Horses To Follow (VIC) – Blackbookers from Saturday’s Victorian Racing
- Blackbookers to catch the eye in Victoria
- Our latest horses to follow from Melbourne racing
Saturday racing in Victoria 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 Melbourne’s Saturday racing.
Here are some horses to put in your blackbook:
Horses To Follow from CAULFIELD on Saturday february 22
The consensus following the Blue Diamond meeting at Caulfield was that the rail was the only place to be and one of the first victims of the day was NONCOMFORMIST. In what was a slowly run edition of the Autumn Stakes (1800m) for the three-year-olds, Adelaide Ace settled in the lead in the early stages with Nonconformist on his outside. Those two controlled proceedings and the eventual runner-up, Nonconformist, was left a bit flat footed at the top of the straight before making up ground. But he was unable to haul in the winner, much like a number of others on the day, finishing a length away, while there was a big gap back to 3rd. The Grahame Begg-trained galloper looks a suitable type for some of the longer races for his age group and the upcoming Alistair Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley might be an option.
The hard luck story out of the Blue Diamond was Away Game, who did a remarkable job to finish as close as she did after travelling wide throughout. The Magic Millions (1200m) winner was one of six contenders in the race for the Maher/Eustace stable and just simply could not get in during the early to middle stages, settling out four wide. That part of the track was more like quicksand but she managed to hang on for 4th, beaten just over a length. On that effort, the two-year-old races on offer up in Sydney, including the Golden Slipper (1200m), could be well within her grasp with more luck in the run.
Horses To Follow from FLEMINGTON on Saturday february 15
CHENIER & SOUL PATCH
The C.S.Hayes Stakes was one of the better races that you will see as Alligator Blood and Catalyst went to war over the last 400m and we can hopefully look towards some more battles over the coming years, starting off with the Australian Guineas (1600m) in a fortnight. There were also some excellent runs from some of the beaten brigade. CHENIER had to shuffle across heels on the inside in the early parts of the straight and looked to be a danger. He couldn’t quite stay in touch from the 300m to the 100m as the match race heated up in front of him but really knucklied down over the last 50m. It was a fairly massive effort from the Godolphin galloper, who was lining up for just his third career start and first in almost a year. SOUL PATCH was a few lengths off them at the finish and produced the best last 200m of the meeting. The Victoria Derby (2500m) placegetter from the spring will be better over further.
The sprinters tackled the 1000m straight track in the Lightning Stakes and it was a shock win for the South Australian galloper, Gytrash, who overhauled Redzel on the inside part of the track, while on the grandstand side Loving Gaby led that division, finishing 3rd overall as the $1.50 favourite, Nature Strip, battled into 4th. From a horses to follow point of view, it might be worth jumping on Loving Gaby, particularly as she steps up to the 1200m. There was some school of thought that the inside was the superior ground and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had she headed to the inside early on. Regardless, races such as the Newmarket present appeal and she has an excellent record over the 1200m, winning the Manikato Stakes (1200m) three starts ago before finishing runner-up in the VRC Classic (1200m) at the spring carnival.
The three-year-old fillies lined up in the TAB Vanity (1400m) and the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable saddled up the winner, Bonvicini, as well as the 4th placegetter, FASCINO. Both are horses to follow as we head towards some of the classic races for that age group. Fascino might be the one that has more improvement in her. She was a noted drifter in the betting and seemed to be battling from about the 800m to the 300m but hung in there and was strong in the closing stages, finishing just over a length away. The daughter of Charm Spirit was a Group 2 winner on Cox Plate day over the 1600m in the Fillies Classic and should be better with more fitness as she steps up in distance.
Horses To Follow from CAULFIELD on Saturday february 8
KING OF LEOGRANCE
Team Williams had a couple of runners in the first event of the day at Caulfield, their first since moving on from Macedon Lodge. It was Danny O’Brien that saddled up King Of Leogrance and Venice Beach and while he might have had every possible chance, I though the run of King Of Leogrance was worth noting from a horses to follow point of view. The five-year-old was resuming off a four month spell and settled behind the lead that was set by Ryan’s Fender, who was fit and in form. He was shaken up a long way from home and looked the winner with 100m to go but couldn’t quite reel in the eventual winner. He should be an improver at his second preparation in Australia and is worth keeping an eye on as he stretches out in distance.
The Anthony Freedman-trained Southbank stepped out for her first run since finishing 3rd in the Thousand Guineas last year and while she produced a bit of a plain pefromance, she is definitely one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. On a day that generally played into the hands of those that settled on the pace, the daughter of Fastnet Rock settled well back in the field of nine and seemed to take an eternity to wind up but finished off the race nicely enough to finish 6th, beaten just two lengths. Early on at her last preparation she was running around in much weaker grade at Mornington and Geelong before stepping up to finish in the money in both the Tranquil Star Stakes (1400m) and Thousand Guineas (1600m). She will be better for the run and we can expect to see her around in some of the big races for the fillies late on.
FIERCE IMPACTAnother horse that resumed on Saturday was Fierce Impact and the much improved galloper did very well to defeat all bar the three-year-old, Alabama Express, in the C.F.Orr Stakes (1400m). Sent out an $8 chance, the Matthew Smith-trained galloper settled in a midfield position and was left a little bit flat footed as the sprint went on at the top of the straight but closed off better than any other horse. That should top him off very nicely for his next start, which could come in either the Futurity Stakes (1400m) or the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m). He should be hard to beat over the mile and will be out to gain a wildcard slot for the All Star Mile (1600m) later on.
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