Caulfield, Saturday 15th October 2016
BMW Caulfield Cup Group 1 2400m
By Calum Law
four times a G1 winner, including over the 2400 in the BMW, but not in the same form this prep.
Has been beaten pointless the last thrice behind Hartnell and would need to bounce back to beyond his peak to take this off 57 kilos.
Former top notch German stayer who knocked off Sea The Moon in his homeland before finishing a gallant 6th in the Japan Cup. Not so good since his transfer to Australia and had to visit Doomben to get his G1 victory. Conditions of the race should suit third up and if putting his A game together he has the talent to get involved .
German galloper who has generated plenty of buzz leading into his Australian debut. Only has a G3 to his name thus far but very lightly raced and finished within 1.5 lengths of subsequent Prix Dollar winner Potemkin in G1 company last time.
Gets the assistance of Purton today and certainly not ruled out for his Melbourne Cup winning handler.
Arrives here following a fine 2nd behind Hartnell in the Turnbull and became a strong favourite for this contest once that rival was pointed towards Winx in the Cox Plate.
She gets in here off a lovely weight and her trainer has been very bullish in the lead up. This has been the long term target and everything points to a big run.
5yo Mare who owns recent victories in the Sheep Hills Cup and the Murtoa Cup. Ran 3rd in a substandard edition of the Herbert Power last time and she is swimming in waters too deep here.
Pictures by @paomaphotos
Royal Randwick, Saturday 1st October 2016
R3: APN Craven Plate Group 3 2000m
By Gary Woods
It’s Somewhat has done well overall since being exported to Australia wining a couple of minor stakes events, he has been prepping for this in his first two starts this year over inadequate trips & looks ready to strike back up in distance here.
He takes on former useful French performer Spiritjim who has looked a shadow of his former self on his three runs in Australia, only a modicum of promise could be gained last time as he was running on late as so many stayers do over inadequate trips at this time of the season.
But having said that if the old Spiritjim is still in there he is by far the best horse in the race.
Australian Bloodstock have been enjoying a fine time of it recently at home & in Europe, most notably in Germany but also perhaps surprisingly at Ayr in the U.K.
courtesy of the impressive Bryan Smart trained fill Delectation.
They were due to run two in this; Raw Impulse an ex useful 3yo handicapper when with Clive Cox passes up what looked a winnable Group 3 for a shot at Group 1 glory in the Turnbull on Sunday.
So that leaves the former French trained Slow Pace as their only rep here, he finally added to his win tally after over 1000 days without a win in the
Wyong Gold Cup.
Slow Pace will have his work cut out to back it up here.
It's Somewhat should take the beating.
R5: The Star Roman Consul Group 2 1200m
by Gary Woods
What a hot race!
Astern has been uber impressive in two starts this prep including with a dominant win in the Golden Rose last time out, dropping back in trip should prove no issue & he looks hard to beat.
Capitalist carried all before him as an early 2yo & after a defeat he still can back to win the “Slipper”. He was clearly unsuited by the soft going last time so wouldn't want anymore rain. If he is right back firing then he will give Astern a real race.
Russian Revolution is unbeaten in three starts to date but now steps into the big time, shouldn't be underestimated but perhaps this may be a step to far.
Guard Of Honour won a Listed event last time from Flash Fibian who re-oposes here, both need to improve in this grade but that's not out of the question.
Can't see past the explosive & classy Astern.
R7: Tab Epsom Handicap Group 1 1600m
by Calum Law
Palentino- Two time Group One winner in Melbourne over a mile, taking the Australian Guineas in March and comfortably besting stablemate Black Hear Bart in the Makybe Diva last time out at Caulfield. Those performances mark him down of a colt of the highest order, deserving of top weight in this field. Trained by a master, although not so much when visiting Sydney, and should be capable of giving a bold sight.
Hauraki- Consistent son of Reset for the Godolphin team who has made his reputation mainly by finishing behind the great mare Winx. His run in the Colgate had plenty of merit and despite being flattered by his proximity to the winner he still spaced the rest of the field on that occasion.
