The Group 1 racing is in full swing again this Saturday, with two top grade races at Rosehill Gardens the highlight.
There’s also the Golden Mile meeting at Bendigo and a huge 10-race card at Doomben to sink our teeth into.
The team at Racepal have handed down their thoughts on every race at all three meetings. To learn more about their services, head to Racepal.com.au
Track: Soft 7 (Thursday)
Rail: +6m entire
Weather: 5-10mm rain predicted Friday, possible light shower Saturday
If the predicted Friday rain eventuates, Rosehill will likely be flirting with a third straight Saturday in the Heavy range. The rail shifts out to the +6m position – they were steering towards the middle of the straight last Saturday and that trend should continue here.
Speed map/race shape: A field of 12 for the G3 Schweppervescence. Bellevue Hill only knows one way and will go straight to the front while Le Tene can follow it across. The rest will be content to settle midfield – perhaps Fortress Command is handier from barrier two.
Advantaged runners: This is a slight afterthought for Slipper emergency BELLEVUE HILL but his record reads well for this and he’ll make his own luck in front. LA TENE was huge winning the VRC Sires at Flemington and she has the 1400m experience the toppy lacks. ROME and STRASBOURG both present second up off 1200m runs in Group company. Big watch on FORTRESS COMMAND who went through his gears nicely to win the Beaumont Handicap.
Speed map/race shape: The likes of Almost Court and Taikomochi typically enjoy rolling along close to the speed and they can make the pace here. Moss ‘n’ Dale will be close up from barrier one while Main Stage gets a chance to slide up and settle closer here.
Advantaged runners: No surprise to see the Gelagotis camp chasing more wet track Group success in Sydney with MOSS ’N’ DALE. He’ll get every chance to repeat the dose with the gun run. HARLEM’s inclusion is fascinating – but the Australian Cup winner is no swimmer. The Busuttin/Young pair of TAVAGO and MAIN STGE profile to improve sharply here, respect for GOATHLAND too who brings Red Cardinal form – he’s a G1 chance today.
Speed map/race shape: The map is once again fairly straightforward in the G2 Tulloch, with Cossetot and Shaman likely to look for the front from Angel Of Truth Firstclass Dreamer. The Kiwis will likely settle midfield and beyond. Don’t expect a particularly onerous tempo.
Advantaged runners: There’s a few Kiwis making strong cases here, with MADISON COUNTY leading the charge. He was a late scratching from the Guineas last week and looks an even better chance here. His turn of foot gives him the edge over compatriots IN A TWINKLING and PLATINUM INVADOR who filled the placings in the NZ Derby. COSSETOT is the Aussie who is up and running, he’s also two from two on rain affected ground and may look to control the tempo from the front.
Speed map/race shape: Daysee Doom can control the Emancipation from the front, with no real challengers for the lead. Dyslexic may slide through to be handy, perhaps Naantali from wide can cross over as well, but there doesn’t look to be much urgency here.
Advantaged runners: ALIZEE holds the aces, obviously. All her runs this prep would win this. Barrier 10 probably isn’t ideal but at least Shinn can keep her out of trouble. DAYSEE DOOM was okay first up and will receive less pressure here. She missed a run in the Coolmore – of those who tackled that race, PRINCESS POSH appears to be going best of all. DYSLEXIC ran a better race over this track/distance than any of the Coolmore runners on the same day and can race handily again. They’ll all need to pull out plenty to beat Alizee.
Speed map/race shape: In contrast to the early events, we’re expecting a fair bit of pressure in the G3 Star Kingdom. Estijaab has drawn widest but should press on and tackle Fiery Heights and speedy Kiwi Ardrossan for the front. Manuel has been on the pace at Group 1 level this prep so will also look to be prominent.
Advantaged runners: There’s a bit to like about MANUEL’s set up here. He’s been racing over further (and in better company) and the fitness base will serve him well in a tough 1200m event. The up and comer is 2018 Slipper winner ESTIJAAB who has hardly been disgraced at two runs this prep, she just needs luck early to feature. TREKKING was a drifter in betting when a length off Easy Eddie last start, that turned out to be Group 1 form! He’s the most likely of the closers. Plenty of respect for ARDROSSAN, he’s unbeaten on Soft going and gets the services of top jockey James McDonald.
