Ron Dufficy is saving his best until last with Waihaha Falls in the final event while Ray Thomas is keen on Godolphin’s Tamerlane.
THE Daily Telegraph’s racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy debate the chances for the 10-race Summer Cup meeting at Royal Randwick on Sunday.
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!
Race 10, No.2: WAIHAHA FALLS
Race 8, No.2: SHADOW CRUSH
Race 8, No.7: TAMERLANE
Race 5, No.1: ZEGALO
Race 10, No.12: PENTACOST
RACE 1: DRINKWISE PLATE (1100m)
Ron Dufficy: It’s a tough start to the day. Wealthy Investor comes out of what looks a strong enough race at Wyong and gives Chad Schofield the chance to ride a winner on his first day back in Sydney racing. Mills was never out of first gear at her only trial and is a big query. Hard To Say is genuine and is drawn to advantage. Command Approved needs luck getting across from a wide draw but he looks a sharp two-year-old.
Ray Thomas: I’m with the unbeaten filly Russian Conquest. She raced without cover but still ran down Uncorked on debut at Newcastle last month. Uncorked ran well on this track last week to confirm the form. Russian Conquest has trialled well between runs and is drawn to get all the favours. Wealthy Investor ran the closest of thirds in the Wyong Magic Millions and that form reads well for this race. Shalailed and Command Approved have both drawn off the track but they have shown enough in their short careers to suggest they will be hard to beat with any luck in running.
RACE 2: TAB HIGHWAY (1100m)
Dufficy: Casino Lord caught the eye coming from a mile back here last start when eight weeks between runs. He should be hard to hold out from a better draw and the extra 100m suits. Tags has won a trial leading into this race and could be dangerous as he did win first-up last preparation. Anethole did enough first-up to suggest he will be running on hard at the finish. London Gal is flying but she might be better on a heavy track.
Thomas: Anethole gets back in his races and needs everything to go his way but if he gets the breaks, he can win this. His first-up effort at Tamworth was eye-catching and he will be charging home at the business end of this race. Casino Lord is the main danger for all the reasons you mentioned, Ronnie. Tags endured torrid runs in a couple of Highways last preparation and still ran competitive races. He sprints well fresh and is one to watch. London Gal is fast and tough, and is in a rich vein of form.
RACE 3: BOWERMANS HANDICAP (1600m)
Dufficy: Kirwan’s Lane will find this easier than what he was up against in the Villiers Stakes last start. He maps pretty well from the draw and he gets his chance. Criminal Code is more of a stayer but he has raced well fresh in the past and he is one from one at this course and distance so he could represent a bit of value. Wheelhouse is also entered for Brisbane but if they decide to run here it looks a lovely race for him. Five Kingdom is going great for the new stable and gets plenty of favours up front here.
Thomas: I’m also with Kirwan’s Lane. He was held up for a run momentarily in the straight last start then went back to the inside rail where you didn’t want to be in the Villiers. This race sets up perfectly for him and Tom Sherry’s claim also helps. Dynamic Impact was brilliant winning successive races then got too far back at Randwick last start. He is better than his last start effort suggests and deserves another chance. Wheelhouse has had five weeks between runs but he is more than capable of being in the finish. Five Kingdom scored a tough win at Flemington and the key here is he should get an uncontested lead.
RACE 4: MIDWAY HANDICAP (2000m)
Dufficy: Rebel Rama had her opportunity when beaten as favourite last start but she wasn’t disgraced. I thought she was acceptable odds here and is worth another chance. I feel Spaltet has more upside than most but I have to penalise him with the bar plates going on which suggests to me he has problems with his feet. Pecuniary Interest was amazing winning first-up but can he do it again, that’s the gamble. Made By Khan is in good form and has the speed to make his own luck.
Thomas: I’ve gone wide here with Apache Belle. If the track stays in the soft range, or even gets to heavy, she will run well. She’s rock-hard fit, racing consistently and can settle in the front half of the field. Apache Belle is at generous each way odds. Spaltet got into a bumping duel with Peekays Legacy at Rosehill and should have finished closer than third. He’s lightly-raced but showing promise. Rebel Rama gets the rain-affected she enjoys and will be competitive. Pecuniary Interest scored a remarkable win after being very slow away last start and if he runs up to that effort there is no reason why he won’t be in the finish.
RACE 5: BISLEY WORKWEAR HCP (1800m)
Dufficy: Chris Waller is always very strong in these middle distances races. He has Zegalo as one of the main chances here. He ran a much better race second-up in stronger grade than this and with the 3kg claim I feel he is good odds. Niffler hasn’t put a foot wrong winning all three starts so it’s hard to knock her. I’ve got a Waller stable 1-2-3 with Rousseau getting his blinkers back on and he will be around the mark again. Outlandos showed improvement second-up and is one to watch.
