Goodwood Handicap 2020

The Goodwood is Race 8 (3.55 pm AEST) at Morphettville on Saturday run over a distance of 1200m. It is a famous old Sprint race of the Australian Turf conceived in 1881.

It was made a set weights and penalties race in 2007 (previously a handicap) which attracted the high calibre likes of Takeover Target and Black Caviar, who duly won at very short odds. But apart from those two results, taking Handicap status away from the race hasn’t stopped the upset results coming.

So to say it has been a bit of a nightmare race for punters would be somewhat of an understatement. Below are the last 12 winners  (including age,  gender and weight carried) since the race became a set weights and penalties race in 2007.

2019 DESPATCH 4g 56kg $21

2018 SANTA ANA LANE 5g 58.5kg $26

2017 VEGA MAGIC 4g 56.5kg $4.80

2016 BLACK HEART BART 5g 57kg $2.80

2015 FLAMBERGE 5g 56.5kg $21
2014 SMOKIN’ JOEY 6g 56kg $41
2013 PLATELET 4m 56.5kg $9
2012 BLACK CAVIAR 5m 57kg $1.05
2011 LONE ROCK 3f 52kg $31
2010 VELOCITEA 4m 54kg$7
2009 TAKEOVER TARGET 9g 58.5kg $1.40
2008 SHADOWAYS 5g 54kg $31
2007 LET GO THOMMO 6g 55.5kg $31


Recent History tells us:

– Seven of the last Twelve winners started $20 or better, and four of those have been $31 or better.
– 15 of the last 19 winners have been trained in Victoria.
– 14 of the last 17 had started at 1100m or 1200m last start.


– Wider barriers appear to be no real disadvantage with 7 of the last 17 winners drawing in the second half of the field. Four of those drew a double-digit barrier.
– A filly or mare has won four of the past Nine editions, and five of the past 15. In the past 29 years, eight have won, representing a strike rate of over 30 per cent. None have managed to win in the past seven years though which is a slightly concerning trend for the fairer sex. Prior to that they had won four in a row.
– Four year olds have the most prolific record winning 12 of the past 29 editions, but oddly

Only two four-year-old male horses have won since the year 2000 (Vega Magic and Despatch last year), and only five have won since 1990. Eight of the last Eleven winners have been aged 5 or over, with five of them aged 5.


-Only 3  of last 13 winners have carried more weight than at their prior start- Black Caviar (+0.5kg) and Shaodoways (+2kg), the latter still only having to carry 54kg to victory and Despatch last year


The last 8 winners have carried 56kg or more, and 10 of the last 13 winners have carried 55.5kg or more.


-7 of last 13 winners came out of a Group 1 race last start.



-Before Santa Ana Lane won two years ago, and Despatch last year, the last horse to come out of the DC Mackay Stakes to win this was Super Elegant in 2004. Despatch is the first horse horse to win that race (and then this one) was Boardwalk Angel in 1989.


-15 of last 20 winners won or placed at their prior start to winning this. 9 of 13 since the weight scale has changed.


– Only one horse has managed to win this first up in the new millennium (Vega Magic). -All the fillies and mares that have won this race since the new millennium have won or placed at their previous start. Flamberge came close to being a first up winner in 2015 coming off a 55 day break. He is/was a notable fresh performer.

Speed Map;

JUNGLE EDGE and XILONG look the two leaders, with the latter benefiting more from a rails draw, and possibly content to sit off the older horse. Sumlight and Order Of Command should be just off the pace getting all favours, and Gytrash can also sit handy though risks being caught wide off his awkward barrier. If I had to make an educated guess I’d say the on pacers are more suited in this race, and we’ve already seen two big Morphettville Sprints in the past 12 months (last years Goodwood and this years Robert Sangster) dominated by on pace runners). It really depends on how fast Jungle Edge wants to go, and how much pressure Xilong wants to apply early. Because the former has drawn wide he is probably going to have to go faster early than his connections would have preferred. Had he drawn better, he would have had more of a chance to relax.


Stats Analysis)

SANTA ANA LANE- 5-1/8 with 22-28 days between runs (P). 5-1/12 Group 1 Races (P).

TREKKING- 6/10 with 15-35 days between runs (P). 9-7/22 dry tracks (P)?

GYTRASH- 6-1/7 at 1000m, 1-4/6 at 1200m (N). 8-9/18 Career (P) 4-2/6 Soft tracks (
SUNLIGHT- 4/4 third up (P)

ZOUTORI- 5-5/11 with more than 15 days between runs (P).

JUNGLE EDGE- 0-3/13 Group 1 races (N), 0-7/26 Dry tracks (N)? 18-17/54 wet tracks (P)? 5-1/8 fifth and sixth up in preparations.

THE INEVITABLE- 2/2 third up (P). 4/4 with 22-28 days between runs (N)

ORDER OF COMMAND- 5-1/6 in the Autumn (P). 5-1/7 Soft tracks (N)?

BEHEMOTH- 3-4/8 barriers 1-6 (N0

BOLD STAR- 1-1/8 track. 5-1/6 in fields of less than eight runners (N)

LYRE- 3-0/4 barriers 4-9. Blinkers first time last start and Group 1 placed.

XILONG- 5-3/9 career thus far. Blinkers on first time last start and won.

AMBERDI- 7-3/15 <56kg. 2/2 fourth up (P) 5-2/8 Barriers 7-9 (P)

L’IL KONTRA- Winkers On First time.



Firstly I’m a bit surprised to see the track is still rated a Soft 5 which may not improve today. That probably means there is going to be some give in the surface all day. In the stats analysis I have labelled either a positive or negative for the horse in brackets but have now had to put a question mark besides a few of them. Some give in the surface certainly suits the likes of Order Of Command and Jungle Ruler at face value, and probably hinders Trekking, Sunlight and Zoutori to a degree. I have had some advice that the track should be better off the rail today so perhaps a wider barrier draw isn’t going to be a hindrance.

