Hawkesbury tips: Ray Thomas and Ron Dufficy’s best bets and analysis

The Daily Telegraph’s racing editor Ray Thomas and Sky Thoroughbred Central’s form expert Ron Dufficy analyse the feature nine-race program for the Hawkesbury stand-alone meeting on Saturday.

The Form: Complete NSW Racing thoroughbred form, including video replays and all you need to know about every horse, jockey and trainer. Find a winner here!





Race 1, No.1: GLENEAGLES


Race 6, No.10: INANUP



Race 6, No.8 VARDA


Race 2, No.10 RUBY TUESDAY


Ron Dufficy:Gleneagles looks a really nice horse. He resumed for the new stable and won impressively at this track. The runner-up, Overpass, has won his next two starts and the minor placegetter, Belle O’Ballee has also won since. All he has to do is jump from 1000m to 1400m but I think he will win. Hoover Lucy did enough at her debut sticking on well in fast time behind a smart type. Trainer Chris Waller usually runs his Brisbane carnival two-year-olds in this race so I’m also putting Hoover Lucy’s stablemate Aslav in my numbers. He was strong winning on debut, the time was only steady but being by Vancouver the 1400m will suit him. Carartie has had a 1400m will lead-up run which should stand her in good stead.

Ray Thomas:Gleneagles does look a very promising colt. He missed the start but a couple of lengths when resuming at Hawkesbury but was still able to recover and win with ease over 1000m on this track in very fast time. As you pointed out, the form out of that race is very good. Gleneagles does have to go straight to 1400m but I think this trip will suit him. Carartie is an emerging filly who will run this trip right out. I’m also wary of the Chris Waller pair, Hoover Lucy and Aslav.


Dufficy: This is the toughest race of the day – everything in this field can win. I’m guessing a little with Kirwan’s Lane here. He has had two trials, winning the latest, he did win three from six starts last campaign and did win first-up last campaign. He gets in nicely after the claim as well. Archanna is ready to win. She is third-up with a recent trial so she is primed for this race. Saigon was terrific first-up then went to a benchmark 88 last start so back in grade here, she is right in contention at odds. Luvoir was very good beating a really nice horse last start. I don’t think there was any fluke in that win either.

Thomas:Ruby Tuesday got a clean getaway last start, controlled the race in front and was far too good for her rivals, winning over this course and distance in fast time. She’s a mare in the zone now and will be hard to beat again in a very open race. Archanna has ability and this race does set up well for her. Kirwan’s Lane does sprint well fresh and is well weighted after the claim. Luvoir defeated a smart type Exoboom comfortably when resuming and a repeat of that effort would have him right in the finish.

Topweight Kirwan’s Lane is a good chance in an open race. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph


Dufficy: Interesting Highway. I was very impressed with the first-up win of Charlton Park, she dominated that race at Muswellbrook, running very good time. I just feel she may have come back a better mare and gets in light here after the claim. Topweight Golden Gorge is the one to beat. He has had a nice grounding for the 1400m and has the best formlines – just has to carry that 61.5kg. Tipping Point only won an Orange maiden but he toyed with his rivals and looks very talented. He is likeable. Don’tforgetmonica has had five weeks and a trial since her good last start run and I think she still has upside.

Thomas:Golden Gorge has been consistent in good company since resuming but he gets his chance here. The step up to 1400m is perfect and from the good draw he should settle close enough in the run. He’s got his share of weight but with even luck in running, he will be very hard to beat. The Cameron Crockett stable has two very good chances with Don’tforgetmonica and Black Sunrise. I have Don’tforgetmonica as the pick of the stablemates as Black Sunrise has to overcome a horror draw. Tipping Point was very impressive first-up and although this is obviously a tougher race he is a big improver.


Dufficy: I don’t usually like a horse going from a maiden to a benchmark 78 but I do feel Yangtze Rapids is very hard to beat. He owned that race at Canterbury when he showed good speed to lead and was very dominant late. He looks a real Queensland Derby type and with only 52kg on his back he will be hard to run down. Luncies just got out-sprinted in a leader-dominated race at his first Australian start and I’m expecting a better run from him. Brown Thomas is trained on the track which is always an advantage and he won as easy as you like in the Orange Cup last start and he presents well fourth-up from a spell. Sagacious is a much better horse than what we saw last start and if he finds anything like the form he showed last campaign, then he is right in this race.

Thomas: I agree with what you have said about Yangtze Rapids. He had been slightly disappointing prior to his Canterbury win but he seemed to enjoy taking control of the race early and led throughout for a comfortable win. He’s up against some tough, older horses but drops 7kg on his last start win. Savoury responded to a very good ride to score at Canterbury. He can mix his form but he should get the right run again. I’m wary of Luncies, he is certain to improve going out to 1800 and the in-form Brown Thomas will be competitive again.

