Reisling Stakes

2016 Randwick Guineas Day in Sydney sees nine black type races, including the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).

The G1 Canterbury Stakes only has seven runners, but a case can be made for almost every runner. Meanwhile, in the G1 Guineas, we’ll see some of the best three-year-olds from all around Australia line up and match the class of the short-priced favourite.

SKINNY – 1,2,10 / 1 / 1,9,10 / 2,3,12,13
WIDE – 1,2,4,5,10 / 1,13 / 1,3,6,9,10 / 2,3,5,8,12,13

The Group 2 Reisling Stakes gets us under way for the two-year-old fillies. This race is often a good form race to use for the Golden Slipper Stakes in a fortnight.

HONESTY PREVAILS should be able to settle just behind the speed with there looking to be plenty of early speed on paper. She impressed on debut when winning the Widden Stakes. With the benefit of that race, she should be even harder to beat here.

Calliope was solid to the line when fifth in the Blue Diamond Prelude. She’ll take plenty of positives from that run and now returns to the track she’s already had success at. The extra distance should also suit her.

Zelady's Night Out was safely accounted for in the Magic Millions Classic. It was a tough run and we have to remember that she is a stakes winning filly already.

Echappe took care of a four-horse field on Bathurst Cup Day, leading all the way to win and showed some good fight in the straight when challenged. She trialled well and trains on the track for an in-form stable.

Selections – HONESTY PREVAILS, Calliope, Quick Feet, Zelady's Night Out
Value Selection – Echappe
Honesty Prevails - 1pt @ 1.95

Unsw Todman Stakes

Six quality two-year-old-colts and geldings will go head-to-head in the Group 2 Todman Stakes, with most hoping to then progress on to the Golden Slipper in a fortnight. Slipper favourite Capitalist will make his first appearance since winning the Gold Coast Magic Millions Guineas, but won’t get it all his own way as Astern is looking to be a real danger.

CAPITALIST should settle outside the anticipated leader from barrier five. With that perfect run, he should be very hard to beat. The undefeated colt has gone from strength to strength through his short career to date and his last start was as a dominant winner of the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast. His recent trial indicated that he’ll be hard to beat first up.

Silver Slipper winner Astern is the obvious danger. Also unbeaten, the colt will be fitter for the run in the Silver Slipper Stakes. James McDonald also partners him, which is a big positive.

Weatherly has a strong turn of foot and is also worth keeping in mind.

Tessera is unbeaten in two outings for Godolphin. He comes off a fighting on speed win in the Canonbury where he fended off Defcon and Mount Panorama, who both placed behind Astern in the Silver Slipper. His form should hold up.

Selections – CAPITALIST, Astern, Weatherly, Tessera
Value Selection – Tessera
Capitalist - 1pt @ 1.75

Girvan Waugh Randwick City

This is another good lead up race for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) during The Championships. Allergic ran a close second to stable mate Arab Dawn in the Parramatta Cup (1800m) a fortnight ago and will leave from the ideal barrier four on Saturday. Meanwhile, leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller will launch a multi-pronged attack after confirming all of Beyond Thankful, Loophole, Libran and Marenostro in the Randwick City Stakes field.

ALLERGIC has been brilliant since coming to Sydney. He had won two in a row before being narrowly defeated in the Parramatta Cup. Despite a defeat at the hands of stablemate Arab Dawn, the effort was still impressive and augers well for his chances. James McDonald will be in the saddle, which is always a good lead from the stable.

Libran has been working to the line well in each of his starts this campaign. The latest came when closing nicely into fourth behind the likes of Arab Dawn and Allergic in the Parramatta Cup.

Maurus resumed over 1500m at Rosehill a couple of weeks back and worked home strongly despite a slow tempo. The step up in distance is ideal.

Selections – ALLERGIC, Libran, Bohemian Lily, Maurus
Value Selection – Maurus
Allergic - 1pt @ 3.25

City Ford Group Aspiration Handicap

Eleven fillies and mares have been confirmed in the field for the Group 3 Aspiration Quality. All Cerise is aiming for a fifth-consecutive win in the black type race but has been charged with carrying a race-high 58kgs.

HEAVENS ABOVE has a superb turn of foot and that can prove the difference in this race. She will be flying home late and the early speed should help her.

But Alegria was solid off a freshen up when closing nicely into second over this course and distance three weeks ago and the improvement from that run should see her go close.

Meanwhile, Adorabeel improved noticeably second up when fighting on fairly in the Guy Walter Stakes. Historically she’s at her best when third-up.

Mary Lou broke through for a well-deserved win last Wednesday at Rosehill but the form around her is good.

Selections – HEAVENS ABOVE, Alegria, Adorabeel, Mary Lou
Value Selection – Mary Lou
Heavens Above - 1pt @ 4.0

Canterbury Stakes

Here is the first of the Group 1 races, with seven of the country’s standout thoroughbreds competing in the race. All seven can win this race and the early market reflects that.

FIRST SEAL was excellent first-up winning the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes. She needed that run and, although this field is much more competitive, she’ll be better for that performance. She has a good strike rate when ridden by Blake Shinn.

Our Boy Malachi just knows how to win. He has been given a freshen up and all of his prior form indicates that he is one of the main players in this race, although he is drifting in the market.

