Randwick, Saturday 2nd April 2016: The Betfair Insider – TJ Smith and Doncaster Handicap

Current Track Rating: Slow 5 or 6

Rail: True

Weather Forecast: www.bom.gov.au

Friday 1st – Max 27°C. Partly cloudy.

Saturday 2nd – Max 29°C. Mostly sunny.


R8 Darley TJ Smith WFA 3YO+ 1200m Group 1

Speed Map

TJ Smith

Race Profile

  • 2 of past 5 winners have come through the Newmarket Handicap
  • 2 of past 5 winners have come through the William Reid Stakes
  • 3 of past 5 winners have 3 weeks between runs
  • 0 of past 5 winners have been 3YO males


Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

 Soft, Rail True

1st Chautauqua – BR 8 58.5kg SP $4 – 3rd up, 3 weeks, 2nd Newmarket Handicap Group 1 1200m Flemington

2nd Lord Of The Sky – BR 6 58.5kg SP $21 – 3rd up, 3 weeks, 4th Newmarket Handicap Grp 1 1200m Flemington

3rd Terravista – BR 9 58.5kg SP $2.60 – 2nd up, 3 weeks, 4th Newmarket Handicap Group 1 1200m Flemington

Heavy, Rail True

1st Lankan Rupee – BR 1 58.5kg SP $3.80 – 4th up, 5 weeks, 1st Newmarket Hcp Group 1 1200m Flemington

2nd Rebel Dane – BR 5 58.5kg SP $9 – 1st up, 20 weeks, 7th VRC Sprint Group 1 1200m Flemington

3rd Buffering – BR 2 58.5kg SP $10 – 2nd up, 4 week, 7th Challenge Stakes Group 2 1000m Randwick

Good, Rail True

1st Black Caviar – BR 1 56.5kg SP $1.14F – 3rd up, 3 weeks, 1st William Reid Group 1 1200m Moonee Valley

2nd Epaulette – BR 8 56.5kg SP $41 – 1st up, 23 weeks, 3rd Caulfield Guineas Group 1 1600m Caulfield

3rd Bel Sprinter – BR 2 58.5kg SP $13 – 2nd up, 2 weeks, 1st The Galaxy Group 1 1100m Rosehill

Master Of Design – BR 8 58.5kg SP $41 – 2nd up, 1 weeks, 3rd Star Kingdom Stks Group 3 1100m Rosehill

Black Caviar – BR 5 56.5kg SP $1.14F – 4th up, 2 weeks, 1st William Reid Group 1 1200m Moonee Valley

Major Players 

1. Chautauqua: Australia’s premier sprinter was scintillating in the Lightning Stakes but was left a touch flat footed at Handicap conditions in the Newmarket Handicap.

We knew he was poorly placed in the G1 Newmarket Handicap and we bet around him accordingly. The race was run at a slow tempo (approx. 3L below average), which is not the race shape that suits this galloper.

He’s perfectly placed at WFA, will enjoy a stronger tempo here is the defending champion. Other positives in his corners are a) getting back to turning track and b) the open spaces of Randwick. I expect him to drift slightly from $3.70 on The Exchange.

2. Flamberge: He was perfectly placed in the William Reid and made it back to back Group 1 victories for his (now previous) trainer Peter Moody. Now in the Ellerton & Zahra camp I would expect him to run well but I doubt there is any improvement left in him against the big boys.

3. Delectation: He didn’t settle in the G1 Newmarket, throwing his head around for the majority of the race fighting Damien Oliver. Chris Waller has sent him to the trails since and he looked back on track.  The market has dismissed him since his Newmarket failure but he has the ratings to be able to be right in this finish. He’s more likely to relax for Hugh Bowman and he defeated a similar field last spring in the G1 Darley Classic which was also contested on a soft rated surface. Big rebound likely.

