Winx tops the list of racing awards

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - NEIL EVANS

IT’S time for my 2018 turf awards.

HORSE OF THE YEAR: WINX. The great­est picket fence there is and a his­to­ry­mak­ing fourth straight Cox Plate meant NO bet­ting again.

TWO-YEAR-OLD: Any num­ber of can­di­dates, but OOHOOD – first in the Group 1 Flight; second both Golden Slip­per and ATC Sires; and third in Group 1 Blue Di­a­mond – gives her a nar­row win on con­sis­tency alone.

THREE-YEAR-OLD: Trapeze Artist with the Group 1 T.J. Smith and All-Aged Stakes dou­ble in au­tumn al­most had a lock on this, just ahead of Ke­men­tari af­ter his bril­liant feats cul­mi­nat­ing in the Group 1 Rand­wick Guineas – and don’t for­get Shoals who claimed a Group 1 dou­ble

but iron­i­cally along came pow­er­house THE AU­TUMN SUN in the spring to blow them all away with an ar­ro­gant Group 1 Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas dou­ble.

SPRINTER: You could ar­gue there are su­pe­rior ri­vals to SANTA ANA LANE, but any horse who claims the Group 1 Good­wood, Strad­broke, and VRC Clas­sic; plus the 2 Premiere all in one cal­en­dar year, is a de­served win­ner.

MID­DLE: WINX. It’s all been said.

STAYER: Tough­est prize around, given most of the best were in­ter­na­tion­als on hit and run Cups raids; so stick with UK raider CROSS COUNTER who was sen­sa­tional in the Cup that still stops a na­tion.

FLOP: CHEST­NUT COAT (Yes he needed firmer tracks, but still af­ter a ter­rific run in the Group 1 Tenno Show, the Ja­panese star didn’t fire a shot in Mel­bourne, beaten com­bined 28 lengths in the Caulfield and Mel­bourne Cups).

RIDER OF THE YEAR: NSW: Tye Ang­land and Ker­rin McEvoy.

VIC: Mark Zahra John Allen.

QLD: Jim Byrne.

TRAINER OF THE YEAR: NSW: Chris Waller VIC: Dar­ren Weir QLD: Tony Gol­lan

FAVOURITE METRO (Aus­tralia) TRACKS: 1. CAN­TER­BURY; 2. Doomben; 3. Rose­hill; 4. Rand­wick; 5. Moonee Val­ley.

FAVOURITE NSW COUN­TRY TRACKS: 1. MUDGEE; 2. Dubbo; 3. Wagga; 4. Scone; 5. Grafton

BEST AD­VICE: There are no ifs and buts.

WORST Ifs and buts (af­ter they’ve crossed the line).

BEST CLICHE: They’re on again in five minutes

WORST What­ever they do to­day, they’ll im­prove on; good type; looks pro­gres­sive; hon­est as they come ... (there’s a mil­lion of them).

PET LIKE: Tracks that serve up win­ners from the front; mid­dle; back; in­side; out­side all on the same card.

PET HATE: Ret­ro­spec­tive track rat­ing changes and the many who still hide from raw truth.

BIGGEST TREP­I­DA­TION: Ea­gle Farm’s re­turn to­mor­row. There’s nowhere to go if it doesn’t mea­sure up this time.

MUST CHANGE: Gen­eral cost of eat­ing and drink­ing at the races.

MUST NOT CHANGE: Sta­bles (Rand­wick) out­stand­ing af­ter-the-last venue.

STAR IN 2019: (Out­side of Winx and The Au­tumn Sun) MISS LADYBIRD (Still a lit­tle-known maiden in Vic­to­ria af­ter three frus­trat­ing runs and cur­rently spell­ing).

NSW STA­BLES TO FOL­LOW IN 2019: Brad Wid­dup (Hawkesbury); Mark Newn­ham (War­wick Farm/Rand­wick); Cameron Crock­ett and Gayna Wil­liams (Mudgee); Stir­ling Os­land (Ar­mi­dale); Jenny Gra­ham (Port Mac­quarie); Brett Ca­vanough (Scone); Mark Sch­met­zer (Muswell­brook); Al­li­son Smith (Or­ange); Brett Thomp­son (Gul­gong)

Back on the track and a good card at War­wick Farm to­mor­row what should be Soft 5/6 rat­ing, and very much look­ing for­ward to light­lyraced Tam­worth six-year-old Moobi ar­riv­ing in town for the TAB High­way (1600m).

He’s pushed through early classes with two ter­rific wins at Scone and is now ready for this city task.

Here are my early best value se­lec­tions:

Race 2 2. MOOBI** Ex­pect: $3.85 – $4.15. My Early Rat­ing: $2.60.

Race 5 6. ISLAND MIS­SILE (E/W)** Ex­pect: $6.25 – $7.00. My Early Rat­ing: $4.70.

Race 5 1. AS­TO­RIA (E/W)** Ex­pect: $6.25 – $6.50. My Early Rat­ing: $4.80.

Race 9 4. DE­MER­ARA (E/W)** Ex­pect: $11.00 – $12.00. My Early Rat­ing: $5.65.

MERRY CHRIST­MAS @NeilE­vans­mail

Pic: Grant Guy

Neil Evans be­lieve Island Mis­sile will be over the odds at War­wick Farm to­mor­row.

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