Neutrality’s all revved up
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Good 4 with showers predicted. (N/R) denotes no rating.
ONE time ATC Oaks frontrunner, as in leading candidate, 1. ALL TOO SOON (79) really caught the eye with that first-up 5th of 10 here two weeks ago. The David Payne trained daughter of All Too Hard and Gallant Tess (dam of Rock Hero) drew 9, was last at the 800m, 8th at the 400m but got to within about 3-lens of winner — all that with 58kgs in a Bm85. This is a Bm78 so fair enough she goes to 61.5khs tomorrow but the extra 100m, added fitness, it’s all in her favour. All Too Soon is 3s 1-0-2 second-up. The Anthony and Edward Cummings trained 12. MADAME MARKIEVICZ (58), like All Too Soon, spelled after the G1 Vinery in the autumn. This daughter of O’Reilly resumed with market support in a 1400m maiden at Newcastle but the problem was she was up against Cloak (runs in the Ming Dynasty) and whilst Madame got her head in front at one stage in the straight, Cloak’s class and fitness prevailed. Still, it was a very positive return from the High Street mare. 7. BELLA SUCCESS (68) has been giving away big starts and flashing late. She’ll probably do the same again on Saturday.
9. ROYAL STAMP (67) almost got the job done for us last start at $15. I swear she hit the lead one stage but winner fought back and just beat us. That run was coming for a long time for Royal Stamp who has the one pattern — get back and run on. She has to be ridden cold Rachel King rode her to perfection last Saturday week, no surprise that she’s back on tomorrow. Could be a big day for Marc Conners who has Australia’s fastest horse, Super Too, in the Carlyon down south. Sydney’s unluckiest
7. VALETINO ROSSA (67) was luckless again last time at Canterbury when he switched back to the rails looking for clear running but you could hardly call it ‘clear’ running. Some might argue he had enough space late and wasn’t exactly savaging the line, that might be fair, but if and when things finally go his way, we know he is a capable horse. I will admit though — I am not sold on him at 2000m. 4. IMPAVIDO (73) was $1.55 at one stage in betting Gosford last start. Okay, I know Impavido is no Winx but he should have been $1.10 and he won like it too. Hopefully that’s the confidence boost he needs to go on with the job. Any little give in track and maybe could be promoted a spot — or two.
THIS is a very, very good Highway tomorrow if only because there are so many chances. Matthew Dunn has the bye this week so it’s over to other Highway King in Danny Williams who fronts up with two here including my top pick, the aptly named 8. HIGHWAY SIXTYSIX (66). This lightly-raced mare has shown talent from the very beginning. She resume don Jul. 7 in a 1200m Randwick Highway where Blake Shinn gave her the best ride possible and certainly played the pivotal role in her win. Blake is obviously on the sidelines for a while so James McDonald takes over tomorrow. I imagine he won’t have too many issues getting her into a good spot from barrier 4. There are lot of ‘possibles’ in this race not least 6. COMMON PURPOSE (64) who has won his last two at Goulburn in dominant fashion. Only 13 runners here but Common Purpose will start from the outside alley. Not exactly advantageous for a horse who has led at 4 of his 9 starts. 12. RISK AND REWARD (61) gave a really good account on himself in the Lifesaver Highway here on Aug. 11 racing super handy and crossing the line 1.7lens 3rd to Matt Dunn’s horse and the Table Mountain. Risk And Reward is a 5-lens second-up winner. 9. NORTHERN RIVER (66) and 1. EQUAL BALANCE (74) are both players.
HARDLY surprising that 5. JETWINGS (76) was $11 into $7.50 when he resumed at Canterbury on Aug. 8 all of three years or something since he last fronted up there. He went to HK after his Aussie debut then went to NZ very briefly and is now back home with Gerald Ryan. The reason he firmed was his trial — it was a very good one. In regard to his 9th of 10 on race day, we really have to be forgiving. It was a farcically run and Jetwings was back and bailed away — he looked to have something quite substantial offer at the 200m but was ‘eased’, maybe not ‘eased’ he wasn’t being punished by the jock who must have sensed something? A post race veterinary examination revealed Jetwings to be lame (2/5) in the off hind leg Big forgive on a nice horse. Once again we are looking at a number of other chances, it’s that sort of day in pretty much every race on Saturday. 6. UPSCALE (79) has been quite good in her last two runs. The Kris Lees trained mare is fourth-up now bearing in mind she has 12 months off so maybe this is the peak for her. 1. SHE KNOWS (87) is a very admirable mare. Tough and consistent, I’d be the first stand up and cheer if she can carry 63.5kgs win. I am tipping a massive run from
3. ALL TOO HUIYING (78) who is better over longer but has trialled well and has undergone a tie-back procedure since he last raced.
