Friday Night Australian Racing 2/26/16

Race 6A (Randwick) – Guy Walter Stakes (Group 2, 7 Furlongs), 11:45 PM EST, Purse AUD $175,000  Picks 3-2

This race is named in honor of recently deceased Australian trainer Guy Walter, who in many ways through his success on the racetrack and kindness to jockeys was similar to trainer Allen Jerkens in the USA.

#3 SOLICIT (3/1 ML) looks like the lone speed and has always threatened to be a Grade 1 winner, putting in a good fight against champion Winx last out.  At this Grade 2 level she has a good chance to win.  Since Solicit isn’t a great finisher, she could be vulnerable to a late challenge from quality router #2 TINTO (9/1 ML), who is in great recent form and has earned more money in her career than any other mare in this field.

 

Race 6B (Caulfield) – Futurity Stakes (Group 1, 7 Furlongs), 12:05 AM EST Sat, Purse AUD $500,000  Picks 3-1-8

I should mention here that the top contenders in this race are all within a length or two of each other, so do not take a short price.  I believe #3 TURN ME LOOSE (3/1 ML) is one of the best milers in the world and expect improvement second off the layoff.  #1 BOBAN (11/1 ML) reunites with jockey Glen Schofield, and together they have won some big races, and they drew well in post 2.   #8 SCISSOR KICK (16/1 ML) is a very talented horse that should be able to close into fast fractions.

 

Race 7A (Randwick) – Chipping Norton Stakes (Group 1, 8 Furlongs), 12:25 AM EST Sat, Purse AUD $600,000  Picks 11-3

#11 WINX (my estimate of 4/5 at post) is one of the top 3 or 4 horses (male or female) in Australia and she is the only true miler in this race.  Most of these horses want 10 furlongs or longer and are using this race to get fitter for future races.  #3 HARTNELL (9/1 ML) has a lot of talent but is very inconsistent.  His best race beats the others for second.

 

Race 7B (Caulfield) – Blue Diamond Stakes for open 2yo (Group 1, 6 Furlongs), 12:45 AM EST Sat, Purse AUD $1,500,000  Picks 1-10-3 

Australians love their two year old racing, and this is the top race in Melbourne for two year olds (the AUD $3,500,000 Golden Slipper, run in Sydney, is considered the greatest 2 year old race of all, similar to an American winning a Preakness Stakes or a Breeders’ Cup race).

16 horses will run in this race.  Usually an outside draw is not wanted in these big races, but IF (a big if) #1 EXTREME CHOICE (3/1 ML) can break well from post 13 and find some cover on the backstretch he just looks tons the best to me in here. #10 SAMARA DANCER (7/1 ML) is undefeated and has a nice closing style.  Her speed figures are light but she drew well in post 5 and there will be plenty of pace on.  #3 FLYING ARTIE (4/1 ML) is the long-term prospect to watch out of this group.  In his qualifying race he was somewhat green and did not let down until the last 100 yards.  He will relish today’s distance and will do even better going 7 furlongs or a mile.

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