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Horses To Follow (NSW) - Blackbookers from Saturday's New South Wales racing

  • Blackbookers to catch the eye in NSW
  • Our latest horses to follow from Sydney racing

Saturday racing in New South Wales produces several blackbookers to take forward into coming weeks and we pick out the best each week.

From winners of feature races to unlucky loses and first up gallopers outrunning expectations, we select three or four horses each week to add to your blackbook from New South Wales' Saturday racing.

Here are some horses to put in your blackbook: 

Horses to follow from Randwick on October 12

Two horses I’m keen to follow out of this event with both finishing off strong first-up from a spell. Chris Waller’s Sure Knee got home in 11.28 for her final 200m while Aqua D’Ivina ran the quickest final 200m of the race in 11.20. Both will improve out to the mile, and Aqua D’Ivina has won two from three second-up and could sneak under the guard of most and go around at healthy odds next time. Aqua D’Ivina also carried 3kg more than Sure Knee so I’m giving her run more credit and want to be with her next time. 

The Chris Waller-prepared Accession ran the quickest final 600m (32.92) and 200m (11.04) of the entire meeting and should be approaching peak fitness with two runs under the belt. 1400m looks his optimal distance, and I’d prefer to see him over this trip next time as he’s been getting back and spotting them a start over 1100m and 1200m this preparation. Going super. 

The Lindsay Park-prepared Poised To Strike was exactly that on the turn, but he got shut out of a small gap and was dragged backward with nowhere to go from that point. The four-year-old son of Akeed Mofeed is only lightly-raced having won three and placed three from 11 starts, and he improved into his last preparation scoring at Flemington when third-up after debuting in Sydney. It wouldn’t surprise to see him head back to Melbourne now be competitive wherever he is placed. A near last placing first-up should see some juicy odds go up too. 

Sure Knee
Aqua D’Ivina
Poised To Strike

Horses to follow from Randwick on September 21

This Chris Waller-trained son of Dundeel has been hard to catch with one win and nine placings from 17 starts, but this was clearly an eye-catching run that suggests he’ll be better over longer next time. James McDonald was hard at work on him as they straightened, and he was still near last at the 200m mark until really picking up late to finish 3.6 lengths away in 6th. It’s worth noting he was in front 200m past the post so the step up in trip next time with three runs under his belt should be beneficial. 

There were no excuses for Libertini as she met two very smart fillies in Funstar and Probabeel, and it was the 2nd placed Probabeel that impressed most. The daughter of Savabeel charged home to just miss and ran the equal third quickest final 200m of the day (11.56) with Classique Legend, while only Pierata and Graff went quicker. Her dam, Far Fetched, was placed at Group 3 level over 2100m, so Probabeel should only improve as the distances get longer. 

I don’t think I’ve ever put a horse in the black book that finished 2nd last in a 10-horse field, but Chris Waller’s Star Of The Seas never saw daylight and basically had a barrier trial without being tested. He could back up in the Shannon Stakes (1500m) on Saturday or he may be saved for the Epsom Handicap (1600m) the following week – or even both. A few may have missed the run so we could get nice odds when markets open. 

First-up this campaign, Pierata ran the quickest final 600m, 400m and 200m of the meeting, and he’s done it again coming home in 33.46, 22.30 and 11.50 for those sectionals. He’s one of the quickest horses in the country and must be respected in anything he contests.

Star Of The Seas

Horses to follow from Rosehill on September 14

This Group 1 winning son of Dundeel is being aimed at the Spring Champion this campaign, and there was a notable difference in his performance that may be related to his training. Having shown brilliant dash over shorter trips in his first preparation, Castelvecchio was more dour this time around, and he’s clearly looking for the longer trips. He was still last at the 200m mark despite being under pressure a long way out, but he did hit the line powerfully and clocked the quickest final 200m (11.06) for the entire meeting. 

This is the horse I wanted to back in the Golden Rose following his barrier trials earlier but having missed a run put him behind the likes of Bivouac and Exceedance. Despite lacking race fitness, the son of Rubick matched motors with the big guns and split Bivouac and Exceedance as he held on for 2nd off an even tempo. He probably has more upside than the other two, and I’ll be sticking with him next time. 