Likely to run his usual solid race whilst finding a few too good in his quest for a maiden Group One.
Le Romain- Surprise winner of the Randwick Guineas over this course and distance and has been largely running with credit since for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees.
Hard to fully dismiss a horse ridden by Bowman that has finished off the board only once in eleven starts, but he will need to run beyond himself to run into the places here off 55.5kgs.
Happy Clapper- Son of Teofilo who is capable of top class form as was evident in back to back placed efforts in the Doncaster and the QE2 a week apart at Randwick in April.
This is a prime target third up and his trainer Pat Webster has been very bullish in the build up to the race.
Well drawn and a definite place contender for all he might not be quite good enough to take top spot .
Mighty Lucky- Seven Year Old roughie who appeals as an unlikely hero in this spot. Yet to win above Group Three level and has to leave his previous form a long way behind to take the honours.
Dibayani- Well travelled son of Shamardal who took on Able Friend and Designs On Rome in his Four Year Old campaign in Hong Kong. Should be ready to peak in this spot and although an infrequent winner with a strike rate of 2/23 he appeals as being overs in the market under the excellent Damian Lane.
Sons Of John- Had a couple of these behind him when taking a Group Three handicap over 1400 metres last time.
That was his first win since his Hawkesbury Cup victory nine races previous and he doesn't appeal as a likely winner in this company.
Mackintosh- Ex Kiwi galloper who has an impressive strike rate of six wins from nine starts in his fledgling career to date.
Was impressive in the Theo Marks a fortnight ago and could easily take a step forward from that display which would put him right in amongst it here.
Hard to rule out anything Waller sends for this assignment and he rates as one to include.
McCreery- Ex Roger Charlton Gelding who sold for the bargain price of £200k at the Tattersalls Horses In Training sale last year. Arrives here bidding for a hat trick having dismissed them last time in the Kingston Town.
This has likely been the target since arriving in Australia and his trainer has farmed this contest of late.
Gets a cracking racing weight of 51.5kgs and with the services of the excellent Kerrin McEvoy on board this unexposed son of Big Bad Bob ticks plenty of boxes.
Heavens Above- Five Year Old Daughter of Street Cry who ran a career best over this course and distance when finding only Azkadellia too good in the Coolmore Legacy.
She has since won over 1200 in the Sheraco but didn't really step forward from that when well fancied in the Golden Pendant last time. Only carries 51kgs but still looks an unlikely winner .
Vanbrugh- Son of Encosta De Lago who took the top level Champion Stakes here over 2000 metres as a Three Year Old.
He remains winless since although there was a bit more promise in his run behind Winx in the Colgate last time when giving way by less than five lengths in Fourth.
However he will still need to step on from that if he is to contend here.
Torgesen- The roughest of Wallers four on paper having never won in Stakes Company and despite carrying the light weight of 50kgs this Son of Pins looks up against it .
Fabrizio- Lightly raced son of High Chaparral who bids to give Gai Waterhouse a record breaking eighth Epsom win.
Arrives in this spot with plenty of buzz and it is easy to see why, getting in off the minimum with the excellent Johan Victoire in the plate. The way he dismissed some overmatched rivals a fortnight back over this course and distance was impressive and should tee him up perfectly for a big run here carrying 50kgs. Plenty to like regards his chances and could well be the horse that gives Gai Epsom win number Eight.
Super renewal of the famous handicap, in which two unexposed lightly weighted types make the most appeal.
Chris Waller has dominated this race of late and his English Import McCreery can provide the master trainer with a fourth Epsom on the bounce here.
Fabrizio takes a hike up in class but carries plenty of confidence and with only 50kgs on his back he rates as the main danger. Plenty of class in the rest of the field but Dibayani appeals as being under rated by the market and is good enough to run a place if putting his best foot forward
R8: McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan Handicap Group 1
by Gary Woods
Last year’s winner Magic Hurricane a former useful handicapper for James Fanshawe in the U.K. attempts to become the first horse since Hayai (83-84) to win back to back renewals, remarkably due to a form dip he is on a kilo less than last year & has been brought along steadily this prep, he must hold solid claims in what looks a weaker than normal renewal.
