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The Mounting Yard: Apollo Stakes day preview

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Roar Guru
14th February, 2019
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The return of the greatest horse of all time headlines Sydney Metro racing at Royal Randwick.

That horse is of course Winx, who is trying for thirty wins in a row in the group two Apollo stakes under weight for age conditions.

She faces seven challengers, and the only possible danger seems to be ‘the people’s’ horse in Happy Clapper.

There’s three other group races on the card, headed by the group two Light Fingers Stakes for the three-year-old fillies.

The Bureau predicts a lovely day at Randwick, with it being 26 degrees and sunny. Get down to the track to watch the great mare!

Race 1

We kick off the day with the Pierro Plate for the two-year-olds over 1100 meters. Really good race with some very promising two-year-olds running around, but most punters should be able to narrow it down to three.

One of those three is Rotator. This filly is very well bred, by Not A Single Doubt and out of Warpath, and her run on debut in the Widden Stakes was tremendous.

She missed by about a neck after being held up for a long time in the straight, and would have arguably won the race if she didn’t get held up.

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She showed a brilliant turn of foot in that race, and from barrier six she should sit midfield and get a lovely cart into the race. Hard to hold out.

Garibaldi is a big danger. Another colt who is beautifully bred, by I am Invincible and out of Sonnenblume.

He hasn’t put a foot wrong in his first preparation, winning a trial at Doomben convincingly, and then destroying them at Eagle Farm on debut.

He should get a lovely run just off the speed from the inside gate, and only a marginal improvement would probably see him winning.

Covert Ops is the best of the rest. He ran tremendous on debut in the Breeder’s plate, behind Dubious who went on to finish second in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

He was only pipped on the line that day, and he has the speed to overcome the wide barrier. If he gets some cheap sectionals up front, he’ll be hard to run down.

Recommended bet: Would be staying out of this one, should be a very good race.

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Race 2

The Highway is the second on the program, over 1800 meters. Definitely not the greatest of races, and I can’t take the shorts on the favourite, so I’m going with Fui San at double figure odds.

He has drawn very wide, which is the only major concern in this. He ran really well at Canberra three starts back behind lucky prospector, and seemingly got back into form last start at Rosehill when he travelled three wide and still chased home really solidly to run fifth.

He’s won and has a second to his name over this trip, so if Dolan can get him some cover in the run, he’ll be letting down strongly in the straight.

Weston shapes as one of the big threats. He’s been running really well in Queensland this preparation, winning and having two placings from his last three starts.

He chased home solidly last start at Gold Coast over this distance when he had some favours in the run, and from barrier ten Brenton Avdulla should be able to sit him on the speed, and he will put up a big fight in the straight.

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Tobermemory is the best of the rest. He ran really well behind Canberra and Wagga, before breaking his maiden by nearly six lengths over this trip last start.

He maps really well from barrier seven to sit midfield with a lot of cover, and with even luck he can be running on.

Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.5 Fui San, looks overs to me.

Race 3

We’ve got a benchmark 78 Handicap over the mile and a half for the stayers here, in a pretty average weekend metro race to be honest.

The favourite has been in really good form lately but he draws the car park, so is going to have to go right back in the field and come from near last, can’t take the evens on offer at the moment.

Fabricator could run a good race at double figure odds. He brings in some pretty good form lines for a race like this, running five lengths behind Love Shack Baby and beating home Shaq this preparation.

He gets a lot of weight relief from last start, where he was pipped on the line by Our Gravano, who is carrying six more kilograms today.

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He should have enough speed to get across and sit handy, and should be there for a long way.

Art Attack brings down some really good Queensland form. He won at Eagle Farm at a benchmark 80 level two starts ago, before battling on to finish fourth behind Capital Gain last start.

He has versatility in where he can be placed in the run, but from barrier three Adam Hyeronimus should be able to place him where he likes, will go well.

Curata Princess is the best of the rest. She ran well two starts back at this track for a closing fourth behind Mazaz, and didn’t seem to handle the heavy going at Warwick Farm last time in.

Should get a good run from barrier five, and a win wouldn’t surprise.

Recommended bet: Not much value in this race, maybe No.10 Fabricator on an each way basis is the best way to go if having a bet.

Race 4

We get to a very nice race here, a benchmark 88 handicap over 1300 meters.

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Diplomatico looks very hard to beat here. The Colt out of the Hawkes Yard has only had the four runs in his two and three-year-old years, and has been very impressive in all of them.

He bolted in at Kensington last preparation, before going on to win the Brian Crowley ahead of Legend of Condor.

He was still doing things wrong last preparation, and over racing in most runs. You’d hope that some more time in the paddock has seen him learn a bit more, and the hot pace on up front will suit him down to a tee. Only needs to bring last preparation’s form here to be winning.

Paret seems the only danger. He resumed well this preparation, coming home strongly to go down by a length against Bon Amis, and then got going late last start after being right back in the field to finish a length off them again.

The strong tempo up front will suit him perfectly, and he should be about to peak third up. Will be charging home late.

King Lear is the best of the rest. He brings down fantastic Queensland form. He went down by a length to the talented Mishani Electra, and then stormed home from near last to pinch it in the last stride at Eagle Farm last start.

Another who will appreciate the strong speed after getting back from the wide barrier. Will be running on strongly.

Recommended bet: Win bet on No.10 Diplomatico.

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Race 5

The first group race on the program comes here in the fifth, the group three Southern Cross Stakes over 1200 meters.

I’m very keen on Dreamforce at the current each way quote. He’s form at the back end of the spring was a fantastic form line for a race like this, beating Widgee Turf and Perast in the Chatham, and going down by just under two lengths to Sircconi.

He never had an easy lead in any of those races, but he’s as tough as they come, and he just kept on fighting.

He has a fantastic first up record, winning three from seven with two seconds, and he should bowl along in front, and be nearly impossible to run down.

Dothraki is the nest best. He’s been in good form this preparation, running third in the Magic Millions sprint, and then going down by two lengths to the talented pair of Alizee and Le Romain.

He maps to get a sweet run just off the speed from barrier three, and he’ll have the first crack at the leaders in the straight.

Brutal is next best. Undefeated from three runs, including wins over Leonardo Da Hinchi and Tavisan.

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Should have the early speed to get across and sit on the pace, but there’s no chance I am going to be taking him in the red, coming back from an operation, and as a three-year-old.

Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.2 Dreamforce.

Race 6

The feature of the card comes here in the Apollo Stakes, with the return of our mighty mare Winx.

Not much to say about this race apart from the obvious, that it would need a near miracle to beat the champion in this field.

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She hasn’t got much competition today, with the only other star horse in the race being Happy Clapper who is having his first run after an operation, and his first run for nearly six months.

Egg Tart could run a good race at huge odds, but the story is all about the champion and rightly so.

All Hugh Bowman needs to do is not get her into trouble, and she won’t be beaten.

Recommended bet: Just sit back and watch the show, go Winx!

Winx Hugh Bowman

(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Race 7

Probably the best race of the day comes here in the seventh, in the form of the Light Fingers stakes for the three-year-old fillies.

One of the better bets on the program is definitely Sylvia’s Mother. This filly by Snitzel and out of Found the one is a very special horse, and I think he’s going to show it in a big way here.

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She’s won four of her five starts, including two sensational wins at Canterbury and Randwick respectively.

Her finishing power is the best I’ve seen for a very long time, and she has the fitness on her side compared to the other fancied runners, who are all coming back from spells after the spring.

Even if she gets back to last, I can’t see her getting beaten today. Huge chance.

If there is a danger, it’s Miss Fabulass. She’s just a very talented animal this one. She beat Ranier in her second run, and then came out and won the Tea Rose after a brilliant ride from Kerrin McEvoy over the likes of Fiesta and Pretty in Pink.

She only was just pipped on the line in a brilliant four horse go in the flight stakes, after sitting on the speed for the entirety of the race.

From barrier eight McEvoy should be able to place her nicely in the run, and she’ll have plenty to give in the straight.

Oohood is the best of the rest. She will get back in the field like usual, but she started to look like a horse that actually wanted to win last preparation, winning the flight stakes against some of these horses, and then running third in the Caulfield Guineas behind The Autumn Sun.

She resumes here in what is a winnable type of race, if something goes quick in front, it brings her right into it.

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Recommended bet: Win bet on No.8 Sylvia’s Mother.

Race 8

The last group race on today’s program is the Triscay Stakes over 1200 meters for the mares.

Pretty good race this, with a lot of smart sprinters either resuming, or ones are ready to peak on their preparation.

I’m going for some value here, in the form of Princess Posh. Her preparation flew under the radar in the spring, with her placing in two group three races, and one she should have undoubtedly won, when she got on the wrong part of the track at Flemington.

She’s had two trials to get her ready for this race, and she has a terrific first up record, with two wins from four and never missing the top three.

She will sit back in the field from barrier one and enjoy the hot tempo up front. With even luck she’ll be hard to hold out at the big odds.

Alassio can run a very bold race here. She’s had four wins from eight starts this mare, only missing the top three twice.

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She was beaten a length by Sylvia’s mother three starts back, and then backed that up with a big win over In Good Time at Rosehill.

She was far from disgraced at Warwick Farm in the Breeders classic, and from barrier two she should sit on the speed, and have plenty to give late.

Invincible Gem is the best of the rest. She flies fresh this mare, winning two from five and only missing the placings once.

She was far from disgraced in some of the better races in the spring, such as the Tristarc and Empire Rose Stakes, and she maps incredibly well to get a lovely run in behind the leaders. Not out of it.

Recommended bet: Each way bet on No.3 Princess Posh.

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Race 9

The ‘lucky last’ on the program is a benchmark 88 handicap, over the mile. Pretty good race here to close out the day, with some promising types going around.

I’m prepared to forgive Girl Tuesday’s uncharacteristic failure at Rosehill last start, where she finished six lengths off the winner in Seaway.

She had won four from four before that, and all in very convincing fashion. The racing world was abuzz with talk about this mare, and she has a big chance to get them talking about her again in this race.

She should appreciate the hot speed that will be put on up front, and from barrier two McEvoy should try and get her off the rail, so there’s no excuses for when she gets her crack at them.

I am putting her on top on the basis that she is the most talented horse in the race.

Harmattan seems to be one of the dangers. She ran two lengths behind Sweet Scandal who is one of the favourites in the Triscay two starts back, and then split the pack last start to get up on the line over 1500 meters.

She maps perfectly to sit on the leaders backs and if something can give a cart into the race, she’ll be hard to hold out.

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Smartedge is next best. He’s an ultra-consistent gelding out of the Snowden Yard. He’s had two seconds from three starts this preparation, so he should be ready to peak on his campaign.

Drawing out so wide is never ideal, but he was always going to go back in the field anyway. If he can sit off them and let them go quick up front, he’ll be charging home late.

Recommended bet: Win bet on No.8 Girl Tuesday, with a saver on No.11 Harmattan.

Best bet: Race 7 No.8 Sylvia’s Mother.
Second best: Race 4 No.10 Diplomatico.
Best value: Race 8 No.3 Princess Posh.