Saturday is first real day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival and is one of the best meetings you could wish to see. So many races have different angles to them and much wider implications for the big races to come in the next seven weeks. There are two G1s on the card with the 3yos fighting out the Randwick Guineas and of much higher standard, the G1 Canterbury Stakes. It brings together six G1 winners and other contenders to that mantle as well. Yet maybe the best race of them all is the G2 Challenge Stakes pitting the sprint king from the Spring Buffering against the Lightning winner Snitzerland and the up and coming Sessions.
The weather and rail will play a critical part on Saturday. A storm hit Randwick on Wednesday night pushing it into the affected rating range and therefore will need some drying conditions to get back to race on the good. Always better to think this surface plays dead after any rain. And with the rail in the True position once more, that usually means there is no issue sitting wide and charging up the middle of the track – primarily in the sprints. Don’t ever be turned off backing something from a wide draw in a big field sprint at Randwick with the rail true. They get cover and peel out with momentum after topping the rise.
Randwick Race 5 – 3YO+ Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m)
One of the best sprint races you can imagine and to think this is only a Group 2. Add in Lankan Rupee and this would be extraordinary. Better race than the Newmarket last week for mine.
Looks to be a huge amount of speed engaged here and with our thinking that the track may favour those running on, this looms as an interesting affair. Obviously this is race 5, so monitor how the track is playing. Whatever happens, they will go at a solid clip and the closers should get their chance if good enough.
Our speed map thanks to racingfans.com.au can be found here.
Seven of the 10 come into this first-up and many of these have trialled very nicely leading in. A race that you can make a case for a number of runners and it will definitely pay to monitor track conditions and pattern. The possibility of a wet track may change things but not expecting it to be too bad; Possibly a Dead 5.
7 SNITZERLAND could have done no more first-up in the Group 1 Lightning. She flies over the 1000m and must be considered a strong chance again here. Untried on wet (monitor conditions) and is likely to face more pressure here. Definitely don’t want her to be eyeballing the likes of 1 BUFFERING up front as they may bring each other undone but that is a distinct possibility.
If they go too hard in front, it might open the race up for the backmarkers and the likes of 4 SESSIONS who is likely to find cover and be flying home. 4 SESSIONS is a notable good performer at the trials and his two leading in to this prep were no exception. Loved his turn of foot last time at Rosehill earlier this month and he is clearly in good order. He came of age last prep and was only narrowly beaten in the Manikato won by 1 BUFFERING. Expecting him to run very well here and no shock to see him win.
1 BUFFERING is a crowd favourite and deservedly broke through for three big Group 1 victories at the end of last prep. He goes well fresh, loves 1000m and handles all conditions. Hard not to give him a strong chance again here. Again, like 7 SNITZERLAND, the concern is they go too hard out in front but he is a tough horse.
8 SATIN SHOES has looked good in winning two trials leading in to her first-up run. Do not think she is quite up to this grade but constantly competes in such races and has been badly placed. This is the reason why she has only won one in her last 17 races. Would prefer her in slightly lower grade but she looks to be going well.
The Jason Warren trained 2 BEL SPRINTER is unbeaten over 1000m. The form from the Oakleigh Plate has proven superb and no shock to see him running on powerfully. At his best, he can definitely win this and he may get a few things in his favour with a solid tempo and a track that should give those running on a good chance. He will need to improve but he must be conceded a chance. Untried on rain affected surfaces and not sure he handles them all that well. If the weather stays away and the track is ok, expecting an improved performance.
3 FAMOUS SEAMUS, 5 TEMPLE OF BOOM and 6 TIGER TEES promoted on wet tracks.
Liked the trial of 10 VILLA VERDE leading in but was hoping for something easier than this first-up. Still, could get a nice cosy run from barrier 5 and not without a rough hope.
A sensational race. If any of these aren’t quite at their best, doubt they can win. As stated above, you can make a case for a number of runners. In saying that, thinking 4 SESSIONS gets a lot in his favour and no shock to see him run well. Could definitely entertain backing him with something the win, triple the place.
Randwick Race 7 – Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m)
The Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas and what a competitive race it is. Interestingly, in the eight renewals of the Randwick Guineas only one winner has started over 6-1. That was Metal Bender (20-1) in 2009.
Barriers have meant that the speed map is anyone’s guess. 4 ATLANTE could push forward. 1 DISSIDENT, 2 EL ROCA and 15 ROMANTIC TOUCH have drawn barriers 13, 14 and 15 respectively. This may mean they work forward. As stated, wide barriers are not a huge concern at Randwick, especially over the mile. In fact, three of the six winners of this race when run at Randwick have drawn double figures. Tempo should be genuine. 7 BULL POINT has been handy recently but have a sneaking suspicion they may get a little further back today.
Conditions very important here. An extremely tough race and many runners in with a chance. Have 2 EL ROCA on top but whether he represents value from a betting point of view is another story. The son of Fastnet Rock was controversially scratched from the Hobartville which meant he had to run last weekend. His effort against the older horses was full of merit and loved the way he kicked back and hit the line after being headed. Expecting him to be improved again from that run and the step up to 1600m looks ideal.
A number of his rivals come through that Hobartville Stakes. The two we are keen to follow from that event are 4 ATLANTE and 9 WOODBINE. 4 ATLANTE never travelled well in the going and considering this, his effort was superb. He looked likely to drop out of it in the straight but continued to find. He looks a major player. 9 WOODBINE ran the fastest sectionals and must be given a chance here.
We tipped 3 CRITERION very confidently on an each way basis in the Australian Guineas and he didn’t let us down, running a superb second at a very good place price. If the track is no worse than Dead, no reason why he can’t run a bottler again here and he will go around at similar odds. Clearly flying.
5 EUROZONE and 12 TERONADO both also come out of the Australian Guineas and both went well. 12 TERONADO made a lot of ground again as he tends to do. From a better barrier he can settle a bit closer and run well. Not sure barrier 1 is the best place to be though, and it may not suit him. Definitely concede him a chance though and he could do what Metal Bender did in 2009 and fly home along the fence.
7 BULL POINT has been good in two runs in Melbourne and looks a definite winning hope here. Drawn well and Oliver sticks with him, including him in all multiples and exotics.
10 KORIOBETE was a little disappointing in the Hobartville. Prefer others but he can improve.
One we haven’t yet mentioned is the New Zealander 13 SHOW THE WORLD who caught the eye in a recent barrier trial. Really liked his effort against older horses such as It’s A Dundeel and Tres Blue. It was his first official run in Australia and he went very nicely, finishing off well under minimal pressure. His form in New Zealand is very good, winning a Group 2 prior to making his way here and we think he may be a better horse than 4 ATLANTE. You have to think he will be better suited over further though and he may need the run. Not willing to write him off here and he looks another that has to be respected.
A very hard race. Recommend going wide in quaddies and multiples. As stated above, rate 2 EL ROCA on top but he is around his right mark. Can’t talk anybody out of backing one they are keen on. For the record, 2 EL ROCA, 7 BULL POINT, 3 CRITERION, 4 ATLANTE, 13 SHOW THE WORLD, 9 WOODBINE, 12 TERONADO.
Randwick Race 5 – 4 SESSIONS (e/w, more to place)
Randwick Race 7 – See Preview Above.
Ascot Race 4 – STAR GLITTER (win)
Moonee Valley (Friday night) Race 8 – 7 SOOSA RAMA (win)
The Trial Files is a unique and revolutionary trial service that gives punters a vital edge over the competition through the thorough analysis of Vic, NSW and WA barrier trials. Subscribe to receive full Trial Files membership access which includes previous and ongoing trial reviews, BlackBook Previews and other important trial information. Follow the Trial Files on Twitter @thetrialfiles