BURNING PASSION - Back to Randwick on Saturday and Burning Passion is ready to win. He was excellent in a strong race first-up then last time he wasn’t suited by the steady tempo in the Star Kingdom Stakes. There looks a bit more speed engaged here and from the gate he shouldn't be boxed up and striking trouble like was the case last start when he found himself in a bumping dual with New Universe. Many have him marked as a wet tracker but when you look at his recent Randwick performances, that’s not necessarily the case. Third beaten three quarters of a length by Crack Me Up and Care To Think, third beaten a neck by Comin’ Through and Tom Melbourne, third beaten three quarters of a length by Deploy and The Virginian – all on good tracks in his recent form. Track and distance he hasn’t missed a place in four starts, he will run well on Saturday.
MANICURE - Here’s my Saturday fill-up. She is flying this filly and Saturday shapes as the race where she won’t have excuses and will be delivering. She resumed in the Darby Munro Stakes, was never on the track without cover but kept finding the line to finish fourth. Second-up in the PJ Bell she again found herself on a wide path, this time with cover and found the line as well as anything when falling short by a head to Houtzen. She’s crying out for 1400m which she gets to on Saturday and this time she’s drawn favourably in barrier four. Provided she gets even breaks in the run she is going to take plenty of stopping and stick with her, she’s a good filly that will be winning some good races in her career.
TOM MELBOURNE - Go on all have a laugh. This is actually the first time I’ve ever tipped him so I’ll happily claim the trophy come Saturday afternoon. Why you might ask – I love the way this race sets up for him. His Randwick record gives him a tick, so does his 1400m record and on Saturday from the barrier he’s going to get the perfect suck run. Say what you like about Tom but his credentials are stronger than most of these, he’s placed at Group I level in three of his last six attempts and his fifth in the Doncaster last start was super. I concede if Trapeze Artist turns up he will be hard to beat but where’s the proof in his form that he will back up his TJ Smith win? He’s hasn’t strung two A-grade performances together yet so leave me out of him at the price. Hartnell is at the crossroads, Brave Smash was plain last time and it’s questionable how well Le Romain is going.
NETTOYER - Gee I hope she gets a run on Saturday. Her performance in last Saturday’s Coolmore Legacy Stakes was huge, closing off better than anything other than Alizee and her run in the straight was impeded while the jockey also had her going sideways looking for a run. Goes from set weights against our best fillies and mares back to handicap conditions and up to 2000m which will be much more to her liking. Another big plus for me is she’s stays at Randwick, this is the track where she’s produced her best runs and while she’s at her best on soft ground, she’s performed well enough on good Randwick tracks to indicate she can overcome a good track on Saturday.
BLACK ON GOLD - He’s an underrated horse this bloke and I think he’s the ideal type for a 1400m target first-up. He’s scored easy fresh-up wins in his last two campaigns, albeit in easier grade but last prep he was competitive against the likes of Interlocuter showing this level isn’t beyond him. He was given an easy time in his two trials and there looks sufficient speed engaged in this to give him his chance to get home over the top. He’s another horse that tends to do his best racing at Randwick and he’s definitely at his best on firm tracks. He’s down in the weights here and will give us a sight, because by the last they will be getting wide on a tired track, he’ll probably be in the best ground.