Thomas: I’ve got the same Chris Waller trifecta, in the same order, too. Zegalo loomed up to win but couldn’t quite go on with it behind Lightning Jack last start. He should be peaking now after two runs from a spell and should go close. Niffler is still learning how to race but all you can do is win and she is putting her unbeaten record on the line here. Rousseau is racing well and Dhakuri is back in winning form.
RACE 6: FUJITSU GENERAL HCP (1200m)
Dufficy: I rate Kibosh as a very genuine mare. She never runs a bad race with three wins and five seconds from nine starts, she strips fitter here and I’m leaning her way. Selburose was slow out and we have to forgive her last start failure. Her previous form shapes up well for this race. I Say Hello is now in foal and freshened up so it would be no surprise to see her run well here. In Lighten Me was much better last start and could surprise at odds.
Thomas: Forzanini has won both starts this campaign, her most recent effort at Canterbury under lights was a tremendous example of her determination and will-to-win. The awkward draw is a concern but this mare knows how to win. Selburose is definitely worth another chance and although she won’t want the track to be too wet. Kibosh is very genuine but worryingly has an outside draw and a fitter Lady Banff can improve.
RACE 7: SCHWEPPES SUMMER CUP (2000m)
Dufficy: Stockman is flying this preparation and he sets up well for his Grand Final. With a bit of rain around, his chances soar so he has to be hard to beat. Criaderas is giving every indication 2000m will suit and he is sure to be running on hard late. Lightning Jack created a good impression winning in smart time at his Australian debut and he did carry a big weight there so he might be up to the class rise. Attorney is going much better than what his form reads and he has a longshot chance.
Thomas: I’ve also got Stockman beating Criaderas. They made their runs together and finished right alongside each other in the Villiers Stakes when Criaderas finished third, just in front of Stockman. The step up to 2000m makes it “advantage Stockman”, particularly if the track stays soft or sneaks into the heavy range. Criaderas is on trial at this trip but his Villiers third was a strong pointer for this. Lightning Jack was very impressive over 1600m last start and Polly Grey comes right into contention if the track gets into the heavy range.
RACE 8: HYLAND RACE COLOURS HCP (1200m)
Dufficy: I thought Shadow Crush was terrific last week. He is unbeaten third-up and I’m hoping for a drying track for him Sunday which makes him a good gamble. Tamerlane should have nearly won first-up and gets his chance to atone with Hugh Bowman staying with him. Loveplanet is a lightly-raced four-year-old with more upside to come. Watch for some confidence about him in the market. Super Effort did some nice things last time in work and two of his three wins have been first-up from a spell.
Thomas: Tamerlane was ridden conservatively early before charging through the pack when a close second to El Buena at Rosehill. His first-up run indicates he’s in for a good preparation, the rain-affected going won’t trouble him, and he looks the one to beat. Loveplanet is resuming but has ability. Super Effort lived up to his name last campaign and sprints well fresh. I’m throwing in Kennedy Choice at big odds because he’s very honest and right down in the weights.
RACE 9: CHANDON GARDEN SPRITZ HCP (1400m)
Dufficy: Blesk has been very good in all four starts this campaign. He gets his blinkers back on and should be in the finish again. Holyfield showed nice improvement second-up and he gets the right run from the good draw. Black Duke fits in well if things fall into place for him. Southern Lights is a lightly-raced Irish import who should be watched closely.
Thomas: Blesk has good closing speed and has been unlucky not to have won another race or two this campaign. The blinkers are a plus and he’s bursting to win again. Snippy Fox is flying this campaign and the wetter the better for her. Black Duke is another very consistent campaigner but 1400m is as far as he wants. Two Big Fari hasn’t shown much for a while now but on his best form he would be very competitive.
RACE 10: HEINEKEN 3 HCP (1600m)
Dufficy: Waihaha Falls appears a nice horse destined for better things than a benchmark 72 race. He looks beautifully placed here and should be hard to beat with any luck. Oytrar attracted good support at his Australian debut and didn’t miss by much. Pentacost was quite dominant winning on debut and might be above average. And We Danced is an ex-Kiwi now with Chris Waller and I quite liked her trial. Keep an eye on her.
Thomas: Pentacost toyed with his rivals winning on debut at Newcastle. It’s a huge jump from a provincial made to a benchmark 72 in city grade but he does look a very promising type. At the odds, I’m happy to gamble on Pentacost. No knock on Waihaha Falls who outgunned Francesco Guardi at Rosehill. The runner-up scored at Randwick last week to frank the form. Nothinsweetaboutme is a tough mare who races on speed and makes her own luck. Casino Kid tried hard when a close third to Waihaha Falls last start and stays under notice here.
Originally published as Randwick tips: Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis