Ray Thomas likes Art Cadeau to climb the Kosciuszko first-up while Ron Dufficy believes All Hallows’ Eve represents good value early on the day.
THE Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy discuss the chances of each of the 12 sprinters in The Everest plus the other nine races at Royal Randwick and the Caulfield Cup on a bumper day of racing 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!
DUFF’S BEST VALUE
Race 2, No.9: ALL HALLOWS’ EVE
Race 9, No.2: WARNING
Race 5, No.3: ART CADEAU
Race 4, No.5: FANGIRL
Race 10, No.1: EQUATION
RACE 1: FUJITSU GENERAL HCP (1400M)
Ron Dufficy:Visinari is a lightly-raced import with blinkers on the first time who really caught the eye at his Australian debut when fourth behind Edit at Tamworth. He has had a trial since and must be treated with respect. Zoushack is the danger. He was very good first-up when out of his grade then had excuses with a big weight at Warwick Farm. He will race on speed and prove hard to beat. Arapaho wasn’t suited by the sit-sprint tempo when resuming and he can improve. Irish Songs was good last start and this looks a nice race for him as well.
Ray Thomas:Fox Fighter produced an incredible closing 600m sectional of 32.18s to win the Midway over 1000m last start. This is a stronger race and he is jumping to 1400m but that win was quite outstanding and he’s a horse in the zone. Zoushack is obviously the one to beat. Bowery Breeze is good value and Kattegat is down in the weights and way over the odds.
RACE 2: THE STAR MILE (1600M)
Dufficy:All Hallows’ Eve has been waiting for a wet track, she is on the back-up, she is fit now and is the right price. High Supremacy is short enough in betting and also on a seven-day back-up, gets to 1600m and blinkers go on so he is very well suited. New Arrangement is back down in the weights and should be a threat. Looks Like Elvis did have the best of the bias first-up but he ran a very good second in a strong form race.
Thomas:High Supremacy comes out of the Silver Eagle last week where he ran well for a close fifth. The Randwick 1600m will suit and he gets in with a lightweight. I’m staying with him in a tough race. New Arrangement is well suited at the weights. Looks Live Elvis was very good first-up and can only improve. If the track improves, Rock will be hard to beat.
RACE 3: TAB MIDWAY (1100M)
Dufficy: Ahead Start found 1000m too short first-up when second to Leo but that is strong form. He has had a trial since and has reacted well on wet tracks previously. Casino Kid has trialled very well and he is a consistent horse. Blow Dart was good first-up at Newcastle and although he is only a three-year-old, he has plenty of upside. Ten Bells has been freshened and is an underrated mare who wasn’t beaten far last start after having a tough run.
Thomas: Ahead Start does looks the one to beat for all the reasons you mentioned, Ronnie. Lightly raced but promising and will be hitting the line strongly. Casino Kid’s outside barrier doesn’t help but he is so genuine. Casino Lord has also drawn right off the track but he has got ability and is over the odds. Blow Dart also goes in my numbers.
RACE 4: REGINALD ALLEN QUALITY (1400M)
Dufficy: I am leaning to Fangirl. She is short enough but I like the draw for her, she gets cover, looks strong and is bred to handle the going. She looks to be on an upward spiral. The Victorian visitor Decent Raine appears nicely placed at 1400m and did win her maiden by five lengths on a heavy track. Mystic Mermaid did well on at Wyong and is an improver at odds. Hoover Lucy was very good when getting to this distance last start.
Thomas: Fangirl did create a huge impression winning her maiden at Goulburn and was entered for the Flight Stakes two weeks ago but was a race morning scratching. She is very promising and only needs to handle the track conditions to be the one to beat. Hoover Lucy is back in top form at just the right time and Decent Raine is one to watch. Riduna is a well-bred filly improving with racing.
