The Listed Christmas Classic is the feature event on the nine-race card at Randwick.
The track is rated a Good 4, but up to 20mm of rain is predicted on Saturday. The rail is out 6 metres the entire circuit.
Secret Lady has displayed good early speed and should be the leader once again. Fearless Girl will be close up from barrier 4 on debut for the Waterhouse/Bott stable. Legislation jumped well to lead in his recent trial.
Decent depth to the two-year-old race. Legislation (1) was a winner on debut back in October in the Kirkham, settling behind the leaders and giving a good kick at the 200m before holding off Fiesta by a length. The $ 525,000 Not a Single Doubt colt was sent straight for a spell. He returned for a trial at Gosford on Dec 19, winning with ease. He looks the one to beat from the good draw.
Secret Lady (9) is a professional filly for Gary Portelli. She’s been freshened following her win over 1100m last start, leading all way to defeat the $ 1.35F Plague Stone. She has good gate speed which will allow her to scoot along from barrier 10 to settle up on the speed.
Fearless Girl (14) should be close up in the run from barrier 4. She was given a serious hit out when winning a trial at Warwick Farm on December 5 before being given an easy time in her trial win at Hawkesbury.
Granny Red Shoes (10) is coming off a good run up in Brisbane, finishing 2nd to Outback Barbie in the Calaway Gal and she did cop some interference early in the straight. Morpheus (8) has had a delayed start with a couple of minor issues, but did trial well recently at Gosford. Blinkers are going on for his first-up run as he attempts to make a late charge for the Magic Millions.
Just the field of five fillies and all are last start winners. Bella Vella is the likely leader although Memory Bank did take up the running at Sandown last time out.
Sasso Corbaro (2) resumed with a dominant performance at Hawkesbury on Dec 17, coming away under hands and heels to score by over three lengths. The placegetters Nines Enough and Florid are no slouches. The All Too Hard filly finished runner-up at her first two race starts during the winter, going down by a narrow margin on both occasions, before scoring her debut victory on the Beaumont track.
Godolphin filly Epidemic (3) is aiming to make it a hat-trick of wins. She was a dominant winner two starts back over Seaway who has won his two subsequent starts. It was a closer affair last start in a sit-and-sprint affair against just the three rivals, defeating Curdled by a head. Visiting Irish jockey Declan McDonogh, who claimed a treble at Newcastle last week, takes the ride.
Bela Vella (5) was a big winner on her return at Hawkesbury recently over 1000m. She will give them something to chase out in front. Memory Bank (1) is up from Victoria for Lindsay Park. She’s been working through the grades. wining her past three. She showed she can run a strong 1300m last start, winning on a heavy track at Sandown.
Verdict: Sasso Corbaro (Win – Best Bet)
Pretty average field for the BM95 over a mile. Dreamforce should be afforded a soft lead with Hunter Jack taking the trail from the inside draw.
Dreamforce (5) disappointed last time out after two good runs to start the campaign. There were excuses however as the bit pulled through to the off-side in the run and he was inclined to race fiercely. A lugging bit is applied this time out. He is up in grade, but with that he drops from 59kg to 52kg after the claim for Blaike McDougall.
New Universe and Liapari come out of a 1400m race at Rosehill on Dec 9. New Universe (4) ran on ok for third, beaten just 0.6 of a length by Invinzabeel. This will be his first crack at a mile, but he has been racing a bit more dour this preparation. Liapari was out sprinted in the race, finishing back in 7th, He’ll be better suited here with the extra furlong.
God’s In Him (2) is dropping back in class with the blinkers coming off after finishing 12th in the Villiers. He has a solid record at the track with three wins from nine starts.
Another small field, but a really open race here. Junglized should lead from barrier 7 and expect Pendeloque to come across from barrier 9.
Pendeloque (8) resumes for Gerald Ryan and the Snitzel filly should be ready to go first-up after the two solid trials. She led in her most recent hit out before finishing a narrow second to Dothraki. Expect James Innes Jnr will go forward on the filly from the outside draw with just 52.5kg on her back.
Lady of Crebilly (5) returns from a freshen-up following her third in the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes at Sandown. She made a stack of ground late, charging home down the outside after being last of 15 at the top of the straight. The drop back from 1400m to 1100m is the only knock on the South Australian.
There wasn’t much between Junglized and Kennedy when the two met at Hawkesbury back on Nov 9 with Junglized taking the honours by a nostril. Both are right in the mix again here. Leaning towards Kennedy (2) slightly as the better chance of the two. The Exceed and Excel colt was a comfortable winner at Kembla Grange back on Dec 2 and was given a quiet time at the trials recently at Warwick Farm. Junglized (1) was a shade disappointing in his last outing, finishing last in a field of four at Rosehill, albeit only 1.5 lengths off the winner. Equal Balance (3) comes out of the same race as Junglized, finishing third, just 0.3 of a length off winner Epidemic.
Expect improvement from From Within (4) off her first-up effort. She was caught off the track throughout and weakened in the straight to finish eighth.
The speed should be solid. There are a few capable of taking up the running. Fanning and Flow will be up on the speed from the inside barriers and Crafty Cop will be right up there from barrier 4.
Brave Song (6) is very short, opening in the red, but it is hard to go past the three-year-old colt. He returned with a super performance at Canterbury, coming from well back at the top of the straight, displaying an impressive turn of foot. While this is a much tougher field than he faced at Canterbury, he appears to have a stack of talent.
