2018 TAB Epsom Handicap
Royal Randwick Racecourse, Sydney
Saturday 29th September 2018
Race 7: 4.05pm (AEST),
1600 metres, Open Handicap
04X24 1. HARTNELL (10), J: HUGH BOWMAN, W: 57 KGS, 17.00
22X12 2. PIERATA (4), J: COREY BROWN, W: 54 KGS, 5.00
14X32 3. D’ARGENTO (1), J: JAMES MCDONALD, W: 53.5 KGS, 4.40
64624 4. SHILLELAGH (5), J: MICHAEL WALKER, W: 53 KGS, 21.00
21X04 5. DUCA VALENTINOIS (16), J: GLYN SCHOFIELD, W: 53 KGS, 61.00
525X0 6. SINGLE GAZE (12), J: MS KATHY O’HARA, W: 52.5 KGS, 61.00
21X61 7. UNFORGOTTEN (3), J: KERRIN MCEVOY, W: 52.5 KGS, 4.20
95611 8. MISTER SEA WOLF (7), J: JASON COLLETT, W: 52.5 KGS, 26.00
8X464 9. ARBEITSAM (15), J: TIM CLARK, W: 52.5 KGS, 26.00
04766 10. RELIGIFY (8), J: JAY FORD, W: 52.5 KGS, 81.00
17X48 11. LANCIATO (6), J: MS RACHEL KING, W: 52 KGS, 18.00
28X26 12. TOM MELBOURNE (19), J: DEAN YENDALL, W: 51.5 KGS, 21.00
33032 13. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES (21), J: CRAIG NEWITT, W: 51 KGS, 21.00
24092 14. RED EXCITEMENT (13), J: DAMIEN THORNTON, W: 51 KGS, 41.00
46X51 15. NEW TIPPERARY (17), J: CRAIG WILLIAMS, W: 51 KGS, 34.00
5X271 16. SIEGE OF QUEBEC (14), J: JAMES INNES JNR, W: 50 KGS, 13.00
X4025 17. INVICTUS PRINCE (9), J: ANDREW ADKINS, W: 50 KGS, 26.00
347X8 18. RADIPOLE (22), J: DEAN HOLLAND, W: 50 KGS, Scratched
7X631 19. MURAAQEB (2), J: CORY PARISH, W: 50 KGS, 34.00
03132 20. GOODFELLA (20), J: JEAN VAN OVERMEIRE, W: 50 KGS, 81.00
23X39 21. NETTOYER (18), J: UNKNOWN, W: 50 KGS, Scratched
31117 22. PARET (11), J: MICHAEL DEE, W: 50 KGS, 34.00
Form and Predictions
It’s looking like a softish track for Saturday’s Epsom Handicap Day. And with that, comes the likelihood that horses known for their preference toward tracks with a bit of give, will feature strongly in the betting. The Epsom features a huge field of 20 runners (there are two scratchings from the original 22), and some key chances will crop up in the pre-race discussion.
Most of the Sydney based gallopers won’t need any introduction to soft/wet tracks, as it seems to be par for the course for any of the big race meetings in New South Wales. After last weeks Good 3 rating, it will revert to a Soft 5 track this weekend, due to wet weather during the week.
So top contenders like PIERATA, D’ARGENTO, UNFORGOTTEN, HARTNELL and CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES can all race in wet conditions, based on their prior form. So let’s have a look at a few of these contenders.
PIERATA is a galloper on the improve. Hasn’t won a Group 1 as yet, so his credentials are slightly behind the others. Brings good form, but so do his rivals. The market and the racing press are giving him attention. obviously something can be read into that.
UNFORGOTTEN, the ATC Oaks winner from last season is shaping to be major player for the Spring carnival. We know she can stay, but it’s where her trainer thinks she might be better suited in terms of distances. If she wins this, the Waller camp will have a decisions to make moving forward. See her winning run in the Chelmsford, video below.
The grey flash D’ARGENTO could end up being a punters favourite, taking over the mantle of the mighty Chautauqua. Ran a solid place behind Home Of The Brave in the Theo Marks last start. I really like this bloke, and I hope he can do well on Saturday. Proven at Group 1 (winner of the Rosehill Guineas), James McDonald to ride.
He might be a bit long in the tooth now, but HARTNELL can be relied upon to deliver the goods when least expected. Has won three Group 1’s over 1400, 2000 and 2400 metres, so is a very versatile galloper with over $4 million to his name. Two runs back this prep were pretty decent, and he could surprise against this top-notch field. Good money on offer, get in.
SHILLELAGH, a bit like her stablemate Comin’ Through, is a bit hot and cold on race-day. She’s a Group 1 winner over the same distance (Kennedy Mile, 2017 VRC Derby Day), so should be respected. At $21.00, she’s probably at overs.
Sydney mare CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES probably wore the bridesmaid tag more often than not in her three-year-old season, placing four times in Group 1 races. I’m not quite convinced she’s a miler, probably a better 1400m horse. Will know by Saturday night just how her form holds.
MISTER SEA WOLF is a former Irish galloper who has been out in Australia since this time last year. At his only Group 1 start, he was found wanting in the Doncaster Mile last March, finishing last of 16. He’s won a few recent listed races since late July, and it’s not surprising to see him at longer odds. Hard to have.
Betting Gods Picks
Unforgotten, D’Argento, Hartnell
Video Reference Guide
2018 Chelmsford Stakes (Unforgotten, Red Excitement, Religify, Single Gaze)