Ron Dufficy and Ray Thomas are both confident that rising star Kiku can land a second stakes win and Masked Crusader will be too good in the All Aged Stakes.
The Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy debate the chances for the All Aged Stakes meeting at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!
Race 6, No.1: CAPTIVANT
Race 2, No.2: KIKU
Race 9, No.2 LOST AND RUNNING
Race 2, No.2 KIKU
Race 8, No.15 BOUND TO WIN
R1: VALE NEVILLE LAYT HIGHWAY (1200M)
Ron Dufficy: We haven’t had a Highway for a while so it’s a tricky start to the day. There are some lightly-raced horses with talent in this field, none more so than Ahead Start. I just like everything he has done in his short career, they have found James McDonald, and he’s a horse on the up. I’m happy to go with him over Ceasefire who is similar, still a touch raw, but has won his first two starts in good style. He just has to tick that 1200m box. Rothenburg is the one with all the form and rating but he has a big weight to carry but he comes out of the right race when fifth in the Country Championships Final. Boom Boom Basil is another emerging sprinter has looked good to the eye winning his last two starts.
Ray Thomas: I’ve gone with Ceasefire. He has looked very good winning both his starts with authority. He’s still green but has talent. Rothenburg is going to be hard to beat. He’s racing in very good form as he showed in the Country Championships Final finishing a competitive fifth. He’s got his share of weight but will be in the finish. King’s Trust gets the good track he needs and can run well at big odds. Ahead Start does look promising and has to be included among the main chances.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: More Sundays $19-$15-$16, Ceasefire $5-$3.80-$3.40-$3.30 ($350 @ $4)
R2: JHB CARR STAKES (1400M)
Dufficy: The tempo is difficult to read but she is a good filly, Kiku. I love her turn of speed and the way she puts a field away. If she can come back from 1600m and still show her acceleration then she will be awfully hard to beat. Matchmaker can get a little “hot” before she races but she was good in her lead-up and should hold her form. Geist savaged the line after a getting a mile back in the PJ Bell so 1400m looks ideal. I Say Hello is an improving filly who hasn’t done much wrong working her way through the classes.
Thomas:Kiku has to drop back in trip to 1400m after her highly impressive Carbine Club Stakes win last start but she is in a rich vein of form and can maintain her winning momentum this preparation. She is up against three-year-old fillies on Saturday and is the one to beat. I Say Hello is the emerging filly coming off a couple of very good provincial wins. This is a big step up in class for her but she does look promising. All Hallows’ Eve came from a long way back in the PJ Bell to finish just behind the placegetters and getting out to 1400m suits. Elizabeel has been freshened and can improve as she is a classy filly.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: I Say Hello $14-$8
R3: FRANK PACKER PLATE (2000M)
Dufficy: I just have to go with the ratings of Lion’s Roar here – he’s got a 104 rating compared to the next best on 83. He has them as far as performances on the board are concerned, 2000m, Randwick and dry track, everything falls into place for him. This is another race where there is not much speed which is the only concern. Khoekhoe is a nice horse and I feel there is another peak run in him. High Supremacy has been waiting to get to 2000m. He should have fought out the finish with Kiku last start. He will have a lot of supporters and rightfully so. Call Me Artie is the bolter of the field but has his chance of putting his number in the frame as he is so consistent.
Thomas: I can’t add much more about Lion’s Roar than what you said, Ronnie. He does stand out in this field and the fact trainer John O’Shea has decided to target this race suggests the gelding has done well since his third in the Derby. Real Peace is an underrated colt, he impressed beating older horses convincingly last start and is over the odds. High Supremacy does look well placed here and will appreciate this distance. Santadeal is lightly raced but shows promise and is one to watch.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Lion’s Roar $2-$1.95-$1.85 ($500 @ $1.95 Multiple times)
R4: JRA PLATE (2000M)
Dufficy: If Zaaki can reproduce his Doncaster Mile run he will be very hard to beat here, Ray. He was outstanding in the Doncaster, to do what he did first-up was the sign of a class horse. Entente gets all the favours in the world up front and will give a huge sight. Zeyrek is a big query. He was hard in the market in a 1400m race first-up but the bias was completely against him that day. He has already had good support at big odds. Paths Of Glory has to come back in distance but I thought he was very gallant holding on for third in the Chairman’s last start.
