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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 April 20

The lightly-raced Northern Meteor gelding was a certainty beaten on Saturday after getting held up twice in the straight before getting out late, surging and being a length in front just strides after the post. This horse may not boast a strong second-up record, but he was half a length from Osborne Bulls three preparations back, 2.5 lengths from Osborne Bulls two campaigns back and then beaten three lengths by Firsthand when second-up last time. I don’t think he likes stepping up to 1400m second-up, and I’m really hoping Joe Pride keeps him to 1200m or 1250m next time.

Another tragedy beaten on Saturday was the John Thompson-trained Into The Abyss. She was held up early in the straight and had to ease around runners to get clear at the 200m mark and then charging at Laburnum to just miss. And while she would have won with a bit more luck, Kris Lees’ filly, Asharani, was held up a similar point in the race and clocked slicker sectionals coming home. She may have been missed by some and may offer better value next time. 

Keen to stick with Salsonic who recorded the second quickest final 600m of the day (33.00) in a 1400m event which was a whisker slower than Brave Song who charged home over 1200m in 32.97. Salsonic was only second-up and will be much better suited over a mile to 2000m, so I’m keen to see if trainer Jason Coyle takes him to Brisbane for the Winter carnival. 

Passage Of Time
Into The Abyss

Horses to follow from Randwick on April 13

Go back and watch the replay and you’ll most likely agree that VINCO was going to win before he got stopped dead in his tracks at the 150m mark. His sectionals won’t reveal any of this but if we use Amercement as a guide, we can see how fast he was finishing. Vinco followed Amercement in the run and was two length off that galloper at the 300m mark but levelled up within 100m when clear until being blocked and dropping back behind Amercement before passing him near the line. I’m convinced he has a nice win in him so stick with him. 
No prizes for finding this one as he was clearly finishing with the flashing light on. He showed a brilliant turn of foot when coming from last on the turn to just miss in a photo finish, and his sectionals were outstanding for a two-year-old. 
While Flit was visually impressive coming from last in the previous event, Classique Legend ran a quicker overall time, while also running superior sectionals for just about every part of the race. He ran the quickest 400-200m split for the meeting (10.75), and while his final 200m was only in 11.82, he had done the damage earlier with slick sectionals throughout. 
This mare could be worth following as she heads home to QLD and possibly lines up in some sprint features. Her overall race time would have beaten all bar Classique Legend in the Arrowfield 3YO Sprint, and she ran the quickest final 600m of the day by quite a bit (33.12). She was second-up and coming off a five-week freshen – there was a lot to like about the run.

Classique Legend
Winter Bride

Horses to follow from Randwick on April 6

The Kris Lees-trained Hinchinbrook filly came from nowhere and has to be rated a strong contender for the Oaks on Day 2 of The Championships. She was still at the rear as they straightened but clearly finished far better than anything else as she clocked 0:35.61 for the last 600m and 12.17 for the final furlong. She clearly appreciated the step up in trip, is effective on Good to Heavy ground and has a real sense of timing about her. 

A lot of these will be backing up in the Sydney Cup (3200m), and Sir Charles Road is the one I want to stick with out of this bunch. He ran the third quickest final 200m behind Gallic Chieftain and Supernova but was taking ground off them in the final 100m. He was 3rd in the Sydney Cup last year and finished eight lengths from Cross Counter in the Melbourne Cup, and although he was beaten a long way in the Auckland Cup two starts back, he was stepping up from 2000m and didn’t have a solid preparation going into that race. This has been his target all along, and his last two runs on Heavy tracks would have topped him off nicely to his main target. 

I thought he had them covered half-way down the straight, but he just peaked on his run in the final 100m and dead-heated for 3rd. He’s always been screaming out for longer, and with that run under his belt, he’s ready for the Champagne Stakes in two weeks’ time. 

Sir Charles Road

Horses to follow from Rosehill Gardens on March 30

Track condition: Heavy 10

It was a big step up in class for the son of Sebring after consecutive wins at Wyong and Newcastle in his first two starts, and although he was beaten three lengths, he really caught the eye working home into 3rd place. Leaders won the first three races so horses off the speed were at a disadvantage, and Fortress Command was the only horse in the field to make up good ground in the straight running the fastest final 200m in 13.02. Would love to see him over a mile next but he is nominated to back-up in the Inglis Sires’.

She’s clearly the one to beat in the Oaks. Third-up and probably lacking a bit of fitness for a hard-slogged 2000m race on a Heavy 10, she was just too good for them. She clocked some great sectionals from the 600m to 400m and 400m to 200m, and although Frankely Awesome clocked the quickest final 200m, Verry Elleegant was just floating around in front and would have lifted if something was able to race her. She’ll strip fitter next time, is racing more tractably every start, and looks to have a stranglehold on the Oaks.

I’ve been with Star Of The Seas for a while now and tipped him on Saturday and was glad to see him fight back and win after being headed half-way down the straight. However, the run of Zourkhan was far better considering he was first-up for 19 weeks and carried 4kg more in the run, and just peaked in the last 50m to be narrowly beaten. He loves Soft and Heavy tracks and should be able to find one in his next couple of runs. 

Fortress Command
Verry Elleegant

Horses to follow from Rosehill Gardens on March 23

Track condition: Heavy 8

The winner of seven of eight starts suffered her only defeat when runner-up in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) where she got back to last and finished strongly along the inside. She brought that New Zealand form to Australia and kicked off with a gusty win over Resin who took the lead half-way down the straight until Avantage fought back and put a length on Resin. She always improves second-up, and that gritty determination will take her a long way.