Current fav is Who Shot TheBarman who really should have won more races than he has in the last few years & despite a prep that looks all about this race he looks hard to predict for win purposes overall.
Last year’s Derby 3rd, Irish Derby 2nd & St Leger 4th Storm The Stars has yet to set Australia on fire, it was a bold move to send such a high profile horse down under which has yet to pay off. He has looked slow & ill at ease so far but there has been signs of life on his last two starts. This represents a real opportunity for him & it looks as though it could be his time to shine once again.
Sir John Hawkwood has been a decent horse since he transferred to Australia a good few years ago, he has yet to scale these heights & I cannot see that changing.
Antonio Giuseppe is on a roll in lesser races but is fully entitled to shoot for the big one receiving all the weight, he has not been missed in the market.
Allergic a stablemate of Magic Hurricanes, won a weak stakes race the other weekend & overall would need to step up but is also in form so shouldn't be discounted.
Old Junoob is having another go at this race having won it in 2014 when at the height of his powers only to lose it a few months later due to a bad swab test, he has been a cracking horse since arriving in Australia & has been working his way back to form although as a 9yo he will need to be at his very best to take this. This is the same Junoob that was a crack all weather horse for Tom Dascombe in 2012.
Of the others Sacred Master won last time & is worthy of mention from a decent weight although perhaps he has had his day whereas Dee I Cee is an outsider who could hit the frame after two useful efforts this season.
1 Storm The Stars
2 Magic Hurricane
3 Dee I Cee
Moonee Valley Friday 30th September 2016
Race 7: Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes Group 1 1000m
preview by Gary Woods
The best sprinter in the world Chautauqua makes his seasonal comeback on a Friday night under the lights at “the valley” quite simply since
2014 he has been nigh on unbeatable in all the top sprints winning a superb 12 of his 22 starts including 11/18 in Group races.
He has already won twice here at Moonee the best of those wins came under power packed late charge in last years Manikato Stakes.
He has had a recent jump out so should be primed for this & if he is he will take some stopping.
Grand old Buffering has won this race for 3 out of the last 4 years & in total has a win record of 19 from 52 starts. He has been working well ahead of this challenge since his last start when disappointing behind Chautauqua in Hong Kong, that though had come at the end of a busy schedule which had seen him win on World Cup night in Dubai plus travel all over Australia in search of riches. Back at his beloved Moonee Valley he cannot be discounted from the front.
Lucky Hussler has been around the block himself but despite being useful he has often come up short in these top class graded sprints & he will likely need this.
Ball Of Muscle was 2nd in this race last year & has long promised to a rip roaring sprinter, perhaps tonight could be his time to hit the big time as unlike his big rivals he has had a run this preparation.
This represents a big step up for the improving Redzel who continued where he left of last season with a win on his first start, capable but there will be less demanding Group 1’s in the coming weeks.
Wild Rain is of a similar ilk, he has been progressing well at a lesser level so deserves his shot but will likely come up short in this quality race.
Heatherly enjoyed a fine campaign last time around rising through the grades, she is a speedy type who has already had two runs this time (finishing behind Wild Rain last time out), she impressed in a recent “jump out” so is not easily discounted.
Chloe In Paris has plenty to find on form & will likely struggle.
Extreme Choice is the unexposed 3yo in the lineup with just the 4 starts (3 of those wins, including the Blue Diamond Grp 1). This is his first start & you really couldn't get any tougher introduction to big time sprinting.
1) Ball Of Muscle
Earlier in the card now in the care of Godolphin the former Hughes Morrison trained Royal Ascot winner Arab Dawn makes his second start of this preparation after a lacklustre effort over a trip well short of his effectiveness.
He will appreciate the return to 2000m+ here & is still unexposed in Australia after just 5 starts, he jumped from a Listed win to run in the Grp 1 BMW which was a step to far in soft ground. As long as the ground remains on the good
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