This Weekend in Racing: Merry Christmas!

Dec 23, 2021

By Terry Kennedy

Ho Ho Ho…Merry Christmas TRL owners. 

Trusting Santa will be generous and your Christmas stocking will overflow with winners long into the New Year.  There could not be a better way to celebrate Boxing Day than cheering home a winner at Royal Randwick or anywhere for that matter.  The NSW Tycoons were due to have Penso a Lei stepping out over the famous mile on Boxing Day, but “Penny” drew barrier 18 in a super hot field and has been scratched.  Joe Pride reports Penso a Lei is “ready to win” and will now head to Gosford on Friday (Dec 31) for a 1900m race which should suit perfectly.  More on that later, now let’s try and find some winners from our TRL trainers. 

 

NO CHRISTMAS HANGOVER FOR JOE PRIDE

Despite the scratching of Penso a Lei NSW Tycoons trainer Joe Pride will have to go easy on the Christmas celebrations with one of his busiest days at Randwick this Boxing Day.  Joe took out the Villiers Stakes with Brutality, but Stockman (Race 7) was  tremendous in the Villiers finishing fourth. The step up to 2000m should suit him brilliantly.  The Pride stable has Snippy Fox entered at Randwick and Doomben. I reckon he’ll be tough to beat wherever he goes. Snippy Fox is undefeated this campaign winning both starts and has been specked early in the Sportsbet market at $5.50 for his Randwick assignment.  

BET: Stockman –  Win (Randwick Race 7)

BET: Snippy Fox – Each Way (Randwick Race 9)

 

GAI IS QUEEN OF THE KIDS

With seven Golden Slippers in the wardrobe and training partner Adrian Bott with one, there’s no doubt Gai Waterhouse has a knack with the two-year-olds.  Command Approved (Race 1) gave a good showing when it led them up in the Wyong Magic Millions qualifier finishing third to the very talented Soaring Ambition.  By the way, before that Soaring Ambition finished second in the Canterbury barrier trial in which your very own Luna Rocks placed third. Trainer Richard Freedman declaring “she’ll be winning plenty of races”. 

BET: Command Approved – Each Way (Syd Race 1)

 

MARK NEWNHAM OUT OF THE SHADOWS

NSW Tycoon’s trainer Mark Newnham has Shadow Crush (Race 8) primed to cause a minor upset here. There’s a stack of pace in this contest and he’s drawn to get a nice run just behind the speed.  At double digit odds on Sportsbet $11 and now fully fit on an 8 day back-up we are sticking solid with Mark. 

BET: Shadow Crush  – Each Way  (Randwick Race 8)

 

MOODY TO BOX ON

While he could be voted the favourite to play Santa on Christmas Day, Peter Moody has the power to pack a punch at Caulfield on Boxing Day.  Victory Bay (Race 1) has only had the one start and was heavily backed at Moonee Valley while getting the cash. Decent Raine will be hard to beat but with a four kilo advantage I’ll take the $4.80 on offer Victory Bay at Sportsbet.  Foxicon (Race 3) is one to watch from the Moody yard. He’s only had one start and was tough late. While it was only a maiden, the first two past the line gapped the others. 

Bet: Victory Bay (Caulfield Race 1)

Bet: Foxicon – Each Way (Caulfield Race 3)

 

 

HAYES WINNING STREAK

There’s no doubt the new training combo of brothers Ben and JD Hayes are making plenty sit up and take notice. They control the fortunes of our last start winner Bellinger for the Vic Husslers who steps out at Sandown on January 5.  On Boxing Day, I like the Lindsay Park trained Excelida (Race 9) in a very wide open contest. She hasn’t been seen since a very good second last start in a strong race and should give a big sight at $6 on Sportsbet. 

 BET: Excelida – Each Way (Melb Race 9) 

 

CIARON MAHER UNLEASES MARABI

To say the Ciaron Maher/Dave Eustace yard holds the key to Race 8 at Caulfield is an understatement.  The speed map say’s the very classy Away Game will set the pace, while Ciaron’s other top liner Marabi will be out the back and storming home. I’ve got to stick with Marabi who not only keeps on winning but by massive margins.  Bonvicini (Race 7) is a consistent mare who’s coming off an unlucky second last start in the Eclipse Stakes at Caulfield and the pros have launched early on Sportsbet. 

BET: Marabi – Win  (Melb Race 8) 

BET: Bonvicini – Each Way (Melb Race 7)

 

TONY GOLLAN DOESN’T LACK STYLE

After an impressive piece of work during the week, Qld Rogues trainer Tony Gollan has no doubt Zoustyle (Race 8) deserves a Magic Millions wildcard invite for the big day.  Zoustyle has won 2 from 2 this prep and while Gollan concedes Sunday is his toughest test, he should continue on his winning way.  Tony has plenty of time for Palladas (Race 5) declaring him “A Winter Carnival horse next year, a nice horse with plenty of ability”. Palladas has already firmed from $7.50 to $6.50 at Sportsbet.

Bet: Self Indulgent – Win (Doomben Race 1)

Bet: Palladas – Each Way (Doomben Race 5)

Bet: Zoustyle – Win (Doomben Race 8)

 

HEATHCOTE FEELING DUSTY 

Qld Rogues trainer Rob Heathcote is the undisputed champion of micro-ownership and he delivered again during the week with Dusty Tycoon saluting for miRunners at the Sunshine Coast.  On Sunday at Doomben, Rob only has a couple of runners, I think his best chance is Chief Artie (Race 3). 

BET: Chief Artie – Each Way (Doomben Race 3)

 

 

MICHAEL COSTA IS A NUMBERS MAN

Qld Rogues trainer Michael Costa is certainly a newcomer to the sport who embraces modern training methods and it’s paying dividends with a killer strike rate.  Our friends at Sportsbet aren’t being over generous with Morethannumberone (Race 4) who’s now been backed into red figures.  He’s only coming off a sixth placing last start but found the line well and should be storming home to win this. 

BET: Morethannumberone – Win (Doomben Race 4)