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Weighing In with Paul Joice

Form guru PAUL JOICE assesses the Sydney Saturday meeting and looks ahead to the big meetings coming up.

THE TAB EVEREST DAY

AN amazing day of racing in Sydney with The TAB Everest taking centre stage. With crowds back on course there was a buzz, an optimism and a tingle down the spine of even the most hardened punter. Racing NSW have created an event unlike any other and deserve all of the plaudits they are receiving.

MY TOP 3 TO FOLLOW

ROOTS – Should have won the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m). Settled last in the run then became badly strung-up for a run in the straight. Eventually found a gap and motored home but couldn’t run down stablemate FANGIRL. ROOTS is open to plenty of improvement so make sure to stick with her.

ZING – This was an eye-catching return by Chris Waller’s consistent five-year-old mare. Drew wide, went back, yet charged home to get within a head of knocking off the well-backed favourite ZOUSHACK. Looks set for a prosperous campaign. 

PROMISE OF SUCCESS – This may qualify as ‘captain obvious’ but there is still so much improvement to come from this six-year-old mare. John O’Shea has given the former import plenty of time to mature and on the back of a truly run affair on a spacious track, we saw what she is capable of. Bring on stakes racing – she’s the real deal.

PLEASE FORGIVE ME

AHEAD START – Am in a forgiving mood to include this Danny Williams-trained four-year-old. Lobbed into the box-seat in the TAB Highway (1100m) but never found a clear gap down the straight. It was hard to tell how much was in the tank so a forgive is granted … this time.

DECENT RAINE – Finished third beaten 2.5 lengths in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m). Was bailed-up along the fence for much of the straight before making up late ground once a split finally appeared. Should have finished much closer.

MASKED CRUSADER – Didn’t take out The TAB Everest this year but perhaps he’ll make amends in 12 months. Blew the start two lengths yet only went under by a head – that says it all. It’s a frustrating habit which Team Hawkes will no doubt be working on to try and iron out.

Check out the latest TAB markets here.

RIDE OF THE DAY

JAMES McDonald earns Ride of the Day honours this week but it isn’t for his inch-perfect steer aboard NATURE STRIP in winning The TAB Everest. Anyone who viewed the overhead shot of McDonald’s ride aboard FANGIRL in the Listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) will agree that this particular ride showed the perfect balance of skill and courage. McDonald took the narrowest of splits midway down the straight and the rest is history.

THE BIG WINNER

RACING fans were the big winner this week. The TAB Everest has become the jewel in the crown of Sydney racing and the electricity and anticipation which the race creates is phenomenal. An entire new generation of racing fans can now develop a passion for racing on the back of this raceday, becoming as enthralled with the sport as most current punters are. That is a win which the industry has been craving for a very long time.

THE TAB MARKET MOVERS

FANGIRL - $26 into $13 for the Bondi Stakes.
PROMISE OF SUCCESS - $26 into $17 for The Invitation.
MASKED CRUSADER - $6 into $4.50 for the Classique Legend Stakes.
EDUARDO - $8 into $6 for the Classique Legend Stakes.
INCENTIVISE - $9 into $6 for the Cox Plate.
INCENTIVISE - $5 into $2.80 for the Melbourne Cup.

Don’t miss Paul Joice and Ben Way on Black Bookers.

RACING TRIVIA

1-WHAT was James McDonald’s highest previous finishing position in The TAB Everest and aboard which horse? 
2-MASKED Crusader will be long remembered for his slashing runner-up performance in The TAB Everest of 2021. Can you name the previous four second-place finishers of The TAB Everest?
Answers below.

FROM THE STEWARDS’ ROOM

NASH Rawiller copped a 12-day suspension for excessive use of the whip aboard EDUARDO in The TAB Everest. Rawiller will be back in time for Golden Eagle day. GYTRASH pulled-up 1/5 lame out of The TAB Everest whilst BAROSSA ROSA also pulled-up 1/5 lame. KATTEGAT and BLITZAR will need to take a three-month break after bleeding in their respective races and NADARAJA pulled-up with a poor recovery and making a respiratory noise after failing in The Kosciuszko.

WALKING THE TRACK

AMAZING! The showcase meeting of the year and with the rail true the track raced in outstanding order. Upgraded during the program from a soft 7 to a soft 5. You only need to look at The TAB Everest. First for home (NATURE STRIP) and last on the turn (MASKED CRUSADER) hit the line with only a head between them.

Check out the latest TAB Futures markets here.

WHETTING THE APPETITE

THE $2 million The Invitation (1400m) for fillies and mares will take its place on the Sydney Spring racing calendar next Saturday at Randwick. The $1 million Bondi Stakes (1600m) for three-year-olds will also be held amongst another bumper 10-race program.

RACING TRIVIA (answers)

1. 7th - Nature Strip, 2020.
2. Vega Magic ’17, Trapeze Artist ’18, Santa Ana Lane ’19, Bivouac ’20.

Paul Joice can be seen on Sky Thoroughbred Central and the Sky Racing Active app throughout the week. Catch Paul on Tuesday Formline Extra, metropolitan racing Wednesday, Formline and Blackbookers on Thursday’s, with all of his tips available via the Sky Racing website and the TAB App.

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