The second Group 1 on a sensational Rosehill program this Saturday is the WFA Ranvet Stakes. It shapes up as a match race between Fiorente and It’ A Dundeel and when markets opened on Wednesday afternoon, bookies were not taking any chances and posted each runner at $2.75. They clearly dominate the market with Foreteller, last year’s winner, the next best at $10.00. Gai Waterhouse has a strong record in this race and Fiorente is successful here, she will have won the race eight times.
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1. FIORENTE – D Oliver (4)
The 5yo stallion has returned in sensation form after winning last year’s Melbourne Cup. He claimed the G2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first up before a fortnight ago, winning the G1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington. The Australian Cup is a great form reference for this race with the last three winners of the Ranvet, coming out of that event. Has not run a bad race in nine Australian starts and has a remarkable will to win.
2. IT’S A DUNDEEL – J McDonald (1)
Swept all before him as a 3yo last season and since stepping up against the older horses, has won the Underwood Stakes (1800m), defeating Atlantic Jewel, and ran second in the G1 Queen Elizabeth and at his most recent start, the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes. He was first up off a seventeen week spell in the Chipping Norton a fortnight ago, where he had to show is hand a little earlier in the run than he would’ve liked. Tracking him throughout was eventual winner Boban who got the better of him by a length. Won the Underwood second up last prep and wouldn’t have gone backwards from the first up run. Can take up a forward position from one if the opportunity presents itself and will be very hard to beat.
3. FORETELLER – C Newitt (5)
He won this race last year as a $31 chance after finishing unplaced in the Australian Cup. This year, he third in the Australian Cup, ¾ of length behind Fiorente after again finding Fiorente a shade too strong in the G2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m), where he finished fifth (1 ¼ lengths). Goes well her on his home-track but hasn’t been able to beat Fiorente in any of the four times they have met.
4. HAWKSPUR – J Cassidy (8)
Started favourite in last year’s Caulfield Cup and his effort to finish seventh was a good one. He then failed in the Melbourne Cup and was spelled. The son of Purrealist returned to racing in the C. F. Orr Stakes (1400m) where he was expected to be finishing off hard however, he was under pressure a long way out and disappointedly ran last, nine lengths from Moment of Chance. A return to Sydney a month later and teaming up again with regular jockey Jim Cassidy, produced a much better result when he finished well behind Boban and It’s A Dundeel in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m). Should improve again off of that effort and will keep the two favourites honest late.
5. MORIARTY – J Bowman (7)
It was a very pleasing effort form the 6yo when he resumed from a spell in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m). Over a trip well short of his best, he was really starting to warm to his task late and made further improvement off of that run at his next start, the G2 Apollo Stakes. He didn’t have the acceleration required of the 1400m but was again winding up late and claimed third behind the very much in-form, Appearance. He then settled much closer than expected in his next and most recent start, the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes and was flat over the final stages, holding on for fourth (2.6 lengths). Better ridden from back in the field and allowed to warm into his races. Has had eight starts at WFA and whilst he has gone close on occasions, still yet to win one.
6. CARLTON HOUSE – T Berry (2)
Not much was expected from The Queen’s horse when he resumed in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) early last month and his effort to ninth, 5 ¼ lengths behind Appearance was fair. He then immediately stepped up to 1900m in the Listed Parramatta Cup and under 61kgs, led the field. He was well rated in front and appeared to enjoy the soft track conditions, beating all bar Opinion home who never left the fence and had 7kgs less. He’ll be fitter again but takes on a much stronger field here than last start.
7. SERTORIUS – R Maloney (6)
The son of Galileo put together a very good spring campaign and appeared to have picked up from where he left when resuming in the G1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) late last month. After jumping awkwardly and being at the tail of the field, he continued to improve his position before taking a lot of ground of eventual winner Moment Of Challenge, running him to a long neck. He then started favourite in the Blamey Stakes (1600m) and settled toward the tail of the field. The race was dominated by those on the pace and he was only warming to his task when the race was over. Doesn’t run too many bad races and the 2000m third up looks ideal. Can fill a place.
8. SILENT ACHIEVER – N Rawiller (9)
5yo mare from Richard James’ New Zealand stable, she finished just behind the place-getters in some of the big races during the spring with the pick of her runs behind a sixth (1.6 lengths) in the Turnball Stakes. She returned to racing in New Zealand to commence this campaign with a good win under 60kgs over 1500m and backed that up with another strong win in the G1 New Zealand Stakes, where from mid-field, she finished too strong for Historian to win by 1 ½ lengths. The spell has served her well and she’s come back in very good form and ready to produce her best but still only the one win from twelve Australian Starts.
9. GONDOKORO – R McLeod (3)
The winner of last year’s QLD Oaks, this Zabeel 4yo mare had a good spell in the second half of last year and returned to racing in the Listed John Dillon Stakes (1400m) where, not surprisingly, she was run off her feet and finished a long last. A month later she lined up in the Kilmore Cup (1600m) but failed to make any impression again from the tail of the field and run sixth (9.6 lengths) behind Sweet As Bro. The step up to 2000m suits but the quality of this race does not and would be surprised to see her finish in the first half dozen.
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Carlton House to lead but on paper, there doesn’t appear to much speed so it’ll be interesting to see who take the initiative. Think It’s A Dundeel will have to push forward from one which isn’t a bad thing as is was from an on-pace position that he got the better of Atlantic Jewel second up last prep in the Underwood Stakes. He may find himself with a few lengths advantage on Fiorente as they turn for home that may prove crucial. Fiorente is a winner – he stretches out and gives his best each time and will only need to be within striking distance to be winning. For the placings or the multiples, going with Waller’s trio of Hawkspur, Moriarty and Hawkspur.