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Australian Racing: Tiz Invincible eyeing Randwick glory

There’s plenty of Group 1 action in Sydney with three top level races featuring among six Group contests on a 10-race card.

Race 6 Randwick

Tiz Invincible @ 2.20

Race 8 Randwick

Kovalica @ 8.50

Race 9 Randwick

Benaud @ 9.00

Invincible for Flight success 

The first of the Group 1 race comes up as the sixth race on the card with the 2023 running of the 1600m Darley Flight Stakes.

The race, restricted to three-year-old fillies, has attracted a field of 13 with Kimochi expected to have her supporters for the Gary Portelli stable.

The filly has shown good form in three starts this spell placing on each occasion. 

The most recent of those came on her first attempt at 1400m when beaten one-and-a-half-lengths into second in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes.

Prior to that Jason Collett’s mount had shown that a wet track is no issue when placing on soft 5 and soft 6 surfaces, including when a neck third when racing first up here last month. 

While the daughter of Brave Smash rates highly in this field she has chased home TIZ INVINCIBLE on each of her last two starts and is expected to find it hard to reverse that form.

With that in mind, preference is for the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained filly who has won each of her last three starts.

The most recent of those came in the previously mentioned Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes on a good 4 track here two weeks ago.

Zac Lloyd, on board for the pick's last two starts, is again in the saddle and while a wide barrier is a slight concern, she looks up to registering her first Group 1 victory. 

Kovalica for Epsom glory

The $1,500,000 Group 1 TAB Epsom Handicap comes up as the eighth race of the day at Randwick with The Inevitable heading the market for handler John Keys.

The veteran galloper ran up a sequence of victories in Tasmania last season, including when successful by one-and–a-half-lengths in a six runner event at Launceston in February.

The switch to the mainland has posed no issues, with the gelding finishing in the frame in both the All Star Mile at Moonee Valley and the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

That Theo Marks effort came when racing first up earlier this month and, while that was a good prep for this contest, KOVALICA is the pick on this occasion.

Trained by Chris Waller, the gelding showed that he is a force at the top level when winning over 2400m in the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm in May.

Successful by two lengths that day, the gelding was spelled following that triumph and returned with a down the field effort in the previously mentioned Theo Marks.

The pick found the 1300m trip on the sharp side that day, while the market indicated that expectations were not high first up.

Joao Moreira’s mount has won second up in the past and, stepping up to 1600m and racing off a low weight, he looks capable of returning to the winners’ enclosure. 

Benaud to claim Metropolitan

The 2400m Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap is the third of the top level contests set to take place with Rachel King’s mount Just Fine a short priced favourite. 

While Just Fine has shown good form in winning both starts this spell, BENAUD is selected to reverse form from the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes when the pair finished one and two.

That race saw Benaud come from off the pace to deliver a near two-length second in the 2000m contest, having previously saluted over 2100m in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup.

The five-year-old shapes as if a return to this distance will prove no issue and, with Jamie Kah booked to ride and an alley next to the rail, he is taken to return to record a Group 1 win. 

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