Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Randwick on Saturday, March 2nd.
We have a nine-race card on a Good 4 track with the rail out 6m. The Group 1 Surround Stakes will attract plenty of attention but the main draw card is Winx in The Chipping Norton Stakes.
We have betting tips and comments on every race below!
Best Bet: Race 7 Pohutakawa
Best Value: Race 8 Bella Martini
A fairly uninspiring Highway Handicap to kick off the card here. I don't mind the look of Pierino on an each way basis at around $5.00/$2.00 here. He's had two runs back from a spell and both have essentially been in Highway races, which is often the best form to follow for these races. He's third up today and steps up to the mile, having raced over 1100m and 1300m in his first two starts this time in. I think he's ready to do something. Haames was terribly unlucky in a Highway last start. He only saw clear daylight the final 50m or so and today he gets a huge jockey upgrade with Blake Shinn taking over from Andrew Adkins. Tiara Road hit the line powerfully in that same race, finishing 0.3L off the winner in 3rd. Her racing pattern doesn't lend her too many favours but look for her late again. Belfast Bella started $6.50 in a Highway first up but sat wide without cover and knocked up to finish second last, 12L off the winner. She gets a tongue tie applied today and has had a month between runs. Two horses have already come out of that race and won their next start so it appears a decent formline for this. She draws barrier 1 and looks the value at $8.00.
Tough race to work out. There's a number of horses I want to back but I can't really split a few of them. I'll be taking on the favourite Penske. He's in good form and comes off a sound win but he goes up in weight to 61kg today and also steps up 400m in trip to 2000m for the first time in his career. Cosmologist was good without a lot of luck behind Penske last start, sitting wide without cover before being beaten 3.5L. He gets a 3kg weight swing on Penske today and also has the run under his belt. He's won two from three when second up and won his only start at this track and distance. He might even be able to find the rail today and that gives him his chance to win. Hursley was sound first up. He improves out of sight with one run under the belt. He's never placed from six starts when first up but he's finished in the money in three of his four starts when second up. Last prep he was beaten 10L first up and then stepped up to 2000m second up and was beaten a nose. Bowman rode him first up and sticks with him today. The big problem is Winx races later so Hugh will most likely be disinterested in taking any risks. His stablemate Jake's Hill could be the value at $15. He motored home first up over the mile and now steps up to the distance of his only career win. Brenton Avdulla takes the ride at 53kg. These imports typically improve with one or two Australian preparations under their belt, so perhaps he can go on with things this time in. Looks Like Elvis wasn't beaten far two starts ago over the mile and then went to Melbourne, where he was edged out by the highly-promising Schabau. He returns to Sydney now and draws well for his second start at the 2000m. Expect him to go close. Backing Cosmologist, Hursley and Jake's Hill.
Great little race despite the small numbers. Castelvecchio could be anything. His win last start was hugely impressive, swooping home from the back of the field to back up his impressive win on debut. He's relished the fast tempos up front in both starts to date, so the query is whether he can sit and sprint here. I think he's good enough too so I'll be backing him to keep his undefeated record intact. Accession started the short-priced favourite when Castelvecchio ran him down last start. He didn't get any favours in the run, sitting six-wide without cover throughout the race, before being run over late. Should obviously get a much nicer run today with the small field but he's now getting fairly deep into his preparation, though Waller just seems to keep them up and running. Microphone bolted in at Flemington last start and ran good time in the process. Comes to Sydney now and comes up favourite on the back of that win. I respect the horse and backed it last start but I'm not sure it should be favourite here. Traditionally, the stronger Sydney two-year-olds are too good for the Melbourne horses. With that said, the stable are absolutely flying so no surprise to see him win. Possibly the horse flying under the radar a touch is Sun Patch. His debut win at the midweeks was freakish. You almost have to watch it more than once to believe it, such was the fashion he won in. This is obviously a sharp step up in class, but I'm really keen to see how he measures up here and I'll be having something small on at $8.50.
Not overly keen to bet here at all but I may have something small on two runners. Super Oasis was very good on debut when running 2nd to impressive winner Sun Patch (see above, Race 3). She started from barrier 11 on that occasion and went back from the gate, but from barrier 3 today there's every chance we'll see her further forward in the run. If Sun Patch runs well in Race 3, I'm sure we'll see this filly well backed to win. Godolphin have two fillies engaged. Kiamichi is the lesser favoured of the two but James McDonald rode her in a recent trial and sticks with her for raceday. I wouldn't be discounting any juvenile from this stable so the $9.50 on offer for her is pretty appealing, especially with the good gate.
