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The Hawk’s Preview: Golden Rose Day

September 15, 2012

The first Group 1 meeting of the year is here! It’s Golden Rose Day out at Rosehill today, with the Spring Racing Carnival really starting to heat up from here on in.

Tonight, we have two very important races globally – the English St Leger, which sees Camelot aim to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to win the English Triple Crown (2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and English St Leger), and the Irish St Leger, which is typically a good lead up to the Melbourne Cup.

But today, we have to focus on Rosehill and Moonee Valley. I have been busy preparing a trip to Singapore, so I have only done a written explanation for all the black type races – races 4 to 7 at Rosehill and races 5 to 8 at Moonee Valley. Also, I decided to include the last race at Rosehill to help all those quaddie punters out there!

Best of luck today, bring home a winner!

ROSEHILL

RACE 1 – MCGRATH HANDICAP (1500m)

7 – TOHUNGA
2 – GANGSTER’S CHOICE
4 – MON SOLEIL
6 – HIGH ON BELIEVING

RACE 2 – THE ICONIC RACE (1500m)

7 – OH MY PAPA
1 – ARINOSA
12 – QUIZZED
3 – FAST AND SEXY

RACE 3 – PARRAMATTA FUTURE GENERATION PLATE (1900m)

7 – COUP ACCLAIM
8 – DRAGONZONE
4 – HONOURABLE AUSSIE
3 – HOYLONNY

RACE 4 – GROUP 2 SEBRING SPRINT – THEO MARKS STAKES (1400m)

A small field here but a good race. If I was doing the form without having seen any trials recently, I would have had Fat Al on top. But I was very concerned by his last trial. Granted, he gets the blinkers on here, but I’m still very wary. I’ll be watching him today. I loved DYSTOPIA’s win first up. The saddle slipped badly in the straight, making it difficult for Hugh Bowman, but she still won. She beat Crafty Irna, who won a Listed race at Wyong last week, and Irish Dream, who was second in a Listed race at Wyong last week (a different race to Crafty Irna). I think she’ll improve for the run and she loves Rosehill. She deserves her spot here, and I think it’s a winnable race. It’ll be interesting to see how AMBIDEXTER comes back. He trialled very well in preparation for this, while last campaign, he ran extremely well without winning in races like the Hobartville Stakes, Randwick Guineas, Rosehill Guineas and Frank Packer Plate. He’s being trained as a miler this preparation which should see him more forward than he was in the autumn. CENTENNIAL PARK gets back to Rosehill, a track where he seems to perform at his best, after solid performances at Warwick Farm. He was disappointing last week in the Chelmsford Stakes, but he’s never really been a true miler. Back to 1400m around Rosehill, he deserves consideration. And the most fascinating runner, without a doubt, is WATERFORD HILL. He’s won four from six and looks a promising type in the making. This is a massive step up, but the wraps on him are enormous and he has the potential. He’ll either be smashed here or he’ll go close. I think he’ll be in the mix.

4 – DYSTOPIA
6 – AMBIDEXTER
3 – CENTENNIAL PARK
8 – WATERFORD HILL

RACE 5 – LISTED SHERACO STAKES (1200m)

MORE JOYOUS just wins this. She’s been $1.40 into $1.18, a massive go. And I heard an incredible statistic from Luxbet yesterday, that of the close to $100 000 invested on the race with them, all but $56 – that’s right, $56 – had been invested on More Joyous. She has trialled enormously and she’s simply better than these very talented mares. She may very well assume Cox Plate favouritism this afternoon. If she were to be beaten, I doubt Rosehill would have seen a more shocking result since Ajax was beaten at $1.04 by Spear Chief in the 1939 Ranvet Stakes. But I can’t see her being beaten. I’d be playing COLORADO CLAIRE and GAI’S CHOICE in the multiples – exactas, trifectas, etc – while STREAMA raced a lot more dour last preparation. I think she may be the second-best mare in the race, but I reckon I’ll be waiting until she gets up to a mile this campaign. But they are all running for second behind More Joyous.

