Randwick tips: Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis

THE Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy discuss the chances for the 10-race Winter 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!

SUGGESTED BETS

DUFF’S BEST

Race 4, No.4: DE GRAWIN

BEST VALUE

Race 2, No.9: ALLINTHISTOGETHER

RAY’S BEST

Race 6, No.6: HULK

Race 5, No.3: HARPO MARX

BEST VALUE

Race 2, No.2: MAJOR ARTIE

RACE 1: ACY SECURITIES HANDICAP (1100M)

Ron Dufficy: An intriguing race. Sir Crackle has looked the part winning three trials, two this preparation. He’s handled wet tracks and shown brilliant speed so it is hard not to entertain him. Dragonstone was good winning at Warwick Farm. He’s an improver and should appreciate sitting off a good speed. Sky Command landed some good bets on debut. She did run slightly slower time than Dragonstone the same day but she is a filly with upside. First starter Governor has got ability but he gets to this race quite quickly after two trials since June 25.

Ray Thomas: Same top three but in different order, Ronnie. I’m going with the filly, Sky Commands. She handled the heavy track with ease at Warwick Farm, leading throughout and the best part of her race was the sprint to the line where she was very strong, increasing her winning margin. Dragonstone also comes off a very impressive midweek win and Sir Crackle’s barrier trials have been absolutely brilliant. Forzanini is a genuine filly and is over the odds.

RACE 2: RANVET HANDICAP (1500M)

Dufficy: I usually don’t like provincial maiden winners coming straight to Sydney Saturday class but I’m pretty keen on Allinthistogether. She looks a nice staying filly in the making, the form out of her debut run has stood up and she was quite dominant when going up in distance last start. Oakfield Prince was scratched from Grafton for this race. He has a bit of pedigree about him and might be a horse with a nice future, I like his racing style. Alvin The Bold is another just out of maiden class but he had good support on Wednesday which suggests they have an opinion of him. Go Troppo has been freshened for this and is racing well. He is right in the mix.

Thomas:Major Artie nearly fell at the start, gave away many lengths to his rivals but he worked to line quite well when unplaced first-up at Rosehill. He should be forgiven that failure as his run was much better than it reads on paper. He has won second-up previously and it seems the market has forgotten about him. Go Troppo is very fit and racing in top form. I’m wary of the emerging Allinthistogether and Kobe Rocks rates among the main chances.

Major Artie had no luck first-up and is ready to put his best foot forward. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph

RACE 3: TAB HIGHWAY (1400M)

Dufficy: This is a tough Highway. If he gets a run then emergency Cavalier Charles is the one to beat. He just had too much to do when getting out wide at Rosehill last start. He will be better for the experience and can atone. From The Bush has produced a couple of nice benchmark runs at the provincials which sets him up for this Highway. Birdonawinningpost is dangerous fresh and did a good job for an inexperienced mare last preparation. Casino Kid was dominant winning under similar circumstances last time, he just has to carry that bit more weight.

Thomas:Zoo Station was very good winning first-up at Rosehill, unleashing a powerful surge to score with authority. Promising mare who has drawn off the track but with even luck she will be hard to beat. Casino Kid was brilliant winning at Randwick and although up in weight and back in distance, he will be right in the finish again. Dream Runner is great each way value if he sneaks a start and Tags is improving with racing.

RACE 4: HYLAND RACE COLOURS HCP (1100M)

Dufficy: I like De Grawin, Ray. Blinkers are going back on and the speed map suits her. She loves to get control and finally gets it here. Dunbrody Power strode out well late when resuming and back to her own sex with the claim she is right in the mix. Misteed has changed hands after being sold at the sales but she has nice wet track ability and this is a lovely grade for her. Dame Kiri is a little query on the wet track but she could be the last one on the scene here and she did win her first two starts last preparation.

Thomas:De Grawin has been improved by two runs from a spell and this does look an ideal race for her. She excels on wet tracks and the gear change is significant. Misteed is a big chance for all the reasons you mentioned, Ronnie. Van Giz is racing well and handles heavy tracks. I’m wary of Dame Kiri as she does sprint well fresh.

The Bjorn Baker-trained Harpo Marx looks hard to beat. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

RACE 5: SCHWEPPES HCP (2000M)

Dufficy: Everyone has found the same horse here in Harpo Marx. Both runs back have been fantastic, he is ready to win and should be hard to hold out in the heavy track conditions. Savvy Legend might be a good longshot down in the weights on a heavy track. He had no luck last start. Welsh Legend parts in a beautiful position here and should be around the mark again. Our Intrigue was a bit fresh last start but I just don’t know about her heavy track form.

Thomas: It’s hard to tip against Harpo Marx. He is peaking after two runs from spell, he has been competitive on heavy tracks and is up to his preferred distance range. Our Intrigue is about ready to produce her best now and should be given another chance. Welsh Legend does get the perfect run and is very fit. I’m expecting an improved run from Criminal Code.

RACE 6: GEOHEX SPRINT (1100M)

Dufficy:Lancaster Bomber was very good first-up, he loves it wet, three of his six wins have been second-up, he’s had a tick-over trial between runs and gets the claim here. Hulk is very fit, bursting to win another race and had no luck last start. The Bopper had a big boom on him early, resumes here down in class but the wet track is the query. Broken Arrows ran well first-up and has a good hope.

