The Randwick Autumn Carnival kicked off in superb style last Saturday and it should carry on into this weekend for BMW Doncaster Mile Day. The $2 Million event has assembled a field of 22 (two emergencies). With the heavy downpour that has hit the area this week, champion mare More Joyous will have to do it the hard way, but never say never because she has just looked outstanding in two runs this time in. The other mare that is near the top of the betting is Secret Admirer, who is looking to do the Epsom-Doncaster double in same season. She was the star at trackwork on Tuesday morning and is primed to run a big race.
Gun filly Streama only has to overcome the wet ground and a long preparation and the $550,000 ATC Oaks (2400m) is hers. She hit the line powerfully in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) behind Mosheen and appears to have lengths on them in terms of class. Kiwi filly Full Of Spirit will be the main danger after her strong effort to win the Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) last Saturday.
The other Group One on the day is The Galaxy (1100m), a $350,000 dash for cash. Bel Sprinter and Nobby Snip are at the top of the betting, but the history of the race suggests that any of the runners could win, whether they are in form or not.
Race One: Medina Hotels Fernhill Quality 1600m
Back Me: With the excepption of Magical Talent, Fiveandahalfstar, Solemn and Trophies, all of these can win without surprising. Sticking with Dear Demi, only because McDonald is riding.
Don’t Back Me: Rowie might just do it a bit tough with the weight from the wide barrier at only his second start.
Big Danger: Strength powered home behind Flying Snitzel and will lap up the 1600m on his home track. And he has had experience in the wet.
Roughie: Red Hot Chillies had no luck at all in the race mentioned above. She can certainly figure in the finish with even luck.
Race Two: Keith Mackay Quality 1200m
Back Me: Cannot see Driefontein getting beat here. She was simply outstanding in the Golden Slipper after missing the kick and not getting out until the final 100m. She’ll win here.
Don’t Back Me: Agueda had every chance last Saturday, but she doesn’t attack the line. 1200m will be a test for her, especially on a wet track.
Big Danger: Meidung got home beautifully behind Samaready at Rosehill and should place again. But I am confident she won’t beat the toppie.
Roughie: Anytime Baby has had the one lone start, a fourth back in December behind Flying Snitzel. Has trialled ok and could sneak in the placings.
Race Three: The Keystone Group Handicap (95) 1400m
Back Me: Going for Lightinthenite. Talented galloper when at his best and judging on his two trials leading up to this, he can certainly perform well fresh.
Don’t Back Me: I’d be careful with Quidnuc, because it doesn’t take many runs for her to switch right off in a preparation. The alarm bells were there at Caulfield last start.
Danger: Mr Unforgettable needed the run at Kembla Grange. Excellent second up record and is one of the best wet track horses in Sydney.
Roughie: This is the easiest race Skyerush has contested for a long time. Been outclassed in recent runs, but she swims and should get the soft run.
Race Four: McGrath South Pacific Classic 1200m
Back Me: Landing appears to be another special. He toyed with them at Warwick Farm and should do it again. Being by More Than Ready, he should get through the wet ok.
Don’t Back Me: Just not sure about Mahisara. She is threatening to win, but maybe it’s not here. Perhaps wait until she heads back home for the Inglis Guineas?
Big Danger: Very cautious about Free Wheeling. He closed off strongly in the Pharlap Stakes. 1400m won’t be an issue and his two wet track efforts have been solid. Class will carry him a long way. And watch for Unpretentious. He has had no luck at all recently. Give him half a chance and he could threaten the top tip.
Roughie: Deceiver was heavily backed to win last start but probably wasn’t given the best ride. Craig Williams jumps on board now. He’ll sit back and unleash his turn of foot. Can be in the placings.
Race Five: Patinack Farm Australian Oaks 2400m
Back Me: Streama first, daylight second and daylight third here in terms of class. Just has to run the 2400m.
