Wednesday was another good day for followers with Fuld’s Bet winning very impressively at Ascot, after being heavily supported. Reldas (third) also ran a good race at Sandown and was very unlucky not to win.
Today we find ourselves smack bang in the middle of the Melbourne Autumn Carnival and Sydney is starting to heat up, with The Championships now only six weeks away.
All eyes will be at Flemington on Saturday as the three-year-olds do battle in the Group 1 Australian Guineas. The team at The Trial Files consider 2 CRITERION very good each way value at the quote of $13-$15 on offer. His run first-up in the CS Hayes was full of merit, hitting the line very hard and the 1600m in the Guineas is much more to his liking. He is better-suited at the weights, getting a whopping 3.5kg turnaround on 9 TERONADO for beating him home last start. 3 EUROZONE beat him a whisker in the Stan Fox (1500m) back in September. One is $4.20, the other $15. 5 HUCKLEBUCK looks a major player but happy to back 2 CRITERION each way with more on to place.
Rosehill hosts a cracking day’s racing on Saturday with a really good G2 Hobartville Stakes for the three-year-olds and an even better G2 Silver Slipper Stakes for the two-year-olds. Last year Chris Waller had a good day on this program but it was Gai Waterhouse who took the big prizes, winning with Pierro and Sweet Idea.
Rosehill Race 6 — The Hobartville Stakes (1400m)
The Group 2 Hobartville Stakes for the three-year-olds over 1400m and what an interesting rendition we have. The Waterhouse pair in 8 LIBERTY’S CHOICE and 9 WOODBINE are likely to set the tempo out in front. 3 ATLANTE has speed and won’t be far away from barrier 3. Expecting 1 DISSIDENT and 5 EL ROCA to settle in the first half of the field. As the speed map below suggests, 5 EL ROCA may need luck from barrier 10 and his destiny may lie in the hands of Jim Cassidy aboard 1 DISSIDENT who would be looking to keep the favourite posted wide throughout.
5 EL ROCA met a number of these rivals a fortnight ago when he was a dominant winner. He did get a nice run on that occasion but won in fine style and if he gets any luck from the barrier it is hard to imagine those who finished behind him could turn the tables. We felt 1 DISSIDENT only worked fairly in the lead up to his first up run behind 5 EL ROCA and the race largely panned out as expected. He never travelled as comfortably in the run as the winner but you have to respect the way he fought on gamely. As stated above, Jim Cassidy will be looking to keep 5 EL ROCA trapped wide which will no doubt enhance his mount’s chances of turning the tables.
One of the more interesting runners here is the other New Zealand horse in 3 ATLANTE making his Australian debut. He has had the one trial leading in which was a good second behind Howmuchdoyouloveme. The Murray Baker-trained colt went from winning a maiden to a Group 1 in New Zealand in three races last prep. Back in August last year he and 5 EL ROCA both made their debuts together over 1000m. On that occasion 5 EL ROCA was too good but 3 ATLANTE didn’t have the best of luck, being caught wide. No doubting 3 ATLANTE has improved since then and we feel he is a much better horse on top of the ground. He looks to have a lot of talent but we would like to see him do it on the racetrack here in Australia before diving in with any confidence. One big advantage here is that he is bound to get a lovely run in transit.
Two blackbookers are featured here. 9 WOODBINE has done the right thing by us and all followers, winning twice since catching our eye at the trials. The regally-bred colt out of a Golden Slipper and Oaks winner (Hussonet x Miss Finland) just got there last start in a very small field at extremely skinny odds. His effort was still solid and we aren’t reading into the margin too much. The step up to 1400m suits and he has a fitness edge on most of his rivals. No surprise to see him figure again here. He will find a good position in the run and give a good sight.
Our other blackbooker here is 6 KOROIBETE. His trial comment reads:
“KOROIBETE – A horse with plenty of ability and has placed in all six career starts, winning on three occasions. Settled back and was a long way from the leader here but made up very good ground under minimal pressure. Lovely trial and going well.”
He is currently equal favourite for the ATC Derby and whilst that looks a big ask, his talent is without question and he is clearly in good order. Not sure he will be suited by the likely tempo and possible track pattern here but if they are making ground and run along, he can figure. He should get a nice run and look for him to be flying home. He could trail 5 EL ROCA into the race and be produced at the right time. No surprise to see him in the finish but assessing track pattern is crucial.
If the track is favouring those on the speed, you have to give a chance to 8 LIBERTY’S CHOICE who could control the tempo out in front and give a kick. He comes into this on the back of two nice trial wins and he looks ready to go fresh.
2 ROMANTIC TOUCH ran good late sectionals against 5 EL ROCA and 1 DISSIDENT last time and gets a slight weight advantage. He should get a nice run in transit and is one for wider multiples.
All in all, this is a very interesting affair. If 5 EL ROCA gets some luck from the barrier and can find a position he looks the one they have to beat. This is questionable though. Track pattern is vital here so it is definitely worth monitoring. Can make a case for a number of runners and going wide in quaddies and multiples.
Ascot Race 6 — Lex Piper Stakes (1600m)
One of our favourites and the dominant horse of the Summer Carnival, 1 IHTSAHMYN, returns here to kick off his preparation for the WA Derby. He has not trialled leading into this and we all know that Fred Kersley is a big believer in setting his horses for their grand finals. We very much doubt he will be wound up for this, but having said that, he is the classiest horse in the race. The 59kg is a big leveller against some rock hard fit horses in with low weights.
2 NEWTON PRINCE is another Trial Files favourite after he put three wins in a line together back in November and December. He is another who is on track for a WA Derby start but is likely to be a bit more wound up than the topweight, as he has had two decent hit outs at the trials. He is yet to miss a place from his five career starts and should settle midfield today and be finishing strongly.
Vaughn Sigley has a dual representation here with 4 BLACK HEART BART and 7 MY DESTINATION. The one we are keen to look at is 4 BLACK HEART BART. Yes, he has been the bridesmaid at his past three starts, but he gets into this race with a good weight and fitness advantage over the two at the top of the weights. The concern with him is that there is not a lot of genuine speed in the race as he is likely to drop to the rear of the field and storm home, as is his usual style. Hopefully the stable mate and 10 GUNNERY SERGEANT will go forward and at least roll along at a moderate tempo.
Although 6 PADDY’S FLAT‘s last start performance looks very average on paper, it was quite a good run. He got much further back than normal due to the bad barrier and came home strongly at the end. From a much better draw he should be able to return to his customary racing style of sitting just behind the pace. From there, if he can reproduce a similar finish to what he did last time, he could give some cheek at bigger prices.
We have to also give a mention to 9 BORN REGAL who should also be running on strongly at the end and will appreciate the step up to the mile second up.
Assess the market here but just be cautious with the two topweights — while they have class on their side, they are unlikely to be fully wound up yet with the 2400m WA Derby their goal. If we can get an each-way price about 4 BLACK HEART BART then we are happy to back him on this basis. Throw 6 PADDY’S FLAT into all multiples at decent odds.
THE TRIAL FILES’ SELECTIONS
FOR FRIDAY & SATURDAY RACING
• FRIDAY — Moonee Valley (night) Race 3 – 8 SRIKANDI (win)
• SATURDAY — Ascot Race 6 – 4 BLACK HEART BART (each way, more to place)
• SATURDAY — Flemington Race 7 – 2 CRITERION (each way, more to place)
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