From Nathan Doyle
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Precise Air Hcp) She’s well and truly up to this grade, at fillies and mares she has to lump the 59kg and I suppose that’s the only query with her. The favourite (Commemorative) has 52kg, it’s very well weighted the Godolphin horse. But it’s a nice kick off point, she has a good gate (2) and gets there in good order. I’d say she will put herself in the first four somewhere, I don’t see too much speed on paper. That might be one thing in her favour, we might be able to position a bit further forward than the favourite. But we can only run our own race and we hope she runs well.
From Kristen Buchanan
Horse: Oakfield Waratah
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, Midway Hcp) Expect Oakfield Waratah to be a lot closer to the pace than he found himself first-up in a Benchmark 78 at Rosehill two weeks ago. The five-year-old had no choice but to go back and was pleased with the horse. He was much further back from a tricky gate the other day. I don’t think it worked out for us to be that far back. It was a good first up run to help him into the rest of his prep. Apprentice Anna Roper takes 3kg off Oakfield Waratah’s 61kg. Anna is getting a test run and all being well we would like to keep her on in the Four Pillars. He would still be up in the weights but it wouldn’t be ridiculous.
Horse: Oakfield Arrow
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, Midway Hcp) The six-year-old finished midfield behind Felix Majestic in a Midway two weeks ago. I’ve got to have a good look at the speed maps. I’ll probably be a little conservative with her, I don’t want to bust her, and have her hit the line.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, Midway Hcp) Epicus has been a work in progress but he built a promising record last preparation winning three of his five starts including the latest before a spell at Canterbury. The gelding returned with an eye-catching 5th over 1200m at Warwick Farm last week. I was very happy with him first-up and we’re on track for a Four Pillars campaign. Whatever happens on Saturday, his main goal is the Four Pillars. He’s a very nice progressive horse. He’s stronger and more sensible, more willing to settle and not arguing about it so much. He’s got a really good turn of foot when he does allow himself to relax behind the speed. We’ll be close enough, he jumps well (from gate 1) and puts himself there, and he’s just got to get that split at the finish so hopefully Koby (Jennings) can get him out at the right time.
From James Cummings
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 4, ACY Connect Hcp) He carries a little more weight against horses like Pierossa who he defeated last time. I think he’s done nothing but continue to go ahead. He’s racing through the grades which is good to see and where that ends up for him time will tell. He’s holding his form. One thing in his favour is getting to Randwick over a mile and a quarter.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Precise Air Hcp) She’s feeling well, I can’t fault the way she’s trained up for the first-up run. While she won by five in a winter midweek maiden at Canterbury nothing out of the race has proved to be very special, with all due respect, but while she didn’t run a big time rating her effort was impressive. Let’s not get our money ready before the horse. We’ve got to concentrate on Commemorative from the outside draw with 52kg to get the job done. (If she were beaten) she would disappoint the hype, that’s out of her control and ours. While she is on the limit she’s taking a quantum leap at her second start in a race. If she can make that leap it will do well for her prospects of ducking down to Melbourne for a stakes race. We’re just kicking off with 52kg in a handicap and feeling our way through. She will take us where she leads us.
From Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott
Horse: Shangri La Express
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 1, Kirkham Plate) Shangri La Express, just off the one trial but I thought he was very good. He’s open to some nice improvement off the back of that.
Horse: The Three Hundred
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 1, Kirkham Plate) The Three Hundred has had two impressive trials at Warwick Farm. He’s shown nice improvement, so he’s got a good foundation.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Five Diamonds Prelude) Converge has drawn (gate) 13, is coming off an unplaced run in the Epsom Handicap and I am hoping a class drop will prove significant. He obviously has to carry a bit of weight with the penalties here (59.5kg), but it’s one of the easier races we’ve put him in over the last twelve months. Hopefully that can help him be better placed and try to get back to some winning form.
From Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou
Horse: Smashing Eagle
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 6, Sporting Chance Cancer Foundation Hcp) This is a nice back up for him (for missing last week’s Sydney Stakes). I reckon there’s a stakes race in him somewhere, the right stakes race. There are a couple in the summer sprint series that could fall into that category. Smashing Eagle does have that get back-run on racing pattern, which won’t change, so the result comes down to the run he gets in the race as he’s going to record slick sectionals. You have to ride him that way because he has a throat problem. His throat is heaps better than it was 12 months ago. In his last four runs he’s run the best sectionals all day. He’s running sensational sectionals, and he can do that if you ride him right. If you let him relax back he will finish off.
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, Big Dance Wild Card) Steely is the stable’s No. 1 seed for the Big Dance Wildcard this year after drawing nicely in barrier 10. While he kicked off his campaign in May, he did have a freshen up after finishing unplaced in the Coffs Harbour Cup in August before returning with a solid midfield performance behind the in-form Vienna Princess two starts ago then winning at Eagle Farm last time out. He’s done terrific since he came home. It’s the first time he’s travelled and I don’t think I’ve seen him look any better than he looks now.
Horse: Cisco Bay
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, Big Dance Wild Card) The nine-year-old needs to run in the top-two to force his way into the Big Dance. There’s nowhere else to go with him, unless we trial him next week and go straight to the Little Dance. I haven’t had a chance to have a good look at the field, so I’ll decide after that (after came up with gate 17). I’m happy with the old fellow.
From The Editor
Sydney Race 2 – Amarantz
Sydney Race 5 – Kazou
Sydney Race 9 – Journalism