When you look back at past winners of the Spring Stakes at Newcastle, gee some outstanding horses have greeted the judge.
And the word ‘outstanding’ is an understatement. Ebony Grosve, Dracula, Shogun Lodge, Magic Albert, Clangalang, Lotteria, Hotel Grand, Sousa and Ilovethiscity…that is a very impressive list of winners and I have no doubt another good horse will add their name to the list on Wednesday. But who will it be? Here is my runner by runner preview.
1 – Just The Tonic
Has done everything right in his two career runs to date. Toyed with them on debut at Canterbury before showing some ticker and fight to record a game win at Rosehill. I like him. He has the Waterhouse toughness in him and he’ll appreciate the 1600m and some give in the ground won’t be an issue. He looks like he will get the lead on a platter and Newcastle is the sort of track which suits on pace runners. One of the hardest to beat for sure.
2 – Darci Be Good
Derby horse for next year. Got to the front too soon but still did well to win first up at Rosehill over Strike The Stars, who ran a blinder in the Chelmsford. He then went to the Ming Dynasty at Warwick Farm and although he never looked like the winner, he still ran well to finish third behind Ambidexter. Does he have the ping to match it with some of these? No, but he’ll chip away and be in the finish if there is some pace on. G Boss riding is handy too.
3 – Ambidexter
Full brother to Group one winner Skilled so the 1600m will be a big plus for this bloke. Did the job nicely to win his maiden at Warwick Farm two starts back, then he produced a powerful finishing burst to nab kiwi horse Sangster near the line to win the Ming Dynasty. He’ll get the perfect run from barrier three, the Snowden camp is on fire at the moment and he’ll be right in the thick of things.
4 – Rekindled Alliance
Very good horse on the rise for Paul Messara. Wonderful final 200m to win on debut at Canterbury before striking trouble and nearly grabbing Just The Tonic at Rosehill. He arguably should have beaten Just The Tonic there but there is a thing called revenge and I think he can get it here. He has that explosive turn of foot if Corey gets him some cover and a drag in to the race. Being related to Saturdays Dato Tan Chin Nam winner Rekindled Interest, 1600m won’t be an issue.
5 – Boys On Tour
Don’t know about this horse. There is ability there, but how much? He was ok behind Ambidexter in the Ming Dynasty but that’s all he was, ok. He has been a big flop for Patinack and I am happy to leave him because I think this race is a bit rich for him, even though the small field plays into his hands. Maybe, just maybe, a sneaky first four hope but I certainly wouldn’t back him to win until he shows some sort of form.
6 – Trapunto
Even though it was a midweek Canterbury win, I thought it was most impressive as he was forced to make a long searching run from the 600m yet on the line he was being eased down by Corey. He is a nice horse judging by that performance and he has plenty of scope for improvement. He could be the knockout horse from the barrier one because if he does hold his ground, he’ll get the soft run behind Just The Tonic. Definite danger for me.
7 – Taronga
The only people cheering this horse home will be connections and the locals. He was ordinary behind Trapunto after having a soft run on the fence. Not here.
8 – Fortunefivehundred
Debut run had merit behind Rolston but he was a disappointment at Hawkesbury in what was a very weak maiden. Big shock if he won.
Rekindled Alliance for me. I’ve been a fan of his since day one and this race looks perfect for him. He won’t be too far away, slow speed, he can show his turn of foot and win here. He just needs cover. If he gets that, he just about wins. Just The Tonic for second. Easy lead here, Waterhouse toughness, Munce in career best form, has to be respected on a big day of the Spring carnival. Trapunto in for third because of the easy run he should get and his last start win was most impressive. A repeat performance will see him right in the money here and Ambidexter was strong in the Ming Dynasty and looks to have upside as he progresses to a possible crack at the Spring Champion Stakes in a fortnight. A very good edition of the Spring Stakes will be run and won here, but I think the turn of foot from Rekindled Alliance will get him home.
Written by Adam Page
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