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Australian Racing: Super Saturday at Randwick

There’s a big weekend of racing in Sydney with no fewer than four Group 1 races set to take place on a ten race card at Randwick.

Race 8 Randwick

Zougotcha @ 10.00

Race 9 Randwick

Pericles @ 3.80

Race 7 Randwick

In Secret @ 6.00

Zougotcha for Doncaster triumph

The 1600m Group 1 Doncaster Mile is the most valuable of those races with a soft 5 track expected for the feature handicap. 

Mr Brightside is expected to jump as favourite in what looks a fairly open contest. The five-year-old has been in good form this time around placing at the top level in the 1400m Group 1 Futurity Stakes on a good 3 surface at Sandown Lakeside in February.

The son of Bullbars followed that up with a half-length triumph in the valuable All-Star Mile over 1600m at Moonee Valley two weeks ago. The switch to a wet track should prove no issue with six of the geldings ten wins coming on soft or heavy surfaces and with a good alley in two he rates a worthy favourite.

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Preference here is for the three-year-old filly Zougotcha however with the Chris Waller-trainee having delivered her third Group 2 victory when taking the Phar Lap at Rosehill last month.

That triumph came by a length over 1500m on a good 3 track but it’s of note that the pick won twice on tracks described as “soft” last year including over 1400m in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes here.

Kerrin McEvoy’s mount has a wide barrier to overcome on her first start at this trip but gets in off a low weight here and is selected to deliver a first success at Group 1 level.

Pericles for Derby glory

Trainer James Cummings has had plenty of success so far this campaign and his Pericles is taken to provide the handler with a victory in the Group 1 Australian Derby over 2400m.

The selection has shown good form this spell including when winning by nearly three lengths in the 1800m Group 2 Autumn Classic at Sandown Lakeside in February. The son of Street Boss was subsequently touched off when the front two finished clear in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas over 2000m at Rosehill two weeks ago.

The pick has a good barrier in six here with top hoop James McDonald, on board last time out again booked for the ride. The gelding has won on wet tracks in the past and while he has to reverse Victoria Derby form with a couple of his rivals here there are reasons to suggest he can do just that.

The winner of the Victoria Derby Manzoice hasn’t been in the same form since including when finishing behind the pick in the previously mentioned Rosehill Guineas. A wide alley isn’t ideal for Sharp ‘N’ Smart here who will have only one outside him when the barriers open.

Secret for Smith success

Nature Strip has been the dominant force in sprinting in recent years and he goes on a retrieval mission in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes over 1200m.

The eight-year-old has been a beaten odds-on favourite in each of his last three starts including when sixth in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning over 1000m down the straight at Flemington. Racing first up that day the going was put forward as the reason for the below par effort that saw the Nicconi gelding fade in the closing stages.

He looks opposable here with the three-year-old filly In Secret selected to deliver a second Group 1 success of this spell. Trained by James Cummings the selection saw off her older rivals when winning the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap over 1200m down the straight at Flemington last month.

The daughter of I Am Invincible meets a number of the beaten horses that day here but looks capable of confirming that form.

A wide barrier in 12 here is the main issue for Ben Melham’s mount but given she usually races from off the pace that shouldn’t prove too much of an inconvenience for the up and coming sprint star.

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