The championships drew to a close for another year last Saturday and there were plenty of ups and downs to say the least. Wonder mare Winx winner her 17th on the trot could only offset the poor weather, a terribly biased track on day 1 and a heart breaking Sydney Cup on day 2 so much.
A huge positive however was the way the track played on day 2. Playing typical of a genuine heavy track with many runners wanting to get out wider as the day wore on but all sections seemed to be quite even.
It was a solid day for our black book runners, Shoals ($4.50-$3.10) and Foxplay ($7.50) (Dixie Blossoms ($5.50) third and Oregon’s Day ($16) questionably piloted into 5th) both winning their respective races. Spright ($15) also ran extremely well on an un-suitable heavy track, whilst nurse Kitchen was slightly disappointing in the oaks and Harlem didn’t handle the ground at all.
CHANGE OF SCENERY SELECTION– SENSE OF OCCASION: Absolutely relishing the change of the the Chris Lees yard, having had four runs for Lees, wining the Villiers ($31), 2nd in the Gosford cup ($3.30), 3rd in the Doncaster ($61) and 3rd in Sydney’s richest race the Queen Elizabeth ($151)!
The $151 win SP was probably fair given the race had two of the top 3rated horses in the world running in it, but he only finished 0.4L off Hartnell, mind you in his non-preferred ground. It took a hard ride from Corey Brown (since fined for whip over-use) to get him to grind home over the top of Happy clapper and the United States late to figure in the photo at over $5 the place.
It’s no secret he loves the soft going, having a record of 11:4-2-1 on the soft and 2:1-0-1 in the heavy, looking ideal for this time of year in Sydney. If he’s to continue this preparation, hopefully the market will under rate him again and we can cash in.
Where to next? Open Handicap 1600m-2400m
WINTER MARE SELECTION– RAVI: Yes, she was a beaten favourite, however those who are keen watchers in the yard would not be very surprised by this. She looked a way off her best but well on song to improve with further runs aiming for another tilt at the Brisbane winter carnival.
Settling well back in the run, the $3.50 favourite was always going to have plenty of work to do when hooking out wide late. She presented as if she could run away from them but the condition probably wasn’t there, especially In heavy ground first up.
However, she did still run on stoutly for fourth, beaten 2.9L. Fairly certain she’ll progress towards Brisbane with another run or two in Sydney to build her fitness. I’d expect her to stay at 1200m next start and perhaps she could stretch out to the 1400m later this prep having won over 1300m previously.
Where to next? F&M 1200m