It was another week for blowout results in Group 1 races, with three of the four majors taken out by horses at 20/1+, while the 70/1 outsider in the Canterbury Stakes went within a nose of making it a clean sweep.
Find their thoughts on the weekend’s action, along with their horses to follow and horses to sack below!
Group 1 reviews
The drift on September Run was ominous and proved correct. She got out well past $3 on betfair after holding her price all week. She was downright poor on Saturday, pulling up with a slow recovery which is hard to quantify. No idea what to make of that run because she’s clearly better than that.
Zoutori was in hindsight, overlooked by the market. Given the compressed weight scale he was fairly well in with 57kg and was always going to map well at his ideal T/D. Indian Pacific was excellent after going fast early over 1200m and can win a big race this prep. Brooklyn Hustle was unlucky again but that is her racing pattern. If she can get luck the William Reid is an obvious target given her affinity for The Valley.
Very strange race to watch with another very bunched finish. It was clearly a weak edition and there’s not much between this B grade group of WFA horses. Great ride by Mcneil on Homesman to keep him wide and out of trouble, Defibrillate and Miami Bound were very good late and look right on track for their targets, which I believe are the Mornington Cup and the Sydney Cup respectively. Fifty Stars got too far back and no room- he needs to get to the outside of horses which didn’t happen. Nonconformist raced about 6 wide no cover and the indecision from Currie, who is airborne, wasn’t his best work.
It was an upset victory in the Randwick Guineas, with Lion’s Roar getting the better of the luckless Mo’unga, who really should have won this and won it comfortably. Tommy Berry just got locked away on the inside behind a wall of horses and had to stop dead in his tracks just as he begun building momentum. He was then forced to pull to the extreme outside, giving them about 5L at the 200m before rocketing home to be beaten a length. It was a horrible watch for those who backed him (myself included) and he’s no doubt going to be popular in the Rosehill Guineas over 2000m.
The favourite Aegon was disappointing. He was a drifter in betting and despite having every chance, he couldn’t pick up in the straight. I took him on thinking he may be a wet tracker given all his form had been on soft ground and he is bred by a mudlark in Sacred Falls. He now goes to the Doncaster Mile where he’ll carry no weight, and if it’s a wet track there, I think it would be worth following up on him.
Two other good runs in the race were Wheelhouse and King’s Legacy, again both didn’t get much luck for differing reasons. Wheelhouse was caught wide without cover throughout and still battled on well for 4th, while King’s Legacy struggled to find clear running in the straight and was forced to stop and start.
The other Group 1 on the card was the Canterbury Stakes. I got this wrong, taking on Savatiano thinking she probably wasn’t quite at the elite G1 WFA level. She proved she was, just holding off the 70/1 outsider Mizzy, with Masked Crusader back in 3rd.
Looking back on it, this really wasn’t the strongest Group 1 we’ve seen, so I’m still unconvinced that Savatiano is really at the top echelon, but she got a race to perfectly suit her here.
Bivouac was disappointing on face value, but on reflection, the ride really wasn’t one of Glen Boss’s best efforts. The horse was taken back from the awkward draw, was then caught three-wide at the back of the field, so Boss elected to go forward in an attempt to slot in further up, which didn’t occur. The horse then fired up and overraced and when it came to the business end, he was unable to reel off his customary turn of foot. I wouldn’t completely sack him but the jury is somewhat out.
Masked Crusader was good, this being his first attempt at WFA Group 1 company. He picked up nicely late to go past Bivouac into 3rd.
Of the others in the market, Dawn Passage isn’t good enough at this level.
Horses to follow
Annavisto – She had no luck when beginning slowly and over racing terribly behind runners. She was held up too and kept coming late. If she can settle a bit better or even just land on speed as usual, she’ll win more races this prep.
Marboosha – Electric turn of foot to take the gap down the straight. She’s come back very well and that change up speed is perfectly suited to Flemington.
Miami Bound – Huge run first up for a horse that will only get better over further and on wetter ground. Not 100% sure but the Sydney Cup would have to be her target and the $26 floating around is probably a fair futures play.
Mount Popa – Relished the step up in distance again to 2000m and ran down an in-form frontrunner in Sacramento. Only going to be better over further and can win a good race over the Autumn.
Collide – Good effort for his first run in the country behind two relatively smart horses. The stable reported before the race that he might need the run so for him to run 3rd was encouraging.
Mo’unga – Should have won the Randwick Guineas by about 2L if he had any luck at all at a crucial stage of the straight. He looks as if he’ll be ideally suited stepping up to 2000m in the Rosehill Guineas and will likely start a short-priced favourite.
Masked Crusader – Was an outstanding run at his first go at WFA Group 1 level, hitting the line hard late to run 3rd. That proved he belongs at this level and the way he finished the race off suggests he’ll be better suited up to 1400m. Has returned at his best this time in.
She’s Ideel – I said in my review two weeks ago that I thought she would be best suited third up at around 2000m. Her run on the weekend was terrific and that will have her absolutely spot on for next start. Happy to load up if she finds the right race.
Seasons – Got the run of the race but it was a good effort first up in a good race. She ran down Emanate to grab 2nd on the line and if she finds a similar race next start, she should go very close. My feel is that she’s going to be best suited at Randwick.
Horses to sack
Miss Inbetween had every chance and wasn’t up to them in race 2. I’ve been saying it for a while but a lot of these 3yo fillies in Melbourne aren’t much good, and the beaten margins in the Kewney confirmed that again.
Island Joy, Yes Baby Yes, Miss Guggenheim all performed badly, albeit in a very fast run race and one with similar form lines last prep, Zesty Belle was awful in the Marboosha race.
Mamaragan – Hasn’t come back well this prep and looks a shadow of the horse that should have won a Group 1 as a 2YO.
Positive Peace – Sacked her in the review two weeks ago but gave her another chance on the weekend second up. She was a huge drifter in betting and never fired a shot. Looks gone.