I’m not going to go into massive form analysis here but I did like the historical profile and relative odds of ZOUTORI at around a $20 quote early. Given he finished alongside Gytrash in the Newmarket not that long ago, and the weights are similar here, he looks way over the odds. Obviously you have to ignore the last start failure but that’s not hard to do given he didn’t get a look in down the running, and was rearward in a leader dominated race. He goes very well fresh. My initial though was that BEHEMOTH is well weighted keeping in mind the lower weighted ones don’t normally win this race. Hard to knock though and he might be set to peak from a good draw. ORDER OF COMMAND seems to be a different horse this preparation and reminds me a bit of last year’s winner Despatch who had come into the race off some wins when sitting three wide. OOC has won both his races off three wide runs this preparation and now drops in weight significantly. Any give in the track looks favourable. GYTRASH is a deserved favourite on his form of late and last start win, but there does seem to be a couple of negatives he has to overcome. Maybe the barrier actually plays in his favour but his form is slightly better at less than 1200m. At least he has decent form at the trip though, unilike Despatch last year, and Bella Vella a couple of weeks ago. He is likely to at least loom as the winner in the straight.  SANTA ANA LANE needs to find his best form, and requires a solid speed. But he is a former winner, and looking at his form the past twelve months this is the right break between runs for him.

  2. Order Of Command
  3. Behemoth
  4. Gytrash



Racing 9/05

Totally out of form at the moment but these are the ones I like today at reasonable odds;

Randwick R7 SCARLET DREAM gets a race to suit here on a track surface she should enjoy, assuming it keeps drying out. She very nearly won two starts ago and then couldn’t handle the wet last start. This isn’t a strong race and the double figure (or close to) price appeals

R8 Doomben- OUTBACK BARBIE has a great first up record and is drawn to get all favours, assuming she does get clear running in the straight. She is also partial to this track with only 1 of her other wins (from 12 starts) at other venues. $4.50 is  the absolute minimum I want to take about a fresh horse but at least you can get that. With any luck whatsoever the stablemate Vega One is looking for 1400m and finds this too short.

Caulfield R8 ESPERANCE looks the one suited with the track rating of Heavy. Her run was more than adequate first up and hopefully she gets clear running from the inside barrier, and doesn’t get too far back. It does seem so far that those with cover and inside runs are performing the best.

Ascot R5 FIRE MAKER is a BB horse of mine after it beat subsequent duel Metro winner King Blitz a couple of starts back at Pinjarra. It then had no luck in the straight last start and arguably could have won with a clear run. It has decent wet track form and is probably going to start a better price than it currently is. It has blown in the betting late at it’s past two starts so I’m betting Best Price here. FIRE SALE is also in the Blackbook off a very impressive win at the same track and distance last start. These two ran similar time and Pike goes on and he does drop a lot more weight than the other horse.  Not much between them but Fire Maker has been running in better races of late and is going to be at least twice the price.

Morphettvile R9  BAYOU has wet track form and has been drawing poorly of late. Today it should get the ideal run in the race and all of it’s wins have been from inside barriers. It looks well weighted meeting the topweight 2.5kg better for last start, and similarly so Lakhani Rose from two starts back. That coupled with a more economical run should see her go very close at a decent price today. She is a half to a few handy ones who have good wet track form. On a dry surface I would have been all over APPALACHIAN. Have a look at it’s past two runs and I doubt you’ll have ever seen a horse as unlucky at two consecutive starts. He could be a bit of a tease (inconclusive) as he is a bit headstrong and his only go on a wet track was quite poor. Having said that he has trialled well on wet tracks and should be suited from an outside barrier. I have to save on it.

R8 Derby- This is really a no bet race for me but I have it down to either DALASAN or RUSSIAN CAMELOT. I was going to risk the former horse but if you watch it’s debut win it made TheMooonliteGambler look second rate. Dalasan has been beating that horse of late, maybe not quite as impressively. There is very little speed in this race on paper and that does appear on paper to suit Dalasan who can settle up closer than any of the favoured runners. A pedestrian pace would suit him although there is no guarantee that will happen. The all European bred RC is going to be much vaunted if he wins  and there  comparisons will be made to Makybe Diva if he goes on with it, given she too was totally bred overseas. My theory is that the Colts and Geldings  have an edge on the females here, but I could also be proven wrong. The times Dalasan has been running in Adelaide have been superior to the Fillies, but the more exposed colts this Autumn in Sydney at least (whilst top class) haven’t run 2400m, and the void could easily be filled by the up and coming horse here in Russian Camelot. All very theoretical but just hoping it plays out that way for my sake.






Robert Sangster Stakes/TAB Classic 2020

This race is a Group 1 fillies and mares race at weight-for-age level to be run at Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide on Saturday. Since its inception in 1983 it has changed names on numerous occasions.

Once again we have a race with an honour roll that impresses, the most notable of which are Black Caviar and Alinghi.

High quality mares with a high strike rate and/or consistent career record often win. Teh aformementioned Black Caviar, Alinghi, Platelet, Universal Queen, Ellicorsam  Our Egyptian Reine, Shoals. and Miracles Of Life are ample proof of that being the case.

Below are the last 17 winners of the event with age, gender (filly or mare) and barrier draw in brackets.


2019 SPRIGHT 5M (13)

2018 SHOALS 4M (15)

2017 SECRET AGENDA 4m (16)

2016 PRECIOUS GEM 6m (6)

2015 MIRACLES OF LIFE 4m (6)

2014 DRIEFONTEIN 4m (10)
2013 PLATELET 4m (11)
2012 BLACK CAVIAR 5m (3)
2011 RESPONSE 4m (9)
2010 ROSTOVA 3f (14)
2009 BEL MER 4m (13)
2008 JUSTE MOMENTE 4m (13)
2007 UNIVERSAL QUEEN 3f (10)
2006 ELLICORSAM 5m (6)
2005 ALINGHI 3f (9)
2004 FRENCH BID 3f (11)


The most relevant historical statistics are weighted, and collated in the table below.

