This Saturday’s Sydney meeting will be held at Royal Randwick. The course proper was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday and with mainly fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick is likely to border on Soft/Heavy condition on raceday.
Speedster Witherspoon can go on with his good work in the Grunt Standing At Yulong BM78 Handicap (Sydney Race 3, 1000m). Last start, the Exceed And Excel mare won over this track & trip on a Heavy 9 track, annihilating the field by 3.5 lengths. This 4YO will get similar condition on Saturday and champion hoop Hugh Bowman will be on board and that’s a bonus. From the rail’s gate (1), Bowman is going to lead and Witherspoon will be trying to run them ragged.
The very promising Southern Lad is ready to breakthrough for his first win this campaign in the Bentley Winter Dash (Sydney Race 5, 1200m). This John O’Shea-trained gelding has a terrific record over the Randwick 1200m course having only missed a place once from 6 attempts. And the 5YO is very proficient on Soft and Heavy tracks with 3 wins and 4 placings from 8 starts. Two weeks ago in the June Stakes, Southern Lad had beaten all but The Everest contender Classique Legend. James McDonald will settle somewhere mid-field and with his great turn-of-foot, Southern Lad will run over the top of this field down the long Randwick straight.
Joseph Pride-trained Superium looks the good in the TAB Handicap (Sydney Race 7, 1200m). This 3YO gelding resumed with two good runs, both times finished behind Brad Widdup’s very promising mare Adelong, on Heavy 8 tracks. Suoerium has no problem handling the Heavy condition and stepping up to 1200m 3rd up will suit. He also has a pretty good record at Randwick with one victory and two 2nds from 5 starts at the venue. From barrier 2, Tim Clark will settle just behind the leading bunch and Superium will be full of running in the straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor