Racing was at FLEMINGTON on Saturday and the track went from a GOOD-4 to GOOD-3 with rail 2m.
There was no bias/ pattern evident. Straight races were won well off the inside rail with the 2yo race being the exception, as that is where all the key hopes raced!
Run of the Day
It was ALLIGATOR BLOOD with a whopping 47% of the vote over TE AKAU SHARK (39% - will get to this beast later !) and they dominated your thoughts.
ALLIGATOR BLOOD led but certainly wasn’t going hard. He then had company from the $301-pop yet travelled sweetly until well into the straight and slipped away 300m out and simply kept going too well to hold 1.25L margin on the line. He ran home 33.56 with final 2 x 200m splits at 11.02/ 10.87
The Guineas was run in 61.33 1st-1000m. The other 1600m race on the day was the Blamey Stakes for at G2 level and they went 60.73. On these times So Si Bon (who is no natural leader) would have been some 3L in front of ‘The Blood’ with 600m to travel.
Guineas overall time was a slick 1-34.92 thanks to some serious closing speed from some exceptionally talented 3yo’s. Runner-up SUPERSTORM certainly measured up, he was straight out the back early and still spotting leader a decent start into the straight, his last 100m was nice work to get within than 1.25L range. He ran race-fastest 33.19 last 600m, this split was faster than all Blamey runners, oh, and all runners in Shaftesbury Ave Hcp (1400m) also.
SOUL PATCH was pipped late for second. He was slow out then recovered and had a lovely trail on the winner but was hard at it turning, then kept coming, a sure sign he needs further now.
CHENIER was in strife early then recorded 2 x sub-11 second last 200m’s. He is very good himself! CATALYST was way below his best, vetted clear but wanted to roll in under full pressure, word is the blinkers will be back on next start so certainly not sacking him.
The Blamey Stakes was won by FIFTY STARS and he cane from the back and wide (with cover mostly), he was under serious pressure before the turn yet wound-up strongly and ended up having 1.5L on his rivals on the line. Early speed was faster than the Guineas but certainly not fast for this standard of horse, 60.73 1st-1000m. Winner has run sub 1-8.00 last 1200m (rolling start) then 33.22 last 600m and a 10.95 home (last 200m) with 58kg. Overall time here was 1-34.45 so they have run around 2L faster than the 3yo’s in the Guineas but were faster early remember.
SECRET BLAZE sat 3rd 3-wide no cover and kept battling to beat everything else in a terrific return.
ADMIRAL’S JOKER had a sweet run and was travelling better than the winner turning but didn’t quicken (again) before surging late (home 11.21). He is super genuine but that lack of gears is hurting him at this elite (-ish) level.
SO SI BON held 4th.
RINGERDINGDING warmed up nicely late, his last 100m was nice work for the right race.
Race 5 was Shaftesbury Avenue Hcp and BLAZEJOWSKI arrived late to score in 3-way go with MORVADA (sat 2nd) and AGE OF CHIVALRY (led). Winner has a great will to win and was able to overcome a tardy start here. Lead-speed set by AGE OF CHIVALRY was a strong 47.85 1st-800m. He was 2nd-up 1100m-to-1400m and gave a kick with 58kg but was run over late.
MORVADA finally wore him down for second but yep, swamped late. Time was fast 1-21.70 for the 1400m.
GOLD FIELDS was fourth after sitting just off the winner, he was effectible 1st-up and was only 1.5L away from 3rd, he beat 5th by 5L.
Race 4 was also 1400m and was for mares with SYLVIA’S MOTHER proving a shade too strong (perfect ride) at her first go 1400m. She is now 4 from 4 second-up. Leader was CAZABILLIE (specked at odds but on her rating, was not much hope, maybe some punters were thinking track was leaders early?) and she rolled along, going 47.78 1st-800m so 7/100ths faster than ‘’Age of Chivalry’’ in G3 later on.
Winner ran 1-21.96 which was around 1.5L off the overall time of Blazejowski on the day (and also fast).
