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31/03/2012 – Rosehill Guineas Day Preview

March 31, 2012

I may be in Dubai, but I can’t let a major Sydney meeting go by without having a look at it.

It’s 2:30am in Dubai at the moment, so with the first race at 5am here, I thought I would post this preview, get a couple of hours of sleep, then return to watch the racing.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?

I cannot wait to see the first two races – I think the final Slipper lead ups are always fascinating. We will try to bring you a potential field for the Slipper sometime this afternoon.

But for now, here is my preview for Rosehill Guineas Day:

Race 1 – Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m)

The last ditch effort to make the Golden Slipper begins here for the fillies. The last Golden Slipper winner to emerge from this race was Bint Marscay in 1993, but some good fillies have won it since – the likes of Regal Chamber, Hosannah, Victory Vein, Shamekha, Media, Gold Edition and Portillo jump out as notable winners. This year looks a very competitive contest. I’ve been impressed with KYRIA to date. I think she’s on a pretty similar level to Jade Marauder, maybe just off her, and so I have to rate her highly here. If she runs up to her runs in the Silver Slipper and the Sweet Embrace Stakes she’ll be right in it. DOUBTFILLY comes into the race with Queensland form. At her last start she flogged Snipzu, who not long ago was touted as Queensland’s next good filly. There is a question mark over the form from her other races but she has to be in with a chance. Inglis Classic winner CAVALRY ROSE ran a good race in the Black Opal Stakes and she wasn’t too far off Epaulette. He franked the form by running Pierro to a short half head last weekend, and she looked good before that, so she’s surely a chance. I do realise Later Gator was in front of her at Canberra, but I like Cavalry Rose’s form from before that to include here ahead of Gai’s filly. SHE’S A FOX is certainly a chance but I don’t know if she deserves to be favourite. I guess time will tell. Still goes in.

11 – SHE’S A FOX

Race 2 – Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m)

And now for the colts to have one last throw at the stumps. Of course, if the favourite turns up, there’s no throw at the stumps – he just wins. ALL TOO HARD should make it look all too easy. Black Caviar’s half brother looks one right out of the box and I personally would love to see him in a Golden Slipper. He’ll be out to emulate Stratum as a winner of the double. It’s probably unlikely he’ll back up, even if he wins here impressively – which he should do. But I remain hopeful he’ll back up! COLLECT looks a promising horse and so if All Too Hard isn’t there, or isn’t on his game, then Collect should collect. These two are a long way in front of PURE HUSTLE and NARCISSUS for mine. Enjoy watching a star in the making!


Race 3 – Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m)

A good looking three year old sprint. I’m rather keen on ANISE here. I don’t know if you saw her at her best in the spring, but she did finish only a half length behind Group 1 winner Foxwedge in the San Domenico Stakes. Her first up form is strong and at her best she’d be winning this. I think AFRICAN PULSE is the main danger, he was good in the Newmarket Handicap, and wasn’t beaten too far at all. I think he’s promising and we may not have seen the best of him yet. ALTAR won the Magic Night Stakes on this day last year. She’s run three times since, for a very good fifth in last year’s Golden Slipper, a promising fourth in the Light Fingers Stakes and a disappointing fourth in the Fireball Quality. I think she appreciates firm ground, from what we’ve seen so far, so she should like getting back on to a dead track here. Chance. And right up the top, don’t be surprised if MAHISARA runs a big race. His second to Instinction over the Melbourne Cup Carnival was one of the runs of the whole meeting – he was very deep the whole way and he was still only beaten a nose. He should be better second up, although I would have liked to see him step up in trip. But he’ll go alright at a very backable quote.


Race 4 – Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1100m)

At one stage, it looked like Hay List was going to run here. I’m glad he’s not. It’s a small field, only seven runners, but it looks a top race. I know it’s a race in two in the betting, but I’m going outside the fancies. I reckon ELITE FALLS looks back to her best. Her run in the Oakleigh Plate, beaten a nose from the outside barrier, was gigantic. She won’t get pace on here, which is a concern, but if the Rosehill track is playing fair I can see her coming with a late run to blouse them all. RAIN AFFAIR is a logical favourite, and I think these weight for age tests are his forte. They usually allow for small fields, so he can just jump and run and he doesn’t need to worry too much about being challenged for the lead. I’m just concerned about his preparation for this. He stepped out to 1400m for the Apollo Stakes, came back to 1200m for the Newmarket where he didn’t have the easiest run and is now back to 1100m. I probably shouldn’t be worried – look at what Black Caviar managed! But it still crosses my mind. Wouldn’t want to be taking odds on about him. Same with BEL SPRINTER. He’s a very nice horse, on the up. He’ll probably be better suited in a race like this. But I’d prefer to be on Elite Falls at three times the price of Bel Sprinter. For fourth, go with SATIN SHOES who should sit just behind Rain Affair and Winter King and could sneak a place.


