It looks to be an interesting day on Saturday and it is a fantastic initiative from the Racing NSW and the ATC in relation to The Everest.
I have been fortunate enough to have been around different parts of Australia and the world over the past months and everybody is talking about it. It is a significant event and it creates an instantaneous impact.
Our stable traded its share on behalf of our investors this year and we are very happy to have Brave Smash in the race and I am hoping that he runs very well!
We have got a close eye on the weather leading into Saturday's race for our own runners but obviously the heavy track is going to test a lot of horses. We have been pretty fortunate through Sydney’s winter that we got a lot of good tracks so there are many horses that haven’t been on the heavier surfaces for a while or are untested on it.
The Daily Telegraph Reginald Allen Quality – 1400m
MADAM ROUGE - She is certainly a lot better than her current form line would suggest. We will be endeavouring to ride her with a bit of cover on Saturday, I am hoping to see a bit of speed in the race to allow this to happen and I am also hoping that she handles the track.
BUBBLES N TROUBLES - She is coming up from Melbourne, she had no luck whatsoever at Moonee Valley last start and she has drawn to get a nice run and could certainly improve.
I rate both horses as top three chances.
The Star Mile – 1600m
BLACK ON GOLD - He would be very doubtful to run on a heavy track.
KAONIC - He has performed on soft tracks before and he has worked well coming into this after a slightly disappointing run in the Cameron Handicap a few weeks back. A
RAAJA - She looks like she has got good wet track form, but I would be a little suspicious of this. She was well beaten on a heavy track and I don’t think she would be quite at her best; however a soft track would certainly see her competitive and she is likely to improve with the run.
Camera House Sydney Stakes – 1200m
PERFORMER - It will be too wet for him, so he is likely to be withdrawn and he will instead race next Wednesday at Caulfield
DMG Craven Plate – 2000m
WHO SHOT THEBARMAN - He will be fitter thanks to his two runs back from a spell, this looks to be a good staying test and there is a bit of speed in the race which will certainly suit. The heavy track will obviously test the runners as well and with his fitness levels up at a high level I think he will be very competitive.
COMIN’ THROUGH - He comes back from Melbourne, he has some form on the wet tracks but he is certainly not at his best; however he gets through it okay. On a heavy 8 I would be more than happy but a heavy 10 we would be concerned and possibly would not run. Tom Berry takes over from Michael Walker and whilst barrier 15 is a little awkward we will be hoping to ride him similar to how we rode him in the Doomben Cup where from a wide draw he managed to slot in nicely into a midfield position.
EGG TART - She presents well, she is three from three on heavy tracks but her last start run was a little below what I expected. I certainly wasn’t disappointed and I felt that she might have simply been one run short. Based on that she is a genuine chance again on Saturday and obviously the track conditions are a positive.
Bisley Workwear St Leger Stakes – 2600m
PATRICK ERIN - Obviously he is the Metropolitan winner and he runs here because it looks like he won’t get a start in the Caulfield Cup, which is a little disappointing. The 2600m distance will pose no problem as he has won five times on soft tracks in New Zealand. He has had one run on a heavy track for a place but the most significant difference from this start to the Metropolitan is the fact that he is going up to 59kg. It is a slight concern with the weight but he has certainly come through his Metropolitan run well and this Saturday’s race will only be his fourth run for the preparation. It is still our intention to get him down to Melbourne and he may need to run in a race like the Lexus, hoping to get a start in the Melbourne Cup.
LIBRAN - He has had no luck in his last couple of runs, certainly the Metropolitan saw him finish off strongly and he was only beaten 2.5 lengths after going back from gate 16. His heavy track form is a concern, his soft track form is not as bad but on a heavy track he lost all form last autumn when running on these surfaces. Hopefully we can see an improvement in the weather over the next few days as the distance suits, as does the set weights and penalties scale. He was obviously carrying 56kg in the Metropolitan, so he meets a lot of horses much better at the weights.
ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN - We are expecting a big improvement based on his soft track credentials after having won or placed seven times across nine starts in Europe on these conditions. It was a much better run last start, he has won over 2400m in France so clearly he is going to be very hard to beat. We saw a glimpse of some better form from him last start and he is crying out for a bit of give in the track so Saturday will suit.
Patrick Erin (NZ) arrives on the outside to win the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m), picture Sportpix.com.au
Cape Grim Beef Stakes – 1200m
OUR MALAMBO - She has been entered to race in this race where she is racing out of her grade, she is not suited by the set weights and penalties scale but she has been running consistent races. The 1200m will suit much better than the 1100m last start but she needs everything to go her way to be able to finish in the first three.
