Summary Of Our Trainers’ Tips For The Championships Day 1

From Luke Clarke

Horse: Testator Silens
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Country Championships Final) Testator Silens is a quality horse at his best and was always going to be one of the favourites for the final after qualifying with a 2nd to Kimberley Secrets in the SERA Country Championships at Moruya on March 5. He’s well, he’s nice and happy and everything’s been ticking along good. He’s drawn wide in 12, but there’s a bit of speed out wide and some inside as well, so hopefully they roll along well and we can get two or three pairs back and one off the fence. That’s in an ideal world. Any wider and you obviously want cover. He needs plenty of galloping room anyway, so I’d rather be out a fraction deeper than on the fence. I think he’s definitely looking more for 1400 this year. He’s probably a bit more dour than last year. His qualifier was a lot closer to the final this year than last year, which will be of benefit to him, and he’s a lot more calm now as an older horse. So he’s ready for this type of race.

From Joseph Pride

Horse: Private Eye
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, TJ Smith Stakes) He ended up in an awkward spot (in the Newmarket Handicap) with a lot of work to do and he couldn’t quite get there. I thought he was brave and he goes into Saturday basically primed up. It should work out well. I’m assuming it’s a fast race, he drew inside in the Everest and it worked well for him. You look at it and go ‘maybe he gets cluttered up’ but I’d rather have his draw (gate 2) than In Secret, Lost And Running, I Wish I Win who have tough draws to overcome. It’s a hot field. I’m not underestimating Nature Strip, I’m sure he will be very hard to beat. This is the most important run of his prep, the one we really want to win. The Randwick 1200m looks it’s ideal for him.

Horse: Mariamia
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, TJ Smith Stakes) There’s no reason not to send her around at weight-for-age after her strong Galaxy win three weeks ago. I was happy to give her a shot at it but it’s a big ask on the back of a Galaxy win under handicap conditions. She looks fantastic in herself so she’s coping with everything we’re asking her to do. It’s a touch ambitious but she’s going really well.

From James Cummings

Horse: Cylinder
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 6, Inglis Sires’) The colt was run down late by Shinzo in the Golden Slipper, but he was still strong to the line and comfortably held the rest of the field. We won the race a few years ago with another Exceed And Excel colt called Microphone, and he’s (Cylinder) out of a Street Cry mare who won up to a mile at Flemington. He was very strong on the line in the Golden Slipper in a high-pressure, six-furlong event. Cylinder shot to the front at the 300 and was holding the rest safely. He’s had the right grounding, he’s beautifully bred for the race and it’s a pretty important Group One opportunity for this colt to establish his future on the roster at Kelvinside.

Horse: In Secret
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, TJ Smith Stakes) I think the map is of great concern. Perhaps there’s a chance she gets a good run even if she’s three-wide with cover and we can deal with that. She’s come back from Melbourne so well. She’s still flying. We can go into the race with the confidence we’ve got the filly as well as we can have her.

Horse: Pericles
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, ATC Derby) The horse got too hot in the enclosure (last start in the Rosehill Guineas), wasted a lot of energy firing up and melted on a very hot day. The ear muffs will help dull the senses before they get whipped off and he’s ready to fire. The weather forecast looks pleasant, it won’t be a scorching hot day in the west like it was last time. If we can see a far better parade from that horse then there’s every reason to think he’s going to have just enough extra energy at the end of the mile and a half to be putting the other placegetters away, if you could imagine him winning and we hope he does. This going to be set up like a strong mile-an-a-half event, so he’s going to need to stay it out strongly. I think the best stayer will rise to the occasion and hopefully Pericles with the spark and turn-of-foot, his strength in training that he’s shown, two weeks between runs instead of the three weeks last time, should be perfectly set up.

From Chris Waller

Horse: Nature Strip
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, TJ Smith Stakes) It is a different preparation to what we normally do but in saying that he normally is beaten going into the TJ. He always starts with a great first-up run, then a slightly flat run second-up then a great run fresh up four weeks between runs. Obviously there’s a question after his first-up run which was a little below par for him but the last six weeks since that race have been perfect. You know he’s fast, you know he’s good, we just need to make sure he’s the same as he was nine or 10 months ago when he beat the best in the world. If they want to go too quick and cross him it makes it hard for us but it makes it nearly impossible for them. From my perspective we can see so many dominant horses coming from back in the field, like your Giga Kicks, and we don’t want to be setting it up for the back. I think that happened in the Everest, we ran the race upside down and went too quick early and had nothing left at the end. He’s exactly where we need him to be for Saturday and I’m sure he’s still got another couple of good runs left in him.

From Luke Pepper

Horse: Opal Ridge
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 10, P.J. Bell Stakes) Opal Ridge overcame being ridden further back than she’s ever been before in her dominant first-up win in the Listed Darby Munro on Golden Slipper Day. We snagged her straight out the back door the other day. I think she is better ridden a little off the speed but she doesn’t have to go back as far as she did. She’s so adaptable, she’s won sitting on the speed and off it, she’s won on heavy 10 and a good 4. There’s not many around that can go like she can under any circumstance so we’re lucky like that. It takes a lot of pressure off and you can concentrate on which race you want to be in. If she keeps stepping up the Brisbane winter might be a great option for her.

From Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Horse: Alligator Blood
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Doncaster Hcp) I thought he ran well in a high pressure race (in the All Star Mile). Obviously he wasn’t good enough on the day but he can well and truly bounce back. He’s got a challenge carrying that weight (57.5kg) but he’s probably the type of horse that can handle it. His first-up run this preparation was one of the best weight-for-age performances we’ve had with him. It’ll be another challenge for him but he’s ready for it. He’s been very straightforward to train, he’s very tough and very talented.

Horse: Converge
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, Doncaster Hcp) I was really encouraged by his first-up run in the Canterbury Stakes and to go and put two runs together at weight-for-age level was pleasing.The run in the George Ryder was more at his ideal distance and I thought he ran a really good race. We probably had to ride him a little outside his pattern and rode the conditions of the race and the day. He wasn’t beaten far and he showed all the characteristics we saw from him when he was racing at his best. I think we’ve got him where we want him and he’s going into this race better than he was 12 months ago.

Horse: Major Beel
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, ATC Australian Derby) Major Beel backs up from his second placing in the Tulloch Stakes and he’ll head into the Group 1 ATC Australian Derby at peak fitness. He seems to have come out of the run in good shape. I thought it was a great effort, he raced on speed and brought the rest of the field up and was still there late. Even when challenged he rallied again and found again late. Going up to the Derby trip he’s going to be strong.

From The Editor

Sydney Race 6 – Cylinder
Sydney Race 7 – In Secret
Sydney Race 8 – Fangirl

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