Sydney Preview Sept. 2: Eduardo on Everest path once more

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

September 2nd, 2022

With TwinSpires offering its Rest Of The World Bet Back every Friday night on all races from Sydney, Edge will be analyzing at least one race on the card each week.

Spring racing heats up in Sydney this weekend with four group races at Randwick. All will be important guides for late-spring races in Sydney and Melbourne.

Interestingly, the most valuable at A$500,000 ($343,000) is the sole Group 3 race, the 1,000-meter (about five-furlong) Concorde, probably because it’s a lead-up to the richest race of the carnival, the A$15 million ($10.3 million) Everest over 1,200 meters (about six furlongs) in mid-October.

The other features are all worth A$250,000 — the Tramway (G2) and the Chelmsford (G2), both for three-year-olds and up, and the Furious (G2) for three-year-old fillies. Let’s have a look at them.

Race 5, 12:00 a.m. Saturday: Concorde S. (G3), 1,000 meters (about five furlongs), three-year-olds and up

This lead-up to the Everest features two of the principals from last year’s Everest: #1 Eduardo, third to Nature Strip in the big race last year, and #2 Masked Crusader, a fast-finishing second.

Eduardo is now a nine-year-old, but he shows no sign of slowing down and has trialed well in recent weeks. Given his record, the fact he has a maximum of 4.5kg (about 10 pounds) to give away shouldn’t stop him from winning if he’s fit.

Masked Crusader is a better horse at six furlongs and probably wants better going. Better chances may be #4 Malkovich and #8 Andermatt, both of which have great first-up records; #7 Zapateo, an easy winner of the Toy Show (G3) Aug. 20; and warhorse #3 Shelby Sixtysix, who doesn’t have a great fresh record but who has won a couple of trials ahead of this race.

  • $1 trifecta: 1 with 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 with 2, 3, 4, 7, 8 ($20)

Race 6, 12:35 a.m. Saturday: Furious S. (G2), 1,200 meters (about six furlongs), three-year-old fillies

The question for punters in this lead-up to the Oct. 1 Flight S. (G1) is whether star two-year-olds #1 She’s Extreme, #2 Sheeza Belter, and #3 Paris Dior have come back well enough to beat the returning fillies from the Aug. 20 Silver Shadow (G2) — runner-up #6 In Secret, third-place finisher #7 North Star Lass, fifth placegetter #5 Willinga Beast, and seventh placegetter #4 Seven Veils.

In Secret undoubtedly put in the best performance in the Silver Shadow of the returning horses, not getting clear until late, and she should have the measure of that contingent with a clear run.

But it’s hard for me to go past She’s Extreme. Other than the Golden Slipper, where she was seventh after an interrupted run, she was clearly one of the best of her age, losing only to Slipper winner Fireburn in the Sweet Embrace (G2) and Sires' Produce (G1) before turning the tables on Fireburn in the Champagne Stakes (G1). If she’s made normal progress she should be very tough to beat here.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #1 She’s Extreme ($40)
  • $1 trifecta: 1, 6 with 1, 6 with 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 ($10)

Race 7, 1:15 a.m. Saturday: Tramway S. (G2), 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs), three-year-olds and up

The best horse in the race is clearly #1 Zaaki, who would likely have had some more big-money successes under his belt, such as the Cox Plate (G1), had he not met untimely injury issues. He usually goes well fresh, but may be a bit vulnerable with 59kg (about 130 pounds) and is not especially attractive to back at odds-on.

One horse that may have a reasonable chance is the consistent mare #11 Icebath. Winner of last year’s A$2 million Invitation, she came back in autumn for third-place finishes in the Doncaster (G1) and Queen of the Turf (G1).  She ran nicely for seventh behind Anamoe in the Winx (G1), and while she doesn’t win too frequently, she drops to 53kg under the conditions of the race and meets Winx third #4 Profondo on 3.5kg (about eight pounds) better terms.

  • $10 win/$30 show: #11 Icebath

Race 8, 1:55 a.m. Saturday: Chelmsford S. (G3), 1,600 meters (about one mile), three-year-olds and up

For a Group 2 weight-for-age 1,600-meter (about one mile) contest, this isn’t the greatest field, featuring a number of horses probably being aimed for staying races around 1 1/2 miles in the next two months. It’s dominated by the stables of Chris Waller, Annabel Neasham, and the Gai Waterhouse-Adrian Bott team, who account for nine of the 14 runners.

The favorite is likely to be #9 Surefire, imported to Australia by Waller after winning the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot last year. He made a couple of nice efforts last autumn and resumed this campaign with a stylish victory Aug. 13.

He should run well again, but I’m going to take the high-class mare #15 Montefilia. She developed into one of the better middle-distance horses last season, scoring a notable victory over Verry Elleegant in the Ranvet (G1). She may ultimately want further, but she has enough class to prevail here.

  • $10 win/$20 show: #15 Montefilia

Bonus play — New Zealand

Wanganui, Race 6, H S Dyke Wanganui Guineas (Listed), 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs), three-year-olds

  • $20 win, #6 Sophmaze: Second in the Listed Ryder S. to subsequent Northland Breeders’ S. (G3) runner-up Pacific Dragon. Great chance without Pacific Dragon in the field.