Performer to hit a Stone at Rosehill
HE’S built for power, belongs in the biggest stable in the land, was a Group 3 winner as a two-year-old en route to serious backing in the Golden Slipper, and comes out of seemingly the strongest three-year-old trial form in the new season – but I still can’t entertain favourite Performer first-up in tomorrow’s feature Group 3 San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
Yes, the son of Exceed And Excel is unbeaten fresh and hit line hard in that Aug. 7 Rosehill trial front of last Saturday’s Group 2 Silver Shadow winner Fiesta and high class Legend Of Condor, but he was ridden out, the sectional breakdown tomorrow against where he “parks” in the field says won’t be able to gun them down.
Instead I’ll be investing in the Godolphon fancy Plague Stone ($4.60) from a middle gate, with a big “saver” on the returning Newcastle colt Jonker ($8.50) who looks a mile over the odds.
Just a month after charging home to win the Bud Prelude (1000m) fresh at Randwick and an impressive closing second behind Sandbar in the Listed Rosebud (1100m) a fortnight back, Plague Stone is at his peak right now and marginally suited under the Set Weights and Penalties condition.
Whatever beats the Lonhro star wins the race. And that might be still understated Jonker who hasn’t raced since beaten a long way in the twoyear-old Magic Millions behind Sunlight back January.
Of course, that remains Jonker’s only career defeat, having won on debut late last year before blitzing a smart field in the two-year-old Wyong MM four days before Xmas.
Back on Aug. 6, Jonker sat in the “breeze” in an open three-year-old Gosford trial and found the line nicely.
Although nothing spectacular on face value and admittedly pushed out a little late, the colt rode hot speed in the “breeze” all the way and still ran a slick 48.18 secs.
Only one other 800m trial winner that day on a somewhat shifting track broke 49 secs, with most – including smart types Show Me The Honey and Bondi easily more than a second slower.
And on tomorrow’s “map,” Jonker gets lovely smoother and an easier time through the middle, parked right behind speed.
If Plague Stone is the measuring stick, Jonker’s the knockout value, and Performer may have to wait another day to take them both down.
My SAN DOMENICO Tips:
1. PLAGUE STONE; 2. Jonker; 3. Performer
* IN the other three-yearold Group 3 feature – Ming Dynasty (1400m) the pre-race “gods” have again conspired somewhat against the talented Outrageous ($6.00) secondup for the Hawkes stable.
A very nice closing effort from back first-up in the Rosebud, the natural step to seven furlongs for a horse that will peak at mile, looked beautiful, that was until he drew the outside gate and in a non-claiming Quality race copped 59kgs.
Okay, I admit he’s the dominant galloper having been somewhat luckless hitting the line in both the Group 1 Sires’ Produce (1400m) and 1 Champagne (1600m) from the Autumn, but does he deserve 4kgs more than the next runner and 6kgs from virtually the entire field who all jump on limit?
After all, he’s still only won one from seven starts.
The outstanding value for me is the Gary Portelli-trained Exceltic ($13.00 early), a wayward youngster who resumed in the Rosebud, and despite running about covering ground at the back, found the line strong in a terrific return.
He gets a nice inside draw here in what should be a truly run race, and I pray Rachel King uses the gate and doesn’t panic before turn trying to push out into open.
The Godolphin colt Aramayo ($6.50) is also nicely placed, while expect Outrageous to be charging late. Early favourite Danawi ($3.90), with three seconds from as many starts so far, is a mile under the odds.
My MING DYNASTY Tips:
1. EXCELTIC; 2. Aramayo;
On an even and typically wide open late Winter card at Moonee Valley, punters can launch early with the Sydney five-year-old Eusebio ($6.50) who returns to track where he won two starts back in mid June before charging home to win a strong Benchmark 90 at Rosehill four weeks back.
Don’t worry about the gap between runs, he races best that way, is a proven weight carrier and his pattern is suited launching off the camber around the Valley turn! Good Luck
Plague Stone (blue) and Exceltic (far right) do their best work late in Sandbar’s Rosebud victory.