a nice spot just off the speed. Respect. ELLSBERG (6) Finished on top last time at Rosehill and very competitive this campaign. Some confidence with T Mike Clark doing the steering. Genuine winning chance. BRUTALITY (17) Did its best work late when 3rd last start at Rosehill and racing again inside a week. Possesses good finishing speed. Knockout chance in this. BANDERSNATCH (1) Had a comfortable win three runs back at the track and third up. Trainer has gone for the winkers off, take note. Won’t be far away.
LACKEEN (8) Scored a victory two runs back at Flemington. Third up from a spell. Better claims. EQUATION (9) Ran on strongly when 2nd last run at Kembla Grange and Tommy Berry is a key engagement. Expected to be flashing home. Expect to go close. WHEELHOUSE (6) Managed to place 2nd two runs back at Hawkesbury. Has some strong credentials in this race. BLUFF ‘N’ BLUSTER (12) Really dug deep when winning last time at Rosehill and gets a favourable alley. Should be swooping on the field late. Could be a value selection.
BROOKSPIRE (5) Gave nothing else a chance when winning three runs back at this venue and will be aiming for a soft run from the draw. Having second run back from a break. Should enjoy a cosy run off the pace. Will go well. DYNAMIC IMPACT (6) Chimed in with a win last run at Kembla Grange and expected to be flashing home. Very tidy this campaign winning 2 from as many attempts. Good chance and wouldn’t be surprised to see it pick up a win. BLESK (9) Won narrowly two runs back here. Shows good closing speed. Better claims. FLEETWOOD MACA (11) Was close to 10L behind the winner at Awapuni last start on a good track. Should improve but resuming after a spell. Expecting to settle just off the pace. Likely to fill a place.
Race 1: Miss Ostend
Race 2: Travest
Race 3: Bacchanalia
Race 4: Herman Hesse
Race 5: Boldinho
Race 6: Irish Angel
Race 7: Snapdancer
Race 8: Ellsberg and Steely
Race 9: Lackeen
Race 10: Brookspire
Randwick was rated Soft 5 on Wednesday morning with rain (20-40mm) expected over the next couple of days. The weekend itself looks all clear though possibly a little windy. We have a true rail for Villiers day and we begin with a stacked (18 + 4 emergencies) C3 short sprint Highway. 3, 6, 9, 22 dual acceptors. 4, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 19 can sort out the front end. 4th emergency MISS OSTEND interests me a bit. She has taken on stakes grade a few times in her short career and hasn’t been disgraced. This is a totally different level and she absolutely romped in a home track trial on Nov 26. Hope she makes it in. If not, IN SPADES is the backup option. SHELBY SIXTYSIX plummets in trip and gets blinkers first time.
Selections: 22. Miss Ostend (Top Tip), 18. In Spades, 2. Casino Lord, 5. Shelby Sixtysix
2, 4, 5, 6 the dual acceptors in this one and the pace is from a few of those runners so we await with interest the decisions on where they go. MEDIA STARGUEST went to 1800m 3rd-up and I doubt coming back a furlong here is going to worry him too much. Well weighted after the Jones claim. LEASE has his ninth run of the prep and has had a different jockey on board in each of them. He has worked his way to consistent form and will cross positively. Stablemate CAESARS PALACE was right there with him last start. No knock HEZA GENTLEMAN but they might be inclined to got for a Canterbury hat-trick instead.
Selections: 3. Media Starguest (Top Tip), 6. Lease, 5. Caesars Palace (SCRATCHED), 1. Travest
3, 4, 6 and 11 were all in at Canterbury Friday as well. We await their decisions but DRAGONSTONE is the pick here regardless. Only had 51kg to carry on resumption but liked the way he stretched out to take control halfway down the straight. Up to 55kg here but it’s still a fair weight for a horse that looks to have an element of class and is right on the up. PRINCE INVINCIBLE didn’t fancy H10 at all first-up. Expect a different performance on something like, say Soft 6. KIBOSH had a lovely prep earlier in the year. Two recent trials and won the latest.
