1. KOLDING (NZ)
5 year old bay gelding (3-11-2015) Sire: Ocean Park (NZ) Dam: Magic Star
Trainer: Chris Waller (Flemington) Jockey: James McDonald 59kg Barrier:10
Record: 24:10-2-3 Prizemoney:$5,897,650
He has returned to the awesome form he displayed last spring with successive weight-for-age wins at Randwick. His latest came in the Hill Stakes where he defeated Avilius and Fierce Impact. He failed in two Melbourne runs in the autumn but both were on rock hard tracks. He’s the hardest horse to assess.
2. HUMIDOR (NZ)
8 year old bay gelding (14-9-2012) Sire: Teofilo (IRE) Dam: Zalika (NZ)
Trainer: Chris Waller (Flemington) Jockey: Craig Williams 59kg Barrier:14
Record: 45:9-8-6 Prizemoney:$4,404,315
Chris Waller has somehow rejuvenated this horse's career which looked over. He loves this track and has the distinction of being the only horse to have challenged Winx in a Cox Plate, when he finished second in 2017. He’ll be ridden for luck and look for him to be storming home. Great addition for multiples such as trifecta and first four. Best long shot.
3. FIERCE IMPACT (JPN)
7 year old bay horse (6-3-2014) Sire: Deep Impact (JPN) Dam: Keiai Gerbera (JPN) ( Smarty Jones (USA)
Trainer: Matthew Smith (Warwick Farm) Jockey: Luke Currie 59kg Barrier:12
Record: 28:6-6-6 Prizemoney:$3,235,830
Solid Sydneysider who has been set for this. Gave away a start last time when third behind Kolding and Avillius in the Hill Stakes when he stepped back out to 2000m. Before that he won the Makybe Diva Stakes. His best form is over 1600 metres. He’ll be around the placings.
4 MASTER OF WINE (GER)
6 year old bay gelding (13-4-2015) Sire: Maxios (GB) Dam: Magma (GER) ( Dubai Destination (USA))
Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes (Flemington) Jockey: Michael Rodd 59kg Barrier:1
Record: 19:5-5-2 Prizemoney:$718,609
Didn’t fire in last week’s Caulfield Cup but worked on the speed and weakened. Previous form puts him around the mark for this and best form is at 2000m. He would need a lot of things to go his way to win this though.
5 MUGATOO (IRE)
6 year old bay gelding (20-2-2015) Sire: Henrythenavigator (USA) Dam: Elopa (GER) ( Tiger Hill (IRE))
Trainer: Kris Lees (Newcastle) Jockey: John Allen 59kg Barrier:9
Record: 15:8-2-1 Prizemoney:$708,392
He just failed to make it four in a row when touched off by Mirage Dancer in the closing stages of The Metropolitan. He has astute owners but he doesn’t look well placed in this.
6 ASPETAR (FR)
6 year old bay or brown gelding (28-2-2015) Sire: Al Kazeem (GB) Dam: Bella Qatara (IRE) ( Dansili (GB))
Trainer: Roger Charlton (Wiltshire (GB)) Jockey: Damian Lane 59kg Barrier:3
Record: 13:5-2-2 Prizemoney:$489,820
Comfortable win in the York Stakes at his last start when he came from well back to win over 2062 metres. He has won three of his last six and is in a top stable. Well beaten in the Hong Kong Vase late last year over 2400m at Sha Tin though.
7 SIR DRAGONET (IRE)
5 year old bay horse (9-2-2016) Sire: Camelot (GB) Dam: Sparrow (IRE) (Oasis Dream (GB))
Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (Caulfield) Jockey: Glen Boss 59kg Barrier:7
Record: 9:2-4-0 Prizemoney:$391,570
Former Aidan O’Brien trained galloper now with Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, He’s been a model of consistency with four seconds in a row in top class races. A repeat of his last start second behind Magical in the Gold Cup at Curragh should have him in the finish.
8 MAGIC WAND (IRE)
6 year old bay mare (13-3-2015) Sire: Galileo (IRE) Dam: Prudenzia (IRE) (Dansili (GB))
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien (Co. Tipperary (IRE)) Jockey: Mark Zahra 57kg Barrier:4
Record: 28:4-9-2 Prizemoney:$6,663,053
Tough Irish mare who always gives her all but lacks a knock-out punch at this level. She finished fourth in the race last year when she led and was out sprinted. Arguably this isn’t as strong and she has the services of the in-form Mark Zahra. Looks over the odds.