RACE 5: THE KOSCIUSZKO (1200M)
Dufficy: I think Handle The Truth sets up well. He has had two runs back over unsuitable distances; he gets out to 1200m which his perfect and his class and ratings stand up here. Edit really impressed with a big finish at Tamworth but I wish this was 1400m for him. The rain has really helped Art Cadeau. It is hard to knock his record. Patino Ruby loves it soft and will go well with blinkers on.
Thomas: I’ve gone the other way with Art Cadeau on top from Handle The Truth. They both set up well for this race but I have a slight leaning to Art Cadeau. He has never been out of the top two in 11 starts, is unbeaten at Randwick, drawn ideally and enjoys wet tracks. Handle The Truth is the class sprinter of the field and will be right in the finish. Edit is a definite threat and Nadaraja is very fast and the soft draw helps his chances.
RACE 6: SYDNEY STAKES (1200M)
Dufficy:Kementari returned with a bang winning the Gilgai Stakes, Ray. Some of his soft track runs are close to the best of his career and he does look hard to beat. Signore Fox is airborne at the trials and is ready to put in a big fresh run. I would have preferred him on a dry track but he is not hopeless on a wet surface. Fituese is back to her right distance and is over the odds. Big Parade got all the favours winning last start but he did it easily and ticks more boxes than most here.
Thomas:Big Parade won well over this course and distance two weeks ago and sets up nicely here, particularly as he is so effective on wet tracks. Prime Candidate was very good when resuming, will strip fitter and his second-up record is very good. Kementari does handle soft tracks and is back in form. Fituese is racing well and must be considered.
RACE 7: THE EVEREST (1200M)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: James McDonald
Slot-holder: Chris Waller Racing
32 starts: 17-6-0
Group 1 wins: TJ Smith Stakes (twice), The Galaxy, Moir Stakes, VRC Classic, Lightning Stakes
Ron Dufficy: I’ve always said I prefer outside barriers for Nature Strip so gate 10 is ideal. He can take his time, pace himself coming across early. This race hasn’t been kind to him with successive unplaced runs the last two years but he seems to be humming this spring. His TJ Smith win on a soft 7 this track and distance was outstanding he will give a big sight for a long way.
Ray Thomas: Nature Strip was dynamic first-up in the Concorde Stakes then had a thrilling slugfest with Eduardo before going under in a tight finish. Trainer Chris Waller has planned to have Nature Strip going into The Everest third-up as the gelding seems to race best at this stage of a preparation.
Trainer: Les Bridge
Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy
Slot-holder: Bon Ho
13 starts: 6-2-2
Major wins: The Everest, Group 2 The Shorts, Group 2 Arrowfield Stud Stakes
Dufficy: Classique Legend hasn’t had a race this year but his last two trials have been great. He maps beautifully and if you want a reminder of how good he is, watch a replay of last year’s Everest. What a training performance if would be if the grey wins again.
Thomas: Classique Legend was absolutely outstanding winning The Everest last year. Trainer Les Bridge has given Classique Legend three barrier trials in recent weeks and his sprinter seems to have worked his way back to form and fitness. If he is close to his best – and it seems he is – then he can win a second The Everest.
Trainer: Joe Pride
Jockey: Nash Rawiller
Slot-holder: Arrowfield Group and The Star
22 starts: 9-3-4
Group 1 wins: The Galaxy, Doomben 10,000
Dufficy: Eduardo is an outstanding horse and he has been beautifully prepared for this race. He defeated Nature Strip first-up and has had a nice trial since so he is ready to rumble. He was disappointing in this race last year but he can bounce back as he is a better horse now.
Thomas: Eduardo has emerged as a genuine top flight sprinter and this year he has won four of his five starts including two at Group 1 level. The Shorts was Eduardo’s only lead-up run into The Everest and he produced a stunning speed display to edge out Nature Strip. Consistently underrated, Eduardo ticks so many boxes because he is proven at the top level, handles all track conditions, races particularly well at Randwick.
