Sydney racing moves to Warwick Farm this Saturday. With fine weather in Sydney, the Warwick Farm track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday. The track should remain in the Good range on race day.
Melbourne racing will be held at Flemington this weekend. The Flemington track was rated a Dead 4 on Thursday and I expect the track will be bordering on Good/Dead on race day.
In the opening race of the meeting (Sydney Race 1, 1300m) the unbeaten top weight Heart Testa looks to have the wood on his rivals. The 3yo gelding was first up in a 1200m race at Rosehill two weeks ago. And he lead from start to finish winning by 1.3 lengths. Heart Testa will strip fitter second up and even with 59kg, he will be too good for these lot.
In the Warwick Farm Hcp (Sydney Race 2, 1400m) Choice Words should make amend from her last start defeat. The David Van Dyke-trained mare was very unlucky last start. Jockey Blake Shinn had a lovely run in the box seat just behind the leader. Shinn was waiting for an inside run in the straight which never came. When Choice Words finally got through, Hugh Bowman on She’s Clean had already stolen a start on Choice Words. 1400m third up on Saturday will suit Choice Words.
In the Schweppes Hcp (Sydney Race 4, 1300m) race favourite Baltra has won 4 from 4 and will step up to the Metropolitan class on Saturday. From the widest gate (barrier 11), Peter Robl would send Baltra to the front, probably sharing the lead with Balzac. The Peter Snowden-trained The Owl won well 1st up at Canterbury over 1250m. In a race without much pace, I can see McEvoy settles the The Owl just behind the two leaders on the fence from a nice barrier (barrier 2). Currently at $5.50 fixed odds, The Owl is my pick.
The Group 2 Villiers Stakes (Sydney Race 6, 1600m) is the feature race of the meeting. Like other big mile races, the Villiers is full of winning chances. Last year’s winner Monton has been in good form. He won the Festival Stakes-Villiers Stakes double last year. His last start 2nd in the Festival Stakes was full of merit. However, the 59kg he’s been allotted in the Villiers is a real concern. Kinnersley, Cabernet and Galah are all realistic chances. However, I’ll be tipping an outsider in Shout Out Loud. This Melbourne trained gelding won well last start at Caulfield second up over 1440m. Third up over 1600m on Saturday is perfect and he has a great record over the mile having placed 9 times out of 12 starts (winning 3 times). From the inside barrier (barrier 1) Josh Parr should give him a lovely run just behind the leader along the fence. At $17.00 fixed odds, Shout Out Loud represents a great each way chance.
By Owens Wong, Editor