Flow (2) got caught in a speed battle last start which hurt his chances, weakening slightly over the final 100m to miss a place as favourite. He shouldn’t be sacked on that run, however the drop back from 1400m to 1200m at this stage of his campaign is a slight concern.
Crafty Cop (1) resumes from a short break and he has a decent record fresh. He trialled well at Rosehill finishing second to Music Magnate. He’s got a good horses weight with 61kg on his back.
Ghostly (4) has had a couple of typical Godolphin trials where he wasn’t asked to do a lot. He ran on nicely down the outside in his most recent trial over 1050m at Randwick. He should be hitting the line hard.
Verdict: Brave Song
The Highway returns as a leg of the quaddie. All Stand can take up the running from the inside draw.
Takookacod (9) has been thereabouts throughout her campaign. Her past two runs have been in Highways Handicaps. She had no luck two starts back when finishing ninth to Volpe where she found plenty of traffic in the straight. She dropped back from 1200m to 1000m last start and made solid ground from the back to finish a close-up fifth. She’s worth another chance at the each-way odds.
It’s hard to know what to do with Acquittal (13). Trainer Danny Williams believes the three-year-old gelding might be the best horse in the stable, but he has played up on race day at his two starts so far and given a warning for being difficult to load. With that it’s hard to be with him as favourite for his first run in town.
All Stand (1) was just pipped at the post last time out by Victorem. They’ve gone with an apprentice this time around to get a 3kg claim. He’s the likely leader from barrier 1 and will take some catching. This is his first go beyond 1000m at start number nine.
Territorial (5) returns to a Highway after finishing fifth to Equal Balance two starts back at Rosehill. He then went to Goulburn where he led and scored a dominant victory. Racing well enough to be in the mix again. Molasses (4) is resuming off just the one public trial and has a tricky draw to contend with.
Verdict: Takookacod each-way (Best Value)
The feature Listed Christmas Classic over 1200m. Isorich has drawn wide and may have to do a little bit of work early to lead. Dothraki will be right there from barrier 4.
Music Magnate (1) is the class runner and should prove mighty hard to beat despite having 61kg on his back. He has trialled very well heading into his return and has performed well first-up in the past. There are two concerns – where he will get in the run from barrier 10 and how much rain will fall on Saturday.
Eckstein (5) returns after just a short break, having finished just a nose off Shoals in the G1 Myer Classic during the spring. She is 4/4 at the distance and should have residual fitness from her spring campaign. She can handle the sting out of the ground.
Supreme Effort (8) had a consistent spring campaign, finishing in the top four in all four runs and collected a win up on the Sunshine Coast. The seven-year-old has looked very good in his two trials this month. He’ll need a dry track to produce his best.
Boss Lane (3) is likely to need the run, but looks overs at $ 26. He’s got a good record on his home track and ran on nicely in a recent trial. Dothraki (2) was disappointing first-up in the Listed Starlight on a heavy Rosehill track. He returned to the trials again last week. Not sure he has returned at his best and it’s been a while since he’s greeted the judge.
Verdict: Very keen on Music Magnate if the rain stays away.
There’s no designated leader here. Bastia might be able to find the front from barrier 8 while Gambler’s Blues and Zourkhan should be close up from barriers 5 and 6.
Zourkhan (6) resumed with a good run a fortnight back over a mile, finishing runner-up to Sedanzer. It had followed a very nice trial. Blinkers stay on here and if he holds his form he’ll be going very close. He is one of seven runners in the race for Chris Waller.
Xebec, Vaucluse Bay and Chaterlard come out of the same race. Xebec (8) did very little first-up, but showed plenty of improvement to finish third to Sedanzer. The import is still searching for his first win in Australia. He’ll get back in the run and look to swoop home. Vaucluse Bay (9) finished off ok for fifth. He’ll appreciate the extra distance, but has proven a hard runner to catch. Chatelard (7) finished back in ninth. Expect a better performance with a run under his belt and the extra distance given he’s a fairly dour character.
Bastia (14) jumped from a Class 2 at Port Macquarie to a Saturday BM83 race at Rosehill last start and handled the big rise in grade, going down by just a head to King Darci. With little pace in the race he should be able to go forward from barrier 8 should he gain a start.
Gambler’s Blues (3) has been a consistent performer for Tim Martin for a long time. He has just the four wins from 32 starts, one of those coming last start over 2000m at Rosehill, but also has 14 minor placings. He’s a big chance again, but would want each-way odds about him.
Reward for Fashion will come across from barrier 12 and is the likely leader unless Anatola tries to hold the rail from barrier 2.
Anatola (1) was most impressive last time out, leading all the way to win her first race since switching to the Mark Newnham stable. She gave a good kick at the 300m and held a margin of 1.3 lengths over O’Rachael (2) on the line. She does meet O’Rachael 2kg worse off this time, but should be hard to beat again from the good draw.
Savatiano (8) is racing well and is coming off a good win over 1100m a fortnight back, beating a couple of handy runner in Calculated and Awesome Pluck. The concern is where she will get in the run from barrier 11 with Declan McDonogh in the saddle.
Sugar Bella (10) is a very promising mare for Kris Lees. She was a big winner first-up at Canterbury, sprinting strongly at the 150m and coming right way from her rivals to win by just under three lengths. She missed a run a fortnight back when Kerrin McEvoy was injured on the way to the barriers.
Geneteau (9) was beaten a nose by Duchess Pedrille last time out who had finished runner-up to Sugar Bella the start prior. Geneteau drops from 58.5kg to 52kg this time with apprentice James Innes Jnr in the saddle. She led last start, but expect she will take a trail this time with a bit of speed in the race.