She’s an Excellent chance
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Soft 7. (N/R) denotes no rating.
YOU don’t always get what you pay for in horse racing but $900,000 yearling 4. ENGLAND (N/R) has looked a million dollars in everything he has done thus far. The Chris Wallertrained colt is by Fastnet Rock out of Inglorious who was the 2011 Champion 3YO Filly in Canada. Both the next two dams won stakes-races. England trialled super before his ‘very acceptable’ 2-len third here on debut on Jul 25 to Golden Tycoon and Cloak. England trialled Sep 3 coming in 4.8-len behind 6. GOD OF THUNDER (N/R) who was as impressive as any horse could be. God Of Thunder is himself a blueblood being by More Than Ready out of Roman Consul winner Jolie Bay who finished second in the Coolmore Stud Stakes unlike her brother, Merchant Navy, who won the race. If the God Of Thunder that we see in trials turns up, England may run out of ground to catch him. I’ll stick with though. 2. NICCO LAD (N/R) hasn’t done much wrong, he was third in a deep race here on Aug 20 to Wagner (runs in the final race) and Vendome.
5. MAGGIE MISS (N/R) really turned some heads at the trials the other day! She absolutely blitzed her rivals, scoring a13-len win in fast time. This Waterhouse/Bott filly was good without being great in her Aug 13 trial win at Randwick but the win there 15 days later was pretty awesome. We can’t vouch for the standard of the opposition but she ran a 33.90s last 600m. Goodness knows what some of the other 200m splits were after that. Canterbury (tick), gate 5 (tick), Waterhouse/Bott first starter (tick), 1250m? I am saying ‘cross’. But three out of four ain’t bad. I was all over 6. SO TAKEN (N/R) when she made her Australian debut here on Aug 29. It was a rock solid effort to finish 0.5-len third. She drew 7 of 9 that day but is infinitely better off this time with the rails draw. If it’s not Maggie Miss, it will be So Taken and her Waller stablemate 1. PRESS BOX (N/R) who will be there to take advantage. Bear in mind, Press Box has been here twice and ran second each time by 0.1-len 0.2-len respectively.
YOU don’t see too many more impressive or emphatic debut wins than 4. HAPPY BUBBLES (62). The Gerald Ryan-trained son of Snitzel (now there’s a combo!) was $2.80 into $2 in the Newcastle 900m maiden on Aug 16 and won like a $1.20 shot. The two things about the win that make him stand out are he took a ‘gap’ then once through, he exploded away from the others and looked to have heaps left in the locker. Snitzel can throw a good horse, this one has loads of talent and potential. 5. GENTLE PERSUASION (64) is on the 7-day back-up after a ripper run at Kensington when a closing 0.2-len second to She’s Furline over 1150m. Another 50m and she wins. This race is less but give her a solid tempo nothing will finish off faster. She has a barnstorming finish. 7. MAJOR WAGER (62) is an interesting runner. The Waterhouse/Bott filly was quite good in her Randwick trial win on Aug 28 which saw her beat Formality and Home Of The Brave, that form reads well after last Saturday. Has pace to offset the wide draw somewhat.
10. PLAGIARIST (63) was supposed to race at Kembla last Saturday but the races were washed out. There is a silver lining to every cloud and for the connections of Plagiarist, it could be a win here. This horse is by Dalakhani out a Galileo mare and anyone who likes their breeding will know just how great those two stallions are. Plagiarist has trialled well before his first-up win at Kembla in a 1400m maiden. He was never going to be a maiden long this campaign. The step to 1580m is ideal. 3. SCREAM PARK (70) re-acted positively when ridden closer to finish 0.3-len second here over 1550m last start. He is fourth-up now and off his best run for a long while. Barrier two – surely he goes forward again and may be harder to hold out. 2. MOONDANCER (70) beat 6. THE CARTOONIST (66) fair and square at Newcastle last start over 1400m. I see no reason why he (Moondancer) will not finish in front of him (The Cartoonist) again on Wednesday. 5. FOLLOW ON (66) puzzles me. He is a Pierro half to Criterion, Comin’ Through, Vareena Miss and Silently first-up (Ex Waterhouse/Bott now Matthew Vella) but with a good trial win.