Speed map/race shape: Greysful Glamour was mistakenly restrained at Kembla, but they won’t make the same mistake again. The lead is hers for the taking in the G1 Vinery, with Autumn, Aristia and Seabrook from out wider to all race prominently.
Advantaged runners: The Vinery is shaping up as a fantastic race between a seriously good bunch of fillies. EL DORADO DREAMING took on the older mares in the G1 Coolmore. They ran a quicker time than the fillies in the G2 Phar Lap on the same day, which was won by VERRY ELLEEGANT. Of all the Phar Lap runners, QAFILA is most advantaged by the step up to 2000m here, but she remains unproven in the wet. Then of course there’s NAKEETA JANE who has been given three weeks to recover from taking on The Autumn Sun! She may have run her Grand Final though? Impossible to ignore the ‘sectional star’ POHUTUKAWA, she smashed them in the Kembla Classic. No real knock on the others. Cracker!
Speed map/race shape: The speed runner has drawn wide in the G1 Tancred, bu don’t expect Ace High to face much opposition crossing over. Vengeur Masque and Ventura Storm can be handy while Avilius should settle midfield from barrier seven.
Advantaged runners: The key to the Tancred is clearly AVILIUS and how well he has backed up from last week’s dominant performance in the G1 Ranvet. The distance is no issue but he’s had a couple of Grand Finals now and this may be asking a lot of the horse. If we were to look elsewhere, RED CARDINAL is the standout. He’s turned a corner this preparation and the wet tracks are likely playing a key role. Stablemate BIG DUKE is also on the back up and is ready to peak. RODINELLA is a genuine each-way hope coming off a G1 NZ Stakes placing.
Speed map/race shape: A relative lack of pressure in the G3 Doncaster Prelude should allow Mask Of Time and Tom Melbourne to stroll through and lead. There’s an opportunity for Don’t Give A Damn to cross and join Siege Of Quebec in the trail, with Seaway not far away.
Advantaged runners: MASK OF TIME was overhauled by Fifty Stars in the last few strides in the Ajax. He’s developed a liking for this track and distance and the map is favourable, but he does cop a 4.5kg weight penalty for that effort. The start prior he was beaten home by SEAWAY who was luckless in the Ajax. He gets the weight swing but a genuine Heavy track remains a query for him. SIEGE OF QUEBEC gets all the favours in the run, his only Heavy start was in better company so should be given the benefit of the doubt.
Speed map/race shape: If Don’t Give A Damn choses this option instead of the Doncaster Prelude he can lead from barrier two, with Special Missile joining him. Spring Charlie and Mahalangur, while the likes of Zourkhan and Get On The Grande may get stuck wider.
Advantaged runners: STAR OF THE SEAS gets the chance to go back to back. He returns to the scene of the crime and isn’t too badly penalised for running straight past MAHALANGUR, who once again makes a strong case and will be prominent in running. SPRING CHARLIE has an imposing record and this trip is right in his wheelhouse, fitness is the query after five weeks between runs. Wary of RENEWAL who got the job done first up but is yet to produce his best at 1400m. Respect for DON’T GIVE A DAMN who enjoys rain-affected going and could get things to suit in front.
Track: Good 4
Rail: True entire
Weather: Mostly sunny, chance of 1-5mm rain Friday
A whopping 152 acceptors for the Bendigo standalone Saturday meeting, with the features being the Golden Mile and Guineas late in the program. The track is typically pretty fair and no different is expected here.
Speed map/race shape: As will be the case today, big fields typically bring decent pressure and tempo to the race. Blue Tycoon and Won Ball will be urged to cross from wide, while Lucky Fish and Sunday Pray from low draws can try and kick up. Beauty will get a gun run.
Advantaged runners: MANDELA EFFECT brings the best credentials on paper, with seven wins from 13 starts, including over Streets Of Avalon last year. He possesses a big finish but could find himself a long way back, which hands a big advantage to BEAUTY. She’s on the way up and is ready to win after two good efforts at Flemington this time in work. Both SUNDAY PRAY and STREET SHEIK finished second in their respective races last time out and the form has been subsequently franked. The former’s racing pattern gives him the edge.
Speed map/race shape: A handful of these like to lead and there may be some early jostling for position. Think Music, Awaytoff and Transact have all drawn the lower half and should fight for the lead amongst themselves, with Budd Fox and Southern Yankee slotting in.
