Melbourne and Sydney Group 1 tips and previews

Cameron Rose Columnist

By Cameron Rose, Cameron Rose is a Roar Expert

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    Rosehill racing. (AAP Image/David Moir)

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    We’ve reached the last Victorian Group 1 of the racing season, the William Reid Stakes, to be run over 1200m under weight-for-age conditions.

    It doesn’t always assemble a crack field, but this years edition has a little bit of depth to it. Which is not to say it should be afforded its Group 1 status, as it should not.

    The only three-year-old in the field, Star Turn, is the market-elect off the back of three Group 1 thirds in a row, in arguably tougher races – the Coolmore Stakes on Derby day last year, the Lightning Stakes, and last start in the Newmarket Handicap.

    All three of these races were down the Flemington straight, and in his last three runs around a bend, only one horse has beaten Star Turn home – Astern. His last run around a corner was the Schillaci Stakes in the spring, when he bolted in at WFA against a crack field. He’s the one to beat alright.

    The stiffest competition comes from Oakleigh Plate winning mare Sheidel, who finished alongside Star Turn in the Newmarket and now meets him better at the weights. She looks an each-way lock at around the $5 mark.

    Of the other proven competitions, Japonisme didn’t turn up on the heavy track in the Canterbury Stakes and could be taken on trust at big odds, The Quarterback was fair in the Newmarket and ran a bottler the last time he saw the 1200m at Moonee Valley, while Flamberge won this race last year but hasn’t run a placing since. This is his kind of field though, and his fourth in the Lightning Stakes says he still has a bit of fire in the belly.

    Rebel Dane was the big odds winner of the Manikato Stakes at this course and distance in the spring, and will be double figures again. Perhaps he could go back-to-back, but coming back from an overseas trip in form is never easy.

    Rock Magic arrives from Perth, off the back of a last-start third behind Takedown and Sheidel, which puts him right in the reckoning here. It’s a different story away from home for the WA gallopers though.

    Illustrious Lad disappointed in the Newmarket, but can win on his Lightning Stakes run in this easier affair. More was expected of Kaepernick in the Oakleigh Plate but he got too far back and ran well. Hellbent is becoming a money muncher of late, but will put it all together and get things his way at some point.

    Silent Sedition is using this race as a bridging run before heading back to a Group 1 target in Sydney over a more suitable distance, but she is too honest to run badly, and should be on the heels of the placegetters at the least.

    Selections: 1.Star Turn 2.Sheidel 3.Illustrious Lad 4.Hellbent

    There is also Group 1 racing at Rosehill on Saturday. The BMW is one of the marquee races of the Sydney spring, and is the only 2400m WFA race in the country (although that might change if the MRC gets its way and rides roughshod over history with the Caulfield Cup).

    Our Ivanhowe has been heavily backed in the early markets off the back of last weeks’ Ranvet Stakes win, where he sailed through the wet track in a dominant performance. A repeat of those heavy track conditions means he’ll be awfully hard to beat, with the rise in distance in his favour.

    The main challengers are led by the Australian Cup trifecta, Humidor, Jameka and Exospheric, and last years ATC Derby winner, Tavago.

    Humidor put it all together to take out the Australian Cup against the pattern of the day, and has a heavy track Group 3 win and very soft track Group 1 placing from his New Zealand days. Darren Weir looks to have ironed out his quirks.

    Jameka is ever-honest, and once again didn’t have everything go her way in the Australian Cup only to go down narrowly. She won the VRC Oaks on a heavy nine, but wet tracks in Melbourne and Sydney are two different things. Her record at 2400-2500m is two Group 1 wins and a Group 1 second. Tick.

    Exopheric keeps putting the writing on the wall, and has two Group 1 placings since arriving in Australia, but is yet to win. His time will come, and while he enjoys the cut out of the ground, is an unknown on a very wet track.

    Tavago didn’t come up in the spring, and was rightly spelled after two below-par performances, but he looks ready to go on with his career now after winning the Sky High last start with authority. He’s only had 11 starts, and should be getting better each time he steps out.

