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Hawk’s Saturday Selections – Randwick Guineas Day

March 16, 2013

A card full of Group and Listed races greets us today at Warwick Farm. This meeting, normally run at Randwick, has been transferred for the second time in three years. Hopefully, once the new grandstand opens in the coming months, it will be a long time before we see the Randwick Guineas run at Warwick Farm once more.

It’s also a shame that it has happened in a year where the three year old crop looks so strong. I would love to see today’s race run over the testing Randwick mile, but alas, it is not to be.

Apart from next Friday’s William Reid Stakes meeting, the autumn in Melbourne peters out from here on in with all attention on Sydney. Therefore, apart from next Friday, all my Australian previews will be for Sydney only until the end of April.

I will also have some international previews, most notably a number from Dubai as well as one for the Grand National at Aintree.

Here are my selections for today’s meeting, with previews of the two main races:

Race 1 – LISTED RANDWICK CITY STAKES (2200m)

1 – PERMIT
8 – TREMEC
5 – MARDEN
4 – KAYPERS

Race 2 – GROUP 3 SKYLINE STAKES (1200m)

9 – MAHICAN
4 – GOOD JOB BRO
5 – DOTHRAKI
2 – FUERZA

Race 3 – LISTED ESKIMO PRINCE STAKES (1200m)

5 – KNIGHT EXEMPLAR
4 – HEART TESTA
7 – LAMPEDUSA
3 – GOLDEN SUNSHINE

Race 4 – GROUP 3 SWEET EMBRACE STAKES (1200m)

1 – ASSAIL
7 – TROPICAL FORCE
2 – CALMING INFLUENCE
3 – GREYTFILLY

Race 5 – LISTED WENONA GIRL HANDICAP (1200m)

4 – CATHAY LADY
2 – MISS STELLABELLE
5 – ARINOSA
10 – MICKELBERG

Race 6 – GROUP 1 RANDWICK GUINEAS (1600m)

I think it is now widely accepted that this is a stellar crop of three year olds. This race is missing some of the better three year olds, and yet it is still a top contest full of intrigue.

The only horses I feel I can rule out completely are CASINO SWEEP and SHAWANO. That leaves very good three year olds for only four positions.

I think that the form out of the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) – which six of the nine came through last start – will provide the winner here, but which horse?

For mine, IT’S A DUNDEEL is a classy animal who will prove hard to beat. There’s not much between him and PROISIR, really. He has the blinkers on here, which should allow him to take a handier position from the good draw. I think he can win this on his way to a clash with Fiveandahalfstar in the Rosehill Guineas.

REBEL DANE is the obvious danger. His run in the Hobartville, the first time he’d tasted defeat, was massive. The 1600m is some sort of query, although personally I think he’ll handle it just fine. The gate may also present problems, but the same could be said for It’s A Dundeel. I just think, with the extra 200m and added fitness under his belt, It’s A Dundeel can beat Rebel Dane today.

If there’s one horse that I think can win who didn’t run in the Hobartville, it’s TOUGHER THAN EVER. He’s coming through weight for age form, finishing fourth in the Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1400m) before a game second in the teeming rain in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m). Looks to have been set for the race as opposed to others with bigger fish to fry, and a win wouldn’t surprise.

I have PROISIR in fourth, mainly because I rate the other three higher than him today, but I do rate him as some sort of a chance.

Next best SOLEMN and SACRED FALLS.

1 – IT’S A DUNDEEL
7 – REBEL DANE
5 – TOUGHER THAN EVER
3 – PROISIR

Race 7 – GROUP 2 CHALLENGE STAKES (1000m)

Someone said on Twitter, “whoever decided to call this the Challenge Stakes obviously knew what they were on about.”

Too right. What a difficult race to decipher, with so many first up.

The truth of the matter is, if HAY LIST is anywhere near right, he just wins. His rating is that much higher than his rivals. But given what he’s been through since he last raced almost a year ago, I’d say it’s a toss of the coin whether he resumes as well. As I said in my Racenet comments this week, it’s hard to tip Hay List, but it’s even harder to tip against him. Have to have him on top.

DECISION TIME has had even longer on the sidelines, with his last race in October 2011. I have a soft spot for the horse, true, but he caught the eye in recent trials. He looks like he’s returned in good order, and while he still needs to produce it on raceday, I think he’s more than capable. If he runs to his best, he’ll be competitive.

SNITZERLAND is probably best while fresh, given her performances to date. The gate is a little awkward, but she rates highly in this field.

And TIGER TEES must be rated some hope, first up in September he beat MRS ONASSIS by three lengths. The Oakleigh Plate winner gets 0.5kg from him today, but that may not be enough to turn the tables. Trialled well.

Next best MRS ONASSIS and ATOMIC FORCE.

1 – HAY LIST
4 – DECISION TIME
11 – SNITZERLAND
5 – TIGER TEES

Race 8 – LISTED ASPIRATION QUALITY (1600m)

6- THY
1 – CRAFTY IRNA
5 – JADE MARAUDER
7 – SHAMARDANI

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