Hawkesbury hosted their standalone Cup meeting on Saturday, with the Hawkes-trained Archedemus winning his second Hawkesbury Gold Cup after victory in the same race in 2019. Sweet Deal raced her way into retirement with victory in the Hawkesbury Crown, Embracer took out the Gold Rush, while Exoboom was too strong in the Guineas.
South Australia kicked off their carnival with two Group 1s at Morphettville. Three-year-old filly Instant Celebrity zoomed along the rail to claim the TAB Classic (Robert Sangster Stakes) and it was a boilover in the Australasian Oaks, with Chris Calthorpe training his first Group 1 winner in the form of Media Award.
Tim Geers and Trent Crebbin review both meetings and provide their list of horses to follow and sack below.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Kirwin’s Lane (R2) – Decent return first up from a spell with the apprentice riding. Didn’t get the clearest run in the straight but still hit the line well. Tends to improve with a run under the belt so look for when they elect to put a senior rider on.
Luncies (R4) – It looked a nice race for him on the weekend, stepping up in distance at his second Australian start. He got the job done despite having a bit of trouble getting clear and he’s only going to continue improving up in distance.
Air To Air (R5) – She made this list two weeks ago after her run at Randwick and we were on at double figure odds on the weekend. She ran super to finish 3rd but she makes life very hard for herself when she flops out of the barriers. She’s a hard horse to back with confidence given how she races but she’s going very well.
Embracer (R6) – Returned with a dominant victory first up as a gelding on the weekend. His second up record doesn’t tend to be as good as his first up record, and I’m always wary of horses with his set up going into their second up runs, but maybe he’s a better horse now he’s a gelding.
Vitesse (R9) – Got a nice run throughout and finished off OK in 2nd. She doesn’t normally do her best racing first up so her effort was good when you consider her record, and she has a much better second up record, so she should be hard to beat in a similar race next start.
Grande Rumore (R9) – Did a super job to win first up at Canterbury and he should have gone close again on the weekend. He was held up and shuffled back at a crucial stage of the straight and then copped a check when he got clear.
HORSES TO SACK
Ellsberg (R7) – Was a dominant favourite off a terrific first up win but he was very plain despite having every chance to my eye on the weekend. Granted, he wasn’t able to control the race like he did first up, but he offered very little.
Looks Like Elvis (R8) – Was very heavily backed on the weekend and while he wasn’t far away, he just never wins. He often delivers a run that catches the eye but he’s now gone 84 weeks between wins so you’ll go broke backing him.
HORSES TO FOLLOW
Hasta La War (R2) – No doubt in my mind Hasta La War should’ve won here. He worked to the line well first up and has gone enormous here over 1600m, getting shuffled back and off heels before flying home for 4th, beaten 0.5L. He’s only going to improve up in trip and will be winning his next start in whatever he lines up in.
Silent Sovereign (R4) – A bit biased again here as she was my best of the day, but she should’ve won here with 58.5kg, not able to build momentum until the last 150m where she flashed home. Currie put Pike in a pocket in a great ride, and if Silent Sovereign finds a similar race she’s going very well this prep and can repay us.
In Good Health (R5) – She needs to step up in trip or a more aggressive ride, but I’m convinced she’s going very well but lacks the acceleration to win how she’s being ridden. The horses midfield were only 1-2L off her on the turn as they made their runs, and she couldn’t sprint with them. If she’s allowed to roll at a fast speed and really take away her rivals’ sprint, she’ll be hard to beat.
Beau Rossa (R6) – Not easy to drop from 1600m back to 1200m in two weeks and still sprint straight past them. I think he’s best suited at 1200-1400m and can keep winning, especially in 3yo grade.
Rubisaki (R7) – Good run first up and she was very good in the Sangster, running 3rd and finishing off very well. I doubt she could win a Goodwood but if she can find a 1400m mare’s race, especially on soft ground, she’ll be exceptionally hard to beat next start.
HORSES TO SACK
Sword Of Mercy (R3) – Raced flat here after seemingly having her chance outside the leader and winner, Savatoxl. She’s been up a long time and might need a spell, or at least back to 1000m because I think 1100m just sees her out.
Lunakorn (R5) – Not the first time I’ve put her in here but she keeps going around well in the market and has done very little again. She’s a decent 78-84 horse that generally needs luck and was out of her grade here in my opinion.
Lyre/Flit/Mizzy (R7) – All three mares went terribly. Mizzy was the big firmer all day and offered nothing- she hasn’t won in a long time despite running some good races and looked very flat here. Lyre and Flit look like they want the barn- they are two of the biggest teases the blue jackets have ever seen but both struggle to win.