There are four huge Group 1s on the card, with the Sires' Produce Stakes, Australian Derby, TJ Smith Stakes and Doncaster Mile. I expect the track to be in the Soft range and the rail is in the true position.
Check out our selections for every race below!
Best Bet: Race 5 Supernova
Best Value: Race 7 In A Twinkling
Godolphin look to have a stranglehold on this race with Athiri and Bivouac. Athiri was last seen running 3rd to Kiamichi in the Magic Night Stakes and that form has obviously turned out alright with Kiamichi going on to win the Golden Slipper. Prior to that, Athiri ran 4th behind Lyre in the Blue Diamond, and Lyre then ran 3rd in the Slipper, so the form all around her looks pretty solid. James McDonald takes the ride so she looks the top seed, and him getting down to 54.5kg is another positive sign. Bivouac beat Cosmic Force on heavy ground two starts ago and Cosmic Force then came out and won by 7L. Last start Bivouac ran 4th behind Yes Yes Yes and Bellevue Hill. I think Yes Yes Yes is a good horse and Bellevue Hill won last weekend to frank that form, so he too comes into the race with sound formlines. Sronger looks the value at $13. He won first up and was then backed at longer odds last start when 3rd to Cosmic Force. He was beaten about 8L but I thought his run had merit and he should be cherry ripe for his third run back today.
Really uninspiring betting race, in my opinion. The top two in the market are Ringerdingding ($2.80) and Dealmaker ($2.50). They come into this having been beaten 13L and 10L respectively. Granted, they were against Winx and The Autumn Sun and this is a significantly easier race than what they've been facing in recent starts, but even so, their recent runs haven't exactly screamed 'back me'. I'm not convinced Ringerdingding is going to be entirely suited with top weight on wet ground, while Dealmaker has won just one race from 11 starts and has certainly had his fair share of chances. He gets blinkers reapplied today and his sole win was on soft ground, so he gets his opportunity again. Their stablemate The August will be my main bet in the race. I'll be taking $11 each way. He also gets the blinkers reapplied after three placings to start his campaign with Waller. The horse that beat him last start has since run well again and the soft conditions should also favour him here. Likely to back him at $11 and save on Dealmaker, or just stick to an eachway bet on The August at $11/$2.80.
If she can find the front here, Amangiri will be super hard to beat. She looks a really talented filly on the rise and she meets a field of horses that have a bit to prove. Amangiri followed a dominant midweek win at Kensington with another impressive performance on heavy ground at Hawkesbury last time out. She'll have no problems with the wet ground here and there's nothing to suggest she won't run 2000m based on what we've seen so far. Barrier 19 hurts but if she can get across, I suspect she'll be winning. Princess Jenni won well at Moonee Valley last start and I think she'll improve again today. Carries top weight but looks to have no issue with wet ground and I think she finds this race at the right stage of her prep. Clementina is yet to win a race but she's placed in both Listed and Group 3 company in New Zealand and was only 2L off the winner in the G1 NZ Oaks last start. Unlike a few others, there's no questions about her ability to run the trip and she'll be rock-hard fit. Welsh Legend won her one and only race third up last preparation and comes into this third up. Handles soft ground, comes out of a decent race, carries no weight and looks well placed. Looks a value chance at $18. Romani Girl had absolutely no luck whatsoever in that same race at Kembla Grange. She can go well, too.
I don't claim to be an expert on country horses so a field of 16 of them lining up on a wet track isn't a simple task. If you assess each horse on face value, Noble Boy picks himself. There is the big query about his condition for this race, with the trainer reporting during the week that his work alongside a Class 1 horse was well below par, indicating he may have come to the end of his preparation, but everything came back clear so they're pressing on. It's obviously not ideal at all when he's the $2.40 favourite so you could play it two ways - completely take him on, or bet based on the fact he's quite clearly the best horse in the race. I won't be betting big into the race but I'll be doing the latter - trusting the fact he's just the superior horse. He's won five of his six career starts and looks perfectly suited to 1400m at Randwick on wet ground. Outside of him, I really don't know how to line up the form, but based on previous winners of this race, I would throw in the likes of Texas Storm ($51), Lucciola Belle ($26), Queen Of Kingston ($18) and La Scopa ($4.40) for multiples.