13/17 drew barrier 9 or wider. 16/17 drew 6 or wider. Only Black Caviar has won inside barrier 6 and that was in a 10 horse (only) field.
B) 13/17 were aged either 3 or 4. Eight of last Twelve winners have been four years old.
C) 11/17 Finished in first or second place last start. At least 12/17 placed last start and 6 of the last 8 winners had won their last start ,which includes Precious Gem who managed to win this @ $20+. In fact of all those winners only Black Caviar started a very short price. The others were $12, $15, $21, $6.50, $9 & $6. You could do worse than back a last start winner at a close to or double figure price.
D) 17/17 ran in a Group or Listed race last start.
9/17 ran in a Group 1 race.
E) 13/17 raced between 1000m and 1200m at their last start.
F) 11/17 raced against all sexes at previous start.
G) 13/17 raced on a left handed (anti-clockwise) track last start. BUT two of the last three winners (Shoals, Secret Agenda) have come off a win at Randwick, One at G1 level and the other at G2. Four years ago Miracles Of Life came of a win at Randwick and a third at Rosehill (G1 level). Last year Spright came of a 2.8L seventh at Randwick. So, four of the last five winners have raced at Randwick the start prior in one of their last two starts, and/or four of last five winners have come out of a race in Sydney.

H) The last 17 winners had their prior run interstate.

I) 7/17 either led or were in second place in the early stages of this race
J) 10/17 started $8 or less.


I looks as though they will be running on a Heavy surface this year, which is a bit of a rarity, but perhaps it does thin down the chances a little bit.

The speed in the race seems to be with SAVATIANO, BAM’S ON FIRE, BELLA VELLA, BEAUTIFUL FLYER and the favorite SUNLIGHT (who could easily stalk this Quartet also). The 2yo AWAY GAME is very versatile and is likely to be just behind the pace, and the same could be said for the Dual Group winner I AM EXCITED who couldn’t get close enough to the speed from a wide barrier last start. On paper there seems to be enough pace in the race to give every horse it’s chance, but it will be interesting to see whether any track bias ensues on the day. The consensus seems to be that it will play fairly, and the track is more likely to be leaderish when the surface is dry.


  1. SUNLIGHT– I’m a bit torn with her. Clearly she is the best horse in the race and should benefit enormously off her first up effort. I think it’s a case of the drier the track the better her chances though, and I thought her run first up was disappointing given she could only beat a restricted class mare (Kenyan Wonder) about a length and a half at level weights that day.  On the positive side the stable are very good at getting things right second up,  and her career form suggests that anyway. She looks like the typical winner of this race (classy and consistent), and the barrier is good historically, though bad on paper. The form out of that Golden Eagle race in Sydney is  poor so I’m just going to risk her at the odds she is. I’d say $3.50 is about her right price and she might actually get to that quote.
  2. I AM EXCITED– She is a Group 1 and Group 2 winner with the right sort of profile coming into this via Sydnee. If it gets to a Heavy surface though I can’t have her and ideally I’d be wanting to see a Soft 5 or better before I put my money on. She is quite well in at the weights though and if she finds some better footing somewhere could still win.
  3. SAVATIANO– She is another that profiles quite well but is also a mare who would be better off on anything but a Heavy surface. The travel might freshen her up, and she needs that off a preparation that appears to be tapering off.  I’m risking her given the conditions.
  4. MADAM ROUGE– Clearly seems to be a dry tracker so the weather gods have been against her here. Not sure she is quite good enough anyway and is a better mare with a longer break between runs. Risking.
  5. TELEPLAY– She is an interesting chance given she is 3/3 on Soft going with a failure on one Heavy track. That was right handed though (at at WFA vs Winx!) and her other dry track start right handed was very ordinary too on a dry track. She has a victory over dual G1 winner Hey Doc at WFA, so has the class, and she will have been well prepared by a good stable who would have planned for this race. She was ridden upside down when failing second up last preparation so I’d be ignoring that effort. Probably a $10-$12 chance and you can get double that at present, so she is good value.
  6. BAM’S ON FIRE– Very consistent former Perth mare who is very, very fit which is likely to be advantageous on this Heavy track. Any on pace bias is going to help, and she seems to be capable on any going, although she hasn’t been on a Heavy surface yet. She might not be quite good enough on paper, but the track condition brings her right into the mix I feel. She looks to be a solid $10 chance but is nearly twice those odds.
  7.  SPANISH WHISPER– I’m not keen on her because of the track conditions and her profile coming in.
  8.  HUMMA HUMMA– She is yet another who I would have considered a good Each Way chance on a dry track but the weather seems to have conspired against her also. She hasn’t won beyond 1100m and the conditions are only going to make this more of a stamina test.
  9. EMBRACE ME– Has a touch of class being placed against all sexes at WFA, and I’ve always preferred her from a wider barrier, which she gets here. Her only Heavy track run at 1000m was reasonably good down the straight at Flemington and this is her best distance. I thought she would have performed a lot better at her favourite track last start, but perhaps she was ridden a little too close, and maybe the prior start at Flemington flattened her a little bit (very fast time on a hard track). I’m on her at $41 though I’m not confident she can actually win. Given she puts in her best run she is probably an $8-10 chance so why not have something small on her at the massive odds on offer?
  10. BELLA VELLA– Very fast mare who is in peak form and on her home track with some Heavy track form to recommend her. She hasn’t won beyond 1100m though and isn’t well weighted against some of these. She could look the winner in the straight but hard to see her prevailing over the last 100m.
  11. AMBERDI– Very consistent Adelaide mare but not sure she is up to this class and it looks as though she prefers dry. I was quite keen on her last start but she never looked a chance on the wet track. The form around her first up effort was very solid but this is another step up in class for her. Risking her also at the weights on this surface.
  12. EVERYDAY LADY- Adelaide mare who was only beaten 2+ lengths in this race last year and she has good enough wet track form to suggest the surface is going to enhance her chances. Not sure she is quite good enough but on the other hand $151 is ridiculous odds about her. More of a place chance perhaps but I would have thought $25 or so was her true winning odds. Wide barrier looks bad on paper but rarely plays out that way historically.
  13. STREET ICON– Fit and in form, but she has no wet track form of any note, and the class of the race looks a massive stretch for her. A career best effort from her last start but she meets Teleplay 3kg worse off at the weights.
  14. BEAUTIFUL FLYER- Very honest hard fit Adelaide mare who does handle all conditions. She was 5 lengths behind Dalasan and Scales Of Justice in a WFA race last spring here which is probably a good guide to her chances here. Had this been a handicap she’d have a much better chance, but not sure she can win this at level weights. She’s about a $30 hope in my opinion but she is listed at $81 and $17 a place. You could do worse than take the latter especially if the track is Heavy.
  15. LYRE– She looms as some sort of chance in this if she can run to her best. Group 1 placed in the Golden Slipper on a bog track as a 2yo (she had won the Blue Diamond Stakes prior) has been running well without winning of late. Up against the older horses last start she performed admirably and the Blinkers go on her here which is of great interest. She probably needs to find a length or two to win ,and  that improvement with a gear change isn’t impossible. The barrier looks ideal from a historical perspective and she should get her chance. Miracles Of Life won a Blue Diamond Stakes as a 2yo and won this at four years of age.   Her odds look about right.
  16. AWAY GAME– Classy two year old filly who has been running comparative times to the older horse in races up in Sydney of late. For instance she would have run slightly faster time than both I Am Excited and Savatiano last start, and she drops 9kg into this, whereas they carry 2.5kg and 1.5kg less respectively. Potentially she can run 1-1.5 seconds quicker than either of those two mares with her light weight in this. She won on Heavy going box last start and the 47kg here should be an asset on a similar surface. Personally I think if she is come perform to her best here she will win, unless Sunlight produces a career best. The negatives are she is in her first preparation, done a lot of travelling, and she might be intimidated taking on older horses for the first time. Add to that I’d prefer to have seen her draw wider from a historical perspective. She has had her runs spaced though  and has shown no signs of fatigue to date, and has also proven she can travel and win. Interestingly she hasn’t yet placed on a left handed track from two runs, but it should be pointed out she was very unlucky to to at least place in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield. Historically a run in Sydney looks good, and so does her price. I’d have her as favourite  but you can still get $4.50 or so, after $6 was offered up early.
  17. KENYAN WONDER– She is first emergency and an unknown on a Heavy track. It was a career best run from her last start and she would need to more than repeat the dose to win this, as she looks poorly weighted on her overall ratings. If she doesn’t run in this she deserves serious consideration in the last race tomorrow though you could say it’s not a hell of a lot easier.



