The following is a survey of Australian racing tips for Saturday, April 4. The highlights of the day are the four Group 1 races at Randwick: the Inglis Sires’ (Race 6), Australian Derby (Race 7), TJ Smith Stakes (Race 8) and Doncaster Mile (Race 9). The other group races at Randwick are also covered, along with selected races at Caulfield. More tips and previews will be added as they become available.
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Randwick Race 6, No. 1 Mamaragan
Randwick Race 10: Rubisaki
Race 2, No.9 Skelm – 4 stars
Race 5, No.13 Defiant Dancer – 3.5 stars
Race 3, No.1 Bobbing – 3.5 stars
Race 6, No.1 Mamaragan – 3.5 stars
1. Quick Thinker – 3.5 stars
3. Shadow Hero
Best Bet: Quick Thinker ($9.00)
Best Roughie: Skiddaw ($26)
Exotic: Box Exacta: 1,2,6,7,9
1. Bivouac – BEST BET – 5 stars
2. Nature Strip
3. Loving Gaby
4. Santa Ana Lane
Best Bet: Bivouac ($5.00)
Best Roughie: Standout ($31)
Exotic: Box Trifecta: 1,2,3,7,12,13
1. Brandenburg – 3.5 stars
2. Mr Quickie
3. Melody Belle
Best Bet: Brandenburg ($6.50)
Best Roughie: Mr Quickie ($26)
Exotic: Boxed Trifecta: 1,7,10,12,18,19,20,21
2. Nature Strip
3. Loving Gaby
1. Melody Belle
4. Star of the Seas
Betting Confidence: Medium
Back – #13 Cultural Amnesia; #1 Mamaragan
Betting Confidence: Medium
Back – #2 Pierata
Race 8: 1. NATURE STRIP, 2. Santa Ana Lane, 3. Pierata, 4. Loving Gaby
Race 9: 1. SHARED AMBITION, 2. Melody Belle, 3. Mister Sea Wolf, 4. Prince Fawaz
Race 1: Rulership
Race 2: Reloaded
Race 3: Julian Rock – each-way
Race 4: Paradee
Race 5: Carif, saving on Youngstar
Race 6: Mamaragan
Race 7: Castelvecchio
Race 8: Pierata – each-way
Race 9: Shared Ambition and Brandenburg
Race 10: Rubisaki
RULERSHIP (1) was very good at his first two starts before not disgraced in the Blue Diamond Stakes last start. Since kept fresh (42 days) and he has trialled well in the lead up. Should appreciate the drop back in trip and has drawn to lead, should prove hard to beat. DAMAGED (4) spaced them at Warwick Farm last start and suspect he has more to come. Drawn a touch awkwardly, but still looms as a major threat. NOT AN OPTION (2) rates well on his best form in NZ and has to be kept safe in his Australian debut, while debut winner DOUBTLAND (5) appears the next in line.
RELOADED (3) continued his good run of form last start when closing off well to finish third in the Rosehill Guineas. Very well placed off that effort and should be aided by the drop back in trip. Drawn well and should prove hard to beat with Nash aboard. GRAND PIANO (5) steps up sharply in grade, but is clearly trending the right way and is sure to appreciate the step up in trip. Another drawn favourably and looms as a major threat. PROMOTIONS (2) did a good job to win the Canberra Guineas last start and is another on an upward spiral, while you have to respect the class of KUBRICK (4).
JULIAN ROCK (6) arguably should have won his last three starts and couldn’t have been more impressive at Moruya last start. Since kept fresh (48 days) and has trialled very well in the lead up. The only time we save him previously at Randwick he sat wide and blew them away. Rates well at the weights and handles all conditions. Should prove hard to beat. BOBBING (1) was super first up when only narrowly beaten at Muswellbrook. Likely to be spotting them all a start, but should be very strong late. LIGULATE (7) won well last start and has to be respected with JMac booked, while TWO BIG FARI (2) continues to raise the bar and appears the next in line.
PARADEE (2) has won 3/4 this preparation and did a good job to win at the Valley last start when forced to sit wide throughout. Looks to be crying out for this trip and they find Bowman. Is adaptable and is sure to make her presence felt. COLETTE (3) has been most impressive at her last two starts, but have to have a query on what she has beaten. Is on an upward spiral, but you are paying a premium for the hype around her. NIMALEE (9) sets up well off back to back wins. Has to overcome the wide draw, but still commands respect. BETCHA FLYING (10) looks huge odds early, she is more than capable third up.
CARIF (5) has improved with each performance this time in and sets up well on the quick back up. Handles all conditions and it’s a big tick with Clark sticking aboard. Should get a lovely run and shapes as one of the hardest to beat. YOUNGSTAR (11) has shown glimpses in recent runs and is certainly more than capable. Hasn’t won in close to 700 days now, but she gets every chance here. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (3) closed off well late at Caulfield last start and won this race last year under similar conditions. Blinkers back on a big tick. THE CHOSEN ONE (2) the next in line.
MAMARAGAN (1) has been most impressive in two starts to this point and gives every impression he’ll relish the step up in trip. Bred to handle all conditions and certainly brings the A1 form. Nash sticks and he should look to lead from the inside. The one to beat. OLE KIRK (8) should be 2/2 having been blocked at a vital stage in the VRC Sires’ last start. Since kept fresh (28 days) and has trialled very well. Looms as a major threat. HOLYFIELD (6) sets up well on the quick back up having proven too strong last weekend. Has to be respected off that, while last start winner LARIMER STREET (2) also holds claims.
CASTELVECCHIO (1) took full advantage of a more aggressive ride last start when too strong in the Rosehill Guineas. Yet to be seen beyond 2000m, but he gives the impression he’ll stay all day and loses nothing with JMac going aboard. Expect him to be prominent again and should prove hard to beat. SHADOW HERO (2) was yet to finish behind the former until last start when solid enough late. Has been set for this all the way through and looms as a major threat. WARNING (3) is another tracking well and has to be respected fourth up, while QUICK THINKER (6) also holds claims on the quick back up.
PIERATA (2) closed off very well first up when a close fifth in the Galaxy. Was a sectional star there and sets up very well stepping up to 1200m. The wide draw suits, he handles all conditions and Berry knows him well. Has the talent to upstage a few of the big names here. NATURE STRIP (1) went like a bomb last start, but the last thing really want to be doing is backing Nature Strip off a peak performance, he invariably flops. No question he’s the one to beat if able to hold his form, but it has to be a niggle. BIVOUAC (7) disappointed last start, but can bounce back in a big way. His Newmarket win was top drawer, while SANTA ANA LANE (3) is another who is more than capable.
SHARED AMBITION (17) arguably should be unbeaten in Australia after everything went wrong first up at Warwick Farm. Effort following was very good in the Randwick City Stakes and love the set up, 28 days between runs, dropping back to the mile. It’s been a go to for Waller for many years. Drawn to be closer and should be strong through the line. BRANDENBURG (19) is definitely the profile horse. He’s bring the right form, is a 3YO, has the King of the Doncaster (Glen Boss) aboard and has drawn to get a lovely run. Ticks all the boxes. PRINCE FAWAZ (20) sets up well back in trip off the back of a game effort in the Rosehill Guineas, has to be respected, while CASCADIAN (10) also has to be kept safe on the quick back up. He finally delivered last start and can go back to back.
RUBISAKI (2) continues to raise the bar having notched up her fourth straight win at Flemington last start. Rates highly of the back of that effort and love the step up, kept fresh (28 days) with a soft trial in between. Handles all conditions and shouldn’t be far away from the inside draw. Nash takes over and she should prove hard to hold out. KIAMICHI (1) drops back to her own age and has to be kept safe with JMac back aboard. Should lead and give a bit of cheek from the good draw. Stablemate PIN SEC (3) has prepped up well for this and has to be kept safe with Bowman booked, while SANGRIA (5) won well last start and appears the next in line.
2. Not An Option (3 stars)
3. Jerle (3 stars)
1. Rulership (3 stars)
4. Damaged (3 stars)
4. Kubrick (5 stars)
2. Promotions (3 stars)
5. Grand Piano (3 stars)
3. Reloaded (2 stars)
1. Bobbing (3 stars)
2. Two Big Fari (3 stars)
3. Healing Hands (3 stars)
12. Magnalane (3 stars)
9. Nimalee (3 stars)
2. Paradee (3 stars)
11. Amitto (3 stars)
3. Colette (3 stars)
14. Think It Over (3 stars)
9. Great Glen (3 stars)
11. Youngstar (3 stars)
1. Mirage Dancer (3 stars)
2. Larimer Street (3 stars)
6. Holyfield (3 stars)
3. Prague (3 stars)
1. Mamaragan (3 stars)
1. Castelvecchio (5 stars)
4. Sherwood Forest (4 stars)
2. Shadow Hero (3 stars)
7. Zebrowski (2 stars)
4. Redzel (5 stars)
1. Nature Strip (3 stars)
13. Loving Gaby (3 stars)
6. Vegadaze (3 stars)
1. Melody Belle (3 stars)
13. Quackerjack (3 stars)
2. Kolding (3 stars)
17. Shared Ambition (3 stars)
2. Rubisaki (5 stars)
1. Kiamichi (3 stars)
8. Juan Diva (2 stars)
12. Plaquette (2 stars)
A huge day of racing for day 1 of The Championships. Amended prizemoney is unfortunate but necessary in the light of current circumstances and will do nothing to quell the enthusiasm of punters trying to draw a profit from the action. Rail true. Our Wednesday rating was Soft 6 and there was an ominous forecast of a Friday thunderstorm. (Remember, this is Doncaster/Derby day after all!) So we watch and wait with great interest for any downgrade. Let’s get it all going with a sprint for the 2YOs, a race in which last year Bivouac beat Libertini and neither were favourite. RULERSHIP was doing good things before pulling up poorly from the Blue Diamond. Back here since for a sound trial. Hard to roll if he handles the conditions.
Selections: 1. Rulership (Top Tip), 4. Damaged, 5. Doubtland, 11. Forbidden Love
7 to lead 2. I have 9, 8 and 3 as next in line but the order may well be 3, 8 and 9 instead. RELOADED wants three scratchings in the Doncaster but they may not come and this is a very suitable backup option in which he’ll start very short. Form through Brandenburg, Castelvecchio, Shadow Hero and Prince Fawaz – what more do you want. At the set weights he’s thrown in and has handled down to Soft 7. Though I haven’t forensically priced this yet I wouldn’t think they’d give you $1.50 about him. POWER SCHEME raced here with success this time last year and seems well poised 3rd-up. GRAND PIANO is thrown in a much deeper pool but could run on into some minor money.
Selections: 3. Reloaded (Top Tip), 1. Power Scheme, 5. Grand Piano, 2. Promotions
Expect 2 and 10 to race over from wide draws. 4 might push forward as well. (23 a factor if here but needs a heap of scratchings and that won’t happen I don’t think.) What’s not to like about BOBBING, a galloper that is in the peculiar situation of adding a Country Championships crown to his Provincial Championships win of 2019. He hasn’t saluted since that day last April but a Kosciuszko placing and a 2.5L defeat in the Villiers are his two Randwick runs in that period. He just fell short in the Wild Card (oh, frustration!) and will keep things simple here, settling way back, maybe even last. It promises to be an exciting watch.
Selections: 1. Bobbing (Top Tip), 2. Two Big Fari, 15. Sky Call, 6. Julian Rock
Of all the Group races on the Sydney calendar this one is reliably confusing every year. They’re never the ‘A set’ of fillies and it’s always a disparate sort of group as from all angles they come. 7 and 5 might lead the way from 14 and 17. If they want another 2000m run for FASCINO then she finds a race that may well be at least 7.1L easier than last week. Settling as far back as she did there was no help at all. This looks more like her go, even if she does give them all weight (as she should). PARADEE the other stakeswinner in the race and there’s no knock on her, presuming Bowman slots her into a nice trailing spot. COLETTE and NIMALEE doing good work in their first race prep.
Selections: 1. Fascino (Top Tip), 2. Paradee, 3. Colette, 9. Nimalee
The final lead-up to next week’s Sydney Cup (fingers crossed). 7 and 14 set the pace. CARIF is the pick for me. Gets a three kilo weight swing on MIRAGE DANCER from the Tancred last week and proven at this slightly longer trip. Clark getting to know him at each run this prep and should have him trailing sweetly somewhere in the front half. YOUNGSTAR seems to have come back well. There’s no knock getting beaten so far in the Ranvet. She was right there with CARIF this track and trip in the St Leger last October and she meets him 6 kilos better off. THINK IT OVER now a well established stayer that has built his way to a good level.
Selections: 5. Carif (Top Tip), 11. Youngstar, 1. Mirage Dancer, 14. Think It Over
13 and 6 to cross up front? 1 and 2 see cute runs just in behind. I’m happy to back the horse that put in the best run in the Slipper and clearly that’s MAMARAGAN. His top three finish in that race is clear proof that his debut win was no mere fluke; indeed it is compelling evidence he is a horse of the future. Rawiller will have him trailing up in such a way that the extra furlong will be no bother at all. LARIMER STREET returns to Sydney after a much awaited breakthrough and he should be sitting pretty in the run here as well. In the VRC Sires’ back on March 7 he was ahead of both HOLYFIELD and OLE KIRK but they had their holdups in the straight on that occasion.
Selections: 1. Mamaragan (Top Tip), 2. Larimer Street, 6. Holyfield, 8. Ole Kirk
12 to lead 10, 4 and 6 in the Derby. A race in which we see CASTELVECCHIO sent out favourite for the first time in his career. (At least he was at preview time.) It was pleasing to see him bounce off a forgive run here two back and win at Rosehill, and the versatility to follow the leader in the race was a big part of the victory. When he beat Loving Gaby in the Champagne he drew 4/settled 5th of 12, in the Cox Plate he drew 3 and was midfield. That cosy barrier doesn’t come his way today so McDonald faces a challenge to have him in the right position, not too far back. Will SHADOW HERO try to be closer today? His two runs at Randwick have resulted in two G1 wins.
Selections: 1. Castelvecchio (Top Tip), 2. Shadow Hero, 3. Warning, 6. Quick Thinker
1 the obvious leader with 6 crossing up. 4 and 7 will have to take trails I think. NATURE STRIP is back out to 1200m, a trip he’s been beaten at more often than he’s won. After his Lightning defeat he copped a bagging for not being a reliable horse to send out favourite, which he then provided a strong argument against by winning the Challenge so easily. He has started fave in 19 of 22 starts in fact and if you’ve been with him through his career you’re way ahead. He’s hard to beat no doubt but I’ve gone looking and found TREKKING at odds. Parr was on him when he placed in the Everest and was on him in his latest trial (win) too. Could set up well and looks overs to me. Of the 3YOs returning to Sydney I thought BIVOUAC might be keenest to get back here.
Selections: 5. Trekking (Value Bet), 1. Nature Strip, 7. Bivouac, 13. Loving Gaby
Year in year out, my favourite Sydney race. 13 and 11 could make the play, with 8 and 19 poised handy. Add 22 to that mix if he’s into the field. I’m a little surprised to see BRANDENBURG as fave but I guess I shouldn’t be, I have him as favourite in my assessments after all. He has graduated to G1 grade without any bells and whistles but his latest two tell us unquestionably he belongs at the level. With the top three from the George Ryder not in this race, he’s the key runner from the key leadup (10 of the last 16 winners have come through that race). 6 of the last 14 winners have been 3YOs, and Boss has ridden five of them. Should see gun run and weighted a treat. Waller has 8 of 20 in the field proper. We think of SHARED AMBITION as a stayer with the world (well, Australia) at his feet. Therefore it’s very interesting to see him come back from 2000m to take this on. I’m inclined to respect that decision.
Selections: 19. Brandenburg (Top Tip), 17. Shared Ambition, 1. Melody Belle, 20. Prince Fawaz
1 and 5 look speediest here. RUBISAKI makes for an exciting finish to the day. She has taken all before her since getting beaten a nose on debut at last year’s Warrnambool carnival. There’s no other filly here that can match her dynamic finish, she is proven on all conditions, and Rawiller will hold the fort well here in the absence of the Victoria-bound jockeys that have ridden her thus far (Egan and McNeil). HEART OF THE OAK struggled in the Surround but she was 7 weeks between runs into a G1 and she did beat a mare prior (Positive Peace) that has won five on the bounce since, including a G2 last week.
Selections: 2. Rubisaki (Best of the Day), 7. Heart Of The Oak, 6. Wayupinthesky, 8. Juan Diva
Rulership (5 stars)
Damaged (4 stars)
Not An Option (4 stars)
Reloaded (5 stars)
Grand Piano (4 stars)
Promotions (4 stars)
Julian Rock (5 stars)
Bobbing (4 stars)
Ligulate (4 stars)
Paradee (5 stars)
Colette (4 stars)
Nimalee (4 stars)
Carif (5 stars)
Youngstar (4 stars)
Gallic Chieftain (4 stars)
Mamaragan (5 stars)
Ole Kirk (4 stars)
Holyfield (4 stars)
Castelvecchio (5 stars)
Shadow Hero (4 stars)
Warning (4 stars)
Pierata (5 stars)
Nature Strip (4 stars)
Bivouac (4 stars)
Shared Ambition (5 stars)
Brandenburg (4 stars)
Prince Fawaz (4 stars)
Rubisaki (5 stars)
Kiamichi (4 stars)
Pin Sec (4 stars)
BACK – Warning – Bet to WIN (stake 1.1% of your bank)
BACK – Sacramento – Bet to WIN (stake 0.15% of your bank)
BACK – Shared Ambition – Bet to WIN (stake 0.5% of your bank)
BACK – Yulong Prince – Bet to WIN (stake 0.5% of your bank)
BACK – Prince Fawaz – Bet to WIN (stake 0.4% of your bank)
BACK – Imaging – Bet to WIN (stake 0.4% of your bank)
BACK – Con Te Partiro – Bet to WIN (stake 0.2% of your bank)
Race 2 #3 Reloaded – LAY BET
Race 5 #3 Gallic Chieftain – VALUE BET
Race 9 #12 Imaging
Race 10 #2 Rubisaki – BEST BET