Australia has a rich tradition of Guineas races, particularly in Victoria and New South Wales, with many a champion galloper catapulting themselves to prominence in a particular edition.
After the Caulfield Guineas, Australian Guineas and Randwick Guineas, the Rosehill Guineas is the fourth and final Group 1 Guineas of 2012/13.
The winners of the aforementioned over this season are All Too Hard, Ferlax and It’s a Dundeel. While there might be question marks over the middle of those, the other two have already won five Group 1’s between them and, with It’s a Dundeel engaged at Rosehill, it could well be six by 3.35pm tomorrow.
The Rosehill Guineas is the only one of these races run over further than a mile, and we see a field of nine stepping up to the 2000m course tomorrow, some of them for the first time.
How do we overlook the obvious in this race? Most observers thought It’s a Dundeel was on track for this race after his eye-catching fourth first-up in the Hobartville, and something similar was expected in the Randwick Guineas.
Instead, he made a move earlier than anyone anticipated and was only a length or two back from Proisir at the turn, before bounding away for a victory more comfortable than the half-length margin suggests.
With a Spring Champion win and an AAMI Vase second to Super Cool off a farcical tempo under his belt at the 2000m, he has every right to start in the red. If wanting to ring the warning bell, it might be worth mentioning the last two times It’s a Dundeel has started favourite, he’s gone under.
It seems we’re talking about Fiveandahalfstar every week these days, and Anthony Cummings has certainly never shied away from getting every possible run out of a prep from his horses.
I was right to be wary of him at short odds last start, and now we’re getting a more attractive price. Yes, he has to hold off another star this time, but coming off two WFA seconds at the distance, he’s truly battle-hardened and may just run this smaller field ragged.
Either way we’ve got another fantastic race coming up!
I’ve never seen anything from Tatra to suggest he can run a strong 2000m, and Hvassten is a talented colt in form but has drawn a tricky gate, goes the Sydney way for the first time, and is at his best with a bit of cushion that may not be forthcoming on Saturday.
Sacred Falls is a nice horse that is yet to really convince in this country, albeit having shown glimpses, but gets his chance at an Australian Group 1 placing here, while the best of the rest appears to be the untapped Twisted Emotions.
I’m not a huge fan of putting horses in red figures on top, and Fiveandahalfstar is due to hold on to a lead in the straight, so he’ll do me.
Selections: 1. Fiveandahalfstar; 2. It’s a Dundeel; 3. Twisted Emotions; 4. Sacred Falls
Often seen as one of the weaker Group 1 sprints in the country, this year’s Galaxy has attracted a deep field of highly rated gallopers, many of which are deserving of victory at the highest level and are trying to break through here.
Hay List has been the most prominent early scratching, with a hoof problem preventing him from facing the starters call. Adebisi would have had admirers down in the weights but has also been scratched.
Snitzerland is our favourite after burning along with Hay List before bolting in the Challenge Stakes at WFA in track record time. She meets a few of her rivals much worse at the handicap weights, but she did beat them soundly, and her fans won’t be frightened away by that fact or her short quote. She’s at rock bottom odds for me though.
Sea Siren is the other established, proven quality in the race, winner of a Doomben 10000 and a Manikato. I’ll always take some convincing before backing a top-weighted mare against the boys though.
In such an even handicap, I’m always inclined to look for value, and Howmuchdoyouloveme is the best in relative weights from those close enough to Snitzerland in the Challenge.
He’s also got the racing pattern that I like, putting himself right in the race, and the barrier to make the most of it. A four-year-old with only nine starts, five of them wins, he hasn’t reached his peak yet.
Tiger Tees is as honest a sprinter as there is around, and would be a worthy Group 1 winner if he finds the post ahead of the others. Bel Sprinter is 4 from 4 first-up and is a serious talent who has never quite reached the levels expected of him due to tardiness and throat issues.
Extremely wide gates don’t help those two.
Pampellone is also unbeaten first up and beat a field not much worse than this in the Shorts last September. Temple of Boom is the defending champ but meets a strong line-up here. Decision Time is a perennially underrated sprinter, and I’ll be doing so again.
Unpretentious might be best suited by the strong tempo, and has a bit of x-factor about him that could see him surprise.
The speed in this race should be frenetic, and if there is a horse capable of coming over the top at odds, it might be this one. Perhaps that’s some Victorian bias coming through!
Title shouldn’t be dismissed second up (7:3-3-0 record) at huge odds either. Under those circumstances last time he ran Moment of Change to 1.3 lengths giving him 5.5kgs, and ran fourth beaten just over a length in this event last year.
He drops 3kgs on last year’s run, and a whopping 10.5kgs on his first up run! Massive overs.
Boy, what a race. So many lightly-raced horses on the up that are looking to claim a Group 1 handicap on their way to becoming seasoned WFA sprinters, all with an eye on the mantle soon to be vacated by Black Caviar.
Not easy to split them, but here’s my crack.
Selections: 1. Howmuchdoyouloveme; 2. Unpretentious; 3. Title; 4. Snitzerland
How can I go past Lady of Harrod’s in the first at Rosehill, after she was good to us in the spring? Some horses just have a knack of saluting at double figure odds, which is what she’s been in all three of her wins, gained from only eight career starts.
Not a bad strike rate!
Unbeaten second-up (2:2-0-0), which she is here, her first-up (4:0-0-0) run was okay in a pretty handy field, only being caught late after taking them along.
She’s already been backed in ($34 to $21 with Sportsbet), which is always an encouraging sign, especially with this stable and this horse.
She fights all the way to the line and will give you a great sight for your money, and might just get us off to a flyer on a fantastic day of Easter Saturday racing.