Saturday racing summary
Racing was at CAULFIELD on Saturday on GOOD-4 to GOOD-3 track (upgraded before Race 3).
It was a fast day especially in chute (sprint) races given the runners were significantly wind-assisted running home. Horse’s getting back and coming to the outside to swoop were not really in the picture for the first half of the card with the wind a factor.
Perhaps the 10m of ‘’fresh ground’’ inside coming back to a firm track off a rain-effected track here the previous week, with rail out was another factor contributing to this outcome.
Three winners on the day sat 3-deep. Two of those were in circle races in the second half of the card.
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HANSEATIC was voted by punters as the run of the day securing a whopping 66% of the vote from ALABAMA EXPRESS (16%) and ANAHEED (12%).
It is tough to argue with the majority here as his win was visually stunning, even if you are not a believer in any early on-pace/ inside advantage, his overall time super (wind-assisted) and last 200m split of 11.08, totally dominated.
HANSEATIC sat back off midfield then was held-up a touch before easing to the outside and spotting another quality 2YO RULERSHIP some 5L. He then unleashed (10.79 / 11.08) two slick 200m splits to arrive right on the wire.
RULERSHIP kicked-up early inside the leaders and shook them all off, kicking away but just couldn’t hold off said winner late. Lead-speed here was 29.02 1st-500m which was near 3L slower than the fillies division, Winner’s overall time was 1-3.08 (around 2L slower than girls).
RATHLIN sat behind the speed, behind said runner-up then went back inside and battled home strongly to be beaten only .8L (home 11.25 last 200m - 3rd-fastest of race) with TAGALOA a solid 4th (splitting the quinella in the run - home 11.34).
TANKER broke 34-seconds last 600m but others were stronger that last 200m (11.54) with WINSUM charging very late after missing the kick. He was back near the winner but that horse put 4L on him and he hit the line 11.20 last 200m, a split bettered only by the winner.
The fillies went around in R3 and LETZBEGLAM caught many of us off-guard here starting $31 off a neat Werribee debut win. On Saturday she sat 3-wide on the speed and there was no loafing here, they went 28.51 1st-500m (yep, some 3L faster than the boys) but they also went .15 faster than 3yo’s Satorial Splendor and Anaheed in G2 Rubiton Stakes.
Letzbeglam then took over and raced clear to win by a decisive 2.25L and ran 1-2.79 (faster than the boys and 0.67 slower than older horses in the Rubiton Stakes) so all honours winner!
Runner-up MUNTASEERA clearly should have finished much closer though. She was a bit tardy then hunted up to find a spot, then, held-up as the winner was breaking away. She did pick-up and find the line and beat home GEIST (who had tracked said winner) and they had 1.2L up their sleeve on RIVERINA STORM (solid last 100m) and CLEAN MACHINE (ran on/ sound debut).
ANAHEED was a brilliant winner of the Rubiton tracking fellow 3YO SARTORIAL SPLENDOR and quickly taking over and breaking clear. The speed was strong (28.66 1st-500m) and overall time fast (1-2.12).
Nature Strip won this race last year in 1-3.18 off 28.28 1st-500m which, although interesting, doesn’t tell us anything except perhaps just how wind-assisted these sprinters were on Saturday!
Ok, back to this year’s race: BOLD STAR went way back, came outside and attacked the line running 11.08 race-fastest last 200m running into second place with ALL TOO ROYAL (back/ wide no cover / went early/ ran well) third and CAUSEWAY GIRL (nice work late - home 11.25 - in restricted room!!).
ADMIRAL’S JOKER went super fresh with weight from back/ wide running 32.9 (last 600m) and 11.37 home.
WILD PLANET was a sneaky, very good run too. He made the Forgive File.
To the G1 and CF ORR Stakes and in a perhaps ominous warning to all our older WFA horses it was a 3YO in ALABAMA EXPRESS who was able to blow them away despite sitting 3-wide (no cover mostly/ had partial cover for a bit) and ridden along a fair way. Fancy he will run a strong 1600m also.
The early speed was solid with HEY DOC leading in 47.93 1st-800m. Winner’s overall time was 1-22.07 and he has recorded 10.94/ 11.43 for his final 2 x 200m splits. If he is a second or third level 3yo, then yeah, look out older horses right !?
Runner-up FIERCE IMPACT (33.56 - 11.02 / 11.25) surged late after finding a good spot just off the winner with cover, he was on the winner’s back straightening and then was left behind a bit before surging late. He went close, only beaten .3L on the wire and measured up to WFA.
KINGS WILL DREAM (33.42 - 10.94/ 11.25) was alongside Fierce Impact and hard-ridden before turning, he responded and surged late also and was only beaten .4L.
FIFTY STARS kept closing fresh at WFA and has clearly come back well (home 11.17).
AVILIUS just couldn’t improve around 500m when in-between runners but he kept closing. His 33.22 last 600m was race-fastest and his 11.17 last 200m was equal-fastest with the aforementioned Fifty Stars.
There were 2 x 1200m races on the day:
One was won by the unbeaten HOW WOMANTIC who took trail and chased down ENFLEURAGE who had led (early in day - R2) and kicked.
Lead-speed was 34.84 1st-600m and overall time a slick 1-8.8 (wind-assisted).
AQUITAINE was sound but clear in time for mine. ACTING kept closing with weight. It was a better race to be handy.
The other was Race 9 and the classy SYLVIA’S MOTHER took a trail midfield and then forced clear on turning and chased down NEWS GIRL who had the perfect trail and gave a nice kick). They had near 2L on third INVICTUS SALUTE (so genuine) with MAMZELLE TESS (ditto) and SPANISH REEF (nice return - home 11.25 was race-fastest and 3/100ths faster than winner).
There was 2.7L between third and eighth. Early speed was strong (34.19 1st-600m) and overall time 1-8.49 - Yep, fast !! Safe to say given wind and weather, the track was firmer/ faster by Race 9 versus Race 2 but I always think it is worthwhile comparing relative times on race day.
The Forgive File
- STREET SHEIK (ran on versus mad on-pace race-shape),
- SIR PIPPEN (race-shape against also),
- SCORE (clear last / back and wide versus race pattern),
- UNSTOPPABLE (never really clear),
- FRESH (end of prep),
- WINSUM (slow out/ way back and wide/ green / good talent),
- THE HOLY ONE (slow out/ ran on in another on-pace race - 1st-4 out 1st-4 home),
- CAUSEWAY GIRL (good in limited room),
- WILD PLANET (was closing when ran out of room!),
- SARTORIAL SPLENDOR (thumps),
- HARLEM (held-up / clear 100m and did hit line - nice work),
- SCALES OF JUSTICE (headed when hampered but saying inconclusive),
- BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER (lame),
- HEY DOC (mucous detected),
- GRACEFUL STORM (off track).