THE Daily Telegraph’s Brad Davidson runs the rule over every race, including speed maps and suggested bets for Epsom Day at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Track: Good 4. Rail: True position.
BEST BET: SAMBRO (Race 3, No.2)
NEXT BEST: HIEMAL (Race 1, No.3)
VALUE BET: CLEARLY INNOCENT (Race 6, No.2)
HOT TIPS: WEEKEND BEST BETS
ANALYSIS: INSIDE LINE ON EPSOM HCP
R1 (12.20pm): BREEDERS’ PLATE (1000m)
OVERVIEW: Hiemal sat behind the tearaway leader in his trial before pulling clear to win well in strong time. He should get the lovely run just off the leaders here. Performer is another who attacked the line well in his trial win and he has been well supported in early markets. Bondi will be up in the firing line and did everything right in his trial win as well. Santos should be up on speed and has the Gai Waterhouse polish.
DID YOU KNOW: Four of the past 10 Breeders’ Plate winners have gone on to win the Golden Slipper that season (Sebring, Pierro, Vancouver and Capitalist).
SPEED MAP: Good speed here with Bondi, Knievel and Santos all expected to be up there. Hiemal should sit just behind them.
BETTING STRATEGY: HIEMAL to win at $4.40.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Bondi $8-$7 ($2,000 @ $8, $1,000 @ $8, $300 @ $7), Performer $5-$4.40 ($200 e/w @ $5/$1.95, $2,500 @ $4.80, $2,500 @ $4.60, $1,000 @ $4.40)
R2 (12.55pm): GIMCRACK STAKES (1000m)
OVERVIEW: The fillies’ two-year-old division and it doesn’t get much easier. I like the way Bold Arial trialled and the $8 available about her seems value. She didn’t produce the quickest heat at Canterbury on September 18 but she showed a good turn of foot and won well. The quickest heat of the morning went to Witherspoon and she was very impressive. Just the wide draw is the concern for her (although there is only one turn at the Randwick 1000m). The Team Snowden-trained Satin Slipper also showed a nice turn of foot to win a recent trial and is also in the mix. They look the three but these early season two-year-old races can always be tricky.
DID YOU KNOW: Witherspoon went .48s quicker overall than any other two-year-old trial at Canterbury on September 18.
SPEED MAP: Good speed here with Meryl, Knockout Girl, Witherspoon all up there. Bold Arial won’t be far away either.
BETTING STRATEGY: WITHERSPOON a deserved favourite but BOLD ARIAL looks the value at $7.50.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Bold Arial $11-$7.50 ($200 e/w @ $10/$3.30, $3,000 @ $9.50, $2,000 @ $8.50, $300 @ $7.50)
R3 (1.30pm): DULCIFY QUALITY (1600m)
OVERVIEW: I like the look of Sambro here. He clocked the quickest last 600m split of the race (34.48s) at Canterbury last start when second against the older horses and he should sit midfield and be hard to beat. Ataraxia won her maiden well in strong time and then had no luck last start at the midweeks when wide throughout without cover in a strongly run race. Hypnotist comes through the best form line but he just lacks a turn of foot at this trip. I’m risking Langley and the figures out of his last-start win weren’t great.
SPEED MAP: Solid speed here with Spencer, Chosen Assassin, Pride Of Darci and, potentially, Dunatun and All Too Huiying all up there. You need a horse that can run a strong mile.
DID YOU KNOW: Ataraxia beat Surjin comfortably two starts back and that horse came out and beat Spencer home at its next start.
BETTING STRATEGY: SAMBRO to win at $4.40; Quinella 2,7.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Sambro $6-$4.40 ($400 @ $6, $500 @ $5.50, $500 @ $4.80, $600 @ $4.60, $1,000 @ $4.40)
R4 (2.05pm): HILL STAKES (1800m)
OVERVIEW: Tricky race. I just think they went way too hard for Sense Of Occasion first-up and he is so well treated under the weight-for-age conditions. The query is the dry track and he is clearly better with the sting out of the track. Mackintosh just did too much work up on speed last start but the run prior was good for a race like this. He has won up to 2200m but both his wins past 1500m came in Queensland in his three-year-old season. Perfect Rhyme was super in mares grade at Newcastle and she was four-deep the trip and still almost won. This is tougher and she is not well off at the weights. You know what you get with Classic Uniform and he should roll along and be hard to catch.
SPEED MAP: Classic Uniform should lead with Embley up there as well. Mackintosh won’t be far away. Speed will be genuine with Classic Uniform engaged.
DID YOU KNOW: Sense Of Occasion would be carrying 4.5kg more than his closest rival if this was a handicap.
BETTING STRATEGY: Happy to watch these at current prices.
R5 (2.40pm): FLIGHT STAKES (1600m)
OVERVIEW: I was taken by Alizee’s win in the Tea Rose and she was held up for half of the straight and then bounded clear to win impressively. That was her first run beyond 1200m and it suggested she will run the mile. Champagne Cuddles is a beauty and her run in the Golden Rose was a cracker. The query is this will be her third start in three weeks. One More Honey didn’t have much luck in the Tea Rose and she could be the one if Pandemonium goes 100 miles an hour in front and makes it a staying test. Cellargirl will run on, while Pandemonium missed the start last time in a complete forgive effort. She should lead and can run a cheeky race if she strings them out.
