2022 The Invitation Runner By Runner Preview, Odds & Tips

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Fri 21st October 2022


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The Invitation is a 1400m non graded race run at Royal Randwick Racecourse, and is worth a staggering $2m in prize money. Eligible only to fillies and mares that have been extended an invite by Racing NSW, the set weights feature brings together a quality line up and was taken out last year by Icebath, who lines up again this year in a bid to go back-to-back.

Dabble currently has her (Icebath) $4.60 favourite for this year’s Invitation, off the back of some solid G1 form. Nimalee is on the second line of betting at $5.50, ahead of Forbidden Love and Espiona, both at $6.50. These four mares are the only runners in single figures at this stage.

However, we know with horse racing that anything can happen and there isn’t a lot between these girls. So, we have dissected each of the horses’ chances for you and provided our horse racing tips! Read on below to find our runner by runner preview of The Invitation 2022 along with The Shark’s best tips. 

1. Forbidden Love (2) – $6.50
Jockey – Blake Shinn 59.5kg
Trainer – Michael Freedman

Finished down the track in last Saturday’s Sydney Stakes after a short freshen. She never got on the track on that occasion and was far from disgraced. Will take up a forward spot from the good draw and has a brilliant record at the Randwick 1400m. Can bounce back.

2. Nimalee (9) – $5.50
Jockey – Regan Bayliss 59kg
Trainer – Matthew Smith

Proved too strong in the Golden Pendant two back before weakening late in the Epsom to finish fifth. Has a versatile racing pattern to offset the wide gate and will appreciate dropping back to her own sex here. One of the main hopes.

3. Icebath (3) – $4.60F
Jockey – Tom Sherry 59kg
Trainer – Brad Widdup

Finished second in the Tramway and George Main behind Zaaki and Anamoe, before a battling fourth in the Epsom last start. Starting to become a frustrating horse for punters but has to be respected yet again on the strength of her first two runs this prep.

4. Electric Girl (8) – $14
Jockey – Hugh Bowman 59kg
Trainer – Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes

Almost caused a big boil over in the Sheraco before a close up fifth to Nimalee last start at Rosehill. Racing well but has a poor Randwick record (8:0-0-1) and hasn’t been handed any favours by the handicapper.

5. Promise Of Success (10) – $15
Jockey – Kerrin McEvoy 58kg
Trainer – John O’Shea

Got a mile back and never got into the race first up in treacherous conditions. Will appreciate a slightly drier surface here second up and has a brilliant turn of foot on her day. Can improve rapidly if they over-do it up front.

6. Swats That (11) – $11
Jockey – Keagan Latham 58kg
Trainer – Ciaron Maher & David Eustace

Finished well along the rails last Saturday in the Sydney Stakes, off the back of two solid runs over the border. Hasn’t won for a long time and is untried past 1200m, but gives the impression she’ll handle the rise in trip and is racing well enough to figure in the money.

7. Expat (4) – $13
Jockey – Joshua Parr 58kg
Trainer – Mark Newnham

Led and held on well first up in the Golden Pendant before a lacklustre effort in atrocious conditions last start. Looks better suited back up to 1400m here but needs to find on her recent form to be considered a winning chance.

8. Barn Raider (13) – $31
Jockey – Will Price (a) 58kg
Trainer – Jerome Hunter

Victorian mare who resumes here off the back of a G1 placing in the Queensland Oaks. Has been given three solid jump outs in preparation for this and can sprint well fresh over the seven furlongs. Will need some luck from the wide gate but can’t be overlooked.

9. Belle Plaisir (5) – $20
Jockey – Sam Clipperton 58kg
Trainer – Tony & Calvin McEvoy

Finished midfield behind I Wish I Win first up before a strong second at Caulfield last start. Has raced consistently well since arriving from across the ditch and gets blinkers on for the first time in her career here. Will enjoy a soft run from the good gate and looks a real blowout chance.

10. Espiona (7) – $6.50
Jockey – Brenton Avdulla 58kg
Trainer – Chris Waller

Had excuses first up before a solid closing fourth in the Golden Pendant last start. Gets to Randwick now where she races well and gets the addition of winkers for the first time. Has an abundance of potential and can win if she’s on song here.

11. Never Talk (14) – $19
Jockey – Jason Collett 57kg
Trainer – Kris Lees

Found the line well both runs back this prep, the latest behind Sky Command a fortnight ago. This looks tougher here but she rarely runs a bad race and will be finishing hard at the back end of the race.

12. Sheeza Belter (1) – $11
Jockey – William Pike 54kg
Trainer – Peter & Paul Snowden

Lone filly of the race who resumes off the back of a G1 JJ Atkins win. Looked good in a recent barrier trial and will enjoy a nice trail from the inside gate. Respect.

13e. Charmmebaby (6) – $51
Jockey – N/A 57kg
Trainer – Bob Milligan

Resumed in a Quality Sprint at Port Macquarie where she got back and made some late headway. Better suited here up to 1400m but this race is a lot tougher. Happy to leave her out. 

14e. Ita (12) – $71
Jockey – N/A 57kg
Trainer – Bjorn Baker

Wasn’t far away in the Angst last Saturday behind Hope In Your Heart. Racing well but needs to find a few lengths to win this. Not keen.

Final Word

A quality bunch of fillies and mares line up to contest this year’s Invitation. There looks good speed on paper from Expat, Forbidden Love and Electric Girl, and the track, although rain affected, shouldn’t be too bad.

Pretty keen on the chances of Espiona here. She’s promised the world and so far only delivered a G3 victory. She should be ready to rumble third up here and loves the Randwick surface. She should also get a nice run in transit from the middle draw, with the winkers on for the first time, and hopefully give loyal followers something to cheer about.

Another mare who’s becoming costly to punters is Icebath. She was sent out favourite in the Epsom last start but could only manage a slogging fourth, but back to seven furlongs here, with a solid tempo up front, she should be well suited and can bounce back hard.

Former Kiwi, Belle Plaisir, looks good value in the race. She should enjoy a nice run from the good gate, has the blinkers on and is ultra consistent. The 3YO filly, Sheeza Belter, can run well fresh and Promise Of Success can improve second up on a better racing surface.

The Invitation TipLogo

10. Espiona – Win ($6.50)

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*Odds correct at time of writing, courtesy of Dabble.

Tom has had a passion for the racing industry from the time he could talk. Wether it was at school, on smoko or in his own spare time, he always had his head in the form guide.He has worked hands on in the industry for years for some of Australia’s most highly regarded trainers. As a track rider, he has put the polish on some of the best horse flesh to grace the turf in recent years including the grey flash, Chautauqua, Golden slipper winner, Mossfun and sprinter-turned-sire, Deep Field to name a few.Tom has recently hung up the boots to focus solely on his punting and tipping services. With the objective of finding plenty of winners and value in the marketplace, you’ll be sure to have a fat wallet following his feature race previews.