Saturday Best with Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy: Royal Randwick

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THE Daily Telegraph’s racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy analyse all nine races on Epsom Handicap Day at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

ROYAL RANDWICK

Track: Good 3. Rail: True.

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SUGGESTED BETS

DUFF’S BEST RAY’S BEST
Race 7, No.1 HAPPY CLAPPER Race 9, No.10 I THOUGHT SO
Race 8, No.9 LIFE LESS ORDINARY Race 3, No.3 HYPNOTIST
VALUE BET VALUE BET
Race 5, No.3 ONE MORE HONEY Race 4, No.10 PERFECT RHYME
GRAND FINAL TIPS GRAND FINAL TIPS
NRL – STORM NRL – COWBOYS
AFL – TIGERS AFL – TIGERS

R1 (12.20pm) BREEDERS PLATE (1000m)

Thomas: A very good juvenile race. I’m an leaning to Bondi who trialled very well. He is trained by Peter and Paul Snowden and has drawn ideally, so he gets a few ticks. Hiemal was very good at Canterbury and will be hard to beat. Santos is another youngster with good ability and Performer attacked the line in his trial. Tough race.

Dufficy: A terrific race and in time we will look back on this race and say it was one of the strongest Breeders Plates we have seen. I think Performer is the one. It is unusual for the Chris Waller stable to have a two-year-old up and going so early in the season but I was impressed by the way he knuckled down and won his trial in fast time. Hiemal looks a real little professional and the Godolphin stable is talking him up. Bondi quickened nicely in his trial and Spin ran on strongly.

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)

RACE WATCH: DAVO’S TIPS FOR RANDWICK

ANALYSIS: INSIDE LINE ON EPSOM HCP

HOT TIPS: WEEKEND BEST BETS

R2 (12.55pm): GIMCRACK STAKES (1000m)

Thomas: I’m going a little wide with Zerchois. She did a good job in her trial win, showing natural speed and acceleration. From the favourable gate, she will be on speed and take catching. Meryl has done nothing wrong in her two trials, she is benefited from the experience and is an each way chance. Satin Slipper is bred to be good and looks impressive in her trial win, and Cortesta would have been my top pick from a good draw but she will need luck from out there.

Dufficy: I like Greyt Love. She settled back, travelled nicely and impressed me with the way she hit the line behind the smart Witherspoon. Greyt Love does map well here and is a good chance. Witherspoon would have been a clear top pick for me if she had drawn a barrier. She has drawn off the course and there is some fast fillies underneath her but if she gets any sort of luck in running, she will beat these and beat them easily. Galina is a half sister to Russian Revolution and looks a smart filly the way she ran on strongly in her trial. Bold Arial didn’t run time in her trial but to the eye she could not have been more impressive the way she accelerated.

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), Zerchois $11-$13- $12 ($750 x $250 e/w @ $13/$3.95)

Boo Bailey's cartoon tip for Randwick.

Boo Bailey’s cartoon tip for Randwick.Source:Supplied

R3 (1.30pm): DULCIFY QUALITY (1600m)

Thomas: I am giving Hypnotist another chance. He was trapped wide without cover at Newcastle and did well to hold on for fourth behind Astoria. He is drawn to get the perfect run and this genuine colt will prove hard to beat. Langley is taking a big jump from a Kembla maiden into a stakes race but he was dominant last start and is a big improver. The Waller-trained duo of Sambro and Tangled look hard to beat. Tangled ran last in a Rosehill trial the other day but he went to the line half pace. At his best, he would be the horse to beat and looks over the odds.

Dufficy: I’m also wary of Tangled, but I’m not tipping him. I really like Langley. He was very good at Kembla and is progressing nicely. On his home track he will be finishing this race off strongly. Sambro is the danger. He ran a much improved race last start against the older horse and should be in the finish. Hypnotist gets the cosy run here and Ataraxia is also better suited back against his own age. I’m with Langley.

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)

Thomas: Perfect Rhyme is an underrated mare who ran second in the Oaks at Randwick during The Championships. She has been improved by two runs from a spell and ran a blinder to beat all but Zanbagh in the Tibbie Stakes. She will appreciate getting out to 1800m and this is not a vintage Hill Stakes field. Spectroscope would win this on his best form but I’m concerned he may need a softer track. That’s ditto for Sense Of Occasion, but he is a Group 1 weigh-for-age winner. Mackintosh ran competitively in the George Main Stakes, which reads well for this race.

