Black Type Preview: Randwick - The Championships - Day 1

10 min read

A classic TJ

Randwick, G1 Aquis TJ Smith S. $2,500,000, 1200m

The TJ Smith is now firmly established as one of the country's leading sprint races and the 2019 edition promises to enhance that reputation with six Group 1 winners among the 11-horse field.

Trapeze Artist (Snitzel) is aiming for back-to-back victories in this race, coming off a last start Group 1 win in the Canterbury S. and is understandably at the top of the market. The condition of the Randwick track is probably his major concern, having won just one of seven on rain-affected tracks, although he was runner-up on the Heavy 9 in The Everest in the spring.

The horse that beat him, Redzel (Snitzel) fronts up here, looking to avenge his defeat in this race last year. There is a slight query over the 6-year-old's form this campaign having been well-beaten when top weight in the G1 Galaxy last start but he overcame a similar below-par run to claim his second win in The Everest at this track and distance in October.

The rising star is Godolphin's Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}), who has been runner-up at Group 1 level his past two runs in Melbourne. He was third behind the above mentioned pair in The Everest on that heavy Randwick track and has improved in the six months since. He is also one of the most suited on the wet ground.

The same can’t be said for the star filly Sunlight (Zoustar), who has claimed back-to-back Group 1 victories in Melbourne but is a doubt to run if the ground gets into the heavy range. Tony McEvoy feels she loses her greatest advantage, her speed, on rain-affected ground and will make a decision on whether she takes her place on race morning. Her absence would rob the race of a bit of its intrigue given she looks the best sprinting filly we have seen in a generation.

Pierata (Pierro) went within a whisker of claiming his first Group 1 last time out in the Galaxy and is a horse on the up who loves a wet track. He won the G3 Sydney S. on Everest day last year in a much quicker time than that $13m race and backed that up with a third in the G1 VRC Spring Classic.

The horse who beat him that day was Santa Ana Lane (Lope de Vega {IRE}), now a four -time Group 1 winner who seems to improve with age. He was very good when fifth, beaten just 1.45l in the Newmarket and relishes soft ground.

The other two Group 1 winners in the race are Shoals (Fastnet Rock) and Vega Magic (Lope De Vega {Ire}), while Ball of Muscle (Dubawi {Ire}) is the likely leader.

On for young and old in the Doncaster

Randwick, The Star Doncaster Mile, $3,000,000, 1600m

A typically open renewal of one of Australia's great races, with a couple of genuine Group 1 quality gallopers taking on some rising stars of the turf.

Hartnell (GB) (Authorized {Ire}) is aiming to become the third horse in the past four years to complete the Epsom-Doncaster double in the same season, following in the footsteps of Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) and Happy Clapper (Teofilo {Ire}). The 8-year-old has not done anything wrong of late, running third in the G1 Futurity S. and then second in the All-Star Mile.

Stablemate Alizee (Sepoy) also comes through that formline having won the Futurity and run third in the All-Star Mile. She is a top-class mare is unbeaten over the Randwick 1600m and is a five-time winner on this track.

The 3-year-old Brutal (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}) looks ideally weighted on the minimum 49kg having chased Winx home last time in the G1 George Ryder S. He has so much upside and gets the services of veteran jockey Glen Boss, who has won this race on six previous occasions. The only negative is the fact he has drawn barrier 21.

Fifty Stars (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) is a very progressive horse tackling a Group 1 handicap for the first time with 50kg on his back. He has never been beaten in five starts on a soft or heavy track, but like Brutal has been done no favours by the barriers, jumping from 24.

Fundamentalist (Not A Single Doubt) has been placed five times in Group 1s, including last time out when tipped out by The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice) in the G1 Randwick Guineas. She would be a deserved winner if this race and gets 49kg and an inside barrier which should ensure she is there when the race is to be won.

Chris Waller has a great association with the Doncaster, winning it first back in 2008 and having won it six times since. His leading hope is the G1 ATC Oaks winner Unforgotten (Fastnet Rock), with plenty of back-up from Shillelagh (NZ) (Savabeel), I Am Serious (Choisir) and Life Less Ordinary (Ire) (Thewayyouare {USA}).

The international aspect comes from the Japanese galloper Kluger (King Kamehameha {Jpn}).

Moroney holds Derby keys

Randwick, Harrolds G1 Australian Derby, $2,000,000, 2400m

It's a really open rendition of the Australian Derby with Kiwi and now Melbourne-based trainer Mike Moroney holding the aces with a pair of emerging young stayers.

Arrogant (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) came through his fourth in the G1 NZ Derby and improved to test out The Autumn Sun last time out in the G1 Rosehill Guineas, just going down. He is a colt on the improve whose chances only improve as the track gets softer.

Stablemate Chapada (Bullet Train {GB}) was third in that Rosehill Guineas, overcoming a chequered package to finish home well late, albeit over two lengths from Arrogant. He was third in the G1 VRC Derby in the spring and has taken improvement through this campaign which has been aimed at this race.

Global Exchange (Dundeel {NZ}) is looking to emulate his sire in winning this race having progressed through a pair of Group 2 wins in Melbourne this campaign, however he is untested on the wet track. Fellow Victorian Stars of Carrum (Fiorente {Ire}) was second in the G1 VRC Derby, but was easily beaten by Global Exchange two runs back. He is also a query on the ground.

Madison County (NZ) steps out to the 2400m for the first time and while he has the class to beat these, the question may prove whether he has the stamina, while Surely Sacred (NZ) (Rock 'n' Pop) has been without luck his past couple of starts and could spring a surprise. The race does not end there.

Slipper key guide to Sires

Randwick G1 Inglis Sires', $1,000,000, 1400m

The G1 Golden Slipper S. form looks a crucial guide to this race as always, with Slipper winner Kiamichi (Sidestep), runner up Microphone (Exceed And Excel) and fourth-placed Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible), all key hopes.

Kiamichi was dominant from the front on the heavy track at Rosehill and there is nothing to suggest that she won’t be able to stretch that out to 1400m, especially from an inside barrier.

Stablemate Microphone looks the type of 2-year-old who will handle most things, so the extra 200m should not worry him, especially so deep into his campaign.

Loving Gaby, meanwhile, looks the one with the most improvement left in her. She should relish a longer trip, with the only real query on her whether her upside comes now or in the winter in the paddock headed towards the spring features. Perhaps this is all too soon for her in her first campaign,

The three horses which bring different formlines are Bellevue Hill (Pierro), who looked good dominating from the front in the G3 Baillieu S. over this distance last week, Castelvecchio (Dundeel {NZ}), who possesses a big finish and looks ideally suited to the longer distance and the Kiwi filly Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), who was super impressive winning the Karaka Million in January before enduring a difficult first-up run in Australia in the G3 Magic Night S. won by Kiamichi.

Emerging stayers eye Chairman's

Randwick, G2 Schweppes Chairman's Quality, $300,000, 2600m

This race shapes as a last step toward the G1 Sydney Cup for many of these and it boasts a massive field this year, with the emerging stayers seemingly poised to dominate.

Supernova (GB) (Intillo {Ger}) has had just two starts in Australia but looked to have plenty up his sleeve when a 2.3l winner of a BM78 race last time out.

Also on the limit weight of 53kg is Shraaoah (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who in his second campaign in Australia and has been twice placed at stakes level and looks a stayer of some talent.

Semari (NZ) (Sebring) looks the one who'll most appreciate the wet track with that mare having broken through for her first stakes win in the G3 Epona S. last time out.

Godolphin well-primed for 2YO success

Randwick, G3 Widden Kindergarten S, $200,000, 1100m

James Cummings looks set to continue his domination of the 2-year-old races with Athiri (Lonhro) widely tipped to secure her first stakes win here. Third in the G3 Magic Night S. behind Kiamichi last time out, she missed the Slipper to target this race.

Stablemate Bivouac's (Exceed And Excel) form looks pretty strong with a win over Cosmic Force (Deep Field) earlier this campaign. He was then fourth in the G2 Todman S. but is probably better suited ridden with a sit, which he should get here.

Evening Slippers (Snitzel) is a well-bred filly on the up, having broken her maiden at Warwick Farm last time out.

Ringerdingding back in class

Randwick, G3 Cactus Imaging Carbine Club S. $200,000, 1600m

Ringerdingding (Sebring) looks well-placed back from Group 1 company the last three runs, with his main challenge likely to come from Dealmaker (Dundeel {NZ}), who was just behind him when they clashed in the G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington.

Ranier (Lonhro) won the Flemington equivalent of this race during the spring but has not quite got back to his best this campaign. An improvement from the Godolphin colt wouldn’t surprise. Fun Fact (The Factor {USA}) is the one emerging through easier races who could measure up here.

Oaks hopes on line in Adrian Knox

Randwick, G3 TAB Adrian Knox S., $200,000, 2000m

This looks a last-chance saloon to the G1 ATC Oaks for many of these fillies, with Team Hawkes' progressive Amangiri (All Too Hard) fancied to easily handle the step up to Group 2 company.

She has been really impressive winning her past two races by big margins and looks a staying filly of some promise. The only question is how she handles this run at just her fourth start.

Zalatte (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}) boasts a bit more experience and gets out to the 2000m for the first time having performed with merit against the best fillies this preparation. Third-up into this looks ideal with a view to stretching her even further next week. The Victorian filly Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) is another in the improve having won at G3 company at Moonee Valley last start.

Bell tolls for Whisper

Randwick G3 Official Memorabilia PJ Bell S., $300,000, 1200m

This looks a really open fillies race, with Spanish Whisper (Lope De Vega {Ire}) coming off a very good win in the G2 Kewney S. last start, but having had a four-week break between runs, she looks to have considerable promise and does boast wet track form.

Mizzy (Zoustar) had a superb run against the open age mares in the G1 Coolmore Classic last start, having also run fourth in the G1 Surround S. her previous start. That looks more than sound form for this race.

Fiesta (I Am Invincible) is the query runner. One of the best fillies in the spring, she was excellent winning first-up, but didn’t quite measure up in the Surround and then was last in the Coolmore Classic. Her best wins this, but it’s hard to know how far off that she is.