With leading contenders in four of the five Group races to be run at Randwick this Saturday, a big day for trainer Gai Waterhouse could kick off with Kimberley Star, early favourite for the first of the Group races on the card, the Ming Dynasty Stakes. The Star Witness filly has been in stellar form and was also nominated for the Furious Stakes but with stable-mate Speak Fondly, who beat her into second last start, leading the market for that race, Waterhouse has opted to take on the males here. She’s the $3.00 favourite just in advance of Cannyescent ($3.50) who comes off an unlucky run in the G3 Up And Coming Stakes won by Shards.
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1. KIMBERLEY STAR – B Shinn (4)
She was looking for four wins on a trot heading into the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes and although she finished second, lost no admirers at all with a sensation effort behind Speak Fondly, who will contest the Furious Stakes. She settled back in the field and finished strongly to get within 1.3 lengths of Speak Fondly, who had dominated proceedings from in front, with a big gap to third. In top form and rates as being very hard to beat.
2. VOILIER – T Angland (7)
Continued his solid this campaign by running a long neck second to Shards in the Up and Coming Stakes at his most recent start, his third this time in. Enjoyed a lovely run his last couple of starts but has run into a couple of smart colts who have shaded him late. Drawn wider here than he last couple but doubt that will stop him from running well again.
3. INTREPID WAY – T Berry (9)
Graduated from Maiden to Open class in quick time during a winter campaign that culminated in a length second to Kimberley Star in July. Given a freshen-up since that run and returned in a BM 70 at Canterbury, where the Postponed gelding drifted in betting (13/8 out to 9/2) and ran accordingly, finishing fifth of seven behind Red Dynamite. That run was only a week and a half ago and in a stronger race, would have had to have made significant improvement during that time to be winning here.
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4. METALLIC CROWN – J Cassidy (5)
Rolled as the odds-on pop at Canterbury two starts back but didn’t let punters down at his next start at Warwick Farm, leading all the way to record a comfortable three length win in Maiden grade. The Chris Waller trained galloper has been well-supported in each of his three starts to-date but faces a stiff rise in class here and have to wonder if the wet-track last start may have flattered him a bit too.
5. GOLD AMBITION – C Reith (1)
Spelled after winning his second race start in a good style, a restricted race at Warwick Farm, and returned with a sixth of nine (5.9 lengths) at Canterbury a few weeks back in a BM 67 (1200m). Winner of the race was Raphael’s Cat, who was scratched from last weekend’s Run To The Roses which would’ve given us a better guide to this guy’s chances however, going on his run alone, would think there’s too much improvement for him to make.
6. LAND’S END – B Avdulla (8)
Hasn’t had the clearest runs home his last two when fifth (4.4 lengths) and then sixth (3.2 lengths) behind Kimberley Star and Sebring Star respectively. The well-bred son of Fastnet Rock will be giving them a start here from his wide draw, just has he has done at each of his three starts to date, so pace up front will be required and should he get his opportunity, think he can get close than he has his last couple.
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7. TATOOSH – K McEvoy (3)
As he has done at each of his past four starts, the Beneteau gelding was doing his best work late when fourth (1.9 lengths) behind Shards in the G3 Up and Coming Stakes at his most recent outing. Has been close enough in good form races to warrant another chance here, especially if able to settle a bit closer to the speed from an inside draw.
8. TAP THIS – (2)
Had support in betting for his return run from a spell at Canterbury recently, and despite a nice run throughout, he wasn’t able to match it with Raphael’s Cat in the run home and finished second to that horse, 2.5 lengths away. Will get a nice run from gate two here, strips fitter and if there’s support again in the market, he could be a live chance.
9. CANNYESCENT – K O’Hara (6)
Made a big impression with his debut win at Goulburn recently, so much so that trainer Gabby Englebrecht, then entered the son of Canny Lad in the G3 Up and Coming Stakes at Randwick. He was awkwardly placed into the turn, last and on the fence, and had to wait then work for his run in the straight which was eventual brought to a half when checked at the 200m. With any luck he would’ve been right in the finish last start and that reads very well for here.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Metallic Crown leads the way from the fillies Tap This and Kimberley Star. Tough ask for a filly to give weights to males, and significant weight at that, but she is one tough race horse. She’s been in work for a while now but just keeps getting better with every run. From the perfect draw, Blake Shinn will have in the right spot from the jump. Trailing her throughout will be Cannyescent who, with any luck, would’ve given it a real shake in the Up and Coming. Has plenty of ability and with the 4kgs pull in weights, may just be able to get the better of the filly late.
2. KIMBERLEY STAR