Dufficy: I really struggled with this race. At first glance, I wanted to oppose Mackintosh but I kept coming back to him. He is the one that has run in the right lead-up races and will settle better with the blinkers off. He shouldn’t be far away in this race and looms as the one to beat. I want to give Spectroscope another chance as well. Maurus is in a similar boat and like you, Sense Of Occasion looks well placed but most of his form suggests he is better with the sting out of the ground. Mackintosh ticks most of the boxes in this race.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Mackintosh $3-$2.80 ($200 @ $3, $1,250 @ $2.90)

One More Honey has a sense of timing about her heading into the Flight Stakes.

One More Honey has a sense of timing about her heading into the Flight Stakes.Source:News Corp Australia

R5 (2.40pm): FLIGHT STAKES (1600m)

Thomas: I am going to have a throw at the stumps with Pandemonium. She missed the start in the Tea Rose Stakes and it may pay to forgive her that flop. She was dominant leading most of the way to win over 1600m at Warwick Farm before that and I can see her getting an uncontested lead here and proving hard to run down — and at good odds. Cellargirl has been terrific at her last two starts and will be hard to beat. Champagne Cuddles is a tough, consistent filly and Alizee was brilliant in the Tea Rose but was aided by a gun ride.

Dufficy: I’m also going wide with One More Honey. She was held up in the Tea Rose and should have finished a lot closer. She is well drawn, primed and there is a sense of timing about her preparation. I think she is quite likeable here. Cellargirl is the danger as she has hit the line hard at her last two starts. Alizee responded when ridden with cover last start but she will need a very, very good ride from her outside barrier. Champagne Cuddles is going so well, but how many more times can she keep backing up? There is a question mark about her at the mile as well.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Alizee $3.20-$2.70 ($3,000 @ $2.90 averaged out, $3,000 @ $2.70)

R6 (3.20pm): PREMIERE STAKES (1200m)

Thomas: Chautauqua comes back to his track and distance, which he owns. He has been unbeaten for three years over the Randwick 1200m, winning three TJ Smith Stakes. His first-up run was enormous and with a good tempo up front, watch out for the grey flash to come charging home. There has been a few knockers for English after her first-up effort but I thought she was good enough and will improve. Clearly Innocent and In Her Time have been working brilliantly at Newcastle and both need to make a statement here to get into The Everest. Great race.

Dufficy: What am I going to do here? I have backed and been tipping In Her Time all week but was floored to learn there is a late gear change and she will have bar plates on. This suggests to me they are having problems with her feet. It is a personal thing, but I won’t tip horses wearing bar plates in a race. So, I’m with the champion Chautauqua. His first-up run was eye-catching and he will eat up the 1200m. He might be a run short but he is good enough to overcome that and still win. In Her Time and Clearly Innocent need to run big races, and English is another I’m looking closely at, as she needs to perform here heading into The Everest.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Chautauqua $3.20-$3.30- $3.10 ($3,000 @ $3.30, $2,000 @ $3.20, $1,000 @ $3.20 MULTIPLE TIMES, $1,000 e/w @ $3.20/$1.50), Clearly Innocent $8-$7.50, English $4.80-$5, In Her time $6.50-$5.50

TAB Racing Update: Epsom Handicap 29/9/171:20

Take a look at all the TAB Markets for this weekend’s racing action, including the Epsom Handicap.

R7 (4pm): TAB EPSOM HCP (1600m)

Thomas: I’m very keen on Happy Clapper. This race sets up perfectly for him from gate four. He can park close to the leaders and be ready to swoop from the turn. His turn of foot this spring has been brilliant as he put away the Tramway Stakes field easily before pushing the mighty mare Winx in the George Main Stakes. Happy Clapper has the form, he loves the Randwick mile, and he is a deserved favourite. Tom Melbourne is the weight horse. He has been racing very well since joining the Waller stable and gets out to a more suitable distance here. The barrier draw hasn’t been kind but he still looks one of the main chances. Foxplay is very genuine but needs luck from the gate, while the best value is Zanbagh, a quality mare back in top form and value at double-figure odds.

Dufficy: I’m all over Happy Clapper. He is in fantastic form, third-up from a spell he is always very effective, he loves this track and distance, and I don’t think he is harshly treated with 57kg. He is going to be very hard to beat. I agree, Tom Melbourne is a big danger. He is a frustrating horse for punters but his runs at 1400m have been very good. He is looking for 1600m now and I hope they roll forward with his lightweight. Comin’ Through hasn’t done much wrong this spring and is a lightweight hope, while McCreery is a real handicapper and will react to that. I’m Happy Clapper from the Waller Wall!