4. Terravista: Was once known as WBS (World’s Best Sprinter) but has lost that tag this time in with a close up second in the Lightning before a pass mark at best in the Galaxy two weeks ago. He was four weeks between runs and did have a hoof issue coming into the Galaxy but trainer Joe Pride said not to use the foot issue as an excuse. I think he can bounce back with a bit of sting out of the track but needs all the breaks to beat this field.

9. Shriaz: Chimed in against the pattern to run a huge second in the Challenge Stakes against Griante. He’s poorly weighted at WFA having to rise 4.5kg off his last start in weaker grade. His saving grace is that the better-performed horses in this race aren’t in top form.

13. Fell Swoop: Lightly raced gelding that rarely runs a bad race. Trainer Matt Dale has placed him to perfection and he’s right in the thick of things here despite not best suited under Weight-For-Age conditions. First up he was unlucky not to win the G1 Oakleigh Plate but he did spike a massive rating. That proved how much he’s improved this time in and his second up run in the Galaxy indicates that 1200m is what the galloper is looking for now. He’s a horse still on a big upward spiral so the booking of Zac Purton is well timed.

14. Exosphere: He resumed in the Lightning Handicap and while the run looked disappointing to the eye it was actually a great run after the bias of the day was established.

John O’Shea decided to miss the Newmarket in preference for the T J Smith and he has had a nice trial between runs to keep him up to the mark. He presents well if he can get off the fence into the two wide running line. He has the ability to upset the recent race profile and be the first 3YO winner in the past 5 years. $3.00 is very short in early betting and I expect him to drift but firm late.

15. English: She was given no chance in the Galaxy and finished off really strongly on the fence. An impressive winner of the Challenge Stakes first up. She looks a place chance at best.


Betting Strategy

I expect closer to $4 to be offered on both Chautauqua & Exosphere on The Exchange, so with that in mind my early betting strategy is around two runners at double figure odds that I’ve rated much shorter.

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Delectation – 2.5 units at $15 or more.

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Fell Swoop – 2.5 units at $11 or more.



R9 Doncaster Handicap 3YO+ 1600m Group 1

Speed Map


Race Profile

  • 3 of past 5 winners have been third up
  • 2 of past 5 winners have come through the George Ryder Stakes
  • 4 of past 5 winners have 2-3 weeks between runs
  • 1 of past 5 winners have been the SP favourite


Previous Winners & Lead Up Result

Soft, Rail True

1st Kermadec – BR 16 51kg SP $8 – 5th up, 2 weeks, 3rd George Ryder Stakes Group 1 1500m Rosehill

2nd Real Impact – BR 18 55kg SP $10 – 2nd up, 2 weeks, 1st George Ryder Stakes Group 1 1500m Rosehill

3rd Royal Descent – BR 12 54kg SP $8 – 3rd up, 2 weeks, 4th George Ryder Stakes Group 1 1500m Rosehill

2014 Heavy, Rail True

1st Sacred Falls – BR 13 56.5kg SP $10– 3rd up, 2 weeks, 4th George Ryder Stakes Group 1 1500m Rosehill

2nd Royal Descent – BR 18 54kg SP $8.50 – 3rd up, 3 weeks, 5th Coolmore Classic Group 1 1500m Rosehill

3rd Weary – BR 12 51.5kg SP $4.40 – 4th up, 1 week, 1st Doncaster Prelude Group 3 1500m Rosehill

Heavy, Rail +3m

1st Sacred Falls – BR 4 53kg SP $19 – 4th up, 3 weeks, 2nd Rosehill Guineas Group 1 2000m Rosehill

2nd Pierro  – BR 2 57kg SP $3.50 – 4th up, 3 weeks, 1st George Ryder Stakes Group 1 1500m Rosehill

3rd Norzita – BR 14 53kg SP $11 – 5th up, 2 weeks, 1st Stormqueen Group 1 2000m Rosehill

More Joyous – BR 10 57kg SP $3.20F – 3rd up, 2 weeks, 1st Queen of the Turf Group 1 1500m Rosehill

Sacred Choice – BR 14 52kg SP $8 – 5th up, 4 weeks, 5th Ranvet Stakes Group 1 2000m Rosehill

Major Players 

1. Kermadec: Last year’s Doncaster winner returns looking to defend his crown just as Sacred Falls did in 2013 & 2014. Due to a greater spread in the weights for this years Doncaster, Kermadec will carry an additional 6kg whereas Sacred Falls only had to carry an additional 3.5kg after his initial victory.

