The final Group race of the day at Randwick this Saturday is the Show County Quality and it’s a hotly contested affair with three runners in the field of elven fighting it out for favouritism in early markets with Boss Lane (4.80), Countryman (3.80) and Vashka (3.10) are the trio the punters are zeroing in on. Vashka, Aomen, Countryman and Howmuchdoyouloveme, all like to roll forward so the pace should be genuine here. Trailing behind them will be Boss Lane who has never gone better for Trainer Ron Quinton. Interesting to note that the past three winners of this race, Terravista, Rebel Dane and Moment Of Change, all went on to win Group 1 races with the latter pairing winning the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes shortly after claiming the Show County.
1. COMPLACENT – SCRATCHED
2. HEART TESTA – J Collett (10) 58kgs
Resuming and put together a good campaign during the summer months with the highlight being his Group 3 in the Southern Cross (1200m). Has produced two good trials in readiness for this race and generally races well fresh. Drawn a little awkwardly here thought in ten and with 58kgs, may be best to let him have this hit-out.
3. AOMEN – G Boss (9) 57.5kgs
Former Hong Kong galloper has missed a place in each of his seven starts since winning his Australian debut race back in October of last year. Closed well in his only trial in readiness for his return to racing off a sixteen week spell, finishing second to Havana at Randwick just over a fortnight ago. Likes to take up the running but will have plenty here also vying for a similar position, combined with his record in Oz, hard to recommend him with confidence.
4. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE – T Huet (4) 55.5kgs
Only held his ground last start when eighth (4.4 lengths) in the Listed Winter Challenge (1500m) but given he was up to 1500m, carrying 57kgs and it was a race favouring those close to speed, his effort was ok. Drops back to 1200m and to 55.5kgs here, combined with what should be a solid speed on up front from the jump, should get his chance to finish strongly.
5. HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME – (6)
The 7yo came close to breaking a two year win-less drought last weekend when finishing a head second to Peeping in a BM 90 (1200m). He won’t know himself with 55kgs here – he hasn’t come close to carrying that weight since contesting the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes in 2013, but not sure that will be enough along to see him finally get back into the winner’s stall again a hot field.
6. BOSS LANE – T Clark (3) 54.5kgs
The 5yo has been ridden a treat in each of his past two races, winning both BM 85 events in good style and defeating Kristy Lee and Straturbo respectively. He’ll get every chance in the run here too from gate 3 and drops 4.5kgs on last start however, he’s find himself a length or two off this class in the past and despite being in solid form, may find that to be the case again here what will be a strongly contested race.
7. COUTRYMAN – D Beasley (8) 54kgs
After dominating to win from the front in a BM 90 (1300m), punters expected the Gai Waterhouse runner to do the same in last week’s Open (1400m) event at Rosehill, backing the 5yo gelding into odd-on favouritism. Unfortunately though for his supporters, a vastly improved effort by Centre Pivot meant he finished second. Will push forward again from a wide draw but with plenty of speed encaged here, may have to do some work early. Drop back in distance also a concern given four of his five wins have been at or beyond 1300m and at the current price, would be more inclined to support others.
8. DECISION TIME – C Reith (2)
Stuck on gamely behind Peeping and Countryman last time out, running fourth (1.3 lengths) in the BM 90 (1200m) under 57kgs. That was his first start on a dry surface for since finishing a ninth (3.4 lengths) in the Listed Ortensia Stakes at Scone, on that occasion carrying 59kgs. Gets down to 54kg here and the inside draw will give him a comfortable run behind a good speed. For those looking for some value around the multiples, he may be a candidate.
9. VASHKA – T Berry (1) 54kgs
He proved to be the punter’s pal by stringing five consecutive wins together toward the end of last year, three as favourite. The son of Exceed And Excel has been prepared by trainer John O’Shea for his return with two barrier trials, winning both in good style. Looks set to pick up from where he left off and gets every chance from the inside draw.
10. BEST CASE – K McEvoy (5) 54kgs
We haven’t seen this Anthony Cummings trained galloper since he won a BM 95 (1800m) at Rosehill back in early November of last year. He has had two barrier trials in the past three weeks, finishing at the tail of the field in each of them and he’ll find this field too slick. Needs it longer.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Good speed here and having drawn the inside gate, that’ll give Vashka the perfect trial. Accounted for Burbero and Centre Pivot at the end of his last campaign and recent trials suggest he’ll come back from his back in similar form. Outside of the leading trio, though a couple that may add some possible value to the exotics are Decision Time – lightly weighted, well drawn behind good speed, and Wouldn’t It Be Nice, will enjoy the solid tempo up front and better suited back to the six furlongs, are two runners that fill the bill.
2. BOSS LANE
3. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE