Legendary mare Winx has taken yet another win in her penultimate race at the George Ryder Stakes, making it a record 32 consecutive victories.
Watch out for Jamaican Rain if Melbourne or Sydney has a wet spring carnival.
The Victorian-trained mare was about the most impressive winner of any race in Australia on Saturday. In the Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m) at the Sunshine Coast, she was given a peach of a ride and went on to win by almost four lengths.
It wasn’t the strongest blacktype race going around, but visually her win was ultra impressive.
Jamaican Rain, prepared at Cranbourne by Richard Laming, drew a tricky gate, but was ridden to perfection by Tegan Harrison and justified her $3.60 quote.
Interestingly, the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington in the spring was thrown up as a potential race going forward by Bevan Laming, the father of Richard.
Jamaican Rain had been scratched from Doomben a week earlier as the Laming team were hoping to get a wet track at the Sunshine Coast, which they got.
“I said to Tegan just sit and wait because it’s a long way home here and she hadn’t raced for a few weeks, but she can handle that,” Bevan Laming said after the race.
“She will go on to the Tatts Mile, then she will spell here. We think she’s good enough for a race like the Myer Classic.
“Richard bought her at the sales, didn’t pay a lot for her. She has an unusual pedigree, she’s by Manhattan Rain from a Redoute’s Choice mare and they are half-brothers.
“She’s a magnificent type of horse. Irrelevant of what she’s by, she’s a standout mare. It was just too firm last week. This is the race we targeted.”
If she continues to progress on this upward scale and gets conditions to suit, I can absolutely see her featuring in a Group 1 like the Myer. She has plenty of upside.
The Bostonian does us proud
There’s nothing worse as a tipster than kicking off a regular gig and not finding a winner.
On Saturday, I was sweating bullets as one horse I tipped on Friday was scratched, while Sayed ran terribly in Sydney, giving me a 0/2 start.
But the two horses I liked at the Sunshine Coast both saluted, meaning punters should have returned a profit on the day if they backed all selections.
The most impressive to my eye was The Bostonian, who was a brilliant winner of the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).
Trainer Tony Pike had been patient with him and that patience was rewarded when Michael Cahill piloted him to a reasonably comfortable win.
It was The Bostonian’s third Australian win from as many starts. He now boasts a 9:6-1-0 record and has $275,000 prize money to his name.
“We’ve been there and done that before. There was always a lot of nice three-year-old races for this horse at the backend of the carnival, so it was a matter of waiting,” Pike said after the race.
“It was unfortunate missing the Queensland Guineas, but in hindsight he had plenty of time to acclimatise and with three wins in a row, a couple of stakes races, it’s been a good end to the carnival.
The Bostonian is a horse to follow and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him in the spring in Melbourne or Sydney. He looks to be still maturing, so perhaps we might have to wait until the autumn.
Beautifully bred, The Bostonian is a son of the New Zealand Derby and Rosehill Guineas winner Jimmy Choux from the Keeper mare Keepa Cheval.
“With the pedigree, we were pretty confident he would run out a strong mile,” Pike said.
Cahill said the horse responded well under pressure.
“I wanted to hold him together until the 200m, but it happened before then and to his credit he responded to hard riding,” he said.
Megablast simply too good
It was a race-to-race double for New Zealand trainers when Kiwi mudlark Megablast put paid to his rivals in the Caloundra Cup (2400m).
It was trainer Nigel Tiley’s first winner as a trainer in Australia.
Tiley rode winners here and dominated the Sydney autumn of 1982, winning the Doncaster, Sydney Cup, Queen Elizabeth and All Aged Stakes.
“I’m going to be coming back more now,” he said on Saturday.
It was also pleasing to see Damian Browne get a winner in what had been a tough week. He was suspended last Wednesday for two months after stewards ruled he didn’t ride out a horse.
“It’s been a pretty hard week. It’s taken a toll on me and my family,” he said.
Weir raises the bar… again
The amazing Darren Weir continues to set new records. On Saturday he broke his own training record for Victorian metropolitan winners in a season with a month to spare.
Pacodali’s win in the Keno Bonus Handicap (1800m) at Caulfield was Weir’s 138th metropolitan winner in Victoria for 2017-18, eclipsing the record he set last season.
“Records don’t sort of worry me – if you’re training winners you can pay your bills, because I do spend a lot of money on my places,” he said.
“I just think it proves everyone is doing their job at home, because you certainly can’t be in every spot when you’ve got as many horses as what I have, and the places that I have.”
He’s an absolute freak. He’ll be remembered as one of the best horse trainers of all time.
– Ken Keys for his winning double at Caulfield.
– Ashlor for carrying a massive 63kg to victory at the same venue.
– Zataglio for lumping 74kg over the live hedges at Casterton.
– Craig Williams for extending his lead in the Melbourne premiership aboard Rillito.
– Former Queensland apprentice Quayde Krogh for getting a winner in Sydney.
– Assertive Play’s win in Adelaide. She’s now 2/2 for trainer Philip Stokes. Nice type.
– Lipari from the clouds. Dreamforce traded at $1.01 in play, but got gunned down in the Civic Stakes.
Horse to follow
Divanation was well backed at Morphettville and was beaten by a fairly poor ride. The daughter of Melbourne Cup champion will never be as good as her mother, but she does have potential. It was a strangely run race in Adelaide and Jamie Kah had the perfect run in transit. But when the leaders took off, she was a little bit flat-footed and Divanation didn’t have the sprint to win.
Meanwhile, John Allen gave Mussoorie Magic a perfect ride, even though it wasn’t visually impressive. This three-year-old filly will be a nice horse and I’d keep an eye out for her next start. In the right race, she could be winning.
Horse to forget
Sayed. A lot went wrong for him on Saturday, but how do you back him again with confidence after that performance? You can’t. No doubt Chris Waller will work his magic and he’ll bob up to win at 20-1 at some stage, but he was grossly disappointing on Saturday. Sack for now.
How we went
Sunshine Coast R7 No. 2 – The Bostonian to win: Looked a class above the opposition on paper and that proved to be true. Never looked like losing and should be a nice spring horse in the future. Paid $2.4 best tote.
Sunshine Coast R8 No. 2 – Megablast to win: Sat outside the leader and cruised up to the lead at the turn and put paid to his opposition. Very good win. Paid $3.8 best tote.
Rosehill R6 No. 2 – Sayed to win: Overraced early and never looked like winning. Disappointing.
Rosehill R7 No. 7 – Invinzabeel each-way: Scratched. Longshot stablemate won.
Caulfield R8 No. 3 – Malaise to win: At first glance had every chance to win with a good ride by Craig Williams, but the fence was not the place to be and was probably beaten by the barrier. Follow.
Total spend: $80*
Total return: $124*
*Based on $20 spend per selection and CrownBet’s top tote dividend.
What’s on this Saturday
Randwick (NSW), Flemington (VIC), Doomben (Queensland), Belmont (WA), Gawler (SA), Darwin (NT).