The Carrington Stakes meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with light drizzles in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick is likely to remain in the Good range on raceday.
The unbeaten Water Dove certainly looks the horse to beat in the first of the two Highway Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 1100m). This Brett Cavanough-trained filly had won both her career starts over Saturday’s trip of 1100m. She’s pretty bomb proof as she can kick strongly off a good pace and she handles any track condition. Rachel King will take over the rein and from barrier 5, King will go straight to the lead and Water Dove is going to run them ragged.
The in-form Bjorn Baker stable will have Kiss The Bride running in the Heineken Handicap (Sydney Race 6, 2000m). The 5YO gelding has slowly worked his way up to a suitable distance. Kiss The Bride started off the campaign with two runs over the Randwick Mile and last start, he stepped up to 1800m and was only beaten a length by Sacramento. Fitter again on Saturday and the 2000m will suit even better. He also has a pretty good record at Randwick with two wins and a 3rd from 7 starts at the venue. Joshua Parr is going to settle just behind the leading bunch from barrier 5 and Kiss The Bride could prove too strong for these lot.
Team Hawkes-trained Bandersnatch can take out the Listed Carrington Stakes (Sydney Race 8, 1400m). This 4YO has been very consistent this campaign with a first-up victory followed by two subsequent placings from 3 starts. 1400m is his pet distance having won twice with a further three placings from eight starts at the trip. An interesting gear change as Hawkes is putting winkers on the gelding for the first time hence I suspect Tommy Berry will settle closer (just behind the leaders) especially from the gun draw in barrier two. With only 54kg, Bandersnatch is the horse they have to beat.
By Owens Wong, Editor