Sydney Preview: Spot plays for Randwick

October 7th, 2022

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

It’s a little unusual to say that a day featuring a A$1 million ($641,000) event is a low-key day, but that’s how the new Sydney spring carnival has progressed. With last weekend featuring three Group 1 races and next weekend featuring the world’s richest turf race, the A$15 million Everest, this weekend is a little lesser in quality.

The richest event is the A$1 million Silver Eagle, a 1,300-meter (about 6 1/2-furlong) event for four-year-olds that serves as a prelude to the A$10 million Golden Eagle (1,500 meters, or 7 1/2 furlongs) on Oct. 29.

As a new race, the Silver Eagle doesn’t have black type status; in those terms, the most important races are a Group 2 event and three Group 3 contests. There’s also the Tapp-Craig, a new A$500,000 event for three-year-olds over 1,400 meters (about 7 furlongs).

There are good fields for all the Randwick features this weekend, so let’s have a look at some betting opportunities.

Race 4, 11:20 p.m. Friday ET: Roman Consul S. (G2), 1,200 meters (about 6 furlongs), 3-year-olds

Three-year-old sprinters feature here back at six furlongs. Only #2 Sejardan stepped up to seven furlongs for the Golden Rose (G1) two weeks ago; the others, bar the filly #9 Willinga Beast, have been waiting for another chance at this trip. Most notable among them is Golden Slipper (G1) runner-up #1 Best of Bordeaux, a good second to subsequent Golden Rose runner-up In Secret at his last start. At set weights, he looks the best chance.

Willinga Beast, #4 Nettuno, and #3 Sweet Ride look the best of the others.

  • $20 win: #1 Best of Bordeaux
  • $2 exacta: 1 with 3, 4, 9

Race 5, 11:55 p.m. Friday ET: The Nivison (G3), 1,200 meters, 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares

Fillies and mares warming up for the A$2 million Invitation in two weeks are lining up here. Form is a little hard to work out, with most of the best-performed runners not having started recently. With the form a little suspect, I’m going to go with the best-performed horse in the field, #1 Promise of Success. She would ideally prefer a longer trip, but she usually goes well first-up from a break, and she has good form at six furlongs first-up.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #1 Promise of Success

Race 6, 12:35 a.m. Saturday ET: The Agency Tapp-Craig, 1,400 meters (about 7 furlongs), 3-year-olds

On exposed form, this looks to be a match race between #1 Zou Tiger, a fighting third in the Golden Rose (G1) two weeks ago, and the filly #11 Opal Ridge, a very solid second to Economics in the Heritage S. over 5 1/2 furlongs on the same day. The markets make Zou Tiger a very solid favorite, but it’s possible he peaked last start and at the odds I’m willing to go with the filly.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #11 Opal Ridge

Race 7, 1:10 a.m. Saturday ET: Gloaming S. (G3), 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles), 3-year-olds

The final lead-up to the 1 1/4-mile Spring Champion (G1) in two weeks, this looks an even contest. Among the 19 entrants (five of whom are also-eligibles) are the trio that finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, in the one-mile J.J. Atkins (G1) in Brisbane in June: #1 Political Debate, #4 Brosnan, and #5 Sharp ‘N’ Smart. The first two have raced twice this spring in Sydney for little reward, whereas the latter won first-up in his native New Zealand, beating a horse that has since won at black type level across the Tasman. Graeme Rogerson, who trains Sharp ‘N’ Smart, operated successfully for years in Sydney, so he knows what’s required to win here, and his gelding looks to have a great chance.

Of the others, #6 Matcha Latte is in great form and finished second in the Ming Dynasty (G3) last time, and his barrier gate of 19 might not be as much of a disadvantage on the expected heavy track. #3 Williamsburg won impressively last week and could be coming into form, while the Queensland filly #14 Madame Odette adds some interest. I’m going to stay away from exotics because this could go any number of ways, but if you get any of them correct you’ll probably be well rewarded.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #5 Sharp ‘N’ Smart

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

Another intriguing contest to handicap. The best-performed horse is the Queensland Group 1 winner #3 Startantes, but her form this spring leaves plenty to be desired. The likely favorite is #2 Mr Mozart after his second-place finish in the Theo Marks (G2) Sept. 10; he has to deal with barrier 18 but as mentioned above, it may not be as much of a disadvantage as usual.

There are a number of intriguing formlines to assess here. #4 Vilana hasn’t started since finishing eighth in much stronger company in last June’s Stradbroke (G1), while #8 Brigantine looked very promising last spring. After missing autumn racing, he returned with a victory Sept. 17. European import #12 Waterford is undefeated in three Australian starts, the Group 2-winning Melbourne mare #13 Lavish Girl ran a bold second when resuming in the How Now (G3) Sept. 17, and #14 Espiona wasn’t far from top mare Nimalee when fourth in the Gold Pendant (G2).

In a very open affair, I’m going to back Vilana’s form from the Stradbroke.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #4 Vilana

Race 9, 2:30 a.m. Saturday ET: Angst S., 1,600 meters (about one mile), 4-year-olds and up fillies and mares

Again, there’s a number of chances in this mile race for mares. But I’m going to go with proven class here and support #1 Polly Grey. She usually runs well fresh, and under the set weights plus penalties conditions she only has a maximum of 2.5kg (about 5.5 pounds) to give away to all her opponents. Horses like #2 Atishu, #3 Honeycreeper, and #10 Finepoint have their claims, but Polly Grey should be hard to roll.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #1 Polly Grey

Bonus Play – New Zealand

Matamata, Race 9, Arrowfield Stud Plate (G1), 1,600 meters (about one mile)

$10 win/$30 show, #11 La Crique: Looked to have unlimited potential before bad luck relegated her to second in the New Zealand Derby (G1) last season. Great first-up effort should have her primed for this.