Trainer: Gordon Richards and Damien Moyle
Jockey: Jason Collett
25 starts: 10-6-7
Major wins: Group 1 Lightning Stakes, Yes Yes Yes Stakes
Dufficy: Gytrash was very brave running third last year. I thought he looked great when he ran an unlucky third to Eduardo in The Shorts. He did have a so-so trial since but he’s a real giant-killer and he can have something to say here. He goes well on wet tracks, too.
Thomas: Gytrash has a proven ability to compete at the highest level and one of the reasons he was one of the first selected for Saturday’s big race. He has been restricted to only three winless starts this year but there was plenty to like about his return to Sydney racing in the Concorde Stakes last month when third to Eduardo and Nature Strip. The rain-affected track is perfect for him.
Trainer: James Cummings
Jockey: Josh Parr
38 starts: 10-6-6
Major wins: Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap, Group 1 The Goodwood
Dufficy: What can you say about Trekking, he’s a terrific old sprinter who has won 10 races and has more than $5.3 million in the bank. He has run well in the last two Everests and his two runs this spring, finishing third in the Concorde Stakes and Moir Stakes have been very good. I would prefer a drier track for him but he’s in great form.
Thomas: Trekking is lining up in his third The Everest, finishing third in 2019 and fourth last year. He’s a tough, seasoned sprinter who thrives under pressure. His two lead-up runs have been super and he will appreciate the Randwick 1200m course.
Trainer: Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes
Jockey: Tommy Berry
Slot-holder: Max Whitby, Neil Werrett, Col Madden
15 starts: 7-2-2
Major wins: Group 1 William Reid Stakes, Group 2 Premiere Stakes
Dufficy: Masked Crusader is probably at his best on a firmer track but he was impressive winning the Premiere Stakes and is peaking at the right time. He doesn’t help himself with his lack of gate sped and his racing pattern but he will be charging home.
Thomas: Masked Crusader is an exciting sprinter with a dynamic finishing sprint. He has been good in each of his three lead-up runs particularly his Premiere Stakes win last start. He’s likely to be giving the leaders a big start on the turn but will be finishing faster than anything else in the race.
Trainer: Peter and Paul Snowden
Jockey: Tim Clark
13 starts: 6-2-2
Major wins: Group 1 Moir Stakes, Group 2 Arrowfield Stud Stakes
Dufficy: Wild Ruler has returned in great order. He sets up well after his second to Nature Strip in the Concorde Stakes than his win in the Group 1 Moir Stakes. He is two from two at the Randwick 1200m and we know the Snowden stable are very hard to beat when they get to a Grand Final.
Thomas: Wild Ruler has always shown sprinting talent but he has gone to a new level this spring. His first-up second in the Concorde Stakes behind Nature Strip was very good and he ran right up to that effort to win the Moir Stakes, edging out The Inferno. He races well at Randwick but does need a relatively firm track.
Trainer: Cliff Brown
Jockey: Regan Bayliss
Slot-holder: James Harron
12 starts: 9-2-0
Major wins: Group 2 McEwen Stakes, Listed Singapore Lion City Cup, Listed Singapore Guineas
Dufficy: The Inferno is starting to interest me. His record is amazing, he has a big finish, and he won his only start on soft going. His last two runs have been over 1000m and considering he has won up to 1600m he will enjoy the 1200m. He is the forgotten horse.
Thomas: The Inferno brings an international representation to The Everest as the former champion sprinter in Singapore. He’s impressed this spring with his win in the McEwen Stakes and a close second to Wild Ruler in the Moir Stakes. The Inferno is going to appreciate 1200m and the Randwick track.
Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott
Jockey: Jean Van Overmeire
Slot-holder: James Kennedy
19 starts: 6-5-3
Major wins: Listed Hawkesbury Rush
Dufficy: Embracer is a late inclusion, we all know that, but his form this spring has been quite good. He shaped up at his first weight-for-age start when third to Masked Crusader in the Premiere Stakes but a win in The Everest would surprise.