Schweppes Thousand Guineas - 1600m
FIESTA - She is obviously a very consistent filly and the winner of the Princess Series in NSW, franking her consistency through only having won one of her last four starts, but the others have been good seconds to good horses. She has drawn well and has now had the run over the tough Randwick mile so I think that will season her for the Thousand Guineas. She had a look at Caulfield on Tuesday morning and was a little bit lost but I think she will be much better for the outing. She did work with Unforgotten that morning and was travelling arguably better than her on the line, not that that means anything but to track watchers it may. I certainly can’t fault the way she has come through her Flight Stakes run.
Aquis Toorak Handicap - 1600m
SHILLELAGH - She has arrived safely into Flemington. We sent her down there due to the wet weather in Sydney and I was expecting to run her over 2000m but I feel the mile on a better track is certainly going to give her a better chance to perform and she has raced at Caulfield before. She gets in pretty well at the weights considering her high rating, her two runs back from her spell have been very good and her run in the Epsom was as good as any in the race. Everybody has spoken highly about the first three home but Shillelagh has been the forgotten horse, she came from fifteenth at the 400m and was beaten only a length, so in my opinion she is a very worthy chance of putting another VIC Group One win next to her name.
NOIRE - She has done nothing wrong in her two runs back from her spell, with a good win on a good track last start. She has drawn to get a nice run and Michael Dee rides and with the 52kg weight she is a genuine light weight chance. She went to Caulfield on Tuesday morning and got around the track very well.
Ladbrokes Stakes - 2000m
D’ARGENTO - He has drawn a little bit awkwardly in barrier twelve in the field of twelve but he does have the services of James McDonald. The horse is very well, his run in the Epsom was brilliant and obviously prior to that he has come back very well from his spell. He is ready for the 2000m and went to Caulfield on Tuesday morning and got around the track without any issues, so he just needs an ounce of luck and he will show his class.
UNFORGOTTEN – I couldn’t be any happier with the way she has come through the Epsom Handicap, obviously she got a long way back and had a checkered passage but she finished the race off stylishly. It is good to see her draw well on Saturday in barrier five and Michael Walker is aboard. She is a very good horse but she is obviously racing against some seasoned weight for age campaigners here; however I feel she will certainly be in the finish. Her run on Saturday will determine where she goes next, and there is an outside chance she could go to the Caulfield Cup a week later. She will probably head to either the Cox Plate if she wins on Saturday, or the Myer if I thought she was looking for something easier to finish off the preparation.
Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes - 2400m
BRIMHAM ROCKS – He was very unlucky in the Metropolitan, he drew wide on that occasion and had to go forward into a very strong head wind that day along the back straight which made it tough, yet he still toughed out the finish indicating his class. He is going to need a little bit of luck again from barrier fourteen but it is normal for him to be racing up on the speed so hopefully there is not too much pace and he can get there without doing too much work. Stephen Baster rides and we are simply repaying Stephen thanks to his hard-working ethic, he is one of the first jockey’s to the track each morning at Flemington and always helps out when you need a hand, so hopefully we can repay Stephen with a good ride on Saturday.
THE LORD MAYOR - He was a little disappointing in the Metropolitan but things didn’t really go his way. Barrier ten in a field of fifteen on Saturday will hopefully see him get a little bit of luck, he is a horse that races up on the speed but getting a bit of cover I feel would help his chances significantly. He has worked well over the past seven days.
Harcourts Green Living Handicap – 2200m
VASSAL - He hasn’t had much go his way this preparation, he is a big concern on the wet tracks but his run in the Newcastle Cup wasn’t too bad – my biggest concern is the wet track.
EXOTERIC - He won the Port Macquarie Cup last start and he has come through that run very well. He handles all conditions, so he is clearly the one to beat in this race.
MY GIULIANO - He grows a leg in the wet conditions so the wetter the better for him. He has been racing consistently without a lot of luck and with barrier draws against him. He is certainly a genuine chance on Saturday but Exoteric would be my pick of the runners in this race.
Wynnum Haulage Handicap – 1600m
JAMINZAH - Providing the track is not heavy he will be a very good chance as his work has been good. He was scratched last week due to the heavy track so hopefully we get a bit of fine weather on Saturday to see the Doomben track improve.
Bartons Capalaba and Cleveland BM70 Handicap – 1600m
CEDARWOOD - He has been running well without a lot of luck. Barrier 9 is okay for him, especially if the emergencies don’t gain starts as he could end up coming in closer. He is going much better than his form would suggest and I think he is a top three chance.
Architects Dovey and Associates BM85 Handicap – 1350m
IMPASSE - In his first Queensland run he was a winner in a similar race, unfortunately on Saturday he has drawn 17 so he is going to need a little bit of luck there. My thoughts would be to go forward, try and slot in where we can and if he gets luck he will be in the finish.