Randwick Race 7, 4.10pm
Group 1 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m)
Back to Randwick for Guineas Day tomorrow (hopefully). It’ll be a very heavy track if they do get to go ahead.
It looks just an average crop of 3YOs so far with not a whole lot between them, so it should make for some interesting racing over the next few weeks.
There’s only one official scratching so far, but for the purpose of this preview I’m going to assume Prized Icon (J Cummings / G Schofield) won’t run, as it’s already in Melbourne, and the Melbourne-based horses will stay down there for the better track: Manolo Blahniq (Noonan / Parr) and Hardham (Brideoake / Brown).
The speed story
The pace comes from Echo Effect and Captain Duffy looking to hold their inside draws, with Invincible Gem being positive but most likely taking the sit. Man From Uncle could press on again or look for a spot midfield, with Comin’ Through, Malaise and Harper’s Choice likely getting good runs not too far away with the others easing.
In the mix…
Really open race with not much between a few of them. Man From Uncle (A Cummings / Collett) has returned well this prep and won both the lead up races. He was given a perfect ride to win last time, but the map looks a bit trickier this time around, and he’s an unknown in the heavy.
Inference (Hawkes / Berry) arrives here second-up and will be better suited over longer, but did hit the line well late 1st up and is suited by the heavy
Echo Effect (Buchanan / King) led them up and hung on okay in the same race, but up to 1600m is a big worry for me, despite a liking for wet tracks. Comin’ Through (Waller / Moreira) started favourite in that race. He had a nice run in transit, and should be suited here by the map again. He’ll be improved fitness wise, but the heavy track is a query.
Acatour (Snowden / Shinn) was given a quiet ride and hit the line okay late first-up. He’ll be suited up to 1600m but may still be looking for longer. All come out of the same race, but I’m not quite convinced of the strength of that form line, so I can make a case for a couple of others here.
Invincible Gem (Lees / Avdulla) just keeps on improving at every start and was dominant when stepping up to the 1600m last start. Up in grade here, but it maps perfectly and has a real fitness edge on a few of these which could be crucial tomorrow.
Harper’s Choice (Ryan / McEvoy) could be the blow out. He’s been racing well over longer. This is back in distance and the wet suits, but 37 days between runs is the main concern on this testing track, with perhaps the Derby in mind.
Impavido (Baker / Angland) comes out of much weaker races, but has been hitting the line well in good figures. He’s bred to be good in the wet and has a fitness edge on a few of these. I can see it being very strong late here when a few of the others could be paddling.
Looks a tough race to get too involved too early, with scratchings and deductions likely. At this stage, Invincible Gem appeals as the safest play and best value of the main chances, with Impavido worth an each-way ticket given the likely conditions.
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