What we learned from the weekend’s racing

Adam Page Roar Guru

By , Adam Page is a Roar Guru

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    Winx crosses the line. (Photo: AAP)

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    There was some fabulous racing this weekend, and if it was a finals series, it would be the first week with the qualifying finals.

    The contenders from the pretenders were sorted out and of course the star of the show was the daughter of a Showgirl who is a showstopper, Winx. Time to learn some lessons.

    Winx isn’t going so well
    She is still racing in super form, but is she going as well as she was in the Autumn or this time last year? You’d have to say no.

    She is still breathtaking on these rock hard tracks, still running the times, still blowing us away. But on Saturday she was under pressure 1000m out.

    With Betfair in running, she got to as much as $3 given how poorly she was going to the eye. But like the champs do, they find a way, and she was dominant.

    Still, I think she is most effective on rain affected ground and that is a potential reason why she may not race again in Sydney this Spring with the Melbourne weather.

    Chautauqua is the one to meet
    Redzel was fantastic, I’ll speak about Redkirk Warrior later, but boy what a return it was from the grey flash. As he usually does, he looked uninterested for the first half of the race but his last 300m was excellent and the clock backed it up. He ran a tick over 32 for his final 600m.

    If bias isn’t an issue, he’ll take some beating in the big dance. But still have to credit Redzel. He is the most improved sprinter in Australia and is a worthy slot holder.

    Champagne Cuddles won’t be winning the fight
    I was all over here to win the Tea Rose and after 200m I was just waiting for correct weight to collect. She found the 1/1, looked to be bolting with lesser class horses around her.

    Angland peeled out, hit the front, loomed to go on with it, but the filly who had the suck run behind, Alizee, pounced and dashed away. Champagne Cuddles is a star, but not beyond 1200m. Freshen her up and perhaps have a crack at the Coolmore.

    Redkirk Warrior is a big threat in the Everest
    Last two months, all the noise out of the Hayes/Dabernig stable is that this is their Everest horse, keeping in mind they have Sheidel, Vega Magic, Catchy and co. All the talk was that he has come back better than ever.

    The trial suggested that and it was confirmed in the Bobbie Lewis. He spanked them. He made Group 1 horses look ordinary and it was dominant. He definitely deserves a slot in the Everest and if he does head that way, it’ll take a special performance to beat him.

    James Cummings is a grand final trainer
    Like most, I was keen on Hartnell to win the Makybe Diva. But Racing.com interviewed Cummings minutes before and talk about talking a horse down.

    I know Cummings is reserved in that regard, but he didn’t give it any kind of push you’d want to hear for a raging odds on pop in a Group 1 and he ran accordingly. What I will say is that Cummings is one of the best in the business at getting a horse right for the grand final.

    He did it with Hallowed Crown and Prized Icon, so I wouldn’t drop off Hartnell just yet.

    The Royal Blue doesn’t like Melbourne
    It’s a topic not really talked about, but the results and stats don’t lie. The Flemington base for Godolphin just isn’t firing out the winners that it once did. Ever since Paul Snowden left, the stable down south has gone backwards.

    Since O’Shea took over, and now Cummings, Godolphin has only had one Group l winner, which was Hartnell. In six years, the Snowdens won 29 majors, including a couple of Blue Diamonds and Caulfield Guineas. The stable had a horror day at Flemington, with several key chances, including Jorda and Esperance, failing to fire.