Runners to watch: Randwick, February 17th

Shane Adair race reviews, blackbookers and race notes from Saturday's Sydney metro meeting at Randwick.

Race 1 – TAB Highway Handicap (1800m)

Note – Despite the alarming drift in betting Mate Story made it two in a row with a strong on pace victory leading them up on turning he kicked strongly to win by almost two lengths in workman like fashion. The battle for the minor money was tight and it Fui San in second and every chance to win for mine tracking the winner just couldn’t sprint as well. The same could be said for Royal Villa in third who sat outside the leader and just couldn’t go with the winner when the leader kicked. Not much else made much of an impression the winner was just too good for these.

Race 2 – Pierro Plate (1100m)

Note – Very good victory to Santos sitting outside the leader and race favourite Legend Of Condor in the run he kicked strongly in the straight to win by almost three lengths. Exceltic was second and enjoyed a nice trial behind the leaders just couldn’t go with the winner in the straight. Irish bet was third and worked to the line in solid fashion and will be better his first up effort. These three had the rest easily beaten on the line. Race favourite Legend Of Condor was disappointing after leading and was under pressure at the 200m. Going forward the overall time was solid enough and winner was very good and can be followed along with Irish Bet who will be better for the run.

Race 3 – Fairfax & Roberts Jewellers Handicap (2000m)

Note – It was a dead heat to decide this event with Almost Court & Emperor’s Way sharing the honours. Almost Court led them up at a steady pace and kicked strongly in the straight to share the spoils with Emperor’s Way who ran into a little bit of traffic half way down the straight and once clear charged late to dead heat. Zourkhan ran on well to fill the minor money after getting along way back in the run. Vaucluse Bay was disappointing after having a soft run midfield and offered very little in the straight. Going forward Emperor’s way has been up for a while however arguably should of won outright again today and can be continued to be followed this preparation

Race 4 – Southern Cross Stakes (1200m)

Note – Kaepernick saluted in this after sitting well back and off the fence sprinted quickly in the straight to score over Dothraki who was every possible chance to win after having a nice run behind the leaders just couldn’t stop the swooper late. Boss Lane was third and ran well for this class however was every chance in the run. Good effort for something abit easier. Now to the unplaced runners! Race favourite Deploy was very ordinary in running last and will need to trial after reading the stewards report. He is a lot better than effort I would write off yet. Clearly Innocent suffered severe interference in the straight and a total forget can be put through that effort. Did hit the line well after copping the check. Going forward I like the run of Boss Lane for a weaker race next start and Clearly Innocent will be fitter for that barrier trial effort today.

Race 5 – Derucci Handicap (1600m)

Note  – Blow out result here for punters with Quick Defence saluting after sitting last in the run he sprinted well in the straight to find the lead in the shadows of the post to score. Malaise was second and every possible chance for mine after having a nice run he sprinted well just the winner was too good. The same could be said for The Pinnacle who had a nice run behind the speed she just didn’t quite let down as sharp as the first two in the straight. Look for her to peak either 3rd or 4th up this preparation. Both King Darci & Tahsin both went a bit too hard on pace and knocked up in the straight which favoured the winner. Going forward happy to stick with The Pinnacle her next two runs as she looks ready to peak.

Race 6 – Apollo Stakes (1200m)

Note – Endless Drama well ridden after having a nice run behind a very hot speed he sprinted well enough to wear down the leader in the shadows of the post. Solid victory. Global Glamour was second and the run of the race after setting a hot tempo she kicked well in the straight to only be run down in the final 100m. Excellent run. Comin’ Through in third struggled to keep up with the early pace however did have the run on conditions to suit and was good late. Prized Icon was almost the exact same run getting well back and working to the line in good fashion. Addictive Nature has either been first or second when winning and got outgunned early and shuffled back a bit further that would have been desired. He battled to the line well enough. Going forward Global Glamour was excellent and if Addictive Nature can find a softish lead next start I would be expecting him to be in the finish.

Race 7 – Triscay Stakes (1200m)

Note – Tight bunched finish on the line with three lengths separating the first eight across the line. Faraway Town did race a touch wide however sprinted well in the straight from a midfield position to hold off the fast finishing Zestful who was second last on turning and rattled home to just miss the winner. Raiment was third and every chance for mine to win the race. Slightly held up however just didn’t let down like the first two. Outside of the placings Just Dreaming was a good first up effort after being trapped4-5 wide in the run. Eckstein was just fair today working to the line in the straight. Miss Gunpowder will be fitter for the effort after race on pace and being swamped in the final 150m. Going forward not a race I can get to excited about with such a tight finish however I did like the run of Just Dreaming first up.

Race 8 – Light Fingers Stakes (1200m)

Note – I thought the win of Alizee was better than it reads when to the worst part of the straight and was first up and still was too strong. Will only be improved with that effort. Shumookh was good in running second sitting forward in the run and almost ran down the star filly. Both the third placing of Torvill & Frolic both sound first up and running on hard late. Both will be improved next start after today’s run. Going forward have to stick with the winner as she is a class act and the lightly raced Shumookh who is lightly raced and very brave in defeat today.

Race 9 – Mostyn Cooper Group Handicap (1200m)

Note – Another very tight finish with 7 across the track at 150m mark. Suncraze won the lucky last after sitting abit worse than midfield he quickened well enough to get the neck in front in the final 50m. Talented and will be improved from that effort. No Interest was well back on turning ran home well to just miss the winner. Star Of Monsoon had a nice run behind the speed and was solid however every chance for mine. The runs of both Missile Coda & Difficult To Get were good on pace as the pattern for the day was to be back and wide. They both battled on well in the straight.