The final day of the Sydney Autumn Carnival at Randwick saw Captivant capture the Group 1 Champagne Stakes, while Kolding relished the return to a dry track with his third Group 1 victory in the All Aged Stakes.
Tim Geers and Trent Crebbin review all the action and list their horses to follow and sack out of each meeting below.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Senor Toba – Took out the staying race in impressive fashion, especially given he was stepping up from 1400m to 2000m. That was just his second start this preparation so it looks likely that he’ll head to South Australia and then onto Queensland. He’s nominated for the SA Derby ($6.00 with Ladbrokes) on May 8th, which he would obviously be very competitive in. Should be a major player in both derbies.
Ranier – Returned with a very good effort to get within 0.5L of Splintex over 1200m, a distance short of his best. He’s never won below 1300m so his effort indicated he might be back to his best this campaign. Look for him getting up to 1400m plus, where he should be hard to beat.
Port Louis – One of the more staggering betting moves I can remember in a Group 1 race. He opened $34 and was crunched into $5.50 in the Champagne Stakes – all that despite being a maiden jumping from 1200m to 1600m and drawing barrier 14 on a track that was favouring inside lanes. His run in defeat was incredible and he’s definitely a horse to follow going towards the Sires’ Produce and JJ Atkins during the Brisbane winter.
Prague – I had him as a horse to follow last week and he makes the list again this week after another huge run in defeat in the All Aged Stakes. Jumped OK but from the wide barrier they snagged him back and he hit the line well to be beaten a length. Surely heads to Brisbane for something like the Stradbroke.
Cascadian – Should have won the All Aged Stakes with any luck in the straight. Drew barrier 1, ran up backsides before eventually getting clear and hitting the line hard to be beaten 0.3L. He’s flying.
Laure Me In, Royal Celebration, Brandenberg – Race 8 could prove a fruitful form reference going forward. I think there were a number of good runs behind the winner Rocha Clock. Nudge is nearing a win, but the efforts of Laure Me In and Royal Celebration in particular caught the eye. Laure Me In didn’t get the best passage in the straight but he finished off really well to be beaten 1.2L. He’s got a terrific second up record so he can be followed with confidence next start. Royal Celebration had no luck at all first up and ran a bottler on the weekend despite sitting three and four-wide the trip. He’s returned in great order and can win a similar race next start. Even Brandenberg can be followed – we might get a big price next start on the back of two duck eggs, but first up he pulled up 2/5 lame and on the weekend he never saw an inch of daylight in the straight.
Lost And Running – The most dominant performance of the day and surely heads to Brisbane now, where he’ll be the horse to beat in whatever he lines up in.
HORSES TO SACK
Deprive – Granted he had tempo and track pattern against him on the weekend, but it’s hard to make a case for him going forward. It’s now been 79 weeks since his last win and his racing pattern makes him a low percentage play.
Bottega – Did a similar thing last preparation, running well in his first two starts back before tailing off at starts three and four. I’d be surprised if they pushed on with him this campaign after finishing last, but if they do I’d be taking him on.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Spinning – Excellent debut to give the odds on favourite Gimmie Par a real scare. If she finds a similar Saturday 2yo race she’ll be very hard to beat.
Pride Of Jenni – Ran very well first up and looked a good chance here but she missed the start and ended up 4 wide at the tail of the field. She also pulled up with EIPH and if she can find a race, especially at set weights, she should repay us this prep.
Plaquette – Sickening that she didn’t get up here coming from a mile back, running the fastest last 600m of the day, with her final 400/200m only bettered by Still A Star. Just beaten by a handy horse who got every possible favour. At 1100-1200m in this grade she’ll be hard to beat next start.
Cadre Du Noir – Probably my horse to follow out of the entire meeting. Went enormous first up from a mile back over 1600m. Up to 2000m next start and he could be a moral.
HORSES TO SACK
Killourney – Was hard in the market and has done absolutely nothing. No excuses post race and after two encouraging runs to start the prep he’s wearing very thin.
Legend Of Zorro – Perhaps a bit harsh but he had his chance out in front and whilst he wasn’t beaten far he did finish 8th. Had a lot of perfect runs this prep and perhaps showed his true colours here.
Interesting to note plenty of horses pulled up with EIPH, including Alfa Oro, who is definitely wearing thin.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Amade – Dominant performance stepping up to 2600m, showing why he was a big fancy for the Melbourne Cup a couple of years ago before coming out here. Andrew Ramsden looks his race if Persan puts in an effort like he did on Sunday.
Zayydani – Probably should’ve won here, not getting much luck at all, stuck on the fence from barrier 7. That followed a very good run last start and a slight increase in trip would be suitable now.
Immortal Love – Loomed into the race like he’d win but I think he’s just lacking fitness, especially with 60kg jumping from 1100m to 1400. If he gets a tick from the yard at 1400m next start he can repay us.
Horrifying & Redwood Shadow – Both big runs from back in the field from horrible gates. Stepping up in trip next start they can be competitive, even in an SA Derby if they do head there.
HORSES TO SACK
Re Edit – Keeps going around at short odds because of her SP profile and her ability to reel off a big last 600m on her day, but Sunday clearly wasn’t it. She finished last as favourite, and her strike rate is becoming very ominous. Happy to keep opposing her.
Too Close The Sun – Was poor last start and dreadful here after being strongly backed. He over raced and pulled up with a slow recovery but was beaten nearly 19L and looks unbackable this prep.
*I want to see the stable’s comments on Persan before sacking him because he was too bad to be true and hasn’t run this poorly since the Spring of 2019. Was absolutely hammered in betting and showed nothing- would want to bounce back hard to turn the tables on Amade.