Black-Type Preview: April 20

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Race 6, Randwick, Group 1, Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes, $500,000, 1600 metres

The final leg of the Sydney two-year-old Triple Crown, the Champagne Stakes will see the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible) as a likely favourite ahead of Inglis Millennium winner Castelvecchio (Dundeel {IRE}), who will have no doubt significantly improved off his third in the G1 ATC Sires' Produce S. for trainer Richard Litt.

Loving Gaby will join an elite band of juvenile fillies to contest four Group 1 races in their debut season and has moved closer to a Group 1 win at each of her last three starts, she was a commendable three-quarters of a length off the Godolphin youngster Microphone in the ATC Sires’ Produce. A big scopey filly, she was strong to the line, and the 1600 metres looks well within her range.

Stepping up to Group 1 class, Fernhill Handicap winner Power Scheme (Fiorente {Ire}) shouldn’t be over looked and with the blinkers coming off, he should be more tractable, with David Hayes blaming the blinkers in part for the colt over racing erratically under pressure late.

Another chance is Danny O’Brien’s Lady Lupino (Sebring), who took on and beat impressive Godolphin colt Chenier (Medaglia d’Oro {USA}) at her previous Sandown start. While David Payne is backing up his fallen pair, Persan (Pierro) and War Baron (Declaration Of War {USA}). With both coming through the incident unscathed, they will get another chance to prove their worth.

One to watch is the Sun Stud owned, Gerald Ryan trained Fortress Command (Sebring). Ryan has deliberately missed the Fernhill, and instead targeted Fortress Command at this, with the Randwick mile looking ideal.

Race 7, Randwick, Group 1, Schweppes All Aged Stakes, $600,000, 1400 metres

The Group 1 weight-for-age stakes offers up an interesting contest, with the proven Group 1 performers Le Romain (Hard Spun {USA}), Osborne Bulls (Street Cry {Ire}), Pierata (Pierro), Malaguerra (Magnus), Manuel (Commands), Youngstar (High Chaparral {IRE}) and Champagne Cuddles (Not A Single Doubt) along with the Charlie Appleby-trained international raider D’bai (Dubawi {Ire}). He has reportedly thrived in his work since his arrival at Canterbury, his Meydan win was exceptional and he is a proven fresh performer.

With an inside barrier draw, Godolphin’s Osborne Bulls is the deserved favourite following several Group 1 placings, while the Greg Hickman-trained entire, Pierata, may be the best chance to conquer the Blue Army and is deserved of Group 1 success.

While trainer Mark Newnham is positive about the favourable barrier for Lanciato (Per Incanto {USA}) with his outstanding turn of foot, he has decided to head to the Group 1, while the James Cummings-trained Home Of The Brave (Starspangledbanner) who was also a dual nomination, has chosen the opposite, scratching to contest to the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes.

Race 3, Randwick, Group 3, Celebrations Frank Packer Plate, $160,000, 2000 metres

The Chris Waller trained Dealmaker (Dundeel {NZ}) will relish the 2000 metres after solid runs throughout his Autumn campaign against quality gallopers and should be the one to beat.

Dealmaker (purple silks)

Team Snowden’s Carif (So You Think {NZ}) is steadily improving off a strong fourth to Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom {USA}) in the Group 1 Australian Derby.

Greysful Glamour (Stratum) is a roughie to watch, having been racing against some of the best fillies in Australia at her previous starts.

Race 4, Randwick, Group 3, Hong Kong Jockey Club JHB Carr Stakes, $160,000, 1400 metres

With a firmer track on the cards, Into The Abyss (Foxwedge) is suited stepping up to the 1400 metres, and having only narrowly going down to Multaja in the PJ Bell by a head in the wet at her previous start, she could return to her notable trial form.

Also coming through the PJ Bell, Laburnum’s (Denman) run was full of merit. Having travelled keenly throughout, she was able to keep working late to the line. She is expected to take improvement, and with cover from the wide draw, a win would not surprise.

Eawase (Sebring) is another improver for Team Snowden and will also appreciate the firmer track. She may be a run short on fitness, but the ability is certainly there, and the 1400 metre step-up in trip is a big tick.

Others include, So Taken (Street Boss {USA}) who is helped by a positive draw and Kiwi mare My Xpression (NZ) (Showcasing {GB}) who is a Group 3 winner over this distance in New Zealand.

Race 5, Randwick, Group 3, Japan Racing Association Plate, $160,000, 2000 metres

Here we see several of the runners coming through the Doncaster Prelude, many of which struggled on the heavy track. They will be looking to turn their form around on the expected firmer going.

The last-start Caulfield winner Our Libretto (NZ) (O’Reilly {NZ}) has delighted trainer Grahame Begg with how she has progressed, and he is expecting good improvement from her.

While, My Nordic Hero (Archipenko {USA}) looks to have returned well for Chris Waller and being a three-time second up winner who loves the 2000 metres, has to be a threat.

A chance must be given to Matt Smith’s Grey Lion (Galileo {Ire}), she has trialled very well after not handling the wet in the Doncaster Prelude, and a much better run is expected on top of the ground.

