Speedy Vega looming as Goodwood quer y runner
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