Randwick tips: Ron Dufficy, Ray Thomas best bets and preview


Ron Dufficy is confident smart Kiwi mare Amarelinha can show her best form to score while Ray Thomas expects Ellsberg to back-to-back.

THE Daily Telegraph racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy analyse the chances for a big day of Group 1 racing at Royal Randwick and Caulfield on Saturday.

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!



Race 6, No.1: AMARELINHA


Race 10, No.3: ON THE LEAD


Race 7, No.11: EQUATION


Race 7, No.6: ELLSBERG


Race 5 No.2: PAULELE


Race 9, No.10: GREAT NEWS


Ron Dufficy: A competitive race but I quite like the topweight Whatsin. He did enough in a strong race at Bathurst last start, he had previously run well in a Highway and the mile suits him now. Mikado is the danger. He has had a trial since a solid effort in a benchmark 75 at Eagle Farm and that looks good form for this race. Bahamut is an interesting runner. He scored a strong win with 60kg first-up and they have found James McDonald. Blaazay is a genuine horse racing well. He was runner-up in a Highway two starts back then stuck on well under a big weight at Moruya.

Ray Thomas:Whatsin ran on strongly from well back on the turn to finish third in the Panorama behind Spiranac which is strong form for this race. Consistent type and should enjoy the Randwick 1600m. Freedom Square has drawn off the track but he’s got ability and with luck in running he can figure in the finish. Blaazay is holding his form and rates highly again. Bahamut was a good first-up winner and should be hard to beat.

TAB MARKET: Whatsin $11-$8.50 ($400 x $100 e/w @ $11/$3.70, $300 e/w @ $9.50/$3.30), Bahamut $8-$5.50 ($450 @ $8, $300 @ $8)


Dufficy: I like Different Strokes. He’s a nice horse, one of the favourite for the Four Pillars, and won as soft as you like last start. He has to be hard to beat again. I’m expecting a big improvement from Cream Rises. I want to forgive his first-up effort after he did it rough in the run. He did look very progressive last preparation. Akhtar has had the form franked from his Kensington maiden win with the runner-up winning easily during the week. Catapult has had no luck at all this preparation and is a knockout chance if things fall into place.

Thomas:Different Strokes is a promising type and he could not have been more impressive last start. With even luck in running, Different Strokes can win again. Calgary Queen led for a long way in a Rosehill Highway last start before finishing a close third. She failed at her only previous 1400m start but that was in a Hawkesbury Guineas. I’ve also got Akhtar and Cream Rises in my numbers.

TAB MARKET: Different Strokes $4.60-$3.40-$3.50 ($900 @ $4.60, $330 @ $4, $400 @ $3.50), Akhtar $15-$16-$9-$7 ($250 e/w @ $16/$4.60, $300 @ $15, $500 @ $12, $300 @ $10)


Dufficy: I’m interested in Herman Hesse. He is a well-bred import and was outstanding winning last start after bolting to the front and racing away. He has won two races clockwise overseas. Solar Apex hasn’t been beating much but appears a progressive stayer. Yiyi is up in the weights now but racing consistently and Olympic Gaze probably wants it easier but I liked his run last week.

Thomas:Solar Apex has scored comfortable wins in successive Gosford starts this campaign. Emerging middle distance galloper who can measure up to this stronger grade. Yiyi has held his form over an extended campaign and will be in the mix again. Big watch on Herman Hesse and Bazooka is another who doesn’t know how to run a bad race.

TAB MARKET: Solar Apex $7-$5-$3.90 ($500 e/w @ $7/$2.50, $450 @ $5.50, $400 @ $5.50, $300 e/w @ $4.20/$1.80, $500 @ $4), Dream Runner $13-$15-$13 ($500 @ $14)


Dufficy: I’m with Coastwatch. He is held in high regard by the stable, deserves to be favourite and will be hard to beat. Akihiro was huge against the bias in a weaker race last start and is a good longshot. Cotehele is an interesting horse with a lot of upside and he toyed with his rivals at Goulburn when resuming. Brigantine is back from Victoria with solid form but there is a little query about him running the 1500m right out.

Thomas:Coastwatch has the superior formlines. He was impressive scoring with authority in the Ming Dynasty Quality then ran an outstanding race to finish third behind In The Congo and Anamoe in a high quality Golden Rose. This race sets up well for Coastwatch and he is clearly the one to beat. Hilal was disappointing in the Golden Rose but this is more his race so expect an improved run. Brigantine shows promise and Cotelehe won for fun at Goulburn last start.

