Race 2 – 1:50PM TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1100m)
1. Mr Wong developed a few nasty habits last preparation, namely wanting to hang out in the straight when under pressure, but hoping trainer Stephen Jones has ironed that out since we last saw the four-year-old. After exploding clear in a class 1 at Muswellbrook first up last campaign, the son of Mossman looked certain to pinch a highway or two but failed to deliver over his next four runs. He just missed second up behind Malea Magic over the Randwick 1100m before luck didn’t shine on him third up. It went pear-shaped from there. Mr Wong hasn’t had a trial leading into this, presumably to keep him fresh. The wide draw means he’ll settle last and will be susceptible to his old habit given he won’t have any horses on his outside, but he’s potentially a very smart country galloper.
Dangers: The two speed horses look the dangers. The Cameron Crockett-trained 3. Expellable and Kody Nestor’s 4.Bellszov Bourke. Expellable has won two from three since swapping Warwick Farm for Scone and the defeat was in the narrowest of photo finishes. His latest effort was a Mudgee win as $1.50 favourite when controlling the race throughout. Bellszov Bourke shares the same style and the four-year-old mare is flying this time in recording back-to-back Dubbo wins. She was attacked in the middle stages in the latest of those but still won eased down, running good time. How will Dubbo form stack up here? That’s a query. 10.Jellies will be running on late and offers an exotics option at long odds.
How to play it: Mr Wong WIN
Race 3 – 2:25PM SKY RACING ACTIVE HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1100m)
There is no shortage of speed engaged which should provide 2. Hellenism with the last crack at her rivals. The talented mare came away to score in style first up at Coffs Harbour despite overracing early and then having to duck and weave through the pack. The third horse there Delayed Response has since trotted in at Ballina. The most impressive part about Hellenism’s win was the amount of ground the daughter of Helmet made up in the straight in the space of 50 metres, going from last to first. The concern is how big of a start she’ll be giving away from the wide draw and dropping back to 1200m from 1100m. We saw last campaign she was quickly out to the 1400m journey. With Tim Clark steering, banking on her ability to get her home.
Dangers: The Luke Pepper-trained 5. Affinity Beyond has won her two starts this campaign by a combined 7.8 lengths. First up she was in a different postcode to his rivals at Canberra before backing that up at Wagga, running time too. The three-year-old filly has relished finding the front to control the race. She won’t get that luxury here with four or five drawn her inside possessing the speed to kick up themselves. That’s the tricky scenario that faces her regular rider Simon Miller. We’ll get a line on 4. Golden Avenger after seeing how Expellable performs in race 2. He is versatile enough to take a sit. 3. Conspirator maps nicely from the inside and will get his chance.
How to play it: Hellenism WIN
Race 4 – 3PM $2M INGLIS MILLENNIUM IN 14 DAYS HANDICAP (2000m)
We’re still yet to see the best of 1. Dabiyr and that’s why he finds himself on top. The lightly raced five-year-old still has upside. Interestingly, the one commonality between his two latest Australian wins is that the race has been run quickly. He appears to thrive in high-pressure staying tests. There is every chance he gets that here with a rock-hard fit 3. Fun Fact likely to run along. Dabiyr came out of a hot BM88 behind Something Fast to win second up at Randwick, holding off a late charge from stablemate 5. Matowi, who he meets 3kg worse off. Odds on favourite Mr Dependable had set a brutal tempo up front. More was expected from Dabiyr last preparation off his starting prices but he did jump $2.60 favourite in a group 3.
Dangers: Matowi will have his fans but is one of the tricker horses in training. He needs an inch-perfect ride. If he hits the front too soon, he tends to lose concentration. Fun Fact hasn’t finished far away in two Queensland runs after he went too quickly in front behind Vadiyann three back. It’s a fine line with Fun Fact between letting him roll and gassing him. 2. Mushaireb rallied back to beat Reflectivity, a subsequent Flemington winner, last time out. There is a little query on his stamina beyond a mile but the timing is right to try again. 7. Guise didn’t look to get the 2400m last start. Her 2000m runs prior to that have her in the mix here.
How to play it: Dabiyr WIN
Race 5 – 3:40PM THE COOPERS HOTEL NEWTOWN HANDICAP (1600m)
Love horses that reliably run to certain patterns and 4. Valentino Rossa, for all of his convictions, is one of those horses. The Jason Coyle-trained six-year-old fires second up, regardless of how poor his first up showing was. The gelding has won five races in his 40-start career and four of them have come second run after a spell (6:4-0-0). Fresh last campaign, he ran a well-held ninth over 1300m before bolting in at Warwick Farm out to the mile. This time back he didn’t do much behind Phaistos over 1400m, and has five lengths to turnaround on 2. Toryjoy but his history says he can improve sharply. It’s the profile of race where nothing would shock and, as the race outsider and with Hugh Bowman doing the steering, Valentino Rossa is worth an each-way ticket.
Dangers: What do we do with 9. Mugatoo? Well, in a way, the early market has decided for us. He is very hard to come into as the early favourite given the unknowns but it is the unknown which makes him such an interesting runner. The UK import has raced only at 2000m and beyond in six starts. He flopped out the back in his trial but was smashing the line late. Won’t know himself with 50.5kg. That first up win appears to have taken the wind out of Toryjoy. She bounced back last time out after a poor showing at Gosford. How far does class take stayer 1. Our Candidate as he launches his autumn campaign?
