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Horses To Follow (NSW) - Blackbookers from Saturday's New South Wales racing

  • Blackbookers to catch the eye in NSW
  • Our latest horses to follow from Sydney racing

Saturday racing in New South Wales 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 New South Wales' Saturday racing.

Here are some horses to put in your blackbook: 

Horses to follow from Rosehill on Saturday March 16

Track condition: Heavy 10

I’ve been with this son of Ocean Park in all three runs this campaign, and after a couple of runner-up efforts, he finally got the job done. He’s still not at what should be his optimal distance yet but is doing it on class alone. Chris Waller is doing a great job of bringing this horse through the grades and preparing him for a tilt at the Doncaster Mile, and he’ll be a sneaky chance in that race next time around if that’s where they head. 

The boom New Zealand filly got too far out of her ground, covered too much ground on the bend and still worked home strongly for 6th place and ran the quickest final 200m split of the race (11.58). That was her first run for seven weeks, and back home, she improved significantly at her second run after a six week break so I’d expect her to improve next time. She’s headed to the Sires’ Produce (1400m) and possibly Champagne Stakes (1600m), but I think Castevecchio is heading that way too and he’s a star on the rise. However, Probabeel is a filly on the up and her performance was worthy of the black book. 

If Rosehill is still Heavy next Saturday, it’s hard to see them beating Cosmic Force in the Golden Slipper. He sat three deep without cover on the speed and kicked strongly to win by 7.3 lengths and was eased down in the final 100m. He ran two lengths quicker than Kiamichi in the previous event and I doubt Kiamichi is rated within two lengths of the top Godolphin juveniles like Tenley and Microphone, but Cosmic Force has plenty of room to improve on that effort and is now proven on rain-affected ground. 

I really like this Hawkes-trained son of Intello for the Sydney Cup. At just his second start in Australia, he settled well off them, picked his gap through the field and charged to a comprehensive victory. His best form in the UK was over 2800m at just his fifth career start so with a good grounding this campaign, he’ll run every bit of 3200m and more. His final 200m was quicker than Red Cardinal who won over 2000m earlier, and Supernova was switched off late when he easily had them covered. 

Star Of The Seas
Cosmic Force

Horses to follow from Randwick on March 9

The Team Hawkes-trained filly showed a brilliant turn of foot to come from last at the 300m mark and just miss behind Prophet’s Thumb. She ran the third quickest final 600m (0:32.15) of the day behind Viridine (0:31.98) and Spright (0:32.12). She won over 1100m on debut when coming from the rear and this performance was near identical in tougher grade. I’d love to see her over 1200m next time, third-up where the Hawkes runners usually peak.  
The unbeaten Medaglia D'oro filly has to be rated as one of the top Golden Slipper contenders following this performance. She came from well back in the Pierro Stakes (1100m) on debut to score and then did it again against a tough Reisling Stakes (1200m) field. Her winning time of 1:08.34 was the quickest Reisling run in recent history and if she could replicate that sort of time at Randwick, it would see her winning the Slipper.
As mentioned earlier, Viridine ran the quickest final 600m of the day and was taking ground off Ball Of Muscle and Redzel who went to the line locked just in front of him. He was first-up and generally improves with a run under his belt so stick with him in anything next time. 


Horses to follow from Randwick on March 2

The four-year-old Champs Elysees gelding was having his second Australian start and really caught the eye charging home from last to grab 2nd place. He failed to make an impact in a BM76 over 1550m but really improved out of sight to get so close in the BM88 over 2000m. He was backed from $16 into $12 so there must have been some stable confidence as there is no way you could have backed him following his first Australian run. He won third-up over 2300m in the UK so I’m keen to be on him in a suitable race next time. 

I’m just about convinced that this could be racing’s next big thing. Although he won his first two starts over 1200m, the Dundeel colt will be far better suited over a trip, and if he contests the Sires’ and Champagne Stakes, he’ll be winning. He was a distant last as they straightened, and race caller Darren Flindell declared “don’t worry about Castelvecchio.” He ran 11.43 for his final 200m but it was his final 100m that was most impressive. His sire won the Spring Champion in the spring, and his dam, St Terese, produced Made Of Heaven who won that race last year. He’ll surely head down that path and possibly onto the Cox Plate for which I’ve already secured 150/1.

Peter and Paul Snowden have figured this eight-year-old gelding out, and he seems to run better when kept in work and given a series of freshen-ups. He made up a stack of ground in the straight and got tantalisingly close to Dreamforce who looked like he’d win by five at the 200m mark. That was his first run for five weeks and he usually goes best at his second run from a break. 

