VIC Blackbookers and Horses to Follow
- Blackbookers to catch the eye in Victoria
- Our latest horses to follow from Melbourne racing
Looking for VIC horses to follow each Saturday? We pick out the best blackbookers each week from the metropolitan meeting in Victoria.
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 Melbourne’s Saturday racing.
Here are some horses to put in your blackbook:
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM caulfield ON FEBRUARY 20
Race 1 – Mornington Cup Prelude (2000 METRES) – SAN HUBERTO 📓
It was a strong return by San Huberto in the opening race of the day, which was the Mornington Cup Prelude over the 2000m. The Matt Cumani-trained galloper made a mid race move with Dean Yendall on board and loomed up three wide as they rounded. He looked to be in with a strong chance at the top of the straight and while the form galloper, Defibrillate, had all the answers, San Huberto stuck on well to go down by a long neck. The former import had two runs in the spring and battled in the Geelong Cup (2400m) before leading and running 3rd in the Sandown Cup (3200m). Into his second preparation in Australia, logic says he can break through this time around as he stretches out over further.
Race 7 – Blue Diamond Stakes (1200 METRES) – ENTHAAR 📓 & ANAMOE 📓
The Blue Diamond was the highlight of the day at Caulfield and it will be interesting to see which horses can go on with it. The winner, Artorius, looks to have a big future, while we can probably forgive ENTHAAR for her effort. The Maher/Eustace galloper crossed from the wide gate and scorched the first section before fading into 6th late in the piece, beaten three lengths. She will need to settle a bit better in the future to be a factor over the 1200m, otherwise the 1000m sprints as a three-year-old might be her go. Anamoe was a bit of a luckless runner after being caught wide throughout. He let down well with the blinkers on to finish two lengths bending the winner and is worth sticking with as he gets out in trip.
Race 8 – Oakleigh Plate (1100 METRES) – DIRTY WORK 📓
It was a thrilling edition of the Oakleigh Plate with Celebrity Queen and Portland Sky dead-heating, while the first five runners home finished within half a length of each other. One of the improvers should be Dirty Work, who has been thereabouts in some top company for a while now. The Team Hawkes-trained galloper finished 5th and didn’t have the clearest of passages after drawing barrier 1. The four-year-old was working into it in the straight but was held up from the 200m before running on late in the driving finish. A win shouldn’t be too far away for the son of Written Tycoon, who featured behind the likes of Nature Strip and Classique Legend at his last campaign before winning at Caulfield and placing in the Manikato Stakes (1200m).
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM flemington ON FEBRUARY 13
Race 3 – Handicap (1400 METRES) – BUFFALO RIVER & NEUFBOSC 📓
Race 3 was taken out by Regardsmaree, who just wore down Buffalo River in the shadows of the post. The runner-up horse should be the improver out of the race and was first up after a spring campaign that saw him place in both the Toorak Handicap (1600m) and Sandown Stakes (1500m). It is not often that you would mark a horse that finished last as one to follow but Neufbosc was given little chance at the back as they crawled early on. The Perth Cup (2400m) winner from earlier this year did manage to produce the second fastest last 200m of the day behind September Run. He will be better when there is a bit more tempo and as he gets back out to 2000m and beyond
Race 7 – CS Hayes Stakes (1400 METRES) – CHERRY TORTONI 📓
It was a quality edition of the CS Hayes Stakes with the winner, Tagaloa, going 14.3 lengths faster than standard benchmark, which were the best figures of the day alongside Nature Strip, who produced the same number a race later in the Lightning Stakes. The trifecta horses out of the CS Hayes Stakes are clearly going places but the one to follow might be Cherry Tortoni, who would have finished a bit closer with better luck. The Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) winner from the autumn was resuming after running 4th behind Johnny Get Angry in the Victoria Derby (2500m) and settled back in the field. He was working into it as they rounded but was held up at the top of the straight before running on. The Patrick Payne-trained galloper produced the fastest 400m-200m split before just peaking on his run late in the piece. He will improve off that effort and will appreciate further. The Australian Guineas (1600m) and Alistair Clark Stakes (1600m) are his immediate targets.
Race 8 – Black Caviar Lightning (1000 METRES) – SEPTEMBER RUN 📓
The feature of the day was the Black Caviar Lightning and it was Nature Strip that returned to the winners list with a win in the $750,000 Group 1. September Run produced a much talked about performance and is the one to be on as we head towards the Newmarket Handicap (1200m). The three-year-old settled back in the field of eight and produced the fastest sectionals of the day to finish within a length of her stablemate, while Swats That was 3rd. The Coolmore Stud Stakes winner (1200m) has clearly come back in good order and will be out to emulate the feats of another recent three-year-old from the stable in Brazen Beau, who won that race before capturing the Newmarket the next autumn.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM caulfield ON FEBRUARY 6
Bam’s On Fire
Sword Of Mercy
Race 7 – Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (1200 METRES) – PAUL’S REGRET & BAMS ON FIRE 📓
It was all Probabeel in the Bellmaine Stakes for the mares and the star galloper will tackle harder assignments at her next few. A couple that can fire in similar grade are Paul’s Regret and Bam’s On Fire. Paul’s Regret was stepping out for her first run since early December and landed in the runner-up slot behind the winner. She settled handy to the lead before sticking on well and accounting for the rest. Bam’s On Fire was fresh after a lengthy layoff. The Sangster Stakes (1200m) placegetter from last year began awkwardly and didn’t enjoy much galloping room in the straight before producing the best last 200m en route to finishing 6th, beaten just over two lengths.
