Randwick Feature Race Preview April 20

Australian Oaks (SR7) – The Vinery Stud Stakes has traditionally been the best guide for this race and in the absence of winner Norzita, placegetters Longport  and Habibi  look to be leading chances here. Although Habibi has already won a Group One over this distance across the Tasman, she has been up for a long time and still has ground to make up on Longport, who was almost three lengths ahead of her last time out. The Patinack filly may be unproven beyond 2000m but gave no indication that she wouldn’t handle the step up in trip and has the advantage of being set for this event. Dear Demi  proved her staying ability by winning the VRC Oaks during the spring and she is one runner that will improve markedly over 2400m, while New Zealand Oaks winner More Than Sacred  is another that will relish a true stamina test. Royal Descent  was a good winner of the Adrian Knox last week with a big weight but will find this a big step up in class, while Summerbliss  has been going better than her rare form would suggest.
Selections: Longport, Habibi, Summerbliss, Dear Demi 

Doncaster Mile (SR8) **TattsBet $97,975 Trifecta Jackpot** - Champion three year old Pierro  has already beaten older horses at the top level in the Canterbury Stakes and George Ryder this preparation but will find this much tougher under the handicap conditions of the race. He will have to set a weight carrying record if he is to win but is unbeaten at the track, goes on a rain affected track and is absolutely flying at the moment. Underrated mare Appearance  is another horse racing at the peak of her powers having won Group One events against the girls at her past two outings. Shoot Out  was second in this last year and doesn’t look to be badly weighted despite having to carry 58kg. He is going well and loves the Randwick mile. Horses dropping back in trip from 2000m have won two of the past three renewals of this contest and Norzita  fits the bill there, having beaten the three year-old fillies in the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes last time out. She gets in on the minimum weight and her wide draw isn’t likely to be an inconvenience given that nine of the past 11 winners have jumped from gate 10 or wider. She has a chance of giving master trainer Bart Cummings his sixth win in the race, while Fontelina  and Sacred Falls  could be the others worth including in exotics.
Selections: Shoot Out, Appearance, Pierro, Fontelina

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