West­ern wild­card

Speedy Vega loom­ing as Good­wood quer y run­ner

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - with Neil Evans Fol­low me on Twit­ter @NeilE­van­sMail

HE can be a heart­break sprinter, and I prob­a­bly won’t back him, but there’s no greater form watch around the coun­try this Satur­day than for­mer WA star Vega Magic in Group 1 Good­wood at Mor­phettville.

In the last 18 months, eastern-state train­ers – es­pe­cially in Vic­to­ria – have made huge ground tak­ing what seemed above-av­er­age per­form­ers out of WA and turn­ing them into top-lin­ers in big­ger and richer races this side the coun­try.

Of course head­ing that list is Black Heart Bart, now a mul­ti­ple Group 1 win­ner who went from high-class per­former in Perth through 2015 to a star un­der record-break­ing trainer Dar­ren Weir.

Con­sider in six months to Septem­ber last year, he was beaten a lip in the Group 1 New­mar­ket at Flem­ing­ton and 1 All-Aged Rand­wick, but won the Group Good­wood, and 1 dou­ble of Mem­sie and Un­der­wood at Caulfield stretch­ing his dom­i­nance to 1800m, then re­turned in 2017 to win the Group 1 1400m Au­tumn dou­ble C.F. Orr and Fu­tu­rity. His im­prove­ment was stag­ger­ing. And just a few weeks back, for­mer WA five-year-old and Perth Cup win­ner Star Ex­hibit be­gan his Caulfield ca­reer un­der Weir with a dom­i­nant win in the Listed An­niver­sary Vase and to­mor­row lines up in the Group 1 Doomben Cup at WFA.

So, with Vega Magic leav­ing sta­ble of veteran Bulls­brook trainer Sean Casey to join the all-pow­er­ful David Hayes/Tom Dabernig yard in Mel­bourne, how will this four-yearold pow­er­house re­act first-up for six months in a 20-strong Group 1 field?

Tra­di­tion­ally, he’s bet­ter sec­ondup yet the sta­ble will ap­ply a lug­ging bit first time, and even more in­trigu­ing pre-race ear­muffs to en­sure the geld­ing re­laxes in his own “zone” on a track and crowd he’s never seen be­fore. Per­son­ally, he’s un­der the odds ($7.00 early bet­ting. club) but let’s not for­get two starts back he hit the line just 1.5 lens from Take­down and Shei­del in the Group 1 Win­ter­bot­tom at As­cot.

Of course, big­gest dilemma ahead of the Good­wood is crys­tal-balling a pat­tern and de­ter­min­ing what gen­uine rat­ing we will be on.

In­ter­mit­tent show­ers are fore­cast over the next 24 hours so it’s log­i­cal to think we will race around a Soft 5/6; yet snail-like Racing Aus­tralia ser­vice still had it a pro­jected Good 4 through Thurs­day, but of course that will sur­prise no-one.

If the sting is out of Mor­phettville, Black Heart Bart ($3.50) will find it just that bit tougher to go back-to­back first-up for three months, but fel­low Vic­to­rian Mala­guerra ($11 to

$8.50) might get the per­fect sur­face and is over odds off a sev­en­week freshen-up.

But if you’re look­ing for gen­uine light­weight chance at huge odds – Kaeper­nick ($34.00) maps to at­tack the line, set­tling back off a strong tempo, and he peaks now re­pro­duce the form that saw him fin­ish just a few lengths off them in the Group 1 Oak­leigh Plate and Wil­liam Reid ear­lier this year.

My GOOD­WOOD Tips: 1. KAEPER­NICK; 2. Mala­guerra; 3. Black Heart Bart.

ELSE­WHERE on the card, the Group 3 R.A. Lee Stakes (1600m) and

Proud Miss (1200m) for the Fil­lies and Mares are among

high­lights across very wide bet­ting races.

Cer­tainly, the lat­ter looms as the per­fect as­sign­ment for high-class Syd­ney mare Ravi ($4.40 bet­ting. club) who got home well be­hind Se­cret Agenda in the Group 1 Sang­ster a fort­night ago, and back in class at

set weights here, looks beau­ti­fully placed.

My PROUD MISS Tips: 1. RAVI; 2. Fuhryk; 3. Now Or Later

With nag­ging rain likely to send the track from a Soft 5 closer a Soft 7 by the first to­mor­row, the fea­ture Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) is as wide as I’ve seen in years.

Cer­tainly, the Bris­bane Racing Club (BRC) will be pray­ing for a suc­cess­ful day, con­sid­er­ing the night­mare chang­ing of tra­di­tional race dis­tances, and course, with the sig­na­ture three-week car­ni­val on pre­car­i­ous Ea­gle Farm track start­ing to­mor­row week.

As for the Cup, I’m go­ing very wide on a lightly-raced Syd­ney sixyear-old at $41.00 who looks ready to win again. My DOOMBEN CUP Tips: 1. ASTRONOMOS; 2. It’s Some­what; 3. Mau­rus.

A change of train­ers and gear will make Vega Magic (main) a wild­card in the Good­wood, while Neil ex­pects Kaeper nick (in­set) to come out on top in the South Aus­tralian fea­ture

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.