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Talking Points - Saturday

Finals Day at Flemington saw plenty of worthy winners and some Spring sights set.

Berkshire Breeze

For all the dominance that Berkshire Breeze displayed once more, we didn't really learn a whole lot more about him. It was little more than a track gallop for the talented import, who has increased his rating by three pounds from 107 to 110.

This wasn't a particularly strong Banjo Paterson, outside of the winner, and the margin against the placegetters fits in well, with Taramansour basically just running to his best form in second, despite being beaten 4.8 lengths.

All that said, Berkshire Breeze can lay claim to being the best Banjo Paterson winner of all time. On the exact numbers, he only matches Grand Promenade, also for Ciaron Maher, who also ran to 110, but I think most would agree that Berkshire Breeze has more upside and will go on to be rated higher.

Grand Promenade then ran 112 in the Bart Cummings, which, by Timeform's measure, was his peak career rating.

No doubt Berkshire Breeze could've won this by further and the run prior when going 107+ certainly suggested 110 was a formality, rather than a peak.

The Bart Cummings will be a logical target for Berkshire Breeze, and while many will shrug this off as Winter form, a quick look at Timeform ratings for placegetters in Melbourne Cups will show the bridge is not all that far.

High Emocean (also for C Maher) managed to sneak into third in the 2022 Melbourne Cup with a Timeform rating of just 103- comfortably the lowest ever. Also in 2022, Emissary ran 109 when second to Gold Trip (who carried top weight and ran 125). Sheraz last year also ran 112 to finish third.

All of this is weight dependent of course, but Berkshire Breeze has the pieces to be a genuine Melbourne Cup contender.

Two-Year-Olds

With a couple of nice two-year-old races on the Finals Day card, it's worth mentioning how they measured up, and it was the debutant Aldolfito who really shone, running to a rating of 96 on debut.

He edged out impressive maiden winner I Found You, who was perhaps waited with too long, but was there to win regardless and Aldolfito was too good.

A rating of 96 is about on par for what you'd expect of this race, albeit using a very small sample size, but that he did it on debut is impressive.

The best winner of this race has turned out pretty handy and is actually Invincible Sage, formerly known as Thron Bone for Jerome Hunter, who ran to 98 at his fourth start.

Now in Hong Kong, he's rated 120 with a win two starts ago in the Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m).

Aldolfito sits alongside filly Sense Of Honour who ran to 96 at her third start and never went on with it, retired after three more outings. The only other horse to win this on debut was Stellar Swift (formerly Stellar Olympus) for the Hayes yard last year, running to 90.

The stable seemed fairly reserved about Aldolfito going forward but off this, I don't think there's any reason why they shouldn't be targeting races like the Vain and Poseidon Stakes in the early Spring.

Meanwhile, Jenni's Meadow appreciated the rise to 1600m to win the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final (1600m) with a rating of 98, up from a previous peak of 92 the start prior.

At the weights, stablemate Sneaky Sunrise actually comes out on top, conceding the winner 3.5kg for a 1.3 length margin, resulting in a rating of 102 for her.

That isn't bad going for a filly, at least for this race. The best winner of the Taj Rossi in the past ten years is clearly Royal Symphony, who ran to a whopping 116. To put that into some perspective, Broadsiding is a dual 1600m Group 1 winner at two and also rated 116.

Dropping down, four other winners (50% total) have cracked the 100 mark in that time, and a total of 10 placegetters (30%) have achieved that feat.

Sneaky Sunrise is actually the highest rated filly to come out of the Taj Rossi since 2010, then known as the Gibson Carmichael Stakes. In more recent years, we've seen Rubisaki run to 101 as a filly conceding weight to the winner. She ended up rated 112 and a multiple Group 2/3 winner.

Having run over a mile as a two-year-old should only benefit these fillies and help them strengthen ahead of their three-year-old season where there are options aplenty, especially with the Thousand Guineas late in the Spring.

Berkshire Breeze (IRE) and Ethan Brown, picture Racing Photos

 
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