I have to be with AWAY GAME here. It’s an unusual scenario to see a 2yo run in a race like this but she is a classy one and only a wide barrier and torrid run prevented a lesser performed one (Dubious) from winning a Group 1 race last Winter in Brisbane. She only has to be on her game to prove very hard to beat here. The favourite Sunlight has to be respected as she is weighted to beat every other runner in the race if she is close to her best. For third I’d side with AG’s stablemate Bam’s On Fire who is rock hard fit and has handled up to a Soft 7 surface. I’m also wary because she is the lesser fancied stablemate of my first pick!

Embrace Me is probably the best rough odds chance in the race and Teleplay and Everyday Lady fall into that category also along with Beautiful Flyer who looks more of a place chance. Lyre could be the surprise packet to win the race with the Blinkers going on for the first time. Most of the others would probably prefer a drier surface so I’m happy to risk.

  2. Sunlight
  3. Bam’s On Fire
  4. Embrace Me.



Queen Elizabeth Stakes/Oaks/ day 11/04

A pity we have a heavy track again today as I think it probably guides us more toward the favourites. Nevertheless there are a few engaged that could run nice races at odds even if it be only running into a placing.



R5 I suspect things have fallen into the favour of COSMIC FORCE but I can’t back it at the price after being so keen last start. JMac aboard thinks it is  basically a moral off a super impressive trial with the Winkers on first time, which it carries into this. This looks a high speed race and my original thought was for DAWN PASSAGE because of that factor. Not sure about him on the Heavy, but he handles up to a Soft 6 okay. ANAHEED looks a good bet at odds too given she has won on a Heavy track, and has had no luck recently.

R6 COLETTE looks the one to beat but I went looking for value here and came up with TOFFEE TONGUE who ran on well last week, and is a full Sister to G1 winner Werther who also won an SA Derby in the wet. She comes from a very good wet track family but obviously has the job ahead to turn the tables on the favourite. I’ve also backed SHOUT THE BAR given I tipped her last start. She looks like a stayer and will probably dominate this race from the front.  She is the one they all have to run down. Another roughie who ran on very well last week is STICK EM’ UP. Trainer John Sargent knows how to get a long odds horse to win these staying races and he did it in this race with GUST OF WIN who coincidentally finished slightly further from the winner in the same lead up race. The horse that ran second to her went on to win 33 in a row and was never beaten again!

R7 YOUNG RASCAL on top for mine in what looks a race between him, Mustajeer and Raheen House. I don’t think Mustajeer can afford to give him 1.5kg and the other horse isn’t going to get enough weight off him. He should also be in front of both and will take a lot of running down. If there was to be a shock it could come from YOGI who ran on well last week. The backup is a query but I think the only time he attempted it he won, but was later disqualified.

