Gayatri has returned to the races in slick form this time and looks beautifully placed in the first at Randwick today. The Pierro mare immediately stamped herself as a horse to follow during her impressive debut preparation in winter, and she resumed this time for an easy win over 1500m at Hawkesbury before running on for third on heavy going at Kembla Grange last time, having missed the start. Hugh Bowman has plenty of options from the rails draw today and the increase in trip looks ideal.
Via Veneto is primed for a big fourth-up assignment at Randwick this afternoon and looks tough to beat with James McDonald in the saddle. The four-year-old has continued to improve with racing this time and hit the line well to finish second behind the in-form Tunero over 1900m at Canterbury last time out. Her form suggests she’ll be better on top of the ground today and the drop in distance should also suit.
Into Rio faces a step up in class into the fifth at HQ today, but this is a wide-open field and he is good enough to fight out the finish at big odds ($20 at publish). Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra have always had an opinion of the Zacinto gelding and he has recorded several good performances and results this time. He is rock-hard fit for today’s assignment, will relish the 2000m and is drawn ideally. With even luck, he’ll be tough to catch.
Whispering Brook recorded a huge win in her first start back for master trainer Darren Weir and looks to have found herself in the perfect black type race this afternoon. The Hinchinbrook mare has been a strong and consistent performer throughout her entire racing career so far and was a dominant winner first-up in March this year before stringing together a few terrific performances that resulted in a close fifth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m). With improvement today, she definitely looks the one to beat.