Group l racing was the focus across Randwick and Flemington on Saturday, though there was an eye towards two weeks time with the Everest, plus a quality mare has run her last race. All that and more in this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.
Funstar = Superstar
Funstar confirmed her status as the best 3YO filly in Sydney in terms of big race wins with a brilliant all the way triumph in the Group l Flight Stakes (1600m), under a lovely ride from James McDonald, who had a fat day in the saddle. Second elect Probabeel was ridden to beat Funstar but was under pressure a fair way out and was a beaten horse 250m out.
Everest Picture Taking Shape…Or Is It?
The Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick left most with more questions than answers. The Doncaster winner Brutal returned with a bang, winning the race in brilliant fashion. Home Of The Brave, who pulled hard in front, held on for second. Classique Legend…his late splits were good, but can he improve? The other talking point was Osborne Bulls, who ran last in the small field but was found to be 3/5 lame post race. While at Flemington, Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane ran 1-2 in the Gilgai and are ticking over beautifully for the big one.
WA Mare Retired
Off the back of a disappointing first run for Chris Waller, Enticing Star is retired. She resumed last Saturday in the Golden Pendant and did nothing behind Mizzy. That raised concerns about whether or not she would take her place in The Everest, but Bob Peters announced during the week she’d be retired. That leaves the Chris Waller slot open and it will be fascinating to see what happens.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:
Considering the pattern of the day, and the fact she had to make a sustained run out wide, the win of Verry Elleegant in the Hill Stakes was just outstanding. Had no right to win because Samadoubt got a picnic in front and he gave a really good kick, but the Oaks winning mare kept finding and got the bob in despite being out of petrol tickets late. Wet track 2000m+…she’ll be hard to beat.
DEBUT OF THE WEEK:
I was pretty impressed by the win of Every Rose in the Gimcrack. The boys ran quicker in the Breeders Plate, but this girl was just a real pro. Jumped on the bunny, led, did everything right and showed a good turn of foot when asked for the big effort by Josh Parr. Not sure she’s A1 quality, but she looks a very mature two year old and that will take her a long way.
RIDE OF THE WEEK:
Jye McNeil won his first Group l aboard Kings Will Dream in the Turnbull and it was just an absolute peach. The horse can drift back in the run, but he was put into a good spot just off the speed and looked to travel with purpose hence why he shoved Finche out of the way and the change up speed from the horse was the difference. Had he been a pair further back in the run, he doesn’t win. Brilliant ride.
SLAUGHTER OF THE WEEK:
There were some pretty ordinary rides in the Blazer, won by Haut Brion Her. Full credit to Michael Walker, who seized the initiative, but there were some very negative rides in behind and just gifted the race to the mare, who dashed home in 33.67. Those behind had zero hope. Johnny Allen also butchered a couple towards the end of the program at Flemington.
HORSES TO FOLLOW:
Pohutukawa – She’s flying. Just needs a win to her name
Warning – He’s going to get better and better. He and Adelaice Ace are the two to take on Shadow Hero in the Derby
Supernova – He’ll make his way into the Melbourne Cup field
ONE MORE CHANCE:
Mystic Journey – If you like her for the Cox Plate, don’t drop off her. Her run was good
Subponaed – Ordinary steer. Might have come to the end of her prep, but don’t pen her
NEVER EVER AGAIN:
Pin Sec – She’s gone totally off the boil
Fidelia – She has great late speed…means nothing if you have no early speed. Happy to risk her for the remainder of the Spring
Graff – I think he’s overrated
Angel Of Truth – Jury well and truly out