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Review of Racing – 21/05/11

May 21, 2011

A massive day of racing saw some great trials for a few of the upcoming big races, as well as potential spring candidates.

ROSEHILL

The feature race at Rosehill was the W J McKell Cup (2400m). It was a quinella for Cambridge Stud’s mighty Zabeel, the sire of winner Ironstein and runner up Sherpa Tenzing. Both look to have a fair bit of up side to them. I’ve been a big Ironstein fan for a while, one of my early 2011 predictions was that he’d develop into a contender for the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. The Caulfield Cup may be beyond him but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go through The Metropolitan and the Geelong Cup to the Melbourne Cup. And Gerald Ryan has always said the aim was the 2011 Melbourne Cup. More immediately I expect to see him in the Brisbane Cup – same with Sherpa Tenzing. Apparently Tullamore is heading there too. They may go to the Winter Cup over the same distance, which is in two weeks. They look the three to follow out of the race over staying distances.

Klose was a very impressive winner of the last race. The Kiwi came from a mile back to get there in the final few strides. He’s yet to miss a place and the long term aim is next year’s Thorndon Mile. That seems very achievable if today’s run is anything to go by. Also a big run by Martin Place. He’ll be winning a nice race this prep.

The other two winners to follow out of today for mine are the three year olds Single and Fibrillation. Single was a very good run, and being by High Chapparal, he’ll only appreciate further. He’s set to back up next week over 2000m, if he wins that, you’d say he’d be a chance in the Queensland Derby. The Derby is looking a little thin this year, although if some of the Oaks fillies back up, it could be a good Derby.

As for Fibrillation, her win was fabulous. Came from near last and just got there. Considering she was meeting the older horses, had a fair bit of weight and had reportedly had feet issues, it was a gutsy win. Definite chance in the Oaks, although it is a whole new kettle of fish up there. In that same race, I liked the run of Contract Caterer too. He’ll win one soon.

DOOMBEN

To my eye, Woorim was the win of the day in Brisbane. That turn of foot was incredible. And it is no fluke, either – he produced a similar effort in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last year, when he placed behind Response. I reckon he’ll start single figures if he gets a run in the Stradbroke, and to me, he looks hard to beat at the moment. If only I’d got on when we were discussing it on Twitter – could have got $71 less than two weeks ago! Listen Son and Thankgodyou’rehere ran good races from a Stradbroke perspective while King Pulse ran a much improved race. He’s on the right track for the Stradbroke.

Pretty much my best bet of the day won in the Doomben Roses – Scarlett Lady. Her NZ form against the older mares stood up and she’s now a deserved favourite for the Queensland Oaks. In my opinion, there is only one other filly out of that race who could turn the tables on her in the Oaks, and it isn’t Divorces. It was sneaky, but if you look at the replay again, watch Heidilicious fly home. Nothing has gone right for her in her prep for this race, and she’ll be much improved. Those are the two for the Oaks out of that race – the only other ones in contention for mine come from other formlines – Shez Sinsational, Fibrillation, Fillydelphia. Those five look to have the Oaks between them.

The Group 1 Doomben Cup produced a fairytale result of sorts when old boy Scenic Shot won his second Doomben Cup. He seems to thrive every winter, and he’s now won two Doomben Cups and a Brisbane Cup. He’ll be aiming for a second Brisbane Cup later this winter. I really hope Dan Morton gives him one more crack at the Cox Plate. His run in 2009 was sensational behind So You Think, and he backed it up with a nice win in the Mackinnon Stakes. I reckon, now he’s definitely swept the cobwebs off, he could represent the older generations in the Cox Plate – along with the likes of Zipping, Efficient, etc. However, don’t discard the two imports. Firstly, the third placed Glass Harmonium. I was a bit surprised by Bowman’s ride, but there’s no doubt in my mind he gave the horse every chance – and I was on him. And My Kingdom of Fife looked like he was going to go backwards at one point, but he finished strongly. To my eye, both look good Cups horses. I know some believe My Kingdom of Fife is better suited over 2000m so we may not see him in the Cups, but I believe he’d be a better Caulfield Cup horse than Cox Plate horse. The runs of Shoot Out and Shootoff were pretty good too – Shoot Out had to come wide but I still think he’s racing a little flat, while Shootoff’s run was okay from a Qld Derby point of view.

I once had a bet with someone that both Temple of Boom and Spirit of Boom would never win past 1200m. I almost lost that bet today, but thankfully Falino saved the day. That said, the best run in that race was Skilled – never got on the track and still flashed home. I’m not sure if he’s going to the Stradbroke or the Queensland Guineas but he’ll win a group race this carnival. Other horses to catch my eye today were Zero Rock and St Germaine.

FLEMINGTON

I love the Flemington 3200m – it is a shame we only see two races run over the course and distance every year – although, it would probably lose some of its lustre if we had weak horses racing over the famous trek. As I posted on Twitter this morning, the last horse to win the Andrew Ramsden and run in the Melbourne Cup was Zabuan in 1999. So can Niwot go on and gain a berth in Australia’s most famous race? In my opinion, he can. He beat nothing today, no doubt. But he is still relatively lightly raced. He’s only had 17 starts as a six year old, after he badly injured himself as a late four year old. Many recent Andrew Ramsden winners have won the race towards the end of their careers. Niwot still has plenty of racing ahead of him, if he can stay sound. He’s held up pretty well this campaign. He might be the sort of horse to qualify through the Lexus Stakes or Bendigo Cup, as he’s unlikely to get enough weight to sneak in without attracting a penalty or a ballot exemption. At least you’ll know your horse will stay the trip!

The other horse to really catch the eye at Flemington was another import, December Draw. It has been a big week for Mark Kavanagh, but as he loses stable stalwart Shocking, he may have already uncovered the replacement. My immediate thought after his five length romp was, what price is he for the Caulfield Cup? (he’s not in any market yet, for the record) And even now, a few hours later, I still believe I may have seen a genuine Caulfield Cup chance. He blew them away today – although, to be considered for a Caulfield Cup, you’d hope he would do that. But still – wow! All I can say is, wouldn’t you love to buy a horse with Richard Pegum? He’s got two imports at the moment – December Draw and My Kingdom of Fife. I think he also had a winner in Sydney today, Miss Marx.

Outside those two races, I wasn’t paying particular attention, although I didn’t think the run of Fawkner was too bad. The only thing against him is that he doesn’t have the push button acceleration of top liners – I think it took him 300m to wind up! His brother Tanby is the same. But he’s definitely a city class horse, perhaps even better. Just needs to get over more ground.

ELSEWHERE

This is a bit more of a sentimental note – my retired filly’s half brother Prodigal Rocker stepped out today for the first time at Kembla Grange. Trained by David Pfeiffer, his name is Prodigal Rocker (Stratum x Enfield Waratah). He was backed from $26 into $7.50, and failed by a nose. He’s one to follow for sure.

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