Advantaged runners: Three-year-olds only tackling the staying trip here in the second. SECRET BLAZE and SOUTHERN YANKEE come through the Alister Clark. Secret Blaze was clearly the better run but got things his own way from barrier one – he’ll need a peach from Currie after drawing 15 here. There’s plenty of early value about MINER’S MISS who is first up but was last seen running third in the Oaks, the quinella there are tackling a Group 1 on Saturday. TRANSACT was unlucky in the Geelong Classic in the Spring and arrives here third up and ready to win.
Speed map/race shape: There’s up to six debutants here, but four of those are emergencies. Invincible Lotus has the most speed of what we’ve seen and from the low draw he can kick up to hold out Sisstar and Prince Of Sussex.
Advantaged runners: The form around MOCKERY makes her a key contender. She beat Cheer Leader up the Flemington straight, and he bolted in last Friday night at The Valley. The filly maps for a cold run behind the leaders. GROOT will need a special from Meech to find cover early but his debut run at Group 3 level frames him as a contender. SISSTAR was fancied on debut when finishing on the heels of Lankan Star, she’ll be making the running with INVINCIBLE LOTUS who may appreciate the step back in grade and distance.
Speed map/race shape: Seven Year Reward likes to lead and should do so from barrier one, but Carlingford, Huge Action and/or Malahat drawn inside him may make him work. Easy Beast’s best chance of featuring is to cross from barrier 14 and join the leader.
Advantaged runners: Looking for a few of the runners from midfield to make the most of any early pressure. CREATIVITY resumes for a new trainer and typically sprints well fresh. She’ll be racing in company with YULONG YUHENG who has had his blow out run and is ready to show his UK form. BEL SONIC may even spot them a start but his run in the Hareeba showed he’s threatening to win soon. They’ll all need to catch SEVEN YEAR REWARD who will try and make all with just 52kgs after the claim.
Speed map/race shape: Truly Discreet is expected to settle much closer than last start, but it is unlikely she has the speed to pinch the lead from Miss Siska. Twitchy Frank and River Jewel shouldn’t need to work too hard to slide across into forward positions either.
Advantaged runners: The class of the field is LA BELLA DIOSA who can springboard off a great run in a sizzling Sydney race. The step to 1400m gives her extra time to wind up from the read and reel in the other favoured runners on speed. Most prominent of those is MISS SISKA who resumes here. She stretched out to 2000m at Group 2 level last prep. TWITCHY FRANK is another racing well and appears to be enjoying life in Tasmania. RIVER JEWEL can give a sight stepping up in grade.
Speed map/race shape: Genuine tempo expected in the BM84 stayers event. Sirkos and Tiffany’s Lass both led over 1600m last start, but it is unlikely the gostly grey Valac will have any interest in allowing them a soft time in front. Instigator and Rockarral head up the rest.
Advantaged runners: If BELGRAVIA turns up ready to go, he has the number to win this race. He’s third up and was most recently seen running on against the pattern over the Flemington 2000m. He may slot into a three-wide line in this, as may MOSH MUSIC. The mare has won four from five this prep but probably should be unbeaten and has already shown the trip is no issue. The Waller pair DARK PEARL and DESERT PATH both have good numbers but have also both drawn awkwardly and may end up a fair way back. They’ll spot a start to VALAC and ROCKARRAL who are racing in good heart.
Speed map/race shape: The Golden Mile should be a genuinely run affair, courtesy of the wide draws held by front-runners Lite’n in My Veins and Dodging Bullets. This may present Furrion with an opportunity to get the cart across into a prime position.
Advantaged runners: If the above scenario plays out, then FURRION appears awfully hard to beat here. He presents second up off a promising run at Flemington and appears perfectly placed to extend his unbeaten second up record. The first furlong holds the key. Should things not pan out that way, runners such as SILENTZ and ZEBULON may be best placed to run on from midfield and beyond from wider draws. Their form lines up with the likes of PLEIN CIEL, MANTASTIC and VIOLATE but they may be buried in the pack and need the seas to part turning for home. Don’t dismiss Morton’s Fork back on drier ground either.
Speed map/race shape: Outrageous was a surprise leader at Flemington but its unlikely he has the speed to cross Pickup The Pieces drawn inside him. There’s a host of horses who enjoy racing handily, including Mystery Love, Scottish Rogue and Muswellbrook.
