Race-by-race preview and tips for Randwick on Saturday

6. Coal Crusher has been dictated to in his two runs back. That nullifies his strength: the ability to roll along at a clip before quickening in the straight. The five-year-old was excellent first-up stalking the speed in what turned into a sprint home. It was then a similar case at Rosehill, forced to settle outside of the leader before he was grabbed on the line by 3. Bacchanalia. Confident he can turn the tables on that runner, meeting him 4kg better off, mapping to find the front and getting onto a wet track for the first time this campaign. That just takes the dash out of his rivals chasing. The final piece to the puzzle is the blinkers back on third-up. There’s intent to be read into that. He’s ready. No arguments that 1. Vilana is the best horse in the race. His record and rating tell you that. He resumed last preparation with a brilliant win the Silver Eagle. His two trials back have been excellent.
How to play it: Coal Crusher to win.


2. Sunshine Rising only has to hold his form to be in the finish again. The evergreen nine-year-old has placed in all three of his runs this time back. Want to trust that form around Zeyrek through the Sky High Stakes and Neville Sellwood. Will need to turn the tables on 4. Protagonist from two starts ago but the margin was only narrow and Sunshine Rising was four weeks between runs going in. Then throw into the mix that Sunshine Rising comes off a subsequent second, where there was a gap to third, while Protagonist has to bounce back from a gut-busting run in the Doncaster where he failed to handle the testing going. The cherry on top for Sunshine Rising is Nash Rawiller sticking and the prospect of parking just in behind the speed. No excuses. 15. Quality Time has had two tune-up runs in Melbourne ahead of this. Was a big winner third-up last preparation then went right on with it.
How to play it: Sunshine Rising to win.


The only curiosity around this race is why 2. Militarize isn’t an odds-on chance in early betting. He annihilated his rivals in the Sires’ two weeks ago. That was on the back of a forgettable Golden Slipper outing where he was pulled out of the race having suffered interference from the fallen horse. Militarize was going further away from his rivals at the end of 1400m. His last 200m was two lengths faster than the next best in the race. And that was the runner-up
1. Don Corleone, who happens to be the second favourite in this. How does he turn the tables? Particularly from the barrier he has drawn. The Sires’ has produced 17 of the past 20 winners of the Champagne Stakes. 11. Pier Pressure came through a red-hot midweek race behind Kimochi and Kristilli to run third in the Sires’ at big odds. Have got little doubt that she’ll show it was no fluke.
How to play it: Militarize to win.


1. Zaaki missed the first part of the autumn carnival with trainer Annabel Neasham unhappy with how the eight-year-old had come up. On the back of a recent Randwick trial, that’s all changed. He’s back on track. Zaaki has resumed twice at Randwick over 1400m recently and won both of those starts. Admittedly, neither were in group1 company against rivals of tomorrow’s quality, but his fresh form over this track and trip isn’t the only thing he has in his favour. He also has tactical speed, which should see him settle a long way in front of his market danger 12. Giga Kick, and a proven record of handling all ground. 3. Private Eye was flattened in the TJ Smith Stakes last start just as he was starting to warm to his task, before being eased out of the race. Should find himself much closer in the run from the low gate and the tempo of a 1400m race. He’s well set up to bounce back.
How to play it: Zaaki to win.


16. Cotehele on top in a race with a dozen chances. The four-year-old gets in with just 52kg after the claim and maps to get the lovely run in transit just in behind the speed. Thought he trialled exceptionally well at Randwick recently too, towing his jockey Reece Jones through the line. Jones sticks first-up. There are queries, however. The prospect of a wet track is one of those. He handles it but has shown to be more effective on top of the ground. Then there is first-up over 1400m and whether he feels the pinch late. 3. Jojo Was A Man’s form suggests that he misfires second-up but that’s a little deceptive. He loves Randwick and was fine first-up in a sprint home over 1200m. 10. Lackeen was plain in the Newcastle Stakes last start. He has been freshened up since then with a Randwick trial behind Cotehele. The six-year-old was a third-up winner last preparation, maps to jump straight in behind the speed and handles all going.
How to play it: Cotehele to win.


If 9. Democracy Manifest can hold any kind of spot from his draw, he should be too strong late. That’s the gamble however because he hasn’t been the best of beginners in the past. That was again on display in his two trials ahead of his return. What he has been, though, is an explosive fresh horse. His first-up record reads 4:3-1-0. Wet or dry, the track conditions won’t bother him either. Like the way he poked home in a recent Rosehill trial where Joao Moreira got a feel for the four-year-old. 3. The Face will be driven out to hold the front from the low gate and pressure pending from wider draws, should give a sight. His Bacchanalia form reads well for this, coming back in grade. Won’t want it too wet. Monitor how the track is playing up until this point. 13. Super Helpful charged to the line at Albury last start. A wet track won’t bother him. Don’t underestimate at odds.
How to play it: Democracy Manifest to win.

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