Sky Racing’s resident newshound, ANDREW BENSLEY, brings you up to date after another action-packed weekend of racing around Australia.
AS THE SLIPPER GOES, THIS TIME IS PRECIOUS
There’s nothing like the build up to a Blue Diamond or for the next few weeks the Golden Slipper in Sydney.
Each Saturday the TAB markets fluctuate when new youngsters step out after Christmas in their build up to Rosehill on Saturday March 14.
This week there’s going to be more youngsters running at either Randwick or Flemington, including the Gerald Ryan-trained Time Is Precious.
We have only seen this filly run once but the win in the Victory Vein is starting to read pretty well on paper after Prime Star, another Victory Vein competitor, took out the Inglis Millennium.
Gerald Ryan has nominated Time Is Precious at Randwick and Flemington, with track conditions to decide where her build up to the ‘Slipper’ will kick off.
Check put the latest Golden Slipper TAB market here
SNOWDEN’S CLASS WILL BE ON SHOW
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden are expected to step out a number of well bred two-year-old's at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
Close to Me is a filly out of Rose of Choice that last ran in the Golden Gift in November and should come under notice. A let-up and two solid trials on soft ground is likely to see her return in the Sweet Embrace along with Stellar Pauline and Tilia Rose.
Aim, picture Stevehart.com.au
Aim is another Snowden two-year-old that will run Saturday in the Skyline Stakes after finishing midfield in the Gold Coast Magic Millions Classic.
For all the latest TAB Futures markets click here
BLAKE IS BACK IN TOWN
It will be great to see jockey Blake Shinn back riding in Sydney for the first time since July, after receiving the green light from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to ride three horses for trainer John Thompson.
The Sydney trainer contacted Shinn after Nash Rawiller lost his suspension hearing last Thursday.
Ironically Shinn rode Dreamforce to win the Liverpool City Cup twelve months ago at the same meeting and now he’ll be chasing G1 success in Saturday’s TAB Chipping Norton Stakes.
Shinn will also ride impressive first up winner Sweet Deal in the Guy Walter, a race he’d love to win having worked closely with the popular Warwick Farm mentor for many years.
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ARE WE SET FOR ANOTHER MEMORABLE BATTLE
Is it possible for Saturday’s G1 Australian Guineas at Flemington to match the amazing scenes we witnessed during the CS Hayes just over a week ago?
We can only hope.
Alligator Blood v Catalyst (2) is upon us and Kiwi trainer Clayton Chipperfield is extremely happy with the progression Catalyst has made from his first run in Melbourne.
Catalyst (NZ) outside Alligator Blood, picture Quentinjlang.com
Crack hoop Damian Lane, who missed the CS Hayes ride due to suspension, will take the mount aboard Catalyst this weekend, but don’t discard CF Orr Stakes winner Alabama Express and a fitter Chenier and Soul Patch, all in search of an upset.
Jockey Michael Des will get the chance to win another Group One on Alabama Express after taking out the CF Orr Stakes.
Kings Will Dream and Mirage Dancer came out of the ‘Orr’ and performed admirably at Caulfield last weekend and Alabama Express’ trainer Mike Moroney was pleased to bypass the meeting given the firm track assisted leaders or horses racing on the pace.
Click here for the latest Australian Guineas TAB market
LLOYD’S CHIPPING NORTON HOPE THRIVES AT NEW HOME
Well credentialled six-year-old, Homesman, is set to have his first run for the Anthony Freedman stable in the TAB G1 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Lloyd Williams and his syndicate brought the horse to Australia to race, and ten starts later he has a G1 win and placing in the Underwood Stakes plus a win last Spring in the G2 Feehan at Moonee Valley.
After the sale of Macedon Lodge the Williams family made the decision to send Homesman to the Freedman stables.
This weekend’s assignment will be arduous with the likes of Te Akau Shark, Avilius, Fierce Impact, Happy Clapper, Dreamforce and former International Danceteria all expected to run, but Homesman has not missed a beat in a Balnarring jump out and recent Werribee trial.
Check out the latest TAB Chipping Norton betting here
FLASHY FILLIES LINING UP IN SURROUND
Saturday’s G1 Surround Stakes for the three-year-old fillies should be a beauty.
Flit, Lyre, Missile Mantra, Akari and Kiamichi are back from the Light Fingers, then throw in Funstar, Probabeel and the unbeaten How Womantic and we’ve got one hell of a race.
Flit, picture Sportpix.com.au
How Womantic has come a long way in a very short time, snaring a Group race in just her fourth start. She won her first three races comfortably before grabbing Godolphin filly Enfleurage in the Kevin Hayes at Caulfield.
Jockey Jye McNeil is understandably keen to keep the association with How Womantic given her winning form.
Check out Saturday’s Surround Stakes TAB market here
Andrew Bensley can be heard on Sky Sports Radio, Tuesday to Friday mornings from 9am with all the breaking carnival news, plus Saturday mornings from 6.30am on Racing HQ.
Stay in touch around the clock via social media @skyracingau and @AndrewBensley
Andrew Bensley, picture skyracing.com.au