Sydney Specials: Randwick - 27th February 2021

We welcome the official start of the Autumn Carnival at Randwick on Saturday, headlined by the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes.

Star mares Colette  and Verry Elleegant head the market, with six of the nine engaged coming through the Apollo Stakes won impressively by the former.

COLETTE winning the Yulong Apollo Stakes
COLETTE winning the Yulong Apollo Stakes Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

The two also met in the George Main Stakes in the Spring with Verry Elleegant having Colette's measure by just on two lengths.

So which form do you read into more?

When they first met Colette was sent out a 25-1 chance, whereas in the Apollo Stakes Colette was installed an 11-1 chance, again VE was the 6/4 favourite.

On Saturday there isn't a great deal between them in the market, this is also illustrated in their Timeform ratings, Colette is now rated 119, Verry Elleegant is 123, though her highest rating in the Spring was 120.

We've seen a fair upgrade of the Spring Colette, then rated 113, and after watching a replay of the Apollo it's easy to understand why. Most of all, the data matched the visuals.

She won running away from them and that wasn't because it was a stamina test, she won it with speed and highlighted her turn of foot.

If able to produce similar on Saturday, she wins again.

ZAKAT  Picture: Racing and Sports

Sticking with the James Cummings stable in the final event with Zakat.

Not a prolific winner (3/17), but he has been a model of consistency and looks well placed off his narrow defeat first up at Flemington.

Two of his three career wins have come second up and all three of his career wins have come over this distance.

Leading rider James McDonald legs back aboard and while yet to win on the four-year-old, he has never missed the money in three attempts.

Drawn favourably on the inside, he is expected to land in the coffin (behind the leader), before hopefully getting into the clear on straightening.

When assessing Timeform weight adjusted ratings he looks to hold a fair edge and we have him marked the even money favourite.

Proven to handle all conditions, with even luck, he should go very close.

Simon Dinopoulos' Three Tips:

Race 2 #2 Captivant @ $3.50

Race 6 #7 Colette @ $3.30

Race 9 #5 Zakat @ $2.60

Racing and Sports

Simon Dinopoulos

Senior Handicapper

Sydney-born Simon Dinopoulos joined Racing and Sports' as a form analyst in 2012.

Under the tutelage of Gary Crispe and Adam Blencowe, Simon has quickly established himself as a respected member of the R&S ratings team, with a key focus on NSW, Western Australia and Singapore.

As a journalist he contributes stories for the R&S website, while also priding himself on being a part of the data management sector. Simon has helped establish and maintain Racing And Sports’ global database – the most comprehensive privately owned racing database in the world.

Simon can be heard on Sky Sports Radio - Racings HQ (Friday/Saturday mornings) giving his selections for the weekend's racing.