The first day of the Sydney Carnival is upon us with day one of the Championships on Saturday.
There is a stack of quality horses on the card with a stack of Group racing, including four Group Ones on the card.
As usual I’ll run you through the quaddie and give you my thoughts there. Big fields, plenty of value and a wet track seems the order of the day, so let’s get stuck into it!
First leg: Harrolds Australian Derby, Group One, 2400 metres
2. Madison County comes off a second placing last start, which was last week at Rosehill. He finished behind Angel of Truth that day and just got too far back and couldn’t reel in Angel of Truth, who gave a good kick. First time at the distance but I expect him to handle it quite well and has a handy record on wet tracks. Good value!
4. Arrogant from the Mike Moroney yard had his first run in Australia last start and was very, very good, nearly knocking off The Autumn Sun in The Rosehill Guineas, which was a huge run. Has been over the distance in New Zealand and ran well, gets through the wet ground as well.
5. Chapada, another from the Mike Moroney stable, was solid enough first up at Flemington. He then put in a shocker with genuine excuses at Flemington behind Mystic Journey and we know how good that horse is. He bounced back to his best last start finishing third in the Rosehill Guineas behind The Autumn Sun and his stablemate Arrogant. Trip won’t be an issue as he finished third in the Victoria Derby behind Extra Brut and also handles wet tracks okay.
8. Global Exchange is absolutely flying at the moment, winning his past three starts, which has resulted in two Group Two victories. Has had a trial since those runs and was given a quiet time in that trial. Should get the distance with ease, hasn’t seen a wet track but should handle it okay.
9. Stars Of Carrum is coming off a run in the Mornington Cup where he finished fourth on that occasion against some older horses, which was a pretty good run. Will handle the distance with ease as he placed second in the Victoria Derby behind Extra Brut. Not sure how he goes on wet ground but has a definite chance.
11. Angel Of Truth is coming off a good win last week where he just kept kicking and proved to be too strong for his rivals. Unsure about him at the trip as he is having his first start over the trip, gets through the wet ground as we know, in the mix here.
14. Declarationofheart was good last start behind Global Exchange in a Group Two race at Moonee Valley where he finished second. Has had a trial in preparation for this and it was a nice trial. Looks like he will relish the trip but he is a query on the wet ground as he has never seen a wet track on race day.
Second leg: Aquis TJ Smith Stakes, Group One, 1200 metres
1. Redzel was narrowly beaten first up by Ball of Muscle at Randwick. He then went to Rosehill behind Nature Strip where he was interfered with badly near the 600-metre mark. Look for him to bounce back here and gets through wet ground with ease.
2. Trapeze Artist is a last-start Group One winner, after he won well at Randwick holding off a late charge from Shoals. Hasn’t won on a heavy track but has placed three times and won on a soft track last start. Looks to be going well and can win again.
3. Santa Ana Lane comes off a first up run at Flemington where he finished fifth in the Group One race won by Sunlight. Had a quiet trial leading up to this run. Is a classy horse and handles wet ground okay, can figure in the finish!
4. Pierata was very good second up where he flew home and nearly knocked off the speedy Nature Strip in the tightest of finishes. If he can repeat that run he will go very close to winning this race. Again another horse that handles wet ground okay.
7. Osborne Bulls has been unlucky not to win a Group One this preparation after finishing second in both goes this time in. Loves the 1200 metres and doesn’t mind a wet track. Had a quiet trial leading into this race, he’s ready to go.
9. Shoals was very good first up behind Trapeze Artist, where she finished 1.5 lengths off him on that occasion. Had a quiet trial leading into this race. Handles wet ground and it could be her last last race start. It would be nice to see her out a winner.
11. Sunlight is the real up-and-comer in this race. A three-year-old filly taking on some older horses, she is an enormous talent and has been flying this preparation, handles wet ground okay.
Just a side note here, I would keep a watch on Vega Magic coming off a break. Had a nice trial at Randwick, which he won, and we know he has the talent. The fitness side of things and the condition of the track is why I didn’t include him.
Third leg: The Star Doncaster Mile, Group One, 1600 metres
1. Hartnell is an eight-year-old gelding now, but he always tries his heart out no matter what. Very good second behind Mystic Journey last start in the All Star Mile. Handles wet ground, should run a good race.
3. Alizee is a beautiful mare. She’s flying this preparation, where she has won a Group One race already and finished third behind Mystic Journey last start. Only query for her is the wet ground.
6. Dixie Blossoms is going very well this preparation. She won a Group One race last start at Rosehill where she was impressive, defeating El Dorado Dreaming. Handy record on wet tracks.
9. Widgee Turf is just such a consistent horse. He is a last-start Flemington winner, defeating Hellova Street. If he goes the Sydney way of going, he can run a nice race, handles wet ground.
15. Fifty Stars is back in some form, winning his last two starts including at Rosehill, where he looked gone at the 300-metre mark but picked himself up again and ran over the top of them. Goes well at the trip and handles all ground, but enjoys a big advantage on rain-affected tracks.
18. Fundamentalist is such a consistent filly and deserves another win. Has placed in Group Ones twice already this preparation behind some smart horses. Always runs well at the distance and seems to handle wet ground okay. Nice lightweight chance.
20. Brutal was very solid last start behind Winx, finishing second on that occasion, which was his first run on a heavy track and he seemed to handle that pretty well. Glen Boss comes over to take the ride and he has a very good record in this race. Another lightweight chance.
Last leg: Official Memorabilia PJ Bell Stakes, Group Three, 1200 metres
1. Spanish Whisper resumed with a very good second in a Group Three race at Moonee Valley. She then came out next start and won a Group Two at Flemington, so she’s going well this preparation. Definitely has the talent to win the race, just a query on wet tracks.
2. Fiesta had genuine excuses last start behind Dixie Blossoms, when she was checked near the 200-metre mark. Is capable of much better than that. All three of her wins have come at this distance range. Handles wet ground okay.
9. Mizzy has been very good in her last two starts in Group One company, finishing fourth on both occasions and hasn’t been that far off the winners. Comes back in distance, which she will enjoy, and handles soft ground okay.
10. Madam Rouge has the talent to win this race and comes back in distance after her last start over 1400 metres. She was disappointing on that occasion but is capable of much better than that. Has had a trial in preparation for this and looks to be in good order, only query is the wet track.
11. Causeway Girl resumed with a nice win at Flemington in a listed race. Has the talent and seems to handle wet ground okay, only query on her is the Sydney way of going.
12. Multaja looks to be somewhere near her best form. We know she has the talent but has been a little disappointing thus far. Won well last start defeating some older horses in a benchmark 70, has won on a heavy track and can run well.