Athiri can resume with a win in the Hawkesbury Crown. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images


Dufficy:Athiri is very likeable. She is coming off a lovely trial here at Hawkesbury, she gets a few breaks from the draw but if there is a little concern it is the last 50m as she is first-up at 1300m off one trial. Wandabaa is flying without winning and deserves a change of luck. I would have preferred a drop of rain for her but she is going so well. Sweet Deal returned to form when back in distance last start and this is a suitable race for her. Air To Air is a frustrating mare because she does things wrong in her races but she has really caught the eye in her two runs back and has the ability.

Thomas:Sweet Deal ran her best race this campaign when she closed late to finish fourth in the Sapphire Stakes. She was checked at the start and got a lot further back early than normal but her fast finishing effort was encouraging. She’s drawn well and expect her to settle closer to the lead. Athiri is the danger. The classy Godolphin mare did trial brilliantly and usually sprints well fresh. Reelem In Ruby has to overcome the outside barrier but she has been freshened since finishing midfield in the Coolmore Classic and the shorter trip here is in her favour. Wandabaa is racing very well without winning and does look hard to beat.


Dufficy: This is always a good race with speed to burn. Inanup is the value runner of the day. He sits off this hectic speed, he has last look at them, he has a terrific first-up record and I loved the way he coasted through the line in a recent trial so I’m happy to take the double figures about him. Special Reward is a talented sprinter when right. His trials have been good enough and he should be in the finish somewhere. Blazing Miss has been given two really hard trials so the intent is for her to be right at her peak for this race. Varda is a nice mare who won four from four two preparations back, gets in light here and won’t be far away.

Thomas: I liked the way Varda cruised over the line in her recent Hawkesbury trial and is primed for her comeback. I conceded most of her best form is on rain-affected tracks but she is also effective on top of the ground. In a very open race, I’m leaning her way to beat the underrated Switched who is over the odds. Snitz has drawn off the track but he’s a smart sprinter and rates among the main contenders. Embracer is another trialling well and he does have a good first-up record.

Ellsberg can make it back-to-back stakes win in the Hawkesbury Guineas. Photo: Grant GuySource:The Daily Telegraph


Dufficy: I think it is hard to get away from Ellsberg, I’m a fan of this colt. I concede he did get the favours at Randwick first-up but he did toy with his rivals. He should be hard to beat again. Rainbow Connection is a very promising horse, he wasn’t suited by the way the race was run when he was dragged back from the wide draw before his third to Ellsberg last start. I expect Rainbow Connection to finish much closer to Ellsberg this time. Aim jumped out of the ground second-up to win the Magic Millions Guineas and if he gets anywhere near that form he will beat his lot. Acrophobic has the blinkers on thirds-up, a beautiful draw and comes out of that Ellsberg formline.

Thomas:Ellsberg is very promising and he could not have been more impressive winning the South Pacific Classic first-up at Randwick. He should be even fitter, drawn to put himself in the right spot and is the one to beat. I’ve also got Rainbow Connection as the danger. He will be giving Ellsberg a start from the turn but should be finishing strongly. Exoboom hasn’t missed a top two finish in his six starts to date and needed the run first-up when second behind Luvoir. Exoboom is back against his own age and is another I expect will be doing his best work on the line. Onchao ran gamely first-up at Canterbury and has had a tick-over trial between runs.


Dufficy: A tricky race. I want to be forgiving of Purple Sector’s Doncaster Prelude run, his Newcastle Newmarket effort was terrific first-up, he is primed now and with Nash Rawiller back on I feel he will jump out of the ground. Royal Celebration is obviously the one to beat. His two runs back have been great and he presents well on the back-up. I just feel he is getting a little short in the market now considering what price he has been of late. The old boy Sikandarabad was unlucky in the Muswellbrook Cup and that has been a very strong form race with five winners out of that race already and his previous run was good. Archedemus won this race two years ago and he has had a couple of tough runs sitting outside the lead which will have him ready for this.

Thomas:Royal Celebration fought hard last week when beaten a half length into third behind Rocha Clock. He is at his peak after two runs from a spell. He’s never missed a place when third-up in a preparation, the barrier draw ensures he gets the right run and he’s the one they have to beat. I agree Purple Sector will run a much better race and he gets the dry track he prefers. Archedemus has been improved by two runs from a spell and rates highly. Greysful Glamour has plenty of weight but she is such a game mare and will be hard to run down.

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Horse racing: Watch the latest TAB Market Update for the 2021 Group 1 TAB Classic.


Dufficy: I like the imported mare Grande Rumore. She created a good impression winning at her first Australian start, I know this is a tougher race but she has plenty of upside with improvement to come. Tycoonist is a huge query. You don’t see Chris Waller resume them without a trial too often so this horse is a real smoky here. Ocean Emperor is going well and all he has to do is stay a strong 1300m. Vitesse is well placed, she’s a competitive mare and I can’t leave her out.

Thomas:Ocean Emperor has drawn awkwardly but he will roll forward early and put himself on the speed. He’s very fit, racing well and should be in the finish. Grande Rumore enjoyed the fast race tempo and unleashed late to score first-up. She might be looking for further now but is a promising mare. Plonka and Opacity are both at double figure odds but capable of running competitive races.

Originally published asRay and Duff: Inanup poised to claim Gold Rush

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