Bat­tle­lines drawn as the Ea­gle lands

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - NEIL EVANS

THE $7.5 mil­lion head­line Golden Ea­gle for four-yearolds at Rose­hill Gar­dens – the world’s third rich­est turf race with a sig­nif­i­cant char­ity com­po­nent – has landed smack bang on 2019 Vic­to­ria Derby Day.

The $1 mil­lion Bondi Stakes for three-year-olds joins the tidal wave on Cox Plate Day seven days ear­lier, so too the re­vi­talised $1 mil­lion Golden Gift for two-year-olds on Flem­ing­ton’s tra­di­tional Stakes Day.

To say spring has sprung early across Syd­ney is a mas­sive cash-laden un­der­state­ment.

On top of the un­ri­valled two-day Cham­pi­onships in the au­tumn, spring in Syd­ney now has its own new world – and gloves are well and truly off.

But while we ab­sorb those new race ar­rivals, to­day is one for pure re­flec­tion and cel­e­bra­tion on a hard­work­ing life built the back of a horse, with time­less legacy that re­minds every­one what it’s all about.

Mudgee Cup Day is one of my favourite show­case coun­try meet­ings, not just about the tire­less com­mit­tee and staff be­hind the oc­ca­sion, or

re­gion that brings city ru­ral folk much closer to­gether, but rather a man whose name and mem­ory will drift over a course built on all pride and no prej­u­dice.

Max Crock­ett, trainer, horse breaker and so much more, will be hon­oured to­day just weeks after his pass­ing at 74.

Jock­eys will wear black arm­bands in the $50,000 Cup in mem­ory of a unique horse­man who for decades pre­pared horses all the great train­ers, be­came one him­self with con­stant suc­cess on metropoli­tan tracks, and also worked for Wil­liam Inglis.

His son and lead­ing trainer Cameron sad­dles up six run­ners on to­day’s eight-race card and here’s hop­ing his wings find a lit­tle ex­tra breeze.

The Cup (1600m) it­self is a typ­i­cal open bat­tle, but it’s five-year-old from an­other lo­cal sta­ble I have clearly on top.

Still lightly raced, Bezel looks supremely placed com­ing back from a stronger metro 2000m race to the mile third-up, de­spite be­ing weighted near his best.

His ef­fort from well off the speed be­hind Rap­ture Miss at Rose­hill Gar­dens was solid and he peaks here on a suit­able track with a long home stretch.

One horse ris­ing to a more suit­able trip third-up after a long lay-off is eight-year-old Gul­gong vis­i­tor Know How

who gets in nicely after the rider’s claim.

He’s been very strong through the line at both runs back over un­suit­able shorter jour­neys, and let’s not for­get just a year ago he was a BM 70 win­ner at Rose­hill over 1900m. My MUDGEE CUP Tips:

1. BEZEL; 2. Know How; 3. Mis­sy­beel

Back in town to­mor­row on a very com­pet­i­tive Rose­hill card, tal­ented four-year-old Smart­edge ($5.50) can burst back into the win­ner’s stall sec­ond-up in Race 5 after resuming good clos­ing style in the same grade a fort­night back.

He maps to tuck in be­hind the speed mid­field and the ex­tra lit­tle trip is a plus.

And if you’re look­ing for value late in the day, the same com­bi­na­tion can strike again in Race 8.

Power four-year-old Is­land Mis­sile ($9.50) – again with Ker­rin McEvoy in the Triple Crown colours rid­ing for the Snow­den team – looks in a nice sec­ond-up race get­ting out to 1500m where he can set­tle back and fin­ish hard.

Here are my Best-Rated Value Se­lects: ROSE­HILL (Syd):

Race 5 No.5 SMART­EDGE: Ex­pect: $5.50 Rat­ing: $3.85

6 No.7 DEFT: Ex­pect: $4.25 Rat­ing: $2.85

Race 8 IS­LAND MIS­SILE: Ex­pect: $9.50 Rat­ing: $5.00

AS­COT (Perth): Group 1 KINGSTON TOWN CLAS­SIC (1800m):

1. GALAXY STAR; 2. Gat­ting; 3. Ar­ca­dia Queen; 4. Ma­te­rial Man

Good Luck @NeilE­vans­mail

Neil Evans be­lieves Deft will be over the odds at Rose­hill Gar­dens to­mor­row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.