The Sportsman Weekend
Kingshier ready to rule
Team Hawkes galloper to win first-up
How the race will be run: Vrenelli almost certain to lead, Diamonds’N’Stones to tag?
The Favourites: If you didn’t know better, you would have sworn Larkspur Run was in a barrier trial first-up at Canterbury. She was clearly a class above those but this time is harder but she looks to be on her way to stakes racing – soon. Vrenelli, the likely leader, sent out some positive signs here last weekend and why not strike while the iron’s hot.
The Roughies: Vianello made up many lengths last start, that was over 1200m too, so the step to 1400m logically should assist.
My View: Diamonds’N’Stones ran really well on the heavy bearing mind that he is 4 starts, 3 wins on good. That said, I have to be with Larkspur Run even against the older horses. She is on her way to better things. No weight, decent draw.
The Bet: Larkspur Run to win, exacta 9 to beat 2
How the race will be run: Could be a genuine 2400m test which will suit Harpo Marz; good tactical battle the first 400m and beyond.
The Favourites: Harpo Marx was beaten but not disgraced last start. I was going to say – he had a big weight – has even more this time. That said, James McDonald is the big offset. He needs to be ridden a certain way and is the ultimate executioner. Pecuniary Interest was $15 into $5.50 on Wednesday when markets went up. This is harder than last start but he was dominant at Kembla and has 10kg less Harpo Marx.
The Roughies: Spencer is third favourite, so he is not a roughie as such, but needs mention because he has won over 2400m and this is the most ‘winnable race’ he has contested in a long while.
My View: Seems foolhardy to take odds-on about horse with 62.5kg that got beaten with less at its last start but in terms of ‘tipping’. I can’t go past Harpo Marx but there are nine other races that would prefer to bet in on the day.
The Bet: Spencer place
How the race will be run: Highway tempo applies; big field, should be suitable to all.
The Favourites: James McDonald is sticking solid with Dream Runner and not hard to see why. We can be thankful he has because we might need our Champion Sydney Jockey to help him overcome his wide gate. Second elect, Zoo Station, will be one stall worse off than Dream Runner but his pattern is to get back and coming down the outside. Can win; seen it happen recently enough.
The Roughies: So Say You seems generously priced at $7.50 (on Wednesday) against Dream Runner ($2.50) given she beat him home at Rosehill two weeks ago and has a considerable pull in the weights again.
My View: Hate the draw, hate the price, but love horse and jockey. Got to stick with Dream Runner.
The Bet: Dream Runner to win, exacta 15 to beat 9
How the race will be run: Lead there for Invinciano if they want it. Tempo after that up others – Loveplanet for one.
The Favourites: Chris Waller trains a few good Ocean Parks, maybe Loveplanet will end up being the best? You can’t fault the horse’s C.V, namely three wins from four starts and there wasn’t much to complain about his debut fourth either. His dangers seem to come from the stablemates. I think Great House has been somewhat overrated by some but that’s not his fault. Let’s be fair to him – only unplaced run is a fourth.
The Roughies: Re Edit good enough to come out and run right over the top of them. Trials have been good but the market will tell
My View: Tricky race with all these Chris Waller horses each in the perfect – for them, that is. Don’t know enough about Loveplanet, not sure yet if Re Edit is ready, so playing it safe with Great House.
The Bet: Great House to win, Re Edit place
How the race will be run: Margie Bee (16) and Gemmahra (1) – wow, this will be an interesting first 200m.
The Favourites: For a horse who has lost 19 times in 20 starts, Bazooka a loyal fan base (of which I am one). If he is ever going to win for second time, it will be here over 1800m at the peak of his powers. Mark Minervini has always liked Go Gazza and now we can all see why as the gelding aims for a hat-trick of wins. No obvious reason to suggest he won’t run 1800m.
The Roughies: Casino Mondial goes up 2kg on his last start when he got a few favours thanks to Bowman but he sticks and it is worth noting that horse has won twice second-up and 5 of his 8 wins are on top of the ground.
My View: Bazooka has had ‘next time’ written all over before now and lost but we know he the talent, losing for him is more about pattern and race shape than actual talent. Draw? Probably makes no difference to him.