TAB MARKET: Coastwatch $2.30-$2.15-$1.90 ($500 @ $2.30, $530 @ $2.25, $500 @ $1.95, $500 @ $1.90 TWICE)


Dufficy:Paulele is set to put his Everest card on the table. He is unbeaten at Randiwck, loves a dry track, and over a suitable 1200m he gets his opportunity. King Of Sparta has the talent to shape right up here given the right run. He just needs cover early. Sword Of State should be forgiven for his first-up effort which came off a setback and he was caught wide. He is much better off here from a good draw and at set weights. Gleneagles caught the eye in the Run To The Rose and has trialled well since.

Thomas:Paulele is a brilliant colt and this is a perfect race for him for all the reasons you mentioned, Ronnie. It’s hard to tip against him. Tristate produced a career-best effort with his third to Home Affairs and Paulele in the Heritage Stakes last start. He is still doing things wrong in his races but he has obvious ability. Gleneagles is another promising young sprinter and King Of Sparta has a powerful finishing sprint.

TAB MARKET: Paulele $2.30-$2.25-$2.30-$2.25 ($2,500 @ $2.30, $500 @ $2.30, $2,000 @ $2.25, $1,000 @ $2.25 TWICE, $500 @ $2.25 TWICE)


Dufficy: I think Amarelinha is the bet of the day. She is a class mare and is another one coming out of a very strong Bill Ritchie Handicap that produced Private Eye and Aramayo, the subsequent Epsom winner and runner-up, who were wide in that race as well. I think getting to a mile on a dry track will see a huge improvement from Amarelinha. Kiku is the danger. She is a very talented mare and should have finished much closer first-up after being held up in the straight. At her only run over the mile she won the Carbine Club Stakes and is right in this race. Mirra Vision is up to the mile for the first time but is going very well. Grace And Harmony finds a tough race second-up but another one with plenty of talent who did a good job when resuming.

Thomas: This is an open race so I’ve gone with the value of More Prophets. She is on trial at 1600m but her form had been very good including her Mona Lisa Stakes win at Wyong before her disappointing effort at Newcastle. The firm track suits, she enjoys Randwick and from her soft draw, is likely to get the right run. Worth a gamble at odds. This race does set up nicely for Kiku who rates as one of the hardest to beat. Mirra Vision is racing in very good form and Amarelinha is the class mare of the field.

TAB MARKET: Amarelinha $6-$4.60-$4.80-$4.40 ($400 @ $6, $500 @ $5.50, $400 @ $4.80, $400 @ $4.40, $600 @ $4.60), Mirra Vision $6-$5 ($500 @ $6 TWICE, $360 @ $5.50, $200 e/w @ $5/$2), Outback Diva $26-$21


Dufficy: Equation comes out of the September 18 meeting at Randwick when very well fancied and had to come down the middle of the track which was a no-go zone. He has a better draw this time, the 1300m suits and he will be hard to beat. Vangelic is a class mare beautifully placed as the set weights. Count De Rupee was impressive first-up and this could be his time to shine. Amish Boy doesn’t win often but he has strong formline at Group 1 level.

Thomas: I’m a fan of Ellsberg. He has a terrific racing pattern, uses his tactical speed to put himself into the contest early and he can accelerate off a fast or slow tempo. Very genuine and his comeback win at Rosehill was full of merit. Although he’s coming back slightly in distance, he will prove hard to beat again. The same applies to Count De Rupee – consistent, talented and coming off an impressive first-up win. Equation has the ability to win this race and he rates highly. Exoboom gets the track conditions, distance and race tempo to suit so expect an improved run.

TAB MARKET: Exoboom $15-$14-$15, Amish Boy $7-$8-$7.50 ($600 @ $8), Blondeau $17-$18-$17 ($500 e/w @ $18/$5), Ellsberg $7-$6, High Supremacy $17-$12 ($300 @ $12)


Dufficy: I’m with Profondo. He needs a few things to go right but he was far from disgraced going down narrowly when he threw it away through his greenness. He’s still raw but learning all the time. Head Of State is the one to beat. He relished 1800m in the Gloaming Stakes and was surging through the line. He should find 2000m ideal and has James McDonald in the saddle. There was no fluke about Never Been Kissed’s win in the Flight Stakes and she adds plenty of interest. Benaud is a big improver in his own right.

Thomas:Profondo or Head Of State? This is an intriguing clash but I’m also leaning to the potential of Profondo. We all saw what happened in the Gloaming Stakes but that race again showed Profondo’s obvious natural ability. Head Of State is the more experienced colt and there was a lot to life about the way he attacked the line to beat Profondo last start. He’s the one to beat. Benaud chased home the two favourites at Rosehill and might do so again here. Raging Bull got out to a middle distance for the first time and won his maiden by a margin.