    Lasqueti Spirit was the runaway winner of the VRC Oaks in the spring, and has a second to Winx on her resume this campaign, so connections couldn’t be more thrilled. She needs to lead in order for her best chance at winning, and she’s a knockout hope if they leave her alone.

    Selections: 1.Jameka 2.Our Ivanhowe 3.Exospheric 4.Humidor

    If we ranked all of Sydney and Melbourne’s unnecessary Group 1s in order of what needs to be dumped, the Vinery Stud Stakes would rank highly. But, here we are.

    Foxplay is a super filly, and starts favourite her after building into her campaign nicely, but there have to be queries on her at 2000m out of Foxwedge.

    La Bella Diosa ran last taking on the older mares at Group 1 level start, but swan through wet ground to beat the likes of Omei Sword and Global Glamour in the Surround Stakes two back. She had Foxplay five lengths behind her in that win, and should be favourite.

    Dawn Wall is a familiar Chris Waller late bloomer, who has made her way through the grades with three wins in a row and is a legitimate danger to stablemate Foxplay. Lubiton ran second to Dawn Wall in the Kembla Grange Classic last start, after trying to lead all the way in a brave performance.

    Harlow Gold leads the Victorian charge, and is coming off a very good fourth against the colts in the Australian Guineas behind Hey Doc. As a VRC placegetter in the spring, the distance is a welcome step up for her, unlike some of her rivals up in the market.

    Montoya’s Secret is coming off two big wins, albeit at maiden and benchmark 64 level, but we’ve seen worse form win some of these lower rated Sydney Group 1s. Pat Carey is no stranger to winning a Sydney Group 1 with a maiden runner, and is represented by a runner here.

    Selections: 1.Harlow Gold 2.La Bella Diosa 3.Dawn Wall 4.Foxplay

    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.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • March 24th 2017 @ 8:41am
      Razzar said | March 24th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      There are heavy 10s and heavy 10s. Felin Readys slipper they ran just over 1.13. She Will Riegns, ran over 1.15. That was some wet track. Loved the run of Tulip for the upcoming Sires.

      The William Reid looks just a great beting race.

      There’s a nice tempo here, Star Turn looks to be right on pace, without it becoming too hectic, he could steal this race. Just the last bit could be telling, but definately can win. $5 rating
      Shiedel may work a touch to cross to be up on pace, but needs to be there to most likely knock over Star Turn. This is her pet Distance, so she should be very hard to beat.
      Hellbent has had a lovely freshen for this. He should be in a pack midfield. Has undoubted ability, just needs to put it all together here. Expecting him to be finishing hard, hopefully with clear air. $5.50 chance.

      Good luck Punters.

    • March 24th 2017 @ 8:54am
      Razzar said | March 24th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      Shiedel rates a $4.50 chance.

    • March 24th 2017 @ 9:17am
      Peter Line said | March 24th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Nice preview again Cam

      Need your expertise in picking a good mud lark roughie running tomorrow – thoughts?

      • March 24th 2017 @ 11:30am
        Haradasun said | March 24th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Rudy loves the bog

      • Roar Rookie

        March 24th 2017 @ 11:51am
        JOHNY BULLDOG said | March 24th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        You should be tipping one after last week mate! 🙂

    • March 24th 2017 @ 1:06pm
      Peter Line said | March 24th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

      I had totally forgotten that I had tipped Transporter last week on here!!!

      Glad you guys got on – I had a massive Win off it actually – spewing I didn’t load up more, I’d been waiting ages for this thing to run on a Soft track again…..Had 50 on the nose got it at 34s so definitely stoked about that.

