Looks to be a n above average tempo set-up by Condor crossing from barrier 15. Favourite Ace High gets a lovely run behind it or holding it out from the inside draw. Weather With You, Vin De Dance and Levendi will kick up from their low draws, potentially casting Furore wide from 8.
After these it looks really messy. Endowment, The Lord Mayor and Mongolian Marshal may all look to slot in for the carpark. Then there are a stack of runners who’ll look to take off mid-field positions including Astoria, Mission Hill, Tangled and Main Stage. Rest back.
The Key Runners:
1. Ace High – T.Angland (56.5kg) (Barrier 2): $5: Comes here with the most genuine set-up and ticks the most boxes. Good value at the $5 early. A dual Group 1 winner last prep in the Spring Champions Stakes over 2000m, then produced a 2L gap job in the 2500m VRC Derby. That’s the top line form for this race. He lead all the way in the afore mentioned events and draws to get the same control here. He looks to get a good deck here which he has seemingly missed this prep. Forget last run as he significantly interfered with inside the final furlong. He balanced up well late and attacked the line. Rise in distance ideal. Top pick.
2. Vin De Dance– J.Waddell (56.5kg) (Barrier 4): $9: Best of the Kiwi’s for mine. Won the G1 NZ Derby over this trip on top of the ground narrowly holding out Mongolian Conqueror and Danzedanzedanze. Unlucky to be relegated to 4th on protest last start in the G1 Rosehill Guineas after corssing the line second. He paraded close to his top in that event for noted grand final trainers. Gets a nice run here and can’t be losing on him.
6. Levendi – M.Zhara (56.5kg) (Barrier 3): $12: Tough winner of the G2 Tulloch over 2000m last start after running Cliff’s Edge to within 1.25L over 2040m in the G2 Alister Clark. He’s attacked the line in both events like a step up in trip will suit, however many horses come undone 2000m up to 2400m. Another who looks to get a nice enough run, but I’d prefer to see him over the journey first before backing him. Will go in exotics.
8. Furore – B.Avdulla (56.5kg) (Barrier 8): $7.50: He’s a 3YO on a upwards spiral who savaged the line over 2000m last start in a traditional lead-up, the G1 2000m Rosehill Guineas. Hence deserves to be in the market. But taking $7.50 for a galloper having his 6th run in his first prep over 2400m for the first time has to raise questions. Furthermore, he was only elevated to 2nd in the guineas on the back of a dubious protest. Could only take double figures.
12. Mission Hill – D.Lane (56.5kg) (Barrier 9): $11: Interestingly priced runner. He’s very hard in the market for a horse that ran 7th in the Rosehill guineas last start and only battled late to hold his spot in the NZ Derby to run 6th. On top of this he draws to need a run late. The price could be tied to the trainer and jockey to a lesser extent, but someone certainly has a big opinion of this Kiwi. Putting in wider exotics on speculation.
14. Belfast – K.McEvoy (58.5kg) (Barrier 17): $10: Best run of the Tulloch stakes. Dropped out last by some 13+ lengths and worked home along the inside (worst ground) to snare 5th by only 2.2L. He was similarly taking ground of Levendi late in the Alister Clark. Seems to be crying out for 2400m and a genuine tempo that allows him to work into the race from the rear. He gets exactly that here for what looks to be the target race. Definitely having a bet at the double figures on offer.
Tough race to be extremely confident in with question marks on plenty of the lead-in form. Ace High ticks the most boxes whilst Belfast presents the best value. Can’t lose on the best Kiwi who looks Vin De Dance.