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03/03/2012 – Preview of Flemington (Australian Guineas), Rosehill (Silver Slipper/Hobartville Stakes) and Ellerslie (NZ Derby)

March 3, 2012

Unfortunately, due to university requirements, I’m unable to do a full preview of today’s racing.

Blame my sociology professor who demanded 2500 words on changing media audiences, out of the blue!

Anyway, I will give a short preview of today’s racing from Sydney (Rosehill), Melbourne (Flemington) as well as New Zealand (Ellerslie). Well, I intended it to be short but it is fairly long anyway!

ROSEHILL

Race 1 – Edmen Community Staffing Handicap (1200m)

It’s now a five horse race after scratchings, so really, if I miss the winner in my top four I’ll be very disappointed. AEROBATICS was outstanding first up. She’s probably better suited to a bigger field but she’ll go close. REVOLT came from nowhere last preparation to record four wins in succession. It will be interesting to see if he can go on with it. DETOURS and MY VEGAS are the next best. So let’s just hope Big Bonanza doesn’t win!

Race 2 – The Willis Australia Handicap (1800m)

Don’t really want to play here to be honest, but for the sake of tipping I’ll put CHARING CROSS on top of SANDBERG, MERLIN MUSTANG and COURT CONNECTION. You won’t catch me betting though.

Race 3 – Listed Fireball Quality (1100m)

Quite a good sprint. DIDNTCOSTALOT is one of the most promising horses I’ve seen. Yes, he was fairly disappointing first up but after going at such a gallop it was no surprise he weakened. Should get a softer lead here and will be hard to beat. NOBBY SNIP was incredible first up, truly sensational. Meets a much tougher field here but if he brings that form here he could flog them. I do like SALADE as a horse and I still doubt we’ve seen the best of him, while ALTAR will take improvement from the run.

Race 4 – Listed Parramatta Cup (2000m)

Another race which has lost a little bit of quality with the scratchings. I’m ultra keen on a horse that has won one from 27, so that gives you some idea! PRAECIDO looks one of my best bets of the day. He’s dour but he drops 5kg, he meets Maules Creek 5kg better on their last run and I think he wins. SHARP PRINCESS was disappointing two weeks ago but she drops 5.5kg and she likes it wet. Reckon she’ll go alright. MAULES CREEK has scope while KONTIKI PARK is tough and could get out in front and keep going.

Race 5 – Group 2 Silver Slipper (1100m)

I love the Silver Slipper every year, I’ve had some good success in this race in the past. That said, the heavy track makes this difficult to assess. I’m considering having something on A BRIDGE TOO FAR. He’s won his four trials, all of them in impressive style. I remember Nick Moraitis started a horse in this race three years ago, he was at a massive price and he was beaten 20L after he was checked by a bucking More Joyous. His name was Love Conquers All. I don’t think A Bridge Too Far would be here if he hadn’t shown something. I do like HUSSOUSA and I think she’ll appreciate a bigger field. PIERRO was good in the Breeders Plate but the heavy track is a concern, while I’ll put NEDIYM’S QUEST in next.

Race 6 – Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m)

A great three year old race. I think MANAWANUI looks a special at the weights, and I don’t think the heavy track will be a concern – he’s 1 from 1 on a heavy track. I hope the fairytale continues for Ron Leemon and the connections. REKINDLED ALLIANCE was huge first up and he looks on track for the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas. I reckon he’ll be storming home again. AMBIDEXTER has good stats at 1400m and on wet tracks, he’s 50/1 and could be a good each way bet, while DOCTOR DOOM will be running home. But it does look Manawanui’s race.

Race 7 – Group 3 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m)

This race looked intriguing the other day but it looks a one act affair now with the race reduced to six runners. RED TRACER wins. Simple as that. MONTANA FLYER second. JERSEY LILY third. OLDER THAN TIME fourth.

Race 8 – Endeavour Foundation Recycled Clothing Handicap (1500m)

Tough way to end the day. I agree with my good mate Ben Asgari, DARCI BE GOOD looks mighty tough to knock here. Should get a good lead up here to the Randwick Guineas. I was keen on BRAYROAN first up and he was very good in defeat. Will relish the wet track and should go close. BEIJING BOY should appreciate the drop in class and doesn’t look harshly treated after the claim, while SLICK SNIPER is always around the mark in these races. Many chances.

FLEMINGTON

Race 1 – Listed Streets Ice Cream Stakes (1000m)

Tough two year old race. I’ve been a huge fan of the 2yo fillies race on Melbourne Cup day as a form race this year, and despite Applegate not doing much, Snitzerland looks like a pretty good filly. Because of that I’m putting RHANDARA on top. LADY OF HARRODS was good in the Maribyrnong Plate, made up plenty of ground and will be flying late. Outside of that I’m looking at the two first starters, both pretty well bred – MANDLA (a Bel Esprit gelding for Mick Price) and RAZEENA (Exceed and Excel filly for David Hayes).