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Happy Clapper $3.80-$2.90- $3.10 ($3,000 @ $3.10, $1,000 @ $3.10, $900 @ $3.10, $1,500 @ $2.90), Foxplay $10-$9.50 ($1,000 @ $9.50), Tom Melbourne $9-$7 ($3,500 @ $7.50), Comin Through $8-$7.50, Snitzson $51-$35 ($2,000 x $1000 e/w @ $35/$7.75)

R8 (4.45pm): THE METROPOLITAN (2400m)

Thomas: I know you are not a big weights and measures man, Ronnie, but I am keen on Antonio Giuseppe and Life Less Ordinary to get the better of the stablemate Libran. Antonio Giuseppe has had the right preparation for this race and he is primed for this race. He ran second in The Metropolitan last year but is a more seasoned stayer now. Life Less Orindary has the big weight drop and I wanted to tip him on top but I wanted to see him attacking the line better than he did last start. Broadside is on the quick back-up here but he will get a soft lead and he is a very tough stayer when he gets his own way in front. Foundry is an improving stayer and Team Williams horses are always competitive in these big Sydney staying races so I’m keeping him under guard, too.

Dufficy: I feel Life Less Ordinary is the weight horse. He meets Libran 4kg better at the weights here, and I thought he had to chase them a little early last start. He was backed as if unbeatable that day and the run will top him off. His jockey, Kerrin McEvoy, is a great rider of stayers. I’m wary of Big Duke who is up in distance and backing up quickly, and that is usually a good plan from the Darren Weir stable. No knock on Antonio Giuseppe who was gallant in defeat in this race last year.

TAB MARKET MOVERS: Who Shot Thebarman $12-$11, Broadside $9-$9.50- $8.50 ($1,000 @ $9.50), Big Duke $6 unchanged ($1,000 @ $6)

R9 (5.25pm): SNITZEL SPRINT (1200m)

Thomas: My best bet of the day is in the last, I Thought So. He drew awkwardly when resuming, was trapped wide without cover and still ran up to win the race halfway down the straight before he tired for a close fourth to Isorich. He will derive great benefit from that run but importantly, he has drawn barrier four and will get the gun run. He’s always been a promising talent and he is set to deliver here. Tango Rain is in great form, will race on the speed making his own luck. Isorich is a very underrated sprinter and will again be over the odds. Spright was made to attack the line in her trial and I expect her to be charging home.

Dufficy: I can see where you are coming from with I Thought So but I’m getting embarrassed tipping him all the time. I have a slight leaning to Tango Rain. He maps well behind Sweet Serendipidity and will look the winner at some stage in the straight. I Thought So, if he settles with cover, will be the one to beat. Spright is a big yard watch, but we know she is a class mare, while Dagny’s first-up run was very good.

SATURDAY EXTRA

SHAYNE O’CASS’S BEST BETS

KEMBLA

BEST BET: SANSA (Race 5, No. 9)

This Kiwi-bred filly has done enough in her two trials last month to indicate ability and a bold bid on debut.

NEXT BEST: SACHER TORTE (Race 3, No. 7)

Put the writing on the wall to win first-up after trialling well in the lead-up. The Godolphin filly powered through the line that day beating subsequent big winner Darhad. Can keep progressing beyond the provincials.

VALUE: LADY ELIZABETH (Race 4, No. 7)

Lightly-raced filly from the Jason Coyle resuming in a suitable race. It is well known that when horses from this stable trial well, they invariably reproduce on race day and this Magic Albert replica has looked good in her two heats.

TRAINER TO FOLLOW

GWENDA MARKWELL is not called the “Queen of Kembla” for no reason. A home meeting rarely passes by without her leading in a winner and she might have a handful on Saturday.

SUGGESTED BETS

Quinella — Race 4, Nos. 3,7

Box trifecta — Race 5, Nos. 6,7,9,11

QUADDIE

Race 5: 9,11; Race 6: 4,5,7; Race 7: 2,3; Race 8: 6,7,8,9

WAGGA

BEST BET: DAMN WICKED LEFT (Race 4, No. 2)

Seymour-trained galloper making the trip over the Murray again, he is 3s 1-1-0 at the track, including a barnstorming 4½ lengths win over this course and distance.

NEXT BEST: KRUANUI (Race 6, No. 1)

Was a dual acceptor but it is clear the last race on the card is the much easier option. Has only won one from 18 but placed eight times and been luckless in many of his starts.

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