The 2023 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival draws to a close this Saturday at Randwick with the running of All Aged Stakes Day.  

Fortunately, a fine day is forecast on Saturday so while showers are a possibility on Thursday and Friday, we should be racing on an improving Soft track. The rail is out 7m between the 1000m and W/Post and 4m the remainder of the circuit. 

We’ve provided our thoughts on each of the ten races to help you find a winner.  

Race 1 - 11:35pm AEST

GROUP 3 FRANK PACKER PLATE (2000 METRES)

Osipenko (1) returns to his own age group in the Frank Packer Plate after two very good races against Group 1 older horses. 

The Chris Waller-trained Pierro colt was far from disgraced in the George Ryder Stakes when finishing 1.61 lengths behind Anamoe. Last start he fought bravely for a two-lengths sixth in the Doncaster Handicap.  

The last time he raced his own age, he won the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes. Nash Rawiller rode that day and he returns to the saddle here. This is the first time over 2000m but he looks more than capable of handling it.  

1 Unit – Osipenko (1) 

Race 2 - 12:10pm AEST

CLASS 3 HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1200 METRES)

Super Extreme (2) returns from a quick freshen-up looking to continue his excellent Highway form. The Cameron Crockett-trained four-year-old warmed up for this with a nice trial. 

The son of Extreme Choice loves Randwick. He won over this course and distance two starts back and overcome a wide gate to win over 1400m here four starts ago. 

He again draws wide but gets the services of James McDonald who has won both times he’s ridden the horse.  

1 Unit Each Way – Super Extreme (2) 

Race 3 - 12:45pm AEST

BENCHMARK 72 MIDWAY HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Floating (5) was unlucky not to win when resuming at Warwick Farm over 1400m last start.  

The Matthew Smith-trained gelding was held up early in the straight but found the line hard to go down by a head. He was heavily backed so the signs were there that he was going well. 

He’ll strip fitter second-up and will appreciate a strong tempo. James McDonald takes the ride.  

1 Unit – Floating (5) 

Race 4 - 1:20pm AEST

GROUP 3 JAMES H B CARR STAKES (1400 METRES)

Magic Time (1) will be looking to remain undefeated after taking her record to three from three with a win the Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes first-up. 

The Hellbent filly finished the 1200m off like a freight train to blow the likes of Parisal and Opal Ridge away by 1.34 lengths.  

She’ll be fitter second-up and will appreciate the rise to 1400m. Last preparation she won The Amanda Elliott over the same trip when having her second run back. She’s in well at the weights under the race conditions.  

3 Units – Magic Time (1) 

Race 5 - 1:55pm AEST

GROUP 3 HALL MARK STAKES (1200 METRES)

Vilana (1) resumes here in the Hall Mark Stakes following a luckless visit to Perth in the Group 3 Gold Rush in December. The James Cummings-trained son of Hallowed Crown flies fresh, boasting two wins and a second from three first-up races. 

He’s had two trials leading into this so he’ll be ready to fire as he did last preparation when winning the Silver Eagle first-up.  

Nash Rawiller takes the ride and has won two of three on him. Based on the Handicapper’s ratings, he’s clearly the best horse in the race. 

2 Units – Vilana (1) 

Race 6 - 2:30pm AEST

GROUP 3 JRA PLATE (2000 METRES)

Sunshine Rising (2) has been banging on the door for a win all preparation. Two starts back the Mark Newnham-trained gelding found the line strongly to finish third behind Protagonist and Zeyrek in the Sky High Stakes. 

He ran into Zeyrek again last start in the Neville Selwood Stakes over 2000m at Rosehill and despite running on well, finished second best again. He was clearly ahead of third.  

The son of Myboycharlie should be hitting peak fitness now fourth-up in the JRA Plate field. He hasn’t been on a track with the sting out of it for some time, but he should enjoy it.  

1 Unit – Sunshine Rising (2) 

Race 7 - 3:10pm AEST

GROUP 1 CHAMPAGNE STAKES (1600 METRES)

Is Militarize (2) just a wet tracker or is he a stayer of the future? We may or may not get an answer to that question in Saturday’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes but I’m prepared to side with him based on his massive win in the Group 1 ATC Sires Produce Stakes last start.  

The Chris Waller-trained son of Dundeel ate up the mud to storm home to win the 1400m feature by 3.5 lengths. His breeding suggests he’ll enjoy the rise to 1600m and even further.  

While it won’t be as wet as it was in the Sires, the surface will still have some cut in it which he’ll enjoy.  

2 Units – Militarize (2) 

Race 8 - 3:50pm AEST

GROUP 1 ALL AGED STAKES (1400 METRES)

Zaaki (1) resumes here following his Group 1 win in the VRC Champions Stakes during the Spring.  

The Annabel Neasham-trained nine-year-old looked good in a recent trial and races particularly well fresh. He is undefeated in two starts over the course and distance with both coming when first-up in The Tramway Stakes in 2021 and 2022.  

James McDonald will reacquaint himself with the superstar and the pair have combined to win in seven of nine starts. Zaaki maps to get a nice run on speed.  

1 Unit – Zaaki (1) 

Race 9 - 4:30pm AEST

BENCHMARK 100 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)

Tamerlane (12) ran well first-up over 1350m at Rosehill but had to settle for second behind Maotai. 

The Godolphin-owned five-year-old gelding was given a peach of a ride by apprentice Zac Lloyd at his next start when leading all the way to win over 1400m.  

He rises in class but will carry just 53.5kg after Lloyd’s claim. The young jockey is riding in great form and can settle in a forward position on his mount that is at peak fitness. 

1 Unit – Tamerlane (12) 

Race 10 - 5:05pm AEST

BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP (1200m)

Cult horse Democracy Manifest (9) makes his return to racing following two trials where on both occasions he settled last. In his most recent, the Chris Waller-trained gelding was powerful through the line and proved hard to pull up.  

He races particularly well fresh, having won all three first-up races since joining Waller. All three of those wins have been over this distance.  

The four-year-old will settle back so needs a genuine tempo which he should get here.  

1 Unit – Democracy Manifest (9)