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The BMW Preview – Imports To Rule Supreme

April 7, 2012

The BMW – officially named the Tancred Stakes – is Australia’s only weight for age Group 1 race over 2400m.

It is a race with quite an honour roll – think the likes of Hyperno, Kingston Town, Bonecrusher, Beau Zam, Octagonal, Might and Power, Tie The Knot, Ethereal and Makybe Diva.

After the scratching of 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient yesterday morning, there are nine horses vying to join that honour roll.

This year’s edition, despite low numbers, has a depth not seen in recent renewals of the race.

So who will join the prestigious winner’s list this year? Just Horse Racing’s Andrew Hawkins has looked at the field and gives his thoughts here:

1. AMERICAIN (10)

What more can you say about Americain? He’s won a Melbourne Cup, a Sandown Classic, a Moonee Valley Cup, a Geelong Cup, a Prix Kergorlay, he’s run third in the Hong Kong Vase and the Australian Cup and he ran a very game fourth in last year’s Melbourne Cup under 58kg. He’s a top stayer. He was very good in the Australian Cup last start, he gave away too much start and wasn’t suited over 2000m. Up to 2400m should suit him perfectly and I expect him to be fighting out the finish. The ONLY query is the lack of pace, but he was still able to win the Sandown Classic despite the lack of pace so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern. Having Mosse back on board is a big plus too. Big chance.

2. MANIGHAR (6)

The form horse of the autumn. The horse that couldn’t win a race for Luca Cumani has managed to win the Carlyon Cup, run third in the Peter Young Stakes and then win the Australian Cup and the Ranvet Stakes at successive starts. I’m not sure if he’s improved, the talent has always been there, but he’s showing a turn of foot which he hadn’t shown in a long time – he’d become very much a tradesman-like galloper in England. He’s also showing tenacity which simply wasn’t there before. He’s the one to beat, as a horse in such good form is always difficult to overcome. Will be in the finish.

3. EFFICIENT (8)

4. DRUNKEN SAILOR (1)

Another former Cumani galloper. He hasn’t quite gone as well in Australia, although his efforts are still commendable – a victory in the Roy Higgins Quality and seconds in the Adelaide Cup and Mornington Cup. The BMW is a completely different ball game though, and I’d be surprised if he was able to win. However, the tactics on him will be interesting – perhaps Oliver may do something similar to what he did in the Adelaide Cup, by taking off at the 800m and trying to make it a staying test. That could make for a very interesting scenario.

5. FIUMICINO (3)

It’s hard to believe it has been three years since he won this race – three years! He beat the retired Theseo and the late Viewed that day, and hasn’t won since! Granted, though, he only returned in February after almost two and a half years off. After two runs over 1400m, he’s actually been rather good at his last two efforts – a fourth in the Randwick City Stakes and a third in the Sky High Stakes. It’s a whole new ball game here but he is arguably going better now than he was in 2009 – and aside from two poor runs in The Metropolitan and the Caulfield Cup in 2008, his 2400m form is very good. He even ran a very good fifth in the 2009 Caulfield Cup at 80-1. The key is, he’ll roll to the front in a race devoid of speed. He’s a very sneaky each way chance.

6. NIWOT (7)

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again – how do I go from backing a horse in the Warrnambool Cup (and him finishing a distant second) to now thinking he’s a chance in a BMW? It doesn’t really equate. But it has been done before – remember Sarrera (who carried the same colours) won what looked a pretty average Warrnambool Cup before winning the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Doomben Cup a year later. Niwot’s been outstanding this preparation. He was a fast finishing fifth behind Mufhasa in the Futurity Stakes and ran very similar when fifth in the Blamey Stakes behind Green Moon. He then ran a very good fourth in the Ranvet Stakes last week. I have a feeling he might roll forward, which would change the dynamics of the race. He’s won once over the track and distance – in the 2009 Winter Cup – and despite his age he seems to keep improving. I think he’s in with a genuine chance.

7. PRECEDENCE (4)

This son of Zabeel hasn’t won in a while – his last victory was in the 2010 Moonee Valley Cup. However, he’s always shown promise. He has been disappointing at his last couple of preparations but he ran well behind Permit last week, fighting all the way to the line. He was good at his previous start too, when fourth in the Australian Cup. He has proven to be a tricky horse to follow and he has always looked like a horse who would one day shock. I can’t include him with confidence here, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he came out and won. He’s an each way chance.

8. HAWK ISLAND (9)

Wet tracker who hasn’t shown anything this preparation. He finished 11th of 13 in the Apollo Stakes, 10th of 12 in the Randwick City Stakes and last in the Ranvet Stakes. Up to 2400m should see some improvement but it would be a tremendous shock if he came out and won against this field. Cannot consider him.

9. SOUTHERN SPEED (2)

Caulfield Cup winner who has been inconsistent throughout her career. This preparation, she returned with a brilliant win on Australia Day before running a fantastic second to Black Caviar in the Orr Stakes. She was then disappointing when fifth in the Peter Young Stakes before running Manighar to a nose in the Australian Cup. She once again was disappointing in the Ranvet Stakes when fifth. Really, it depends on which Southern Speed turns up – if it is the Caulfield Cup winner and the Australian Cup placegetter, then she’s definitely in with a chance. But it is definitely a query. She’s in with a chance.

10. SCARLETT LADY (5)

Kiwi mare who was average last start in the Ranvet Stakes. Before that she’d been impressive in two starts in New Zealand since she returned from injury, including a win in the Group 1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m).  She’s only been to 2400m once for one impressive victory against a fairly weak field in the Queensland Oaks. I’ve always been a fan but I’m just not sure how she is going – she did win a Group 1, but there wasn’t a whole lot of depth. I think she may have been flattered that day. I’m looking to others.

SUMMARY

I’ve been sure for weeks that this is the right race for AMERICAIN. Even despite the lack of pace, he’s the class runner and he should prove too good. I’d be disappointed if he didn’t win, really. MANIGHAR has the form this preparation to suggest he’ll be the main danger. It’s quite incredible – these two had a ding-dong battle in the 2010 Prix Kergorlay at Deauville. Who would have thought, more than a year and a half later, they’d be set to do battle in The BMW at Rosehill? For third, I think NIWOT is going well enough to be a good place chance. He could even win if the other jockeys fall asleep and miss the boat. And I do think FIUMICINO is the sneaky one. I think punters should be wary of him. Next best Southern Speed.

NUMBERS

1 – AMERICAIN
2 – MANIGHAR
6 – NIWOT
5 – FIUMICINO

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