Weekend Racing Preview with Chris Scholtz: 11th Feb & 12th Feb 2023

Chris Scholtz previews the Canterbury and Randwick meetings on February 11 and 12 with selections for all races plus Trial Watch and Blackbook runners for February 10-14.

ANAMOE winning at Randwick
ANAMOE winning at Randwick Picture: Steve Hart

RANDWICK February 11

RACE 5 (3) GRAVINA: Godolphin have him ready off two trials with the prospect of soft track giving him the conditions he craves. Has missed a place only once in eight starts at this course and they include three wins at this distance. With J Mac on board there are plenty of reasons to like his chances.

RACE 9 (5) WRITTEN BEAUTY: The late entry of this mare is a big pointer from the Waller stable as she switches to Sydney after being prepared in Melbourne with two impressive jump outs at Flemington. It suggests they have weighed up their options and see this as a winnable race first-up with the advantage of J Mac as her rider. She's a Randwick winner with the champion jock likely to hold her up for a late sprint, tactics that have worked well for her when fresh in the past.

RACE 10 (6) PIZARRO: Had the wfa conditions against him when he missed a place for the first time in 10 career starts in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on January 28. He couldn't go the early pace but still worked to the line for a solid fifth and is sure to appreciate returning to these favourable Benchmark conditions with the extra 100m in his favour on his home track. He's third up and with race fitness behind him is set to rise to a new peak.

PIZARRO Picture: Steve Hart

RACE 1: 2-9-12-17

RACE 2: 12-13-7-9

RACE 3: 16-12-7-14

RACE 4: 4-9-3-1

RACE 5: 3-10-5-7

RACE 6: 10-14-8-2

RACE 7: 1-2-11-5

RACE 8: 1-9-3-2

RACE 9: 5-12-1-2

RACE 10: 6-4-8-13

WRITTEN BEAUTY Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

RACE 1: (2) DON CORLEONE was impressive first time out at this course posting fast sectionals despite a wide run. With stablemate scratched and J Mac sticking he's the obvious choice. Expect a bold debut from (9) CAFE MILLENIUM off strong trials. (12) EMPRESS OF WONDER is a good filly back from the Magic Millions where it was hard to make ground but form from that race yet to be substantiated. Godolphin trio 3, 6 and 10 go in exotics.

RACE 2: Tough Highway from a tricky start. (12) YOU ARE KING comes from a good stable with solid Canberra form behind him. Value chance with a nice drop in weight. (13) MASTER OF REWARDS has good Highway form and is another favoured by weight relief but needs a good ride from wide draw. Easy to make a case for 1, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 14.

RACE 3: (7) HARD TO SAY was impressive at the Sunshine Coast with a big finish from last but there's more depth in this field. Unbeaten (12) HEADWALL has loads of upside and sharp trials indicate he's been set for this first-up. Hard to fault the recent city form of (16) ANOTHER COGNAC and is drawn to get a lovely trail – appeals as the safer gamble at nice odds. Include 14 in the multiples.

RACE 4: (4) BOLD MAC got the job done in good style at Rosehill but is yet to run a place in four attempts at Randwick while stablemate (3) BULLFINCH has the superior track and distance form. (9) KING RATEL going well but back in distance and needs pace on to run to his best. Top stable has faith in (1) ASCENSION to cope with big weight jump without a claim off his Melbourne win. Big watch on the import (2) ATHABASCAN and his overseas rider first-up at 1600m.

RACE 6: Shapes as a fillies race but wide barriers make it tricky for the impressive (8) LEARING TO FLY and (11) BLANC DE BLANC. (10) LAZZAGO impressed in her debut win at this course with a fast sprint to the line and had plenty in reserve in her recent trial. Can be ridden with cover and will find the line. Pacy pair 9 and 14 should also take advantage of their good gates. 1 and 2 (excellent trial on Monday) best of the colts.

RACE 7: (1) IN SECRET has not been tested in two soft trials. She dominated the colts in her G1 win at Flemington and wins if she turns up in that form. Any weakness will be found out by quality fillies 2, 5, 6, 7 and 11.

RACE 8 (1 ANAMOE: His trials indicate he can return on a high, remembering he beat (11) FANGIRL with ease first-up over this course and distance in the Winx Stakes at the start of his spring campaign. Could be a repeat result but there is plenty of interest in (9) EL BODEGON after his close Cox Plate third behind Anamoe in his Australian debut. Include (3) LAWS OF INDICES in exotics as he holds residual fitness back from a Sha Tin placing against Hong Kong's best 62 days ago. His stablemate (2) MO'UNGA is a trial enigma but good enough if he runs to his best.

GRAVINA Picture: Steve Hart

CANTERBURY February 10




RACE 1: 3-5-1-8

RACE 2: 4-1-5-3

RACE 3: 3-6-7-4

RACE 4: 5-3-4-8

RACE 5: 4-2-1-8

RACE 6: 4-3-7-8

RACE 7: 6-3-2-8

RACE 8: 9-5-12-11

LAZZAGO Picture: Steve Hart



CANTERBURY FRIDAY: Marnix (R7); Nominator (R8)

RANDWICK SATURDAY: Roussillon (R1); Cafe Millenium (R1); Fumiko (R3); Bartoselli (R3); Headwall (R3); Quantico (R5); Espiona (R5); Arkansaw Kid (R6); Mexico (R6); Lazzago (R6); Blanc De Blanc (R6); In Secret (R7); Madame Pommery (R7); Revolutionary Miss (R7); Sunshine In Paris (R7); Cinderella Days (R7); Anamoe (R8); Fangirl (R8); Swats That (R9); Norwegian Bliss (R9); Larkspur Run (R9); Written Beauty (R9); Bellatrix Black (R9); Waterford (R10)    

SANDOWN SATURDAY: Barber (R1); Cythera (R4); Buenos Noches (R7); Fangirl (R8)


NOWRA SUNDAY: Rolene (R3); Lohnraki (R6)

HAWKESBURY TUESDAY: Sports Legend (R2); Rolene (R3); Dakarai (R5)

RECENT TRIAL WATCH WINNERS: Condrieu; Zulfiqar; Aft Cabin; Remarque; Madeira Sunrise; Gaylebeck; Tavs; Kokoro; Call Di; Parisal; Famous Pedrille; Rakomelo; King's Duty; Learning To Fly; So Audacious; Don Corleone; Dame Cartland; Ithadtobezou; Convincebility; Dancing Alone; Fourth Spargo; Journalism; Florida Sky.