There's a number of horses who *could* win this if they produced their best form on the day. With that said, if Supernova produces his best form, he'll win this. His two runs in Australia have been enormous and he couldn't have been much more impressive over the 1900m last start. He was a winner over 2400m in the UK and also ran 2nd over 2800m, so the step up to 2400m shouldn't be much of an issue, despite him stepping up so sharply in distance. He proved last start he handles wet ground, he's easily the most unexposed horse in this race and he's the horse that comes into the race with the best form, so with just 53kg, it's very hard to look past him. I think he's one of the best bets of the day. Self Sense is flying and he handles any track conditions so there's no reason he can't be very competitive here. Gallic Chieftain gets blinkers back on and has a fantastic third up record, so he can improve sharply. One Foot In Heaven is going well and I think his last two runs have been quite good. He just keeps getting too far back and that's probably going to be the case again from barrier 11, but throw him in exotics. Shraaoh should be around the mark and High Bridge is the blowout.
Really interesting Sires' Produce! Microphone looks the one for me, after running a brave 2nd in the Golden Slipper. I think he's arguably the best horse in the race and I'm sticking with him at good odds today. Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi is - quite amazingly - a $7.50 chance for this. She led all the way in the Slipper, and in the Magic Night Stakes prior to that. She draws the inside gate today so no doubt she'll press forward again, but the inside draw is a disadvantage today in my opinion. She's also likely to cop a fair amount of pressure up front with a couple of Waterhouse runners engaged. Loving Gaby was luckless in the Blue Diamond and luckless in the Slipper. She ran huge to get 4th and James McDonald quite notably jumps on board her today, rather than riding one of the Godolphin horses. She's been well backed into a clear favourite and with even luck, she should be right in the finish. Castelvecchio could be a forgotten horse. He powered home to win his first two starts and hsi run last start behind Microphone was extremely odd. He was under the whip and going nowhere in the straight, but picked himself up late to motor home into 3rd. They bipassed the Slipper to focus on this race over the 1400m. Don't dismiss. Tenley could be another that's being forgotten. She was very firm in Slipper betting but didn't travel a single yard on the Heavy 10. Completely pen that run and focus on what she did prior. Her best form would probably go very close to winning this and I won't be losing on her after backing her in the Slipper. Crystal Falls is another that appeals at $17. She's had just two starts and last time we saw her she ran 2nd to Kiamichi. Gets blinkers on for the first time today.
I think there's some terrific value on offer in the Derby. If you look through the recent winners of this race, you'll see races such as the New Zealand Derby, Tulloch Stakes, Rosehill Guineas and the Alister Clark Stakes as some of the lead up races. I think this year, the New Zealand horses that ran in the NZ Derby, and then ran in either the Tulloch or the Guineas, have been overlooked. Surely Sacred started favourite in the New Zealand Derby and finished 5th, before coming to Sydney and running 4th in the Rosehill Guineas. He's drawn really well in barrier 6 here and even though it's probably better for him if the track is firmer, I think he's flying under the radar. I'm backing him at $13. In A Twinkling ran 2nd in the New Zealand Derby and 5th in the Tulloch Stakes, where he sat wide without cover on a Heavy 10 track. He's drawn awkward in barrier 15 and he's won just one race, but the $34 is way over the odds. Platinum Invader ran 3rd in the NZ Derby before failing in the Tulloch. He's better on Soft ground rather than Heavy - he can improve and isn't without a chance at $41. Then we have Angel Of Truth, who led all the way to win the Tulloch by 2L. He's won three of his four starts on wet ground and the one he lost, he had absolutely no luck in. And that was behind Supernova, which is a very strong formline. Arrogant ran 4th in the NZ Derby and served it right up to The Autumn Sun in the Rosehill Guineas. On that, he has to rate a huge chance here. Madison County is already a dual Group 1 winner and ran 2nd to Angel Of Truth in the Tulloch last start. Unlike most others, he steps up to 2400m with no real indication of whether he will handle it or not. I'm prepared to take him on. Global Exchange follows the path of Levendi, coming through the Alister Clark at Moonee Valley. He's not hopeless by any means. So if I had $50 to bet in the race, I'd probably have $10 on Surely Sacred at $13, $10 on In A Twinkling at $34, $10 Agent Of Truth at $15, $10 Arrogant at $4.60 (saver bet) and $5 Global Exchange at $10 (saver bet). Big result if one of the first three win, and money back if the last two win.