SPEED MAP: Pandemonium should roll along in front at a decent clip. Sweet Deal and College Romance (blinkers on) keep her honest. Speed should be genuine.
DID YOU KNOW: Only Chautauqua (10.89s) clocked a quicker last 200m split than Alizee (11s) at Randwick on September 16.
BETTING STRATEGY: ALIZEE to win at $2.70.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Alizee $3.20-$2.70 ($3,000 @ $2.90 averaged out, $3,000 @ $2.70)
R6 (3.20pm): PREMIERE STAKES (1200m)
OVERVIEW: Outstanding edition of the Premiere Stakes. The way I see it is you’re either with Chautauqua (who really caught the eye late in The Shorts) or you like one of the fresh horses on the scene in In Her Time or Clearly Innocent. Clearly Innocent was flying during the winter and the switch from Eagle Farm to Doomben may have cost him the Stradbroke. In Her Time has trialled really well and she had absolutely no luck in the winter. You can expect her, along with Clearly Innocent, to be wound up for this as they try to press their Everest claims. Chautauqua will be the one rocketing home late and, like always, it just depends whether they go hard enough for him (he needs a strong tempo). English peaked on the run fresh and this run will tell us whether she has come back this spring.
SPEED MAP: Ball Of Muscle and, potentially, Moher look the leaders, while In Her Time and The Monstar should be behind them. Speed looks genuine but not breakneck.
DID YOU KNOW: In Her Time sat wide without cover in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke and then was slow out in the Tattersall’s Tiara.
BETTING STRATEGY: CLEARLY INNOCENT the value at $7.50. Boxed quinella 1,2,10.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Chautauqua $3.20 unchanged ($1,000 @ $3.20), Clearly Innocent $8-$7.50, In Her time $6.50-$5.50
R7 (4pm): EPSOM HCP (1600m)
OVERVIEW: It’s not what you would call a vintage Epsom and it’s probably a year where the topweight can win. Happy Clapper is just airborne and he was no match for Winx in the George Main but he put a gap in the rest of his rivals. He has drawn well and looks the horse to beat. Comin’ Through has a sense of timing about him and he should get across from the wide draw. The query is whether he lacks the class of the above two mentioned. Zanbagh and Tom Melbourne can both run on late and the former is the best roughie in the race and should love a mile.
SPEED MAP: Red Excitement and Sound Proposition should stroll along with Happy Clapper and Comin’ Through behind them. Speed should be genuine
DID YOU KNOW: Only two horses this century have carried 57kg to win an Epsom — Winx (2015) and Racing To Win (2006). Happy Clapper has 57kg.
BETTING STRATEGY: HAPPY CLAPPER to win. Just hoping he gets out to $3.50+.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Happy Clapper $3.80-$3, Foxplay $10-$9.50 ($1,000 @ $9.50), Egg Tart $4.80-$5.50
R8 (4.45pm): THE METROPOLITAN (2400m)
OVERVIEW: Libran started $26 in the Kingston Town Stakes but he was impressive. He quite clearly just didn’t like the wet tracks last prep and his stats on a good track are super. He has a great record at this trip and beyond. Who Shot Thebarman is the big improver up to this trip. He hasn’t won for 18 starts but he can run well here. Antonio Giuseppe and Life Less Ordinary, who meets Libran 4kg better off from the Kingston Town Stakes, also have winning claims. Big Duke has been well backed during the week and the only query I’ve got with him is whether he prefers a wet track. He will lap up 2400m all the same.
SPEED MAP: Broadside to take it up with My Diamantine and Foundry up there. Speed should be genuine.
DID YOU KNOW: Libran has a 50 per cent winning strike rate form 14 starts on good tracks and has won three from five starts at 2400m.
BETTING STRATEGY: LIBRAN to win at $5.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Broadside $9-$9.50-$8.50 ($1,000 @ $9.50)
R9 (5.25pm): SNITZEL SPRINT (1200m)
OVERVIEW: The last race of the day is renowned for being a lottery and this is no different. Spright’s last few fresh runs have been great from wide gates and she can settle midfield here. She will be strong late. I Thought So was wide first-up and the sectionals show he knocked up the last 200m. He improved second-up last preparation. Grunderzeit is another horse capable fresh and his recent trials have been sound. Tango Rain should lead but there is pressure here and the last 200m is the concern. Isorich is a must for quaddies and he always goes up 20-1 and races well.
DID YOU KNOW: Isorich’s last three wins have come at an average starting price of $26.
SPEED MAP: Strong speed here with Sweet Serendipity, Improvement and Tango Rain all leaders. I Thought So, Isorich and Grunderzeit should settle behind them.
BETTING STRATEGY: Back I THOUGHT SO ($4.40) and SPRIGHT ($6.50) to win.