Autumn Performers to Follow in 2020 Spring Carnivals
With the respective Autumn Carnival’s in both Melbourne and Sydney done and dusted, we select our best Autumn Carnival Horses to Follow in the 2020 Spring Carnivals.
Here are our best black bookers from the autumn.
There was no shortage of two-year-olds to make an impression in the autumn and FARNAN, AWAY GAME and KING’S LEGACY were the standouts. With Farnan put away after his dominant Golden Slipper (1200m) win, King’s Legacy claimed the remaining two legs of the Triple Crown by taking out the Sires Produce (1400m) and the Champagne Stakes (1600m). The Snowden galloper was very strong over the closing stages in his wins and looks the ideal Golden Rose (1400m) and Caulfield Guineas (1600m) horse for the spring.
The obvious standout sprinter and one to follow in those ranks is Nature Strip, who demolished his rivals in the T.J.Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One of The Championships. While a lot can happen between now and then, he looks to have a stranglehold on a race such as The Everest (1200m). He is certainly the best sprinter in Australia and unless an overseas contender such as an Aethero from Hong Kong lines up, he will be hard to beat. Just don’t back him first up! With plans for Royal Ascot scrapped, he will probably head into The Everest second or third up.
MASTER OF WINE
The lightly raced five-year-old followed up his strong spring form with some big wins early in the autumn before tackling the lucrative Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m). He lost no admirers in his acid test, finishing 4th behind the world class Addeybb and ahead of the likes of Te Akau Shark, Melody Belle and Vow And Declare. The late maturer can measure up to the majors in Melbourne in the spring.
The Melbourne filly claimed the Group 2 Kewney Stakes at Flemington before travelling to Sydney and picking up a couple of Group 3 events. The picket fencer has now won six on the trot and her overall record reads as eight wins from 10 starts. She was runner-up in the other two. She is likely to have a light spring with the $7.5 million Golden Eagle the target.
Now to some that are slightly unheralded in comparison. Just behind Rubisaki in the James Carr (1400m) on the final day of the Randwick carnival was Subpoenaed. Prior to that she showed promise in the Kembla Grange Classic (1600m) before struggling in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m). However, the 1400-1600m distance range might be more her go and she can develop into a nice miler in the spring.
While he was disappointing in the Doncaster (1600m), I thought that race was short of his ideal distance and he did well in the last day of the carnival, running on for 3rd behind Life Less Ordinary in the JRA Plate (2000m). The lightly-raced Waller import has had 10 starts for six wins and looks a suitable candidate for races such as the Metropolitan (2400m) in the spring, depending on which way the stable decides to head.
I didn’t mind the run of Zebrowski in the Australian Derby, finishing runner-up to Quick Thinker. Earlier, the Team Hawkes galloper jumped from a BenchMark 70 to finish behind that horse in the Tulloch Stakes (2000m). With further maturity, the son of Savabeel can develop into a nice horse in the spring.
Prior to the Sydney carnival, the Danny O’Brien-trained Paradee showed promise at Moonee Valley by winning at Group 3 level but battled on the Heavy track at Randwick on over 2000m in the Adrian Knox (2000m) on Day One of The Championships. She was posted three wide without cover in that race and had to settle for 6th, behind the eventual Oaks (2400m) winner, Colette. Keep her in mind for some of the spring races for the mares in Melbourne.
KING OF LEOGRANCE
Team Williams were relatively quiet this autumn, their first since closing Macedon Lodge. The pick of their spring chances shapes as King Of Leogrance who claimed the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington before cruising to an easy win in the Adelaide Cup (3200m). While the Melbourne Cup might be a bit of a stretch, he is not without a chance if he can sneak into the race that stops the nation. But the stable have had plenty of success in staying races such as the Herbert Power (2400m) and the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) over the years and it would be no surprise to see the former import fire in some of these races in the spring.
Another progressive horse that comes out of some of the Melbourne races is Nonconformist, who worked his way through the grades in the autumn. He was a tad unlucky in the slow lane on Blue Diamond Stakes day, finishing runner-up in the Autumn Classic (1800m) behind Adelaide Ace, before turning the table on that horse and careering away to a big win in the Alistair Clark (2040m) at Moonee Valley.