Sydney Preview: Everest Undercard Spot Plays

October 14th, 2022

The Everest is the big drawcard at Randwick this weekend, but there’s plenty of other good racing to bet on.

The 10-race card features an A$2 million Group 3 “consolation” for sprinters that didn’t make the Everest field, another A$2 million event for New South Wales country-trained gallopers, two A$1 million preludes to big upcoming races, two more Group 3 events, and the A$500,000 ATC St Leger.

All races at Randwick are subject to the TwinSpires Rest of the World Bet Back offer, where players who opt in can get up to $10 of their first win bet in a race returned to them if the horse finishes second, provided there are at least six runners.

Race 3, 10:40 p.m. ET Friday: Craven Plate (G3), 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), 3-year-olds and up

There’s some decent horses in this, but none with anything like the level of performance as #1 Cascadian. The multiple Group 1 winner showed he still had the ability at the top level when winning the Hill S. (G2) Oct. 1 against a field arguably better than this one.

There are promising other horses in this race like #3 Surf Dancer and #9 Pinarello, but this looks set for the favorite.

  • $30 win: #1 Cascadian

Race 4, 11:15 p.m. ET Friday: The St Leger, 2,600 meters (about 1 5/8 miles), 3-year-olds and up

A handy field only of stayers for this A$500,000 contest. #6 Cadre du Noir carries the best form line and is the likely favorite, but I don’t think his last-start second in the Colin Stephen Quality (G3) is as strong as the fourth-place finish from #2 Stockman in the Metropolitan (G1), so I’ll go in that direction.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #2 Stockman

Race 5, 11:50 p.m. ET Friday: The Kosciuszko, 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), 3-year-olds and up

A difficult race to line up, with a variety of country form to assess. The scratching of #8 It’s Me makes it especially hard to work out.

However, I’m leaning toward last year’s winner #1 Art Cadeau. He will have to give weight away, but he’s performed at black-type level, has won four of his six races at Randwick, and has not been out of the money first-up – the state he was in when winning this last year. He’s a year older, but still looks up to this.

  • $10 win/$20 show: #1 Art Cadeau

Race 6, 12:25 a.m. ET Saturday: Sydney S. (G3), 1,200 meters, 3-year-olds and up

It’s not bad to have an A$2 million race as a consolation, but that’s what this race effectively is – a consolation for horses that weren’t selected for The Everest. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of very good horses running.

Godolphin could easily have chosen #2 Kementari as their Everest rep. They instead put Ingratiating into the big race, but it may work out well for them as neither horse probably would have won the Everest, while Kementari’s chances here are probably better than Ingratiating’s would have been.

Kementari’s fourth to Lost and Running in the Premiere (G2) two weeks ago is clearly the best form coming into this race. A repeat of that effort will see him go close. Premiere fifth-place finisher #1 Apache Chase is also in the mix, and I’m also going to put in Melbourne visitor #18 Swats That, a good sprinter that didn’t have much luck last start.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #2 Kementari
  • $2 exacta: box 1, 2, 18

Race 8, 1:50 a.m. ET Saturday: Silver Eagle, 1,300 meters (about 6 1/2 furlongs), 4-year-olds

The abandonment of last week’s Sydney card halfway through the day meant some of the races were put back, including this A$1 million prep race for the A$10 million Golden Eagle (about 7 1/2 furlongs) in two weeks.

The field is almost identical, and I see no reason to change my view that #3 Vilana, who hasn’t run since finishing eighth in much stronger company in the Stradbroke (G1) in Queensland last June, is the one to beat. Favorite #1 Mr Mozart, #7 Brigantine, European import #10 Waterford, and Melbourne mare #13 Lavish Girl are the biggest dangers.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #3 Vilana

Race 9, 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday: Five Diamonds Prelude, 1,500 meters (about 7 1/2 furlongs), 5-year-olds

A warm up race for the new A$2 million Five Diamonds for five-year-olds, staged over 1,800 meters at Rosehill on Nov. 5. The field is headed by Epsom H. (G1) dead-heat winner #1 Ellsberg, though whether he can give away weight here is a question.

The most talented runner may be #2 Ayrton, who’s looked a Group 1 winner on potential at times, but he has had a few injury problems, and the likely wet track won’t suit him. I am more intrigued by his stablemate #3 Our Playboy, who has plenty of talent and has shown form in the wet.

Two others from the Chris Waller yard appeal: the in-form #5 Lord Ardmore and the mare #14 Atishu, who is facing a weaker field than she’s run against so far this season.

It’s an open race, but I’m going to go for some value with Our Playboy.

  • $10 win/show: #3 Our Playboy

Race 10, 3:10 a.m. ET Saturday: Angst S. (G3), 1,600 meters (about one mile), 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares

Also postponed from last week, this still looks like a race for #1 Polly Grey. She’s the highest-rated horse by at least 20 pounds, and only has to give away a maximum of five pounds. Given that it’s her first run this campaign, she could be at surprisingly decent odds.

  • $20 win/$40 show: #1 Polly Grey