He has the Advantage
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Good 4. Numerous dual acceptors across the meeting but all horses are considered starters unless notified by Saturday at 6 PM. (N/R) denotes no rating.
CHRIS Waller has his best chance yet of winning the Melbourne Cup later today with Finche, the son of the mighty Frankel. The stakes are somewhat lower here but he can get the day off to a tasty little start with the trifecta (in our order) of 4. STARDOME (64), MANGIONE (64) and 2. ORCEIN (65). Stardome is a horse that has a future as a stayer. He is a beautiful and typical example of his sire, Savabeel, and is a threequarter brother to Brisbane Cup winner Floria. The sooner he gets to 1800m the better frankly. Mangione, as in the musician Chuck, is another emerging Waller stayer. This fellow is from the first crop of 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente and like Stardome, was a last start winner at Canterbury – in his case, 1900m. 2. ORCEIN (65) is a Snitzel who gets his stamina from his dam-sire, Zabeel. Orcein has been a costly horse to follow, certainly of late but will have his admirers again no doubt.
ANTHONY Cummings son, James, brother of Edward, could win the Melbourne Cup today with Avilius. That would be one down, 11 to go to match his grandfather Bart! Now to things at hand. Anthony and Edward have the well-bred 3. LAZARO (N/R) on debut here. The colt is by Sebring out of a mare named Alzora whom Anthony won a Group 3 and Listed raced with. Lazaro finished 4th of 5 then 5th of 8 in his two trials. Matter of opinion as to their merit, me, I thought there was something there. 1. NAPOLEON SOLO (N/R) must be getting close to a win. The Snowdens colt was 0.2-len to the handy Adana at Warwick Farm second-up in the same race that Waller’s 4. ARMAN ZOU (N/R) was closing off nicely in. An interesting horse down the bottom is the $700,000 yearling 10. MANDALONG ONE UP (N/R) who is way better than her 5s 0-0-0 would have us believe. She should relish the 1400m.
THE aforementioned James Cummings has one on debut here in the shape of 12. HELOISE (N/R). This Lonhro filly is related to Faithful Son who was the first of Skeikh Mohammed’s 25 Melbourne Cup (unsuccessful) runners ahead of today’s quest. Heloise has trialled five times dating back to Feb 12 and all of them have contained merit to varying degrees. That last one at Warwick Farm was a beauty. Drawn out but I suspect she gets back and runs on. Has a lightweight too. Chris Waller loves Zoustar and why not! He’s got 15. TASK AND PURPOSE (N/R) resuming here. I suspect she is headed to the Gold Coast for Magic Millions day next year – I could be wrong but the timing for her return would indicate that she is at least being looked at for a trip north. Whatever the case, she is a handy filly and well up to winning a race like this. 2. CANYONERO (N/R) is a handsome son of Pierro out of a Danehill mare so he is a well bred colt that’s for sure. The Mark Newnham-trained threeyear-old has placed at 5 of his 6 starts and 3.2-len 6th to Futooh at the other. He’s always shown talent enough to win, I am a bit surprised that he hasn’t already. 5. ROUND OF APPLAUSE (N/R) could be a value runner. He was good in a deep race on debut at Newcastle and was scratched from a race at Goulburn on Sunday saved for this.
NO easy races at Randwick on Tuesday but this one is tough. It should be a clear cut case on one of these three wins – namely 4. SHANGANI PATROL (62), 2. ILWENDO (66) and/or 3. PLAGIARIST (62) but it’s hard to say which one with any degree of confidence. You would nearly have to give it to Shangani Patrol over Ilwendo given that the latter has beaten the former twice in their last two meetings. But with that said, Shangani Patrol carried 53kg both times but goes up to 57kg for this. He does seem to carry weight okay though bearing in mind he won by almost 5-len with 59kg at Canberra on Oct 5. Ilwendo will just keep coming – that seems to be his ‘go’ and he again meets Shangani Patrol better at the weights. Still, he hasn’t yet been able to beat him. As for Plagiarist, he is by Dalakhani out of a Galileo mare and that can only mean one thing – he will stay all day and all night. This is his first time to 2400m and he’s been waiting for that since he was born. By the way, there are three greys in the race, Ilwendo, Plagiarist and my fourth pick and blow-out chance, 7. GREY EMINENCE (56) who is a stablemate of David Payne’s Melbourne Cup hopeful, Ace High.
