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Hawk’s 2014 Epsom Handicap/Turnbull Stakes Day Analysis and Selections

October 4, 2014

Ah, the first Saturday in October. The point of the year when racing becomes Australia’s national sport, just for one month.

Ok, so we still have the NRL Grand Final to come, but apart from that it is all racing from now until the end of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

And what a month awaits!

The horses may not be as strong as they usually are, but it is competitive racing and there are plenty of winners to be found.

There are four Group 1 races today across the two meetings, and every race holds black type status.

It’s just the start of a big weekend of racing, with big Group 1 racing in New Zealand and America, the Arc meeting in France and the return of some of Hong Kong’s best horses tomorrow.

It doesn’t get much better!

Good luck with your wagers today.

RANDWICK

Race 1 – LISTED GIMCRACK STAKES (1000m)

8 – SPEAK FONDLY
9 – THEMIS
3 – FLAUNTING
6 – PREVAIL

Race 2 – LISTED BREEDERS’ PLATE (1000m)

12 – SOOBOOG
9 – MORE THAN FABULOUS
14 – VANCOUVER
13 – STIMAC

Race 3 – LISTED DULCIFY QUALITY (1600m)

4 – DUCCIO
2 – SCRATCH ME LUCKY
1 – BACHMAN
3 – HAMPTON COURT

Race 4 – GROUP 2 ROMAN CONSUL STAKES (1200m)

1 – HALLOWED CROWN
3 – BRAZEN BEAU
2 – TIME FOR WAR
4 – NOSTRADAMUS

Race 5 – GROUP 3 CRAVEN PLATE (2000m)

7 – RISING ROMANCE
5 – DANCHAI
4 – MORIARTY
3 – SLOW PACE

Race 6 – GROUP 2 PREMIERE STAKES (1200m)

5 – CHARLIE BOY
1 – SINCERO
8 – I’VE GOT THE LOOKS
2 – FAMOUS SEAMUS

Race 7 – GROUP 1 EPSOM HANDICAP (1600m)

A pretty pathetic Epsom Handicap, in all honesty. Looks more like a BM85 with a few class horses thrown in. Still, there has to be a winner, and Chris Waller looks to hold all the aces.

I’m hoping Joao Moreira is the man on HE’S YOUR MAN. I love the step back in distance here with him, and he looks to have the turn of foot required to win the race. He’s going really well, and Moreira can get his first Australian Group 1 winner here.

ROYAL DESCENT has not won since her Oaks victory but she’s been a model of consistency. Can she finally get her head in front at the wire? I think she’s pretty well weighted in a race of this nature, so a win wouldn’t surprise at all.

STAR ROLLING was impressive first up but has been disappointing at his next two. There were excuses in the Dato when he was simply gassed by The Cleaner, but he probably should have done more last start. Still, if he is to get out and rolling, I think he can be in the mix.

At odds, LUCKY CHAPPY is not the worst bet. He’s also stepping back in trip, and while he’s a bit of an unreliable type, he is in fairly good form at the moment. Worth an each-way wager.

6 – HE’S YOUR MAN
2 – ROYAL DESCENT
5 – STAR ROLLING
10 – LUCKY CHAPPY

Race 8 – GROUP 1 FLIGHT STAKES (1600m)

Again, not the strongest Flight Stakes ever seen. There do appear three main chances, although if Twirl and Muscovado hadn’t been scratched, I could definitely have entertained LADY SHARAPOVA as the bolter to get over the top.

I’ve been really impressed with THINKING OF YOU in her two starts to date. She can make the phenomenal rise from Wodonga maiden to Group 1 winner in three starts today, as she has the turn of foot and tactical speed to capitalise in the small field. Plus, I think on ability, she’s as good as any horse in the race.

WINX and FIRST SEAL represent the Sydney fillies, coming from the Tea Rose Stakes. I prefer Winx as a horse, although I do think First Seal beat her fair and square last start. Both are definitely chances, although I think Winx may be more suited by this race.

We’ll keep Lady Sharapova as a chance, but not as keen as we were earlier in the week.

6 – THINKING OF YOU
1 – WINX
2 – FIRST SEAL
7 – LADY SHARAPOVA

Race 9 – GROUP 1 THE METROPOLITAN (2400m)

A very even field of stayers here.

More hoping than confident with OUR VOODOO PRINCE. He entered the spring as the Caulfield Cup favourite, and while he hasn’t lived up to that billing, he’s been far from disgraced. The trip should suit now and hopefully he can get one big crack at them late.