Race 8 – C.F. Orr Stakes (1400 METRES – CROSSHAVEN 📓
I didn’t mind the performance of Crosshaven at his first attempt in open company. The three-year-old from the Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes stable was resuming after a spring campaign that saw him win the Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m). He finished 3rd behind Streets Of Avalon and Imaging, beaten just under three lengths. While he did look to have every possible chance, it is interesting to note that at his last campaign he went from a 6th over the 1200m at Caulfield when resuming before improving sharply on benchmark figures to win three of his next four. He can add to his record of five wins from eight starts this campaign and it will be interesting to see where he heads next.
Race 9 – Rubiton Stakes (1100 METRES) – SWORD OF MERCY 📓
Best benchmark figures of the day came out of the Rubiton Stakes with the winner, Prophet’s Thumb, going 12.7 lengths faster than standard benchmark. Sword Of Mercy looked to have a bit to offer but went to the line under a hold as she was held up from the 400m. The Ellerton/Zahra galloper could only manage 7th and was coming off a runner-up effort behind Fabergino in the Kensington Stakes. She can be forgiven and is one to stick with.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM caulfield ON JANUARY 30
Race 4 -Chairman’s Stakes- Two Year Olds (1000 METRES) – ENTHAAR 📓
The performance of the day came from Enthaar, who was too good for the fellow two-year-olds in the Chairmans Stakes, landing in the lead before cruising to a two length win from Ingratiating. The Maher/Eustace filly will head to the Blue Diamond (1200m) and will be hard to beat in that feature, while she is currently favourite for the Golden Slipper (1200m) later on. The run was just the second of her career and first since taking out the Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) by three lengths in October at Randwick. The runner-up out of that race, Mallory, was too good at Randwick on Saturday. Enthaar went six lengths faster than standard, putting the burners on in the last part of the race. With improvement to come, she should be hard to beat in anything she contests.
Race 5 – Group 3 Manfred Stakes (1200 METRES) – AYSAR & TAGALOA 📓
One of the feature races of the day at Caulfield was the Manfred Stakes, a Group 3 over the 1200m for the three-year-olds. Portland Sky was the winner and enjoyed a bit of a fitness edge over Aysar and Tagaloa, who filled the minors. Those two might be the ones to follow going forward. Aysar was resuming after a spring campaign that saw him finish runner-up in both the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and the Carbine Club Stakes (1600m). He just lacked a bit of dash at the business end and will come into it with more fitness over further ground. Tagaloa was posted out wide for much of the trip in the small field but stuck on well and should be in for a winning campaign.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM sandown ON JANUARY 23
Race 1 – Two-Year-Old (1300 METRES) – ARTORIOUS 📓
We only needed to wait until Race 1 to see what was the run of the day with Artorius taking out the opener, which was for the two-year-olds over the 1300m. The Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained galloper was coming off a handy runner-up performance behind Jigsaw at Geelong earlier this month and was backed into favouritism before the jump. The money was justified as he let down well in the straight from the back of the field, going on with it to win by more than four lengths rom El Rocko and Picarones. The win has put him right into Blue Diamond (1200m) calculations but the stable might be keen to target races over further ground later on. Whichever way he heads, he is one to mark down.
Race 2 – BenchMark 64 (1300 METRES) – IRISH BUTTERFLY 📓
Irish Butterfly has gained a reputation as a costly specimen and missed out again as favourite, beaten just under a length as a $2.90 pop behind Galactus. But the Henry Dwyer-trained galloper did have some excuses at what was his second run this preparation. After settling towards the tail in the nine-horse field with Damien Thornton on board, he was held up from the 500m mark before finally getting out at the 300m but couldn’t quite make up the required ground behind the winner. They went slow early on in that race and Irish Butterfly went five lengths faster than standard benchmark over the last 600m, producing the fastest last 200m.
Race 7 – BenchMark 84 (1500 METRES) – GRINZINGER ALLEE 📓
Best benchmark figures came out of Race 7 of the afternoon in a race that pitted some handy types up against one another. This was partly caused by the hot tempo that was set up by Fundraiser with Damian Lane on board. Grinzinger Allee held on late from Holbien and is one to follow out of the race, particularly later on this preparation as he gets up in journey. The Danny O’Brien-trained galloper went11.5 lengths faster than standard, which was just shy of the personal best of 11.9 lengths faster that he set at Flemington over the 1600m in the Silver Bowl Final last July. A winner over the 2000m after that, the four-year-old couldn’t quite match High Emocean and Persan over the 2400m later on but does look to be in for a fruitful campaign.
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