Top 10 International Raiders to Watch at the 2019 Autumn Carnival

Given the ever-increasing prevalence of international raiders in Australian racing, we run our eye over 10 classy imports that could make their mark down under this Autumn carnival.

Laura Slobodniuk
Wed, 23 Jan, 1:00 AM


10. Admire Robson

Record: 9:4-3-1

Trainer: Darren Weir

Was being aimed at the Naturalism last Spring with an eye towards the Caulfield Cup. Worked solidly between the all-jumps program at Ballarat last year with fellow imports Tosen Basil and Cassius but was never seen on race day. Hopefully this doesn’t mean there’s been an issue as the son of Deep Impact looks a progressive, lightly-raced stayer. For the SP profilers he’s never started longer than $5 in his career.  


9. Mawaany

Record: 16:3-5-1

Trainer: Chris Waller

The consistent former Irish galloper has been purchased by Australian Bloodstock to be raced with Chris Waller. He’s the half-brother to former Llyod Williams galloper Kilimanjaro who’s now with the Maher team. He came of age as a 5yo, placing in some rich Handicap races over 2000-2400m including a second in the Northfields Handicap at $4.50. Impressed at his most recent run, winning over 2420m at Leopardstown.


8. Humbolt Current

Record: 7:3-1-0

Trainer: Chris Waller

After running second to Willie John (subsequently sold for a record breaking $3.7 million AUS) at his only 2YO start, he was nominated for the English 2000 Guineas. But after failing badly at short odds at his next two starts he never got that far. However, after receiving the ultimate gear change, he leapt out of the ground as a 3YO winning 3 of his next 4 starts from 1600-2000m. Looks to have plenty of ability with just as many quirks to go along with it.


7. Desert Path

Record: 7:3-1-0

Trainer: Chris Waller

Yet another import for the Waller camp. A typically well-bred gelding from the Juddmonte Farm operation in the UK he failed to make an impression as a 2YO on synthetic tracks before coming back as a gelding to win 3 of his next 5 starts. The last of which was during the Goodwood carnival as a $13 chance (backed in from $21). This was the same price he started against eventual Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter the start prior at Ascot over 2400m when beaten 11 lengths after being 4 and 5 wide the trip. 


6. Shraaoh

Record: 14:3-2-2

Trainer: Chris Waller

The ex-UK galloper debuted on Melbourne Cup day over 2800m and was met with good support to start $6. He didn’t let backers and new owners down as he rounded the field up to win by almost 2 lengths coming away from them on the line. That was a war of attrition on heavy ground and the team were quick to declare him as a Cup prospect. Currently sits around $13 for the Sydney Cup where typically wet conditions would only strengthen his claims.


5. Schabau

Record: 7:3-2-2

Trainer: Robert Hickmott

Showed some serious promise in Germany, working through his grades with a good SP profile, culminating in two 7 length romps at his only two starts at 2000m and beyond. The 4YO backed this up first-up on Australian shores, winning on New Years Day. Though it wasn’t against outstanding opposition he showed plenty of class. Jumping on terms with them from the widest barrier Zhara restrained him back to near last before catching up the leaders in a matter of strides in the straight then flattening out towards the latter stages. Hickmott (who knows a thing or two about training Cup winners) has even compared this galloper to Efficient.


4. Melt

Record: 8:4-2-0

Trainer: Chris Waller

The daughter of Iffraaj won and Group 3 level (1200m) and placed at Group 1 level (1400m) as a 2YO in New Zealand. She would continue this quality form early into her 3YO season, winning second-up at Group 3 level before running a narrow second to Maddison County over 1400m in the G2 Hawke’s Bay Guines as favourite. She lead and dropped out over 1600m in the NZ 1000 Guineas at her most recent but has looked to travel over well in a quiet jump out on the 22nd of January at Warwick Farm.


3. Maddison County

Record: 7:4-1-2

Trainer: M.Baker and A.Foresman

After back to back 1600m Group 1 wins in the 2000 Guineas and Levin Classic she’s been undoubtedly New Zealand’s best 3YO this season. Already nominated for both the All-Star Mile ($31) and the Australian Guineas ($15), she’s poised to give the locals a real battle. Her will to win has seen her make light of tough situations when trapped back in the ruck as evidenced below in her dashing Levin Classic win. She’s due to go around next on January 26th in the Karaka Million 3Yo Classic and will take plenty of beating there.


2. Ancient Spirit

Record: 8:3-2-1

Trainer: Chris Waller

The dual Group 2 winning German stallion look ideally suited to Australian racing. After a surprise 4.5 length win at $22 in the 2000 Guineas at Group 2 level, trainer Jean Pierre Carvalho credited the form turn around to the application of blinkers and his jockey’s initiative to take up the running when the speed dropped off – something we are used to seeing in our staying races. Ancient Spirit is well bred, out of a Galileo mare who’s a ¾ sister to 2016 Melbourne Cup winner Almandin and proved the Guineas win was no fluke, winning and placing at Group 2 level at her only two starts this season.


1. Te Akau Shark

Record: 6:5-0-0

Trainer: Jamie Richards

A winner of 4 from his 5 career starts with his only failure coming when thrown in the deep end as a 2YO running 4th in the NZ 2000 Guineas behind Embellish. His last-to-first racing style has captured the attention of racing fans around the globe (see below) and the times in which he’s won have sparked interest in the most ardent form students. With plenty of nominations for Autumn features including the All-Star Mile ($15) and The Doncaster ($11) the Australian public should get to see plenty of the Shark this Autumn.

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