Mike Moroney’s pair, Arrogant (2nd) and Chapada (3rd) were gallant behind The Autumn Sun and can be followed into the Australian Derby. Arrogant had the advantage on a Heavy track over 2000m as he was rock-hard-fit and coming off a New Zealand Derby (2400m) 4th placing. Chapada was only 3rd up having contested the Colin Hayes Stakes (1400m) and Australian Guineas (1600m), and it was no surprise to see him peak on his run late. He finished 3rd behind Extra Brut and Stars Of Carrum in the VRC Derby (2500m) so there is no doubting he’ll stay the trip.

What a run by Pierata! He was coming off an average first-up effort behind Trapeze Artist in the Canterbury Stakes which was won in record time, and then came from an impossible position to just miss in a photo finish. He ran 11.30 from the 400m to 200m and then finished off in 11.96. Those sectionals where only bettered by one horse with Winx running 11.21 and 11.70. Third-up next time in possible the TJ Smith Stakes, he handles all conditions and will be the one to beat. 


Horses to follow from Rosehill on Saturday March 16

Track condition: Heavy 10

I’ve been with this son of Ocean Park in all three runs this campaign, and after a couple of runner-up efforts, he finally got the job done. He’s still not at what should be his optimal distance yet but is doing it on class alone. Chris Waller is doing a great job of bringing this horse through the grades and preparing him for a tilt at the Doncaster Mile, and he’ll be a sneaky chance in that race next time around if that’s where they head. 

The boom New Zealand filly got too far out of her ground, covered too much ground on the bend and still worked home strongly for 6th place and ran the quickest final 200m split of the race (11.58). That was her first run for seven weeks, and back home, she improved significantly at her second run after a six week break so I’d expect her to improve next time. She’s headed to the Sires’ Produce (1400m) and possibly Champagne Stakes (1600m), but I think Castevecchio is heading that way too and he’s a star on the rise. However, Probabeel is a filly on the up and her performance was worthy of the black book. 

If Rosehill is still Heavy next Saturday, it’s hard to see them beating Cosmic Force in the Golden Slipper. He sat three deep without cover on the speed and kicked strongly to win by 7.3 lengths and was eased down in the final 100m. He ran two lengths quicker than Kiamichi in the previous event and I doubt Kiamichi is rated within two lengths of the top Godolphin juveniles like Tenley and Microphone, but Cosmic Force has plenty of room to improve on that effort and is now proven on rain-affected ground. 

I really like this Hawkes-trained son of Intello for the Sydney Cup. At just his second start in Australia, he settled well off them, picked his gap through the field and charged to a comprehensive victory. His best form in the UK was over 2800m at just his fifth career start so with a good grounding this campaign, he’ll run every bit of 3200m and more. His final 200m was quicker than Red Cardinal who won over 2000m earlier, and Supernova was switched off late when he easily had them covered. 

Star Of The Seas
Cosmic Force

Horses to follow from Randwick on March 9

The Team Hawkes-trained filly showed a brilliant turn of foot to come from last at the 300m mark and just miss behind Prophet’s Thumb. She ran the third quickest final 600m (0:32.15) of the day behind Viridine (0:31.98) and Spright (0:32.12). She won over 1100m on debut when coming from the rear and this performance was near identical in tougher grade. I’d love to see her over 1200m next time, third-up where the Hawkes runners usually peak.  
The unbeaten Medaglia D'oro filly has to be rated as one of the top Golden Slipper contenders following this performance. She came from well back in the Pierro Stakes (1100m) on debut to score and then did it again against a tough Reisling Stakes (1200m) field. Her winning time of 1:08.34 was the quickest Reisling run in recent history and if she could replicate that sort of time at Randwick, it would see her winning the Slipper.
As mentioned earlier, Viridine ran the quickest final 600m of the day and was taking ground off Ball Of Muscle and Redzel who went to the line locked just in front of him. He was first-up and generally improves with a run under his belt so stick with him in anything next time. 


Horses to follow from Randwick on March 2

The four-year-old Champs Elysees gelding was having his second Australian start and really caught the eye charging home from last to grab 2nd place. He failed to make an impact in a BM76 over 1550m but really improved out of sight to get so close in the BM88 over 2000m. He was backed from $16 into $12 so there must have been some stable confidence as there is no way you could have backed him following his first Australian run. He won third-up over 2300m in the UK so I’m keen to be on him in a suitable race next time. 

I’m just about convinced that this could be racing’s next big thing. Although he won his first two starts over 1200m, the Dundeel colt will be far better suited over a trip, and if he contests the Sires’ and Champagne Stakes, he’ll be winning. He was a distant last as they straightened, and race caller Darren Flindell declared “don’t worry about Castelvecchio.” He ran 11.43 for his final 200m but it was his final 100m that was most impressive. His sire won the Spring Champion in the spring, and his dam, St Terese, produced Made Of Heaven who won that race last year. He’ll surely head down that path and possibly onto the Cox Plate for which I’ve already secured 150/1.

Peter and Paul Snowden have figured this eight-year-old gelding out, and he seems to run better when kept in work and given a series of freshen-ups. He made up a stack of ground in the straight and got tantalisingly close to Dreamforce who looked like he’d win by five at the 200m mark. That was his first run for five weeks and he usually goes best at his second run from a break. 

Desert Path
Snippets Land

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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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