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 BENDIGO on SATURDAY March 28
The two-year-olds featured in the VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) in Race 4 of the day, and the $250,000 affair was taken out by Swats That. From a horses to follow point of view, the one to be on at her next start might be the Hayes and Dabernig-trained Bella Nipotina. The daughter of Pride Of Dubai was posted out very wide for much of the run but stuck on very well in the straight to finish runner-up. She has been competitive in a number of runs so far in her career without winning. She was 4th in the Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) before just missing out in the rich Inglis Millennium (1100m) at Warwick Farm after that. It remains to be seen if she will race on or be sent to the paddock, but there are not too many Maiden’s in the country with form as good as her. Look for her to break that tag at her next couple of runs.
He has been a bit of a costly conveyance for punters over the journey and Jumbo Ozaki again went down on Saturday, finishing runner-up to the $2.20 favourite, Big Night Out, in the last event of the day. But the Danny O’Brien-trained galloper did well to finish as close as he did. He was never on the track in the run, settling out three and four wide, but he kept coming in the straight, defeating all but the promising winner. The four-year-old was stepping up in grade after taking out a BenchMark 78 at a Wednesday meeting at Flemington recently. He should be at peak fitness now after three runs this preparation and should be hard to beat at his next start.
Horses To Follow from MOONEE VALLEY on friday March 20
The Alexandra Stakes (1600m) saw the fillies go at it at Group 3 level and Paradee announced herself as a future star with her performance. The Danny O’Brien-trained galloper was sent out a $4.40 chance and was posted out wide in the early stages. That was where she remained throughout and without cover as Damien Oliver could not find a spot in the running line. As they rounded the turn she served it up to Snapdancer and shook off that horse before going on to win by a length. Her win came after she was able to step up from BenchMark 70 and she may now head to Sydney for a crack at races such as the Adrian Knox Quality (2000m).
Is Mystic Journey back? The 2019 All Star Mile (1600m) took a step in the right direction with her performance in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at the Valley. Sent out an easing $21 chance in the final Group 1 of the Melbourne autumn, Mystic Journey settled back in the field off 11 and was a fair way off them at the top of the straight before rocketing home to finish on the heels of the placegetters. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the Tasmanian mare since her win at Flemington last year. She has not won since resuming in the spring and lacked the killer instinct when stepping up to the 2000m. Her late start to this campaign was because of a leg infection and she is set to be kept to the shorter trips this time around. The stable have indicated they may bypass some of the Sydney races for a crack at the Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Adelaide later on.
The final event of the night was the Sangster Stakes (1600m) for the fillies and mares at Group 2 level and one that caught the eye in the dying stages was Moonlight Maid, who flashed home for 6th behind Mamzelle Tess. In what was a leader dominated race, the Mitchell Freedman-trained galloper settled well off them in last position in the early stages and was being urged along at the 600m. While she was never going to catch them from the position she was in, her effort to make ground in the straight was encouraging at what was her first run back since finishing 3rd in the VRC Oaks (2500m) last year. Look for her as she steps out of further and on bigger tracks.
Horses To Follow from CAULFieLD on Saturday March 14
The two-year-olds tackled the Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1000m) and all things considered, the run of the debutant, Celestial Sol, was pretty solid from a horses to follow perspective. The Chris Waller-trained galloper was sent out a $3.60 chance in the five-horse field and settled behind the speed that was set by River Night. He attempted to track that horse into the race but wobbled a fraction around the Caulfield bend and struggled to stay in touch. However, his last 200m of the race was pretty solid and he was strong to the line, ending up in 3rd position, beaten one length by River Night, while Masseuse was runner-up. He can improve off that run and it is interesting to note that he defeated Hanseatic in his only trial, which was late last year. Look for him at his next couple of starts and as he steps out over further.