Thomas: I’m leaning to Entente. He does get control up front, he’s very fit and racing in good form. If he turns this race into a sprint home, he is going to take catching. Zaaki is the hardest to beat. He ran a huge race in the Doncaster at his first Australian start and is probably better suited at 2000m. I’ve also got a big watch on Zeyrek. As you pointed out, nothing went his way first-up but he is ready to run a race here. Hang Man is racing in very good form but to win this race he needs to improve again.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Zaaki $2.60-$2.40-$2.50, Entente $4.40-$4.60-$4.20 ($500 e/w @ $4.40/$1.65, $500 @ $4.40), Grey Lion $71-$23, Zeyrek $23-$12 ($250 e/w @ $15/$3.40)
R5: TAB HALL MARK STAKES (1200M)
Dufficy: Good race this, you can go down the page here and make a case for the lot of them. I have to trust my eye and go with Signore Fox. He ran right up to those nice trials when he won first-up. From the inside draw he gets all the favours on Saturday. Eleven Eleven ran a very strong race when resuming in the T.J. Smith Stakes and he is a big improver. I would have put him on top if he was a better price but he is well found in the market. Victorem is back after suffering from cardiac arrhythmia but he has had a nice trial since and can easily bounce back here. Roheryn was good off a freshen last time and Randwick suits him.
Thomas: I’m also in Signore Fox’s corner. He does have an electrifying turn of foot as he unleashed last start, he gets the good ground he needs and there is enough speed in this race to give him the chance to close fast. Eleven Eleven is the danger. He was competitive in the T.J. Smith Stakes when resuming and invariably improves significantly second-up from a spell. I think Splintex is the forgotten runner. He ran well first-up in the Challenge Stakes behind Eduardo and Nature Strip but the wide barrier put paid to his chances in The Galaxy. He gets the right run from his good draw. Roheryn does like Randwick and will be finishing strongly.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Splintex $11-$12-$9.50-$9-$6, Roheryn $9.50-$10-$8.50-$7.50, Signore Fox $4.80-$5 ($1,500 @ $4.80), Ranier $19-$16 ($2,000 x $1,000 e/w @ $16/$3.80), Eleven Eleven $2.90-$3.30-$3.20 ($1,000 @ $3.30)
R6: CHAMPAGNE STAKES (1600M)
Dufficy: I like the set-up with Captivant. I’m looking for something that is going to get a nice run in behind them and that’s Captivant – barrier one and dry track suits and he tried very hard in the Sires’. At his only on a Randwick dry he won the Victory Vein Plate in good style. I’m thinking the Sires has to be the right form so Hilal has to be the danger. He was a month between runs going into the Sires and ran well for second. He also looks to get the right run from the good draw, I think he will settle closer. Queen Of Wizardry is the real miler of this field, the timing is right coming out of the Golden Slipper and Sires and the dry track is to her advantage. She will run well. Port Louis comes off runs over 1100m and 1200m but he is a very nice horse and could cause and upset.
Thomas:Hilal worked to the line strongly but was no match for a rampant Anamoe in the Sires’. There is no Anamoe in opposition on Saturday and importantly Hilal has finally drawn a barrier. He can take up a more forward position than has been the case in his previous starts and he’s a strong colt who will run the 1600m right out. Converge is going to take up the front-running here and will take catching. He was strong through the line winning the Fernhill over this course and distance last week. Capitvant went with Hilal in the Sires finishing a close third and he should be in the mix again. Queen Of Wizardry ran on well in the Sires and gives the impression she will enjoy this trip.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Converge $8.50-$5.50-$6 ($500 @ $7), Port Louis $34-$26-$23 ($300 @ $23), Gin Martini $10-$11-$10 ($700 x $1,600 e/w @ $11/$3.20, $500 x $100 e/w @ $11/$3.20, $500 @ $11, $500 x $200 e/w @ $10/$3)
R7: ALL AGED STAKES (1400M)
Dufficy: It’s a bit awkward for him from the wide draw but it is not the end of the world with Masked Crusader. He is really flying this preparation and I know he hasn’t proved himself beyond 1200m yet but the way he savages the line he is sure to be charging home. Kolding is the big danger. It’s a month since the George Ryder on a soft 7, we know he is better on top of the ground and at Randwick so he is over the odds from that beautiful barrier. Savatiano has been held back for this race since winning the Canterbury Stakes. She has had a lovely tick-over trial and she will be right there in the thick of things. Prague was very good last week, he would have won with a cleaner getaway, but that is in his make-up as well and he certainly is not without a knockout chance.