9 ARCADIA QUEEN
5 year old bay mare (19-10-2015) Sire: Pierro Dam: Arcadia (Redoute’s Choice)
Trainer: Grant & Alana Williams (Karnup) Jockey: William Pike 57kg Barrier:8
Record: 13:7-1-2 Prizemoney:$2,496,035
Freakish Perth mare who returned to her best form when she sailed past Russian Camelot to win the Caulfield Stakes, a race which was a sprint home. She managed to produce the fastest last 200m for the meeting, running home in 11.43 seconds. She’ll be the sixth mare in a row if successful. Middle barriers have a great record.
7 year old bay mare (23-11-2013) Sire: Sebring Dam: Cleanup (Dehere (USA))
Trainer: Wendy Roche (Warwick Farm) Jockey: Billy Egan 57kg Barrier:13
Record: 34:6-2-6 Prizemoney:$1,708,700
She would be the fairy tale winner but looks well out of her depth. She’s had one start at this track and distance for an easy win last year.
11 RUSSIAN CAMELOT (IRE)
4 year old bay or brown horse (29-3-2017) Sire: Camelot (GB) Dam: Lady Babooshka (GB) ( Cape Cross (IRE))
Trainer: Danny O'Brien (Flemington) Jockey: Damien Oliver 56.5kg Barrier:15
Record: 8:4-3-0 Prizemoney:$1,091,225
No more exciting proposition in Australian racing. He was left a sitting duck in the Caulfield Stakes for Arcadia Queen to run him down as he was left in front in the slowly run affair a long way out. From his outside draw, Oliver will go back and ride him patiently which will suit him better. He’s going to be hard to hold out. Loves it wet.
12 ARMORY (IRE)
4 year old bay horse (8-1-2017) Sire: Galileo (IRE) Dam: After (IRE) (Danehill Dancer (IRE))
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien (Co. Tipperary (IRE)) Jockey: Ben Melham 56.5kg Barrier:6
Record: 11:4-2-3 Prizemoney:$691,211
On his last start in the Irish Champion Stakes he’s the horse to beat as no other galloper in this race boast that level of form. On that occasion he finished third behind two of the world’s best horses in Magical & Ghaiyyath and he defeated subsequent Arc winner Sotass. Loves the soft.
13 PROBABEEL (NZ)
4 year old bay mare (6-11-2016) Sire: Savabeel Dam: Far Fetched (NZ) )
Trainer: Jamie Richards (Matamata (NZ)) Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy 55.5kg Barrier:2
Record: 18:8-6-0 Prizemoney:$2,371,478
Super Kiwi mare who stormed home to win the Epsom in quick time. The majority of the times she's suffered defeat there has been an excuse. From barrier two McEvoy will have her in a good spot throughout.
3 year old bay colt (25-8-2017) Sire: Myboycharlie (IRE) Dam: Mine Game ( General Nediym
Trainer: Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (Caulfield) Jockey: Jye McNeil 49.5kg Barrier:5
Record: 6:1-1-1 Prizemoney:$224,890
He’s showing a lot of potential, will carry a featherweight and should lead, but I doubt he’s good enough to win.
15 BUCKHURST (IRE)
5 year old bay horse (7-3-2016) Sire: Australia (GB) Dam: Artful (IRE) ( Green Desert (USA))
Trainer: Joseph O'Brien (Co. Kilkenny (IRE)) Jockey: Jamie Kah 59kg Barrier:11
Record: 11:4-3-0 Prizemoney:$383,681
He’s been well held in both of his Group One assignments including last week’s Caulfield Cup. Jame Kah would have to produce some magic here.
Mares are having a great run having won the last five but four of them belonged to Winx and last year was Lys Gracieux. Could Arcadia Queen follow in her footsteps.
Grandslam and Magic Wand are the likely leaders. Going to be a battle of tactics after that. Look for Damien Oliver to ease Russian Camelot back at the start and wait to make a sweeping run around the field.
- Russian Camelot
- Arcadia Queen
- Magic Wand
Best roughie: Humidor