R8 The track condition swings most people to the English horse ADDAYEBB over the Japanese runner. On pure ability there is nothing between them anyway on overseas form, very hard to split. I’m hopeful though that MASTER OF WINE is going to give this a shake. He is 4/4 with the Blinkers on and gets through any ground. Those last four wins have produced an aggregate winning margin of 13 lengths so I think close to double figures is worth taking. What a race though with DANON PREMIUM (Jmac jumped off VE!), TE AKAU SHARK (setback?), VERRY ELLEEGANT and MELODY BELLE all serious chances. You can’t totally leave out VOW AND DECLARE either.

R9. I was going to risk the 3yo filly FUNSTAR here but after looking at the time she ran on Coolmore today it appears she is the one to beat and at least has the wood on Con Te Partiro who was then only 2+ lengths off NETTOYER in the Doncaster. I’m going with the latter mare though because she seems to be tremdendous value back to her own sex off a G1 win. She just loves this track and distance so I think you have to be with her. She did win backing up in a similar race (smaller field) in the Autumn, and it does seem you can run on to win today looking at the first few races. POSITIVE PIECE just keeps winning but does face her acid test today. One that could shock is DANZDANZDANCE, She was just over 2 lengths off Nettoyer two starts ago and meets her 3.5kg better. The Heavy track looks to also be in her facour

R10 I find it hard to go past FASIKA who was very good last start in the Galaxy which cried out back me next time over 1200m. She hasn’t won below that trip and she was making up very good ground despite being wide the whole race. This is also her favourite track and she has won on Heavy. If there was to be a massive upset it might come from NICCI’S GOLD who loves very wet tracks (5/9 wet opposed to 1/21 dry). She has been given two trials this time in instead of the normal one and her second up form is examplary (4/7) so I’m thinking the stable is trying to replicate that here despite her being first up. That trial last time looked a serious hit out on a Heavy track over 1200m looking at the race time. Randwick isn’t her favourite track and like a few here she isn’t well weighted. But she was less than 2L off Madam Rouge here last prep on a dry track which gives her some hope here assuming she has the fitness to cope. $12 a place is worth an investment to find out, as is $51 to win.


Hard to get confident given I suspect some favourites are probably going to prevail which is why I have mentioned them first in the preview of each race. Those in Bold type  are the ones I give a good chance to at value odds.


Value Bets Doncaster/Derby Day 4/04

Damn this Heavy track a Randwick but it is what it is. Really does blunt the confidence a bit but there is some better value in other states perhaps.

Randwick R5 GALLIC CHIEFTAIN was my first bet of the weekend and I realise it has also been tipped by one or two good judges. I did tip it in the Metrop last Spring under very similar circumstances, wet track and Blinkers back on. He thrives with that gear change and will get his chance in a weakish race. He did have Blinkers back on in Melbourne last prep and failed on a good track. I think the surface is the key today. Suspect Carif is the danger. The early  odds are largely gone for GC but there is still some value there.

R7 Derby- Not tipping anything here as there are just too many chances. If I absolutely had to go with something at odds it would be ZEBROWSKI but with zero confidence. I like the fact he is a half brother to a horse called Polish Knight who ran second in this for the same stable off an almost identical preparation. He is also a half brother to Leebaz who won two Hollindale Cups. I thought his run was good last week and indicated he would run this trip. He just got too far back. He is now up against the elite though. ERIC THE EEL is an interesting runner. He has a strange galloping action which just might be better suited to wet tracks. As a 2yo he was very competitive with Prince Fawaz and Shadow Hero in the JJ Atkins in Brisbane. He won on a wet track against older horses in Brisbane last start but  wasn’t overly convincing to my eye. Warning and Castelvecchio look the ones you have to put in the Quaddie. Not sure about Shadow Hero in this going, and Quick Thinker at the trip, but the latter is going for 4  in a row out of the Tulloch Stakes and winning this race. Zebrowksi also comes out of that event.

R8 TJ SMITH- As I mentioned on Twitter last night I have to be with a 3yo in this because they have just about won every WFA sprint in the past 6 months including the Everest. Why would it change here? I’m going with the filly LOVING GABY with the Heavy surface my only concern. Bivouac might be even more suspect in the going but Exceedance might improve out of sight with a T/Tie on. Other than that it seems that PIERATA is the best perfomed horse on Heavy tracks, and Nature Strip is no wet track dud either. I have backed Loving Gaby and Pierata but will also save on Exceedance just in case he comes good.

R9 See Doncaster preview but this is my revised top 4;

  1. BRANDENBURG– I think he wins with ordinary luck if he handles the going
  2. Price Fawaz- A bit concerned about the going but he is value and has no weight
  3. Imaging- Possibly the best wet tracker in the race looking at some of his European form.
  4. Yulong Prince- Looks like he prefers right handed tracks and he can also handle heavy tracks.

Consider Con Te Partiro also given she ran almost identical time to Imaging last start. Perhaps the 2kg penalty is beyond her but you have to respect the stable.


Morphettville R8 ORIENTAL LILY– Track is wet and she is 3-1/4 on Slow and Heavy with not a single placing on dry tracks. Up in class but thought that $17 is a bit too much to pass up with those stats.

R9 AMBERDI- Has a very good strike rate even on Soft tracks. Her formline is great off her first up run with the placegetters winning and placing since. Runson was a moral beaten when a close second given he was taken on in front and was only beaten a small margin. This mare isn’t drawn ideally but again at the odds of $17 she has to be worth a small bet at least.

Doncaster Mile 2020

Race 9 at Randwick on Saturday (5.15pm AEDT) sees the running of the 2016 Doncaster Mile.

It certainly earns it’s title as ‘time honoured’ given it was first staged at Randwick racecourse in 1866.

