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 september 18
Race 2 – Handicap (1100 METRES) – PANDEMIC 📓
Race 2 went the way of He’s A Balter, who led from start to finish over the 1100m, making it four wins on the trot. He enjoyed a soft time of it. I didn’t mind the way the two Godolphin gallopers finished off with Pandemic and Athiri filling the minors. Pandemic produced the third fastest last 400m of the day and the second fastest last 600m. He was first up in that race and should have improvement to come.
Race 6 – BenchMark 90 (1400 METRES)- STARELLE 📓
Annavisto stamped her class with a nice win in Race 6 for the mares, holding off Ecumenical. The eye catcher came from Starelle, who ran 4th for the Danny O’Brien stable. She began awkwardly and was held up for a brief period of time at the top of the straight before reeling off the fastest last 400m and 200m. Another that was fresh, she was a big improver second up last time when going more than 16 lengths faster than standard, defeating the likes of Chica Fuerte and Personal over the 1600m at Flemington.
Race 7 – 4:15PM Catanach’s Jewellers MRC Foundation Cup (2000 METRES)- GRAND PROMENADE 📓
Nonconformist got the job done in Race 7 and I expect a number of these will tackle the staying races over the spring. Grand Promenade was 5th and looks to me a perfect contender for some of the 2500m races at Flemington such as the Bart Cummings. Not sure he can trouble the likes of Incentivise in the Cups but he stuck on well behind Nonconformist, despite being posted out three wide for much of the trip.
Race 8 – 4:50PM Neds Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400 METRES) – I’M THUNDERSTRUCK 📓
I’m Thunderstruck was sensationally backed into favouritism in the Group 1 Rupert Clarke Stakes after sneaking into the field. I wasn’t sure that he was the play from the wide gate and first up into a Group 1 off a two month break. Punters were cursing Jye McNeil, who settled back from the barrier but he didn’t have much choice from out wide. The pair loomed up in the straight with I’m Thunderstruck hampered at the 300 mark before fastest last 200m fourth fastest last 200m of the day. He will be a force to be reckoned with in whatever he contests next.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM flemington ON september 11
Race 6 – Let’s Elope Stakes (1400 METRES) – MYSTIC JOURNEY 📓
The mares battled it out in the Group 2 Lets Elope Stakes and it was a bit of an eye-catcher from Mystic Journey, who landed the exacta behind Turaath. Stepping out for her first run this time in, the Tasmanian was sent out a $14 chance and settled in the back half of the field before closing off strongly behind the winner. She has had her ups and downs since her famous win in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington in 2019 but looks like she should be able to pick up a mares race, particularly as she gets some fitness under her belt and back out to the 1600m.
Race 8 – Makybe Diva Stakes (1600 METRES)- INCENTIVISE 📓 & SIR DRAGONET 📓
You could make a case for the majority of the Maybe Diva Stakes runners as horses to follow but lets not take away anything from the winner, Incentivise, who was issued the challenge at the 300m mark before staying firm and holding on from a wall of horses. The boom galloper was fresh off a spell and lacked the run under his belt but did enough in the end, going12 lengths faster than standard benchmark. He can build on that as he steps up in distance and heads towards the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) en route to the majors. Sir Dragonet was the best of the backmarkers, producing the fastest last 400m and finishing 3rd. Last year’s Cox Plate (2040m) winner looks to have come back in great order.
Race 9 – Handicap (1700 METRES)- DEFIBRILLATE 📓
I didn’t mind the performance of Defibrillate in the final event of the day. The Patrick Payne-trained galloper was a bit sluggish when resuming at Moonee Valley three weeks ago but showed improvement to fill the exacta behind Floating Artist over the 1700m at Flemington. He should be cherry ripe for some wins in upcoming races and was able to win four on the trot at his last campaign with two of those coming over the 2000m. On Saturday he was carrying 6.5kg more than the winner and was held up at a vital stage before flashing home.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM moonee valley ON september 4
Race 1 – 3YO Handicap (1500 METRES)- FORGOT YOU 📓 & SANDY PRINCE 📓
Best benchmark figures came out of the opening race with Forgot You going 11.8 lengths faster than standard to win ahead of Sandy Prince. They are excellent figures for the early season three-year-olds. The race was set up for the winner with Sandy Prince working hard to hold the lead. He looked home with 100m to go before Forgot You came from the clouds. Forgot You shapes as a spring contender for some of the major races for his age group after that effort and I don’t think we should be giving up on Sandy Prince just yet.