3. FANTASTIC MAN (69) has a neat set of numbers to be highly competitive. The John Thompson-trained son of Redoute’s Choice is 6s 1-2-1 at the track and 4s 0-1-1 at the t/d. This horse is known to race handy which why Canterbury suits his pattern. Fantastic Man has placed over this same t/d at two most recent outings beaten 0.2len in that Aug 15 appearance. He is only two from 18, as in wins, but has placed 10 times so you would think he medals – just what colour? Waller has three of the 11, I most of us would nominate 8. SCRATCHES (68) as best of them trio. This Gerry Harvey-owned/bred mare by Winx’s sire, Street Cry, bolted in at Newcastle before her 1.3len second here to ‘the hurdler’ High Bridge who swept past her last. That might not be a ‘shame’ given the winner might go all right! Sydney’s unluckiest horse, 6 VALENTINO ROSSA (67) deserves a win and he very well might this time given the jockey – Jason Collett! That’s a powerful booking especially way this horse needs to be ridden.
JOHN Thompson can hopefully go back-to-back here with given the presence of a mare that I have followed since before her debut back when she was with James Cummings in his pre-Godolphin days. Cummings rated 5. EXCELLENT DESIGN (67) very highly and for good reason. It’s not hard to spot quality when it’s so obvious – she’s got the looks, the action and the pedigree – just about everything you like to see. Excellent Design trialled super before her scheduled return the other week but was scratched at gates. Went back to trials and was just as good, maybe better, given the depth of that particular heat. Talking trials, the only word to describes 2. ELLIE’S ENCORE (68) and her two wins are ‘wow!’. The Paul Perry-trained mare is by his own champion Choisir and has won half of her eight starts. She ran eighth 11 in the Light Fingers before a spell but she was only 5.4-len behind Alizee who it wasn’t like she got beaten a furlong. 7. MISSYBEEL (66) has caught the eye – big time – in her two trials, the last one was behind Ef Troop who was all guns blazing. This could be run at lightning speed, Missybeel could have last say.
JOHN Camilleri bred Winx but I can tell you, this mare 7. WARRANTY (74) hails from one of his best broodmare families. She’s by All Too Hard out Factor Of Safety, herself an Encosta De Lago out of the broodmare gem, Celebria. Warranty is a Snowden Racing-trained mare who has been tuned-up with two lovely trials. Warranty has won fresh and is stakes-placed. Would obviously have more important engagements this spring but unless the market says ‘no’, I am with her. I concede that 2. ZA ZI BA (79) is obvious. She has a class edge on most of these, I am personally not including Warranty in that bunch, but in Za Zi Ba’s favour is that she is race fit and a last start Rosehill winner. Za Zi Ba has barrier three and Sam Weatherley brings his 2kg claim to the table again. I just have a sense that Za Zi Ba is going be very, very well found – it’s not hard – and therefore may make the market for one to ambush her that mare, I hope, is Warranty. 1. PIRACY (77) is a quality gelding in the Royal Blue. He is third-up now with a desirable alley. Only run at Canterbury was a win and when he was third-up like tomorrow.
MY best bet 15. DESERT LORD (66) is going to need a miracle to even make the field given that he third emergency but we see plenty of scratchings in Sydney, far too many in fact, that’s another story. I am writing this two-days out from the race and with no market lead but I am supremely confident about his chances if he makes the cut. He has huge promise and has come back in sensational nick. If he misses out on the run tomorrow, keep an eye out for him. I note that he’s nominated for Doomben on Saturday! 8. TINKERMOSA (73) satisfies the first-up out of an Oaks system, the Queensland in her case. Throw in absolutely ripping good trial, Jason Collett, slow track – which she loves – I can see a Black Booker coming on. Love 12. WAGNER (68) as a horse but he will need so much luck from out there. Oh, did I forget to mention the rail is out 8m! What does that mean for all my backmarkers on card?! Time will tell.
Excellent Design. Pic: Grany Guy