      I’ll have a good look at the form tonight and if I see anything worthy I will post 🙂

      • Roar Rookie

        March 24th 2017 @ 3:49pm
        JOHNY BULLDOG said | March 24th 2017 @ 3:49pm | ! Report

        Well done mate,good bank for tomorrow! 🙂

    • March 24th 2017 @ 1:45pm
      michael steel said | March 24th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

      The BMW is a preview to future Caulfield Cups. Wow, I’m getting bored just thinking about it. Anyway, three weeks of rain and heavy tracks. THE BMW at 2400 has many a time thrown up a handicapper rather than WFA Champ. With 5 horses under 10/1 and 4 horses over 16/1 I’d be looking at one of the outsiders each way. Maybe Lasqueti Spirit will try to pinch it or, or Who Shot the Barman or Grand Marshall may just out slog the quality horses. Libran however has no wet form. The five favoured horses are much of a much-ness and four of them will be $4.00 a win $1.80 a place. Why bother?

      • March 24th 2017 @ 2:17pm
        Peter Line said | March 24th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

        I’m thinking Grand Marshal is a solid place chance in these conditions – absolutely loves the mud and hasn’t done much this prep but could bring it on tomorrow and upset the lot? Also WSTBM could surprise but I think he likes Randwick more than Rosehill…?

    • March 24th 2017 @ 2:32pm
      andrew said | March 24th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      3 – kens dream is a promising 3yo from weir yard who is suspect is ADL bound after this and ran well 1st up and has run well at MV prior in spring, and not far off the top notch 3yos and looks well graded here and well weighted. Tough horse who will go forward and grind it out. And is a deserved fave.
      6 – French emotion is clearly a better horse on dry ground and the switch from NSW to Vic could pay divs. Her spring form once she found dry ground was very good. and she can quickly turn things around under such conditions. Ignore the digits in the form book for her runs this prep. her go 1400-1600m on dry ground. Not much between her and I am star 1600m WFA dry ground in myer on derby day, so happy to back her ew at the value, noting I am a Star up 5kgs given now a few months older.

      1 – Nordic empire will lead from gate 1 and barriers important in the 1000/1200m starts at morn. Don’t think he is exposed to too much pressure either. Surprised he is outsider of field. ran in lots of stronger race when with mick price, and form since new stable is good when its been 1000/1100m and he is has been ridden forward. Creeping down in ratings and able to get into these lower class races. Plenty of times the leader wins race 1, and can find lots of negatives for rivals, with 2 older mares up in the weights, el sicario looking for longer 2nd up, schism winning an awful race fresh and best form longer, capenello has to snag to last from its tricky draw and thus has to be a risk.
      2 –weatherthestorm is hit and miss but her best is def good enough. She won a BM90 2 runs back. This is BM78. Last run was a failure, but horse who won is flying (bassett) and has won again since is fave in hareeba later on. Has form last prep in geuine mares races around amerstrialia, silent sedition, laqua, risqué. Down in class, soft draw, ridden for luck, she has the turn of foot to burst though. id mark her about half her current price.
      3 – try four and golden mane come through clearly the stongest form ref for this race, in what is basically a prep race for plenty who will go over the hurdles. And this duo are no stars. Both have plenty of negatives in that golden mane is rarely a winner these days after winning 4 on end of few years ago, he can win, but needs all things to line up on the day to do so (dry track, 2000m, sit-sprint tempo, sweep into race out wide from 500m). this scenario might eventuate, and can see a few things that suit. Try four has won 7 races for weir on wet tracks and mostly hurdles, and is 2/18 on dry, no doubt he is going well this prep. but for me, the import for cumani wouldn’t need to be any star to win this, and given many of these I just don’t like, and the two I mention above have obvious limitations im happy to spec on shakopee
      5 – first to accept fife is under the odds, and his first run was ordinary. But do think he strikes a nice scearnio here, and he def showed the quality to win a race of this with some of his form from last prep. of course, he comes from a slow maturing family, and has rightly been given time to grow, learn and develop. I think the likely strong tempo (hopefully hokkadio backs up from wed) will really help and can see him sweeping into the race 4-5 wide from the 500m and sustaining a long run. his trial win very good on Monday, winning by about 3 lengths quicker than pornichet did in the ‘open/group’ trial.
      7 – gold trial is a moral. Everything you will read about why will win is true. Id be shocked if the heavy pro punters don’t come for him big time in the final 10mins of betting and on betfair. Williams would have had a full book of rides at rosehill where 2G1 races and many championship rides are up for grabs, but he comes here. stable killed the locals last spring. This is re-run of bagot hcp type class of field aside from Nos 1, 2 and 3. Many of these are terribly weighted. Llyod has put up the white flag and gone to syd with assign. The 2nd fave comes of a Canberra cup win beating a horse with bega cup form, its out snitzel who wont get his first 2400m stk winner now. incomparable to the formlines the gold trail contains which infiltrate into the top 10 horses in the world rating. On pacer and dry track suit, 2400m ideal. world class jockey. They are here to ‘win’ not just exercise. Ideal draw of gate 6, so sit first 3 or 4, esp with home bend not far after jumping. Gets his ticket into the caul cup and stable are in plum position to try and go one better than 2016 than they did with Scottish. Good thing.
      8 – odeon wasn’t far off the better 3yo in the spring and had some really tough runs in those midfield finishes at times. Avoided the autumn carnival and sensibly is sneaking along to get ready for ADL no doubt. Taken for a win in class 1 fresh, but did the job desite covering ground and 60kgs. need to lift of that , but has proven is up to this level, with positive fomrlines over the gai runner, tying in favourably. Reckon the filly red is the rose, is a bit of risk, off a few flattering runs and up to the mile from its draw.

