In this barren wasteland of sport and racing we currently find ourselves in one distant glimmer of light on the horizon is coming from Australia. Somehow the Australian racing industry have managed to talk the government into keeping racing going there. On Saturday there is an excellent card form Royal Randwick, including the T J Smith Stakes and the Doncaster Mile, one of the oldest and most prestigious group races in Australia.
Randwick is a tight enough track with a clear advantage to inside gate draws. As of Friday, the track was officially rated as a Soft 6. The sun is forecast to shine for the rest of the time so its not going to get any more wet, but it could get sticky so soft/heavy track from is a definite plus.
Having grown up in New Zealand I have followed Australian racing for many years and in my humble opinion, I rate it as the best racing in the world. The racing is fiercely competitive with excellent stables turning out high quality thoroughbreds with superb bloodlines. The win and place odds are always better than what is offered in UK racing. And the jockeys are the best in the business.
The coverage of Australian racing starts on Sky Sports at the Races from the ungodly hour of 2am, but what else are you doing right now? Just sleep during the day on Sunday.
Here’s who Blue Horseshoe Loves through the card at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
R1: Damaged Anthony Cummings is Godolphin’s man in Australia and the son of the late legendary trainer Bart Cummings is having a fantastic season sending out winners all over the place. The jockey is kiwi sensation James McDonald who rode a four timer last Saturday and is in dominant form. Damaged won a trial on heavy in March and won his first race back after his break, posting the best last 800 meter sectional of the day. He has course from and has won at the distance. The only worry is the gate draw of 10.
R2: Promotions I’m going with Anthony Cummings again in race two. Promotions has only been out of the frame once in nine starts and most of those starts have been in very decent company. In its last three starts Promotions has form figures of 121 and it has three starts on the soft for a win, a second and a third. Master jockey Hugh Bowman is aboard.
R3: I’m torn between two here Too Big Fari. Is a winning machine with five wins from seven starts and two seconds. He has great distance form and has excellent soft track form. Brendon Avdulla is a brilliant jockey but the big concern is that he is drawn in the car park at gate 20 wide.
Healing Hands has a better draw and has good distance and soft track form, but must step up in grade.
R4: Colette The other Cummings brother, James, trains this excellent filly for Godolphin. Two wins and two seconds from five starts. Great jockey on top in James McDonald. Colette has a great draw from gate four and gave a brilliant display in her first start on soft track.
R5: Gayatri Trained by master trainer Chris Waller. Tommy Berry rides. Has good track form third run back after good performance. Likes it soft/heavy. Nice light weight.
R6: All the talk is for Manaragan but I’m going for Bartley each way. Three starts never out of the money. Got chinned on the line last start after a break. Should be fit as a fiddle now. Has track form and doesn’t mind it soft.
R7: Zebrowski. Lots to like about this fella. Five starts in good company only worse than second once. Has been posting some excellent sectional times. Form of three starts for two wins and a second shows he loves it with a bit of cut in the ground. Great draw and John Hawkes trainer with Hugh Bowman in the plate is strong combination.
R8: Santa Anna Lane. A real speed machine with an exceptional finishing burst. Loves it soft. Great draw at gate two. Tim Clark on top one of the best in the business.
R9: Melody Belle. A seriously classy New Zealand bred. Has a superb group one record. Soft track specialist. Top jockey on board in Oppie Bosson. The only issue is the wide draw, which does her absolutely no favours on this tight Randwick track which historically favours inside drawn horses
Of the horses with inside draws Shared Ambition is a very attractive alternative. Six wins from eight lifetime starts. Loves it soft. Has won at track. Master trainer Chris Waller.
R10: All the money is for Rubisaki in the last. And she certainly does look hard to beat. But one for a bit of value is Sangria. Four wins from seven starts. Bolted up last start. Has won at the distance and has won twice on soft from three starts.
Here’s a couple more for Saturday and Sunday morning.
Saturday Morphetville Race 9: Garner. A genuine speed merchant who gave a great site when winning at Flemington during Melbourne Cup festival in November. First run back off a break was a decent third and should be primed now.
Sunday Toowoomba Race 8: Samurai – Has been mixing in much better company than this. Has been a little disappointing but worth a look each way.
RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-100 points)
Randwick Race 7: Zebrowski 1 point each way at SP with starsports.bet
Randwick Race 8: Santa Anna Lane 1 point each way at SP with starsports.bet
Randwick Race 9: Melody Belle 2 points to win at SP with starsports.bet
Morphetville Race 9: Garner 2 points to win at SP with starsports.bet
PROFIT/LOSS SINCE JAN 1 2017: PROFIT 195.28 points
(Excluding Cheltenham 2021 antepost, Premier League ante-post, Six Nations Outright, Six Nations Specials, Labour Leadership Contest, Cameron Brown Football Bets, New Hampshire Primary)