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12/05/2012 – The Goodwood/BTC Cup previews

May 12, 2012

This is only a short preview this week, as I’m currently preparing to finish up here at the University of Limerick. On Tuesday, I leave for Singapore where I will be writing for Just Horse Racing about the Singapore international races – we are likely to run a blog similar to what we presented for Dubai.

This week is all about one horse – no surprises, it’s Black Caviar. Here’s my thoughts on what is to be her 21st start today.

MORPHETTVILLE

Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m)

As has been the case quite often recently, is there really any point in writing a preview for this race? It looks a procession for BLACK CAVIAR, especially at the weights. $1.04 looks awfully generous. She should emerge with a record of 21 wins from 21 starts after today ahead of her overseas sojourn. And while the great people of Adelaide get to see the mare in all her glory today, I’m much more excited about her next race – the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. I’ll be trackside in my final couple of days over in Europe – talk about saving the best until last!!! Anyway, unless something goes drastically wrong, she wins easily. Trying to play the exotics is the hard part. I reckon one of Mark Kavanagh’s runners should nab a place, if not both – I’d probably have WE’RE GONNA ROCK ahead of CATAPULTED. For fourth, I might go with STIRLING GROVE. But really, expect a procession! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it is an absolute honour and a privilege to watch her go around. Enjoy it while it lasts.

1 – BLACK CAVIAR
4 – WE’RE GONNA ROCK
2 – CATAPULTED
7 – STIRLING GROVE

Also on the card…

I’m a sucker for punishment. In two of the races today, I’m sticking with horses who have cost me money. But I believe today is their day to shine. The two horses are Houston Benefactor in the Listed Laelia Stakes (1600m) and Seville in the Group 3 R A Lee Stakes (1600m).

Sadly, Crimson Lady seems to be well found in the former SA Oaks, the Group 3 SA Fillies Classic (2500m). To my eye, she looks to have a fair bit of promise as a stayer, although I’m sure at what class. Nevertheless, this is not strong and she can win this today.

In the Listed Proud Miss Stakes (1200m), I reckon Sistine Angel can run a massive race second up after a very good second to Black Caviar first up. She is yet to win second up but she has consistent stats at that point in her preparation and she is dropping quite considerably in grade. She should win.

I’m staying out of the rest.

BRISBANE

Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m)

A much more competitive sprint, although it is a ridiculous situation in that we have two Group 1 1200m races on the same day in different states. Surely it isn’t hard to manage it so they fall on different weekends?

Anyway, the Brisbane Racing Club will be disappointed they didn’t get Black Caviar but happy with the quality of the sprint, I think. Definitely not a classic BTC Cup – how great was last year in comparison – but solid enough. The scratching of Buffering – the likely winner, to be honest – has hit the race a little bit. I’m going to go for a bit of a shock in the race from a Queenslander – FACILE TIGRE. I think he can turn the tables on Woorim here from the Oakleigh Plate and beat him home. I’m not sure the pace will be as strong as the Oakleigh and Woorim’s last couple in Sydney were very disappointing when I was on. Facile Tigre flies fresh and back in Queensland, I think he could be the smokey. Obviously, WOORIM has to be considered if he finds his best form. But it’s too much of a risk for me to have him on top. I’ll put him in second instead. SPIRIT OF BOOM seemed to take the next step last preparation, although he still looks like he’s improving. I think he could be a Stradbroke contender, and if so I’d want to see something from him here.  And if BEADED returns to her consistent form, she’ll be right in the mix.

10 – FACILE TIGRE
5 – WOORIM
7 – SPIRIT OF BOOM
11 – BEADED

Also on the card…

The Group 3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) is the first of the lead ups to the Queensland Derby. I was very keen on Malandrino for Murray Baker after his impressive Manawatu Classic win last start (Virgin Islands actually finished in front of him in a trial last year) but he was scratched after his sale to Hong Kong. Still, I’m sticking with the Kiwis – I’m keen on the filly right down the bottom, Poste Restante. Comes from the same formline and has finished around the mark in quite a few good races over the Tasman.

The Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) is filled with Brisbane Cup-bound stayers. Six O’Clock News is having his first start since he ran third to Hollindale Stakes winner Shez Sinsational in the Auckland Cup. He doesn’t go overly well fresh but up to 2000m off a 9 week let up is a positive sign. If there’s one at huge odds, keep an eye on Spechenka. Has three duck eggs next to his name, but his run last week wasn’t overly bad. He’s a big price at $35, especially considering he gets a 3.5kg turnaround on Ironstein for a 2.1L margin last week. Ironstein’s at $9.50.

In the first, Angel of Mercy should win but I’ll be very interested to see one of Mike Moroney’s new imports, Mourasana, while in the last, Solzhenitsyn seems to be the banker for many punters around the country today.

Elsewhere in the country…

At Rosehill, the feature is the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup (2000m). I’m keen on Crafty Irna, who’s been running consistently and gets nice weight relief here. She’s surprised me, this mare. I was never much of a fan but she is consistent!

And while I won’t be betting in the race, kudos to the Australian Turf Club for holding an 1800m race for two year olds. It’s small steps like this that will slowly revive an interest in breeding stayers.

That’s it from me for this week, good punting!

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