Dashing Highway to showcase emerging stars

Mitchell Bell will again ride the Lyle Chandler-trained Rapbidash in Saturday’s Highway Handicap at Royal Randwick. Image – Bradley Photos.

Saturday’s 1200m Class Three Highway Handicap is once again the biggest field of any on the day at Royal Randwick, with the original field of 18 starters and six emergencies a credit to country racing.

Thunderbet’s Johnny ‘Highway’ Patton has again taken his time to study the form and hopefully lead readers into a winner. 

This week’s race comprises horses who have contested Highways and others who are up-and-coming types with exciting futures. 

Looking at the Thunderbet speed map, there is a lot of speed in the race, especially after many of the emergencies gained a start. 

This race has so many potential scenarios, with many of the runners in the betting market coming up with bad barriers. 

The first 600m will be very interesting to watch. The rail is in a true position, and by the time the race starts, the track should be a good 4.

My on-top selection is Rapbidash ($5). 

Trained by the very astute Lyle Chandler, the four-year-old mare has only had four lifetime starts and has a brilliant record of winning three. 

She has had a nine-week break going into this, and Mitchell Bell, who has ridden all her wins, goes back on board. 

She has won twice in the bush and once at Newcastle. In her last start, where she finished sixth in town at Randwick, she travelled but found traffic in front of her and never got a clear run when needed. 

I think she will be winning in the city tomorrow, and she’s one to follow in the future, especially leading into the Country Championships.

My second pick is Atmospheric Rock ($5.50)The Danny Williams-trained four-year-old gelding ran here two weeks ago in a Highway and ran the fastest last 200m in the race. 

Jason Collett stays on board, which is a significant factor as he has ridden other horses in the race. 

The Goulburn galloper will be fitter for this and goes into this second-up, which is not a negative. 

My third pick is Belvedere Boys ($2.90). This four-year-old gelding is lightly raced, only having four lifetime starts for two wins and two seconds. 

Trainer Matthew Dunn is the leading Highway trainer of all time, and he brings this horse to town for the first time after its last-start win at Doomben three weeks ago.  

It has won second up, and Adam Hyeronimus goes on board, as he has had great success with this stable before. 

He’ll be stalking them in the straight and powering home late.

This week’s each-way play is Shine Your Light ($17).

Usually, I wouldn’t tip three-year-olds against older horses, and she is going up in class. 

The Thunderbet speedmap.

Still, this horse seems over the odds and looks like it has a fair bit of upside. 

Trained by John Ramsey and Kerrin McEvoy goes on board, the filly started in the Group 2 Percy Sykes a couple of starts ago, where she finished nearly last, but that was on a heavy track. 

She has very good early speed and is back on top of the ground, which is another plus. 

The only negative is that I don’t have her getting the 1200m, but the trainer must think she can, and if she does, she is over the odds.

Thunderbet’s selections: 

  1. Rapbidash ($5).
  2. Atmospheric Rock ($5.50)
  3. Belvedere Boys ($2.90)

Each Way Play: Shine your Light ($17 & $4.80)