Helio’s the one to beat
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Soft 7. All horses considered starters unless notified by Thursday at 1 PM. (N/R) denotes no rating.
ALL eyes, well mine anyway, are on 2. CHARGE (N/R) here. I love it when a trainer buys a son or daughter of one of their good horses and Charge is a Chris Waller trained son his dual G1 winner young sire Zoustar. Charge was bought by Qatar Bloodstock (who also raced Zoustar) for the not insignificant sum of $450,000 at Magic Millions Sale. That’s a good price for any yearling, let alone one by a first crop sire as Zoustar was at the time. Charge trialled really will at Rosehill on Nov. 24. He very new don’t worry about that; dwelt and got back as a result, his head going everyone, hard to steer, only at the 300m did he balance up and get into work and turn on a really good last 250m to run 5th beaten 2.7-lens. No doubt he lacks racecraft and that is a worry but he has something, that is for sure. 1.
GONGS (N/R) has the race experience and it is winning experience. The Godolphin filly was a mile too good on debut at Canterbury and the that dozen lengths behind her day — Perfect Pitch — won at Rosehill last Saturday. Nice. 6. CARNINA
(N/R) is a $100,000 Magic Millions filly by All Too Hard out of a half sister to Headway. Won both her trials and Mark Newnham knows how get his stock ready to win on debut. Drawn 1 which should be a help with the rail out.
SPEAKING of the rail being out, 6m to be precise, I hope it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on the prospects of 2. HELIOSPHERE
(68) whom I firmly maintain is the best horse in he race today, tomorrow and well down into the autumn. So much so, we could see him in races like the Randwick Guineas because he does scream ‘miler’. That’s precisely how this handsome Gerald Ryan galloper ran on debut when making up plenty of ground from last (of 6) to finish 0.7-lens the winner in a 1200m race here on Nov. 18. The step up to 1400m with added race fitness will only play to his favour — he just needs some pressure upfront and a smart ride. 5.
UP TRUMPZ (69) was my tip last start in a Bm71 over this trip on Nov. 25. I feel a bit aggrieved given that think he should have nearly won. In fact, if got the run of the winner (Bull Market), he clearly wins the race. Blaike McDougall was unlucky not to get a better run on horse (you can’t hurdle those in front of you) but we get Tim Clark this time. 6. POETIC
CHARMER (67) was a nose 2nd to Bull Market but got lovely ride/ every chance from Kerrin McEvoy that day. 4. STAR SENSATION
(75) was a dual acceptor, we spoke to Mark Newnham on Wednesday and he of the view that this was the better option for the iron filly (who ran 3rd in Bull Market race) given that he sees her up ‘1 or 2’ in the run and that there was less pressure in this race than the other one she paid up for. Fair enough.
HIGHWAY time and it could come down to the clash of the best Highway-trainers in business Matthew Dunn and Danny Williams. I am with Williams on this occasion, specifically 5. O’LORDY
(65) who has a Highway win her C.V. That was over 1200m first-up on Nov. 4 then she raced at home at Goulburn in a 1300m Bm72 finishing 1.1-lens from the winner coming from 10/11 at 400m. O’Lordy has won 3 races so far, 2 of them are at Rosehill. She is 1200m, 1300m now 1400m and bearing in mind she has no worries up to about 1500m, this trip is sweet. She also seems to handle good heavy. Williams can carry off the quinella with 3. VOPLE
(65) backing up after his dramatic win in a Highway last Saturday at this same venue but over 1200m. He would have been something licked if he had of gone under, hats off to Jan Van Overmeire who played it cool as a cucumber when all looked lost. Well done. 1.
FOREVER NEWYORK (68) was 4th to Zamex in a 1500m Highway at the end of last preparation. The Wagga visitor was beaten 0.5-lens first-up over 1000m then won by the same margin at Gundagai after that 1180m. With regard to 1400m, Forever Newyork was beaten 0.9-lens in a 1580m at Canterbury last campaign. As for Dunn, the Highway King, he has the intriguing import 4. DIVINE
UNICORN (64) running here. The GB-born gelding is ‘1x21’ all over the border at Ipswich (x2) and one at Gold Coast — that was his last start win 1400m.
