Randwick racing preview, tips and picks for Saturday, April 4, 2020
Royal Randwick in Sydney is the venue this Saturday for one of the great days of racing on the Australian calendar. It is the first day of The Championships and features four group 1 races. The second day of The Championships follows on Saturday, April 11, with another four grade 1 races.
Incredibly, Australian racing continues while all the country’s major sports have been halted by the COVID-19 pandemic which has also halted horse racing in many parts of the world.
Racing was halted after just one race at the meeting at Rosehill in Sydney on Wednesday, but that was because of the sodden track after a couple of days of heavy rain.
The Randwick will again be rain-affected on Saturday, but unless a case of COVID-19 strikes a jockey, trainer or steward before Saturday, one of the Australian Turf Club’s showpiece meetings will go ahead as scheduled, though of course without the usual massive crowds. Australian racing has been conducted behind closed doors for about a month, with only vital personnel allowed on track.
The WGL racing team has examined the Randwick meeting and will give our tips for the four group 1 races on the program: the Inglis Sires’ Stakes, the ATC Derby, the Doncaster Handicap and the T.J. Smith Stakes. We will also throw in a couple of tips on the races from the support card.. Read on for our free Randwick tips for Saturday, April 4, 2020.
Randwick Race 6: Inglis Sires’ Stakes, 3.15pm AEDT (1400m)
This is a time-honoured race for two-year-old gallopers usually stepping out to 1400m for the first time and with the demanding Randwick straight this can really test the fortitude of the juveniles. The favourite 1.Mamaragan is an impressive colt who has done well in his only two starts to date, winning first-up and the finishing a strong third in the group 1 Golden Slipper behind boom youngster Farnan. But we like the look of a few bluebloods here who will relish stepping out over more distance. 3. Prague and 4. King’s Legacy are both by legendary stallion Redoute’s Choice and cost $1.6 million and $1.4 million respectively at the yearling sales. We lean towards the former Prague, who was unsuited by the conditions in the Golden Slipper but stuck to his guns to finish sixth. He has to find a few lengths to turn the tables on Mamaragan but that colt is 2-1 and you should be able to secure around 8-1 Prague if you shop around the leading international bookmakers.
Suggested bet: Prague each-way at around the 8-1 mark. We also have a lot of time for the talented colt Holyfield and he is worth considering at good each-way odds of around 12-1.
Randwick Race 7: ATC Australian Derby, 3.55pm (2400m)
1. Castelvecchio is a most accomplished colt by Dundeel, which won this race in 2013 in a canter. Castelvecchio is coming off an impressive win in the group 1 Rosehill Guineas when he was ridden a lot closer to the speed by Craig Williams, who also rode the colt aggressively when he was second in the weight-for-age championship of Australia, the W.S. Cox Plate, last spring. While Williams can’t ride Castelvecchio this weekend because of quarantine restrictions, he should losing nothing with superstar James McDonald taking the reins and we think he is a good thing in this race at a price around the $3 mark. The obvious dangers are Victoria Derby winner 3. Warning and smart gelding 2. Shadow Hero but we are looking elsewhere for the likely challenger. We think 7.Zebrowski will enjoy the extra journey and tougher finishing straight after he was a little one-paced last start behind 6. Quick Thinker.
Best bet: Back Castelvecchio with confidence but have a saver on the improving Zebrowski.
Randwick Race 8: T.J. Smith Stakes, 4.35pm (1200m)
This is the race for the cream of Australia’s sprinters and the favourite here is the brilliant but unreliable 1. Nature Strip. He has the services of the red-hot James McDonald here and barrier one, a gate which may not work in his favour. 7. Bivouac is a brilliant Godolphin colt which did not appreciate being pushed forward to lead in the group 1 William Reid Stakes in Melbourne. He has Hugh Bowman aboard and should get the ideal sit off what looks likely to be a frantic early pace. If he gets into the clear at the right time it will take a good horse to hold him off. 3. Santa Ana Lane has a habit of winning these big races but we feel he is not racing at his best.
Suggested bet: Bivouac to storm home to victory at around each-way odds, while 2. Pierata is another which should be hitting the line hard.
Randwick Race 9: Doncaster Mile, 5.15pm (1600m)
Always on of the most anticipated races on the Australian calendar and it’s a wide-open affair this year. The Doncaster honour roll is outstanding, with the likes of Sunline, Sacred Falls and the mighty Winx all winning the event in the past few decades. This does not look a vintage edition but it’s a great race from a punter’s perspective with big value available about whichever horse you like. The lightly raced 19. Brandenburg is the favourite and is one thrown in at the weights with champion big-race rider Glen Boss to steer. But we think the topweight 1. Melody Belle should be at her peak for this and is a chance of emulating another champion Kiwi mare in Sunline. She has won 15 of her 28 starts and really is the class horse of the race along with Kolding, which does not seem to be racing as well this campaign. We are wary of James McDonald on the Chris Waller-trained 5. Mister Sea Wolf.
Suggested bet: We are going to go with the class of 1. Melody Belle and have something on the underrated 13. Quackerjack, which should give a huge sight on the speed from the inside barrier. Quackerjack loves this track and distance and if you shop around you should be able to secure odds of close to 20-1. Include in any multiples on the race.
Free betting tips on the support races at Randwick
Granted we have not spent as much time perusing the form for the other six races as we did on the group 1s on the program but a couple of likely types jumped out at us.
In Randwick, race 2, the Carbine Club Stakes, we think the progressive type 5. Grand Piano can upset the hot-pot 3. Reloaded. Grand Piano, a gelding by Lord Kanaloa, has been impressive winning two runs since a spell and should get the perfect run here.
In Randwick, race 3, the Country Championship Final, we will be going each-way on the Jean Dubois-trained 6. Julian Rock, which looks perfectly suited here and has had plenty of support in pre-post betting.
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