There was some really good racing from both Rosehill and Flemington this Saturday, and while there were some impressive performances, there were no real standouts. However, I think there were a few races worth highlighting looking forward to the next few weeks and they being potential winning form references.
Race Three: VRC Member Abigail Bartlett Handicap (70) 1400m:
Race was won by Crockett and really, you couldn’t have had him on his SA form where he was hard in the market in all three runs to start the prep and didn’t attack the line at all. Comes out and wins here, perhaps largely down to a combo of Regan lifting him and the fact the horse was probably in the best ground. I think he had his Birthday/Christmas/Easter at once. I want to focus on the second and third placegetters, O’Tauto and Muswellbrook. I was one of a few who got the good overs about O’Tauto on Wednesday, with double figures on offer. He just got a little bit lost when Thornton popped him into clear but loved the way he knuckled down late, only being bloused by Crockett. Muswellbrook was first up and looked a bit big in condition. He built up the revs nicely from the 800m-200m but just blew out. I reckon next prep we’ll see the best of O’Tauto, but in regards to Muswellbrook, it was the run of a horse wanting much further, so I’d say the Derby would be an ideal target.
Race Four: VRC Member Rhonda Sexton Handicap (84) 1400m:
Johnny on the spot was Spanner Head and she got the win, but I think the two to follow out of this are Harmattan and Mariquita. They had no chance of winning the way the race was run. First 800m was run in just under 52 seconds, and when the winner runs 33.45 for her final 600m, you’d need to be a Group l horse to produce the necessary splits to win. Don’t drop off either Harmattan or Mariquita. They produced really good late splits, and Mariquita is a mare who is much better on firmer footing. Convinced she’s going well so don’t drop off her, and with Harmattan, she’s a 2000m+ horse for mine so forgive her for the run, which to the eye was disappointing, but under the circumstances, it was solid enough.
Race Six: The Rosebud 1100m:
In terms of the Golden Rose, I think we saw pretenders. But I think a Spring Champion horse was unearthed in Ringerdingding. I couldn’t believe the price he opened and rightfully he was backed late given how well he trialled leading in. Watching the replay, I think you can make a strong case he should have won. Had no room to build momentum in the straight and once he did get clear, he ran to the line and through it with purpose. If any of these are going to be in the Golden Rose, he’s the one I’d suggest. But as I said, I think the Spring Champion is his go. Full credit to Sandbar, he’s a beauty and the initiative from McEvoy to take care of the wide gate won him the race. The heavily backed Oxford Tycoon pulled up 1/5 lame so there were excuses there. Plague Stone…I don’t think you can use the ‘He was wide’ excuse given Trekking and Flow sat wide and won their respective races. He was there to win 250m out but didn’t finish off. He’s a nice horse, but I’d be stunned if he was to figure in the finish of a Golden Rose. Outrageous a pass mark, just.
Race Eight: Spring Preview Handicap 1400m:
Said after she won her second start that I Am Serious would be a Stakes winning mare, and I’ll be surprised if she isn’t a blacktype winner before the end of this prep. I love her yes, but gee this run was very good. Not normally a fresh horse, but loved the way she picked up the final 200m and really attacked the line with purpose to run a narrow second to a hard fit Flow. There are some very good mares in Sydney, but I Am Serious is on an upward spiral and heading in the right direction. Her late splits were excellent and she’s in for a ripping prep. Prized Icon ran a beauty on speed as well. Not his usual racing pattern but he toughed it out really strongly. In terms of those behind, keep an eye on Patrick Erin once he steps up in trip. That was an encouraging return from him and he produced the third quickest final 600m of the race.
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