F & M races are invariably open affairs with lots of combinations and this race is a case in point. Waller has four the 11 acceptors, how many of them run remains to be seen but at this stage that’s where we are at. While Waller’s quarter have quite substantial winning claims (in fact they are very hard to split), I am looking to something of an old favourite in Les Bridge’s 7.
QUEEN MISTY (70). The rail being out 6m is not really a plus for her being such a pronounced backmarker but any pattern as to how the track may be playing tomorrow will surely have become evident by now so we can ‘know when to fold em, or know when to hold em’ with this mare. I have seen her race handy mind you and she went super, but I suspect that
will be off speed, how far off speed time will tell. As difficult an assignment it is, I have managed to rank the Waller runners this way — 2. OVERSTEP (78) just ahead of 3. NOIRE (74) and then
4. MISS BALLANTINE (71)
5. DIASPASON (70), the latter two have drawn wide. Noire is in gate 1, Overstep is probably best served in 5 given that she can now be positioned with any track bias that may eventuate. I did like her last 200m a lot last start, she’s getting close now.
10. MORINGTON (73) was really good at his Australian debut without a trial when 3rd to Waller stablemate 2. CARZOFF (80) in an 1800m race here on Nov. 4. He was well backed as a result 21-days later when 4th of 9 to another stablemate, Dagny, also in an 1800m race. I felt he raced a little bit flat that day and maybe that pointed to the fact that was rip for more ground, not sure, but he gets 2000m tomorrow so that’s a positive whatever we make of last start. There is plenty to admire about the aforementioned Carzoff who has a fine career record of 13s 2-3-3. Better than that, he is 4s 1-1-1 at the track and 5s 1-0-3 at the trip. He is firing on all cylinders this preparation apart from his heavyweight and wide barrier, he ticks all over boxes. You get the impression that he will almost certainly be in the medals again.
7. SCREAMARR (73) won firstup but it was been all downhill since much to the frustration of his trainers Anthony and Edward Cummings whom I know (having spoken to Anthony) were expected much better from his preparation. I watched his run in the Goulburn Cup where he ran 7th of 14 and while I acknowledge that he was only beaten 2.1-lens, not much more than plodding at pace for the most part of the straight. That said, I would be least surprised (apart from Anthony and Edward) if he happened to win tomorrow at decent odds.
WE come home with three very good races to end the day tomorrow, heaps of chances in each. Good value too in some. I might be playing with my $10 thus tomorrow; $5 win on 2. FIRSTHAND (89) and $2.50 e/w on 6.
MARYORE (87) who interests me greatly. More on her in a moment. I ended up sticking with Firsthand because he is race hardened in a soft-ish track and is in a good place at the moment being ‘x312’. The Star Witness son 3s 1-1-1 at Rosehill and his only run over the t/d before tomorrow was his last start 0.8-lens 2nd to Cabeza De Vaca on Nov. 18. The most salient statistic in Firsthand’s favour is that he is 2s 2w on slow — that vital, so too that he has drawn 4 and Blaike McDougall rides him; he won on the horse (brilliant ride!) two runs back when he beat To Excess (top pick in the next race). Canberra mare Maryore is first-up tomorrow and I was all set to tip her on top with some degree of confidence until glanced her fresh record is 5s 0-0-0 and that she is 4s 3. I am not sure what is coming up for her next start but I am pretty sure that she will win it given that she is flying and she has near perfect second-up record. Bear in mind too that is the reigning Provincial Championship Final winner over this trip. One more thing, she is 9s 3w on slow and 4s 2w on heavy but I doubt we’ll be in at any stage race day. Big respect the way of 7. NEW UNIVERSE (83) likewise 9. FLOW (76) but my $10 won’t stretch that far.
