Rosehill and Moonee Valley racing preview

Cameron Rose Columnist

By , Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    Rosehill racing. (AAP Image/David Moir)

    This Saturday has no Group 1 races, scheduled, but fear not, the following eight weekends will contain races at the highest level, as we get into the meat of spring carnivals in both Melbourne and Sydney.

    There is still quality races to be had in both states this Saturday, with four Group 2 races taking place.

    The main feature of the day is at Moonee Valley, the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, which can’t be said five times fast, but can book the winner a spot in the Cox Plate six weeks from now.

    Almost half the field is first-up, and of the six that have had a run this prep, three of them come in from the Lawrence Stakes three weeks ago – He’s Our Rokkii, Abbey Marie, Star Exhibit.

    He’s Our Rokkii finished a strong fourth, matching Black Heart Bart stride for stride for most of the race, to show he had returned well. He needs another win though, given it has been near on a year, and should get his chance sitting in first four or five on the rail.

    Abbey Marie ran the quickest last 400m and 600m of the Lawrence, helped by hugging the rail the entire race and never having to cover an extra metre. She ran Silent Sedition to a length and a half second up last prep, and reproducing that would have her in the finish here, especially given she should be more suited at 1600m second-up.

    Star Exhibit was okay first-up without really catching the eye, and he did run the equal best last 600m in the Lawrence, with Abbey Marie. He’s in the race.

    Articus is unbeaten second-up, twice in Europe and once in Victoria for Darren Weir, and must be respected based on that alone, even if he is yet to be proven at WFA in his time here.

    Rhythm to Spare is the fittest horse in the race, and is flying in the handicap grades against smart horses. He also has to graduate to WFA racing, but looks over the odds and is an attractive place betting option.

    Jacquinot Bay continues to do his thing, and might even roll to the front from a widish draw given there doesn’t appear to be a natural leader. It’s hard to see him beating them all at ten years of age.

    Of the first-uppers, the two Baker and Forsman mares are the most fancied, sharing the third line of betting behind He’s Our Rokkii and Star Exhibit.

    Bonneval won four in a row to finish her autumn racing, including Group 1 Oaks in both New Zealand and here. She bolted in the ATC Oaks, and is high up in Caulfield Cup betting for a reason. There’s a big watch on her.

    Lizzie L’Amour is the stablemate, a year older but lightly raced for a five year old. She is also on a Cups campaign, coming off a Group 1 win in New Zealand last campaign. She’s drawn to get a cosier run than Bonneval, which might be the difference in splitting them at the finish.

    Sir Isaac Newton is well respected in the market, although like a number of these is better credentialled at 2000m and beyond rather than the 1600m of this race. His only run in the autumn, in the Blamey over this distance, doesn’t suggest he could win, but he’ll likely be more forward for this. It’s always hard to know exactly what runners from the Lloyd Williams camp are going to produce early in their prep.

    Capitalist wins again

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

    Tavago creates some interest at longer odds. He beat Jameka hands down in winning the ATC Derby at three, but his four-year-old spring was best forgotten. First-up last campaign, he finished six lengths behind Winx at Group 1 WFA in the Chipping Norton, finishing in front of Hartnell.

    He’s clearly got soundness issues, but is a smart galloper when right. He’s capable of a big surprise, especially if he can be comfortable sitting in the box seat from his good draw.

    Selections: 1.Tavago 2.He’s Our Rokkii 3.Rhythm To Spare 4.Sir Isaac Newton

    The Run to the Rose is the most important race on the Rosehill card, given the rise and prominence of the Golden Rose as a feature in the spring.

    It looks something of a two horse race on paper, between Pariah and Menari, colts that won the key lead-up races.

    Pariah is better credentialled overall, given he beat Menari on debut and then progressed to run second in the Blue Diamond. He carried penalties to win the San Domenico with ease first-up, and will be hard to beat in anything he contests.

    Menari did post a fourth in the Golden Slipper, beaten five lengths, but running on three heavy tracks in a row in the Sydney autumn didn’t give us a great insight into what he is capable. He has two wins in a second from his three dry track runs, including taking out the Rosebud first-up in what looked the run of a horse with more wins in his future.

    Kementari is the Godolphin Golden Rose hopeful, and occupies the third line of betting behind Menari and Pariah for that race, as he does here. The form from his restricted grade May win has been just okay, but he was dominant and we’ve obviously not seen his ceiling yet.

    Of the other runners, Chauffer and Siege of Quebec ran second in the key lead-up races mentioned before, a length behind Pariah and Menari respectively. Invader is the proven class, but has the weight accordingly, but might just be a wet tracker given his sire, and the disparity of his record between dry and wet tracks.

    Selections: 1.Pariah 2.Menari 3.Siege of Quebec 4.Chauffeur

    The Theo Marks Stakes has assembled a small but select field, and is poorer for the early scratching of Foxplay.

    Egg Tart already has the reputation as ‘Mini-Winx’ given she put together a five win campaign through autumn, culminating in a Queensland Oaks win, a race her famous stablemate also won. She is targeting the Epsom Handicap, and can confirm her favouritism with a win here.

    Dixie Blossoms is one of the best sprinter-miler mares in the country, with a finish that few can match, and she looks the main danger first-up after a couple of trials leading in.

    Cannyescent and Deploy are honest types with great winning records that keep stepping up when asked, but have to go to another level to record a career best win in this sort of race. Both should be somewhere up near the speed which gives them a chance.

    Euro Angel probably hasn’t recorded enough wins for her talent level, but has taken on Group 1 company a number of times and doesn’t always do everything right. She’s got the quality to win if she puts it together on the day and has even luck.

    Good Project is the best outside chance, given he always runs well in high class races, but would have been better suited at 1400m than the 1300m of this race, and might just find some of these too slick.

    Selections: 1.Egg Tart 2.Dixie Blossoms 3.Euro Angel 4.Deploy

    The Stan Fox is another Group 2 for three year olds, and though it carries the same prizemoney as the Run to the Rose, it is less prestigious. It’s a surprise to see them run on the same day.

    Addictive Nature is the market-elect having won two of this three career starts, and coming off his Ming Dynasty win last start. He’ll go forward and be hard to run down again.

    Adelaide ridden by Ryan Moore wins the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. The Cox Plate is part of the month long Spring Racing Carnival.

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    The Mission will challenge Addictive Nature for the lead, and creates interest first-up at 1500m, a rare occurrence for an early season three-year-old. He was winning the Group 1 Champagne Stakes from the front last time we saw him, but he needs to produce on a good track now.

    Trapeze Artist is another that can go forward, and will enjoy dropping back from 61kg’s to the 56.5kg’s here. He was a handy and somewhat underrated two-year-old, and gets his chance to show us how far he’s progressed.

    Gold Standard ran second and Sanctioned third in the Up and Coming Stakes, the same race that Trapeze Artist ran sixth in.

    Gold Standard wasn’t far from Addictive Nature on debut, and was good enough to last start to suggest he’ll be a player here. The likely high tempo should suit him settling back in the field.

    Sanctioned was first-up in the Up and Coming, and held on well against the pattern of the race. He’ll have derived some fitness from it and is something of an x-factor here.

    Selections: 1.Trapeze Artist 2.Gold Standard 3.The Mission 4.Addictive Nature

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.