Thomas: Surely this is Hulk’s day. He is racing in great form but has been unlucky to bump into smart duo Malkvoich and Madam Legend at his last two starts. He tends to get back in his races and needs luck on his side but if James McDonald can give him the right run, I expect Hulk will overwhelm his rivals late. The Bopper is resuming but is a real talent and I will be watching the market moves closely. Accelerator and Lancaster Bomber are very capable and rate among the main chances.

Hulk (right) can break through for an overdue win. Photo: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

RACE 7: MIDWAY HCP (1300M)

Dufficy: I’m going to have something on Ashim. I thought he did a really good job when not fancied at his Australian debut on a heavy track. I was even more taken by the barrier trial he has had since. He has an inside draw, settles in the first half of the field and runs well. Bazooka is in a suitable race on the back-up after running very well last week. He doesn’t win often and is short enough in betting. Not Feint Hearted is really proven on the Randwick mud and we will be getting to that stage by this race. Royal Banquet is third-up, hitting a peak and won’t be far away.

Thomas:Bazooka charged home and just missed overhauling Tycoonist at Rosehill last week. He has improved with each run this winter, enjoys wet tracks and on the back-up here, he looks the one to beat. Gemmahra is in very good form, races on speed and will be in the contest for a long way. Zorocat is an underrated filly racing well and if she handles the heavy track, she will be very competitive. Royal Banquet is the big improver.

RACE 8: WINTER STAKES (1400M)

Dufficy: Any number of chances but I think Tricky Gal will go close. Her run in the Civic Stakes last start was a beauty as she had to do it all on her own trying to make up the ground on Bandersnatch. She meets Bandersnatch better at the weights and handles the heavy better than him so I think she has to turn the tables. Rubisaki is unbeaten in two wet track runs at Randwick and is hard to hold out. Order Again has had a month and a trial since his second-up run and this is a lovely race for him. True Detective doesn’t win often but he parks in a perfect spot with no weight.

Thomas: I’ve also found Tricky Gal. There should be more pressure early in this race than there was in the Civic Stakes and that suits Tricky Gal. She is very genuine and will be finishing hard. Bandersnatch is flying this campaign, he controlled the Civic Stakes from the front and he is very effective over this course and distance, too. Rubisaki is a real mudlark and working her way back to top form. Riodini was Group 1 placed in the spring and is one to watch.

Tricky Gal can record a deserved stakes win in the Winter Stakes. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph

RACE 9: HEINEKEN HCP (1200M)

Dufficy: If Les Bridge decides to run Madam Legend, she is a mare of some quality, a wet track winner and looks the one to beat. I Am Power has had a freshen up and a trial since his last run. He has been good at his two Australian starts. Frosty Rocks is a bold strider, very genuine but just a little query he may prefer further these days. But looking at the speed map he should get across which is a big advantage for him. Zakat is trialling well and is set to sprint well fresh.

Thomas: I’m going a little wide here with Barbaric. He has done very little racing since winning the Black Opal last year and is resuming here but he is a classy colt when right and I’ve liked his two recent trials. He’s value at double figures odds. I Am Power has impressed in both starts this campaign and he does have race fitness on his side. Frosty Rocks likes to lead and dominate his races and if he gets his own way in front, he will take catching. Madam Legend was very impressive first-up and will be hard to beat again.

RACE 10: THE AGENCY REAL ESTATE HCP (1400M)

Dufficy: I have to tip Blondeau again. I feel the heavy track will bring him back into his own here. He just had too much to do last start and he can easily bounce back although he is a little maligned by punters. Charretera has been placed six times on a heavy track and is at his peak on his home track. Ulysses was brilliant first-up then too bad to be true last start so I don’t want to sack him on one run. Katalin was scratched recently on a heavy track but if they decide to run her, she is a yard watch as it was a total forgive run last start.

Thomas:Katalin was brilliant first-up then there were excuses for her last start. I want to give her another chance but she still has to prove herself on a heavy track. I’ll be having something on Off Shaw at each way odds. He has improved with each run this campaign, he’s a real mudlark and is working up to a win. Matowatakpe defeated Off Shaw last start but meets his stablemate worse at the weights here. Blondeau will be running on strongly.

SATURDAY EXTRA

SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS

NEWCASTLE

BEST BET

Race 1, No.10: MON AMORE

Only won once in 16 starts but has placed eight times, six of them are seconds including last start at Gosford. Gets her chance here.

NEXT BEST

Race 2, No.7: NOBLE FLAME

Turned in an encouraging debut here two weeks ago. Should take benefit from the experience.

VALUE BET

Race 4, No.7: MILITARY MEN

Half brother to ATC Oaks winner Unforgotten, also trained by Chris Waller. Trialled well and has obvious talent.

QUADDIE

Race 5: 1,3,5,11

Race 6: 3,4,5,7

Race 7: 2,5,8

Race 8: 1,4,8,12

JOCKEY TO FOLLOW

Alysha Collett is surely one of the form jockeys in Australia and with multiple chances to keep her tally ticking over.

COWRA

BEST BET

Race 2, No.6: SAMINDI

Half-sister to Victorem having her first run for the new stable (Joe Cleary) in an eminently winnable race.

NEXT BEST

Race 4, No. 5: SHE’S SMART

Claire lever has found the perfect race for this in-form mare to post a well earned win.

VALUE BET

Race 5, No.1: BUZZONI

Ran a decent race in one of the best Class 2’s you would see at Bathurst when resuming. handy type on his best day.

Originally published asRay and Duff: De Grawin to stake her claim

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