Sea­sons is in fine form

The Sportsman Weekend - - Rosehill Preview - WITH SHAYNE O’CASS

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

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