Race 1A (Randwick, Sydney, Right-handed turns), TAB.COM.AU Handicap (BM 85, similar in concept to an N2x Allowance/$62,500 claim in the USA). Purse = USD $62,500.
Distance = 6 furlongs Post = 10:25 PM EDT Friday, Aug 7th. Weather partly cloudy. Track expected to be OK, not heavy.
Top pick = #4 Hard To Hold
2nd pick = #3 Miss Tenpins
3rd pick = #8 Judicial Rock
In the Southern Hemisphere the new season just started, and there is a progression of important races to get horses prepared for the November Spring Carnival (September through November of 2015), probably the most competitive series of races in the world.
Since the excitement has not started just yet, we will focus tonight on a handicap race. Remember, in Australia a racing secretary assigns a weight to each horse based on past successes (or lack thereof). The weight a horse must carry is then adjusted for the experience of the jockey – a very new apprentice gets the largest possible weight break, more experienced apprentices get a few pounds off, and horses with experienced jockeys must carry their full impost.
There does not appear to be a leading contender in this group, with many of these horses racing raced quite often without being successful in stakes company, and the lack of a “new shooter” that is definitely “on the up.”
Trainer Bjorn Baker excels in these types of Sydney handicaps and he appears to have a strong hand with an uncoupled entry of #4 Hard To Hold and #3 Miss Tenpins (note to bettors – all trainer entries in Australia are UNCOUPLED entries). Hard to Hold is fairly classy and appears to be in good form. Her third to the well-regarded Godolphin runner Miniature was a career best race. Miss Tenpins has never competed at this level but her best career speed figures are slightly better than Hard to Hold’s best speed figures. #8 Judicial Rock is well connected and has the best last-race speed figure but rarely puts it all together for the win. Worth a small stab at 20/1 or better odds.