Randwick hosts Day One of The Championships, the grand finals of horse racing, this Saturday. With four massive Group 1 events on the card, it is arguably the best day of racing on the calendar. Find out who our experts are tipping to win the prestigious and time-honoured events.
Randwick Race 6
Veight has been ultra-impressive in his two starts to date. The Grunt colt smashed his rivals on debut at Pakenham before breaking the clock at Flemington in the VRC Sires’. This is a massive step up in grade, however, he looks to have a bright future. Despite drawing the carpark, I expect him to savage the line and figure in the finish. He has been crunched in early betting, and I expect the money to continue until the barriers open.
Cylinder will start as a short-priced favourite after a blistering run in the Golden Slipper. The Exceed And Excel colt has returned to racing in fine style and has yet to finish outside of the quinella. He looks ominous from an inside barrier and will be there again when the whips are cracking.
Don Corleone was brilliant in the Blue Diamond and game in defeat in the Golden Slipper. He can sit closer to the speed from barrier two, and the 1400m looks advantageous at this stage of his preparation. He should be rock-hard, and if the gaps appear at the top of the straight, he can threaten.
Suggested Bet: Veight @ $5.50
Randwick RACE 7
#10 Giga Kick
Giga Kick looks poised to strike second-up from a spell. He savaged the line fresh against a track bias and has trialled brilliantly since. The step out to 1200m is ideal, and if he can jump away cleanly, he may prove hard to hold out. Zac Purton will drift back from barrier nine, and if he doesn’t get too far out of his ground, he will gobble them up late.
Private Eye was great first-up in the Newmarket Handicap behind the talented In Secret. His track and distance records must be respected, and he is versatile enough to handle all track conditions. He looks well placed under the weight-for-age scale and is a serious threat if he can produce his devastating turn of foot. The inside draw will not suit his pattern of racing.
The Champion Nature Strip is in a form slump. He has yet to look comfortable in his last couple of outings, and he has been beaten a long way from home. Champions want to keep racing and winning; I am still determining if his zest or competitiveness is still there. I hope The King proves me wrong!
Suggested Bet: Giga Kick @ $4.20
Randwick Race 8
Bandersnatch can run well on the quick backup. Despite covering more ground than the early settlers in transit, he still had the audacity to put his rivals to the sword inside the final furlong. He has a proven Group 1 record, races well at Randwick, and looks well placed from an inside barrier. With the luxury of 51kg, he can give a bit of cheek at a reasonable price.
Despite drawing the carpark, Zougotcha can run a massive race. Her win last start war effortless, and her run prior in the Surround was sensational. The talented Zoustar filly is ultra-consistent, and with even luck in transit, I expect her to figure. Her record at Randwick is impressive, and her only test over the mile was successful. Big Watch!
Mr Brightside will start favourite after a scintillating All-Star Mile win. He won this race last year in a dog fight, and I am happy to say he is a better and tougher horse twelve months later. From an inside draw, he should get the run of the race, and if he sees daylight at the right time, watch out!
Suggested Bet: Bandersnatch @ $19.00
Randwick Race 9
#1 Sharp 'N' Smart
Sharp ‘N’ Smart is flying! His wins in New Zealand at the top level have been almost arrogant, and he is really furnishing into a Group 1 star of the turf! He has shown versatility in her recent outings and looks well-placed on Saturday to continue his winning ways. Barrier seventeen is the primary concern.
Mark Twain can run well after an eye-catching run in the New Zealand Derby. He is a promising stayer in the making and has form around some serious gallopers. From barrier five, he can sit closer to the speed, and if Kerrin Mcevoy presses the go button at the right time, I expect him to figure in the finish.
Elliptical looks over the odds from an inside draw. His campaign has been great, and he seems ready for the 2400m. If Mark Zahra can put him to sleep in the run and present the big boy at the right time, he could look the winner at the top of the furlong.
Suggested Bet: Sharp ‘N’ Smart @ $3.50