The Sportsman Weekend

Ready to etch their names up in lights

Just who will make the grade in spring riches

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IT’S less than a month away and the excitement for the next instalmenr­t of spring racing is palpable.

Like every year, stars will come and go, household names be made and reputation­s enhanced beyond wildest dreams.

Our team of experts have sifted through the candidates to nominate a team of spring stars sure make you a profit.

ADAM SHERRY SPORTSMAN

MO’UNGA: He showed plenty of promise last spring before delivering in the autumn with a brilliant win in

Group 1 Rosehill Guineas. Took on older horses in the Doncaster and Queen Elizabeth and, although he finished last of the seven, he wasn’t disgraced when just two and a half lengths from Addeybb. He heads into his four-yearold season as a veteran of just nine starts and can go to a new peak this campaign.

MOUNT POPA:

The French import showed good potential when he jumped from 1400m to 2000m to win at Randwick last winter just his second Australian start before a spell. He came back in the autumn to score back-toback stakes wins after being pipped by a short half head over 1600m first-up. He will be a major player in any race he tackles this spring, especially at 2000m and beyond.

REMARQUE: He is the brother to Golden Slipper winner Estijaab and he could very well be the next star colt for Hawkes Racing. Has won his two trials this campaign in terrific style and is ready to resume in

The Rosebud on Saturday. He will be a major player in the three-yearold races.

ENTRIVIERE:

The New Zealand mare from the Jamie Richards stable built a brilliant record at home winning five of her six starts there and beaten a nose in only defeat. She crossed the Tasman and tackled the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes where she was gallant in her head second to Fasika after racing wide. She trialled nicely at Ellerslie on Tuesday and the mares’ sprints in Sydney have been earmarked for her including new $2 million The Invitation.

HUNGRY HEART: The daughter of Frankel showed great promise as a two-year-old and early-three-yearold before really coming to the fore in the autumn winning Phar Lap, Vinery Stud Stakes and ATC Oaks in superb fashion. She is capable of playing a big role in any of the features from mile to 2400m if she gets suitably dry tracks over the spring.

SHAYNE O’CASS

SPORTSMAN

SHE’S ALL CLASS: Appropriat­elynamed filly from the Chris Waller stable who won Wyong Magic Millions and ran a huge race in the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast after that. Waller made call not to chase the Golden Slipper post her Sweet Embrace third placing and judging by the way she trialled at Randwick last month, has clearly thrived during the time off. Will easily be effective from 1200m right the way to the mile so has plenty of options in spring.

JAL LEI: John O’Shea-trained Sebring filly who was tipped out after an eye-catching debut third against the bias at Canterbury in late February. Was trialling up a storm prior to resuming at Kembla on the first day of new season. Drew 13 of 14, was 12th and widest at the 400m but charged home down the outside to beat Cap Estel, whose trainer Anthony Cummings rates as a Princess Series and VRC Oaks filly. LUNCIES: Son of the classic/ staying influence Iffraaj and has won five of his eight starts including a benchmark 88 over 1800m at the Hawkesbury standalone where he overcame difficulty to win like the proverbial good horse. Has won from a mile to 2413m and stands out as a potential Metropolit­an Handicap and even Caulfield Cup style horse.

TONY BE: More Than Ready gelding who was bought by his original trainer Steve Cole for $90,000 at the Inglis Classic in 2019 and taken back to New Zealand. Tony Be had 10 starts there, winning twice, culminatin­g with a couple of fifths over (circa) 2000m in a G2 and G3 respective­ly. Sent over here to be trained by Chris Waller, he presents as a lightweigh­t chance in an Epsom and/or Cantala. Lightly-raced, talented and just the sort of horse that Waller could develop into a top-liner.

BENAUD: This grey son of the grey Reliable Man is out of Baggy Green who is best known as the mother of dual Group 1 winner Tofane. Benaud is trained by John O’Shea, who is a master of these 1600m/2400m 3yo colts. The Golden Rose would probably come up a bit too soon for him, and it may even be short of his best distance. I am thinking he is the quintessen­tial Gloaming Stakes /Spring Champion Stakes horse and who knows what he could turn out to be in the autumn.

