The first of three Group 1 races on the Rosehill card this Saturday is the Galaxy Stakes. Last year’s winner Bel Sprinter is back to defend his title but it is the horse he beat, Snitzerland, that punters believe will go one better on Saturday and record her second Group 1 win. She is the current favourite at $4.40 in what is a very open affair. Darley’s Sessions and John O’Shea’s promising Kencella, are the only other runners under double figures at $8.00 and $7.50 respectively
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1. BEL SPRINTER – C Newitt (2) 58kgs
He won this race last year in devastating fashion first up off a spell, steaming home to defeat Snitzerland by 3 ¼ lengths when carrying 53.5kgs and jumping from 11. He hasn’t won a race in seven attempts since that victory though and comes into this year’s edition third up, after running ninth (4.2 lengths) in the Oakleigh Plate and fourth (1.4 lengths) in the G2 Challenge Stakes behind Villa Verde. It was a better effort last start where he was last and widest on the turn but he’ll get back from an inside draw and need to be going well enough to make his own luck.
2. SNITZERLAND – B Avdulla (8) 56.5kgs
Finally won a much deserved Group 1 when winning the G1 The Lightning Stakes (1000m) first up at Flemington in the middle of last month, defeating Shamexpress and Samaready. The only start since for the Gerald Ryan trained galloper as been in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick a fortnight ago, where she finished a close second as the 2/1 favourite. From a wide gate she sat outside of the leading pair Buffering and Whittington, and was strong late, only being grabbed in the final stages by Villa Verde who had tracked her throughout and had a 2.5kgs advantage. Ran second in this race last year and is in the right kind of form to go one better this year. She should be able to find a good spot from her draw behind what should be a very strong pace. Never runs too many bad races and wouldn’t think she’d start doing so here.
3. FAMOUS SEAMUS – T Clark (1) 56.5kgs
Noel Mayfield-Smith’s 5yo ran a very good race first up in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m), running third (1 ¼ lengths) to Villa Verde after finishing well from the tail of the field. No surprise to see him attempt this race second up given his record of two wins and three placings including a neck third in last year’s Challenge Stakes to Arinosa. Back to handicap conditions is in his favour and he doesn’t mind the sting out of the track. At best when able to get back and run on but should be able to get a good spot from one and enjoy the strong pace. Ran third to Lankan Rupee last spring in a G3 race and would rate him a sneaky place chance at odds here.
4. RAIN AFFAIR – M Rodd (5) 56kgs
Joe Pride’s 6yo by Commands was very disappointed when running a distant last after leading in the G2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first up from a spell. He was sent back to the trials and returned in the G1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) where he ran the field along and despite leading by four lengths at the furlong, he folded late running second to last and 4.4 lengths behind Appearance. He’ll get his chance to atone here though with the likelihood of a wet track, the return to 1100m, a good gate and weight. The last time he encountered similar conditions, he ran second to Your Song in the G1 BTC Cup and won the G3 Missile Stakes by 5 ½ lengths. First ride for Rodd and there’ll be no excuses for him here.
5. SESSIONS – K McEvoy (3) 56kgs
Continued to improve with each run last prep resulting in a narrow victory in the G2 The Shorts (1200m) before a fourth in the Gilgai Stakes followed by a neck third to Buffering and Lucky Nine in the G1 Manikato Stakes. The son of Lohnro returned in the G2 Challenge Stakes and run fourth (1.6 lengths) to Villa Verde after coming home well from the back of the field. That run and the step up to the 1200m will serve the 4yo well. Mixed it with the best sprinters in the land last time in and should continue to do so again here from an ideal draw.
6. TEMPLE OF BOOM – J Bowman (12) 55.5kgs
The 7yo returned to racing off an eighteen week spell in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) a fortnight back. He raced outside of the eventual winner Villa Verde in the run but just didn’t have the sprint required to go with her in the straight. His effort to finish eighth, only 1 ¾ lengths behind, was not a bad one though. This race should be run to suit for him, strong pace on what should be a rain-effected track, second up however, he hasn’t seen the winner’s stall since claiming this race 2 years and sixteen starts ago. During that time, his record in G1 races reads 10: 0-0-1 which makes him hard to have with any confidence.
7. SEE THE WORLD – J Collett (6) 55kgs
A stable-mate to Rain Affair that will be settling a long way back in the run but as he has shown in the past, he is capable of reeling off a big finish. He resumed form a spell in a BM 95 (1100m) three weeks ago under the hefty weight of 63.5kgs but regardless of the weight, was hitting the line nicely to run second (1 length) behind the in-form Territory. He has won at Listed level and has been competitive in a few G3 races but this is the first time he has contested a Group 1 race and whilst he’ll be running home, it’s may not be well enough to catch of few at this level.