What an incredible race! Not sure where to start. Trapeze Artist is currently the $4.60 favourite so we'll start there. I don't think I've ever backed this horse when he's won. I can never catch him, so I'm not going to jump on him here in a race of this depth and quality. He won easily last start when he was able to get to the front and crawl before sprinting clear. This is a much different race shape to that and even though he's shown in the past he's able to sprint off a hot tempo, I just can't back him at the price today. Santa Ana Lane is one I'll be backing at $7.50. He was sound first up under top weight in the Newmarket. Better suited second up here at WFA conditions. He won at this track and distance last prep when he was second up so he should be spot on for this. Pierata was the sickest of beats last start in The Galaxy, going down by a nostril hair to Nature Strip. He sat back off a hot tempo and flew home. He's undefeated at this track and distance from three starts and looks primed to run a mighty race. Osbourne Bulls has gone very close in two G1 races leading into this, with his racing pattern just meaning he's left his run to late. Third up, soft ground looks ideal, as does Randwick. Barrier 4 today - could we see him a touch closer? Shoals was scratched from the William Reid with a bruised heel. Certainly not ideal leading into a race such as this but the stable will have her ready. She's won three of her four starts on wet ground, with her only failure being the Everest last year when she pulled up lame. She's got a great second up record and has never finished outside the top two from five starts at Group 1 level. Sunlight just keeps raising the bar. She was entitled to win the William Reid last start and this is about 10X harder than that. But it's hard to knock her. She's yet to win on wet ground, could that be a factor? Hard to tip one horse here. I think if I had to single one out, Shoals each way at $9.00 would be a good bet, but I'm also backing Osbourne Bulls, Santa Ana Lane and Pierata. I'm yet to figure out how I'll stake the race - one of those will have to be a saver.
I know this field has plenty of depth and quality to it, but the more I look, I think there's actually quite a bit of deadwood in it. Instead of potting every runner I think doesn't have a chance, I'll just highlight the five I do think have a chance. If you're chasing a more in-depth analysis of the race and some of the runners I'm against, check out the podcast. I think Godolphin could well claim the race with Hartnell or Alizee. Hartnell is a marvel - he just keeps showing up and keeps running well in the top grade. He was arguably unlucky not to challenge Mystic Journey a bit more than he did in the All Star Mile last start. Buick didn't ride him particularly well and he should have finished closer. Recent years have proved that horses at the top of the weights in the Doncaster can win. He's one of the better performed horses in this race, he's a dual winner at the track and distance, has a good record on Soft ground and has a good draw. He can go very close. Alizee started favourite in the All Star Mile and travelled into it at the 200m like she'd win, but she just peaked on her run late. That's a little concern but she's undefeated at this track and distance and actually looks reasonably weighted given her accomplishments. She was beaten by Mystic Journey and Hartnell in the All Star Mile - a very decent form reference! Dixie Blossoms was a surprise winner of the Coolmoore Classic last start. That was her first win at Rosehill - a track she'd historically struggled at - and she returns to her pet track at Randwick today. Third up, has a good record at the track and distance and handles wet ground. Has to rate well again. I Am Serious started favourite in the Coolmoore but failed badly. That was an uncharacteristically bad run from her. If you can forgive her, her form doesn't look overly bad for this. She's got a tremendous record on wet ground, is undefeated at the track and distance, carries 50kg and draws the inside barrier. She's worth including at $20. Finally, Fundamentalist is another that continues to show up and run well in whatever she's in. She'll go forward and with just 49kg on her back, rates highly. She beat all bar The Autumn Sun last start, a decent reference for this. You could back all five of those. I'll be backing Hartnell and Alizee primarily, with I Am Serious the best value. Perhaps saver bets on the other two.
Very tough way to finish off. Won't be betting big. Madam Rouge went well first up but was just outclassed last start in the G1 Surround Stakes. Back to 1200m now from the good draw, she could bounce back at decent odds. Multaja got an easy kill at Hawkesbury last start with the big weight. Notably, JMac jumps off her but she still looks fairly well placed in this race. Causeway Girl won nicely first up in Melbourne and they said they wanted to target the soft tracks in Sydney, so here she is. She's definitely up to the grade and if she's a swimmer, then she could be a bit of value at $11. Fiesta is probably the runner with the runs on the board. She's been freshened up and drops back to 1200m after failing in the Surround Stakes and the Coolmoore. She won nicely over Estijaab first up and a repeat of that would see her hard to beat.
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