GREG SPLETTER

SPORTSMAN

ZAAKI: The Brisbane winter carnival unearthed a couple of future stars, including Annabel Neasham’s import Zaaki. He was already a three-time stakes winner before touching down in Sydney but it wasn’t until he travelled north that he came into his own. He proved his Hollindale win was no fluke by demolishin­g the Doomben Cup field and winning Q22. Zaaki is on a Cox Plate path through something like the George Main and is bound to be a headline act this spring.

INCENTIVIS­E: The second major discovery of the winter carnival was Incentivis­e, who in the space of 10 weeks went from a Sunshine Coast maiden to winning Group 3 Tatt’s Cup by 12 lengths. He has a steep spring trajectory, taking run at the big Cups and, although lightly raced, gave the impression in Brisbane that there were much bigger wins in store.

ALPINE EDGE: He had a super juvenile season with a couple of black type successes before big run in the Magic Millions. He hit the ground running first-up under tough weight conditions, producing his trademark big finish to win over 1200m and has

ambitions for the spring. His main aim is likely Caulfield Guineas, a race that will certainly suit his racing style.

DUAIS: I love spotting a filly in the autumn classic fixtures who could furnish into a Caulfield/Melbourne Cup type and Duais fits the bill perfectly. She made big leaps in a short space of time, winning the Adrian Knox before chasing hard in the ATC Oaks.

She atoned with a big win in the Qld Oaks and can be a real force in

big Cups. STAY INSIDE: I don’t typically expect much from the Golden Slipper winner as it’s a tough ask to be top of the class in early maturity and hold that form into their three-yearold season, but I’m excited to see what Stay Inside does this spring.

He looked good in his recent trial and with the Golden Rose ($4.50) and Caulfield Guineas ($11) in his sights, can be one of the stars of the spring.

RAY THOMAS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

HUNGRY HEART: The Chris Waller-trained Hungry Heart is already a dual Group 1 winner of the Vinery Stud Stakes and ATC Australian Oaks last autumn. She’s an extremely talented and versatile mare who is likely to be aimed initially at the Epsom Handicap and could then go to either the Cox Plate or Golden Eagle.

MOUNT POPA: Gifted stayer with Team Hawkes being set for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups this spring The import is already guaranteed a Caulfield Cup start after winning the Mornington earlier

this year. Lightly-raced gelding blessed with accelerati­on and stamina.

MAZU: The Peter Paul Snowden stable have some very promising three-year-olds for the new season including Captivant, winner of the Group 1 Champagne Stakes, but they also prepare a lightly-raced colt called Mazu. A midweek winner on debut, Mazu then ran a luckless third to Shaquero and Tiger Of Malay in the Pago Pago Stakes. He is due to resume in The Rosebud on Saturday and could be a surprise packet come spring.

CONVERGE: He is by English superhorse Frankel, also the sire of Hungry Heart, and showed outstandin­g potential as a two-year-old winning the Group 1 JJ Atkins. The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Converge is not the tallest horse in training but he has a massive stride. He is on Golden Rose path initially but is considered so good he could end up taking on the older horses in the Cox Plate.

ORBISYN: He is undefeated in four starts and, although hasn’t beaten anything of substance in his short career to date, he has created a favourable impression winning his races by big margins and in fast times. Trainer David Vandyke has such a lofty opinion of Orbisyn he believes the sprinter could be a contender for The Everest and Golden Eagle.

MATT JONES THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

VERRY ELLEEGANT: No horse racing in the country has had anything close to career this mare has. Only Addeybb has had her measure during the past two years. She faces another challenger this spring in Zaaki, but she’s toughened and ready to win a Cox Plate. She would’ve just about won the Melbourne Cup last year if

track was rain-affected.

ZAAKI: We’ll find out this spring if he’s the weight-for-age champion of Australia. His wins in Queensland were Might And Power-like. He is seven though so it’s hard to say he’ll get better this time in but he might not have to.

STAY INSIDE: This colt can avoid the Slipper curse and go on and win big races this spring. He just does nothing wrong in his races and has the talent to go with it. He’s won the Golden Slipper so his job is pretty much done but don’t be surprised to see him in an Everest if he comes back in top order.