TAB MARKET: Head of State $4.60-$4.20-$3.80 ($1,000 @ $4.60, $500 @ $4.60 TWICE, $500 e/w @ $4.60/$1.80, $450 @ $4.60, $400 @ $4.60, $500 @ $4.20), French Emperor $51-$23, Inverell $26-$19


Dufficy: This is a hard race. I keep coming back to Minhaaj who is having her first start for the John O’Shea stable. She has trialled up well under a hold and I like the look of her fresh form. With her barrier, she maps well. There are plenty of dangers. I know she only won a benchmark 78 last start but I am a big fan of Belluci Babe. She is a sharp mare capable of measuring up here. Rocha Clock is another O’Shea-trained mare, she has been cruising in her trials and looks in good shape. Great News hasn’t had a lot of luck this preparation but will appreciate the better draw.

Thomas: Another deep race. Great News deserves to win a good race. She’s a very consistent mare with three game efforts to place at stakes level this spring. Drawn ideally and coming back to 1200m suits. This is her chance. I think Electric Girl can run a race at good odds. She was impressive first-up, strips fitter and has drawn an ideal barrier. Rocha Clock is resuming but is a talented mare and will be charging to the line. Madam Legend is very fit and in great form.

TAB MARKET: Great News $7.50-$5 ($400 x $600 e/w @ $7.50/$2.70, $500 @ $7, $400 @ $5), Belluci Babe $14-$8 ($370 @ $14)


Dufficy: I am pretty keen on the chances of On The Lead. I know he hasn’t won in over a year but this is his race – dry track, 1000m and with the draw he looks the one to beat. The query horse is Marnix down in the weights. He has obviously had a few issues during his career but he had a trial during the week where he was hard held. These Godolphin horses who get in with lightweights usually run well. Just Field goes very well fresh and with 56 days between starts, she can run a race at odds. Kinloch might be short of his best distance but blinkers might help him.

Thomas:On The Lead does get his opportunity in this 1000m sprint. His two runs back have him primed for this race and he gets the soft run. Marnix is a big watch. Smart type with conditions to suit to run well. Kinloch will be finishing hard and Leo can run well at each way odds.

TAB MARKET: On The Lead $4.60-$3.40-$3.60-$3.20 ($500 @ $4.60, $350 @ $4.40, $1,000 @ $4.20 TWICE), Kinloch $6-$5-$4.80 ($300 e/w @ $6/$2)



Dufficy: The barrier draw is making for a decent price for Anamoe. This race has been his target all along and he will peak on the right day. With any lucky in the run I think he will win. Artorius doesn’t help himself with his racing pattern, he will be back in the ruck from the inside draw but if they open up he will be strong late. I want to forgive the Golden Rose run of Captivant. He hits the mile for the first time since winning the Champagne Stakes and can run well. Giannis is better than what we saw the other day and he will be peaking on the right day.

Thomas:Anamoe is an outstanding colt and will need to be to win the Caulfield Guineas. The barrier draw hasn’t been kind and he will have to go back from his wide gate but he does have a powerful finish. With clear galloping room he can reel them in late. Artorius has an inside gate which isn’t necessarily ideal for him, either. But he’s got loads of ability and like Anamoe just needs clear galloping room. Mr Mozart is an underrated three-year-old who puts himself on makes his own luck. Tiger Of Malay gets all the favours from his rails barrier and should be very competitive.

TAB MARKET: Anamoe $2.30-$2.80-$2.70 ($4,400 @ $2.80, $6,000 @ $2.70, $2,000 @ $2.70), Artorius $4.50-$3.50-$3.80-$4 ($2,500 @ $4, $2,000 @ $4), Tiger Of Malay $21-$13-$9.50, Giannis $26-$21, Prix De Turn $51-$31-$34





Race 2, No.5: DARK ENERGY

Son of Exosphere and Mnemosyne who is winless after six starts but turned in by far his best performance last start when closing fast to be beaten narrowly over 1400m. Steps up to 1500m here.



Half brother to Pierro on debut here for the Godolphin camp. This grey three-year-old has been well educated through a series of trials, all good, but none of them better than his heat win on September 27


Race 4. No.6: GYMNASTICS

Our third ‘Godolphin bet’ of the day, this well bred daughter of Aerobatics was out of sorts when she finished last here on September 11 but went back to the trials and won in most impressive style.


Race 5: 2

Race 6: 7,9

Race 7: 3

Race 8: 6,9,11


Grant ‘Bucko’ Buckley will give the TAB Jockeys Challenge the proverbial shake provided all his mounts show up on the day.



Race 3, No. 3: SWING THE TIDE

Ran in three stakes races in New Zealand wasn’t disgraced in two of them. Put the writing on the wall for a win here with that second placing here at her Australian debut.


Race 4, No.1: LAPHROAIG

Paul Shailer stablemate of Swing The Tide who was likewise runner-up at his first run for the new (local) camp. Gets his big chance up to 2000m here.


Race 6, No.3: PAR AVION

This mare is flying (pardon the pun), winning three of her past four starts and was a big second at the other. Drawn out but can finish over them if circumstances allow.

Originally published as Randwick tips: Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis

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