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Spring is in the air this Saturday at Royal Randwick with the Group 2 Missile Stakes headlining the 10-race card.

A quality crop of sprinters has been assembled for the feature, and there’s no shortage of value to be found with Group 1 racing right around the corner.

We’ve analysed each race on the card and offer our best bets below.

Race 1 - 11:20am

Class 3 Highway Plate (1800m)

Zadig resumes from a freshen-up after leading all the way to score by nearly a length here back in June.

The form out of that race has been strong with the two place-getters going on to win more recent assignments, and although untested over 1800m, this son of Astern does look well-placed with a trial in between runs.

He’ll appreciate any extra sting out of the track and Dylan Gibbons retaining the ride is another plus.

1 Unit Zadig

Race 2 - 11:55am

Midway Handicap (1800m)

Highly Desired was scratched from a mid-week meeting at Canterbury on Wednesday in favour of this.

Claire Lever’s old boy led all the way to score by over three lengths at Warwick Farm last start, form he only needs to hold stepping out against similar company here.

He’s unplaced in two goes over 1800m but does have a ton of wet-track form to suit. Drawn barrier 7, he’ll likely test his luck on the speed once again.

1 Unit Highly Desired

Race 3 - 12:30pm

Midway Handicap (1800m)

Very open race, but I like the look of Markaopa on a quick backup for Robert Quinn.

This son of Sacred Falls was well-beaten by Naval Warfare last week at Warwick Farm where he really only tired over the final 100m.

He’s been up for a while, so there’s no knock on his fitness, and he has found the money in three of his last four starts – which includes a win here over further back in May followed by a fair effort in the Brisbane Cup.

On the quick backup with decent wet form, he’s a nice value bet.

1 Unit Marakopa

Race 4 - 1:05pm

Jockey Celebration Handicap (1400m)

Cruel Summer has wet-track form to suit in his return from a freshen-up.

The son of Choisir was a winner first-up at Canterbury on a bottomless track and has since gone on to run two placings here at Randwick more recently.

The form from his run two back stands out and the step back to 1400m should suit with a gap between starts. With a little luck from the wide draw, he should be in this for a long way.

1 Unit Cruel Summer

Race 5 - 1:40pm

Bisley Workwear Handicap (1300m)

Daralina Belle is a super honest type that can make a winning return to the races.

We last saw the daughter of Deep Field winning narrowly at Caulfield where she worked home from the tail of the field to get up in the final strides.

Her wet-track form is far superior to most in this field, and she’s only missed the money twice from nine starts so far. With the class of Willy Pike in the saddle and a recent trial win under the belt, she goes on top.

2 Units Darlina Belle

Race 6 - 2:15pm

Bisley Workwear Handicap (1300m)

Hard to go past Maotai’s superior first-up form.

The Kacy Fogden-trained four-year-old has won both starts first-up from a spell, and although his autumn form was mixed, he seems to have returned in great order if his recent Randwick trial last month was anything to go by.

Not sure if the inside running lane is where he’ll want to be at this point in the day, but down in class and with Hugh Bowman booked to ride, he’s deserving of the short price.

Quick Tempo also boasts an impressive record on wet tracks and he’ll take improvement out of his recent second on the Kensington track.

2 Units Maotai, 1 Unit E/W Quick Tempo

Race 7 - 2:55pm

Recovery Partner’s Premier’s Cup Prelude (1800m)

Alcyone has been a tricky horse to follow during his short career, but his first-up win at Rosehill a few weeks ago suggested he’s starting to put it all together now.

The Teofilo five-year-old gapped his rivals by nearly 2.5L after peeling out wide rounding the turn and swooping in late, a run he’ll only improve on getting out over further now.

He’s always been a good wet-track horse with three wins to his name and he’s drawn to get a similar late run from a slightly tricky draw.

2 Units Alcyone

Race 8 - 3:35pm

Expedo Missile Stakes (1200m)

Horses running first-up have dominated the Missile Stakes recently, so I’m happy to be with Belluci Babe on top in the feature.

Bjorn Baker’s mare by Per Incanto was super honest right throughout the autumn, winning the Wenona Girl over this track and distance before going on to finish fourth in the TJ Smith behind Nature Strip where she was seen doing her best work late.

The form out of that reads well with Paulele going on to run second in the Kingsford Smith at Eagle Farm not long ago, and I think the booking of James McDonald commands enormous respect.

Her first-up form and wet-track form both receive big ticks, and from the low draw, she should be able to find cover early.

2 Units Belluci Babe

Race 9 - 4:15pm

NSW Jockey’s Association Handicap (1600m)

There’s no reason Contributingfactor can’t go on with it now.

This four-year-old out of the David Atkins camp crossed the line with plenty to spare last week at Rosehill, working home beautifully down the middle of the straight to win by 1.5L under Kerrin McEvoy.

He’s done some of his best work on rain-affected going and was also a winner over the mile at Newcastle late last year. The decision to return on the quick backup commands enormous respect and Dylan Gibbons is a perfect two-from-two in the saddle.

2 Units Contributingfactor

Race 10 - 4:50pm

Verto Handicap (1200m)

Jai Lei was excellent late on the Kensington track second-up, working home out wide to just miss out in a head-bobber behind Dalaalaat.

He’ll need to replicate that performance from another awkward gate, but does look set to peak third-up with the stable opting for the more experienced hand of James McDonald now.

Like others, his wet-track form appeals, and he is best suited to this distance with three wins on the board.

2 Units Jai Lei