The second and final day of The Championships rolled around on Saturday at Randwick, headlined by champion mare Winx, who made it 25 on the bounce and equalled Black Caviar with a win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). Here are the blackbookers for the meeting.
Race One: China Horse Club Mile 1600m:
The turn of foot that Futooh has got was the winning factor here. Beautiful tuck in behind the speed, which was the A1 factor in winning at this meeting. Got the split and dashed too quick for them. Muswellbrook is going to be a really nice three year old and he’s looking like a real 2000m+ horse. Aristocratic Miss just raced like a flat horse late and rightfully so after a pretty brutal Autumn campaign. She’ll get the mile next prep. Just couldn’t see it out today after the campaign she’s had.
Race Two: South Pacific Classic 1400m:
You can follow the first two with a fair bit of confidence as they possibly head towards Scone/Hawkesbury and then potentially Brisbane. I think the margin flattered the rivals of California Turbo. Got left exposed a bit earlier than what Lane would have I liked I think and he wanted to half turn it up late. Dark Dream excellent from the back and he looks a real up and comer. Renewal and Isaurian both disappointing but being pestered by Waimea Bay didn’t help.
Race Three: Percy Sykes Stakes 1200m:
I think we saw a top shelf horse for the future here in Pure Elation. Did everything wrong in the run yet ambled to them 300m out and it was just a matter of Walker pressing the button. She was dominant and once she figures out what the racing caper is, she could dominate the 3YO fillies races in the Spring. Outback Barbie unlucky, but was never going to beat Pure Elation. I think for the future, especially Brisbane, we can follow Gongs with confidence. A race like the Ken Russell on Hollindale Day at the Gold Coast would be perfect.
Race Four: Provincial Championships Final 1400m:
Stunning win by Serene Miss. Yes, had things to suit, but first time at 1400m against that field, she did it with ease. One of the wins of the day, visually. I’ll be interested to see where Plaisir goes next. I reckon a race like the Scone Cup would be perfect. He’s looking for the mile and did produced the quickest final 600m of the race. Just Dreaming given every chance by Bowman, but perhaps the weight pull and rock hard track played against her. Bon Amis brave in defeat after doing work in the run.
Race Five: Arrowfield Sprint 1200m:
The race just set up perfectly for Catchy and it was a rare gem in Sydney from Moreira. Got her to relax sweetly out the back, present at the top of the straight and she went bang. Viridine the clear hard luck story. Not sure he would have won but we will never know. Houtzen a clear forgive given the pattern of the day not suiting leaders at all.
Race Six: Australian Oaks 2400m:
Unforgotten a ripping win, aided by a Bowman peach, but when you break down the sectionals and considering how poorly leaders went prior, the run of Hiyaam was the run of the day by a mile, and that’s including Winx. Had no right to fight on like she did given Mick Dee really set a good tempo into the wind. Should have dropped off but Unforgotten was the only thing standing in the way of a memorable Oaks win. I’m a fan of Mark Zahra, but I have to give him a clip for the ride on Aloisia. Yep, she probably doesn’t run a staying trip, but she wasn’t given much chance here. Just a very negative ride with little to no initiative.
Race Seven: Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2000m:
There are no superlatives left for the mare. Despite it being a 2000m race she’s run 33.48 for her final 600m, a time that would have been appreciated by some of the sprinters racing at the meeting. She’s in a league of her own. Gailo Chop is a tough horse to beat when he dictates on speed and that was the case again. The run of Humidor was great too given he was back near last in the run and had to come wide on the turn. The horse I liked for a place, Success Days, just didn’t jump and found the track way too firm for his liking, especially with the wind drying it right out.
Race Eight: Sydney Cup 3200m:
5th time lucky for the Barman. Outstanding effort by Chris Waller to get this bloke up year in year out for the two mile features and he finally got his win at the highest level. Dean Holland produced an outstanding ride on Zacada and the kiwi mare nearly got there. The horse I want to mention is Doukhan. I’m convinced had he got clear at the right time he would have gone close to winning. Just got badly chopped out when building momentum. His run in the Chairmans was great but the run here was better. Almandin probably felt the track so I could make a little excuse there.
Race Nine: Coolmore Legacy Stakes 1600m:
Great training effort by James Cummings with Alizee. 2000m back to the mile is never easy but if the speed was on and she got the right run, we know she has that explosive turn of foot and she produced it here, running 33.59 for her final 600m, with the next best being 34.10 produced by Nettoyer, so she’s fair dinkum spanked them. Nettoyer…I have no idea where they go with her, probably the paddock, but there is a big race in her I’m sure of it. Dixie…I thought she had enough cover mid race to finish off better. She ran well, she’s a beauty…but she’s starting to become a money muncher now.
Race Ten: Sapphire Stakes 1200m:
Credit where credit is due with Quilista. She set the fast speed and was there to be run down but she showed tremendous fight late to win, being the only horse to lead all the way. There are three mares from behind I want to single out. Ghisoni was first up, looked big in condition yet produced excellent late splits and she’s back big time. Invincibella was enormous from the back and she can go to Queensland on the Tatts Tiara path. The mare I want to really keep an eye on is Slow Burn. She produced the quickest final 600m of the entire meeting despite being eligible for easier. Placed right, she can win for sure.
Bold Arial- Wind didn’t help, but why the support? She’s done nothing
She Will Reign- Has the runs on the board, but from this point on, jury is well and truly out
Dixie Blossoms- Needs things to go her way in order to win. Can’t work for the win anymore