8. TIGER TEES – N Rawiller (4)
He commenced this campaign in Brisbane by winning the Listed Falvelon Stakes (1200m) under 59.5kgs back in late February before coming to Sydney and contesting the G2 Challenge Stakes (1200m). Joe Pride’s runner drew the inside gate and settled on the leader’s (Buffering) back in the run but when Buffering surprisingly didn’t extend as expected in the straight, the son of Dubawi had nowhere to go and ran out of room searching for a run at the 125m mark. As his breeding suggests, he doesn’t mind the sting out of the ground and should’ve finished closer to the winner than the 2.2 lengths he did in the Challenge Stakes. At a big price, he may be worth throwing into the multiples as he’ll get a charmed run from four and Rawiller is sticking with him.
9. VILLA VERDE – J McDonald (14) 53kgs
She couldn’t have made a better start for her Trainer Anthony Cummings when she won the G2 Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Randwick. She settled just off a good speed and finished well to claim Snitzerland on the line by half a length. She meets Snitzerland a further kilo to the good here but unlike last start, where she draw perfectly in gate five, she’s come up with the outside barrier here in fourteen. She drew wide as well in her last start at Rosehill (gate 15), in the G1 Golden Slipper last year where she finished seventh on a slow track.
10. SATIN SHOES – J Cassidy (11) 53kgs
Clarry Connors’ mare returned form a long spell of nine months by running last in the G2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) but was only 3 ½ lengths from the winner Villa Verde. She’ll be fitter again and has been placed at G2 level in the past but her only win in her last eighteen starts came in Listed event at Scone. The draw and the likelihood of a wet track are not favourable conditions are also against here.
11. IRISH FLING – M Du Plessis (9) 52kgs
New Zealand mare by Darci Brahma who has won four of her last seven runs including the G1 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) defeating Natuzzi by a neck. Her most recent start came four weeks ago where, as she regularly does, she finished well from the tail of the field to claim fourth (1.2 lengths) behind Little Wonder in the G3 Darley Plate (1200m). Performing well in the right races at home but would think this is tougher again.
12. KENCELLA – C Schofield (10) 52kgs
He continued to build a very impressive record by winning his sixth race at start number nine in last week’s G3 McCarten Stakes (1100m). The Exceed And Exceed 4yo jumped straight to the front and displayed sustained speed to defeat Va Pensiero and That’s A Good Idea, keeping his perfect record at this track and trip from three starts, intact. This is a whole new level again and is on the quick back-up but, he is a speedy customer and with only 52kgs, will give them something to chase.
13. WHITTINGTON – T Berry (3) 52kgs
Gai Waterhouse’s 3yo colt by Tale Of The Cat ran a great race sitting outside of Buffering in the G2 Challenge Stakes last start, holding on well for fifth (1 ½ lengths) behind Villa Verde. That was his first run since winning the Magic Million Sprint on the Gold Coast in early January, coupled with the fact that that was only his eighth start, there’s plenty of positives for this bloke moving forward. He has drawn the ideal gate and drops 4kgs on last start, meeting Villa Verde 3kgs better. Has to be among the leading contenders given his last start performances and favourably conditions here.
14. ANATINA – C Williams (7) 52kgs
She registered her fourth win from eight starts and her second at Stakes level when winning the Listed Mss Security Stakes (1100m) at Flemington three weeks ago. It was her first run since winning at Ballarat in November and she secured a lovely run throughout from the inside gate, holding off the fast-finishing Gregers to win by ¾ length. Form out of that race is solid and would have to respect the Stable’s decision to have a crack at this race. She may be in for better things but at this stage, a G1 might be aiming too high.
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Rain Affair, Whittington and Kencella, will ensure this is run at a good speed. There shouldn’t bee too many excuses for Rain Affair here. The likelihood of a wet track, nicely weighted, four from six at the track, unbeaten in two starts this track/trip… wouldn’t think he’d get a better chance to register his first G1 victory. And after letting the punters down regularly in his past few starts, to see him bob up at $11’s wouldn’t surprise! Hardest to beat is obviously Snitzerland. She’s in outstanding form and doesn’t ran too many bad races, Avdulla should be able to tag a good speed her from eight and she’ll be in the finish. Session suits the profile of recent winners of this race, a horse that settled back and runs home strong and late. He was good first up and is another who enjoys this circuit. A couple at big odds capable of running bold races are Famous Seamus and Tiger Tees. Both good last start and drawn to get nice runs. If they can find some space late, would not be surprised if they filled a place.
- RAIN AFFAIR
- TIGER TEES/FAMOUS SEAMUS