Track went from GOOD-4 to GOOD-3 and became 'very firm' according to some senior riders. This, coupled with the fact some races were run at a very fast tempo did set-up a very fast day!
There was a significant on-pace, inside bias, in fact, it was savage!
Nine races run, nine winners either led, raced right up on-speed or settled on the inside rail. Add to that, nine second-placed horses did exactly the same thing.
Spanish Reef and Mirage Dancer the only two 3rd-placed horses to be off those inside lanes.
Run of the Day
Punters went with PIPPIE (35%) over TAGALOA (32%).
The win of PIPPIE in the G1 Oakleigh Plate was, well, fast !!! How fast? It was the fastest Oakleigh Plate in history. She went 1/100ths of a second faster than last year’s winner Booker and, did it all herself from the front running 1-1.93 (Booker sat off fierce speed set by Nature Strip).
PIPPIE went through her first 500m in a sizzling 27.93, on raw times, she actually would have been leading Nature Strip around 1.5L if the races were run together. He folded up in 2019, she just kept running!
Yes, no doubt the track pattern was on her side but wow, it was a very fast win and her ability to travel so well deep into a race running at that speed, is rare air indeed.
ZOUTORI was off midfield on the rail and stayed nearer the inside weaving, he was very strong that last 100m (10.91/ 11.57 home for final 2 x 200ms splits) with CRYSTAL DREAMER a solid third coming from off-speed 2-wide (home 10.91/ 11.98).
ALL TOO ROYAL ran 4th coming from off pace 3-wide with a trail. He hooked out, though where the winners were not coming from there, and still closed off (11.11/ 11.77) and was very good.
VAINSTREAM next (railed) from BIVOUAC who was backed as if unbeatable, despite the pattern. He missed the kick and ended up just off midfield between runners. He was just run off his legs a touch in a super-fast 1100m race to my eye, then came wide (wrong day!!) yet still hit the line (11.00 / 11.86) out there. He ran well.
HALVORSEN flew late after losing any hope at the start, his 11.40 last 200m was race-fastest, he ran very well (albeit in better ground) with BOLD STAR (home 11.77) next in the wrong ground. He is so genuine.
The G1 Blue Diamond Stakes was Race 7 and TAGALOA was an excellent winner. He sat 3-wide in a near line of 4 on a strong speed, took over and held off hot fave HANSEATIC who had a softer run than said winner.
The race favourite was in the best ground for most of the race then hooked out and chased but TAGALOA refused to surrender. They went quick as mentioned, 34.16 1st-600m, which set-up a very fast 1-8.56 overall time for the 1200m.
These leaders would have been some 7L in front of last year’s Blue Diamond field (won by Lyre in 1-9.39) with 600m to run and around 4L in front of the field in 2017 (won by Catchy - in 1-9.38).
HANSEATIC was out in time but did hit the line 12.51 (3rd-fastest of race) with PERSONAL closing off in 12.40 (first run in blinkers) from off midfield on rail saving ground (smart play).
AWAY GAME was 4-wide outside the winner and stuck on well, she has gone enormous and MUNTASEERA was forced to run on out wider in the quicksand yet still recorded the fastest last 200m of the race (12.34) in an excellent performance.
SEPOY is pretty much the benchmark Diamond winner of recent years for mine: He ran 1-8.55 off a 34.25 1st-600m so yeah, near identical time for TAGALOA, although off a slightly faster 1st-half.
The Futurity Stakes was the third Group 1 race of the day and STREETS OF AVALON was able to lead. He didn't crawl, running a 47.9 1st-800m (well-rated) and showed his customary will to win holding off gun 3YO SUPER SETH who had sat up second and looked to be going better than the winner straightening.
The query on the winner was the WFA scale however, with pattern on-side and a perfect ride, he was able to use that tenacity and hold on.
MELODY BELLE had a good run behind them and hooked out, she battled well but was 2.4L away, note, she improved ‘’lengths’’ second-up last prep.
WILD PLANET measured up well at WFA himself battling manfully in behind them with every chance.
The jury is out on KOLDING around this track but the stable have an incredible knack of turning horses around… Time was a slick 1-21.90.
The other 2 x 1400m races were also won in fast times, both were set-up by very fast speed(s).
GREYSFUL GLAMOUR was ridden to lead the Mannerism Stakes and went 46.91 1st-800m (she would have led Streets Of Avalon some 6L) and kept running, yep, track bias a help but fancy this is the key to her, let her roll.
BAM’S ON FIRE followed her on that inside lane and held second from SPANISH REEF (good out wider - home 11.69) and NEIGHBOURHOOD (sound home in best ground - 11.75) with ARISTIA home race-fastest out wide versus bias in 11.63…a lovely return from her. Time was 1-21.63 so they have run faster than Group 1 horses in a Futurity Stakes but this was set-up by the very strong speed.
LA TENE sat off the speed in the Armanasco Stakes but yep, she was on the rail and the leaders went nuts here! 46.25 was 1st-800m split off a standing start with ACTING carving out the fierce speed, she would have been leading ‘’Streets’’ some 10L with 600m to run.
Winner LA TENE ran up behind the leaders (inside) then split came and she held off LADY LUPINO (sat behind her, on rail) and LUNAR LIGHT (had rails trail). Time here was 1-22.13
The Peter Young Stakes was Race 9 and the pattern was well evident by now.
