Sydney Preview: Spot Plays for Randwick Feb. 25

February 24th, 2023

A pair of Group 1 races highlight a strong card of racing at Randwick racecourse in Sydney this weekend.

There are plenty of good races on the undercard, but we will focus on the two most prestigious races.

Race 7, 12:00 a.m. Saturday ET: Surround Stakes (G1), 1,400 meters (about 7 furlongs), 3yo fillies

The big clash here is between Godolphin’s star filly #1 In Secret, an easy winner on her return two weeks ago, and last spring’s Flight Stakes (G1) winner #3 Zougotcha.

In Secret will probably head the market. She was super-impressive when winning the Coolmore Stud Stakes (G1) at Flemington in spring, and returned in style in the Light Fingers (G2) Feb. 11. She is the highest-rated filly in the field and has Hugh Bowman aboard.

However, James McDonald, who has ridden both fillies, is aboard Zougotcha. She was unbeaten in spring, toppling In Secret in the Silver Shadow (G2) before moving up in distance to take the seven-furlong Tea Rose (G2) and the one-mile Flight. At seven furlongs, she may just have the edge, and she should be at much better value than her rival.

Others worth considering for the lower exotic rungs are #8 Sunshine In Paris, #9 Cinderella Days, and the Melbourne visitor #11 Ruthless Dame.

Race 8, 12:40 a.m. Saturday ET: Chipping Norton Stakes (G1), 1,600 meters (about one mile), 3yos and up

Does anything beat #1 Anamoe? Probably not, especially at a mile. The Cox Plate (G1) winner is targeting the Queen Anne Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and showed he was as good as ever when winning the Apollo (G2) Feb. 11.

With no other top-class milers in the field, it’s hard to see him being beaten. The only other horse close to his level of ability at a mile is #2 Mo’unga, and he’s not the easiest to follow.

For the exotics, I’d look at the horses that chased Anamoe home in the Apollo, #12 Hinged and #11 Fangirl, and the Hong Kong Mile third-place finisher #5 Laws Of Indices.

  • $30 win: #1 Anamoe
  • $1 trifecta: 1 with 2, 5, 11, 12 with 2, 5, 11, 12