Its Spring equivalent – The Epsom handicap, run at the same venue and distance – is actually one year older. Both provide a great spectacle, with capacity fields (potentially 20 runners maximum) run at a spacious track, which tends to give every horse a winning chance.

More often than not wide barriers are actually more of a benefit than a hindrance, and backmarkers quite often prevail as a result of the testing uphill rise in the long Randwick straight.

Punters almost always get value odds on their selection, given the size of the field, and the quality on display. It also pays to keep a close watch on the early April weather in Sydney too.

It often rains and there is plenty of it! That has been the case in six of the past Eleven editions, so basing your form analysis around wet track runners, can, and has proved fruitful.

Below are the last 17 winners of the race followed by Age, Gender, Barrier, Weight carried and starting price.

  • 2019 Brutal 3c 49.5kg (18) $5
  • 2018 Happy Clapper 7g 57kg (1) $5
  • 2017 It’s Somewhat 5g 55kg (8) $31
  • 2016 Winx 4m (11) 56.5kg $1.80
  • 2015 Kermadec 3c (16) 51kg $8
  • 2014 Sacred Falls 4h (13) 56.5kg $10
  • 2013 Sacred Falls 3c (4) 53kg $21
  • 2012 More Joyous 5m (10) 57.5kg $3.75
  • 2011 Sacred Choice 5m (14) 52kg $8
  • 2010 Rangirangdoo 5g (10) 55.5kg $6
  • 2009 Vision And Power 6g (12) 52kg $11
  • 2008 Triple Honour 3g (6) 51kg $7.50
  • 2007 Haradasun 4h (1) 53kg $4.25
  • 2006 Racing To Win 3g 51kg (12) $4.50
  • 2005 Patezza 5g (16) 54.5kg $21
  • 2004 Private Steer 4m (13) 53kg $4
  • 2003 Grand Armee 3g (5) 51.5kg $13


Pertinent statistics 

  1. A) 17/17 had their previous start at Rosehill. Twelve of those were in either the George Ryder (1500m), or the Ranvet Stakes (2000m), both of which are Weight for Age races.
  2. B) Chris Waller has trained six of the past twelve winners, and Gai Waterhouse seven of the past 26 winners. Combined they have produced 13 of the past winners 26 winners of the race
  3. C) 14/17 winners have dropped 2.5kg or more. This is not a surprising statistic, given most horses have carried higher weights in WFA races at their previous start, and the three year old horses drop weight too, given they are meeting older horses at Group 1 level, in a handicap.

The average winning weight drop is 4kg during this period

  1. D) 15/17 finished in the first four placings last start
  2. E) 10/15 have carried 53kg or less, and 23 of the last 39 winners also had that attribute
  3. F) 15/17 have been aged between 3 and 5
  4. G) 11/17 drew barrier 10 or wider
  5. H) Glen Boss has ridden the winner of the race seven times


  1. I) Only 3 mares have won in this period and all three started $4 or less


(J) The average winning price over this period is $9.00 (app).


Looking at the history stats It’s hard to go past the three year old BRANDENBURG.  In fact I can’t see how anybody could possibly tip against it unless they are searching for something at better value. Those who know about what I do understand that is the way I look at things too, but this horse just stands out like the proverbial and you can make an argument that he should be shorter than his current price. As far as handicapper ratings go he is higher rated coming into this than either of the last three 3yo winners, and Boss aboard is the icing on the cake. Would he be a shorter price if he was in the Waller stable or another high profile one? He gets on the pace, has handled wet tracks well, and is in good form coming out of the right race. He finished alongside Te Akau Shark there and that horse would definitely be favourite if he was in this race. If he was though he would be giving 7.5kg to Brandenburg and would struggle to beat him off the weight turnaround from the Ryder, I only mention that horse as he is probably the best in the country at the moment, yet the other 3yo Castelvecchio was able to beat him home in the Cox Plate. Which is exactly why I feel this age group should win this race. The danger is a very heavy track because that is an unknown for him and it opens the race right up, and who knows where the best part of the track is going to be. Generally what we have seem at Randwick om wet tracks for quite a while now is that the run on horses coming down the outside tend to struggle. For the reason I’m more inclined to tip something that can be at least within six lengths of the leader on the turn. Anpther three year old PRINCE FAWAZ deserves a lot of respect too and is more than double the price of Brandenburg. He comes off a Rosehill Guineas placing which isn’t the standard lead up race, but one that was followed by Sacred Falls in 2013. His effort is superior to what that horse put in though and he carries a lower weight (53kg was the mimum though that year). The more it rains though the lesser chance he might have. Having said that though his Hobartville run behind Brandenburg on a very wet track was a sign he might be finding his form again. That was borne out in the Rosehill Guineas of course when he when he was runner up to Castelvecchio at massive odds. If he can repeat that run he is right in this race, though I’d have preferred Adam Hyeronimus to have made the weight. He has drawn okay though and has now proven he can race on the pace as well. His trainer suggests that if it does become very wet the run last start at 2000m is going to stand him in good stead.

Looking back again on the history stats you obviously have to respect any horse that comes out of the Waller or Waterhouse/Bott stable. The former has an amazing eight runners this year whilst the latter only has one. Notably James Macdonald you’d think would have had the choice of the Waller stable runners and has chosen Mr Sea Wolf. Below is a short rundown of each of the others runners in this year’s edition.

  1. MELODY BELLE– Class mare who has an oustanding rate of consistency. Nearly all of her racing though has been at set weights and WFA. I can find two handicap runs earlier in her career with light weights and she won neither. Had she run in the George Ryder it’s hard to see that she would have won it (given the on pace bias) and she would have been somewhere close Te Akau Shark (he is the better horse it seems). Given that she might have finished as close as Brandenburg with 1.5kg more weight. Now she has to give the 3yo 6.5kg so unless he runs poorly or has no luck I just can’t see how she can beat him home. She is a winning chance though and has to go into Multis.
  2. KOLDING– I can’t have in in this despite pocking him to win last year’s Epsom at the same course and distance. He seems a shadow of that horse who was showing Champion qualities last Autumn. On the plus side he is back to Sydney and might not have handled the Melbourne way of going, and he might appreciate a wet surface (won his last two starts on Slow rated tracks). He goes up 6.5kg on that Epsom win though so this looks a tall order.
  3. HOMESMAN– He has never been a horse of mine but I have to rate him a realistic hope here. He ran quite well first up at WFA and I just get the feeling he might appreciate a wet surface. I’d be even keener if he had drawn better because it’s hard to know what the tactics are going to be from out there. Surely they press forward though he doesn’t have great early pace at times which might leave him vlunerable to a wide run. He hasn’t run on a wet track since a career best second in the 2018 Caulfield Cup and his only other run on an affected surface was a win in England.
  4. KINGS WILL DREAM– The first of the Waller runner’s but he has seemingly lost form in Melbourne even at his favourite track at Flemington. Class act though and might he appreciate a very wet track? He isn’t the ‘soundest ‘ horse going around so not sure it will help either.
  5. MISTER SEA WOLF–  As mentioned above he is the pick of in form jockey James Macdonald. Definitely a better horse kept fresh and he is that here and ready to run a bold race. I just can’t see him beating Brandenburg either though. First up he was 4.3 lengths behind The Bostonian at level weights. The 3yo was 1.7 lengths behind the same horse with 3kg less. That to me means this horse can’t afford to be carrying more than 1-2 kg more but he has to give it 5.5kg here. I like his set up for the race but his Randwick record isn’t that flash and he just might have a bit too much weight.
  6. BEST OF DAYS– Not one of mine and it’s hard to see anything really to suggest he can win this. And the barrier doesn’t help. His second to Regal Power in the Railway might be the right formline though.
  7. MR QUICKIE– He is a decent horse and has won his only start in this direction winning the Qld Derby over Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare. Comes via Melbourne and not sure that is the best scenario for winning this. He surely gets back a long way from a shocking barrier so will need the pace on to be any chance. He doesn’t have a lot of wet track form but at least drops 4kg off a decent WFA performance last start in the All Star Mile.
  8. SUPER SETH– The first and best performed of the three year olds in the race but  with by far the most weight. He has had in interrupted preparation and was disappointing in the Ryder Stakes finishing 2.6 lengths behind Brandenburg at level weights. Now he has to concede 4kg to that horse so it’s very hard to suggest he can beat him home or even get close. He does have a win on a  Soft 7 track though and has had the run at Rosehill coming in from the best lead up race. Not hopeless if he can return to his best and could the 3yo colts run the Trifecta in the race?
  9. YULONG PRINCE– Second of the Waller runners and a bit of a surprise packet last start on what has to be described as a very, very heavy track. He did have some good wet track form in South Africa (3/5 overall) though so  perhaps he performed to his best on that surface. Interestingly he is 6-5/13 on right handed tracks, and only 1/7 the left handed way of going, so perhaps he’s better off in Sydney. He meets Imaging 1kg better for that defeat and probably has as good a chance as that horse from a more favourable barrier (on paper). The question is does he have the class? Maybe.
  10. CASCADIAN- As I mentioned last week I liked the fact he drew a wide barrier and he duly saluted late, the only horse to come from well off the pace to win all day. Again he draws wide here so I’d be hoping the jockey doesn’t ride him too cute and laumches late down the outside. He might be the only horse in the race that can win from well back given that scenario. I think he found the track too wet prior behind Imaging and ran into a dead end anyway. If you watch the replay of G1 Cantala last Spring at Flemington I think you’d agree he should have just about beaten Fierce Impact so he has the class necessary. He might have 1kg too much weight though and the back up is some query. Definite place chance at least.
  11. CON TE PARTIRO– She is a bit of a mystery horse for me. I can’t get my head around a Waterhouse/Bott horse coming off a G1 career best win on a bog track coming into a Randwick mile race at a price of $4.? She is going to be on the pace making her own luck and might have hit a purple patch of form. Her time was almost identical to that of Imaging/Yulong Prince on the same day albeit the last 600m of her race was significantly slower. When you look at that though it suggests the race was set up for a run on horse, but she was on pace and won with authority. She has been penalised weight wise though and it was a weak version of that race. She might get similar conditions again though and you just can’t write her off dropping 1.5kg in weight.
  12. IMAGING– He is a big strong horse who won well last start. Looking at his European form he would have loved the heaviness of that track, and his best chance might be getting that type of surface again. He can race on pace but his wide barrier might not be ideal for his type of race pattern. At some point he is going to have to do some work to overcome that, unless he is ridden cold and the track supports that type of pattern. That seems unlikely but it’s hard to deny him a winning chance.
  13. QUACKERJACK– He is an honest on pacer who won the Villiers at this track and distance in the Summer. He wasn’t quite up to it last start on a super heavy track, but he drops 5.5kg in weight off that run. Back in November he received 7kg off Mister Sea Wolf and was beaten, but there is no doubt he would have won comfortably from a good barrier after a torrid run. He did beat Vegadaze first up conceding it 3kg and that is quite good form now. This horse might still be on the up and having Rachel King back aboard won’t hurt. No doubt he leads from barrier 1 and he might look the winner at the 200m mark. His Sire Not A Single Doubt is on fire at present with a Golden Slipper and Vinery winner in the past two weeks, both G1 events. He should run a bold race here with little weight on his back and I’m putting the last run defeat solely down to the track condition. He has won on a Heavy track but it was only a narrow victory. He wants it no worse than a Slow 7 here in all likelihood.
  14. STAR OF THE SEAS– He ran third in the Espom last Autumn and resumed with a good win first up, but gee he was a bit plain last week and now has to find his best form within seven days. His barrier looks no help to him and perhaps only a Heavy track (3/3) gives him a hope.
  15. TALLY- A win would really surprise especially from the outside barrier. His first up form isn’t encouraging and neither are his wet track stats.
  16. NIGHT”S WATCH– Back to winning form last start but was a bit of a struggle and this his harder, coming back in distance to a higher class race. He will probably get well back from a wide barrier. The pluses are the weight drop, and a wet track, which he prefers. Perhaps he is better assessed on the start prior behind Imaging where he ran on okay but was soundly beaten.  Adam Hyeronimus aboard certainly doesn’t lessen his chances, and a win last week might fuel his confidence a bit. He has backed up four times and been a bit disappointing in those runs.
  17. SHARED AMBITION– The last of the Waller runners and although I would have liked to select him here I’ve found it hard to get overly keen. Yes he has a great strike rate and has been deliberately set for this race, but he hasn’t beaten much, and looks a bit dour to me. His trainer loves to set a middle distance horse for the Randwick Mile races and you have to respect that. He is ideally drawn and will get his chance to win. His winning strike rate is fantastic so he adds a lot of interest to the race with his light weight. He hasn’t carried a weight less than 55.5kg in his eight start career to date so perhaps that factor will assist in putting the necessary speed in his legs.
  18. NETTOYER– She is the one I really like at a good price. I doubt there is a horse in the race that loves the Randwick mile more than her and she has drawn better than she did in the Epsom last Autumn. In that race she just got too far back before being a bit of an eyecatcher late. She wasn’t that much inferior to Te Akau Shark that day who had 4L or so on her turning for home. She was beaten 4.5 lengths at the finish. The preparation is a bit odds but at least she comes off a Rosehill run and drops 5.5kg for this. She can run a big race if she can keep in touch and get the right luck in the straight. Her first up win here at the mile was in incredible effort which showed she had come back to racing as well as ever.
  19. BRANDENBURG– See above.
  20. PRINCE FAWAZ– See above.




