Racing in review - Adelaide & Gold Coast take centre stage
OLIVER PROVES HE IS STILL THE MAN
Damien Oliver bagged a Group One double yesterday to highlight once again why is regarded as one of the best jockeys Australia has ever produced.
‘Oli’ took out the Schweppes Oaks and TAB Classic yesterday with sensational rides on Princess Jenni and Spright to take his Group One tally to 117 – just two shy of the legendary George Moore’s record. There is little doubt now that Oliver will eventually get past Moore’s mark but it must be noted that during Moore’s days there were far less Group Ones than there is now.
Love him or hate him, Oliver still has what it takes to get the job done in big races even though his opportunities have dried up over the years as the likes of Bowman and McDonald have continually attracted the pick of the rides during carnival time.
The champion hoop will always have that unfortunate ‘Miss Octopussy betting scandal’ as a black mark next to his name and god knows he can produce a stinker of a ride, however, the 46-year-old can still throw punches with the best of them.
While Adelaide took centre stage yesterday the Gold Coast weren’t far behind either with their feature card.
The Hollindale Stakes program was marred by a tonne of scratchings throughout the day though which took the gloss off a few races including the Guineas which lost Zousain earlier in the week and then odds-on fav Zoustyle on the day.
It wasn’t exactly a day for the favourites on the Gold Coast but one of the shining lights was Jason Collett who bagged the Hollindale and Silk Stocking while Matty McGillivray and Michael Cahill also got multiple winners along with the ‘J Mac’. Oh, and Demarara’s win in the Silk Stocking gave Godolphin their 50th stakes win in Australia this season – which is phenomenal and a new personal record for the racing conglomerate!
A win on the day which signalled a big return to form was STRONGER for Team Snowden. Peter and Paul didn’t have a great autumn by their high standards but the past few weeks have shown that their stable are starting to fire again and Stronger’s win in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic, when knocking off hot pot Accession, could spell a very fruitful Brisbane Winter Carnival.
Sydney and Melbourne were nearly sideshows on the day with a number of runners easing in the market getting the cash including Brook Magic, Fastnet Tempest, Fidelia, We Concur and Passage Of Time.
The Kenso track in Sydney was used for metro racing and shouldn’t be used again. It is a nice track and very handy to have for midweek fixtures but for Saturday racing it definitely up to the standard of the Randwick course proper or Rosehill. There is no doubt that some horses perform on it better than others and from a punting perspective that provides a double edged sword but ultimately dents the confidence a little when considering your investments.
RIDE OF THE DAY
Ethan Brown did a great job on Fidelia to win race three at Flemington. She was heavily supported despite a late drift and the Flemington track played tricky yesterday with the rail out 11 metres, however, he timed his run perfectly from the tail of the field.
FLOP OF THE DAY
Glyn Schofield on Golden Tycoon held out the heavily backed Heart Conquered in the second race in Sydney. His charge weakened out of it to finish second last and in the process got the fav beaten, destroying a number of big bets and multis too.
FEELGOOD MOMENTS OF THE DAY
A tie between Princess Jenni and Spright in the two Group Ones. Connections of Princess Jenni named the horse after their late daughter while Spright gave trainer Gary Frazer his first major when she finally cracked it for her first Group One.