A complete forgive run for Dyslexic who just couldn’t get clear in the straight and went to the line with plenty in hand. The Foxwedge mare saw a glimpse of daylight at the 50m mark and started to accelerate but was quickly stopped dead in her tracks again – so we know she was going to let rip if given the chance. Third-up is when these Hawkes runners usually peak, and she just needs luck next time to be winning third-up.

Yes Yes Yes

Horses to follow from Randwick on September 7

Nash Rawiller dictated terms on the eventual winner Yao Dash who was suited on what appeared to be a leader-biased Randwick track, but it was the Chris Waller-trained Funstar that impressed most and can followed as she steps up in trip. The daughter of Adelaide was first-up and was always going to find this 1300m event a bit too short, but she hit the line strongly in the final 150m to grab 2nd place. She looks the perfect type for the Thousand Guineas and has shortened from $17 to $11 after Saturday’s effort. 

This daughter of Mastercraftsman was always going to find 1200m a bit sharp first-up, but she looked to have plenty to offer in the straight and may have made things interesting if she found clear running. Finishing 3.8 lengths back in 5th place isn’t an honest representation of how well she was going, and her second-up record over slightly longer is much better so I’m keen to stick with her next time. 

Race favourite Nature Strip got up to his old tricks and disappointed in 4th place after overracing while Redzel wound back the clock and scored a most impressive win. Graff stepped up as a serious spring player, Sunlight was disappointing but generally needs the first-up run, and Zoustyle was no match for the big boys and girl and suffered his first defeat. Pierata caught the eye flashing home, and the clock suggests his performance was the highlight of the entire card. He was the only horse to break 32 seconds for the final 600m as he ran 31.84, and he was the only horse to break 11 seconds in the final furlong as he went 10.88.

Eugene’s Pick

Horses to follow from Rosehill on August 31

This Canberra-based son of Dreamscape was second-up over 1400m after a 3rd placing over 1200m, and he impressed coming from last on the bend to grab 2nd place. His final 200m (12.20) was in identical time to Adana who won a strong Bm78 two races later, and that galloper carried a similar weight over a similar trip so I’m happy to line those performances up as a good form reference. It will be interesting to see where trainer Norm Gardner places his gelding next start, but I’m keen to stick with him.

The Hawkes Racing-trained colt caused the biggest upset of the day defeating Bivouac, and he ran the quickest 800m, 600m 400m and 200m of the meeting while also recording the highest benchmark (BM) rating of the day going 8.9 lengths above BM. He may have simply handled the Heavy track better than Bivouac, but his performance can’t be ignored and he’s one to stick with.

While Exceedance set all the speed records on the day, his stablemate God Of Thunder was arguably more impressive. He was caught three wide without cover in a six horse field and stumbled early on as Brenton Avdulla tried to restrain him. He was dead-set jogging as they straightened, and as soon as Avdulla asked for an effort he bounded away before being eased up at the 50m mark and running a marginally slower overall time (1:06.38) than Exceedance (1:06.23). Was in the black book previously and stays in on that performance. 

Who’s Shout
God Of Thunder

Horses to follow from Randwick on August 24

The Chris Waller-trained Snitzel gelding was a drifting favourite and that may have been to how he mapped from barrier 1. Kerrin McEvoy was unable to find a clear passage early in the straight and Adana went from box seat behind the leader to last of the main pack and looking to angle out wide. He hit the line strongly once clear, and with two runs over 1400m and 1600m under his belt, he should be primed to run a strong mile next time. Two of his third-up runs have been in Group 1 events and although his other was in a maiden, he finished 3rd behind Brilliant Choice and Nakeeta Jane in that extremely strong maiden.

No prizes for spotting this one, but he’s certainly worth sticking with. The son of Camelot has won his past two over 2400m in the easiest of fashion, and he’s become a strong stayer in BM78 grade despite going up in weight each time. He may have to go up in grade next time, but I certainly wouldn’t be dropping off.

I blackbooked this filly twice from the barrier trials and she brought that trial form to the track with not only the most visually impressive win of the day, but she recorded the best benchmark (BM) figure of the day going 11.3 lengths above BM. Trainer Anthony Cummings made the brave call that she could be the best three-year-old filly going around, and she justified that opinion and simply outclassed her rivals to win eased down. Hard to see anything beating her if she continues in the right direction. 

