Randwick Preview: Belluci Babe can topple favorite

August 4th, 2022

With TwinSpires offering its Rest Of The World Bet Back every Friday night on all races from Sydney, we will be analyzing at least one race on the card each week.

Australia’s new racing season kicks into gear with the 1,200-meter (about six-furlong) Missile S. (G2) at Randwick on Saturday (Friday night ET), with a number of horses beginning campaigns aimed at major spring features.

Much of the attention will be on #3 Forbidden Love, one of the big improvers of autumn racing in Sydney. A good mare for most of her career until the end of 2021, she thrived in Sydney’s very wet autumn carnival, winning the 6 1/2-furlong Canterbury S. (G1) and the 7 1/2-furlong George Ryder (G1), both at weight-for-age.

She returned to action with a trial victory July 26 over #1 Count de Rupee and though the track doesn’t look like being as deep as the heavy 10 ratings she ran on in autumn, it’s still looking like a soft 7 rating.

Trainer Michael Freedman has said he hopes Forbidden Love can convince a slot holder for the A$10.5 million Everest in October, and a win in the Missile would take her a long way towards that, though it’s questionable whether she needs a little further than 1,200 meters to be at her best.

The biggest danger to Forbidden Love looks to be #10 Belluci Babe, one of the consistent sprinters of last season. She won the Wenona Girl S. (G3) and was fourth in both the Galaxy (G1) and TJ Smith (G1), and if she can reproduce that form she should be highly competitive, especially with James McDonald taking the ride.

#4 Nimalee is the second-highest-rated horse in the field. The Queen of the Turf (G1) winner probably wants further but could well run into a place. Count de Rupee is also capable of running well fresh.

With a 2.5 kg (about 5.5 pounds) pull in the weights, I’m going to go with Belluci Babe, given the distance may suit her better.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #10 Belluci Babe

Bonus play – New Zealand

Ruakaka, Race 5, Truweld Engineering Maiden, 1,200 meters (about six furlongs)

  • $10 win/$30 show, #1 Miscreant: Fantastic effort when resuming and should enjoy this track.