THE San Domenico has always been a good horses race and always super interesting because it’s often the first time we get to see the cream of the previous season’s 2YO’s sprinters return in spring. Six 9 runners are first-up tomorrow so if you like your trials, then you can really back judgment and have a go. Me? I am all over 8. NEUTRALITY (68) from the Snowden camp. This incredibly handsome chestnut son of Sebring is a $400,000 Easter Yearling out of Dama De Noche, the dam Nocturnelle (dam of Dracharys). This guy won here on debut on Derby Day (Nov. 4) like a good horse. Failed and spelled after the Silver Slipper. His trials have been as good as any of his generation has put in recent weeks including the two 1. PERFORMER (83), the Breeders’ Plate winner and long time 2018 Golden Slipper fav. One has to respect him, he’s a good colt. That said, I do think the big threat Neutrality is 9. RINGERDINGDING (67) who was (IMO) the run of the race in the Rosebud. Different run and he just about wins that race. He is super underrated.
SNOWDENS again here. The depth of their 3YOs in awesome and we are going to see a very nice one here in 9. SIGNORE FOX (63) who could be Golden Rose, Caulfield Guineas, Carbine Club horse meaning that he is good, very good. He should have been $1.01 at Hawkesbury first-up off his trials. he was $1.75 into $1.55 and walked in. On paper, provincial maiden to G3 in a step up but not for him; he has come back like a serious, serious big race contender. He is so well bred; son of Exceed And Excel out of a mare who won a G2 at Saratoga and G1 placed at Belmont. I am huge fan of 8. CLOAK (63) who is also in a G3 straight out of a provincial maiden but pretty much everything I said just now about Signore Fox stands equally true for the super handsome Cloak. I could see this horse winning a Spring Champion and maybe even being in the VRC Derby. The same goes for 2. TOULOUSE (72) who is aimed for one race and one race only — that’s the VRC Derby — but that is not to say his class won’t win him one along the way. He’ll be getting home big time here, so too, 4. EXCELTIC (68). Just by the by, John Sargent has high expectations of 12. HOME WIN (61), brother to Sweet Idea and Showtime. Home Win is/was $61 on the TAB Fixed markets.
HAVE you ever seen a more impressive Australian debut from an imported horse than 9. AVILIUS (95) turned in at Randwick on Aug. 4? Wow. Barrier 10 of 10, 9th at the 400m, down the outside — boom! Apologies to Darren Flindell for stealing his line, but, that was a win that will stick in the mind long while. Avilius went up $2.80 with the TAB and was $1.70 in a twinkling even without the inevitable scratchings we see this city. James Cummings says: “The best thing about it is that he’s exactly the same as when he went into his first start, not showing any glimpse of wanting to overdo it. I don’t think I’ve had a horse more suited to this program, going into a 1900m race second up.” Seeing is believing but gee whiz, he’s short enough isn’t he!? Baring an unforeseen circumstance 10. BLACK ON GOLD (95) ran in Thursday’s Hawkesbury Cup. He was my second pick here.
3. EMPEROR’S WAY (96) was 0.2-lens 2nd in the Premier’s Cup Prelude last start. This horse is in great shape and fourth-up now, he is trained to the minute for the GF on Saturday. Two others worth mentioning are 4. TESTASHADOW (98) and 6. SONS OF JOHN (87) who bother ran creditable races in the Prelude. The ‘old’ version of either horse would win this.
MOST fair minded people would probably go along with the argument that 11. MISS QUE (82) should have beaten 3. TREKKING (85) when they met here two weeks ago. Take nothing away from the very talented Trekking, he was super, but Miss Que was a genuine victim of her 9 of 9 alley and showed enormous fight to stick on get beaten a mere neck. I am not a weights and measures man per se but it might be at least worth mentioning that she goes from 53kgs to 54.5kgs where Trekking up from 54kgs to 58kgs. That substantial rise in weight for is one of the reasons why I have 12. RENEWAL (77) marked down as danger to Miss Que. This Team Hawkes trained 4YO has won 3 of his 6 starts, was 3rd another time and has two 4ths, that last one / last run 3.2-lens in the G2 Phar Lap to Unforgotten. He came a long way last preparation in those fours runs which is a very good sign indeed for what lay ahead for him this spring. He has the quality to suggest a feature race is within his reach and his trial was outstanding. If there is a blowout here, it’s one horse and one horse only — 5. ROCK FORTHE LADIES (82). First start new trainer lovely (quiet) trials; was $34 in places.
IF you have time, go and watch
2. EAGLE BAY (77) first-up at Randwick on Aug. 4. he’ll be easy to find — stone motherless last, flashing home over the last 200m
finish 9th of 15 beaten 4.8-lens. Look at the last 200m sectional — 11.00s — OMG! fastest (33.10s) last 600m too. Just glorious numbers. Drew 15 that day, has 5 tomorrow. He was $15 to $26 fresh so there perhaps improvement in him and he is 2s 0-1-1 secondup. hard to say if 3. PARET (77) runs or not. I’ve seen this camp scratch for less on racing morning. If he runs, he’s an obvious player given those back to back wins but I will say (as devil’s advocate) he has been on the end of every possible favour in both. 6. SANCTIONED (75) is third-up here off two lovely runs, the last one was a 2.5-lens 4th in
‘Eagle Bay race’ at HQ three weeks ago. The extra 100m suits him. I was all over 12. KEEP UP (70) when he was supposed to race at a WF midweeker recently, he was scratched. I cannot say I am anywhere near as confident here but he is $51.
Miss Que (green) just fails to nab Trekking in their last clash