Race by race recap of key performers and ones to watch moving forward from Saturday’s Breeders Classic meeting at Warwick Farm.
Prompt Response won the feature event of the day, the Group 2 Breeders Classic (1200m) and the win augers well for the rest of her autumn when looking at the history of the race.
It was boom Godolphin colt Kementari however who stole the show by dominating the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m). His 2.8 length win is the best display we’ve seen by a three-year-old in Sydney this autumn.
Race 1: Sandbar - Lonhro Plate (1100m)
Sandbar has taken a nice step from his debut win at Canterbury. The Snitzel colt ran to a Timeform rating of 105 on Saturday.
He’s given Brad Widdup his first stakes success. Interestingly, he’s the first non Godolphin horse to win the race since Alpha Miss in 2014.
Haptic, Telperion and Veranillo have won the last three Lonhro plates for Godolphin.
Of those, Telperion is the Lonhro Plate winner who produced the best result in the 2016 Golden Slipper where he ran fourth.
The Golden Slipper will be the goal for Sandbar. He’s more or less qualified for the race now with more than 90k prizemoney.
It gives the stable options as to how they get him there in six weeks time. He can have a little let up from here then contest the Todman Stakes before the Golden Slipper a fortnight later.
Race 2: Beijing Board - Benchmark 84 Handicap (2400m)
Beijing Board is working through his grades well. The Dubawi gelding has put three straight wins together and this one netted him a new career peak figure of 95.
He’s got a Benchmark in the low 80’s now. He’ll be tough to place around this time of year. There aren’t many 12 furlong events around. They may have to drop him back to 10 furlongs.
It was the start of a good day for Godolphin. They amassed five winners across four venues and three states on Saturday from just 11 runners.
Race 3: She Will Reign - Inglis 3YO Sprint (1100m)
She Will Reign was a dual Group 1 winner taking on Benchmark 70/75 horses. She was always going to be too good.
The Manhattan Rain filly produced a Timeform rating of 110. It’s well below what she is capable of. Her Golden Slipper and Moir Stakes wins each returned Timeform ratings of 119.
People were a bit cool on the strength of her win. We need to remember though she only had the one trial and she also had a setback with a fetlock joint last month.
She was soft in condition yet still picked up a nice paycheck with relative ease. It was a case of good placement by Gary Portelli.
Race 4: Star Boy - Class 3 Highway Handicap (1100m)
Star Boy is a real up and comer. He’s improved with each run this prep since resuming on the first of December at Mudgee.This latest win netted the Pluck gelding a Timeform rating of 87.
The stable are of the opinion Star Boy is still a bit immature. It will be interesting to see what they do next with him.
The runner up Under The Thumb was strong late for second. He was coming out of a midweek event at Canterbury where he placed. Despite that he was paying $14 for the win on Saturday.
When we’re doing our Highway Handicap form, we should always be looking for horses who have either had their last starts in a Highway Handicap, in a proper metro race or a provincial event. That is where the vast majority of Highway Handicap winners have their prior starts.
Race 5: The Enzo - Inglis Classic (1200m)
The Enzo ran third on debut at Canterbury behind Sandbar who won the Lonhro Plate earlier in the card. The form was already looking pretty good and he’s given it another push.
He ran to a Timeform rating of 100 which is about two lengths lower than what Sandbar ran to earlier in the day. Sanctimonious showed his talent again in second. Pembroke Castle produced sharp improvement on his debut.
Race 6: Kementari - Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m)
That was an exciting display by Kementari. He was barely asked to get out of second gear and was simply a cut above.
The son of Lonhro ran to a Timeform rating of 119P. That’s the highest figure we’ve seen in an Eskimo Prince since Spark Of Life ran to 121 winning in 2004. Spark Of Life went on to win the Galaxy that autumn followed by two Manikato’s.
Kementari will head toward the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 10. He’ll contest the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) in two week’s time then contest the Guineas third up which will be perfect.
Giving the win more credit is the horses he beat who were made look second rate. Siege Of Quebec, Brave Song and Assimilate are all pretty talented types. Assimilate in fourth is probably the one who can most likely bridge the gap. He was finding the line well.
Kementari and Glyn Schofield, picture Stevehart.com.au
Race 7: Prompt Response - Breeders Classic (1200m)
Winning the Breeders Classic was a great way to start the autumn for Prompt Response.
She’s run to a Timeform rating of 115. That is a good winning figure compared to the prior five year average of the event.
This always proves to be a pretty strong form race heading into the autumn. Only once in the past nine years has a winner of the Breeders Classic not gone on to win another stakes race in the autumn. That was Amicus Horseform in 2016.
Read through the Breeders Classic winners over the past decade, In Her Time, Catkins, Steps In Time, More Joyous, Alverta and Hot Danish. It’s a who’s who of popular Sydney mares.
They contest the event because they are class mares who are pitchforked into the race under Set Weights plus Penalties conditions. Prompt Response was another example of this on Saturday.
She looks hard to beat contesting the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes in two weeks time.
Race 8: Show A Star - Bowness Stud Mile (1600m)
Show A Star looked hard to beat. It was a perfect race for him, third up, out to a mile in a race thin on depth. He went to the front and was too good.
The Excites gelding ran to a Timeform rating of 104, the same as what he produced winning at Rosehill the start prior.
He has thrived since arriving in Sydney from Victoria. Change is as good as a holiday. He’s a rising seven-year-old but running career best figures.
Race 9: Fickle Folly - Benchmark 95 Handicap (1000m)
The mares dominated the final event of the day and filled the trifecta. Fickle Folly was excellent and ran to a Timeform rating of 102.
She’s a very honest mare. There is an 1100m Benchmark 95 Handicap at Randwick in two week’s time that will suit her.
The runner up Hieroglyphics should go there as well. She’s got a fantastic first up record. Three wins and three placings from six starts.
My Favorite resumed with a fourth. The Haradasun gelding was strong first up off a nearly two year break. He’d have been in dire need of that run. Currently a rising nine-year-old, he’s not getting any younger but it will still be interesting to see what he can do this prep for Clarry Conners.