THERE won’t be too many better looking horses at Randwick on Tuesday than 4. THY KINGDOM COME (69) who at times has looked like a genuine star but for one reason or another he hasn’t really delivered all that much. To be fair, he has only had the 13 starts and is a four-yearold so there is a lot more water to flow under the bridge for him. If he can win a race on Melbourne Cup at Randwick, I am sure his connections and trainer John Thompson would be heartily pleased. As a long-time fan of the horse, I can vouch for him ‘coming back well’. 5. TRAVANCORE (670 was a dual acceptor and runs here instead of a later race. A half-brother to Speith, Travancore has placed third at 2 of his 4 fresh runs. He goes much better second up but this being a big day, I suspect that trainer Bryce Heys has him ready to perform to his peak. Note that the son of Savabeel s 4s 1-2-0 at the Randwick 1400m. Just going to need some luck to wind-up and let down from his 3 barrier. 13. VOILIER (60) likewise was scratched from a later race (he was an emergency anyhow) to run here. Isn’t it amazing to think that this horse has lost 41 times in 43 starts but has won close to $400,000. A lot of that was banked at the start of his career owing to placings in the Silver Slipper, Up And Coming and Rosebud. It’s been a long time between drinks for him but he is racing quite well and quite consistently of late.
GOOD race this one, it’s the feature race basically and has brought together a terrific field of sprinters none better it seems than 1. TACTICAL ADVANTAGE (100) who is the highest rated horse in action at HQ on Tuesday. The Kris Lees-trained son of Black Caviar’s sire, Bel Esprit, was out of this word impressive winning on the Kensington Track on Oct 1 then was far, far from disgraced when 5.3lens 4th to Pierata in the Sydney Stakes which is the Everest consolation pretty much. Numbers read well for this; he’s 6s 3-0-1 at Randwick, 6s 3-2-0 at the trip and 1 for 1 at the t/d. Got to carry the 61kg but that’s only 0.5kg more than 2. BOSS LANE (99). That said, Boss Lane is racing very well right now and he loves Randwick when it’s firm underfoot. Seven of his 9 career wins are here and 5 of his 9 wins are on good tracks. Boss Lane was a mere 0.2-len away from Tactical Advantage in the Sydney Stakes, 4-len behind in that Flying on the Kenso so he’s getting closer all the time. 3. OXFORD POET (97) is a really good fresh horse and comes off a lovely trial. Drawn 1 for the very, very inform Josh Parr. 5. MARSUPIAL (87), the son of the mare Koala Bear, was excellent first-up.
JOHN O’Shea trained a really good horse just recently named Kuro. 6. SOUTHERN LAD (70) is Kuro’s half-brother by the mighty Kiwi Ocean Park. Southern Lad has had three starts, he won like a champion at Canterbury at his second one and was spelled. He resumed at Wyong in a C2 and even though I am a huge fan of his, I couldn’t come at him with 59.5kg from barrier 9 of 9 around Wyong. A few things panned out nicely for him I concede, but he took up the invitation like good horses do and won well. Bad draw again here but it’s Randwick and he’ll have a good tempo to tire a few out up ahead of him. I am sure as night follows day that 1. BLUE TYCOON (750 is going well. He may as ween 100/1 first-up on Everest day here on that Heavy 9. He is a much better horse on firm ground and with the sun beating down on Randwick these last few days, it’s be nice and firm under foot. He is well placed here actually, it’s a Bm74 and he rates 75 (equal best in the race) but goes around with 2kg off for the talented apprentice Jean Van Overmeire. Plenty of other chances to reach the dais not least 9. SUPER STAR BOB (69) who was runner-up first-up to a handy one of John O’Shea’s. 4. DEITY (74) was a lot disappointing last start but was racing well before that.
12. KATHAIRE (60) is down to run at Kembla on Tuesday but drew gate 16. She has barrier 13 here but I suspect she still makes the trip down from Hawkesbury. This mare has only managed to win 1 from 14 but she has been runner-up 6 times and third twice. She’s been getting back and running on rather well of late, that 1.7-len 4th on the Kensington Track last start to 4. VINNIE POWER (68) held plenty of merit. 6. PERFECT PITCH (68) has two zeroes next time her name but she was very unlucky in one of them and the other was in the Group 3 Spring Stakes behind Aramayo et al. Needless to say, this is easier and her trial was good at the Farm on Oct 23. Plenty of other chances, chiefly 7. BALLET BABY (63) who, on human terms, is Takeover Target’s neice. Been a bit disappointing – I thought she was better than she has shown – but perhaps this could be her best campaign yet. Time will tell. One other important note, I am treating 11. SO MAGIC (61) as a scratching. She will surely go to Kembla and win on Tuesday. If for some reasons he comes to Randwick instead, all bets are off – she goes on top.
A TOUGH way to end Cup Day, a good old fashioned ‘Get Out’ Stakes. Most of us will be guessing by now, chasing or reinvesting. Hopefully the latter! Favourites had that great streak of winning the last races a little while back, I am not even sure what starts favourite here. I have a feeling, nor much more than that, that 5. AMANITO (74) might salute. I won’t quickly forget his barnstorming win on the Kensington Track three runs back. Wass passbale last start desoite running 7th of 10. He’ll do me each-way to perhaps beat 18. TUNERO (62) from the Waller yard, James Cummings’ 12. WATCHDOG (67) and the Paul Cave 14. NACHO LIBRE (66) who is ‘112’ coming into this impossibly hard race.