The 2022 Adelaide Racing Carnival begins next week, and there’s no shortage of value to be found ahead of this Saturday’s nine-race card on Irwin Stakes Day.
The feature has attracted a small field of sprinters, headlined by Group 1 winner Trekking, Swats That, and Instant Celebrity.
We’ve run the rule over the entire program and our best bets can be found below.
Race 1 - 12:22pm AEDT
The Junction Handicap (2500m)
Not a lot of speed on paper, so I’m siding with Grinzinger Star, who steps out on the short backup after winning the Kimba Cup at Port Lincoln last week by over two lengths.
The son of Reliable Man has had two goes for zero placings over this trip in the past, but he’s returned a different horse this time in work finding the money in all five of his starts.
This is tougher, but he should be able to find the box seat from barrier 4 and save some of his best for late.
1 Unit Grinzinger Star
Race 2 - 12:57pm AEDT
Adelaide Racing Carnival April 30th-May 21st Handicap (1050m)
This looks like a nice race for Prairie Flower to atone.
The Star Turn filly won her maiden at Ballarat a few weeks ago by three-quarters of a length before taking to Caulfield in the Redoute’s Stakes where she ran fifth and was found to be lame post-race.
She’s drawn to settle towards midfield under Will Price, and the recent form of the Henry Dwyer stable is tough to ignore.
1 Unit Prairie Flower
Race 3 - 1:32pm AEDT
Fleurieu Milk Company 3YO Maiden Plate (1200m)
Strike Award is a lightly raced three-year-old out of the John Hyam stable that showed plenty in his two runs last winter.
The son of Shamus Award ran back to back second’s on the Parks track and has since shown plenty at the trials winning well a couple of weeks ago.
He’ll likely be racing on a firm track for the first time on Saturday and has had his gear tinkered with in the lead-up.
Having drawn gate 3, he’ll take some catching up front.
2 Units Strike Award
Race 4 - 2:12pm AEDT
Keep the Legacy Promise this Anzac Day Handicap (1050m)
Tricky race with a few to like, including Ryan Balfour’s gelding Larkham.
This five-year-old son of Sidestep won back-to-back starts on the Parks track earlier in his prep before tackling BM68 more recently where he’s finished fourth and third respectively.
That form is tough to fault, and so too is Campbell Rawiller’s on the back of a big day at Oakbank earlier in the week.
1 Unit E/W Larkham
Race 5 - 2:52pm AEDT
Grand Syndicates Handicap (1200m)
Another Award was brilliant last time out on the Parks track, settling towards the rear before unleashing with an explosive turn of foot to win by just under two lengths.
This is a little tougher, but she gets in well with the claim and should be suited by the wide barrier given her racing style.
The Shamus Award mare has won twice over this track and distance previously and she does shape as one of the better bets on the program.
3 Units Another Award
Race 6 - 3:32pm AEDT
Group 3 R N Irwin Stakes (1100m)
Competitive race here, and it does look like a winnable one for Instant Celebrity.
Phillip Stokes’ mare ran well without winning during the spring, most notably finishing a couple of lengths of Turaath in the Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington.
That horse has since gone on to run well in tougher races, while Instant Celebrity also wasn’t far off Probabeel first-up at Caulfield.
She’s a proven performer at Morphettville with two wins over the track and distance to her name, and her recent trial at Trarlgon suggests she’s come up well. If she can get back and run on, she’ll be tough to hold out.
2 Units Instant Celebrity
Race 7 - 4:09pm AEDT
Furphy Handicap (1600m)
Unlaced looks set to peak now in her third run back.
Michael Hickmott’s mare finished off only fairly last start over the track and distance for fifth, but she probably deserved to finish a little closer after being held up at the top of the straight.
She’ll likely appreciate a little more room from a wider ally this time around, while the fact she’s won four times over the mile previously is a big plus.
1 Unit Unlaced
Race 8 - 4:47pm AEDT
Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m)
Very deep race with a case to be made for a few.
Heresy won the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes first-up at Randwick over a couple of her stablemates and looks capable of going on with it now with a gap between runs.
The Street Boss filly did a few things wrong that day in transit, but she was super strong late to the line thanks to a beautiful steer from Nash Rawiller. She gets in well with the claim here, and from the wide gate, she should be swooping in late again.
2 Units Heresy
Race 9 - 5:25pm AEDT
Murray and Barb Stewart’s 64th Anniversary Handicap (1600m)
Eagles Crag was second to future Doncaster Mile winner Mr Brightside at Sandown last August before resuming to win at Benalla by two lengths.
He went on to close his prep running fifth at Caulfield in a BM80, a run he can be forgiven on after racing on a heavy track.
The son of Fastnet Rock has won and placed first-up previously, while he also gets in nice and light here under the in-form Harry Coffey.
2 Units Eagles Crag