The two-year-olds do battle on Wednesday at Randwick which hosts a rare midweek meeting. The quality field of 10 looks suited to Saturday metropolitan level which has punters excited. There are a handful of runners in the Chris Toogood Handicap who should go on to win at a consistent rate and one sticks out above the rest. Read on for our expert tip and runner by runner preview.
In Summary: There is only one race winner in the field, but most of these runners come out of good form races, which includes the Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott-trained Han Xin. The Sepoy colt finished third on debut was the favourite, but he didn’t lose many admirers. He ran a quick 1000m time of 57.76 and he should be respected with Tommy Berry in the saddle. Milanese Girl is from the powerful Chris Waller stable and punters are looking for redemption after a poor effort last start. The two-year-old filly by Snitzel charged nicely on debut to just miss at Canterbury, but she was hampered last start in the Widden Stakes and never recovered. She looks a chance to bounce back. The standout form in the race belongs to INVADER, which has finished close up behind some quality types. He ran fourth behind Khan in the Breeders’ Plate before running fifth behind Houtzen in the Magic Millions. Hugh Bowman rides and punters are still getting a good price.
1 Trapeze Artist – The Gerald Ryan-trained colt is the only winner in the field after scoring by two lengths on debut. The son of Snitzel wasn’t expected to run well at odds of 20/1, but he produced a stylish win and he shouldn’t be overlooked again. There is more depth to this field which is why bookmakers are still offering good odds, but he will only need luck from the wide draw to be a threat.
2 Invader – Has the breeding to suggest he will be a force this season and his form this has been impressive without winning. He has been racing in some of the best juvenile races in Australia, which includes the $2 million Magic Millions and the horses that have beaten him are some of the best around. His placing behind From Within two starts back was full of merit and he was running on late behind Houtzen last start. He’s drawn perfectly in barrier two and Hugh Bowman is the right man for the job. We’re expecting punters to launch into Invader late in the betting.
3 Malahat – Exceed And Excel colt who will enjoy the rise in distance after two impressive outings to date. The John O’Shea-trained colt ran second behind the unbeaten Teaspoon on debut before fighting well despite a wide run behind Pariah in the Canonbury Stakes. Pariah is the second favourite for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes so that form is strong. Expecting a good effort at this level.
4 Ace High – Bred to enjoy the longer distances and he hasn’t been too far away in two career starts. The son of High Chaparral finished second on debut in the Pierro Stakes, but he finished last of six runners in the Lonhro Stakes last start. He likely needs more time and distance to show his best.
5 Han Xin – The two-year-old colt has the right connections to suggest he should be taken seriously. The Sun Bloodstock-owned runner ran a good time in defeat on debut and the bigger Randwick track should suit him nicely. This is a rise in class and there are many rivals which have winning credentials, but we’re expecting punters to back this runner at each way odds.
6 Can Party – Finished fourth in the same race as Han Xin on debut, so we can’t rule him out, but this looks a step too far. The gelding by Excelebration was a 20/1 chance on debut where he worked home nicely, but he rises in weight for this and we would need to see a positive market move to consider his chances here.
7 Molten – Well-related colt for Peter and Paul Snowden who finished three lengths behind the winner on debut. The son of Street Cry is owned by Vinery Stud so there’s lofty expectations, but the change in jockey is a telling sign. Hugh Bowman rode him on debut and he’s switched to top pick Invader, which usually means the latter has been working better. He’s a horse to follow and he’s not without a chance.
8 Sebring Express – Daughter of Sebring who was given no chance last start when jockey Deanne Panya fell off. The Gary Portelli-trained runner was a winner at Wyong in December before running fifth in the $500,000 Inglis Nursery Stakes at Randwick. She was hitting the line well on that occasion and senior rider Tim Clark takes over the riding duties now. Tricky runner to weigh up, but we wouldn’t be discounting it.
9 Milanese Girl – Chris Waller-trained filly who finished second behind Teaspoon on debut before running ninth in the Widden Stakes. The daughter of Snitzel was well-backed in both starts and she did have excuses last start after being hampered at the 800m. She gets the inside draw and a light weight so she should be able to rebound nicely in this.
10 Savatiano – From the O’Shea stables and she was making late ground in the Widden Stakes. Tough to weigh up that run against a classy field, but it would pay to follow any betting support on this filly. She will likely get back with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle and be saved up for one run.