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The Grand Final of Australian racing is The Championships and the mega two day Carnival kicked off on Saturday at Randwick with a world class ten race program, but unfortunately the meeting was marred by that ugly word ‘bias’. Here are the blackbookers for the meeting.

Race One: Kindergarten Stakes 1200m:

The blinkers certainly did the trick with Paquirri and the stable got a nice reward with a win on a big day and a good price. I think the horses to follow are behind, namely Stunts and Lean Mean Machine. The latter is still very raw, learning his craft, but looks a talented type, better over further, likewise with Stunts, who was warming to the task late. For the Spring, keep an eye on Vendome. Did a good job at start one and clocked some good late splits.

Race Two: Carbine Club Stakes 1600m:

Hindsight a wonderful thing. I’m dirty I didn’t follow in on Muraaqeb. He had been racing really well this time in without luck. Got the luck this time around and got the win. Holy Snow looked to have every chance it seemed while Dissolution appreciated soft sectionals on speed and fought on strongly. Think he will be better with a bunny to chase. I’ve had enough of Villermont. I think he might need gelding if he’s ever going to get a chance of being a proper race horse.

Race Three: PJ Bell Stakes 1200m:

Helped by the bias, but full credit to Houtzen for the win. I put the pen through her. I thought she was just a speed demon who’d struggle at the end of five furlongs never mind six furlongs yet she showed tremendous fight in the straight. Was there to be beaten but she found when challenged. I think if you want a horse to follow for the race and indeed meeting, it’s Frolic. Had no right to get as close as she did given the bias, and yes they did go quick early, but it was near impossible to make up ground. She did, clocking 33.39 for her final 600m. Catchy also very good late without much luck.

Race Four: Country Championships Final 1400m:

I fear he may go to Hong Kong, but if not, Victorem could well be the new kid on the block for Australian racing. The potential is there, the brilliance is there and most importantly, that turn of foot is there. Lucky to stay on his feet when McEvoy shoved him back in, but once he went back to the inside, he exploded and smashed them, running 34.49 for the final 600m and would have run quicker with clear air. Of the rest, I’d love to see Suncraze go to a race like the Scone Cup. He’s crying out for a fast run mile and he’d get it there. Never looked likely at any stage but hit the line strongly late.

Race Five: Chairmans Quality 2600m:

Didn’t see the Sydney Cup winner here. Looked a thin race on paper and I think that’s how it’ll end up after the race next week. The winner was ridden super and toughed it out strongly. Ventura Storm loomed to win but I think the weight pull and the harder run was the difference. Alward isn’t a stayer. That’s confirmed now. If you’re looking for a smokey for multiples next week in the Sydney Cup, it’s Doukhan. Kris Lees has him going really well and two miles on the back up no issue.

Race Six: Sires Produce Stakes 1400m:

Considering the track pattern/bias, the win of El Dorado Dreaming was unbelievable. I remember being keen on her when she debuted at Tamworth back October where she didn’t let down on the wet track. Two runs back were just fair but gee whiz, this win was something else. Oohood…well to my eye, she was out in time to explode. She did for about 50-75m, but I think she half turned it up last few strides, not stretching out like she had previously. From a Champagne perspective, the runs of Long Leaf and Not A Single Cent were good, especially the latter. No luck in the straight and he’ll eat up the mile.

Race Seven: Australian Derby 2400m:

What a great battle this was between Levendi and Ace High. When Tye pulled the whip to the right, you thought Ace High would kick on and win but Levendi surged and got the bob where it mattered. Of the beaten brigade, the run of Furore was amazing. Wide throughout and still had the hide to stick on. Mission Hill pulled his head off in the run and that put pay to his chances, likewise Belfast. Both nice horses who will improve with the prep under the belt.

Race Eight: TJ Smith Stakes 1200m:

Wow what about this win from Trapeze Artist. He produces world class runs when you least expect it. Did it in the Golden Rose and did it here. Gerald Ryan tried him as a miler. Didn’t work. Freshened up, trained him as a sprinter and he made the previous best sprinter in the country look ordinary. He’s a bludger to follow, but if he keeps that form up, the world is his oyster. In Her Time…well the ride was just far too negative. Didn’t cost her the win but should have finished much closer. Behind them, keep an eye out for The Mission. Wouldn’t surprise me if they head to Brisbane with him and look for a wet track. He’s absolutely flying.

Race Nine: Doncaster Mile 1600m:

Nobody could begrudge the win of Happy Clapper. He’s been the best horse this Autumn outside Winx and he got his Doncaster win, finally, after two placings the previous two editions. Lovely ride from Blake. Got the gun run off the speed, got the split and dashed away. It was dominant. Comin’ Through and Arbeitsam did remarkable jobs in defeat, likewise Lanciato from an impossible spot, as well as D’Argento. Kementari…should have finished closer, but it wasn’t the best of rides from Avdulla. Just made the wrong call. Humidor is spot on for the Queen Elizabeth. Ran his race in patches but excellent the last furlong.

Race Ten: Adrian Knox Stakes 2000m:

The run of the day, for mine, was Frolic, but the win of the day was clearly this girl. Had no right to win given the pattern of the day and how slow they went in the middle stages, and also keeping in mind she was giving them 7kg in weight plus fitness. Did a remarkable job to nab them on the line after taking off a fair way from home. It’ll be very interesting to see how she bounces off that re the Oaks. Does that toughen her up or will she be a sook.


Villermont- Every chance and didn’t finish
Sambro- Why the support for this horse? Done nothing
Alward- Nice horse. Just not a stayer. Keep him at 2000m and under

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