1 – MORE JOYOUS
3 – COLORADO CLAIRE
5 – GAI’S CHOICE
2 – STREAMA

RACE 6 – GROUP 1 GOLDEN ROSE (1400m)

The first Group 1 of the 2012/2013 racing season! Probably not as strong a race as it looked a month ago, when the likes of Pierro, All Too Hard, Driefontein and Samaready looked to be heading here, but it is still a competitive race. I’ve been keen on NECHITA since before her debut, and her win in the Silver Shadow Stakes was fantastic, so I’m still happy to have her on top. She is the favourite, and may be a bit short now, but she deserves her position at the head of the market. She looks versatile, she has a good turn of foot and she looks to have plenty of improvement still in her – a scary thought! She should win, and I think Nathan Tinkler will be glad they’ve saved All Too Hard for next week’s George Main Stakes. Outside of Nechita, the three main formlines to consider are the Run to the Rose (Your Song, Epaulette, Ninth Legion, Ashokan), the Up and Coming Stakes (Albrecht) and the McNeil Stakes (Kabayan, Shamexpress, Amorino) – Doubtfilly is the other runner but I couldn’t have her on current form. I’d probably rate the Run to the Rose and the McNeil Stakes as fairly even, with Up and Coming Stakes behind that form. I’ve decided to go with the McNeil Stakes form – Shamexpress and Kabayan were both big runs in that race. I loved the closing third of SHAMEXPRESS so I’ve put him second. He’ll settle closer to the speed today after he resented being restrained first up. I’m not sure if that will suit him but given his closing sectionals last start I have to include him in the mix. KABAYAN was a very good run, albeit quite weird. He sat near the speed, he looked beaten around the home turn but he surged again to just be beaten by Lady of Harrods. He’ll improve greatly for the run and Gai Waterhouse is on fire. She has plenty of firepower among her three year olds, but has stuck with just Kabayan. That’s a good sign. He’ll be in the mix. For fourth, I could go with any of the Run to the Rose runners but I think NINTH LEGION is the horse that has been set for the race. Both his runs have been solid, in that he’s made ground late. I think he’ll appreciate the step up to 1400m and he’s had the perfect preparation for this race. But I reckon it is Nechita’s race to lose.

10 – NECHITA
8 – SHAMEXPRESS
4 – KABAYAN
5 – NINTH LEGION

RACE 7 – GROUP 3 KINGSTON TOWN STAKES (2000m)

Always a nice race, this usually throws up a spring contender or two. Strawberry Boy is the short priced favourite, but I’m not convinced about him here on the back up. He’ll be in the mix, but I am extremely keen on the chances of MAULES CREEK. His two runs at weight for age have been very good, perfect for a race like this. He drops from 59kg back to 54.5kg, and third up to 2000m suits perfectly. He’s close to my best bet of the Rosehill card. STRAWBERRY BOY is aiming to improve his chances of getting a run in the Caulfield Cup. Good win last weekend beating the very promising Jacquinot Bay, and despite his one failure at 2000m, I think he’ll relish the trip. It’s more the back up that has me concerned, as well as the fact I really like Maules Creek. STOUT HEARTED is a Waller import who should get a bit more speed on here to suit. He’s building up a good record and I expect to see him flying home. And IRONSTEIN was very good first up. He should appreciate getting up to 2000m second up and I think he’ll be in the finish at odds.

4 – MAULES CREEK
11 – STRAWBERRY BOY
8 – STOUT HEARTED
3 – IRONSTEIN

RACE 8 – TAB SPRINT (1200m)

A tough way to end the day, but it ends with what I believe could be the best value of the day. I’m very keen on the chances of EXTRACEED at monster odds. Loves it here at Rosehill, and his first up stats are misleading – last preparation, first up, he was a fast finishing sixth behind Florentina in the Gold Coast Guineas. This is a drop back in class on what he contested last preparation, and the speed should be on to suit. I can see him flying home late and surprising at odds, as he did in July last year over 1400m as a two year old. AGISTER is another one at odds who could surprise. He’s been disappointing in two runs at Warwick Farm this preparation, but he gets back to Rosehill where he seems to grow a leg. He comes out of what was a good form race last time out, so don’t be surprised to see a big run from him. EUCUMBENE was the find of the winter, and it will be interesting to see how he measures up here, while VELROSSO absolutely rocketed from nowhere first up. If he repeats that, he’ll go close.