KINGDOMS comes from the Kingston Town Stakes, and I rate that form for the Epsom. He’s been a quirky horse. He was my sole Caulfield Cup prepost bet last year, and of course he won a 2400m race on Caulfield Cup day – just not the Caulfield Cup! There seems to be shades of Hume with him, in that Brian Smith seems to rejuvenated him. There’s a good race in him, and perhaps that might be today.

JUNOOB was terrific in winning a very tactical Hill Stakes. It’s a completely different race here, but he does look the one to beat off that run – and the compressed weight scale works in his favour too.

Next best BRIGANTIN, who was good in the Newcastle Cup and seems to be twice the price he should be, and SPILLWAY.

8 – OUR VOODOO PRINCE
10 – KINGDOMS
1 – JUNOOB
6 – BRIGANTIN

FLEMINGTON

Race 1 – LISTED MARIBYRNONG TRIAL STAKES (1000m)

3 – ICEFLOW
4 – LAKE JACKSON
9 – DAGNY
12 – RESULTS

Race 2 – LISTED UCI STAKES (1800m)

4 – WAR POINT
11 – ATMOSPHERE
1 – FIREHOUSE ROCK
14 – KAIZAEN

Race 3 – GROUP 3 THE BART CUMMINGS (2500m)

3 – WHO SHOT THEBARMAN
1 – SEA MOON
6 – MARKSMANSHIP
5 – ETHIOPIA

Race 4 – LISTED YELLOWGLEN VINTAGE STAKES (1400m)

10 – DECONSTRUCTED
6 – STAVIVA
3 – FORGIVE AND FORGET
2 – WANDJINA

Race 5 – GROUP 2 GILGAI STAKES (1200m)

11 – BOUNDING
4 – CHAUTAUQUA
5 – TEMPLE OF BOOM
3 – FLAMBERGE

Race 6 – GROUP 2 EDWARD MANIFOLD STAKES (1600m)

9 – MAASTRICHT
13 – LITTLE HOTTIE
15 – HIPSTER GIRL
7 – PITTSBURGH FLYER

Race 7 – GROUP 1 TURNBULL STAKES (2000m)

A fascinating race, if not a stellar renewal of the Turnbull Stakes.

There are quite a few horses I like here for the next month, but that I can’t have today. For instance, I really like LUCIA VALENTINA in the Caulfield Cup, but given her hoof issues and the likely pace scenario I’m happy to let her go without me. Similarly, SILENT ACHIEVER – I want to see her produce her autumn form first before steaming into her.

Instead, I’ll be sticking with a horse who is yet to win this prep but is finally heading the right way – PUISSANCE DE LUNE.

I haven’t been able to find Puissance de Lune at all since his Queen Elizabeth Stakes win. He’s been too short most of the time or he’s been in unsuitable races. However, I think this race should set up perfectly for him, whether Brad Rawiller decides to push towards the lead or sit behind them.

I’ve much preferred the progression of his preparation this year, and he can gain that elusive “Group 1 winner” tag here.

Outside of him, I’m looking at the horses who are needing to win this race to have any chance of gaining a start in some of the bigger affairs in the coming weeks.

2012 Queensland Derby winner BRAMBLES had almost two years on the sidelines but he’s very good at his last two starts. He should be able to sit handy and now getting up to a suitable distance, he can run a big race here as he looks to get into the Caulfield Cup.

ENTIRELY PLATINUM looks like he could get across to the lead fairly easily if that’s the intention, he strikes me as one of these emerging types who have used this race as a stepping stone to bigger things in the past. Probably should have won the Naturalism Stakes and is going well enough to win, especially under these conditions.

The horse that beat him last time, GRIS CARO, has to find something here but maps brilliantly and it’s hard to tell how much further he can progress. He looks over the odds.

Next best SUPER COOL, who looked like he was on the brink of returning to form with a nice run in the Underwood Stakes, and HAPPY TRAILS.

8 – PUISSANCE DE LUNE
15 – BRAMBLES
12 – ENTIRELY PLATINUM
13 – GRIS CARO

Race 8 – GROUP 2 BLAZER STAKES (1400m)

1 – MAY’S DREAM
2 – BONARIA
15 – DIG A PONY
5 – ENQUARE

Race 9 – LISTED HEADQUARTERS TAVERN STAKES (1400m)

8 – SPIRITS DANCE
2 – LUCKY HUSSLER
11 – RYKER
5 – SAINT OR SINNER

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