Kermadec has come through the right races being the Canterbury Stakes and the George Ryder and has run well on both occasions. He is a strong WFA horse but is disadvantaged dropping back to a handicap for the first time since his Doncaster victory in 2014 despite coming off a career best run.

2. Turn Me Loose: He hit the ground running this time in with a strong effort in the C.F Orr Stakes before taking out the Group 1 Futurity at Caulfield. He was able to hold off the likes of Stratum Star and Suavito on that occasion.

He travelled up to Sydney and started $7 in the George Ryder but was beaten 6.5L into sixth. Trainer Murray Baker has urged punters to forgive that run and I’ll be surprised if they try to restrain him this time. $26 in early markets is a big over reaction off one below par performance. I expect Opie Bosson to let him travel quicker to the 600m mark which will eliminate the pretenders very quickly.  He looks a genuine Back-To-Lay prospect on The Exchange.

3. Winx: Australia’s star galloper has now won eight straight races including a relatively soft win in the George Ryder last start. She had to sit wide on a day it was best to get cover in the George Ryder yet still managed to walk in with a 1.5L margin back to Kermadec who received the inside runs.

She’s fourth up at the mile and is rock hard fit. She’s relatively well weighted for a ‘star’ galloper with the likes of Sacred Falls and More Joyous carrying similar weights to her in recent years but not boasting the same CV having beaten Australia’s best gallopers consistently at WFA. She’s drawn a fairly safe gate and will sit wide with cover and sail down the outside off a strong tempo. The hunted but clearly the one to beat.

4. Stratum Star: Has produced strong ratings at 1600m and importantly up to 2000m which holds him in very good stead for the Doncaster. This has looked like his target since he resumed in the C.F Orr stakes and he was narrowly beaten out of second in the Blamey by The United States who has since won the Ranvet Stakes. He’ll get a charmed run off an inside draw and is the complete blowout at $51.

6. First Seal: She also comes through the George Ryder and was beaten 4.7L by Winx. She’ll meet her 3.5L better for the defeat but did look ‘all out’ on the line whereas Winx was pulling away. She gets the blinkers her and should appreciate a stronger tempo but I can’t see her turning the tables.

10. Happy Clapper: Happy Clapper is the best ‘weighted’ horse in the Doncaster and that will take him a long way. He’s carried 59kg at WFA only going down narrowly first up in the Canterbury Stakes (2.4L) before heading to the George Ryder and finishing off behind Winx beaten 5.2L.

He’ll appreciate the speed on and the drop back to Handicap conditions see’s him meet Winx 8kg better off, Kermadec 6.5kg and First Seal 4kg better. He’s been set for this race all along and has drawn well in Barrier 8. He looks a massive threat should the champion mare be off her game.

11. Azkadellia: She’s done all her recent racing against the Fillies and Mares, narrowly beaten in the G1 Coolmore Classic in a high rating race. The high pressure situation of a Doncaster Handicap will again be to advantage and coming in 6.5kg less than Winx, she must be respected. Her best winning chance would be finding the back of Winx having the last crack at her. She may not be as good as Winx but if she’s ever going to beat her it will be in this race.



Betting Strategy

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Winx – 10 units at $2 or more

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Happy Clapper – 2 units at $10 or more

Back on Betfair BACK (WIN) Azkadellia – 2 unit at $10 or more



** Speed Maps courtesy of www.racingandsports.com.au


Good Luck Backing & Laying.

The Betfair Insider


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