Thomas:Masked Crusader’s great asset is his brilliant acceleration – he has the ability to reel off incredible closing sectionals as he has done in each of his four starts this autumn. His William Reid Stakes win was outstanding and if he had got into the clear a little earlier, he might have made it interesting with Nature Strip in the T.J. Smith Stakes. He probably goes back from his wide barrier but 1400m should suit and I’m relying on his finishing speed to record a second Group 1 win. Savatiano is coming off her Canterbury Stakes win, she can ride the speed and get the run of the race, and will give Masked Crusader something to chase. I Am Superman should get the right run and is the value runner. Kolding finally gets a dry track and he’s also over the odds.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Masked Crusader $3-$2.80-$2.90 ($2,292 @ $3, $700 @ $2.90, $500 @ $2.90, $600 @ $2.80, $500 @ $2.80), I Am Superman $17-$18-$17 ($1,000 e/w @ $18/$4.60), Savatiano $7 unchanged ($2,500 @ $7), Tagaloa $11-$9.50-$11, Peltzer $51-$34
R8: YARRAMAN PARK HANDICAP (1400M)
Dufficy: I couldn’t believe the price they went up Nudge although it has levelled up now. She has been absolutely airborne this preparation and the track bias was completely against her last start and her effort was the run of the day. She is a kilo better off and will go close. Bottega is a slight query coming back in distance but both his runs this campaign have been terrific and he is suited by the big stretches of Randwick. Arapaho is a very interesting import. He’s a French galloper and his two trials here have really caught the eye. He looks to have nice gate speed as well. Bound To Win has been freshened since having no luck when runner-up at her first run back and she is a talented mare day.
Thomas:Bound To Win is a good bet. She is tremendous value around $15 as she is such a genuine mare, has the firm track she prefers, drawn the inside barrier, has no weight and will be in the finish. Bottega has returned in good touch and with even luck he can score an overdue and deserved win. Starspangled Rodeo has maintained form over an extended period and he will be very competitive again. I concede Nudge has a super chance, too.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Phaistos $6.50-$8.50 ($2,000 @ $8.50), Nudge $14-$5-$4.80 ($500 e/w @ $12/$3.90, $250 e/w @ $11/$3.70, $700 @ $7, $500 @ $5), Bound To Win $19-$15-$14-$15
R9: FUJITSU GENERAL SPRINT (1200M)
Dufficy: Good race for a Benchmark 88. I’m going with the midweek form here of More Prophets. She was a much better mare last preparation, she has been well looked after, had the one trial and off that win back in January she is going to be hard to hold out with only 52.5kg. Another midweek star is Salina Dreaming. I know it was only a Benchmark 72 last start but she looked really good beating a smart field. She will be hard to beat. Lost And Running has a big boom on him and he suffered his first defeat last start. He is a little query at 1200m but his lovely draw helps. Enchanted Heart beat Lost And Running last time and is a mare with a terrific winning strike rate.
Thomas:Lost And Running can bounce back here. He had every chance but was collared late by Enchanted Heart at Canterbury, his first loss in five starts. Lost And Running meets Enchanted Heart better at the weights on Saturday, the bigger Randwick track is in his favour and so is the good track rating. Lost And Running has recorded brilliant times winning his only two starts on firm tracks. Enchanted Heart is a very consistent mare and although she is getting up in the weights, she will be hard to beat again. I’ve also got More Prophets and Salina Dreaming in my numbers.
TAB MARKET MOVERS: Lost And Running $3.60-$3.70-$3.50-$3.60 ($1,500 @ $3.70, $3,000 @ $3.60), Salina Dreaming $4-$3.70-$3.60 ($500 @ $4, $2,000 @ $3.70, $700 @ $3.70, $500 @ $3.70, $1,000 @ $3.60, $500 @ $3.60), More Prophets $7.50-$5.50-$5
SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS
Race 2, No.8: MISS MAZ
Snitzel filly out of a Galileo mare; this one races in the John Singleton colours and is trained by Gerald Ryan and Sterling Alexiou. Super impressive winning her latest trial. Seems handy.
Race 1, No.3: QUATENUS
Out of the handy Quidnunc, this Godolphin filly was doing her best work late when a closing third on debut at Wyong on April 9. Probably appreciate the better ground too.
Race 6, No.3: HAPPY SONG
A three-quarter-sister to the great Pierro, this John O’Shea trained four-year-old has done enough in her trials to warrant respect. Beautifully placed here on debut.
Race 5: 1,3,4,7,9
Race 6: 2,3
Race 7: 1,4,6,9
Race 8: 1,4,5
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Grant Buckley has ridden more winners at Kembla (263) than any other track – and he’s been to a few.
Race 6, No.3: MILLME
Only win so far (in eight starts) happened to be over this same distance and this same venue. Split a couple of handy enough types last start.
Race 5, No.6: AWADHI
Wears the colours of the 1970 Champagne Stakes winner, Baguette. Has only one win in 15 starts but she has turned in some pretty decent races overall.
Race 3, No.2: HARTZER PARK
Banking on him being way better than his debut at Wagga on Christmas Eve last year. Has changed stables and worth watching the market.
Race 3, No.12: POWER RUNNER
Gives the solid impression that she is going to relish the step up to 1400m for the first time.
Race 6, No.8: DISOBEDIENT
Cameron Crockett trained mare who won’t have to have improved a whole lot to win this on what she produced at Dubbo. Only win was second-up.
Race 1, No. 3: WAZENA
Gets her chance again in what is a rather skinny 1600m Class 1 and Maiden. Very fit – can definitely say that.