The unofficial day 3 of The Championships heads to Randwick this Saturday. With the Group 1 All Aged Stakes and Champagne Stakes sharing the feature spotlight, this is one meeting racing fans, and punters cannot miss! With many group and listed races complimenting the time-honoured events, this is the perfect way to finish the Sydney autumn.
Randwick Race 5
Vilana resumes Saturday after a successful spring campaign. The talented four-year-old won the Silver Eagle fresh and was competitive against a red-hot Golden Eagle field. His two trials leading into this event have been first-class, and he is unbeaten at the track and distance. His first-up record is exceptional, and if he can find a spot in the running line from a middle gate, he will be hard to hold out.
Gravina is ready to explode third-up from a spell. The Sebring gelding always runs well at Randwick, and 1200m is his pet distance. The James Mcdonald and James Cummings combination will attract support, and he has been sharpened up for this event with a recent jumpout. It may pay dividends to keep an eye on the market.
Waihaha Falls can improve sharply after a first-up flop. The Sacred Falls gelding got too far back in transit, and he failed to make an impact in the concluding stages. The soft conditions will suit, and he has been specked at a decent price since markets opened.
Suggested Bet: Vilana @ $2.60
Randwick RACE 6
#14 Pink Ivory
Pink Ivory has been impressive in her two starts this campaign. The 2000m is advantageous, and the Redwood mare looks ready to peak. This is her biggest test to date up against the boys, however, she looks very talented. The 54kg is a luxury; she should get a dream run from a middle gate. Over the odds!
Protagonist will start favourite for the William Haggas stable despite failing last-start in the Group 1 Doncaster. The Wootton Bassett gelding was impressive on his Australian Debut, putting a smart field to the sword at Rosehill over 2000m. The step back out to his favourite distance is a positive, and the drier ground also plays in his favour. If he can overcome the awkward barrier draw, I expect him to figure in the finish.
Sunshine Rising is racing in great spirit despite being nearly old enough to have his license. He is knocking on the door and gets his chance for a deserved win on Saturday. He should be rock-hard fit at this stage of his preparation, and he can make his presence felt with even luck in transit.
Suggested Bet: Pink Ivory @ $13.00
Randwick Race 7
#4 Tom Kitten
I am happy to have a throw at the stumps with Tom Kitten on the quick-back up. The Harry Angel colt was too strong for his rivals late over the mile and got through the soft conditions impressively. Staying at the mile could prove a winning move, and I expect him to produce a peak run for the preparation on Saturday. Stepping up to the Group 1 level is the primary concern.
Militarize will start favourite after a dominant win in the Sires’. The turn of foot over the 1400m was impressive, and the Dundeel colt only needs to produce the same acceleration over the mile to be competitive. The heavier the conditions, the better for the Chris Waller-trained two-year-old, and I expect him to shorten in the market further with the ‘Magic Man’ Joe Moreira aboard.
Don Corleone is knocking on the door! He is rock-hard fit, and he is ultra-consistent. He savaged the line last start, and the mile looks perfect at this stage of his preparation. If the leaders break the clock through the middle stages, he will be there to capitalise in the shadows.
Suggested Bet: Tom Kitten@ $10.00
Randwick Race 8
#12 Giga Kick
Great edition of the All Aged Stakes!
The Everest Champion Giga Kick was game in defeat in the T J Smith, and his first attempt at 1400m Saturday could be a winning one. He is ready to peak third-up from a spell, and if the leaders go too hard on top of the speed, he will gobble up his rivals in the shadows. He only died late on his run second-up, and the conditions took their toll in the concluding stages. Watch for the big boy late!
Jacquinot resumes here after a disappointing performance in the Australian Guineas. He had excuses – internal bleeding, however, he can excel fresh here over 1400m. The Rubick colt should get the run of the race from barrier four, and if he is 100% sound, I expect him to be in the finish. I am always cautious about backing horses after a significant setback.
Zaaki finally resumes after connections were not satisfied with his work during the early parts of the autumn. He is unbeaten at the track and distance, and he has a sensational first-up record. He handles all conditions and will make his own luck on top of the speed. The primary concern is whether or not the rising nine-year-old still has the zest and desire to race and compete at the top level.
Honourable mentions to Private Eye and Lost And Running, who will both thrive in the conditions over 1400m.
Suggested Bet: Giga Kick @ $3.10