Sydney’s big autumn carnival finishes with a bang on Friday night, with a nine-race card littered with top quality stakes races. Twinspires’ Aussie racing experts, Andrew Brown (AB) and Mitch Lamb (ML), discuss the program below and identify a number of potential winners.
AB: Well Mitchy, last week we were compared to a couple of muppets, but I’ve always thought of you more as Oscar the Grouch, particularly when they don’t put enough hot ham in your sandwich in the members’ stand at Royal Randwick. Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about that this weekend as racing continues behind closed doors, but you should be concerned with finding us some winners on what looks to be a cracking day of racing to conclude the Sydney autumn carnival.
ML: Yes Brownie, I loved those Ham Rolls, even when they started charging $12 a pop for them. Looks like the track will be drying up nicely between now and when the first race is set to go, so looking forward to what should be a great last day of the carnival!
AB: A good/soft track is certainly a welcome change for this time of year at Randwick. Of the nine races scheduled for Friday night, six of them are stakes races including two Grade 1s. Let’s start with the feature race, the Grade 1 All Aged Stakes (Race 7) under weight-for-age conditions and over seven furlongs. It’s a competitive betting race. Can you separate them?
ML: I’ve always thought Pierata’s perfect trip is the seven furlongs and of course he broke through for his maiden G1 victory in this race last year, his lone one to date. I think he can make it back to back wins – he was great in the TJ Smith, as good as anything late. He’s probably peaking fitness wise, there’ll be speed on and he can sit midfield and pounce the last part. This his final race before jetting off to stud and I think he goes out a winner! Best roughie in the race is Mister Sea Wolf, he’ll be better off on a firmer surface and 80-1 is a ridiculous price.
AB: I’m also leaning on the form out of the T J Smith, but I’m keen on another one, Bivouac. The Godolphin runner blew his chance in the TJ when he reared in the gates and missed the start. Despite that mishap, he ran on well, on probably the worst part of the track, and reeled off the fastest final 3 furlongs of the day. With a better start, I think jockey Hughie Bowman can be more positive and we know she’ll appreciate the seven furlongs, as it’s the same distance of the Grade 1 Golden Rose that she won at Rosehill last spring. Your tip, Pierata, will fill the exacta for mine, with Dreamforce the best of the rest. The other Grade 1, The Champagne Stakes (Randwick Race 5) looks a beauty. Are you with the King?
ML: No I’m not, as good as he was in the Sires’. I’m actually looking at his stablemate, Aim, at double figures odds, who I think is dying to get on to a firmer surface. Last time we saw him on a good track was in the Skyline which he had zero luck in and should have won. Then his next two starts he has been completely uncomfortable on the wet footing, but on both occasions I thought he battled away well despite that. He’ll get a beautiful run here just off the speed and this time, when he’s asked for a supreme effort, I think we’ll see him produce what I know is a very good turn of foot, and he can skyrocket his value by claiming a big Grade One race.
AB: Here he is ladies and gentlemen. Big Mitchy with a 10/1 pick in the Champagne. No doubt you’ll enjoy a glass or two of the bubbly stuff if he wins. Personally, I just can’t go past the favorite, King’s Legacy. He ran a career best race to win the Inglis Sires’ last start, reeling off some of the fastest sectionals of the day. It was a huge win. With Hughie on board again, a good track and a good gate, I think he lands on the speed and relishes the 8 furlongs. Ole Kirk and your one, Aim, can fill the trifecta. You got anything else for your fans?
ML: I’ve got a few Brownie. In fact, I’m very bullish about a few races on the card now and I think a big theme for the day will be horses turning their form around on a firmer surface.
My best is a filly who I think is going to end up in far better races than a Highway Handicap and that is Hellenism in Race 1. Shared Ambition looks the winner of Race 6 stepping back up in trip and down in grade from the Doncaster Mile. A horse who falls into that category of improving on a good track, that will be huge odds and bettors should be jotting down is Fortress Command in Race 5, the Frank Packer Plate, at around 20-1. And another at similar odds who looks really well in at the weights and will go close is Le Romain in Race 8, the Hall Mark Stakes. Very, very excited about the entire day really!
AB: Picks aplenty! My value runner for the night is Relucent in Race 4. He’s from the powerful Chris Waller stable, and has had a little freshen up after trying to run on against the leaders’ bias that day in the Tulloch at Rosehill. Mitchy, it’s going to be another huge night on the sofa watching all the action from Down Under on the TwinSpires app and website. You should try and re-create one of those exceptional hot ham sandwiches for the occasion!
ML: I might just do that. Good luck mate.
AB: You too mate.