Battlelines drawn as the Eagle lands
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.