Timeform Previews - Randwick Guineas/Canterbury Stakes

The Racing and Sports Handicappers have run the Timeform ratings rule over the Randwick features on Saturday.

Canterbury Stakes

BIVOUAC with connections after, winning the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Hcp
BIVOUAC with connections after, winning the Seppelt Wines Newmarket Hcp Picture: Racing and Sports

A proper Group One horse takes on a couple that can fake it and one that used to be in this weekend's Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.

The proper Group One horse in the line up is Bivouac , three times a winner at the top level and all three of those wins were accompanied by strong ratings.

There have been plenty of misses along the way, but as a rule he has been consistent, and his return in the Lightning, while surely disappointing to some, was solid at a trip short of his best. 

Bivouac put up a rating of 127 on this day last year when winning the Newmarket in brilliant style and he was a bit better again when running to 128 winning the Classic in November.

His Lightning run first up returned a rating of 115. Well below his best but only just behind the 119 he produced fresh behind Classique Legend in the spring when also kicking off short of 1200m.

1300m looks a much better scenario for Bivouac, a high-quality winner of the Golden Rose over 1400m who has looked his best when able to find his feet and quicken – something he couldn't do in a Lightning behind Nature Strip.

If he can do that on Saturday, and run up around his peaks, then this set of rivals won't be able to lay a glove on him – rivals headed by his stablemate Savatiano.

Savatiano  was as good as ever when winning the Expressway first up and has been kept fresh for this since which can suit. 

A Timeform rating of 117 there is as good as she goes and a repeat in this target race makes her a winning chance – albeit at a level well short of what Bivouac can produce.

Savatiano started a short-priced favourite in this last year but in truth she is short of being a true Group One horse and the same could be said of Dreamforce despite the fact that he boasts a win at the top level having nicked last year's George Ryder from the front.

That is Dreamforce's secret weapon, his racing pattern allows him to overachieve, and while there is other pace engaged here he looks the one to control things again.

So that is our Group One horse and our two that can fake it. Our other key hope is one that used to be – Kementari.

Another from James Cummings stable, Kementari  is ideally suited to 1300m having found himself forever running on over 1200m at the top level. 

A failed stud career preceded a series of so-so efforts, and a return to the top seemed a long way away, but he cut down a good field in the Scahill in Perth last time and, Bivouac aside, this hardly looks like requiring a return to the absolute best of Kementari.

Masked Crusader  comes up a lot shorter than him in the betting, and perhaps that is fair enough when we consider which side of the mountain each are on, but ultimately Kementari's Scahill win was a little bit better than Masked Crusader's win in the Southern Cross last time out and the difference in prices there seems too vast.

Randwick Guineas

AEGON winning the City Tattersalls Hobartville
AEGON winning the City Tattersalls Hobartville Picture: Bradleyphotos.com.au

Star galloper Aegon  looks poised to remain unbeaten on Saturday when set to contest the Group 1 Randwick Guineas.

Unbeaten in five starts, the son of Sacred Falls  chases his second victory at the top level, having won the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas last November.

The Hobartville Stakes has provided 11 of the last 15 winners and it's hard to see his rivals turning the tables, following his dominant display.

While some query dropping back to 1400m, he was simply a class above, slicing his way through the field to win soft on the line.

He returned a Timeform rating of 117+ and gave every indication there is more to come.

The step up to the mile looks to play right into his hands and the middle draw allows Bowman to park him wherever he is comfortable.

Aegon can be slow away, which could be an issue, however he looks to have them covered on talent.

Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman won this race with It's A Dundeel back in 2013 and Aegon looks right on track to add to their tally.


Racing and Sports