A 40-week injury-enforced lay-off and just one barrier trial was always going to be enough reason to steer clear of Kings Will Dream first-up for the new stable, but boy was he impressive. The six-year-old gelding is still only lightly-raced having had just 15 starts for six wins and four placings. I thought his trial was poor, and he was always going to take plenty of improvement from the run as well as being suited over a longer trip. However, after settling around midfield and enjoying the perfect trail, he was a bit flat-footed when Avilius went around him and put him in a pocket. He eased out from behind Avilius and took ground off that runner to the line in what was a great return to racing. 

Our Candidate
Kings Will Dream

Horses to follow from Randwick (Kensington) on August 17

The Godolphin-bred son of Sepoy was held up early in the straight but showed a dazzling turn of foot when clear to record the quickest final 200m (10.76) of the day. He looks very exciting and can measure up to top level in the spring. 

The Hawkes Racing-trained God Of Thunder would have arguably won with clear running in the straight but he had to keep switching course to find a clear passage home. This was his first run for 19 weeks and considering most Hawkes runners seem to peak around their third run, he’s worth sticking with for his next couple of starts.

The quickest final 600m and highest benchmark (BM) rating from the 600m went to the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained All Too Royal who was resuming from a break. The talented son of All Too Hard made it seven wins from 13 starts as he charged home from last on the bend to score. He was wide throughout with cover and he peaked late to run the third fastest final 400m of the meeting and the 12th fastest final 200m, so there should be plenty of upside to him. His winning time of 1:02.05 broke the track record of Griffon which was set in 2010.

God Of Thunder
All Too Royal 

Horses to follow from Rosehill Gardens on August 10

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt showed he’s in for a big spring with some impressive first-up figures. The two best last 600m benchmark (BM) figures by winners on the day were by Dawn Passage (+8.4) and Sweet Deal (+8.8), and while Sweet Deal ranked slightly on top here, the mare was fourth-up and ran 10.3 lengths below BM to the 600m. Dawn Passage on the other hand went 1.1 lengths above BM to the 600 and was able to absorb that early speed and still post such a strong closing figure. He came down the outside with Lucicello who I rated on top with race fitness, but that filly was no match for Dawn Passage late. He also carried 3kg more than most rivals except Anaheed who finished last with 60kg. Super impressive and clearly one to stick with. 

I blackbooked this mare a few weeks ago, and although she was primed to run a big race and did, she’s a mare coming into form and is worth sticking with again. Nash Rawiller was aboard and was strung up in traffic from the 400m to the 200m, but when clear, this mare really let rip running her final 200m in 11.04 which was the quickest final 200m for the meeting, and a first-class effort in a 1400m race. She’ll be well found in the market next time but can win again.

A complete forgive run for Missybeel who was blocked for a run from the 300m to the finish post and never got warmed up but looked to have plenty to offer. The daughter of Savabeel was fifth-up and finally getting out to a suitable trip (2000m) but had no luck when it counted. She won her seventh run last campaign and clearly improved deeper into her preparation, so she’s one I want to stick with in a similar race next time. 

Dawn Passage
Sweet Deal

Horses to follow from Randwick on August 3

The Chris Waller-trained gelding has been knocking on the door with four consecutive 3rd placings, and again, it was weight that beat him. Hugh Bowman was aboard with 59.5kg while the two horses that beat him home carried 52kg and 49kg. He gets one more chance in a suitable race – and preferably with a claiming apprentice aboard. 

Terry Robinson’s Medaglia D’oro gelding went in the blackbook on June 15 after being severely held up and flashing home in the final 100m to grab 2nd behind Upper House. Following a seven-week break, Nash Rawiller went aboard and also had traffic problems at the top of the straight as Zardoro flashed late to be beaten half a length. He’ll be better over 1400m next time, and with clear running in the same grade, he’ll be among the winning chances. 

This French-import was having his first Australian start for Warwick Farm-based horseman Matthew Smith, and he went super and is clearly worth sticking with. The son of Kitten’s Joy has good form over 2000m in France yet he was quite sharp over 1300m following two 1200m barrier trials. He ran the sixth fastest final 600m of the meeting, the fourth quickest final 400m and the second quickest 200m. He’ll continue to improve as the distances get longer, and his sharp turn of foot is a big asset. 

Milk Man

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MORE HORSES TO FOLLOW: Our latest blackbookers from Victoria and the latest horses to follow from Queensland.

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Horses To Follow (NSW) - Blackbookers from Saturday's New South Wales racing

Looking for horses to black book each Saturday? We pick out the best each week from the metropolitan meeting in New South Wales.

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