Desert Path
Snippets Land

Horses to follow from Rosehill on February 23

Despite being disappointed at the result after tipping Burning Crown in this event, I thought it was a massive effort to run 3rd. The pressure was on from the outset with Burning Crown splitting I’m A Jewel on his inside and Gumshoe on his outside. I’m A Jewel weakened to finish 7.4 lengths last and Gumshoe was also 4.2 lengths off the pace. Burning Crown was first-up yet still battled away to finish half a length away. I’m keen to stick with him as he has plenty of upside and is better when ridden with cover behind the speed. 

Time To Reign and Tassort ran near identical sectionals from the 800m mark, but with more upside with Tassort, he’s the one to follow. The babies wound up early from home and ran good time which made it near impossible for Tassort to run past the eventual winner. The winner clocked 01:04.38 which was seven length quicker than the previous race and marginally quicker than the three-year-olds and BM92 field later in the day.

The French-import remains winless in Australia from two previous campaigns but can break through this time. Waller gave him two runs last autumn before sending him to the paddock and he returned in the spring for five runs which included a 2nd placing in the St Leger (2600m) at Randwick on a Heavy track. His best form is on Soft ground in France so maybe he needs it wet when he gets out to a staying trip. Follow him this autumn. 

He’s well and truly back. Admittedly, I had some doubts over how The Autumn Sun had returned after two lacklustre barrier trials, but he left no doubt as he made it six wins from seven starts. I wrote in my trials piece he is either looking for much further than the trial distances of 1000m or he needed more time. Fortunately for racing it’s the former and The Autumn Sun now looks to assert his dominance throughout the autumn.  

Burning Crown
One Foot In Heaven
The Autumn Sun

Horses to follow from Randwick on February 16

This was Haames first try beyond 1600m and he looked very unlucky and should be around peak fitness now. It’s unusual to see a jockey pull the whip at the 40m mark for the first time, but that’s what happened here as Andrew Adkins was unable to get clear on Haames before that stage. When clear, he really started to pick up and, on that effort,, there’s no doubting he ran the trip and could probably get 2000m next time. He won at his seventh run last campaign, and with five runs under his belt this time in, he looks ready to show his best. One thing is for sure, you are bound to get a price next time. 

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and if Brenton Avdulla had his chance again, I’m sure he would have restrained Brutal to take the spot three pairs back instead of sitting three deep without cover for the trip. You seriously could have fit a semi-trailer into that gap, and the eventual winner came from four pairs back, but after committing to the early speed from the outset Avdulla was in a tricky spot on Brutal and that cost him the race. Brutal battled gamely and should have finished three lengths back after that torrid run, but he did a fantastic job to finish so close. He’ returned in good order, should improve on that effort and has a will to win. Stick with him.

The Apollo was all about the wonder mare Winx, but I’m keen to follow my second-up horse Unforgotten who finished better than expected. She generally goes awfully first-up but can literally improve out of sight second-up. I’ll be backing her wherever she goes along as it’s not against Winx.

I tipped Nakita Jane in the Flight Stakes last year at big odds and have a big opinion of this filly, but I didn’t expect her to be so brilliant first-up over 1200m. She’ll continue to improve over longer and looks a standout for the Oaks at this stage. 

Nakeeta Jane

Horses to follow from Warwick Farm on February 9

Unbeaten in four starts, the Todd Blowes-trained four-year-old gelding is likely to progress to the Country Championships final (1400m) at Randwick on April 6. We may see him qualify through Goulburn on March 2, and he’ll be hard to beat in anything he contests. Hugh Bowman was just cruising on him as they rounded the field on the turn, and this was a very soft victory considering he hadn’t raced for 10 weeks. There’s plenty of upside to this son of Bon Hoffa and he could really surprise a few with how far he progresses. 

Fiesta may have won the first-up battle between these two highly-talented fillies, but keeping in mind this was Estijaab’s first run in nearly a year, she probably has more upside. Fiesta also trialled twice in preparation for this while Estijaab went around once at the trials but threw rider Brenton Avdulla and didn’t get a proper hit-out. The 2018 Golden Slipper winner looks to have come back in great order and is in for a big autumn campaign. 

Arguably the most impressive winner of the day was the Richard Litt-trained Dundeel colt by the name of Castelvecchio. He came from last on the turn to win at Canterbury on debut and showed that was no fluke swooping from last of 14 as he sailed past them down the outside. His dam, St Therese, produced last year’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) winner Maid Of Heaven, and considering his sire (Dundeel) also won the Spring Champion Stakes as well as a further five Group 1 races between 1600m and 2400m, Castelvecchio should only continue to improve as he gets out in distance. The Golden Slipper, Sires’ Produce and Champagne Stakes looks a likely option for him. 

Noble Boy

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MORE HORSES TO FOLLOW: Our latest blackbookers from Victoria and the latest horses to follow from Queensland.


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Horses To Follow (NSW) - Blackbookers from Saturday's New South Wales racing

Looking for horses to black book each Saturday? We pick out the best each week from the metropolitan meeting in New South Wales.

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