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This week it was pretty much all about Chautauqua and whether or not he’d jump from the gates in front of the Rosehill crowd on Saturday. That, and the three year olds strutted their stuff. Here is this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

KEY NEWS:

The End For Chautauqua?

That’s the question being asked after the champion grey produced his usual tricks in the barriers on Saturday at Rosehill. The thing is this time he actually did leave the barriers and as he always does, produces some amazing late splits despite conceding a huge start. A decision will be made on Monday as to whether or not he’s allowed to race in NSW.

Brutal Wins…Impressively?

He’s the ruling favourite for the Caulfield Guineas and high up in betting for the Golden Rose but there were a few doubts raised after he won the McKenzie Stakes (1200m) on Saturday at the Valley. He only got there in the last couple of strides and the time wasn’t exactly flash relative to the meeting. He got the job done, which is the main thing, but IMO would need to improve big time in order to be a Caulfield Guineas contender.

Graff The Real Deal?

Trainer Kris Lees doesn’t give too much away when it comes to interviews and his horses, but when he says that Graff is the best colt he’s trained, you stand up and take notice. He was such an impressive winner of the San Domenico at Rosehill on Saturday and he did it making his run nearer the inside, which clearly wasn’t the spot to be, yet he put them away and won like a top class colt. He heads to the Run To The Rose before the Golden Rose.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

Have to go right back to last Sunday and the Grand National at Ballarat with the performance of both Sea King and Spying On You getting equal recognition. Sea King is 12 years of age, he has been an absolute iron horse for Patrick Payne and Kevin Myers and he once again showed his greatness by winning this race. Looked gone on the turn but he lifted under Pateman and nabbed Spying On You on the peg, denying Grant Young his biggest win and the title of one of the best training efforts in recent years given the horse was only second up.

DEBUT OF THE WEEK:

On times, it’s a big fat no, but times aren’t everything and sometimes you just have to trust your eye and that is the case with Girl Tuesday, a blueblood who debuted for Chris Waller at Newcastle on Saturday. Was well backed but halfway in the race, you didn’t want a share in her because she was spotting them a tidy start, but once Rory Hutchings gave her clear air and got fair dinkum, she rounded them up like a really good horse. Want to see her do it again, but she looks a beauty, potentially.

RIDE OF THE WEEK:

He’s getting on in years and the gap between his good and bad is widening, but gee it was vintage Olly on Merriest at the Valley on Saturday. Could have eased for likely cover, but he knew how the track would be playing and seized the initiative by pushing hard for the lead, then getting a breather between the 800m-400m and that’s when he won the race, just proving too good, but clearly the ride won the race.

SLAUGHTER OF THE WEEK:

Michael Walker and Mitch Aitken get the spoils here. Walker and his steer on Fighting Harada…no words really. It was just painful viewing if you were on. The other ride, Aitken on Snitzepeg, was down to a lack of urgency. Had a sweet trip on the fence but from the turn onwards, there was no initiative when he needed to angle off and by the time he wanted to, he got shoved in and that was the end of that.

HORSES TO FOLLOW:

Kinky Boom – One of the runs of the day against the bias.
Ocean Knight – He’ll be hard to beat up in trip on a bigger track.
Highway Sixtysix – Barrier manners beat her today.
I Am Serious – She’s flying this girl and she’ll get a blacktype win very soon.
Avilius – This import looks the real deal and could be a big player during the spring.

ONE MORE CHANCE:

I think be a bit forgiving of Single Bullet. First up with 61.5kg, he had to make his run nearer the inside and he just got a bit bogged down I thought whereas the winner was out wide and had a 6.5kg weight pull. From the same race, what about the run of She Knows!? She’s got more wins in store I’m sure.

NEVER EVER AGAIN:

Perhaps a drop to midweek grade will suit Sanctioned, but he can go without me. Been on him in all three runs this time in and thought he had a great chance of winning on Saturday at Rosehill but did nothing behind Paret. The same can be said for Valentino Rossa. Given a 12/10 by Kathy, loomed to win but the horse didn’t want to win.

 
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