The January Cup meeting will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday (9th Jan). The course proper was rated a Soft 7 on Thursday and with light showers in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick is likely to border on Soft/Heavy condition on raceday.
The in-form Bjorn Baker stable has Malkovich engaged in the opening event at Randwick (Sydney Race 1, 1100m). This 3YO colt has won three of his last five starts and he has a great record over 1100m with two wins and two placings from five attempts at the trip. Stepping up to 1200m last start in the Gosford Guineas, Malkovich struggled a little when finishing 8th so dropping back to 1100m on Saturday will suit him better. From the inside barrier (1), Rachel King is going straight to the lead and Malkovich could prove hard to catch.
Brett Cavanough-trained Pinnacle Prince looks hard to beat in the Highway Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 1200m). This Hinchinbrook 3YO won well on debut over 1100m at Scone back in July before a mighty 2nd to eventual The Kosciuszko winner It’s Me in a Randwick Highway Handicap. Resuming in another Randwick Highway Handicap two weeks ago, Pinnacle Prince came from last and took out the race in style. From barrier 7, Jason Collett is going to settle somewhere mid-field and Pinnacle Prince is the one they all have to beat.
The talented Spirit Ridge can continue his good form by taking out the January Cup (Sydney Race 7, 2000m). This English import from the Mark Newnham stable had finished back-to-back seconds over 1600m in his first two starts this campaign before taking out the Summer Cup last start over this track & trip. This lightly raced gelding has a pretty good record at Randwick and he can handle the Soft tracks. Robbie Dolan will once again be on board and he will bide his time by settling just behind the leaders. Spirit Ridge will be too strong in the run home.
By Owens Wong, Editor