Although not a winner this campaign, Abdon (Cacique {Ire}) has produced a couple of solid runs, including when runner up to Mister Sea Wolf (Amadeus Wolf {GB}) in the Doncaster Prelude.

McCreery (GB) (Big Bad Bob {Ire}) was solid in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes, and has since trialled very well. Chris Waller’s Libran (Lawman {Fr}) was gallant in defeat in the Group 3 Sellwood running second to Taikomochi (Snitzel), despite the heavy ground.

Race 8, Randwick, Group 3, TAB Hall Mark Stakes, $160,000, 1200 metres

With James Cummings deciding to run Home Of The Brave in the Hall Mark Stakes this indicates he is clearly the one to beat. Having destroyed his rivals in the Theo Marks before a narrow fourth to Jungle Cat (Iffraaj {GB}) in the Sir Rupert Clarke in 2018, he has returned from a long spell. All recent trials have been terrific, and he’s proven most effective when fresh.

Another to appreciate the firmer ground, is stablemate Trekking (Street Cry {Ire}) who has trialled well and will have improved off his first-up run in the Group 3 Maurice McCarten.

Joe Pride’s Easy Eddie (Super Easy {NZ}), the progressive sprinter, has emerged after his Group 3 Maurice McCarten Stakes win and his last-start third in the Group 1 The Galaxy.

Snowden’s Brave Song (Your Song) will enjoy resuming on a firm track, and having trialled well last month, he ran on solidly to Home Of The Brave last week. The wide draw isn't a concern, given his racing pattern.

Veteran galloper for Team Snowden, Dothraki (Mossman), is a solid Group 1 performer, having finished off strongly in the William Reid Stakes behind Sunlight (Zoustar). Securing a soft gate and on fresh legs, he is not one to overlook.

Caulfield, Group 3, Ladbrokes Victoria Handicap, $160,000, 1400 metres

The 2017 Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time (Flying Spur) will carry the 60kg topweight when he resumes in the Victoria Handicap over 1400 metres. Having not raced since sustaining an injury in the PB Lawrence Stakes in August last year, he will take on eight rivals, including Maher and Eustace’s brilliant mare and last start winner Naantali (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) and his stablemate Fastnet Tempest (Fastnet Rock).

While one to watch is Tony Noonan’s Manolo Blahniq (Jimmy Choux {NZ}), who has been unlucky and may just be ready to make amends. With Dyane Dunn on board and from barrier four he will have a nice run behind the leaders, and with clear galloping room, he may prove too good for his rivals.

Trainer Shane Nichols is convinced his two-time winner this campaign, Streets Of Avalon (Magnus) has one more run left in him before a well-earned break. With the drop-in weight and the rise-in trip to suit. Zebulon (NZ) (All American) for Arron Purcell is by all reports travelling well and drops back in distance.

Caulfield, Group 3, Le Pines Funeral Easter Cup, $160,000, 2000 metres

With a field of 14 for the Group 3 Easter Cup over 2000m, former Japanese galloper Ambitious (Deep Impact {JPN}) and last year’s Caulfield Cup fancy Night’s Watch (Redwood{GB}) bring depth to the Caulfield feature. Although Night’s Watch didn’t run well on the heavy track at his previous start, he gave a solid effort in the Group 1 Australian Cup. He is nicely suited with 57.5kg for this race, considering he is only 3.5kg above the minimum weight.

Current favourite, the Australian Bloodstock runner Plein Ciel (Marmool {Ire}) has had three runs back from a spell and with Craig Williams on board, he looks to be ready to win a race of this class.

The 2017 Easter Cup winner Observational (Galileo {Ire}) and EZ Racing’s Odeon (Zacinto {GB}) who are both proven over the distance, are also possible threats in this field.

Ellerslie G2 Valachi Downs Championship S., NZ$100,000, 2100m

A trip to the Queensland winter carnival will be the reward for Bobby Dee (NZ) (Zed {NZ}) if he races up to expectations.

He hasn’t raced since he finished a solid sixth in the G1 New Zealand Derby and trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have been happy with his subsequent progress.

Stablemate Lord Arthur (Camelot {GB}), a half-brother to former stable star Bonneval (Makfi {GB}), who was held up last time out before making late ground for sixth in the G3 Manawatu Classic should show improvement here.

Spring Delight (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}), Ignored (Savabeel) and Vee Cee (Canford Cliffs {Ire}) complete a particularly strong hand for the Cambridge trainers. Star Karen (Camelot {GB}) came from last to take third in the G1 New Zealand Oaks so respect her on that effort.

Ellerslie G2 Manco Easter H., NZ$100,000, 1600m

Demonetization (All Too Hard) is a quality galloper and while he faces a rise in class, he does drop a whopping nine and a-half kilos on his last-start third.

Kingsguard (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) was a first-up winner two runs back before a flat effort at Te Rapa, but expect improvement going right-handed again.

The former Chris Waller-trained Endless Drama (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) powered home for a close second over 1200 metres last time and looks much better suited to a mile here.

On The Rocks (NZ) (Alamosa {NZ}) was a Group 1 winner two runs back before he was tripped up by a heavy track and deserves another chance while Ronchi (NZ) (Stravinsky {USA}) is unpredictable, but a talent when caught in the right mood.