ANAMOE: He looked like was in fast forward when you watch him the Sires’ Produce Stakes. He picked them up quicker than any horse has in a Group 1 in 2021. It was win that only top liners are capable of. This bloke is a star and he’ll show it.

IT’S ME: How does the Kosciuszko winner come back off an injury lay-off? She’s undefeated from four runs and produced enormous finishes in her races. If she can come back and not be affected by her injured tendon then she can be anything. Very excited to see what she can do..

NEIL EVANS

SPORTSMAN

ANAMOE: No doubting this threeyear-old Street Boss colt can pick up where he left off in autumn and a Golden Rose-Caulfield Guineas double, or even The Everest, are in the frame. Rattled off a brilliant final 400m behind Stay Inside in the Golden Slipper before putting a smart Sires’ Produce field to the sword. Has a high-class engine, race sense and an almost bulletproo­f sectional capacity in any ground. The sky’s the limit. MO’UNGA: Still lightly raced and very adaptable, Mo’unga was a good thing licked in the Randwick Guineas but justice prevailed when he flew home to win the Rosehill Guineas.

Jumping from his own age to a huge Doncaster Handicap field and then into a weight-for-age showdown in thr Queen Elizabeth in one preparatio­n proved toughness compliment­s outstandin­g ability.

REALM OF FLOWERS: By the great So You Think, Realm Of Flowers hasn’t started since that dominant Listed Andrew Ramsden win in May and can be taken along slowly for an all-out assault third or fourth-up into the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. Supremely capable in all ground, she’s ready for a peak season.

IMAGING: Got so much time for this lightly-raced six-year-old who charged home in the Group 1 Stradbroke (1400m) two months ago. A classic backmarker, yes Imaging needs things to go his way, but he can shake the life out of the Epsom still having had less than 30 starts. Remember, he flashed home in the Group 1 CF Orr then made up plenty of ground in the Group 1 All-Aged.

SHE’S ALL CLASS: It seems so long ago now this filly stamped herself a potential star in only her second start, destroying a strong 2YO Magic Millions field at Wyong. Her two subsequent runs, with no luck, were outstandin­g and she’s a slower work in progress who can cut swathe through anything up to the mile. Stik with her.

TONY THOMAS SPORTSMAN

ANAMOE: Can’t add much more to what has already been said about this star Godolphin colt. What I have liked is the way he has continued to mature each run. His Blue Diamond run was pretty good, his Golden Slipper outstandin­g, Sires :Produce win just next level. If he continues that upward spiral? Wow is the word springs to mind. Can’t wait to see hm back..

ARTORIUS: Forgotten horse by some, not by me. He did things in the autumn reserved for top shelf horses. He was quite dominant in his Blue Diamond win and then without luck in the Golden Slipper but his closing sectionals were still high calibre. Has a lovely physique and the talent to match it.

AMARELINHA: Trainer Jamie Richards has a wealth of mares talent including Entreviere and Probabeel but don’t forget this brilliant staying mare. She cut a swathe through the NZ fillies staying classics and she was brave in the ATC Oaks. She trially well NZ last week and seems to have matured into a lovely mare. Watch her go bang this spring.

ARGENTIA: It’s not often a potential spring star comes out of winter race at Flemington but this filly could be something special. She won her only start down the straight in June with an air of audacity reserved for the very best. Anthony and Sam Freedman wasteed no time giving her rest to target the big spring riches. She is another outstandin­g daughter of super horse Frankel and out the Group 1 winning mare Princess Coup. Have absolutely no doubt she will be a name on everyone’s lips at the end of spring.

WHEELHOUSE: Now left-field candidate. I like this bloke. He just seemed to me to lack a little maturity in the autumn but he was still able to run brave races in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas before failing in the Doncaster and probably went to well once too often at Gosford. The time off witll see him furnish into a lovely animal and he will be a leading Epsom Handicap hope. Don’t underestim­ate him.

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 ??  ?? SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Kerrin McEvoy on Hungry Heart wins race 5 the Star Australian Oaks during day two of The Championsh­ips at Royal Randwick Racecourse on April 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Kerrin McEvoy on Hungry Heart wins race 5 the Star Australian Oaks during day two of The Championsh­ips at Royal Randwick Racecourse on April 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

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