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Around The Benz

Sky Racing’s resident newshound, ANDREW BENSLEY, brings you up to date after another action-packed weekend of racing around Australia. 

HAWKES’ TEAM MASTERS OF OWN DESTINY

For many reasons Saturday was an incredible day of racing at Randwick. There were highlights galore and I have no doubt Day Two of The Championships this weekend will forge more racing history as the industry remains stoic during the COVID-19 crisis.

The G1 Queen Elizabeth has brought together outstanding horses from Japan, England and throughout Australia.

Many race fans are looking forward to the in-form MASTER OF WINE competing at this level. There has been a lot of talk about the Spring and the Melbourne Cup but Hawkes Racing wouldn’t be making up numbers if they felt Master or Wine wasn’t up to it.

Jockey Tim Clark will be reunited aboard Master of Wine in the QE with Tommy Berry suspended. Clark rode the horse to successive Spring wins and was the obvious call up. 

James McDonald, picture Sportpix.com.au

MCDONALD STOCKS AT A PREMIUM IN THE QE

James McDonald made the decision just over a week ago to ride Japanese visitor DANON PREMIUM in the Queen Elizabeth and after riding the horse on Thursday morning declared he ‘has such a beautiful action’.

Danon Premium has built an impeccable record in Japan including a win over Cox Plate winner LYS GRACIEUX just over twelve months ago, with one slight concern the likelihood of a rain affected surface.

All of the five-year-olds runs in Japan have been on firm to good tracks, but his Japanese form is outstanding and confidence levels are high.

SAM HAPPY TO GET PAT ON THE BACK

Jockey Sam Clipperton went close to claiming Saturday’s Doncaster Mile on runner-up STAR OF THE SEAS and this week he teams up with cult hero HAPPY CLAPPER in the Queen Elizabeth.

Clipperton has ridden the horse once previously when second to champion mare WINX in last year’s Apollo Stakes and trainer Pat Webster was rapt to get him aboard after regular rider Tommy Berry was suspended.

Remarkably this is ‘The Clapper’s’ fifth QE, the last three against Winx and after trialling strongly last week he has a shot at another big crown 

Check out the latest Queen Elizabeth TAB market here.

HARD WORK DELIVERS RIDE FIT FOR A KING

The Arrowfield Sprint at Randwick this Saturday is going to be an intriguing race.

Godolphin will most likely rely on talented filly FLIT who has been freshened up since running in the All Star Mile and with Hugh Bowman suspended, Rachel King is looking forward to the challenge.

Rachel puts in a lot of hard yards around the Godolphin stables and trainer James Cummings has given her a great opportunity. 

Others to watch out for in the Arrowfield are COSMIC FORCE (James McDonald), CALIFORNIA ZIMBOL (Brenton Avdulla), DAWN PASSAGE and VILLAMI. 

Click here for the latest Arrowfield Sprint TAB market.

FORM SUGGESTS NO SLIP-UPS IN FINAL

The Polytrack Provincial Championships Final sees Newcastle trainer Kris Lees engaging a handful of runners and by the way ANIMATE stretched out to win the Wyong Qualifier (at Newcastle) he will be hard to hold out. There was a point where Animate wanted to shift in but once straightened he really let down.

Angela Davies’ runner, THROUGH THE CRACKS, is right in Saturday’s final and although he gets back in the second half of the field the bigger Randwick track will be a plus.

Through The Cracks was making up a lot of ground on current TAB favourite ASHARANI in the Newcastle Qualifier and he has wins on soft and heavy ground. 

Throw in a lovely trial last Tuesday and things look promising for Through The Cracks in the final.

Check out the latest TAB Provincial Championships market here.

TALENT EMERGING ON CAULFIELD’S BIG DAY OUT

Caulfield Saturday is highlighted by the G3 Victoria Handicap and there will be a couple of promising types on show.

BIG NIGHT OUT has raced a dozen times but he has taken some big leaps forward in his last three outings. Trainer John Sadler was impressed with Big Night Out’s last start victory at Bendigo when a short-priced favourite and looked to have little hope turning for home.

Big Night Out and jockey Micheal Dee weaved a path through and eventually won by a couple of lengths tearing away. 

Coming from the same Bendigo meeting is SNOGGING for the in-form Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young stable. The mare flashed home hard to win the Gold Bracelet after being near last on the turn. and D Oliver is expected to take the ride in the Victoria Handicap.

With racing set to continue, here’s to another safe and eventful week for the Sport Of Kings.

Andrew Bensley can be heard on Sky Sports radio, 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

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