We get another opportunity to witness greatness as Winx chases her 31st consecutive win and Group I victory number 23 when the Champion Mare lines up in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick with the Surround Stakes at the elite level also to be decided whilst the Australian Guineas is a cracking race at Flemington.
Race 3 Skyline Stakes (1200m) Group II
Last start Flemington winner Microphone is the early favourite for the Skyline ahead of Accession with Castelvecchio on the third line of betting at $4.20 which is hard to figure out considering the dominance of the Richard Litt-trained Castelvecchio in the Inglis Millenium last start. This son of Dundeel looks the real deal to us (no pun intended).
It was an unbelievable effort to win at Canterbury on debut and Castelvecchio backed up the performance with an arguably more impressive performance last start. The days of us getting $61 and $21 in his races are gone but he still looks the value runner in the Skyline for us.
The tip: (1) Castelvecchio ($4.20)
Race 6 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) Group I
Once again Winx is at unbackable odds for the average punter so we get the chance to sit back and enjoy the experience as the end to the racing career for Australia’s best ever racehorse isn’t far away. We will be cheering the Mare home without a financial interest in the race with Happy Clapper close to a good thing to run second.
The tip: (5) Winx ($1.08)
Race 7 Surround Stakes (1400m) Group I
We tipped Nakeeta Jane to win the Light Fingers resuming last start and the daughter of So You Think duly saluted at good odds and we will be playing up some of the winnings again in the Surround. The Mark Newnham-trained filly had a flashing light on her in her first preparation going from a maiden win at Warwick Farm to a photo-finish third in the Flight Stakes at just her third career start.
It was an impressive win resuming last start when she added another string to her bow by being able to take up a forward position in a 1200m race which augers well for her prospects as the distances increase. Nakeeta Jane is a budding superstar and can take another step up the ladder on Saturday.
The tip: (7) Nakeeta Jane ($5.50)
Race 7 Blamey Stakes (1600m) Group II
Interesting to see Johannes Vermeer come up favourite for the Blamey Stakes having his first run since finishing a close second in the 2017 Melbourne Cup. He may well be the best horse in the race but $3.30 first-up after such a long break, it’s no thanks from us. If the favourite is under the odds there has to be value elsewhere and at $10 at the time of writing Fifty Stars may well be the one.
A winner of six of his 10 starts to date, Fifty Stars tackles the Blamey third-up after finishing less than three-lengths from the winner in the Australia Stakes and C.F. Orr Stakes in his two runs this preparation. The 1600m at Flemington third-up is perfect and it is worth noting the four-year-old is unbeaten in two runs at the same stage of a preparation.
The tip: (5) Fifty Stars ($10.00)
Race 8 Australian Guineas (1600m) Group I
Three top class fillies take on the boys in the Australian Guineas and may well fill the placings in what is an excellent edition of the three-year-old classic. Amphitrite was enormous winning the Vanity resuming after winning the Group I Thousand Guineas in the Spring.
The Tasmanian Filly, Mystic Journey has won eight from 11 and is proven on the mainland winning successive races at Caulfield and Moonee Valley in the Spring whilst Verry Elleegant hit the line strongly finishing a length behind Amphitrite in the Vanity and is open to plenty of improvement as she steps up in distance. Dealmaker looks the pick of the boys and at $21 is worth including in the wider exotics, however it’s a fillies Guineas for us with Amphitrite the top pick.
The tip: (14) Amphitrite ($4.20)