MISS SISKA took the sit second on ODEON who led in 1-15.52 1st-1200m. They really backed things off mid race here and if back markers were not winning when leaders were going like Indy 500 cars, they certainly couldn’t win off this tempo.
MISS SISKA held off KINGS WILL DREAM (had rails trail/ chased hard) in 1-49.64. Difficult to miss the runs of MIRAGE DANCER and REGAL POWER here, both back versus the tempo/ bias yet closed off very well.
MIRAGE DANCER recorded an 11.08 last 200m which was second-fastest all day.
REGAL POWER came wider than him and ran an 11.14.
HARLEM ran an 11.11 (yes he was closer to inside) but did this despite being chopped out last 50m when he was coming! He is flying this horse.
The Forgive File
JUST BENJAMIN (wide all way),
NO COMMITMENT (ran on well versus bias),
BEAU BALMAIN (no hope this track),
THINK N FLY (ran on versus bias),
HI STRANGER (too wide),
REBEL RACER (bias),
PANDEMIC (wobbled turn/ in worst ground/ 32.9 last 600m was day’s fastest),
PEIDRA (best work late versus bias),
ARISTIA (good versus pattern),
NEWS GIRL (early work told),
MY PENDANT (found trouble),
THE STYLIST (3-wide no cover),
CHASSIS (in worst ground),
WESTPORT (wrong day to swoop from tail out wide),
SCORE (heart irregularity),
SOUTHBANK (worked too hard early),
ACTING (went hard/ rider concerned with action),
KOLDING (Bias/ Caulfield ??),
BLACK HEART BART (bias),
KAZIO (pulled-up distressed),
AWAY GAME (wide/ huge),
MUNTASEERA (best closer in worst ground),
TANKER (blew start),
GLENFIDDICH (blew start also),
DIFFICULT (too wide),
ALL TOO ROYAL (came wide/ good),
BIVOUAC (don’t sack!!),
BOLD STAR (ran on worst ground),
ANAHEED (poor recovery),
FREE OF DEBT (lame),
MIRAGE DANCER (excellent),
REGAL POWER (excellent versus bias),
LEVENDI (wide no cover),
Rosehill Racing Preview
In Sydney racing was at ROSEHILL and the track went from HEAVY-8 to SOFT-7 with the rail out 6m.
Whilst it was not as savage as Caulfield it was certainly a much better day to settle near the speed. In fact, of the nine winners, all bar MUSTAJEER (who was midfield off a very fast speed) settled in the first four.
On a wet/ improving track, the relative times may well be a little treacherous as a guide.
Run of the Day
MASTER OF WINE made a spectacular return winning Race 8 by 3.5L and rider Tommy Berry was never really full-bore on him! HE was able to possie up 4th 2-wide and cruise into the race before wining effortlessly, he has had three runs in blinkers now for three outstanding wins. Here, he was 1st-up at 1400m. Very, very good horse !!
MASTER OF WINE has run 1-24.73 off 49.44 1st-800m and thrashed ALIFEROUS (good return running on from tail nearer inside) and WOLFE (good return given he is better on drier, over further). KEN’S DREAM was an honest 4th bathed his chance… Fave here ???
Again, whilst not overly keen on relative times on these wet (improving) tracks it is perhaps noteworthy he ran much faster time than the flying POSITIVE PEACE in the last, and, they went quicker early (49.12 1st-800m).
Positive Peace is flying and had to dig in late as filly SUBPOENAED was flying home out wider on a tough day to swoop, fabulous run from her.
ASIAGO had a good run, tracking said winner but kept coming and beat 4th (SHOCK ALERT - Sat 2nd) clearly.
The G2 Hobartville Stakes was the other 1400m race. for some gun 3yo’s and BRANDENBURG sat up second and gradually gained the upper-hand from leader MICROPHONE who had steadied up front. He recorded a 50.09 1st-800m. Did like his fight here.
RELOADED had the rails trail and a huge gap came between leader and winner. He battled well to split them on the wire with PANCHO some 1.3L away in fourth after settling 1-1.
So, this race was first four out, first four home. Overall time was 1-25.30 (slowest of 4 x 1400m races on day).
The closers were SHADOW HERO closing off well from 3rd-last.
CASTELVECCHIO who was off midfield and niggled at 900m out, he didn't quicken at all and looked hopeless 300m out, then, his last 200m was very strong work!
WARNING also looked hopeless back there turning, he too warmed up very nicely late in a race dominated up front as mentioned.
The one swoopers race on the day was Race 6 Parramatta Cup and MUSTAJEER was midfield with cover, hooked out and tracked up before quickly putting the race away.
Runner-up EASTENDER charged late and they had 5L up their sleeve on the line from RED CARDINAL (ran on from tail) and SWEET THOMAS (well back just off winner early).
The first four home in this race filled 4 of the last 6 places at the 600m. Time: 1-56.65 off strong 1-20.19 1st-1300m.
SAVATIANO showed her class in Race 4 the Millie Fox. She sat back 1-1 peeled out and easily sailed by WHITE MOSS. She often improves off a run too. She is another one in for a great campaign it seems.
WHITE MOSS was clear second best after sitting up second but no match at all.
INVINCIBLE GEM went back to the tail and ran on quite well versus the pattern without threat. Time: 1-17.93 off 43.61 1st-700m.