Race 5 – Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m)

Interesting race. I’m going wide here. ONCE WERE WILD choked down first up and has the tongue tie on here. She looks well weighted, she should appreciate the distance and she always tends to run a big race each preparation. This looks a good race for her at nice odds. FILL THE PAGE was good in the Canberra Cup and she looks to be improving solidly. This is about the same level, she just finds herself higher in the weights. Still, the 1900m should suit and a big run wouldn’t surprise. CRAFTY IRNA has been good in two runs this preparation to date and she looks to have her hoof on the till. She is a fair favourite. And I’m always wary of VINTEDGE when she gets up to this distance, I think she’ll go well.


Race 6 – Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m)

The Ajax Stakes is usually a nice handicap and this year is no exception. The entry of the three year old Niagara only makes it more interesting. He’s definitely in with a chance, but I’m going to go with STAR OF OCTAGONAL here. He was great in the Newcastle Newmarket behind a Group 1 winner (well, he should be!) He’s Remarkable. Looks to be best to his best and if so, he can win here. NIAGARA is the horse on the way up. Has always shown promise – he was not far off Manawanui as a two year old, while he should have won either the Norman Robinson or the Sandown Guineas in the spring. On his first up run, you’d say he’s close to putting it all together. It’s a task but he can win. I’m going wide with my next two selections. Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner IRONSTEIN flies fresh and could come home with a wet sail. I’d say it is more likely he’d run a nice fifth or sixth at best, but if all goes right he could end up in the minor money. The other horse is ALL SILENT. He showed the first glimpse of form in a long time last start and he must be included in the multiples. Don’t be surprised if Firebolt runs a much improved race too.


Race 7 – Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m)

I wish I had the opportunity to preview this race in entirety – with a horse by horse preview. Unfortunately, due to the large previews for the Dubai races, I have not had the opportunity to do that this year. It is a great race though. We thought the Randwick Guineas was a culmination of all the formlines, but the Rosehill Guineas takes it to another level. There is the prominent New Zealand form, the Melbourne form through the Australian Guineas and the Alister Clark Stakes, the Sydney form through the Hobartville Stakes and the Randwick Guineas, and a small number from other formlines. And so it is tough to try and find a winner from the different formlines. As a follower of New Zealand racing, I am convinced that SILENT ACHIEVER is the most promising horse in the race. This filly has been simply outstanding across the Tasman, winning the NZ Derby, the Avondale Guineas and the Waikato Guineas at her last three starts. She made Rock ‘n’ Pop, the NZ 2000 Guineas winner and a rival here, look inferior in the NZ Derby. Barrier 17 may be difficult but I think she’s at a similar level to Mosheen and so if Bowman rides her right, she will win. The biggest danger is my old mate STRIKE THE STARS, who I’ve tipped many times! He’s still only won the one race, last year’s Gloaming Stakes, but he’s run some promising races. He’s going to win one of these days, just as everyone’s given up on him. Could it be today? It’s definitely possible. He’s definitely bred to get the distance, and despite the fact he flopped at his only try at 2000m, I think that was probably an abnormality. Could come with a late dash. SAID COM is another who might come with a late dash. Was ridden closer to the speed in the Randwick Guineas, when given an absolutely perfect ride by Dwayne Dunn. He looked the winner until Mosheen came from nowhere. He’ll be freshened up after this for the Doncaster Mile, but I think 2000m should suit him down to the ground. And for fourth, go with INDUNA who is a massive price. His two runs this preparation haven’t been great, but he didn’t show anything until he got to 1900m last prep. Up to 2000m, third up, he should be ready to fire. But go the Kiwi filly!!!


Race 8 – Listed N E Manion Cup (2400m)

PRECEDENCE looked like a star winning this race two years ago, but he hasn’t really fired since. But I know he definitely has it in him, and this is the first time since then he’s racing outside of Group 1 or 2 level. It’s a big drop in class and he looks well treated. I reckon he wins. For mine, the only danger is OLDER THAN TIME, who is a genuine stayer who’ll appreciate the 2400m. Stepping up from 1600m is a big ask, which is my main concern. Still, you have to trust that Gai will have her fit for the task. SHOWCAUSE is a grinding Kiwi stayer who’ll love the 2400m. I think this is the sort of race he’s been looking for, with a small field where he can make an early move. Remember, he wasn’t too far off Dunaden in the Geelong Cup last year. And PERMIT is the up and comer, but I still think he might need some more time.


Race 9 – Group 3 Birthday Card Stakes (1200m)

Competitive race to prepare us for next week’s big Golden Slipper meet – or perhaps for tonight’s Dubai card! I’m keen on DIVORCES. She’s a very good mare who has been sparingly raced over the last year or so. Despite not recording a victory yet first up, she has placed four from five fresh so expect a big run. The danger is Rosehill specialist, the one time Gimcrack winner GYBE. She was good first up behind big priced victor Rose of Peace, and this looks the type of race she’s suited in. GRACEFUL ANNA was well below her best in the spring, if she can bounce back she’s right in this, while CELTS is always a place chance in this sort of race. Bring on tonight, and bring on next week!

6 – GYBE

Good punting today, and I look forward to joining you for Dubai coverage over at tonight!

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