Thomas: Embracer is the rank outsider and his only stakes success came in the Hawkesbury Rush earlier this year. Since being gelded, his form this spring has improved including his very good third to Masked Crusader in the Premiere Stakes. He’s fit but it would be a huge upset if he won.
LOST AND RUNNING
Trainer: John O’Shea
Jockey: Hugh Bowman
9 starts: 6-1-0
Major wins: Listed Luskin Star Stakes
Dufficy: Lost And Running has been chasing his tail a bit but there was improvement last start and he has more upside. He did get an ideal barrier for a horse like him and he could just stalk the lead or even take up the lead if he wants. Every time he has led, he has won, so tactically it will be interesting with him.
Thomas: Lost And Running is lightly-raced but has obvious sprinting ability. Although disappointing first-up in the Premiere Stakes he ran a much-improved race when fourth in Masked Crusader’s Premiere Stakes. He’s improving but would need to produce a career-best to win.
Trainer: Anthony Cummings
Jockey: Sam Clipperton
14 starts: 5-1-4
Major wins: Group 2 Premiere Stakes, Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes, Group 2 Furious Stakes
Dufficy: Libertini is also first-up into The Everest off two trials where she has hardly set the world on fire but I’m not taking any notice of that. She is a hard mare to assess but her two wins fresh here she has run 1m 7.93s and 1m 7.6s for the 1200m. Those times and form would have her right in the finish.
Thomas: Libertini is absolutely dynamic first-up as she showed in the Premiere Stakes last year when she zoomed past Classique Legend, recording 1m 7.6s for the Randwick 1200m. This shows Libertini has the class and speed to win The Everest – if she gets conditions to suit. She needs a firm track.
Trainer: Chris Waller
Jockey: Glen Boss
5 starts: 2-1-1
Major wins: Group 2 Silver Slipper, Listed Heritage Stakes
Dufficy: Home Affairs put the writing on the wall with a sensational first-up win in very fast time. He went superbly in a jump-out with Nature Strip last start. I’m warming to the three-year-old as he gets a good weight pull over his rivals. I think he is a top three chance.
Thomas: The only three-year-old in the field, Home Affairs was brilliant in his new season return winning the Heritage Stakes in very fast time. The youngest, most inexperienced sprinter in The Everest field, he is a strong, powerful colt and he gets up to 5.5kg off his older rivals.
Ron Dufficy:Classique Legend can win The Everest again because he is a very talented sprinter and his last two trials tell me he is back to his best. Home Affairs was brilliant first-up and three-year-olds run well in this race every year. Nature Strip is suited by the wide draw and wet track. Eduardo sets up beautifully for this race and will be in front for a long way.
Ray Thomas: With the speed and pressure this race will be run at, I can see Masked Crusader unleashing his powerful finishing burst and winning The Everest. Eduardo is a determined, classy sprinter and will be tough to run down. Nature Strip is into favouritism and will be hard to beat. No knock on Classique Legend – this is a fascinating race.
RACE 8: CRAVEN PLATE (2000M)
Dufficy: I’m hoping for a more competitive race than the Hill Stakes was so I’m hoping something puts speed on early. If that is the case, then Keiai Nautique is a big improver. He was unsuited by the sprint home last start and he might be able to race closer from barrier one. Shared Ambition is at his peak now and a leading chance again. Think It Over is a ripper horse in great form but I wouldn’t think he would want it heavy. Bargain looks good odd at $41 as the wet track and 2000m is ideal for her.
Thomas:Think It Over just finds a way to win. He’s a genuine topliner and seems to thrive under pressure. I concede his record on heavy tracks are a concern but they were earlier in his career and he’s obviously gone to a new level this year. I was on Sky Lab in the Epsom and not much went right for. Going to 2000m on a wet track is in his favour. Hungry Heart is a class mare but needs the track to improve. Keiai Nautique is close to a win.