Selections: 2. Dragonstone (Top Tip), 1. Prince Invincible, 6. Kibosh, 8. Tiny
Not terribly inspired by this one. 2 and 4 looks the leaders. HERMAN HESSE comes to it 5 weeks between runs but had an 1100m trial on Nov 30 to keep up to the mark. Either leads or sits 2nd here and won’t be lying down late. MIGHTYBEEL new to the distance and goes right up too 59 kilos but he’s flying through this prep. Six weeks have passed since SKYMAX ran on Melbourne Cup day. This is arguably the most suitable race he’s contested this prep. HUSH WRITER is now two years between wins and it’s been 12 months since the sort of form that would win this.
Selections: 4. Herman Hesse (Top Tip), 1. Mightybeel, 3. Skymax, 2. Hush Writer
$400,000 worth of real prizemoney on offer so a few would have targeted this. I would think 1 can lead 10 and 2. Time will tell us about the depth of the race as it will the Merson Copper from Caulfield a fortnight ago. BOLDINHO was a clear runner-up there with the top three all on debut and 4th home well performed previously. I’m saying it should translate well to this and it’s hard to see him not finding every chance in the run here. CAPITAL ELLE got back in her trial but doesn’t necessarily have to here. Think she could offer something. ATHLETICA very much as expected on debut after an easy trial win.
Selections: 2. Boldinho (Top Tip), 11. Capital Elle, 1. Athletica, 10. Wild Irish Rove
8, 9, 10 the dual acceptors. Not a lot of pace from the group. 7 could lead 9 (if here) and 6 but expect 5 is a factor as well. EXOTIC RUBY has an impressive dry track record but on a mid-range Soft track she’ll be OK and it’s hard to see not finding a lovely run in transit. INCREDULOUS DREAM meets her a couple of kilos better from the Kembla clash. SELBUROSE was badly off her game in that race but was found to be mildly lame and she got to a negative position after a slow start from her outside draw. Jump clean here and she’s settling top four, possible even leading. Expect much better. IRISH ANGEL always good 1st-up but she backed it up 2nd-up last prep.
Selections: 6. Exotic Ruby (Top Tip), 5. Selburose, 4. Irish Angel, 3. Incredulous Dream
9 and early scratching, 10 has a QLD option and 11 is in the previous race here. Look for speed from 6 and 10, and we should expect EDISON closer now drawn low 2nd-up to 1200m. I’ll have SNAPDANCER – a daughter of Choisir, who died this week – if she’s here and not Eagle Farm. She was terrific early in her latest prep and that was off a 7 month break. This is a nine-and-a-half month spell she resumes from but two recent trials both sound. All runs on Good tracks to date. Wouldn’t be surprised to see SOUTHERN LAD bouncing back on something better than Heavy. EDISON should improve.
Selections: 10. Snapdancer (Top Tip), 2. Southern Lad, 1. Eleven Eleven, 5. Edison
A massive field of 20 for the $750,000 G2 Villiers Stakes. Speed supplied by 1 and 15 and definitely add in 21 if he’s here. STEELY rises significantly from a BM88 win but he gets a 7 kilo drop to go with it and he can largely make his own luck here. Held form well into last prep including winning 3rd-up and even at the end of it here at Randwick. ELLSBERG comes through the obvious lead-up races and he just has to deal with the 3 kilo rise from the Festival. CRIADERAS was a half length 3rd in this last year and I remain convinced he’ll one day notch a win in a good race. This could be it, although tempo may not be his best friend.
Selections: 15. Steely (Top Tip), 6. Ellsberg, 1. Bandersnatch, 14. Criaderas
A race looking for more speed. 13 can lead it if here and I reckon 6 could take a positive approach today. 10 and 9 handy. i has occasionally been not too far away from the front in NZ. WHEELHOUSE has a Villiers berth but drew 20 in that and might aim lower to this. He’s a horse that was beaten within 2L in the Rosehill and Randwick Guineas earlier in the year. A little plain last start though and I think he could benefit from Nash sending him forward. EQUATION was well ahead of him at Kembla. Looks ready. RAINBOW THIEF narrowly beaten in a couple of country Victorian Cups recently. Gets a cushy run here, almost certainly.
Selections: 6. Wheelhouse (SCRATCHED), 10. Rainbow Thief, 9. Equation, 8. Lackeen
Speed from 1, 4 and 10 in the last. 5 can track handy today. BROOKSPIRE just found one a bit better on return and this looks a similar test. An inside draw today may be no bad thing for her. DYNAMIC IMPACT goes up further in weight after two wins at this level this prep. Won 3rd-up last prep and 4th-up the campaign before so don’t expect him to put in a poor one. LOVEPLANET had had one quiet trial coming into this. Lightly raced and well up to featuring here. BLESK now 5 weeks between runs but that shouldn’t faze him too much. I AM VINNIE 3 from 3 in Sydney but he looks out of sorts lately.
Selections: 5. Brookspire (Top Tip), 6. Dynamic Impact, 10. Loveplanet, 9. Blesk
MISS OSTEND (22) won very well first up last preparation before not disgraced in much tougher company bumping into Paulele and Home Affairs at her last two starts. Demoralised them in a recent trial and should prove very hard to beat. CASINO LORD (2) hit the line well first up when first to go back from the wide draw. Faces a similar scenario again but Bowman on is a decent push. Rates well on best form. Major threat. IN SPADES (18) is on the quick back up having caught the eye late at Newcastle last start over 900m. Drawn to settle closer and has to be included in the main hopes. MIDSUMMER RAIN (8) is more than capable on best form and has to be respected in her return.
Selections: 22. Miss Ostend (Top Tip), 2. Casino Lord, 18. In Spades, 8. Midsummer Rain
TRAVEST (1) has been rock solid in both starts this preparation and should be right at his peak third up. Drawn to settle closer and is sure to appreciate the step up to the mile. Rates well and is clearly the one to beat. MEDIA STARGUEST (3) sets up well back to the mile and looks very well treated with the added aid of the claim. Another drawn to settle closer and looms as a major threat. HEZA GENTLEMAN (2) chases the hat-trick and should get every chance on-speed. Creeps up in the weights but still should prove hard to peg back. REMUS (10) the next in line following a solid return at Hawkesbury last start.
Selections: 1. Travest (Top Tip), 3. Media Starguest, 2. Heza Gentleman, 10. Remus
BACCHANALIA (9) followed up on his solid effort down the straight when simply too good winning at Canterbury last start. Returned a new career peak and is open to further improvement third up. On the up and should prove hard to beat. DRAGONSTONE (2) toyed with them first up at Kembla Grange and is another trending the right way. Interesting to see what they do from the wide draw as if they elect to snag back that is the obvious knock. LADY OF LUXURY (7) continues to race well and if able to hold her form she shouldn’t be far away. TINY (8) comes here fresh (29 days) and appears the next in line.
Selections: 9. Bacchanalia (Top Tip), 2. Dragonstone, 7. Lady Of Luxury, 8. Tiny
HERMAN HESSE (4) comes here on the fresh side (35 days) following a solid effort last start when only narrowly beaten behind Suppression. Rates very well at the weights off that effort and this stable is almost untouchable at this trip and beyond. McEvoy takes over and he should prove very hard to beat. MIGHTYBEEL (1) continued his upward spiral last start when catching the eye late behind his stablemate Polly Grey. Yet to be seen over this trip but gives the impression it will suit and Bowman on a further push. HUSH WRITER (2) is a big query on the wet track but is capable in this line up and has to be respected off a recent trial win. KING’S CHARISMA (5) the best of the rest.
