Double the Highway fun for punters

Royal Randwick will host two Highway Handicaps on Saturday. Image – Bradley Photos.

Highway Handicaps have quickly grown to be a staple on any NSW Saturday metropolitan card, with punters able to call on varying form lines in the country-restricted events. 

On Saturday, with two other scheduled races merged into one, it meant Racing NSW was able to split the Class Three 1400m Highway Handicap into two races, with those to be run as the first and third on the ten-race program. 

As always, Thunderbet’s Johnny ‘Highway’ Patton hopes to lead punters into a winner or two.

The track is a good four, and the rail is in the true position. 

My first pick is Burrandana ($3.80) in the opening event. He is the class horse of the field and will be hard to beat. With pace in the race, the Wagga galloper should get the right run. Plus, he has carried this weight before and has won first-up. 

My second pick is Sharp Shock ($8). This up-and-coming 4YO gelding raced wide at Newcastle last start, and he is coming back in trip, which he will be better suited by. 

The Scone galloper has been running in better races, and Reece Jones stays on board for Rodney Northam.

Laurel Hill ($14) goes in as my third pick.  

The 4YO mare missed the start over the Gundagai Snake Gully Cup Carnival and flew home in a better race time than All Astern.  

Out to the 1400m this week, it will be better suited and has drawn barrier two.

The ‘Each Way Play’ this week is Extra Smart ($26)

The ex-John Ramsey-trained horse is now in the very capable hands of Stirling Osland. 

She was never likely last start in stronger company and wasn’t beaten far. She ran before that and finished with a second-placing at Rosehill in this class and is massive odds and each way all day. 

Thunderbet’s Race One selections 

1. Burrandana ($3.80)

2. Sharp Shock ($8)

3. Laurel Hill ($14)

Each Way Play: Extra Smart ($26 & $5)

Golden Decade is the one to beat in second Highway

My on-top pick in the second of Saturday’s Highway Handicaps is Golden Decade ($2.65).

The Matthew Dunn-trained galloper is drawn to get a perfect run from barrier one, as there is only moderate pace in the race.

Nash Rawiller goes on board this 3YO gelding, which has been racing very well in Queensland. 

At his last start, he missed the kick and sat three wide to finish third, and from the softer draw, he will be very hard to beat in this race.

My second pick is Associate ($6.50), which Danielle Seib trains, and he goes into this first-up with Tommy Berry going on board. 

He over-raced in the Wagga Guineas at his last start but still finished fourth before going for a spell. 

The Goulburn galloper is lightly raced but looks very promising. Many horses it faced during his last prep have gone through their grades. 

Rapidash ($3.10) is my third pick. She is an intriguing runner and unbeaten to date.

She goes up in class, but with the strength of the field, I don’t think she’ll be far away.

The ‘Each way play’ Charman’s List ($71). 

Trained by Rex Cole, who doesn’t come to the City very often, he has been running great races over shorter distances at Canberra, having no luck but getting home very strong. 

The 1400m will suit, and Molly Bourke goes on board, meaning his horse has no weight (52kg) after the claim and is a massive price.

Thunderbet’s Race Three selections 

1. Golden Decade ($2.65)

2. Associate ($6.50)

3. Rapidash ($3.10)

Each Way Play: Chairman’s List ($71 and $7)