      2 – happy to back jungle edge on these conditions and reckon he finds the front pretty comfortably. Gun heavy tracker (there is a big distinction between being a good ‘wet’ track and a good ‘heavy’ track horse). Well done by the stable going to NSW and striking these tracks and having dip at it. positive form lines over several key rivals. Question marks on other rivals about heavy and also 1200m (suited longer) and some mares up top of weights to a race-fit in-form tough old gelding.
      3 – poor ride on assign first up when stable wanted it forward and it went back to last in a slow run race. basically, a track gallop in the end. Much respect for the stable, and their horses just about always run well (top 3) in syd when they come for this grade of race. suited by compressed weights, and its best form is clearly good enough. They must be confident it will like the wet track given they scr from mornington cup to run here.
      7 – harlow gold looks ready to win out to the 2000m. little between her and foxplay last spring in thous guin, like her building prep this autumn and think she is more proven as a ‘staying’ type in what surely becomes a slog than the 1 and 2 who I think are some risk these conditions and at 2000m. under the level weights, the race has a long tail and think she is good ew bet at 6.50 or so
      8 – keen on extensible from snowden yard here. only exposure to heavy ground was a close 2nd to Antonia guiseeiepe, which is very good form for this. first up run was super, and its not the type of race they would have a mare of her ilk ‘primed’ for, should be considerable improvement. But, it was a very good run for a mare with 60kgs, and no doubt just timed to fall into line with a preferred prep/program of races for her. no doubt she is up to this class wise, on formlines via silent sedition, and that was at back end of a long prep (prob worth a few coins for queen of turf in 2 weeks also at the $51)

      3 – tycoon sofie presents fresh up and ran well behind raven fire fresh up last prep, gets a few kgs adv off some limited horse above her who are in the market that im keen to bet againt and her form from last prep around boggoms, tycoon queen and entrancing ties in very favourably for this modest event.
      7 – I am gypsy scored her 1st ever first up win last time, and has much better form 2nd up and is suited back to the parks circuit even more where she is a 4 time winner over the 1000m course. Shapes as being very hard to run down and class wise best horse in race.
      9 – ill give silvera another chance, but couldn’t tip u into him with any/much confidence.

      7 – privlaka goes well fresh and relishes wet ground. Won 1000m this grade fresh last prep, better suited 1200m fresh and on wet ground, where she has group level form around likes of most important.

      Best; Gold Trail
      Next: Kens Dream, Tycoon Sofie

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