Chris Nelson’s Saturday Randwick Preview


Forecast is for plenty of rain in the lead-up to this meeting, 100mm plus is possible, tricky day! The fun begins right here as none of these quality 2yo’s have raced on anything worse than soft ground to date. ESPIONAGE closed the margin late on Straight Charge first up (soft (6)) before nothing panned out in the Todman, freshened up will settle off speed & hit the line. EMBASSY missed the kick in the Silver Slipper & has been back to the trials for a tidy win, Zac Purton jumps on board, big plus! Not sure what to make of EXTREME DIVA, no luck latest when unable to gain clear running until late, did she have all that much to offer?

Numbers: 1 – 3 – 7 – 4

Suggested Bet: Box up top 4 selections in exotics.


Not the strongest of Group 2’s & many may struggle in the wet. I’ll lean to STOCKMAN who is very reliable in these conditions, his record shows he’s much better placed on wet ground than dry & that will be the case today. VERONA won the Packer Plate here on a heavy (8) 2 years ago, unplaced other couple of heavy starts however looks to be heading in the right direction form wise. Respect for the import CIRCLE OF FIRE who has good staying form overseas & a soft track placing, wouldn’t be surprised to see him blow these away to be honest as our stayers are mostly legless.

Numbers: 2 – 8 – 11 – 9

Suggested Bet: Box up top 4 selections in exotics.


This is tough. My gut tells me TANNHAUSER will find this too short however there’s a a few plusses being the wet track, he could well be a better wet tracker than dry? The field is not strong & Zac Purton rides, the man is a genius & if anyone can get the best out of this bloke it might well be him. I’ll have a throw at the big odds. Big watch on the Kiwi WITZ END who looks to have good ability, yet to see heavy however he’s a Kiwi remember & his soft track record is a good one. CAFÉ MILLENIUM in the mix as well.

Numbers: 5 – 2 – 1 – 10

Suggested Bet: TANNHAUSER EACH-WAY (small bet).


Main lead-up to the Group 1 Oaks next week, which of these fillies is about to hit her straps? Chris Waller has 6 acceptors however I’m with one from the O’Shea yard being GOOD BANTER who has 2000m & beyond written all over her. Strong to the line all 3 runs this prep she now gets out to the longer trip & already has a heavy track win to her credit. Plenty of respect for AUTUMN ANGEL has the class edge over her rivals having won at group 2 & 3 level, she’s also proven over the trip & although yet to see heavy has scored on soft. KENYADA a lightly raced improver, maybe the best of the Waller runners.

Numbers: 12 – 1 – 13 – 3



Last Saturday’s Group 3 winner BANDI’S BOY has gone up short odds in opening markets for the rich Country Championships Final. Too short? Well, on form & official handicap ratings the answer has to be no, he’s extremely well weight wise under the conditions of the race & is a heavy track winner, seems to handle all ground. The only negative may end up being the inside gate? BIANCO VILANO draws out, likely won’t be an issue as he finds the line well & can zoom down the outside. Thought THAT’S MOLLY had a place chance at big odds.

Numbers: 1 – 2 – 6 – 7

Suggested Bet: BANDI’S BOY TO WIN.


Second leg of the 2yo Triple Crown is the Group 1 Sires Produce where the first 5 runners across the line in the Golden Slipper lock horns once again albeit this time on heavy ground. I’m leaning to MANAAL who clocked the best closing sectionals in the Slipper & on that & previous efforts looks to be ideally suited stepping up to the longer trip. LADY OF CAMELOT has done absolutely nothing wrong, she arrived late to win the big one after sitting off speed, Blake Shinn will no doubt give her another peach of a ride. Well, the hype around STORM BOY has dropped away for the moment, with a better start don’t be surprised if it’s back after this race, he cannot be overlooked.

Numbers: 10 – 9 – 1 – 2

Suggested Bet: MANAAL EACH-WAY.


Cracking T.J. Smith, couple of the best sprinters in the land going around in I WISH I WIN & IMPERATRIZ with a decent support cast who are more than capable of an upset. Having just written that I am going to stick with the two stars & lean to the resuming I WISH I WIN. Just feel his form is superior & he is of course the defending champion having nailed Giga Kick on the line to win this race 12 months ago. He ticks many boxes as does the mare who has been doing her recent racing down south, her record speaks for itself & she has been here once a fair while ago when run down on the line. SUNSHINE IN PARIS was a cracking return in the Galaxy closing in late, no heavy runs however soft form is sound. This is a step up in class for her.

Numbers: 1 – 8 – 11 – 9

Suggested Bet: Box up top 4 selections in exotics.


The Doncaster is always one of the best races on our calendar, don’t we all love a big Group 1 handicap! It’s CELESTIAL LEGEND for me, he’s flying this prep & his Randwick Guineas win was as tough as old boots when challenged left, right & centre. Kept fresh he’s been back to the trials for a most impressive win & with 49kg on the back is extremely well weighted, the horse he narrowly defeated last start MILITARIZE meets him 5kg worse off. Japanese horses are arguably the best performed in the world, Golden Eagle winner OBAMBURUMAI turns up again & who would dare discount him as a winning chance. ANOTHER WIL cannot be overlooked, wide gate may not matter under the conditions & he is comfortably raising the bar each time he goes around.

Numbers: 19 – 2 – 18 – 13



I’m with the filly ZARDOZI to get the job done in this year’s Group 1 Australian Derby. The turn of foot she showed winning the VRC Oaks at Flemington still sticks in my memory, she’s put in three very good runs this prep including a second up win & chased home the star Kiwi filly Orchestral last Saturday. She’ll be primed for this & is already a heavy track winner. RIFF ROCKET had to win the Rosehill Guineas, he was just so much better than the opposition, there wasn’t much between a number of them on the line though which is always concerning. CEOWULF in the mix as is TOM KITTEN, the latter just hasn’t had the same dash this prep, well up until now anyway, this has likely been the aim all along suggesting he’ll be peaking today.

Numbers: 14 – 1 – 3 – 2

Suggested Bet: ZARDOZI TO WIN.


Lightly raced filly MIRAVEL ROSE gives me the impression she’s very smart. Numbers wise she improved with each run last prep running a solid figure at her final run when winning at Caulfield. Numbers aren’t everything however when they look just as good to the eye you just have to take notice. Resuming here her jump out form has been very good. LEARNING TO FLY has been freshened up & looks the hardest to beat, terrific off a long break first up before a bit against last time when still less than 2L away. KRISTILLI can improve, back to 1200m much more suitable, personally I’ve never thought she gets past that trip.

Numbers: 6 – 1 – 2 – 12


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