Advantaged runners: Fairly even race with many chances. OUTRAGEOUS beat a smart one at Flemington but won’t get to stack them up at a walk here. Regardless, he’ll be handy and many of the main hopes will have to get past him. SCOTTISH ROGUE ran on against the pattern in that race and could potentially get Outrageous’ back here. From a similar position in running SACCHARO can make an impact if he replicated his Spring form – he was beaten at odds on first up this prep. With luck from a wide draw MARCEL FROM MADRID should be running on into the finish, he’s desperate for this trip after chasing home Anjana twice this prep. Chances also to the improving MYSTERY LOVE, BLINDER and MUSWELLBROOK first up.
Speed map/race shape: A few candidates to lead again in the last on the card, most notably Al Passem, Critical Thinking and Simply Invincible. There should be an opportunity for Kazio, Fox Hall and Malaise to slot into advantaged positions from wider draws.
Advantaged runners: He had too much to do against the pattern of the day at Flemington but ANTAH should get the chance to run on from the second half and into the money here. He chased home SIMPLY INVINCIBLE that day who sat outside a hot-pot leader and wore him down, the race rated highly. WAGING WAR will also be running on, his last start was shrouded in protest controversy but the performance was great regardless. SUPER TITUS is first up in Australia and crunched early in betting, his best form is over much further though. The blowout hope is MAN OF HIS WORD back from the All Star Mile!
Track: Good 4 (Thursday)
Rail: +1m entire
Persistent niggling rain in the lead up to Saturday means we’re flirting with a Soft surface for the 10-race card. The rail is back to the +1m position – the inside six metres hasn’t been used for a month and inside lanes/rails in run may be favourable.
Speed map/race shape: The speed comes from nearer the inside courtesy of Bella Occhi and Boom Chicka Boom, who can take it up from Lord Barrington and Masterati.
Advantaged runners: The tempo doesn’t look too frantic and those front-runners look most advantaged. BOOM CHICKA BOOM is a known fresh sprinter and presents off an eight-week layoff here. His record on Soft isn’t flash but things didn’t quite work out for him at either start. MASTERATI never runs a bad race but hasn’t won for a while, while BELLA OCCHI was scratched from Wednesday to run here and could try and lead the whole way. Don’t dismiss SUNDARBANS – she has mixed it in good company but was recently cast aside by the Hawkes stable, from barrier one she just needs the breaks to feature.
Speed map/race shape: Ballistic Boy and Quart Pot both showed speed on debut and will be looking for the fence. Time For Love copped a bad check in a recent rich two-year-old race, she will be very handy from barrier two while Magic Palace can cross from the deep.
Advantaged runners: Very interesting circumstances here for the best performed horse in the race, MISS CAVALLO. She possesses a devastating turn of foot but she won’t be helped by the predicted pattern. In contrast BALLISTIC BOY should be in the right spot. He backed up a super trial with a debut win, but he’s unknown in the wet. So too is MAGIC PALACE, who beat inferior opposition with arrogance on debut. The step up to 1200m should suit though. THIRD MARTINI faces a similar predicament to Miss Cavallo, SAY HAYA can be forgiven for a defeat behind Niedorp and expensive Gollan debutant PURRONI should be watched in betting.
Speed map/race shape: Trommelschlagen doesn’t look like having much opposition for the lead over 1600m, Bargannon should be handy, but the leader can run his own race.
Advantaged runners: With every downgrade HALLELUJAH BOY’s stocks grow in this race. The form is relatively even among these runners but he’s the real swimmer. TROMMELSCHLAGEN also handles the wet and will be in front turning for home, he’s developed an affinity with this track and distance. BARGANNON chased him home last time and will be closer in the run here. Both EMINENT and LE JUGE also hold genuine chances, but would prefer things to stay drier to maximise their talents.
Speed map/race shape: Not the best Saturday staying crop we’ve seen. Remarkable Son is 1400m > 2200m so surely pushes forward from the carpark to join High Wind and Own Sweet Way at the pointy end.
Advantaged runners: This is a messy race. HIGH WIND was disappointing last start but was a runner up prior under similar conditions to this event. Any sting out helps him, as it does REMARKABLE SON who is sharply up in trip but will be in the right part of the track. Arguably ALLCASH’s Sydney form is stronger than the rest here – it has stood up from his last outing already. He’ll be running on from the rear alongside SEENTO.