Holler is on the rise for Godolphin and comes to Sydney after two runs in Melbourne. The three-year-old won the Australia Stakes (1200m) first up and then just lost the Autumn Stakes (1400m). He is too good to dismiss, especially with the blinkers going on.

While this race doesn’t suit Kermadec on paper, the blinkers going on may just give him the spark that he requires to show his class and win this race.

Selections – FIRST SEAL, Our Boy Malachi, Holler, Kermadec
Value Selection – Holler
First Seal - 1pt @ 2.8

Fireball Stakes

Twelve three-year-old sprinters have been confirmed to line up for the Listed Fireball Stakes, including the resuming Kimberley Star, who has not been seen at the races since finishing sixth in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) on October 3rd. Peter & Paul Snowden have a big opinion of Kangarilla Joy, who jumps from barrier seven, while Serene Majesty and Redzel complete a strong, three-pronged attack for the father and son training partnership in the Fireball Stakes.

FURNACES will be looking for some luck early from barrier 12. The John O'Shea-trained colt had just the one start in the spring and it was an excellent one to say the least, placing behind Chautauqua. The colt has trialled twice in readiness for this and is yet to run out of the money in three prior third-up outings.

Egyptian Symbol resumes off a 56-day let-up. He was unlucky in the Gold Coast 3yo Guineas over 1400m and could have finished closer. He has shown enough in his early performances to suggest that with some luck from barrier 11 he can go close.

Takedown had four runs during the spring and, while he didn’t win, he ran some tidy races against some quality gallopers, including Exosphere and Mahuta.

King’s Troop was ridden back last start and it didn’t suit him. From barrier 9 don’t be surprised to see Williams push forward and put him into the race.

Selections – FURNACES, Egyptian Symbol, Takedown, King’s Troop
Value Selection – Takedown
Furnaces - 1pt @ 6.0

Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas

The Group 1 Randwick Guineas has been made out to be a one-horse race by the punters, with champion colt Press Statement at $1.50 early.

Undefeated at the distance having taken out each of the Group 1 JJ Atkins and Group 1 Caulfield Guineas in 2015, the Hinchinbrook colt resumed this time for success in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago. Hugh Bowman takes the ride but he will need some luck from the wide draw.

The positive for PRESS STATEMENT is that the colt can win from anywhere. The son of Hinchinbrook was clinical in taking out the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes, despite giving race fitness to a number of his closest rivals.

Stay With Me has caught the eye with the way that she has been attacking the line strongly. Her best win to date was when she stepped out to the mile last preparation and won the 1000 Guineas. She is the only one that looks really capable of causing an upset.

Balmain Boy performed admirably in the Hobartville last start and was better than it looked. He was left a touch flatfooted in the straight, but his last 150m was excellent. He’s looking for races over more distance but can add some value into your exotics.

Selections – PRESS STATEMENT, Stay With Me, Le Romain, Montaigne Value
Selection – Balmain Boy
Press Statement - 1pt @ 1.5

Hyland Course Colours Challenge

The Group 2 Challenge Stakes is shaping as one of the day’s closest races at Randwick on Saturday. This owes to the depth of the proven black type talent confirmed in the field of eleven. Ball Of Muscle, Shiraz, Speak Fondly and English all have claims in this race.

There’s no doubt who leads this race, with BALL OF MUSCLE jumping from barrier one and he will be dug up to ensure he’s in front through the early stages. It looks a nice race for the Dubawi gelding, who ran some superb races through the spring, particularly when running second to Buffering in the Group 1 Moir Stakes. The five-year-old has speed to burn and will take plenty of catching from barrier one. He is yet to run out of the money in 17 career starts and once again will be
fighting out the finish.

English resumes off a generous spell, however, her latest trials over the 840m at this course are suggestive of a filly capable of firing fresh. At the same time, Speak Fondly was excellent through her spring campaign and also trialled nicely prior to resuming here.

Shiraz will be working strongly into calculations late and will appreciate the speed that Ball Of Muscle puts into the race.

But Felines is the hard fit mare that is looking for some black type for Kris Lees after winning her last starts at the track/distance. Down in the weights, she’s the value runner in my eyes.

Selections – BALL OF MUSCLE, English, Speak Fondly, Shiraz
Value Selection – Felines
Ball Of Muscle - 1pt @ 4.8

Chi-x Aust Wenona Girl Qlty

This looks to be a really nice race to bookend the card. The Group 3 Wenona Girl Handicap will have 13 mares going head-to-head with plenty in strong form, including I’ve Got The Looks, I Am Zelady, Private Secretary, Artistry and Press Report.

I AM ZELADY returns off a freshen up, following a strong victory in the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares Quality on the Gold Coast in January. She has had an 800m trial which she impressed in and she looks the most suited with only 54kg.

Lucky Can Be is one of the best value runners of the weekend. Her first up run at Canterbury was sensational despite having no luck at all in the straight. There is an obvious rise in grade here, but she is trained on the track, down in the weights and does have form around some handy types.

I've Got The Looks has strong form lines behind First Seal and Amicus. She sits inside the handicap and has to be respected on her best form.

Selections – I AM ZELADY, Lucky Can Be, I've Got The Looks, Flashing Speed
Value Selection – Lucky Can Be
I Am Zelady - 1pt @ 4.0