The 2022 New Year’s Day meeting will be held at Randwick-Kensington. The course proper was rated a Soft 7 on Thursday and with fine and warm weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Kensington will border on Good/Soft condition on raceday.
The English import Herman Hesse could outstay this field over one and a half miles in the Heineken 3 Handicap (Sydney Race 3, 2400m). The son of Frankel has been racing consistently since returning from a break with two wins and three placings from six starts. His last start 2nd to Mightybeel over 2400m in the Christmas Cup was pretty impressive and the drying track will certainly help the 5YO as all his four career victories came on Good tracks. The 3kg claim from Tyler Schiller will also help. From barrier 6, Schiller will go straight to the front and Herman Hesse could prove hard to catch.
The Annabel Neasham-trained Osamu will be very competitive in the Midway Handicap (Sydney Race 4, 1100m). This Exceed And Excel gelding wasn’t beaten far when a first-up 4th on the 8th December. Stepping up to 1100m 2nd up looks more suitable and the in-form Tom Sherry will claim 1.5kg which brings Osamu’s weight down to 58.5kg. Sherry will go forward and sit one off one back and Osamu will be fighting strongly in the finish.
Kirwan’s Lane must be doing really well for John O’Shea to back him up from his last-start victory over the Randwick mile on boxing day (Sydney Race 6, 1550m). This 5YO gelding had a breakthrough 2020/21 season winning four Sydney metro races beating horses like Ellsberg and off course Ellsberg has franked the form by taking out the Festival Stakes and finishing 2nd to Brutality in the Villiers Stakes. Kirwan’s Lane loves the mile winning six times with further three placings at the trip. Kirwan’s Lane will only be carrying 54kg after the 1.5kg claim from Tom Sherry. From barrier 2, Sherry will settle just behind the leader and Kirwan’s Lane looks the one they all have to beat.
By Owens Wong, Editor