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Winx stole the show once again, the Victoria Derby and VRC Oaks pictures became somewhat clearer and the name ‘Cummings’ will feature on the first Tuesday in November. All that and more in this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

KEY NEWS:

Winx…Oh My

She had absolutely no right to win. The other jocks in the race rode to beat her and for the most part, it worked. But when this mare rattles off a last 800m of sub 44, a last 600m of just over 32…she’s just impossible to beat and she rounded them up, seemingly with ease on the line to claim her second Turnbull Stakes. Onwards to the Cox Plate now where, touch wood, we will see history.

Everest Field Set…For Now

The last week saw a dramatic change to the make up of the final field for The Everest, with Nature Strip, English and Invincible Star all pulling out of their respective slots due to form/injury. The big winner was Kris Lees, who had no horses in the race at one stage but come jump time of The Everest, he’ll have three runners: Graff, Le Romain and In Her Time.

Maid Of Heaven Gets Her Group l

Was somewhat unwanted by punters, but I don’t think many could begrudge the win of Maid Of Heaven in the Spring Champion, providing Mark Newnham and Rachel King with their first major. It’s a great reward for both. Newnham was a key rider for Tulloch Lodge back in the day and is starting to build up quite a strong stable, while King is definitely in the conversation alongside Linda Meech and Jamie Kah as the best female hoop in Australia.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

How can you ignore Winx? As stated above, she simply had no right to win the race. The only possible way of beating her is to walk in front and hold her up. The jocks around her rode to beat the mare but she eventually got the gaps and her finale was stunning. Also want to mentioned Eduardo, who is still eligible for much easier races but went absolutely enormous in the Gilgai. He’s a proper horse.

DEBUT OF THE WEEK:

Rare Episode was pretty impressive on debut on a bottomless Gosford surface. The time will say he was much slower than the other 1100m races but have to keep in mind the track was getting worse as the day progressed so the time I wouldn’t worry about. It was the way he won. Led all the way, did everything right and pulled away despite copping pressure mid race. Interesting to see where he goes.

RIDE OF THE WEEK:

Big tick to Tommy Berry on Evopex. Horse has been ridden cold since joining Jim Jarvis but Tommy, and most, saw a tricky speed map, so he took bad luck out of it and went straight to the front, controlling things beautifully and from that point on, it was pretty painless viewing if you were on the Coffs horse, who is flying at the moment since coming to NSW.

SLAUGHTER OF THE WEEK:

I don’t know whether to give it to Hugh Bowman or the Victorian Stewards. Ranier should have won, simple as that. Bowman elected to stay in behind Wild Planet and wait instead of pushing Syd’s Coin out of the way. The ride should have copped a suspension, but instead the Stewards gave a severe reprimand aka nothing. You want to stamp that sort of stuff out and give some form of deterrent, like we have seen recently with Corey Bayliss in Queensland.

HORSES TO FOLLOW:

Youngstar – Right on track for the Caulfield Cup, and perhaps Melbourne Cup
Savacool – That mares race over 2000m during Cup Week would be perfect for her, great run on Monday.
Verry Elleegant – El Dorado Dreaming still wins the Oaks for mine…but very wary of this girl.
Sir John Lavery – Should have gone close to winning had he got clear air at the right time.
Eduardo – Enormous in defeat, again.

ONE MORE CHANCE:

I wouldn’t put the line through Thinkin Big just yet. I was against him in the Spring Champion due to the thought of the Gloaming not really being a test. He did work in the run, it was a heavy track. I can forgive him for that. The question will be how does he bounce out of that. Does that toughen him up for the Derby or does he sook up and throw the toys out of the cot.

NEVER EVER AGAIN:

Data Point…I need an uppercut for tipping this horse. He’s an absolute cat. Got sucked in by the 49kg and the heavy track form, but he never ever looked likely and just plodded up the straight behind Zourkhan. Needs to drop back to provincial grade I think because his city days, winning ones at least, are done with.

 
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