MAMZELLE TESS was a typically honest second after being given every chance in 1-1 spot with FIDELIA putting the writing on the wall with a serious 32.96 last 600m sectional, her 11.43 last 200m was clear race-fastest and she was last and ridden along from a long way out so fancy she needs 1600m now.
PARMIE was honest and SPANISH WHISPER (1st-up) did enough. There was just 1.4L over the first seven mares here but certainly not knocking the race on that front, it was a quality mares race run in slick time.
Difficult not to be impressed with debutante winner ILOVEMYSELF who did trial very well leading in, and was backed from double-figure odds when markets first went up. Never easy to do, win a stakes race on debut and he has done it overcoming some serious traffic at a most vital stage, picked up and run by RIVER NIGHT who had split Hanseatic and Away Game at debut with TIME IS PRECIOUS (led/ headed/ battled well) holding third (she had some near elite formlines on her CV).
These three had 1.5L on DESTINATION in 4th with CHART BUSTER closing off OK late. Speed was good early with 23.94 1st-400m, on times these 2yo’s would have been near 3L in front of flying WA mare Fabergino mid race if races were run together. Overall time 57.62
FABERGINO has led 24.4 1st-400m and run a slick 56.55 out in middle of the track. EMBRACE ME back to 1000m has rushed home in a sizzling 31.86 last 600m, then 10.95 home last 200m. HAUNTED always flies fresh and he too closed off well into 3rd (32.12/ 11.10).
GIFT OF POWER was first home from those closer to the inside but no match for wider ones.
MANOLO BLAHNIQ’s last 200m was nice work (11.03) also out in middle of track.
The Forgive File
HIGH BRIDGE (shuffled back/ lost spot/ nice late/ lame post-race),
VANGELIC (chopped out/ did hit line late),
UNSTOPPABELLE (poor recovery),
BENITOITE (tight key stage/ should have finished closer),
CAUSEWAY GIRL (upside/ down),
CHENIER (near fell 1000m!),
ALABAMA EXPRESS (virus ?),
GALAXY RAIDER (upside/ down),
NIGHT’S WATCH (ran out of room),
I GOT YOU (too close/ going well this horse).
Randwick Racing Preview
In Sydney it was RANDWICKand rail was TRUE, track was GOOD and racing was fantastic!
Two world-class racetracks, here and FLEMINGTON and both tracks played superbly. Races were truly run and guess what, the best athletes came to the fore in most races.
Run of the Day
TE AKAU SHARK went into beast mode and I think now, finally, punters are realising he is something special. Only 2nd-up here, sat back off moderate tempo (by G1 standards) and reeled them in (ok, I have been rehearsing) running sectional times reserved for the absolute elite !!
DREAMFORCE led in 59.84 1st-1000m with HAPPY CLAPPER up second, they were still there kicking 100m out but then the swoopers arrived and none swooped better than ‘The Shark’.
We spoke of his sectionals home: 32.59 last 600m (fastest of the day, oh, and there was a 1200m race where the leaders walked first half, then sprinted home, he was run significantly faster than them), broken up, these final 3 x 200m splits were 10.93/ 10.62/ 11.04 and he has stopped the clock at 1-33.87. Wow.
Runner-up was VERRY ELLEGANT and she has come back super, able to sit up closer with lovely trail and traveled well. She hit the lead 100m out and held off all others.
FIERCE IMPACT was also given a lovely run off speed with cover, he tracked up beautifully and let-down strongly at WFA here but was just no match for the quinella.
AVILIUS was way back, just off the winner, he couldn’t quite go with The Shark but chased hard all the way to the wire running 32.79 last 600m and a 10.67/ 11.15 home. He would love some rain, he was run super here.
The other G1 was the Surround Stakes and what a fascinating race to watch. Pre-race it was all FLIT, FUNSTAR and PROBABEEL however, I think most punters had a very healthy respect for LYRE, MISSILE MANTRA and even XILON.
So how did it play out?
KIAMICHI led in a strong 47.11 1st-800m and set-up fast overall time of 1-21.36.
