From James Ponsonby
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, RMHC Sydney Hcp) The gelding has missed just two Saturday metropolitan meetings since finishing midfield to Wicklow at Rosehill on June 18 and has been a model of consistency, finishing 3rd at his past three starts. The horse is essentially trained out of a paddock helps him cope with his busy schedule. He’s kind of the opposite of a normal racehorse in that a normal racehorse sees the track every day, that’s all they see and their bit of excitement is when they go to a spelling paddock. Saturday’s race will be Philipsburg’s final start this campaign then he’ll have a short break in preparation for a tilt at the $2 million Five Diamonds (1800m) at Rosehill on November 5.
From Robert & Luke Price
Horse: Our Bambino
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, RMHC Sydney Hcp) Our Bambino is a sneaky chance in the RHMC Sydney Handicap if Randwick’s track rating can hold up. He’s well placed, we’ve been screaming to get out to this trip all prep but he needs a firmer surface. He drops in weight and if we miss the rain I think he’s a good each-way chance.
Horse: Count De Rupee
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Missile Stakes) It’s a good starting point and he’s well weighted (57.5kg). It’s a very similar prep to last spring, he had 3-1/2 weeks off and only had one trial going into his first-up run. Even though he has good soft credentials I’d prefer to go around on a firmer surface in a race like that so you can see his turn of foot. If he puts his hand up and he’s good enough to go to the Everest that’s where we’re going that’s for sure. If I was to get an Everest slot I’d have to get it early to get the timing right and plan out a program to keep that sprint in his legs. He could run a strong mile but his turn of foot is too good at the moment to let that go to waste. If we got to a soft 6 or soft 5 range I would be extremely confident.
From Bjorn Baker
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Premier’s Cup Prelude) The gelding has gone from strength to strength since breaking through for his first Australian win with a stunning 7-1/2 length romp at Rosehill in May. His four subsequent runs have included a Caloundra Cup placing and an authoritative last-start victory in the Listed Grafton Cup. He drops back to 1800m for Saturday’s Premier’s Cup Prelude at Randwick. You’ve got to be a little bit concerned (coming back in trip) and he’s got an awkward gate (13), so we’ve got to try to offset that somehow. It’s a tough race but (apprentice) Dylan Gibbons of course won on him when he won by a big margin at Rosehill that day (in May) and I’m happy to have him back on. He gets in well at the weights (55.5kg after the claim) and he’s rock-hard fit.
Horse: Belluci Babe
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Missile Stakes) She appears to have come back in fine fettle and a strong performance in the Group 2 Missile Stakes is on the cards. She races well at Randwick, she’s super consistent, she can go on good track and bad tracks and I think you can mount a good case that her form warrants having a good crack (at an Everest slot). She was a very good fourth in the Galaxy and in the TJ Smith which I think will hold her in good stead. She has a good gate on Saturday and she gets into the race very well at the weights.
From Matthew Smith
Horse: Daralina Belle
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Bisley Workwear Hcp) She was coming back in distance to 1100m in that race (last start win at Caulfield) a month ago but produced a sharp turn of foot to run her rivals down. I thought she’d be back in the last three and wouldn’t be able to win so it was very big effort to win. When they win like that, when they shouldn’t be winning, they are generally a little bit better than average. She’s a nice mare and hopefully she can put another good run in. We’ll find out a bit more about where her level is. She looks like a progressive mare and we’ll see what it brings. You’d like to think she might progress to stakes company.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Premier’s Cup Prelude) Attorney pleased the stable with a first-up midfield finish in the South Grafton Cup over a mile. That was as good as he runs first-up and he’s trained on great. The gelding is still a run or two away from his best and will have to go back from a wide gate (11). Barriers are everything in those races, there’s not much between them and if you draw a good gate you’re four off them and a chance.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Missile Stakes) Nimalee, who won the Queen Of The Turf in the autumn, resumes Missile Stakes and it’s very much a starting point for her campaign. She’s caught me out a couple of times early in her preps being on the big side so we thought we’d get her started a run earlier. The 1200m will be too short so we’re not too worried about Saturday, it’s to get a run under her belt and get her ready for the Winx (Stakes). I would expect she will be going back and running on strong. If it belts down with rain and she’s a winning chance then good but it’s about getting her started. We’ll go to the Winx (Stakes) then work it out from there.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 10, Verto Hcp) She’s a lovely big mare, she’s only won a couple of low rating races in New Zealand and I think somewhere between 1200m and 1400m will be her go. I think she will run another really good race like she did in her first run, she’ll be hitting the line strong.
From Andrew Ryan
Horse: Life Well Lived
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 1, Highway Plate) Anthony (Cavallo) got off him when he missed a place at 1300m at Dubbo said we were on the wrong track; sprints are too short for him, races like he’ll stay. Needs a mile or even further. Sometimes you learn the hard way in this game. Back out to 1600m he was dominant winning by a widening margin at Dubbo. After that, with Anthony, we planned this Highway for the level of prizemoney and obviously another win and he’s ineligible. The ‘59’(kg) won’t worry him, big strong type and Hugh (Bowman) will suit him. Better drawn out too, he needs galloping room to get into a rhythm. But I’m thinking he’s in the right race with his upside. These Highways are harder every season. But winning form is the time to come, race fit, and you know you’ll get the right ride.
From Michael Freedman
Horse: Forbidden Love
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Missile Stakes) Forbidden Love returns after a sensational autumn that saw her claim the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes and George Ryder Stakes, and run a brave 4th in the Doncaster Mile. She seems to have come back in decent order, she put in a trial last week that was all right and I thought her work on Tuesday was okay. You’d like to see them come out and put it down on race day and you can go home with plenty of forward plans from there. She’s had a nice steady build up but she seems nice and bright. She’s not fully screwed down just yet, you wouldn’t need her to be at this stage, but she’s fit enough for the 1200m.
From The Editor
Sydney Race 4 – Conqueror
Sydney Race 6 – Maotai
Sydney Race 8 – Belluci Babe