The VOBIS Gold Reef was taken out by the promising Western Sun and one that caught the eye in 3rd position was the Maher and Eustace-trained Euphorique. The sun of Street Boss was stepping up in grade after claiming a Colac Maiden earlier this month and was sent out an easing $16 chance. In the run, he settled in a midfield spot but was held up from the 500m to the 200m. Once clear, he layed out under pressure in the straight but managed to pass a number of runners and challenged the handy Parmie for the runner-up slot, just missing out behind that horse in 3rd position. The youngster looks to have a bit if a future and it will be interesting to see how he goes as he matures over the next couple of months.
Horses To Follow from FLEMINGTON on Saturday March 7
VOW AND DECLARE
The Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner from 2019 made a solid return when 3rd in the Australian Cup (2000m) behind Fifty Stars and the run would suggest he can go close in a number of the weight-for-age races this campaign. Sent out a $14 chance, the four-year-old settled just in front of the midfield in the early stages and loomed up as they cornered. He looked to be a great chance with 400m to go but was just outsprinted late by Regal Power and Fifty Stars, finishing just over a length from the winner. Trainer Danny O’Brien-trained has mapped out an autumn campaign that includes runs in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and the Doomben Cup (2000m), while the Q22 Cup (2200m) and the Tatts Cup (2400m) are other options. Expect to see him on the winners list in some of those.
One of the unlucky gallopers at Flemington was Ole Kirk, who was just about a certainty beaten in the Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) for the two-year-olds. The close relation of Black Caviar and All Too Hard was lining up at his second career start after winning on debut and was held up from the 400m to the 200m before switching off heels and charging home to finish within a length of Lunar Fox in 3rd position. Despite the miss, Ole Kirk definitely looks to have a promising future and it will be interesting to see if the Hawkes stable send him up to Sydney for a crack at races such as the Sydney version of the Sires Produce (1400m) and the Champagne Stakes (1600m).
Horses To Follow from FLEMINGTON on Saturday february 29
The Danny O’Brien-trained EMBRACE ME just about cost her chances at the start of the Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m) when knuckling after the barriers opened. She settled last in the field of 10 and while she was never going to match the scorching performance that was produced by Fabergino, she was very strong in the closing stages, finishing runner-up behind the tearaway. The daughter of Shamexpress ran the fastest last 200m of the race and backed up her 3rd placing in the recent Australia Stakes (1200m). Stick with her.
The mares tackled the Tressady Stakes in Race 4 and it was Sylvia’s Mother that overcame traffic issues in the straight to take out the Group 3 race. The unlucky SPANISH WHISPER finished a length away in 5th place and should be much better for the run. She was held up from the 400m until the 300m before gaining clear galloping room and loomed on the inside but couldn’t quite bridge the gap on Mamzelle Tess, as others, including the winner, ran on. She may have finished a tad closer if she wasn’t held up but from a look forward point of view, the four-year-old will be hard to beat at her next start. The second-up specialist missed out in her two first up runs last year before claiming the Kewney Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in the autumn and Lets Elope Stakes (1400m) at the venue in the spring. The Kewney might be an option next week
It was all about Alligator Blood in the Australian Guineas (1600m) and the budding star of the turf is an obvious horse to follow after his brilliant win at Flemington. While the likes of Catalyst and Alabama Express were disappointing, it was hard not to be impressed by the performance of Superstorm, who overcame an average tempo to run on in gallant fashion from the tail. The West Australian finished runner-up and produced the best last 200m splits in the race as well as the best overall sectionals in the last 800m of the race. It will be interesting to see what connections do from here and a race such as the Alistair Clark Stakes (2040m) at Moonee Valley might be an option. Lets not also overlook COMMODUS, who was obviously outclassed as a $151 chance. But the roughie only faded late in the 1600m after serving it up to the winner early on and did finish ahead of a disappointing Alabama Express. If he bobs up in a Maiden anytime soon, jump on.
Secret Blaze was sent out as one of the roughies in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) and her effort to finish runner-up behind Fifty Stars was first class. The four-year-old was resuming from an eight week layoff after missing out in the Bagot Handicap (2800m) on New Year’s Day and settled in 3rd position and outside the lead that was set by So Si Bon. Despite being posted out three-wide for the trip, the four-year-old stuck on very well in the closing stages to miss out by over a length She looks to be a great prospect at her next couple of starts.
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.
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