Horses To Follow (NSW) – Blackbookers from Saturday’s New South Wales racing
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Horses to follow from Rosehill on Saturday March 28
The French-import was having his first start in Australia for Chris Waller and looked a bit unlucky finishing in 4th place. After settling rearward, the lightly-raced four-year-old started to build into the race on the bend and got held up losing all momentum. He picked himself back up and continued to make ground and would have figured in the placings without the interruption. His best form in Europe was over 2400m, so with Saturday’s 1400m event being far short of his best, he’s one to follow as he builds fitness and gets out in trip.
What a great return from Kementari after a year-long layoff. This 3rd placing deserves more merit than given on first glance when you consider Kementari carried the heaviest weight of any horse at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday (60kg), yet he still ran the fastest final 600m of the entire meeting (34.48). He ran the fourth quickest final 400m and sixth quickest final 200m which tells you he probably peaked late and needed the run. In his past three campaigns, his peak run has come third-up, second-up and fourth-up, which also suggests he can improve from what he did first-up. He hasn’t won since March 2018 but has been runner-up at G1 and G2 level in between, and seeing this was his strongest first-up run, he’s worth following.
Chris Waller’s stayer stole the show and recorded the strongest performance of the day going 14.4 lengths quicker than standard BM – which equates to 3.7 lengths quicker than G1 standard at the track and trip. There’s a possibility she could drop back in trip and target the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in a fortnight, or she’ll be set to the spelling paddock and prepared for the Caulfield Cup and possibly the Melbourne Cup.
Horses to follow from Rosehill on March 14
This was a gutsy first-up effort by Star Of The Seas who proved two things on Saturday: 1) he loves Rosehill and has now racked up four wins and a 2nd placing from five starts at the track, and 2) He relishes rain-affected conditions and is unbeaten in three starts on Heavy tracks as well as scoring on what was rated a Soft 7 on Saturday. He recorded the strongest BM performance on Saturday going 9.6 lengths quicker than standard BM, and considering he’s peaked third-up in his last two preparations, he looks in for a good campaign. Last campaign he peaked third-up in the Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick going 12 lengths quicker than BM when 3rd behind Kolding and Te Akau Shark. The Doncaster Mile is his main aim this time, and he’s on target for that lofty assignment.
The Chris Waller-trained mare was restrained as they jumped and was a bit keen at the rear of the field before getting going late to finish 4th. She ran the fastest 400m and 200m of the entire meeting as well as the second quickest 600m, and while looks great, the track was downgraded a few times later in the day. Still, with four runs under her belt, the daughter of Camelot should be at peak fitness now, and a 2000m start next time would be right up her alley.
The track was downgraded to a Heavy 9 for this event and Funstar ticked a couple more boxes as she scored on the bottomless track as well as leading all the way for the first time. She still has room for improvement and is likely to go head-to-head with Probabeel in the Vinery Stud Stakes next time. She ran 12.28 for her final 200m which was equal sixth quickest of the meeting, but considering the horses that ran quicker where all in earlier races on firmer going, she arguably has put in the best final 200m effort of any horse on the day. Onward and upward for this very exciting daughter of Adelaide.
Star Of The Seas
Horses to follow from Rosehill on February 22
The Chris Waller-trained stayer produced the second highest rated performance of the day going 14.1 lengths better than standard BM as he was 2nd behind Mustajeer. The Kris Lees-prepared Mustajeer was first-up and really appreciated the Soft conditions, while Eastender was second-up and is most effective on Good ground but does handle all conditions. He was being targeted at the Melbourne Cup last year, so the Sydney Cup looks a logical target this autumn. Eastender ran the quickest final 200m of the race coming home in 11.72, and the only horses to go quicker in that meeting where those competing over 1100m and 1400m. I’d expect him to continue to improve as the distances get longer, and he’s a horse worth sticking with this campaign.
This was a nice return from Cox Plate runner-up Castelvecchio who won’t hit his straps until he gets out to at least 2000m. Trained by Richard Litt, the son of Dundeel was under pressure a long way out and really only got into his work in the final furlong. This was very similar to last campaign, and he’ll take great benefit from the run. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) is a logical target and he’s currently around the $6 quote for that feature.
I can’t wait to see Chris Waller’s filly, Subpoenaed, get out to a trip this campaign. She’s by Rip Van Winkle who sired last year’s Cox Plate 3rd placegetter Te Akau Shark, and her dam, Notice Received, is by O’Reilly. I have no doubt this filly will continue to improve with age as she gets out to 2000m. On Saturday, she was a distant last as they swung for home, and she worked home strongest down the outside to just miss behind Positive Peace. I think she’s better suited at Randwick and I’m keen to stick with her this time in.
Horses to follow from Randwick on February 15
The Hawkes Racing-trained More Than Ready colt produced the best BM performance of the meeting as well as clocking the slickest final 600m (33.64) and 400m (22.72) of the meeting. He only got clear at the 150m mark which is probably why his final 200m was sixth fastest, but he may have felt the pinch a bit first-up too. He generally improves second-up and is worth sticking with next time.
Having tipped Alizee in the Apollo Stakes I was glad to see her get the cash, but it’s Dreamforce and Happy Clapper I want to follow out of this race. Alizee generally spikes second-up and had the fitness edge on these, while Dreamforce had blinkers off and I think they are leaving something up their sleeves for a bigger assignment. Likewise, Happy Clapper was a bit underdone judging by his trials, yet he hit the line surprisingly well seeing he was first-up on a rain-affected surface. Both are in for good campaigns and should be hard to beat next time.
I think John Thompson’s mare Sweet Deal may be in for a big campaign. She went around at $14 because she always improves deeper into her preparation, yet she went 5.5 lengths quicker than standard BM which is her best first-up run by a mile. The daughter of Casino Prince usually starts to peak third-up and holds that form for a few runs, so she’s worth sticking with this time in.
God Of Thunder