2017 Winter Dash Day Preview & Tips

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Royal Randwick has drawn nine strong fields for Saturday’s headline card in Sydney; 2017 Winter Dash Day.

Centre Pivot will contest the Winter Dash at Randwick on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

Centre Pivot will contest the Winter Dash at Randwick on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Steve Hart

All nine races have drawn impressive fields of racehorses and we have analysed every running in detail, in order to help you find a winner on Winter Dash Day.

The feature race will not be contested until 3:05pm, however the action on Winter Dash Day will get underway from 11:25am with the running of the McGrath Estate Agents Plate for two-year-olds.

Race 1 (11:25am) McGrath Estate Agents Plate (1200m)

Nine two-year-olds have been drawn to Race 1 at Randwick on Saturday and there is a case to be made for more than half the field. Wild Heart (barrier 9) flew home to win the TAB Rewards Maiden (1200m) at Warwick Farm a fortnight ago and should only improve into this race, while Music Addition (barrier 5) should find a good position in transit from a central draw and also carries winning form into this race. Godolphin juvenile Florid (barrier 3) has not been seen at the races since March, but has trialled well in the lead-up to this race and could be the class horse of this small, reasonably inexperienced field.

Tip: No. 3 Florid – Each Way ($12/$3.50)

Race 2 (12:00pm) Hyland EOFY Sale Handicap (1200m)

Several in-form gallopers will take to the barriers for Race 2 at Randwick on Saturday and it is subsequently an open race from a betting perspective. Jason Coyle’s stable has been flying and is well represented in this race by Memes (barrier 8), who carries winning form after saluting at Randwick a fortnight ago. Godolphin horse Ghostly (barrier 6) also won last time out and is drawn ideally with in-form hoop Brenton Avdulla in the saddle, while The Pharoah (barrier 10), Calanda (barrier 9) and Launch Code (barrier 11) are all live chances amongst this company.

Tip: No. 4 Memes ($5)

Race 3 (12:35pm) Schweppes Handicap (1400m)

Only nine runners have been confirmed in the Schweppes Handicap field, but the depth of class has made for an extremely open betting race. Test The World (barrier 3) is seeking a fifth-consecutive win and is probably the horse to beat in the Schweppes Handicap, while Wahng Wag (barrier 2) will prove tough to beat should she recapture his early campaign form in this race. Stable mates Love’s A Fantasy (barrier 1) and Stilettoed Vixen (barrier 8) should both enjoy the conditions of this race and will settle in similar positions from their draws, while Labdien (barrier 4) can be forgiven for her last start performance and should be right in the finish of this race. Lani Girl (barrier 5) faces a step up in grade, but is ready to peak and is a live chance of an upset with a light weight.

Tip: No. 7 Love’s A Fantasy – Each Way ($16/$3.90)

Race 4 (1:10pm) TAB Highway Handicap (1200m)

Saturday’s Highway Handicap has drawn a typically smart field of country horses to Randwick and there is several live chances in this field. Viceroy (barrier 8) has been close in each of his three starts this time and should relish the conditions of this race, while Atlantic Sentinel (barrier 3) carries winning form into the race following an impressive performance at Canberra on June 9th. Nictock (barrier 12) is sure to have taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run for third in a Highway Handicap a fortnight ago, while Conniving (barrier 5) ran a good second in the same race and is arguably the value in this field.

Tip: No. 5 Conniving – Each Way ($7/$2.55)

Race 5 (1:45pm) Ron Finemore Transport Handicap (2400m)

Nine horses remain in contention for Race 5 at Randwick on Saturday, including Richard Of Yorke (barrier 7). The Oasis Dream gelding ran a credible sixth in the Listed McKell Cup (2400m) on May 27th before being narrowly denied by Plot Twist in the Stayers Cup (3200m) a fortnight ago. The drop back in distance should not be an issue for the tough veteran and he should prove hard to beat in this race. Danjeu (barrier 2) has steadily built to the task through three starts this time and should be ready to peak, but has been charged with carrying a heavy topweight. Collateral (barrier 10) is seeking a fourth-consecutive race win on Saturday, while Quartermaster (barrier 6) should relish the conditions of the race and carries winning form into his bid.

Tip: No. 2 Richard Of Yorke – Each Way ($3.40)

Race 6 (2:25pm) Racing To Win Handicap (1600m)

Ten milers will contest the Racing To Win Handicap, including the improving Old North (barrier 8). The Godolphin runner his a multiple black type winner and has steadily built to the task this time; running third in the Octagonal Handicap (1400m) on June 3rd. Berry Delicious (barrier 1) was luckless at her last start and should find a handy position from the rails draw, while Destiny’s Kiss (barrier 7) Marenostro (barrier 6) and Auvray (barrier 10) are all winning chances at their best form. Liapari flew home to win a smart race amongst similar company in Sydney last weekend and should carry plenty of upside into this race once more.

Tip: No. 5 Old North – Each Way ($5.50/$2)

Race 7 (3:05pm) Winter Dash (1200m)

Eleven talented sprinters will line up for the feature race; the Winter Dash. Peter Robl will launch a smart two-pronged attack in the form of veteran’s Ninth Legion (barrier 3) and Centre Pivot (barrier 5). The former has been charged with carrying a topweight of 61kgs, but still have a class edge on much of this field, while the latter is drawn ideally, weighted well and is a noted first-up performer. Sir Bacchus (barrier 11) is weighted for success and should find a good position off the pace from the outside barrier. Tessera (barrier 8) failed to fire last time out, but will be suited by the conditions of the Winter Dash and will be partnered by in-form hoop Brenton Avdulla. Lord Von Costa (barrier 4) and Chase The Horizon (barrier 9) are both in terrific form.

Tip: No. 2 Centre Pivot – Each Way ($16/$4.40)

Race 8 (3:45pm) Professionals Tamworth Handicap (1400m)

A capacity field is set to step out for the Professionals Tamworth Handicap (1400m) on Saturday afternoon and there is a case to be made for a good portion of runners. Wild ‘N’ Famous (barrier 4) has gone close at his two most-recent starts and is drawn to get an ideal run in transit, while Metallic Crown (barrier 3) is set to peak third-up in this race and is weighted well. Tap That (barrier 11) has always threatened during her Australian tenure and has trialled well in the lead-up to this race. Pelethronius (barrier 6) is yet to taste anything but success this time and while undoubtedly stepping up in class into this race, has conditions to suit and represents good value.

Tip: No. 5 Pelethronius – Each Way ($6/$2.30)

Race 9 (4:25pm) Jackson Pastoral Company Guyra Handicap (1000m)

The final race at Royal Randwick on Saturday has drawn a talented field, including the likes of Sangiovese (barrier 10), Wide Acclaim (barrier 7) and I Am The General (barrier 16). Bjorn Baker’s stable is in a purple patch and Sangiovese is primed for a big run here after an impressive win at Canterbury on June 14th. Wide Acclaim returned to the races for a smart win in the Tab BM67 (1100m) at Warwick Farm and will only improve into this race, while I Am The General will need luck from his wide draw. Minnesota (barrier 4) faces a sharp step up in class, but has gone close in two starts this time and is weighted well. This is undoubtedly his best chance of a return to winning form this time in.

Tip: No. 2 Sangiovese ($5)

About The Author

Jared Timms

Jared graduated with a journalism degree in 2011. He is a keen sports fan and has enjoyed many accolades for his lively writing style and comprehensive coverage of major sporting events and horse racing. Today, you can find Jared cheering on his beloved Manchester City with a beer in hand.


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