Don’t Back Me: Wouldn’t be backing Thy. She got the breaks last start and the run wasn’t as good as it looks on paper. Big risk.
Big Danger: The obvious danger is the kiwi Full Of Spirit. Lovely ride by McDonald to win the Adrian Knox last Saturday and looked as if she’d improve on that run.
Roughie: I thought Lightens did well behind Full Of Spirit. Probably lacks the class, but she will run the 2400m.
Race Six: Japan Racing Association Plate 2000m
Back Me: The biggest tip from Randwick trackwork on Tuesday was Western Symbol. He worked with Niagara, a genuine Doncaster hope, and blitzed him. He is flying this prep and should win again.
Don’t Back Me: Herculian Prince had his chance last start. Form has held up, but he’d want to improve to beat the stablemate. Southern Skye is racing well also, but he is terrible in the mud.
Big Danger: Happy Trails is ready to win a race. He is ready for 2000m. He gets a great chance here because apart from one or two, his opponents are out of form.
Roughie: Couple of roughies to watch for are Hawk Island, who ran well in the Bmw, Vintedge, who swims, and Adroitly, who worked home nicely at Warwick Farm and will appreciate the added distance.
Race Seven: Bmw Doncaster Mile 1600m
Back Me: The wet track makes it near impossible to select one horse to back. But I’ll go with Sincero. His two runs this campaign have been brilliant. Sat three deep on the pace in the Canterbury Stakes, then really caught the eye in the George Ryder in a blanket finish. Craig Williams is on board, however the query is the barrier. I would have liked him to draw a touch wider. In saying that, Williams should navigate that.
Don’t Back Me: If the rain stayed away, More Joyous would win. The rain has come down big time, so she cannot win.
Big Danger: In numerical order, Ranginrangdoo, Wall Street, Secret Admirer, King’s Rose, Hurtle Myrtle and Fast Clip are the main dangers for me.
Roughie: Got a couple here. Happy Zero has no wet track form, but he was making up ground in the George Ryder and whiz kid James McDonald maintains the ride. The other roughies are Single, who has untapped potential and will run a very strong 1600m and Happy Trails. If she gains a start, she certainly can figure in the finish. Her run last Saturday was outstanding given she sat well back off a slow pace. There won’t be a slow pace here.
Race Eight: The James Boag Galaxy 1100m
Back Me: The Waterhouse juggernaut hopefully will roll along here thanks to Nobby Snip. He beat Niagara last start, then that horse blitzed a quality field in the Ajax Stakes. He has been freshened, drawn perfectly, handles the wet and is on the minimum. Extremely hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Zaratone will lead, but he isn’t reliable in the soft conditions. I think the $10 is massive unders.
Big Danger: I give the Queenslander Temple Of Boom a big chance here. Forget he went around in the Sebring Stakes because that was on-pace dominated. Loves the wet, McDonald sticks and he should get the right run from the barrier.
Roughie: Satin Shoes is racing well at the moment. Nearly grabbed Rain Affair in the Challenge Stakes last start at WFA, which probably doesn’t suit her. Only a kilo over the minimum here, drawn perfectly and does handle the wet well enough.
Race Nine: Tab Sportsbet Sprint (85) 1200m
Back Me: Tricky race to end the day. I thought Miss Marx might have needed the run under her belt the other day behind Celts at Rosehill. She was off the bit a fair way out but grinded away strongly. Fitter now, she is on her home track, laps up the bog surface and once again I am going with James McDonald.
Don’t Back Me: Dee’N’Gee has been winning, but in much easier grade than this. Nash jumps on, but 57kg in these conditions will not be easy.
Big Danger: Next The Universe came from nowhere last start and to the eye, she looked as if she won, but the photo said otherwise. Clever claim with Hyeronimus, she is only a kilo over the minimum and is dropping in grade.
Roughie: Turf Hero wasn’t suited by the slow tempo last start despite sitting one out one back. The pace should be on here for him to reproduce his first up win, which was superb.