Seasons is in fine form
NOTE: RACES are assessed for a Good 4. All horses considered starters unless notified by Thursday at 1 PM. (N/R) denotes no rating.
JAMES Cummings has one task above and beyond winning as many races as he can in a year. And that job is to give Darley $20m colts stand at stud that basically, let’s face it, pay for all the others in the Royal Blue who aren’t ever going to win in town or at provincials. Enter 3. ROHERYN (71) who looks every bit a Golden Rose horse. Imagine if he wins that. He’s a stunning colt by Lonhro out of blue hen mare. Roheryn was great on debut beating subsequent winner Vedder then just blew them off the park last time. How good is he? Time will tell but he’s clearly one of the most exciting horses in entire string. I tipped 2. RONSTAR (72) to beat him last start and was wrong by four lengths. I like Ronstar as a horse, he’s a good horse, but how does he make up four lengths in two weeks? Keep in mind though that
did beat Diplomatico one day here. That has to count for something. 7. SHADOW BRIDGE (65) is unbeaten as a gelding and has been running fast time with big margins at the provincials but I am a little worried with him late when Roheryn comes.
LEAVE me out of this one folks. I have seen too many 2400m races where Chris Waller has multiple runners to get involved in. If Raqeeq, High Bridge and Exoteric has taught us anything in recent weeks, it’s stay out. We’ve got 8 other races to bet in tomorrow at Rosehill and Cannington dogs if you still standing. As Kenny Rogers told us, you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em and
fold ‘em. I fold here but for the sake of the record I am with 6. SOLO MISSION (74) who runs 2400m and has The Gun riding. The Waller-trained gelding was fourth to Skyboy last weekend and we all know how good these Waller horses are when he backs them up. On top of that, the son of the mighty Sea The Stars is 4s 1-1-1 at trip so you’d think he’d least place. 5. TAMARACK (76) from the Joe Pride camp has some compelling figures namely that has placed three times from four starts at Rosehill and is 3s 1-1-1 at the trip. Against him though is that he was so costly last start when $3.20 into $2.70 in a 2400m race here two weeks ago. See, that’s my point, mile and half in Sydney are impossible. Third pick is 1. VASSAL (91) but he could just as easily win without surprising.
SATURDAY will be TAB Highway number five for 11. OUR ROSAMAREE (57) and this one looks as though as will be run to suit. The Habibti descendant gets back and charges home, well maybe not charges, but she certainly does save her best work for late and the way I see it, if they all start, this should be run at a good speed so she will get her chance. Winona Costin knows well and has ridden the way she likes to be at her last three Highway runs but just hasn’t been able to get into the placings. That said, she has only been beaten under three lengths at her past two starts so whatever the case, she won’t be far away. Bathurst trainer Dean Mirfin deserves huge kudos for his efforts to get 1. I AM CAPITAN (65) back in form first-up off a long break. Remember that the horse was pretty much exactly year away from racing and had been gelded off a bad run in a Rosehill TAB Highway. He finished close second to slightly above average Highway winner in Handle The Truth. Most punters are worried about horses second-up off long breaks, and that’s fair enough, but the 3kg off and barrier 1 is perhaps an ‘offset’ for that. 3. IMACRUMPET (62) has the perfect profile to win a Highway. Lightly raced and never worse than a length quarter fourth in his four starts. He is a nice horse.
HOW good would it be to own 2. RED EXCITEMENT (104)? He cost $32,500 as a yearling and has won $1.2m. He has won 14 placed 16 times from 60 starts and just always tries no matter what race he is in. Remember, he almost beat Winx! Well not quite, he was only beaten a length by the four-time Cox Plate winner in
Chelmsford at Randwick that day and plenty of better horses have been a lot further back than that. We know Red Excitement is in form, even as a nine-year-old, given he won the Topaz Preview here two weeks ago. Sure he goes up in weight but when we spoke to Gerald Ryan during the week, he reported that he’d gone ahead since the win. Josh Parr and gate 1, rail out 6, dry track (hopefully), it’s all going his way. 4. MARK OF TIME (98) was closest to Red Excitement in the Preview and thus comes into play. That, on top of that fact that he won the Coongy before that. Meets winner the Prev 2kg better for a short neck defeat. 6. TESTASHADOW (96) is a wee bit suspect at the trip, lot suspect compared to the Topaz Preview quinella, but he is a highly credible horse who very fit and gets 2kg off Mark Of Time 4kg off Red Excitement.
I’LL be honest, I don’t have a great understanding of the benchmark system so I was pleasantly surprised when saw 9. DAGNY (89) down there on 52kg. Maybe it was thanks to Jungle Edge who rates 107 and Snippets Land 99 compared to Dagny’s 89 but whatever the case, you have to agree, Waller’s mare has got in really well here. Sure, Waller is not regarded as a firstup trainer the same way others are, but I liked, nay loved, Dagny’s trials – as quite as they were – and looking at her form, she’s not exactly ‘poor’ first-up either. The market will tell the story. My own view is that she must still have something to offer or she’d be at stud. 6. FIRSTHAND (91) has Tommy Berry on which is no surprise perhaps given that his wife, Sharni (nee Nisbet) is a part-owner of the horse. Tommy rode the horse when he finished a creditable first-up fourth to Tactical Advantage and handed over to Koby Jennings for the last start closing length fifth of eight in the Noble Joey race at HQ on Oct 29. Firsthand is trained at Rosehill and is 4s 1-1-1 there. One of his fourth placings was a length behind Burning Passion in the Group 3 Hall Mark over 1200m. The way he has been racing, 1400m is what is looking for. 8. PASSAGE OF TIME (83) is maybe better in the wet but he was trialling well before his rock solid first-up second Cradle Mountain (very handy) race at Rosehill two weeks back.
MY tip last start 10. LE JUGE (73) was $21 on the Wednesday to $81 on race day and sure, he ran seventh of nine but (and I am not trying to save myself)
okay without being great. He was beaten less than five lengths and there was a time there, albeit briefly, in the straight that he was a chance of running a place. He raced like a horse the market summed up well, that is, that he would need the run and be better next time and the time after that. I concede, given that he is still pretty ordinary second-up on the form board, I might be a run early again but am going to stick with him. Jay Ford is. No weight (again), at home (again), big odds (again). Different result hopefully. Ex-Godolphin galloper 3. SOUCHEZ (83) ran a pretty good race for the Snowdens at his Oct 6 outing at Randwick when holding his ground for a two length fourth to Zourkhan on the heavy 8 over the mile. Nearly all of his form is on good tracks and that seems to be key here with here, that, and the fact
the camp has a better feel for son of Lonhro who they ought to know plenty about – and do. Speaking Lonhro, Team Hawkes saddles up the mostly Victorian raced 11. NOTIO (73) who was beaten three and a half lengths at Caulfield on Sept 30 but quite an eye catcher in his trial here on Nov 2 when coming from a long back to be beaten five lengths. He is 3s 1-2-0 at the trip.
CLARRY Conners did a marvellous job with ex-Hong Kong galloper 4. MY FAVOURITE (90) when he came to Australia and now it’s Joe Pride’s turn. Bear in mind that he had almost two years off before Conners started racing him yet this aged gelding was super competitive in his trials and three races for Conners. His for Joe Pride have been just as good so we to assume that he is ready and able to perform on race day. The son of Haradasun and a Danehill mare is quite good fresh being 4s 1-1-0, the worry is his 12 alley but we have got Corey Brown to compensate for that. 6. DISSOLUTE (85) is an ex-Godolphin having his first start for new trainer Greg McFarlane. We know the horse has the talent and numbers to win or at least place and so many times these former Godolphin horses go on and win races when they change stables. Like most horses, a stables usually means their first run is their best and this guy doesn’t have too far to ascend to win. 7. ISUARIAN (84) is a former and recent stablemate of Dissolute. The close relation to Mummify was two and a quarter lengths behind another of the Royal Blue in Marsupial in race at Randwick on Cup day has a record of 8s 3-2-0. Mark Newnham reckons 10. GIBRALTAR GIRL (81) would be better for the run but this is the first benchmark race she has contested in ages, first-up and all.
BEST BET time. 5. SEASONS (73) could just as easily be 4s 4w as she is actually she is as 2-20. The Les Bridge-trained mare has been racing some inferior horses but she has that little touch of class and the trial the other day at Canterbury was a dead set ripper so too one before that. She looks to have come back in sensational form and that was the way she went to the paddock with a booming three and a half lengths, albeit against not much at the midweeks. Granted this is Season’s first big test but Tim Clark (again) and gate 2 means – every chance. 11. SEAHMAPTON (68) won a race at Randwick last campaign that had me thinking OMG but she was so disappointing after I really took a set against her. Let’s forgive and forget because if she gets a good pace and a clear run, we saw what she was capable of. On top of that, the Chris Waller-trained mare trialled super the other day. Speaking of trials, I know the Tulloch Lodge horses can look like champions in the morning and come out and get rolled at short odds in
afternoon, but 11. READY TO PROPHET (72) may be the exception to the rule particularly from barrier 1 with 54kg and Rachel King on.
11. SOUTHERN LAD (71) was one of the best things beaten on Melbourne Cup anywhere in the world! Man, it should have won by – not a hundred yards, but at last nose. When you run like he did and get beaten a neck, honestly, it is as good as win even if the bookies don’t agree. This horse has always shown heaps and heaps of talent but I must say, I marked him down from potential special to mere top pick when he drew 14 of 16 minus whatever doesn’t start on the day. The draw is a problem no doubt about it, but Southern Lad has more X-factor that Guy Sebastian trust me. 1. NEWSFAN (84) blew them away first-up as expected but she did get the box seat for Josh Parr who rode perfect race on a horse that was lengths better the others anyway. The barrier is cool tomorrow but the weight a worry – 59kg with claim still big impost even with the 55.5kg limit. That said, this mare came along a long, long way last campaign. 8. SPARKY LAD (75) is a definitely horse that I am going to have a small each-way bet on because he is a dead set Saturday off-season horse in the right mood and when I saw The Gun on, I almost put him on top. If there is a cent for him, ignore everything I have said and back him.
Seasons. Pic: Grant Guy