Sydney Specials: Randwick - 4th September 2021

We are back at Randwick on Saturday with the return of Nature Strip the key highlight across the 10 race program.

The current equal favourite for the Everest, Nature Strip faces a fairly even line up and should kick off his Spring campaign on a winning note.

Rated 129 by Timeform he is the highest rated horse in the country and while off his game in the Spring last year expect him to atone in this year's Everest, as they say third time's a charm.

The Team Hawkes trained Masked Crusader gave his rivals a touch up last weekend and with all things being equal we can expect Nature Strip to do the same on Saturday.

From the inside draw he should lead for McDonald and while he will have improvement to come, he ran 126 first up last preparation, a figure his rivals can't get near.

CASCADIAN winning the The Star Doncaster Mile
CASCADIAN winning the The Star Doncaster Mile Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

We were very keen on the chances of Cascadian first up and while unable to fill a minor placing it was hard not to like his return in the Winx Stakes [1400m].

Bumped at a crucial part in the straight he still finished off well when just peaking on his run late.

From the inside draw he is expected to settle a lot closer with very little speed engaged.

The step up to the mile is a tick and while this isn't his Grand Final, under the WFA conditions he looks well placed and should get every chance to return to the winner's stall.

The early price of close to 3-1 looks more than acceptable.

KING OF SPARTA winning the Precise Fire (Bm72)
KING OF SPARTA winning the Precise Fire (Bm72) Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

We will be on weather watch for our second selection with the Team Snowden trained King Of Sparta.

Only lightly raced he stepped out onto a good track at Kembla Grange for the first time last start when winning easily over 1200m.

Ridden by James McDonald he won with a leg in the air, ran time and the race has already produced three subsequent winners.

Faces a tough ask from the draw on Saturday but as a result we get a much better price and trust in McDonald to weave a bit of magic.

Simon Dinopoulos' Tips:

Race 8 #2 Cascadian @ $3.60

Race 9 #13 King Of Sparta @ $4.80

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.