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The Everest was hot on the agenda once again on Saturday while a nine year old could book himself a clash with the great mare Winx in the Cox Plate. Here is this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

KEY NEWS:

Nature Strip Wins…Just

He’s the fastest horse Darren Weir has got according to the trainer and it’s hard to argue with him given the horse broke the track record in winning the McEwen (1000m) at the Valley on Saturday. The question now is did that win convince the two remaining free slot holders he deserves a crack at The Everest. Max Whitby has stated he wants a 1400m-1600m horse to run a strong 1200m, so based on that, you’d say no for his slot…but what about the ATC?

Magic Consol v Winx?

If the connections pay the $200,000 late entry fee, that’ll be the case after the nine year old scored an upset win along with a guaranteed start in the Cox Plate by winning the Dato Tan Chin Nam (1600m) at the Valley on Saturday. He does seem a risk at the 2040m, with trainer Paul Preusker saying that post race…but very rarely do you get a chance to run in a Cox Plate. A decision will be made soon on whether or not the owners will pay the late entry fee.

Are Godolphin Brave Enough To Climb Everest?

That’ll be an interesting discussion point over the next few days with Home Of The Brave racing into Everest talks with a commanding all the way win in the Theo Marks (1300m) on Saturday at Rosehill, leading from the front and giving nothing else a look in. He is likely to head towards the Sir Rupert Clarke next but that could all change if he gains a slot. Trapeze Artist has been taken over as favourite for the Everest after getting beat, with Redzel the new top pick.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

I don’t think he’d win The Everest, but Nature Strip can do nothing more on the track. He has smashed the clock in recent starts and broke the track record on Saturday at the Valley in winning the McEwen. I highly doubt he’d run a strong 1200m, but this was just an outstanding effort, with pure speed from start to finish.

DEBUT OF THE WEEK:

Nakeeta Jane from Randwick on Wednesday. I’ll be surprised if she doesn’t win a maiden shortly after this outstanding debut. The track definitely suited those on speed/rail earlier in the day, so for her to come from last and make her run out wide to get within a half length of the leader/winner, I think Mark Newnham will have some fun with her. Looks a lovely prospect.

RIDE OF THE WEEK:

Can only go one way and that was clearly J Mac on Tarka in the Stan Fox. It was old school steering, keeping The Autumn Sun in a pocket and shoving him in, making sure he wasn’t getting out and at the same time keeping his horse balanced with momentum to keep surging and finding the line, which he did. Ride clearly won the race.

SLAUGHTER OF THE WEEK:

Jeff Lloyd, when he is on, he’s one of the best in Australia…but every now and then he produce a howler and he did so on Asharani at Doomben on Saturday. The ride just lacked any real decisiveness and the cherry on top was restraining for cover 500m out…why give up momentum? Nothing in the Stewards Report re the horse not being 100%, so no excuses there for now, but the ride was pretty plain.

HORSES TO FOLLOW:

Renewal- He’ll win soon if he jumps
Legend Of Condor- Drop back in grade/depth and he can run a race at odds
Maximus- Outstanding resumption near the inside, he’s in for a ripping prep
Lucky For All- Wins if he runs straight. Weiry is going to have fun with him
Yogi- Two outstanding runs now. He’s got a nice race in him this campaign

ONE MORE CHANCE:

I want to give Champagne Cuddles another chance. J Mac produced a peach on Tarka but I think the steer on this girl wasn’t great. He had the box seat and perfect drag up via Memes but instead elected to peel out and sit on a hot speed. She had to cave in late and did. Hopefully that hasn’t busted her for the Spring.

NEVER EVER AGAIN:

I think the winning days of Sold For Song are done with. Been over two years since she has won. Admittedly she’s taken on some high class races but on Saturday, it looked her race and after landing a good spot just off the speed, I thought it was no betting, she’d just win. But as soon as you had that thought, she went backwards and was very plain. Vet found nothing post race so I’ll be steering clear of her from now on even though she can run a touch flat second up.

 
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