Race 1 - 1:15pm AEDT
$2 Million Inglis Millenium In 14 Days Handicap (1000m)
All but four of the twelve confirmed starters in the first will be on debut and the early favourite in betting is Rulership; an I Am Invincible colt trained by Peter & Paul Snowden. I’m happy to watch, with a view towards something further into the carnival
Race 2 - 1:50pm AEDT
Highway Handicap (1100m)
Mr Wong hasn’t been seen at the races since August, but he
is a proven first-up performer and has a class edge over the lion’s share of
his rivals in the first of two Highway races this week. The Mossman gelding was
a dominant winner at Muswellbrook when resuming last time in; progressing to
strong performances in a couple of similar races to this. He’ll need some luck
from outside but will be piloted by Hugh Bowman.
2 Units Mr Wong
Race 3 - 2:25pm AEDT
Highway Handicap (1100m)
The second Highway race has also drawn a competitive field
of country gallopers, but I’ll be happy to have something on the Aiden St Vincent-trained
Hellenism. Hellenism simply doesn’t know how to run a bad race and returned
from a spell with a typically smart effort to win in Class 1 company at Coffs
Harbour. This is obviously harder, but she looks a horse that is capable of
measuring up in a race like the Country Championship in April.
5 Units Hellenism
Race 4 - 3:00pm AEDT
PFD Food Services Handicap (2000m)
Matowi has been a model of consistency recently and looks well
placed to return to the winner’s stall at Randwick. The Ocean Park gelding hasn’t
missed a place at his last three appearances and is unlucky not to be carrying
winning form into this race after being checked at the top of the straight over
1800m here a fortnight ago. He meets the winner of that race and favourite for
this Dabiyr better at the weights and the small rise in trip should suit.
4 Units Matowi
Race 5 - 3:40pm AEDT
The Coopers Hotel Newtown Handicap (1600m)
This looks like being one of the more open contests on
Carrington Stakes Day and there is a case to be made for a mare like Insensata
at a big price ($21 at publish). The Beneteau mare has stripped fitter for
three fair efforts this time and was last seen finishing three lengths from the
winner in the Listed Chester Manifold at Flemington. This is a drop in class
from that race and she is primed for a big performance.
1 Unit E/W Insensata
Race 6 - 4:20pm AEDT
City Tatts Bushfire Appeal Handicap (1600m)
Helga will take winning form into the sixth at Randwick on
Saturday and this looks another lovely race for her. The Duporth mare has
recorded four wins and as many placings through only fourteen career starts and
mustered an eye-catching turn of foot to beat a decent field to the line in
BM78 company last time out. She’ll only improve from that effort and can make
it two in a row.
2 Units Helga
Race 7 - 5:00pm AEDT
Listed Carrington Stakes (1400m)
This is an excellent edition of the Carrington Stakes and
there is a case to be made for more than half of the thirteen confirmed starters.
Sambro has mixed his form a little this time, but he probably won’t be offered a better opportunity to win another black type feature. The Fastnet Rock gelding finished third in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes here in December; failing to fire in the Listed Bernborough at Eagle Farm two back but running third in the Magic Millions Cup last time out. He’s rock-hard fit for this race and looks a lovely bet at around the $7.50 mark.
1.5 Units E/W Sambro
Race 8 - 5:40pm AEDT
Mark Alati Bookmakers Handicap (1100m)
Pandemic hasn’t been seen at the races since September, but
he is an above-average galloper and a proven fresh performer. The Sepoy gelding
has recorded two wins and a minor from only four career starts; winning each of
his first two when debuting and ending his prep third in Listed class. He’s had
the benefit of a couple of lovely trials and is ready to go.
4 Units Pandemic
Race 9 - 6:15pm AEDT
Edney Ryan Group Handicap (1400m)
Superium is a quality racehorse and looks hard to beat in
the last. The three-year-old son of Verrazano stamped himself as one to watch
this season when he retured to the races for a lovely win in BM74 company here,
before finishing second behind Embracer in a tougher race last time out. I like
that he’s had a trial in between races and he’s ready to win again third up.
4 Units Superium