With the distance rise to 1500m for the first time in the history of the Cameron Handicap, it shapes up as the perfect lead up race to the Epsom Handicap and the 2011 field for the Cameron agrees with top class gallopers set to take their place in the $150,000 Group three event.
The race has been won by good horses, such as Luskin Star, international performer Adam, Anthems, Excellerator and iron horse Court’s In Session. Kenny’s World was somewhat of a surprise winner last year but he has been in hopeless form ever since. This years edition has got the likes of All Silent, Neeson, Syreon and kiwi galloper Ginga Dude, who is the intriguing runner. Here is my runner by runner preview.
1 – All Silent
If he brought his best form, he’d win. But, he hasn’t shown any kind of form for a long time now. An even run in the Tramway behind Sincero when resuming. If he gets some pace and a firm surface, he could run a cheeky race, but you would have to be brave person to back this horse.
2 – Ginga Dude
One of New Zealand’s best horses. He was a big flop in the Autumn, but this time last year he was mixing with So You Think and he performed well. A recent barrier trial at Wyong suggests he is forward enough to win first up and he was won twice and placed twice when resuming. He obviously is aiming for races better than this, but class will carry him a long way towards victory. A key factor is that Bossy has been booked to ride first up.
3 – Neeson
He has been good this prep without winning. Performed well first up in the Missile, then had his chance in the Show County before leading and fighting on nicely in the Tramway. if he is going to the Epsom, this is D-day for him. Bowman on board is a positive sign, and if the track has give in it, he comes right into contention. He’ll sit near the speed, the 1500m suits, he looks beautifully weighted and will prove hard to beat.
4 – Syreon
Was run off his legs first up behind Zaratone before running a shocker in the Tramway after settling near the speed. Remember, he did finish fourth in the Doncaster and third in the Queen Elizabeth during the Autumn. That form hasn’t been seen at all this prep. Is he looking for 2000m? But anything trained by Chris Waller has to be respected. I wouldn’t have him in my first four based on his form, but it wouldn’t shock me if he came out and ran a much improved race.
5 – Prince Braeman
He has been very poor this time in, finishing last his lone two runs this prep. He is on his home track but that is the only positive.
6 – Izababe
Very good horse from Dubbo. Was off the scene for 10 months before he resumed with a slashing fourth in the Show County, making up good ground on the fence, which was like quick sand. He then went back to the bush and carried 61.5kg to a narrow but impressive victory in the Moree Cup. He drops 8.5kg on that run and he has proven he can mix it in the good races. $8 with some corporate bookies. I think that’s a great price for a horse that has won 10 of his 14 career starts. Local hero Robert Thompson rides and I think he’ll win. Barrier is a concern but nobody rides Newcastle better than Thompson.
7 – Madibagold
Weaved her way through and after looking a chance at the 300m, she just whacked away last start behind Balavan. This is the sort of race where he could bob up because if there is pace on and the track has some give, this six year old can finish hard if saved for the straight. Problem is that he rarely wins. He always seems to run on without winning. First four hope.
8 – Raspberries
Chimed in nicely and toughed it out to beat Altius last start at Rosehill. Altius ran poorly on Saturday, but Lamasery, who finished fourth, was most impressive when winning on Saturday so the form has its pros and cons. I thought she might be looking for further, but the Snowden camp have decided to run here. She’ll get the run of the race from the barrier, she has plenty of upside and she is a definite danger if she just gets some luck in the run.
9 – Light Brigade
Nice horse who wants 2000m+. He has won second up and the Waterhouse stable is flying, and I am a fan of this horse, but I don’t think this is his race. Having said that, he is only $9.50 in the market which is surprising. But he does have class and that will help if he is there when the whips are cracking. Cheeky exotic chance if he gets an easy time on the speed.
10 – Sea Lord
I think he is a sprinter, so the 1500m is a concern, but he worked to the line well when resuming five weeks ago behind Agister. The talent has always been there, but he tends to struggle on race day to produce it. Barrier seven is a slight worry as well because it may be difficult slotting in but it is a 600m run to the first turn from the 1500m start so Corey will have plenty of time. The concern is the distance. Don’t think so.
11 – Reuben Percival
The ideal Melbourne Cup horse as he will just keep chipping away. Trials leading up to this suggest he could run a race first up. It would not surprise me if he won because it looks like he has gotten more strong since coming back from a spell. A rain affected track also brings him into calculations. First four chance with a soft run throughout.
12 – Kaunda
A win is around the corner for this nice horse, but aiming too high running in this race.
13 – Field Dictator
Racing well at the moment but in much easier grade than this. No.
I’m putting Izababe on top. He just looks to have come back in great order and his win in the Moree Cup was brilliant given he got hampered and being forced to carry 61.5kg. He is the unknown factor but he has shown he can mix with the good horses. Very worried about Neeson. He is overdue to run a good race and this event looks perfect for him. He ticks all the boxes. I think the two runners representing Gai, Light Brigade and Reuben Percival can fill the other minor placings. They both are talented and Gai always seems to fire when this carnival comes along. Izababe, at value, to win the Cameron Handicap, ahead of Neeson, Reuben Percival and Light Brigade.
Written by Adam Page