The Bet: Bazooka to win
How the race will be run: Turnstyle (2) has the fence/lead if he jumps. Lisdoonvarna right up there. Maybe a few others have to cross and we get some pace early?
The Favourites: Starla was completely dominant when she scored a well-earned win at Rosehill 14days ago. That was coming for a while and the daughter of Snitzel has come up with the draw to repeat again on Saturday. Eight Diamonds will appreciate getting back on top of the ground so she can let rip with her turn of foot that we have seen twice, albeit both times at Canterbury. Her barrier (12) is the negative.
The Roughies: Stellar Pauline was $13 first-up when a distant third to Starla and is priced similarly so here which seems tempting enough given her overall class and record in good fillies races last season and the season before that.
My View: More Prophets has the best finish of anything in this race. She is deadly fresh and if she gets the breaks – tempo wise – could ambush them late.
The Bet: More Prophets to win
How the race will be run: Fasika could easily lead but it all comes down to what they do on Riodini. Fasika backers happy no matter what happens.
The Favourites: Not exactly a vintage Missile Stakes, with all due respects to the $6m earner, Kolding. Fasika, therefore, is the rightful favourite given her record, trials, first-up stats, track stats, trip stats etc. She is also incredibly well treated at WFA in this line-up (Kolding aside). Got a fair bit going for her on the day. Kolding gets the firm footing he needs but he has a wide draw to contend with. Best horse in the race and that’s always a good place to start.
The Roughies: Hightail is a quality horse, he is no Kolding or Fasika, but his ‘best’ could see him run a cheeky race.
My View: Viridine is fit, he is in form, he likes it firm, has barrier 3, McEvoy, G2 winner, G1 placed. It sets up very well indeed for him to commemorate his 40th race start.
The Bet: Viridine to win, exacta 2 to beat 7, trifecta standout 1 – 7 –2
How the race will be run: Very fast horses here in Sky Command and Maotai, In The Congo as well.
The Favourites: Booms galore here in the Rosebud, not all will be intact after the race but it
fascinating to see how these ‘2YO’s’ have come back at 3 as of now and into the spring. None more so than Remarque who trials like a G1 colt and may well end up being one by the end of 202½2. I remember half ‘laying’ Paulele in the Kindergarten – you know, that race he won by panels. Won’t make same mistake ever again – not off his trial – wow. That was a good one. In The Congo is colt and will be wound up for some career changing black-type.
The Roughies: I don’t think Chill can run past all of these potentially top tier colts and beat them over 1100m but I am more confident suggesting that she will finish the race off and present as a future Princess Series candidate. Stablemate Tristate is $101 and that’s priced on form, not potential.
My View: Mazu is a stunner and utterly untapped. He could, with luck, have gone from midweek maiden winner to Pago Pago at his first campaign. Trials have been excellent. Definitely going to find a few gold coins to put on Tristate in case of a monumental boilover.
The Bet: Mazu each-way, Tristate to place
How the race will be run: Switched, all eyes on Enfleurage early on from out there. Should be okay for all.
The Favourites: Sixgun was off the map last start, probably all
‘map punters’ who saw it as a fast run race with Sixgun getting it tailor-made and so it was. Drawn wide again he will need it run the same way you’d think. Enfleurage is trialling up a storm but has some ‘barrier issues’. JMac on at least.
The Roughies: Golly I’m Lucky is a known swooper and will go around here with an in-form Brock Ryan on a 2kg claim which brings her into medal calculations.
My View: Giving Destination a chance to recapture his old form which was very good. Reason why he may bounce back is that
trialled well the other day. Market watch advised.
The Bet: Destination each-way
How the race will be run: Most interest will be on Tycoonist and what J-Mac does from the wide alley. Loving the run paper for Kingshier.
The Favourites: Tycoonist is a model of consistency and very fit and his only run at Randwick was an outstanding, albeit a distant, second to Gravina. Draw is against on paper but you can never tell. Kingshier?
The Roughies: Handspun had trialled well before an encouraging first-up run. Will relish getting back on a firm deck. Not giving up Dame Kiri yet.
My View: Where does Kingshier go this prep? Time will tell but anyone who watches trials will agree that there aren’t many going better around the place than this talented and untapped Team Hawkes import.
The Bet: Kingshier to win