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A Group l fairytale was complete at Caulfield, Avilius bounced back to his brilliant best and a Melbourne Cup contender confirmed his status as a leading contender. All that and more in this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.


Lock Up Your Mothers Warrnambool

Warrnambool will be absolutely feral tonight and for good reason after the Daniel Bowman trained Begood Toya Mother, who had been set for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield for several months, got a deserved win in the feature, proving trainer, horse and jockey Declan Bates with a maiden triumph at the highest level. The scenes post race were fabulous and really summed up what racing is about.

Avilius The Best In Australia…On Wet Ground Only?

He had let punters down in his opening two runs for the prep but with a wet track on the cards, punters buttered up on Avilius in the George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick and he produced an outstanding finale from off the pace to get the job done. His main aim will be the Cox Plate where he failed poorly in last year, but if the track has some give in it, he could be one of the hardest to beat.

Finche Cherry Ripe For Flemington

Finche ran a bottler in the 2018 Melbourne Cup and he looks like he will be one of the leading chances for the 2019 edition if his win in the Kingston Town (2000m) at Randwick is any guide. He was aided by a soft tempo and sitting near it, but his class really came to the fore when it counted and keep in mind he was second up, with seemingly a stack of improvement to come.


Have to take your hat off to Daniel Bowman and the training effort with Begood Toya Mother. For a while now, he was the horse regarded as the one to beat in the Sir Rupert Clarke, and for a relatively small stable, that’s pressure in a Group l, but he handled it brilliantly and the horse showed his class late, dominating proceedings late. Also a massive wrap to Declan Bates. He’s been hard at it recently getting down to 52kg and it was made all the worth while.


Wasn’t the strongest maiden going around, but I thought the debut win of Oscar Boy at Bairnsdale on Monday was impressive. He was under pressure before the turn and looked to be going nowhere, but he balanced up in the straight and really attacked the line like a good horse to get the job done. Think he’ll get better over further and Jason Warren and his stable is going well at the moment.


Gee he can weave some magic Barend Vorster and he was at it again aboard Shop Til I Drop at Morphettville. She looked in a hopeless spot on the turn, like she has looked the two starts prior, but like the last two, Vorster was able to weave a path through and the mare answered the call, taking the gaps and really savaging the line late like a mare on the rise.


I’m not sure why Jay Jay D’Ar was punched out to lead at all costs by Michael Cahill, who has been the form rider in QLD the past couple of months. The mare hasn’t led like that ever and the chance was there to control the race alongside Smug Satisfaction, but he forced the issue to find the front and that early burn just took away her finale. Touch more conservative ride and she wins. Avdulla on Star Of The Seas wasn’t great viewing either.


Master Of Wine – Coming winner with the right placement once he gets out in trip
Cascadian – Unlikely to get into the Epsom. Races like the Toorak and Cantala would be perfect
Star Reflection – Excellent return
Gallic Chieftain – He’ll be winning when he gets his blinkers


Verry Elleegant – Wide no cover…not dropping off her…yet
Supernova – He’s better than that…surely?
Madison County – No real luck in the straight. Want to see again


Master Ash – Even the gelding operation hasn’t worked
So Taken – Had her chance. Races will only get harder

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