SOMETIMES numbers say it better than words when it comes to racing. What’s that adage about history being the best guide what is going to happen in the future? Enter 4. TO EXCESS
(84) who has a career record of 12s 5-4-0. he is 4s 3-1-0 at the trip and 3s 0-2-0 on slow and 3s 1-1-0 on heavy so he has the wet track tricked. Barrier 8 is a little wider perhaps than what trainer Tracey Bartley would have wished for but like I say, we could well be looking at a ‘few horses off the fence’ being in fast lane like it was last week here. Look, who knows what will happen but certainly buy 4.20PM and six races already done, Bartley jockey Josh Parr will have some contingencies worked out. I was on 9. OZARK (78) to beat hotpot 13. BON AMIS (73) when they met in an 1100m race here on Nov. 25. Bon Amis was 2nd so he beat Ozark home but Ozark was a long way back that day (as usual) and did manage to get within 1.9-lens of the winner of the race. Ozark has now run three very good races end on end on end and I am sure there is a win in the son of Lonhro so long as he gets a good pace upfront and clear run at them in the straight. 8. GUARD
OF HONOUR (78) looked like being a G1 horse early but never quite made it to that level. He trials like he’d win an Everest, I am sure Kris Lees isn’t the only one who would like to see him do it on race day. Of the others, naturally Bon Amis has claims on the race having only been beaten once in 5 runs. Note that Bon Amis was a dual acceptor, he was also paid up for the next race over 1200m.
Oh how I wish 15. BRAVE SONG
(67) didn’t draw 15 of 15 here because had he not I would have made him my Best Bet tomorrow. Nothing we can do it about that now, he’s just going to need a very good from a very good jockey in Winona Costin. I have said all the way through this weekend’s preview that no one knows how
track will be playing so who knows, maybe 15 of 15 isn’t as bad as it all looks, but I am not foolish to think it can possibly be a positive. Brave Song is a promising 3YO and he needs to be, taking on older horses first-up from the outside draw with the rail out 6m. He is 3s 1-1-0 so far — debut was a cracking run Calculated who at the time Hugh Bowman talking up as a Cox Plate horse. Then he (Brave Song) wins next start by 3-lens and spelled after a 5th at Randwick in a race where Addictive Nature was runner-up. Trialled twice, 2nd both times, once to Pierata (we know how that form worked out) and the other Alassio who is trialling as well as any horse in Sydney right now. 6. DRACHENFELS (76) is a magnificent looker by Street Cry out of a Lonhro mare. The James Cummings trained gelding has the rock solid record of 13s 3-4-2 and one of those wins was in a Bm80 over 1200m at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day. He has been kept up to the mark with a 1050m trial at Randwick and finished nicely to run 2.6-lens to the aforementioned Alassio in Brave Song heat as it happens. Godolphyin stablemate
10. TORPENHOW (73), the horse once dubbed Torpenwow! thanks to some amazing performances resumes here. I would have him a little high, certainly above his stablemate, had he not drawn 14. Yes, I am aware my top tip will start on his outside!
GET Out Stakes time and another old fashioned punter’s treat to end the day. Nothing short to spoil the fun, value from 1 down 15. I was thrilled to see Kris Lees ring in a scratching for 14. BASTIA (68) from his proposed run at the Muswellbrook Showcas meeting on Friday (today) because I am sure the 24-hour wait will only prolong
joy. Bastia has always been ‘handy’ but he might be ready to go a bit beyond that this summer based on his 4.2-lens first-up win at Port Mac. It was a C2 and not a particularly strong one I admit, but he brained them was firstup at 1500m. He stays at that trip tomorrow but he is about 3 weeks between runs and Lees would have taken every precaution to ensure he can have enough freshness in his legs to race handy and that is surely aided by barrier 5. I think Ron Quinton’s two 9. THE GAVEL (72) and 6. MAGICAL STANCE (74) provided a great opportunity for a “duet’. I quite like the duets actually because I tip / bet on, quite a few roughies that don’t win out of turn but sometimes they manage to sneak a place. I see Quinton’s pair as exactly that. I don’t think either of them are win bets but I they are both in the right race for each other and can finish alongside at big odds, hopefully behind Bastia.
Heliosphere (left). Pic Grant Guy