16 – EXTRACEED
3 – AGISTER
4 – EUCUMBENE
11 – VELROSSO

MOONEE VALLEY

RACE 1 – SPORTINGBET HANDICAP (1500m)

3 – ABOUT SQUARE
2 – FORGET
6 – BEL THOR
7 – PHILIPPI

RACE 2 – BOSCASTLE PLATE (1200m)

11 – SPINNING DIAMOND
6 – STELLA LANTE
3 – MALASUN
5 – SATURN ROCK

RACE 3 – ADAPT AUSTRALIA HANDICAP (1600m)

8 – GUNS AT FIVE
4 – GLANEUSE
1 – PRECEDENCE
7 – EBONY ROCK

RACE 4 – JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION TROPHY (2500m)

4 – BUXTED
1 – TANBY
6 – SHINY BUTTONS
2 – FICTIONAL ACCOUNT

RACE 5 – GROUP 3 MCEWEN STAKES (1000m)

Tough sprint race with a lot of speed on paper. But I’ve been waiting a long time to see DIDNTCOSTALOT around the tight turns of the Valley, which should suit him down to the ground. Golden Archer will probably take him on for the lead, which could be his undoing, but he should get every opportunity from barrier 1. He’s at juicy odds too. BEL SPRINTER will be smoking the pipe behind them, waiting to come on. If they go as hard as expected, he should get every opportunity to come at them late. But he’s had an interrupted preparation so punters should treat him with caution. GOLDEN ARCHER is absolutely flying this preparation but I’m worried about the amount of pace in the race. I think Didntcostalot from the inside will be suited better than Golden Archer who has to force his way across. But we’ll see. And STRATCOMBE went ahead in leaps and bounds last preparation, if he’s improved again he’ll be in the mix.

6 – DIDNTCOSTALOT
4 – BEL SPRINTER
2 – GOLDEN ARCHER
5 – STRATCOMBE

RACE 6 – GROUP 2 DATO TAN CHIN NAM STAKES (1600m)

An intriguing race. GREEN MOON has emerged as a weight for age contender over the last 12 months. His run to finish fifth in the Memsie was absolutely enormous, and up to 1600m he’s right in the mix. MIDAS TOUCH is at big odds after two lacklustre runs this preparation, but I can’t help but think of last year when he did the same thing before he ran a blinder in the Makybe Diva Stakes. I reckon he’s ready to improve again third up and at odds, he may be worth a few dollars the place. LINTON has trialled superbly in preparation for this, and he’s always seemed to go well around Moonee Valley. He seems to be thriving with Malua Racing and although he’ll improve on what he does here, it could be a good stepping stone towards the rest of the spring. And REKINDLED INTEREST is simply a Moonee Valley horse. His form at this racecourse is lengths above what he’s shown anywhere else, so he must be thrown in the mix to go back to back.

5 – GREEN MOON
2 – MIDAS TOUCH
3 – LINTON
4 – REKINDLED INTEREST

RACE 7 – GROUP 2 STOCKS STAKES (1600m)

I was keen on Peter Moody’s import Never Forget but she was scratched. So I’m left with MIDNIGHT MARTINI on top. She did disappoint me first up, but the way the track was playing I think she can be forgiven. Her second up record is better than her fresh form, so she should be considered a major player. I think SPIRIT SONG may need one more run to reach her best, but she ran well enough first up to be considered a chance. I may be the only fan in the OASIS BLOOM corner but she’s getting up to a better distance now and her two runs this preparation have been fair. This is the first time she has got three runs into a preparation, so this is her test. And AVIENUS has run well this preparation, and on her best she’d be close to a certainty in this – a fact that my mate Joshua Kayll was very quick to hammer home! (And, even though I disagreed with him initially, I came to accept that he was right).

6 – MIDNIGHT MARTINI
2 – SPIRIT SONG
11 – OASIS BLOOM
1 – AVIENUS

RACE 8 – LISTED CHANDLER MACLEOD STAKES (1200m)

A good little race here. I couldn’t believe the price about FREERETURN – close to $16 – last night. He was disappointing last week, sure, but his two wins prior to that were very good and he’s shown a liking for Moonee Valley. I was only happy to take that price. Most of the judges I respect are tipping PIED A TERRE, and it’s hard to argue with them. The reason I don’t have him on top is that I like Freereturn at the odds, as well as the fact I think he’ll need one more. But if he’s tuned up, he’ll go close. I’ll be throwing MR MAKE BELIEVE and THAT’S THE ONE into all exotics.

3 – FREERETURN
2 – PIED A TERRE
4 – MR MAKE BELIEVE
11 – THAT’S THE ONE

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