Randwick Race 8, 4:30pm
Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)
The lay of the land
There was very heavy rain yesterday but it’s not a bad drying day today, so it might recover to the better side of heavy or even slow. It’ll still be wet by all means, but should be better going than previous weeks.
The rail is in the true, which used to mean they’d to the middle. But the last few months it’s been the opposite and they’ve stuck to the rail, so I’d be leaning to it playing again that way.
The speed story
For a sprint race of this quality there’s actually not a heap of natural speed. I think Russian Revolution can get across with Malaguerra to get good runs on pace. Japonisme and Fell Swoop will sit just behind the speed, but the rest of the field prefer to ease.
In the mix
Malaguerra (Gelagotis / Melham) comes with in sold Melbourne form, but is unknown in the wet. He went up to 1400m and clearly wasn’t suited, but is back to 1200m here with a freshen up and gets a great run on the speed. He’s a chance.
Spieth (Heys / Bowman) obviously has all the talent in the world and can reel off a sectional. He’s just an unknown quantity on the heavy and maps poorly here.
Voodoo Lad (Weir / Lane) is a very interesting chance here. Clearly unsuited first-up, he still hit the line well and looks to have wet track ability. He may land closer from the draw here too. Rock Magic (Gangemi / Noske) is interesting too after running well first-up in Melbourne. However I’m unsure how he’ll handle the going.
Tivaci (Moroney / Oliver) is running on reasonably in Melbourne but is another with a query on the conditions.
English (Waterhouse & Bott / Shinn) is just super-talented. She sprints home fast and was very good first-up before failing on a very heavy track. If the track gets to a slow rating tomorrow she’s near enough to top pick. May even land closer from the inside draw.
Astern (O’Shea / Doyle) is a good horse with all the talent in world, but I’m just not sure how sound he is. He gets scratched often and has light preps so could be a bit fragile. Another unknown on the heavy.
Russian Revolution (Snowden / McEvoy) is in great order. He trialled great before a super win first-up, sitting four-wide and working hard on the speed, then looking beaten before coming again. The only query is if that run flattened him, but gets things to suit here and is clear top pick if can repeat that performance.
Terravista (Pride / Brown) is better suited down the straight and I think better fresh in his preparation, but he’s just too talented to rule out completely.
Chautauqua (Hawkes / Berry) stepped up in distance this prep and is back to the 1200m here. He’s running on okay, but has things against here and I’ll oppose him at current odds.
Tivaci (Moroney / Oliver) is running on reasonably in Melbourne but is another with queries in these conditions.
Fell Swoop (Dale / Moreira) is good enough at it’s best, but I’m just unsure if that’s where he is at the moment.
Put a line through…
Rebel Dane (Portelli / Williams) isn’t up this grade anymore. Japonisme (Waller / Schofield) is well below it’s best and against a lot of quality here, whilst Target In Sight (Pride / Avdulla) can run a big race 1st up, it generally needs a firmer track to produce its best
Russian Revolution is my top pick and I’m watching English depending on the track.
Malaguerra’s not hopeless, and Voodoo Lad looks good odds at the moment.
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