How to play it: Valentino Rossa EACH WAY
Race 6 – 4:20PM CITY TATTS BUSHFIRE APPEAL HANDICAP (1600m)
3. Helga is well found but is the horse to beat on the strength of her two runs back this time in. First up over 1200m, the four-year-old hit the line powerfully behind Aquitaine before jumping straight out to 1500m at Randwick where she won well having controlled the race from outside of the leader. That form through Asharani ties in nicely with a number of her key rivals too. She had the race run to suit and there is more pressure here with 8. To Your Health and 4. Missybeel likely to push on, but Helga can only improve on what she did second up. Chris Williams will need one or two things to go his way in the early stages from the wide draw but Les Bridge’s mare is versatile enough to settle just about anywhere. Helga is starting to climb the weights but she looks a shade better than BM78 grade.
Dangers: Will Missybeel be as aggressively ridden as last start? She never gave her rivals a chance at Warwick Farm, slipping clear at the top of the straight before winning by 3.8L. That was a departure on her racing style last campaign where she was educated in taking a sit. Have to respect that last-start romp. To Your Health is an honest mare that’ll make her own luck. She’ll run well with 54.5kg on her back. There aren’t too many other ways to turn in the race. 7. Hokkaido Miss won a 1200m trial in preparation for this and worked to the line first up in her first Australian campaign.
How to play it: Helga WIN
Race 7 – 5PM IRON JACK SUPPORTS BUSHFIRE APPEAL CARRINGTON STAKES (1400m)
3. Cellarman is six weeks between runs but like what he did in the G3 Festival Stakes the last time we saw him. He ran third behind Ranier and Live And Free when anchored by the 59kg, with first and second carrying 6kg and 5.5kg less than him. This time last year the six-year-old was airborne which eventually saw him run a luckless fourth in the G2 Ajax before comfortably winning the G3 Doncaster Prelude beating Ecuador and Mister Sea Wolf. His win two back at Hawkesbury showed he was back after two lacklustre runs in Queensland to launch his campaign. Has trialled brilliantly in the interim. Hugh Bowman clicks with the horse (7:2-1-1) and hoping Bowman can use the draw to park forward of midfield given the little query of the speed in the race.
Dangers: If 9. Cradle Mountain is here, the speed should be genuine, but if Clare Cunningham opts for Melbourne, that leaves 4. Passage Of Time to take it up uncontested. Passage Of Time was disappointing last start but was 1400m back to 1200m and he was never going to lead up Special Reward. 7. Sambro returns to Randwick where he produced a cracker in the G2 Villiers second up. A repeat of that just about wins this. Has had two runs in Queensland since, the latest of those running on from the rear with 5. Redouble at the Gold Coast. 11. Southern Lad dashed quickly to put his rivals away last start in a sit-sprint but is unknown at 1400m and tackles listed grade. Enough there to be against him at the price. 6. Gaulois is another that can win.
How to play it: Cellarman WIN
Race 8 – 5:40PM MARK ALATI BOOKMAKERS HANDICAP (1100m)
The first two wins of 10. Pandemic were that of a horse destined for group company. The Sepoy gelding put his rivals away smartly at Wyong on debut before attacking the line to win brilliantly on the Kensington track. Punters Intelligence shows Pandemic clocked a sizzling 32.37s last 600m with a lightning 10.63s last 200m split. The time on the day stacked up against All Too Royal’s 1100m win too. Pandemic was then stretched to 1300m but was no match for Yao Dash and Funstar before dropping back to 1100m to run third in the listed heritage behind Standout and Cosmic Force. The latest trial from this three-year-old was breathtaking, rounding up his rivals from last to win going away. Sure, he was niggled to do it, but it was brilliant work.
Dangers: 8. Sir Elton is the logical danger, having tasted defeat just once in his four starts. In one of those wins he towelled up Lashes. The Gosford-based four-year-old won’t get control from the front in this with plenty of speed engaged. Has looked great in his two trials. 6. All Cylinders has won three on the bounce, the latest easily accounting for Zaniah, and Cejay Graham will take no prisoners again here being on a very fit horse. 4. Safado steps out for Chris Waller for the first time. The five-year-old is three from three on good decks and trialled well in good company at Rosehill recently. Don’t underestimate him. 11. True Detective has been gelded over the break. Has an awkward draw to contend with and could’ve trialled up better.
How to play it: Pandemic WIN
Race 9 – 6:15PM EDNEY RYAN GROUP HANDICAP (1400m)
5. Superium is cherry ripe third up over 1400m. The three-year-old was set for the Magic Millions carnival but was scratched due to failing a vet check. Having travelled back to Sydney and with a quiet trial under his belt on Tuesday at Warwick Farm, the son of Veeazano finds himself in a very winnable race. On his talent, it’s a race he should be winning. The wide draw doesn’t help but if regular rider Nash Rawiller can have Superium within striking distance, his turn of foot should reel these in. Last start, Superium was unlucky not to beat Embracer, having been held up momentarily. Punters Intelligence highlights a last 200m of 11.68s, the quickest of the race by a length, and Embracer has won again since.
Dangers: 2. Laure Me In caught the eye at his first outing for David Pfieffer having formerly been trained by Tony McEvoy. The five-year-old clocked the fastest last 200m of the race (11.66s) behind Leviathan at Randwick where Bandersnatch was second and 11. Charretera boxing away in third. Can only improve second up. 3. Poetic Charmer will run his typically honest race, as will 8. Niccochet. 13. Come Along is going better than ever and drops 6.5kg.
How to play it: Superium WIN and 5,2 QUINELLA
Tips supplied by Racing NSW
Full form and race replays available at racingnsw.com.au