As I write this the rain is seemingly arriving in droves at Randwick so I’m expecting we might see Heavy conditions tomorrow. That doesn’t please me but I’ll stick with the lightly weighted three year olds and hope for the best. As for the other placegetters you can take your pick! I would have gone with Nettoyer third and Quackerjack fourth pick but you really do have to promote the likes of IMAGING, YULONG PRINCE and CON TE PARTIRO if it gets to bog status. All three were standouts on a very heavy track at Rosehill two weeks ago.  HOMESMAN and STAR OF THE SEAS might relish those conditions too, and the top class NZ mare MELODY BELLE probably has her chances enhanced too .

  2. Prince Fawaz

Any of the above for the first 4 depending on track conditions. I’ve managed to pick the last Doncaster and Epsom winner and would dearly love to make it a threepeat here. That might be in the hands of the Weather gods!



Racing 28/03

Lucky that we still have some racing to watch and bet on, but who knows what the near future holds. These are just my thoughts on Rosehill as I can’t get overly keen on anything in Melbourne today. The double figure priced horses selected here will obviously be my “Logical Longshots” for today. I’m expecting  leader biased rain affected track again today which might not make it an easy task for a few of these selections.


R5- VILLAMI looks the one to beat here but I’m going with the better value in HANDLE THE TRUTH who is just a flawless horse who keeps winning going up in class. He only has 53.5kg in a Group 3 race here and I like the fact that Quackerjack has recently won a G3 with 56.5kg. Back in November he was runner up to that horse by 0.68L and gave it 2.5kg in weight. He looks well weighted here on that effort.

R6 MIRAGE DANCER looks the big overs here. If this race was run in the UK I feel he would be at least as short a price as Mustajeer. All his wins have been on right handed tracks and 3 of his wins have been at 2400m. He ran third in the Caulfield Cup during the Spring. Avilus was less than a length in front of him in the Australian Cup recently and you will get at least three times the price of that horse here.

R7 This is probably too tough a race to be betting in but I think SHOUT THE BAR is a much better chance than the price suggests, if she can run the trip (Dam won to 1800m). There were a number of unlucky runners in her race at Kembla but she also had to work hard to cross from a wide barrier and she was still in front near the finish. She should lead this race without too much opposition and she handles the wet. She beat home Missile Mantra last start and that filly was only 1.4L behind Funstar and Probabeel prior. Adam Hyeronimus aboard knows how to pilot a leader and despite this filly being very inexperienced she might be the one with the most improvement. She represents good each way value at better than $20

R8 I’m not a fan of backing Chris Waller trained horses first up but I feel that both UNFORGOTTEN and GIRL TUESDAY might be a little better than these. The problem for both is they tend to get back in their races normally and prefer dry tracks. I’m leaning to the latter mare because she has placed at WFA and finds herself on the minimum weight. She also has a good record first up. The former mare has very good stats against her own sex, has trialled well and Hugh Bowman is 2/3 aboard. One of those was an Oaks win and the other at WFA. Both Mares are double figure prices so worth some thought here.

R9 This is a decent race but I’m siding with the Melbourne visitor RAINBOW THIEF because of it’s $13 price. It has won it’s last three starts on wet tracks, and never won on dry tracks. He also gets some nice weight relief after carrying big weights at his last four starts (at least). He will need to be somewhere near the lead though I suspect which hasn’t been his pattern of late (did sit third on a dry track a few starts back though). I have been waiting for CASCADIAN to drawn a bad barrier and here it is (he is field shy) but is the pattern of racing against him today, and can you trust the jock to ride him like he is the best horse in the race? STAR OF THE SEAS has a great record here and in the wet and don’t leave out GAILO CHOP either who is a class act who likes wet tracks. His first up stats don’t read well in his past few preps but he is 7/9 on wet ground and likes to get near the pace. If he is fit enough he can win for sure.

I’ve tried to think as logically as possible here and just hope I can jag at least one winner. Only HTT is under $10.