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Hawk’s 2014 Randwick Guineas Day Selections

March 15, 2014

The attention shifts to Sydney today with two races at the highest level at Randwick. Well, most attention – my eyes will still be on Melbourne, or rather, Bendigo, where I have my first runner in a stakes race in the former Darley galloper Yulalona. Granted, he’s the outsider of the field – and deservedly so – but you can always dream!

Here are my selections for Randwick today, with an explanation of my analysis of the two Group 1 races:

Race 1 – GROUP 2 SKYLINE STAKES (1200m)

5 – GIULIANI
1 – GOLD FORCE
3 – VALENTIA
2 – MODOC

Race 2 – GROUP 2 SWEET EMBRACE STAKES (1200m)

4 – TETSUKO
5 – TWIRL
2 – PRESS REPORT
11 – STRATICAL

Race 3 – LISTED RANDWICK CITY STAKES (2000m)

4 – OPINION
7 – JUNOOB
6 – THE OFFER
2 – BAYRIR

Race 4 – GROUP 3 ASPIRATION QUALITY (1600m)

11 – FOREVER LOVED
4 – LUCKY LAGO
6 – PORCELLANUS
3 – ANY DAY WILL DO

Race 5 – GROUP 2 CHALLENGE STAKES (1000m)

2 – BEL SPRINTER
1 – BUFFERING
7 – SNITZERLAND
10 – VILLA VERDE

Race 6 – GROUP 3 ROY HIGGINS TRIBUTE QUALITY (1200m)

5 – PENTASIA
4 – AVOID LIGHTNING
3 – LILLIBURLERO
6 – A TIME FOR JULIA

Race 7 – GROUP 1 RANDWICK GUINEAS (1600m)

A very open contest between three-year-olds coming from all different formlines. There’s definitely some class there, though, and this race always seems to define the autumn as the cream rises to the top.

There are a number of chances but I think the market has it right with EL ROCA on top. I’d go so far as to say this Kiwi three-year-old should have finished at least second in the Caulfield Guineas, if not won, but he didn’t see daylight for much of the straight and he lost his chance. He was dominant resuming, and while he was beaten by the older Terravista last week, he didn’t lose any admirers whatsoever. It was a tough effort and the fact he was only beaten a long head or so was a credit to him. I’m excited to see him out to the 1600m again and even the barrier can’t deter me.

I think Murray Baker can make it a Kiwi trifecta, as he looks to have two really nice chances, but in which order? The natural selection is ATLANTE after his gutsy second in the Hobartville Stakes on ground he doesn’t like, but I reckon SHOW THE WORLD can give a sight fresh. He’s been gelded and he gets the blinkers on here, which should help him show his best. This distance will prove well short of his best – he’s by High Chaparral out of an Auckland Cup winner in Bazelle – but first-up, expect some dash from him.

Best of the rest is BULL POINT, who is a bit hot and cold, but if he settles off the speed he has an amazing turn of foot. Hopefully they don’t push him to lead. After that, probably CRITERION, TERONADO, SAVVY NATURE and EUROZONE in a very open race.

2 – EL ROCA
13 – SHOW THE WORLD
4 – ATLANTE
7 – BULL POINT

Race 8 – GROUP 1 CANTERBURY STAKES (1300m)

Speaking of converging formline

The Canterbury Stakes has struggled to find a home – it was run at Canterbury, but then shifted to Rosehill, and is now at Randwick. Still, with a field like this, you could run it anywhere and the interest would be high.

I do like the three-year-olds but I think NOT LISTENIN’TOME could be anything. His win first up was arrogant, and he deserves his shot at this company. Even if he doesn’t win here, a Group 1 is only a matter of time.

Obviously ZOUSTAR will be hard to beat, but he’s fresh and he has targets in mind later on. He’s the one to beat, but I’ll be interested to see how Not Listenin’tome measures up with a run under his belt. Two lengths separated them in the spring.

RED TRACER and APPEARANCE are flying so they obviously shape as dangers, but I’m happy to stick with the three-year-olds.

And though I doubt he can win, I would love to see a big run from MY KINGDOM OF FIFE first-up since October 2011. It’s a magnificent performance just to get him back, so if he was to blow us out, I wouldn’t care less.

10 – NOT LISTENIN’TOME
9 – ZOUSTAR
8 – RED TRACER
6 – APPEARANCE

Race 9 – LISTED FIREBALL STAKES (1100m)

5 – OPEN BOOK
12 – COSMIC ENDEAVOUR
13 – SHAMALIA
14 – FLIGHT ACADEMY

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