PeTeBe shares his Hawkesbury tips and picks for Saturday 1 May 2021.
Best Bet: GRANDE RUMORE (Race 9)
Value Bet: SIKANDERBAD (Race 8)
Jackpot (Races 6-9)
Two 3yr old fillies could fight out the finish to this race and complete the exacta, but ATHIRI could lead the pack home. She missed out on her hat-trick last time out when finishing second over 1300M, beaten just a short-head. She returns from a 15-week rest, but did win her only barrier trial to prove her fitness. She will have to negotiate draw fourteen, but she likes to race up with the pace, so should use that early gate speed to move across without expending too much energy.
VARDA finished sixth in her last start over 1100M, 3.8L behind the winner and was immediately rested for 22 weeks. She returns here after having had three barrier trials, finishing third in the latest. She has a kinder draw seven and should be right up there when they hit the line.
SPECIAL REWARD has his first run since an 18-week break but has had the benefit of two barrier trials, winning the latest. He finished fifth in his last outing over six furlongs, just over two and a half lengths back from the victor, but he raced wide early and then took a bump and was forced wider turning for home. Under the circumstance, he did well to finish as close to the winner as he did. He jumps from a wide gate ten, but nevertheless, he should be included in all bets.
ELLSBERG has an impressive record of six runs for three wins, one second and two third-place finishes. He went from jump to wire when winning his last outing over this seven-furlong journey by three lengths. He was returning from a 16-week break that day and from his handy draw four, he could chalk up victory number four here.
EXOBOOM missed out on his trio of wins when ending up in second place last time out over 1300M, just a length behind the winner when returning from a 12-week absence. He has also had six runs to date, posting two wins and four second-place finishes. He jumped awkwardly and had to be steadied between the 1000M and 900M mark in that last outing, which makes the effort that much more encouraging. He faces draw ten out of eleven, but with better luck in running today, he could threaten the top choice.
RAINBOW CONNECTION renews his rivalry with the top pick, having finished third last time out in the race mentioned above, 3.2L behind the winner. He is drawn five gates outside the top pick, but he is 1kg better off at today’s weight terms. This should bring the pair closer together at the wire, but may not be quite enough for the result to be reversed.
The day’s value bet, SIKANDARABAD has cracked pole position and was hampered and carried wide at the 200M pole before ending up in fourth place last time out over 1500m, just over a length behind the winner. He had his objection against the third-place finisher overruled, but the form of that race has stood up well with five runners out of that contest subsequently winning.
ROYAL CELEBRATION showed solid improvement when finishing third last time out, just over a half-length behind the winner, despite coming four wide into the home straight. He has a cozy draw four and has his peak run after returning from a 16-week break.
GREYSFUL GLAMOUR is a 5yr old mare taking on the boys, but she finished second in her penultimate start over 1500M, before disappointing next time out over a mile, where she finished last, 17.8L adrift of the winner. It must however be noted that was in a Group 1 contest where she tried to go from gun to tape. She gets gate seven here and the drop to Group 3 level should bring her back into calculations.
A 4yr old filly and a 5yr old mare could dominate the finish to this race and secure the exacta, but the firm top selection goes to the day’s best bet, GRANDE RUMORE who has only finished out of the top three places once in her seven runs to date, which includes two victories. She was hampered at the 250M mark before finishing powerfully to win her last outing over six furlongs by a short-head when returning from a 31-week break. On that last effort, she looks sure to appreciate the extra ground on offer here. Her draw two will do her no harm and she could prove difficult to topple in this line-up.
VITESSE set the pace and was only run out of it close to home when finishing third last time out over 1300M, but the form of that race has been franked with four runners subsequently winning. She returns from a 12-week absence but has had the benefit of a barrier trial and from draw four, she should be right up there in the firing line.
OCEAN EMPEROR hit the front turning for home and was only collared in the shadow of the post to be beaten by a head last time out over 1100M. He will have to overcome a wide draw 12, but gets cheekpieces fitted for the first time and if these have the desired effect, he should be involved in the finish.