Race 2 – Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m)

An okay staying race, not that there are many runners. DRUNKEN SAILOR looks to have found his level here, and will be mighty hard to beat. He is well weighted when compared to every runner bar Western Jewel and he should win. WESTERN JEWEL, the Perth Cup winner, also looks well weighted and she’ll run well. CHEVIOT BEACH was good last time out and could be the fly in the ointment, while PERSIAN STAR’s consistent and will be around the mark.

Race 3 – Mrs Mac’s Beef Pie Sprint (1100m)

A very nice fillies and mares sprint, with plenty of horses who have scope. TAI TAI TESS had a long but good first preparation, if she’s come up this preparations she’ll be hard to beat. JESSICA ROSE didn’t come up last preparation, if she is anywhere near her best she’s thrown in at the weights. MISS OCTOPUSSY is always hard to beat in races like this, while LADY ANTEBELLUM has been ultra consistent in her career to date. Could have missed the winner there, for sure.

Race 4 – Mitty’s Handicap (2000m)

Was keen on Budai here so disappointed to see he is scratched. It’s hard to go past UNDER THE HAT now. Very good win last time out and sure to improve. VIVID VIXEN drops in class and her record at 2000m and at Flemington is very good. Could be a big danger at odds. CHASSE gets out to 2000m but has been racing in such good heart he has to go in. BLACK AND BENT actually doesn’t go too badly first up, and he goes well on a dead track, so keep an eye on him.

Race 5 – Listed VIC TAB Guaranteed $2m Quaddie (1400m)

Wow…where to go here? He’s always been the bridesmaid, but surely today is the day for DAO DAO? If he doesn’t go well here, I think I might have to sack him. RED COLOSSUS is the other one who looks well suited here, and it would be a surprise if he wasn’t in the finish. TESTASCANA goes well second up and must be included, while SYREON doesn’t have the worst first up form an has his first start for Matthew Williams. He could shock.

R6 – Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m)

What a good Guineas field! It’s just a shame the Hobartville is on the same day, but we definitely have some depth amongst our three year old crop! I do prefer a horse with a bit of stamina in this race, so I’ll be going for STRIKE THE STARS. Was quite good in my opinion three weeks ago in the Expressway. He only finished five and a bit lengths off Rain Affair, and was not far behind horses like Shoot Out at weight for age. Will appreciate the step up to 1600m and I think he’s been the forgotten horse. HELMET was okay first up, but not the horse we’ve come to expect. I fully believe he’s not at his best first up and with a more aggressive ride, he’s a deserved favourite. SABRAGE wasn’t the best first up but he’ll improve, I think the horse is a lot better than we give him credit for and I think he’ll be in the finish at odds, while MOSHEEN is going to have a hard time from the barrier but she’s classy and deserves respect. Next best for me, Proliferate and Sangster.

Race 7 – Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m)

Another hard one. WE’RE GONNA ROCK has been gelded and so I’ll be expecting a different horse upon his reappearance. QUEEN DELIGHT is very promising and ultra consistent, might need the run though. PANIPIQUE and SECRET FLYER the next best but it is a tough one.

Race 8 – Group 3 PFD Food Services Stakes (1400m)

If you were hoping the last race would be easy, you are mistaken. MARVEEN looks very attractively weighted here, although she did have almost two years off so she might need the run. RASPBERRIES might need the run first up but she does have class. RAHVEEL should improve into her second preparation while BOOKLET is inconsistent but good on her day.

ELLERSLIE

Race 9 – Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m)

It’s a wet Ellerslie too but this edition of the NZ Derby looks special (I’m channelling my inner McAvaney). Even with the scratching of Ocean Park, who looked one of the top chances, there still looks to be some impressive horses here. It’s hard to go past SILENT ACHIEVER. This filly is outsssssssssssssssssstanding (to channel my inner Callander). At her last three wins – the Championship Stakes, the Waikato Guineas and the Avondale Guineas, she’s been very impressive. She’s won all the main leadups and she’ll be hard to beat. One at odds who could beat her is RED SHIFT. He wasn’t the best last start, but he looks like he’ll make a good wet tracker. He now carries the OTI Racing colours having been purchased by Terry Henderson and Simon O’Donnell. I have to admit, I’m biased – a NZ Derby win for Red Shift would make the Virgin Islands form look outstanding. But he’s been backed from $31 to $12 with TAB Sportsbet so don’t be surprised to see him in the mix. ROCK ‘N’ POP was the favourite before his last start third to Auckland Cup favourite Shez Sinsational. 2400m is a query but class may get him into the placings. Also don’t mind ANGELOLOGY at odds, I remember Kevin Myers bringing a horse through the grades in similar fashion – he came out and won the NZ Derby by 4L. His name? C’est La Guerre. Zurella the next best, but I’ll be cheering my top two.

Good luck today!

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