Speed map/race shape: Zahspeed only knows one way and he will try and find the front, he will need to cross Tonsor who might not make things easy. Stella Ombra and Courtza King from wider will adopt forward positions.
Advantaged runners: Matthew Smith has sent TONSOR north to escape to escape the Stakes racing in Sydney and finds a suitable assignment for him here. He can lead or trail from the inside alley, has a strong rider engaged and enjoys the sting out – on ratings he will go close. TAWFIQ BOY continues to ‘run on’ without ever really threatening to win, perhaps the extra trip and sting out is what he needs. COURTZA KING needs an assertive ride early but if he can slot in one off the fence he’s a chance, he’s developed a liking for the track and trip.
Speed map/race shape: Deep Image is the designated leader here and will be making tracks across the field to lead. Lota Creek Gold possesses some speed and can follow him across, while Impasse and Secret Mo will be looking for the trail.
Advantaged runners: DEEP IMAGE didn’t run the mile last time but he did pants them over 1400m first up. Freshened here and dropping back to this distance range, he’ll take some catching. He’ll be tracked into the race by IMPASSE who could be well placed to strike, he’s just missed at both efforts this prep. SECRET MO went back to the provincials to regain his winning feeling, he’s a hope at odds. Expect BEACON to be scratched (won Wednesday).
Speed map/race shape: The topweights The Tax Accountant and Al’s Kingdom should stroll to the front and lead this at a moderate gallop. Kitty Kins can also be handy.
Advantaged runners: THE TAX ACCOUNTANT was only a long neck behind the in-form Mishani Hustler last start. Stretching out to 1350m here should allow him to settle further forward in the run and continue his progression. Fellow front runner AL’S KINGDOM was scratched from Wednesday to resume here. This is short of his best trip but he’s a bold on-pacer. They’ll have a big head start on MILLARD REACTION who mowed a midweek field down on debut. The three-year-old faces a sharp rise in trip here but has oodles of talent. Respect for SOXAGON and MACEWEN who will also be looking to run on from the back.
Speed map/race shape: King Dinisty and Prince Of Tie are numbers 12 and 13 on the race card and they’ve drawn barrier 12 and 13 here. But they also have the most speed and will want to cross to the front. Brains will want to follow them across and join Tisani Magic.
Advantaged runners: This is the second division of the 1350m Class 6 event. KING DINISTY was last seen leading until the shadows of the post over 1615m. That run may give him a fitness edge over PRINCE OF TIE, over whom he gets a 1.5kg weight swing for running a close second the start prior. TISANI MAGIC seems to be putting it all together now as a four-year-old. His last start suggested he’s looking for the extra trip and he should secure a great run in transit. RIVER RACER has been freshened after failing at this level at Eagle Farm, as has BRAINS, while I AM IMPINGE has ability but will get back in the run.
Speed map/race shape: Lots of pressure from out wide in the 1200m event. Gypsy Toff and Zollikon Miss are the main speedsters but there’s a handful that can join them including Bonsho, Hirtshals and Malign. Plenty of runners drawn low have speed but may not want to absorb relentless pressure.
Advantaged runners: Looking to the filly WINTER PASSAGE to take it up to the older mares. She’s missed the placings only once in 13 starts and is perfectly positioned to strike off the hot tempo. Her form ties in with SPLITTER who scored a nice first up win over this trip. Chasing home Manaya has given her a good base for this, but she won’t want to get bundled up on the rail. FELINO BEL returned in good order and can be improved second up, while CYMBALISM has been freshened and sent back in trip after a 1350m win at this track.
Speed map/race shape: The speed comes from lower draws here but it will be on nonetheless. Rising Stock will want to use the rail and hold the front, but he’ll be pressured by Cabeirian, Comic Story and Mail Escort.
Advantaged runners: The last event on the card is for the boys division of the non metro winners. TOTALLY CHARMED is scratched from the first to run here. First up over 1000m he ground home well and will enjoy 1200m. Another horse who appreciates this track and trip is BUCK BAY, who scored on his Queensland debut – second has subsequently won. ALL PLUCK, CABEIRIAN, COMIC STORY and HAPPY HOOVES are all last start winners – if we were to single out one of them, perhaps the latter can peak third up here.