Selections: 4. Herman Hesse (Top Tip), 1. Mightybeel, 2. Hush Writer, 5. King’s Charisma
BOLDINHO (2) displayed above average ability on debut when only going down narrowly in the Merson Cooper Stakes. Was forced to sit wide without cover throughout and only peaked on his run late. Drawn to get a much kinder run in transit and with Bowman booked he should prove very hard to beat. ATHLETICA (1) justified her heavy market support on debut when too good leading throughout at Newcastle over 900m. This is much harder but she should have good improvement to come and looms as the main danger. VALSPAR (9) has trialled well for Team Hawkes and is expected to make his presence felt on debut while EL PADRINO (5) also has to be kept safe having caught the eye late on debut at Cranbourne.
Selections: 2. Boldinho (Top Tip), 1. Athletica, 9. Valspar, 5. El Padrino
IRISH ANGEL (4) won with a leg in the air first up when picking them up and spitting them out over 1100m at Rosehill. Returned a new career peak and with further improvement expected she should prove very hard to beat. EXOTIC RUBY (6) won well second up when notching up a well deserved win. Has to improve again to trouble Irish Angel but should get every chance off the soft draw. SELBUROSE (5) wasn’t herself last start and is clearly better than that and was also found to be lame. A return to her best has her right in the finish. SNIPPY FOX (7) was too strong when winning at Canterbury first up and should run well again despite the awkward draw.
Selections: 4. Irish Angel (Top Tip), 6. Exotic Ruby, 5. Selburose, 7. Snippy Fox
SNAPDANCER (10) raced in great order last preparation and creates plenty of interest in her return. Three trials should have her right up to the mark and she is unbeaten in her sole attempt at this track. Drawn to get every chance and has won three of four attempts over this trip. Rates top, the one to beat. ELEVEN ELEVEN (1) closed off very well to win second up at Kembla Grange last start and only has to replicate that form out to 1200m to be right in the finish again. major threat. SOUTHERN LAD (2) can be forgiven for his flop last start and with Bowman back aboard he remains under strong notice. VULPINE (6) led and won well last start and should give them all something to run down.
Selections: 10. Snapdancer (Top Tip), 1. Eleven Eleven, 2. Southern Lad, 6. Vulpine
ELLSBERG (6) won the Festival Stakes in good style last start when clearly having no concerns with the wet-track. Creeps up in the weights as a result but still rates well and has drawn to again land in a prominent position. Slight niggle at the mile but still should prove hard to beat. Stablemate STEELY (15) displayed good improvement second up when too strong at Kembla over the mile. Returned decent figures and only needs to repeat that level of performance to be right in the finish again. BANDERSNATCH (1) should be nearing his peak third up and has drawn to get every possible. BRUTALITY (17) likely gets back from the draw but should be charging home late.
Selections: 6. Ellsberg (Top Tip), 15. Steely, 1. Bandersnatch, 17. Brutality
LACKEEN (8) won well first up before he got caught too far back from the wide draw last start at Kembla Grange. Much better than that bare result and gets his chance to settle closer from the inside draw. Handles all conditions and should prove hard to beat. EQUATION (9) only went down narrowly last start and a repeat of that level of performance should have him right in the finish. BLUFF ‘N’ BLUSTER (12) broke through for a deserved win last start at Rosehill and while an inside draw is a bit sticky for a backmarker, with even luck he shouldn’t be far away. CAESARS PALACE (13) looks the most likely to lead and can give a bit of cheek down in the weights.
Selections: 8. Lackeen (Top Tip), 9. Equation, 12. Bluff ‘N’ Bluster, 13. Caesars Palace
BROOKSPIRE (5) got home well first up behind Expat as while unable to salute as favourite her run held plenty of merit. Can only improve off that and has drawn to get a much kinder run in transit. Handles all conditions and should prove very hard to beat. BLESK (9) has been kept on the fresh side (35 days) waiting for a better barrier draw. Finally gets it and looks well placed in this line up. Form through Zoushack makes for good reading at this level and he looms as a major threat. DYNAMIC IMPACT (6) is unbeaten this time in and while I don’t think he loved the soft track last start he still won well. Trending the right way and has obvious claims. FLEETWOOD MACA (11) the next in line in his Australian debut.
Selections: 5. Brookspire (Top Tip), 9. Blesk, 6. Dynamic Impact, 11. Fleetwood Maca