Race 5 – McEwen Stakes (1000 METRES)- SEPTEMBER RUN 📓
Is September Run back? The Chris Waller-trained mare certainly provided the eye-catcher in the McEwen Stakes over the 1000m, flashing home for 3rd behind The Inferno. It was a similar performance to her first up effort earlier this year when runner-up in the Lightning Stakes (1000m) before an inconclusive Newmarket Handicap (1200m) run and an excellent performance in the William Reid Stakes (1200m). Last year’s Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) winner produced the fastest last 200m of the entire meeting, coming off the slow early tempo to finish just over a length from the winner.
Race 7 – Chautauqua Stakes (1200 METRES)- IRISH FLAME 📓
It was an excellent return from Irish Flame, who landed in the money at a big price in the Chautauqua Stakes. The Brett Scott-trained galloper was resuming after running 3rd behind Mount Popa and Nonconformist in the Mornington Cup (2400m) last autumn and settled towards the rear of the 14 horse field after drawing wide. He was the best of the backmarkers, working home well to finish just over two lengths from Express Pass. Look for him as he steps up further in trip. This time just a year ago he strung together three wins on the trot, including one at Flemington on Cup day over the 1800m, as well as the Ballarat Cup (2000m). The former Kiwi looks to be in for a winning campaign.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM CAULFIELD ON AUGUST 28
Race 3 – BenchMark 90 Mares (1400 METRES)- ANNAVISTO 📓
Best benchmark figures came out of Race 3 of the day and it was the heavily backed Turaath that did it at both ends, going 12.9 lengths faster than standard on her way to making it three on the trot. Annavisto might be the one to follow heading forward after sticking on strongly to fill the exacta, finishing within half a length of the winner. The Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr-trained mare was resuming from a spell and produced the fastest last 200m. At her last campaign she was a big improver on figures when second up, finishing runner-up behind Cumberbatch at Flemington before winning two on the trot. Expect her to be on the winners list as we head into spring.
Race 4 – McNeil Stakes 3yo (1200 METRES)- ARTORIUS 📓
The three-year-olds featured in the McNeil Stakes and we saw the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner, Artorius, in action. Another that was first up, the Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained galloper settled back in the field before producing the fastest last 200m of the race, missing out in narrow fashion behind Bruckner, who went a tick under nine lengths faster than standard. It was a promising return from Artorius, who will be aimed towards the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
Race 5 – The Heath 1100 Stakes (1100 METRES)- MASKED CRUSADER 📓 & AMISH BOY 📓
Masked Crusader was one of the better performances of the day, coming from a mile back to take out The Heath. The Group 1 winner produced the fastest last 200m of the day, going 10.76 seconds for this section, en route to going 12.7 lengths faster than standard. He is in for a big preparation and looks to have come back in great order. The luckless runner was Amish Boy, who was blocked at the 200m and lost momentum before switching course. The Maher/Eustace galloper has won just one of 17 but has been around the mark in some big races and is worth keeping an eye on at his next few.
Race 8 – Memsie Stakes (1400 METRES)- AEGON 📓
The feature of the day was the Memsie Stakes and it was Behemoth that made it back to back wins in the first Melbourne Group 1 of the season. Aegon finished 4th and was among a number that performed well in the $1 million affair. The Kiwi galloper may have finished a fraction closer than the two-length margin as he lost ground at the 300m when held up behind Inspirational Girl before getting out late and catching the eye. The son of Sacred Falls was first up and should take improvement off that run. Look for him as he stretches out over the 1600m and beyond.
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