IN SECRET Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix


RANDWICK FEBRUARY 6: The quality youngster MEXICO contested an open heat against older horses over 740m on the A grass, finishing off strongly for second behind the speedster Have Mercy (43.83; 33.97) to gain a stewards clearance after he was a barrier scratching at Randwick two days prior. Impressive maiden SPORTS LEGEND again looked a class above his rivals recording another easy trial win over 1050m in fast time (62.42; 35.16). Must win races if he runs up to his trials.

WARWICK FARM January 30: Unbeaten Victorian youngster ARKANSAW KID took the honours in the 2YO trials with a classy win in his 821m heat (48.49; 34.25). He settled midfield from a wide gate and tracked four and five deep around the turn before showing his quality to easily take control and run to the line under an easy ride.

ROSEHILL January 27: All eyes were on Godolphin's best horse ANAMOE in his second trial as he prepares for a campaign that is expected to take him overseas. It was easy work for the 4YO as he was under no pressure to finish a strong second in the 1000m heat (59.95; 33.87) for the Group horses on the course proper, tracking the leader from the start and finishing off nicely under a quiet ride. ICEBATH had an easy time finishing a nice fourth. In the second Group heat over the shorter 900m (56.67; 34.84) FANGIRL and QUANTICO had very easy trials. The fastest 900m heat (53.90; 34.62) saw BLANC DE BLANC finish an impressive second. She sat back midfield before making ground quickly over the last 200m, taking a weaving inside path with her best work through the line.

HAWKESBURY January 24: Highly rated unbeaten youngster BARBER had been given a soft trial when third at Randwick on January 9 and showed the benefit with easy work to win the fastest of the four 2YO trials over 800m (47.35; 33.79) with plenty in reserve. Sat off the leader before gaining the upper hand under no pressure from James McDonald. Dream Ahead 3YO HEADWALL won his first two starts at Newcastle and Kembla Grange in the winter and is set to go on with it after an impressive win in his 800m heat (47.42; 33.43), coasting behind the leaders before working past them with ease over the last 200m. It was positive improvement on his first-up trial when fifth at Randwick on January 9.

WYONG January 24: Look forward to the return to racing of the smart NORWEGIAN BLISS after a soft win in her first trial appearance since she suffered her first loss in eight career starts at Caulfield in November.

RANDWICK January 23: Deep Field 3YO SPORTS LEGEND carried high expectations into his first two starts in August but didn't deliver on his early trial promise after striking affected tracks. No doubt he has the talent to win races after cruising through his 743m heat to win with plenty in reserve in the fastest of the maiden trials (43.59; 32.96).

WARWICK FARM January 16: The 3YO heats on the inside grass also boasted deep talent including the Godolphin star IN SECRET. She went around under a big hold to finish fourth in in a heat run in quick time (47.15; 33.53).

ROSEHILL January 11: Classy filly REVOLUTIONARY MISS took the eye when she trialled at Rosehill on December 29 and it was nice to see her make obvious improvement to record a soft win her 1030m heat (63.15; 35.18).

RANDWICK January 9: In three 2YO heats over 740m MEXICO posted the quickest time (43.24; 32.72) with a sharp win. The pacy NOMINATOR (43.34; 32.99) was too quick for his rivals in his 740m heat

HAWKESBURY October 17: The only 2YO heat over 760m featured a strong win in slow time (47.06; 34.33) by CAFE MILLENIUM, a robust Not A Single Doubt colt typical of the breed who found the line strongly from off the pace.

RANDWICK August 2: CYTHERA oozed class winning her 1050m heat in fast time (63.40; 34.86), doing it in style from the front.

GOSFORD July 29. NOMINATOR, a Zoustar with a Gosford win and Flemington placing on the board, looked strong winning a fast 800m heat (48.14; 34.72.


Eligible Blackbook Runners – February 10-11

CANTERBURY FRIDAY: Syrian Star (R4); Regal Pom (R6); Daytona (R6)


RANDWICK SATURDAY: Empress Of Wonder (R1); Athabascan (R4); El Bodegon (R8)

SANDOWN SATURDAY: Amenable (R2); Gangitano (R3); Wolverine (R5); Triple Missile (R6); Turaath (R7)


RECENT BLACKBOOK WINNERS: Sha Of Gomer; Lekvarte; Iron Grace; Queen Air; Spacewalk; Competition; Jacquinot; Hokkaido; Levante; Deficit; Frumos; Mr Rock It; Dunkel; Sunshine In Paris; Skyman; Validated; Superium; Cavalier Charles; Vienna Princess; Athelric; Bankers Choice; Turbeau; High Blue Sea; Pal D'Oro

Blackbookers – Selected January 21

(Follow for next 3 starts)

BELMIA: Struck too much traffic.

BROSNAN: Set for a good prep.

FEARNOUGHT: Ready for a suitable midweeker.

HIGH COURT: Tough run. Fitter next time.

KEY LARGO: Never clear, untested. May have won?

LINDERMANN: Suited as distances increase
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