Runners to watch: Randwick, January 26th

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

Blackbookers: Race 6 – SEI STELLA.

Race 1: 2YO Handicap 1000m.

Notes: The fairytale comeback for Blake Shinn came early on with the impressive debut win of DAWN PASSAGE (1st). The pace was hot early and the Dawn Approach colt sat well back early before getting to the outside and running on hard for an effortless win. It was a real eye-catching win with the margin getting bigger the further they wen, but he did have the race run to suit. The pace was on throughout with SYLVIA’S MEMORY (unplaced) and FOR LOVE (unplaced) going very hard initially from out wide before tiring, the favourite ESPAANIYAH (unplaced) was forced to be dug up early, kicked through along the rails and led into the straight, before weakening also. AUSSIE (2nd) was beautifully ridden and hit he front momentarily before being overhauled by the winner, he had every chance. BIVOUAC (3rd) came with the winner but couldn’t match his acceleration, it looks like he will want further. COLADA (unplaced) was well back, he jock electing to stay to the inside and had no room all the way up he straight. He eventually got clear and ran through the line well, forget he even went around.

Race 2: Highway Class 2 Handicap 1100m.

Notes: I AM A COOL KID (1st) was very well backed to win today’s Highway, the Mudgee trained gelding jumped well from the wide gate, crossed to lead and when Hyeronimus asked him to go in the straight, he exploded away and the margin just continued to increase. He was resuming off a 23-week break today and showed how well he has resumed, looks to be in for a nice prep. As impressive as the winner was, I AM CAPITAN (2nd) was almost as good. He jumped well but was crossed by the winner, forced to sit three-wide the journey up on the speed, he just didn’t quicken when the leader/winner did but he was brave and stuck on well. ALTERNATIVE FACTS (unplaced) was good from the back, hitting the line well whilst the favourite, SHE’S SPICY (unplaced) was most disappointing. She improved mid-race between runners to be just behind the speed, back to the inside in the straight but found very little.

Race 3: Wilkes 3YO Quality 1100m.

Those that took the short odds about SYLVIA’S MOTHER (1st) were feeling sick at the 250m mark, the Snitzel filly was pocketed badly and bolting, Avdulla eventually having to ease around heels and once he pressed the button, she raced up to them and bolted in. She showed a brilliant turn-of-foot, putting them away in a few strides after all her momentum was gone. Mos impressive to make it four wins from five.

Notes: WONDERBABE (2nd) was brave in defeat, she had to sit three-wide without cover the trip and stuck on well. She was the one holding the winner in the pocket and was simply no match for her once she got into clear running. STAR FALL (unplaced) was well in the market but very plain, he sat outside the leader but was very one-paced with the big weight disadvantage he had.

Race 4: Fillies and Mares BM78 Handicap 1600m.

Notes: LUSKINTYRE LASS (1st) was stepping up to the mile and handled it with ease, after beginning well she was forced to sit outside the favourite in the run but it was clear at the top of the straight, she was going better. She surged to the front, not with a great turn-of-foot but just applied pressure, and continued all het way to the line. PUMPKIN PIE (2nd) had every chance but just didn’t seem to want to run past the winner in the straight, EXTREME BLISS (unplaced) had the run of the race and got an inside run at the top of the straight but failed to respond and was very plain. He favourite, TORYJOY (unplaced), kicked through to lead early, but had every chance and was beaten on her merits as the second fave putt her away early in the straight. BELLA SUCCESS (unplaced) ran home well, NICCI’S GOLD (unplaced) was never in the race after blowing the start horribly.

Race 5: BM88 Handicap 2000m.

With no weight on his back, Rachel King adopted catch me if you can tactics on MERCURIAL LAD (1st) as she opened up a huge lead on the gelding mid-race. He must have been 12 lengths in front at the 1000m mark, he was stepping up to the 2000m and those that were watching were probably thinking that he would fold in the straight. Well the opposite happened. He was still 8 clear up the rise and five clear at the 200m mark, the daring ride paid off as the gelding never looked in danger of getting run down! SO YOU WIN (unplaced) had the perfect run and didn’t have to do any work, he ran home well but was entitled to and was actually passed late by the other two closers from the back, ISLAND MISSILE (2nd) and BERDIBEK (3rd). Hey were a mile off the winner in the run, ran home well but all honours with the winner, and more notably, the winning ride.

Race 6: BM78 Handicap 1100m.

Notes: Only 2.3 lengths separated the first seven across the line officially here, but there were only really two horses that looked like winning the race up the straight. JUNGLIZED (1st) was beautifully ridden behind the speed, with the good claim he eased around the on-speed horses at the top of the straight and although he didn’t dash to the front, he grinded away eventually getting the better of the horse he followed in the run. That was the favourite SEI STELLA (2nd) who was brave in defeat, she began well but wasn’t able to cross to the lead with outsider HAPPY MO (unplaced) kicking through to hold the lead. She got by her early in the straight but was a sitting shot, she stuck on well, only overhauled late. Hose behind, including ANIKO (unplaced) who was well in the market, came as a pack to try to run down these two and were closing late, but never looked like getting over the top.

Race 7: Carrington Stakes Quality 1400m.

Notes: TOM MELBOURNE (1st) finally broke his long run of outs, returning jockey Blake Shinn rode him a little quieter today and he responded well. When asked to improve four-wide approaching the straight, he quickened up nicely when balanced and although he rolled down to the rail in the straight, he was far too good in the run home. FLOW (2nd) led hem up but was no match, PENSKE (unplaced) was up outside the leader but didn’t respond up in this grade. Favourite backer’s tickes were confetti soon after the start when ENDLESS DRAMA (unplaced) missed it hopelessly and was never a factor. He hit the line well but he was never a winning chance after blundering the start. TANGLED (3rd) had every chance.

Race 8: BM78 Handicap 1400m.

Notes: Punters had narrowed down to two with SONDELON (3rd) leading them up and DEALMAKER (2nd), who was well back in the run. It was a five-way go in the end, BRAZEN (1st) at cricket score odds getting up on the line after sitting outside the leader. It was a little surprising to some that he went around at that price, he was ok fresh and had won on multiple occasions second-up. SONDELON (3rd) fought all the way down the straight but had every chance, WAYANKA (unplaced) and PROMETHEUS (unplaced) were good but also had every chance after sitting behind the leader’s throughout. The real story and hard luck runner was DEALMAKER (2nd). He was taking on the older horses, got back and charged late, hit a brick wall at the 100m mark when looking for a run either side of the winner, then exploded late to narrowly miss.  If he got the gap or got to the outside, his name would surely be on the winner’s sash.

Race 9: BM88 Handicap 1400m.

Notes: The time out of the saddle hasn’t affected Blake Shinn, I doubt you will ever see a better ride on a beaten horse than what he showed on GRESHAM (3rd). From the widest draw, he had the gelding across on the speed before dropping onto the leaders back after a furlong. He then eased into the clear and dashed up to hit the front at the top of the straight but the horse simply wasn’t good enough. A peach of a ride that deserved better. Stablemate NEW UNIVERSE (1st) was very impressive, settling second last he saved ground on the turn before running on hard between runners. He quickly pounced and ran away from them and the further they went, the further he won by. ORGANZA (2nd) ran on well and came with the winner but was no match over the last furlong, SAMADOUBT (unplaced) had no excuses after leading and getting his own way. EAGLE BAY (unplaced) wasn’t given much chance three-wide with no cover throughout.