RACE 9: ST LEGER (2600M)
Dufficy: I’m very confident with Warning. I know he was well beaten in The Metropolitan but I loved the way he surged through the line. He won third-up last preparation and the key to him is soft going. He takes some riding so the booking of Nash Rawiller is another positive. Luncies is the big danger. He should have finished closer in The Metropolitan and he still has a peak performance in him. High Emocean loves the sting out of the ground and stayers from the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable should be respected as they are peaking at this time of year. Attorney can turn his form around on soft going.
Thomas: Why can’t Entente win again? He was very good taking out the Colin Stephen Quality and went to the line with Montefilia before going under narrowly in The Metropolitan. He has to run 2600m but he’s in a rich vein of form and handles soft-heavy tracks. Warning does set up well here, Young Rascal ran a blinder last start and is on the improve, while Carif it out to his right distance range.
RACE 10: HEINEKEN HCP (1400M)
Dufficy: There are two main hopes but I don’t want to let Equation go without me, He is back in class on a seven-day back-up, acceptable barrier and gets the claim. The danger is Promise Of Success who had too much to do on a fast track but the softer surface will help. Pippali got a confidence-boosting win last start and could go right on with it. Night Of Power is racing very consistently.
Thomas:Equation appeals to me, also. I like him on the quick back-up given this will be a rain-affected track and he’s ready to bound back to form. Promise Of Success tends to get back in her races but she does have a very good burst of acceleration. Suave is back in winning form but doesn’t want it too wet, and Barossa Rosa stays under notice.
RACE 9: CAULFIELD CUP (2400M)
Dufficy: I’m going a little wide with Montefilia. This is not a vintage Caulfield Cup as far as quality is concerned and she comes off a strong win in The Metropolitan. Considering her Group 1 record and her weight, I want to be with her. Incentivise will stroll across from his wide barrier and give himself every hope. I thought Explosive Jack was ticking along nicely for this race. Delphi needs luck from the wide draw but he is a promising stayer.
Thomas:Incentivise is an exceptional talent. He should be able to get across from his wide barrier and find the lead before the first turn and then he can control this race. Tough, uncompromising and relentless, Incentivise dominates from the front. Delphi is the big improver and will make a race of it with Incentivise. Montefilia and Duais are top class mares coming off tough last start wins.
BEST BETS WITH SHAYNE O’CASS
Race 5, No.3: PURE FUEGO
Was incredibly unlucky not to have finished at least second to Kosciuszko hopeful Spiranac in the inaugural Panorama at Bathurst. Handy horse.
Race 7, No.9: SEVEN TWENTY
Ran in a Group 1 at her last start in NZ; resumed in a maiden at Goulburn on August 14 and romped in. Trial was good, drawn ideally and 3kg off for Dylan Gibbons.
Race 8, No.11: SATIN RIBBONS
Well-bred daughter of Capitalist out of Satin Shoes who was beaten by a good horse on debut. Too good next time here and was spelled. Trialling well as usual.
Race 5: 3
Race 6: 2,6,7
Race 7: 8,9
Race 8: 9,11
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Christian Reith has a handy book of rides (before scratchings) and could take out the TAB Jockeys Challenge if they all arrive
Race 1, No.10: ALL THINGS GREAT
Foxwedge three-year-old on debut off the hack a rock solid trial at Dubbo at the start of the month. Market the guide but seems to have the required talent.
Race 4, No.2: TALBRAGAR
Best bred horse in action anywhere on Saturday being a son of Snitzel out of the Golden Slipper winner Overreach. Taken a while to get here but will be worth the wait.
Race 5, No.6: FOREVER SPOTTED
Grey mare from Scone who is never far away. Trainer Jeremy Gask looks to have the perfect race for the daughter of Nature Strips’ sire, Nicconi.
Race 3, No.4: DOLPHINA
Dark Jewel descendant who went within a whicker of a bagging a hat-trick when last seen here two weeks ago. Obviously a mare in form.
Race 5, No.7: OAMANIKKA
Donna Scott trained gelding with a tidy C.V of four wins and five placings from his 11 starts. Races well here at Wagga.
Originally published as Randwick tips: Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis