Winx tops the list of racing awards
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
Neil Evans believe Island Missile will be over the odds at Warwick Farm tomorrow.