FUNSTAR drew wide and they restrained, I mean, they really restrained, she was some 5-6L off PROBABEEL early then went to the rail and made up that ground.
PROBABEEL was off midfield and coming to the turn, looked hopeless, she was hard at it and going backwards and I was thinking, yep, coming back in trip 1600-to-1400m has found her out.
FUNSTAR went from many lengths behind her to 2L or so in front of her, she stormed home down the outside and looked home however, PROBABEEL was building, building, building and surged late to nail FUNSTAR.
Winner was 33.38 then 10.85/ 11.28. Runner-up 33.34 then 10.88/ 11.46 and they swamped XILONG (Sat 2nd/ took lead 200m) late.
LYRE stayed hard on inside lanes (not 100% sure A+ ground there) and held fourth from MISSILE MANTRA (much better/ good) with the other fancy FLIT holding 1.6L 6th despite racing 3-wide no cover (good effort).
AKARI was nice late (11.73) for the right race. So, bring on the rematch.. FUNSTAR will be fitter (??) and if draws a gate to sit closer, but PROBABEEL is as advantaged as any of these fillies getting back out to 1600m… What a crop !!!
The other 1400m race was Race 5 for older mares and this was scorching!!
Race favourite and leader SWEET DEAL led at a fast pace but was joined so, not only was she going very, very quickly, she had pressure. Her effort to kick away and only be run down in the last hop (1st and 3rd sat near tail) was herculean.. Nothing less! Outside of ‘Shark’ she was the run of the day for mine.
Let’s break down the speed of the race. She has led in 45.27 1st-800m off a standing start, OMG !! Ok, we need perspective, she would have been near 11L in front of Kiamichi with 600m to run off races were run together. What a huge effort. And bookies take your money hey… That’s the real tragedy (he hee).
Winner was DAWN DAWN and she is flying this prep. Big finish late to arrive, POHUTUKAWA was a close third and she was a mile back and wide looking hopeless turning before unleashing her big finale, these two mares have come home 34.40 and 34.46 respectively but off this speed they simply have had no chance of running fast late splits. These three had 1.5l on fourth SWEET SCANDAL (battled very well) with NOIRE running an excellent fat after almost being stopped in her tracks, she can tease us though !! Time was, well, fast: 1-20.83 had then .5 off the track record !!
QUACKERJACK won Liverpool City Cup chasing down leader VEGADAZE but it was very messy behind them with CASCADIAN and IMAGING involved in something that resembled the old WWF days of the battle-royale… Where was Jimmy ‘Superlfy’’ Snooker anyway?
They went 41.34 1st-700m here and ran 1-15.35 for the 1300m ROCK closed off well into 3rd but was 2.3L away.
I AM SUPERMAN also closed off well but winner ran race-fastest last 200m sitting up handy so, mathematically, that makes things tough for back markers. Winner is just a proper racehorse by the way! Bulldog !!
The 2 x 2yo races were uninspiring…
Fillies (R2): HUNGRY HEART wins from the back and runs 1-9.64 off 34.61 1st-600m beating leader STELLAR PAULINE who did some work, and not sure she is a natural leader, they beat third easy.
Boys (R3) was won by MAMARAGAN who shared the speed in 34.3 1s-600m then took over and stopped clock at 1-9.52 beating OSAMU who came from back and outside. His run looked to end late.
Their closing fractions were nothing to be excited about but the winner was only on debut and clearly has immeasurable upside.
3rd-horse AIM should have finished much closer… in fairness. Filly HUNGRY HEART was the sectional sea from both races: She ran 33.92 / 11.73 home.
The Forgive File
GLAMOUR CAT (4-wide),
LADY TYCOON (not much room),
DEPTH THAT VARIES (poor recovery),
AIM (tardy/ held-up),
TOMMY GOLD (poor recovery),
MISSION RIVER (lame),
GORSHIN (very wide),
IMAGING (see Cascadian - Oh, and lame post-race),
SWEET DEAL (freakish!!),
NOIRE (stopped in tracks/ hooked out/ nice late),
CON TE PARTIRO (attacked leader on suicidal speed),