I found it difficult to assess this race. You Make Me Smile is in flying form with three straight wins. He continues to be well-backed and continues to run his rivals into the ground, wherever he races. He bolted in at this track and distance last start and may have beaten a handy one in Diplomatico. From barrier 1, Kathy O'Hara will take him straight to the lead once again and with 53kg on his back, he might just run them into the ground again. It will be interesting to see how much pressure his opposition apply. Kiwi raider Ever Loyal makes his Australian debut. He had a long time off the track but has returned in great form and comes across the ditch after an easy win last start. Now third up off that 12-month break, he should be nearing peak fitness. Typically the Kiwi sprinters are slightly below the Aussies, but it wouldn't shock to see him measure up. Dreamforce was an absolute tragedy first up, held up behind a wall of runners for the entire straight. He looks to get a sit behind You Make Me Smile today. He should still be very fresh as he wasn't tested first up. Whether he can sprint with You Make Me Smile with 59.5kg on his back is the query, but he loves the track and has a great second up record. Key jockey change today, too. Kaonic is a horse I'll be having something on at $7.00. He won impressively first up last prep over 1400m. He's always promised plenty and he's won three from five starts at this track. Whether the 1300m first up is a touch sharp for him is a little query but JMac takes the ride and I wouldn't be surprised to see him win. I have no idea how to line up the stablemate Advance Yulong, a two-time German Group 2 winner on Australian debut for Waller. No trials leading into this so hard to assess.
Really only two fillies I want to back here in the Group 1 Surround Stakes. Pohutakawa goes on top pretty clearly. She was immense first up with no luck at all. She was beaten a length by Nakeeta Jane, but I think with even luck she probably wins the race. She's undefeated from two previous second up runs, including last prep when she accounted for Madam Rouge comfortably in Melbourne, so we can tie that form in here. James McDonald takes over today from Brett Prebble, hopefully he can pull her to the outside and she can let rip. Nakeeta Jane was fantastic first up, winning over 1200m, a distance short of her best. She will have no issues with the 1400m today. She won second up over 1400m last prep before finishing alongside Oohood and Fiesta in the G1 Flight Stakes at the end of last prep. Drawn perfectly in barrier 6 and rates highly. Miss Fabulass might be the smokey in the field. She started the $2.25 favourite against a number of these in the Flight Stakes but raced way too keen. She was only beaten 0.3L in the end. She didn't look comfortable first up but if she were to bring her best form today, she'd possibly win this. Greysful Glamour is one to throw into exotics at huge odds.
This is a cracking race. I could make a genuine case for about seven of these horses. I think the Hawkes stable is absolutely flying at present and for that reason, I'm backing both of their runners. I'm going with Bella Martini on top. She was luckless all of last preparation and she returned in good order first up when finishing off strongly behind Alassio and Manicure. She's got a terrific second up record with two wins and a 2nd from three starts. That 2nd placing was last preparation when she was beaten a nose by I Am A Star. With any luck, I think she goes close here. Stablemate Dyslexic is the one flying under the radar and it's notable that Brenton Avdulla takes the ride on her in this race after he rode Bella Martini first up. She has two wins from three starts when first up - she failed fresh last prep but that may have been due to the wet track, because she started a well-backed $5 chance and went on to win next start when back on firm ground. Trialled well and again, stable flying. Dixie Blossoms has a great first up record and loves this track and distance. JMac booked to ride is a positive lead. Noire also has a terrific second up record with three wins from four starts. Tough race!
Two I'm mainly keen on to close out the day here. Serene Miss is undefeated from three first up runs and has won six of her eight starts in total. She's won three races at this distance and won her only start at this track. She will likely have to go back from barrier 10 but hopefully they're able to make ground throughout the day and she should be finishing off strongly down the outside. Maximus was enormous first up and with one more stride he wins the race clearly. He was about 5L in front 50m after the post. He's got a great second up record and has won over this track and distance previously. He's probably going to get a similar run to what he did first up so he'll need some luck at some point but if he repeats that effort, he'll be going very close here. The Snowden stable aren't going well at all but I'm ignoring that based on how good this horse's first up run was.
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