The $1 million The Gong will highlight a great day of racing at Kembla Grange this Saturday. We preview each race and give you our tips and bets.
RACE 1 – 1:15PM – Marty Christie And Crammy 2YO Handicap (1000m)
Only seven two-year-olds have been confirmed for a start in the first on The Gong Day and only one of those runners has exposed form.
I am happy to stay out of this race, with a view towards something later.
Tip: No Bet
RACE 2 – 1:50PM – Highway Handicap (1600m)
This week’s Highway race looks a wide-open contest and at publish, we’re faced with around $6 the field.
Shinseki is on a short back-up and looks over the odds at a big price. The Mitchell Beer-trained gelding has returned several pleasing efforts this time and flew home late to finish on the placegetters’ heels at Canberra last weekend. He can settle closer to the pace from barrier 6, is weighted well and has the bonus of Glen Boss in the saddle.
Tip: 0.5 Units E/W Shinseki
RACE 3 – 2:25PM – Harrigan Motor Group BM78 Handicap (2000m)
Mangione rarely runs a bad race and looms as a live each-way chance in the third. The four-year-old son of Fiorente has continued to improve with racing this time and recorded a smart win at Gosford two back, before another tough effort to finish third in a harder race at Rosehill last time out. He’ll take further improvement into this race and is drawn to receive a beautiful run with James McDonald engaged to ride.
Tip: 1.5 Units E/W Mangione
RACE 4 – 3PM – Pages Event Hire F&M BM78 Handicap (1200m)
Lucicello has returned to racing in excellent form this time and looks tough to beat in the fourth on The Gong Day. The three-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible hasn’t missed a place at her last six starts and returned from a freshen-up for a dominant win in a race identical to this one at Rosehill a fortnight ago. She’ll only improve off that effort and will take a power of beating in this contest.
Tip: 5 Units Lucicello
RACE 5 – 3:40PM – Abax Contracting BM88 Handicap (1600m)
Testashadow has taken a few to get going this time, but there has been a lot to like about his two most-recent efforts and he looks a live chance at a price in the fifth on The Gong Day. The veteran gelding ran well to finishing third in a 1600m handicap at Eagle Farm two back and was last seen running fourth in Listed company at Hawkesbury. Trainer Gary Portelli has elected to scratch the horse from the feature to run in this and he’ll get a relief in the weights with claiming apprentice Jean Van Overmeire confirmed to ride.
Tip: 1 Unit E/W Testashadow
RACE 6 – 4:20PM – The Gong (1600m)
Star Of The Seas hasn’t recorded a race win in four starts since resuming, but he is rock-hard fit and The Gong looks the perfect feature race for him. The Ocean Park gelding ran a smart fourth in the Group 2 Tramway when resuming and her second-up run in the Theo Marks was a complete forgive, as the race was not run to suit. He arguably has not produced a better effort than that which heralded a third placing in the Epsom Handicap and a repeat of that would see him too good for these rivals.
Tip: 2 Units E/W Star Of The Seas
RACE 7 – 5PM – Traffic Logistics BM78 Handicap (1000m)
Mossman Gorge hasn’t been seen at the races since May, but he typically flies fresh and could prove to be over the odds at a double-figure price. The five-year-old son of Mossman has won three of his four first-up races, including a 1000m dash on the Kensington course at Randwick last time in; beating the likes of Star Of The Seas. Leading hoop Nash Rawiller has options from the rails draw and I’ll be happy to have something on each-way at $16 (at publish).
Tip: 1 Unit E/W Mossman Gorge
RACE 8 – 5:40PM – Polytrack BM78 Handicap (1200m)
Grimoire has mixed his form a little this time, but he is rock-hard fit and looks a live chance in this wide-open contest on The Gong Day. The six-year-old son of Magic Albert won the featured sprint at Port Macquarie three starts back and has since finished on the heels of the placegetters in two tougher races at Randwick and Rosehill. He looks another love chance for jockey Nash Rawiller.
Tip: 1 Unit E/W Grimoire
RACE 9 – 6:15PM – Party Central BM78 Handicap (1400m)
This is a tough way to end the day from a betting perspective and there is a case to be made for many of the fourteen confirmed starters.
Destiny’s Own will take good improvement into the race and looks to have conditions to suit. The Sepoy gelding hit the line for third behind Outrageous over 1300m when resuming at Rosehill and will be ridden by James McDonald.
Tip: 2 Units Destiny’s Own