With Victorian racing being under a cloud due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to go to Rosehill for a brilliant day of Group 1 racing, including the Tancred Stakes over 2400 metres and the Vinery Stud Stakes over 2000 metres for the three-year-olds.
There are six other Group races on the program, with the most influential probably being the Doncaster Prelude. The rail is out six metres for the entire circuit so just watch the first couple of races to see whether any bias is appearing. Let’s get into it.
We kick off the program with a Benchmark 88 Handicap over 1400 metres. This is one of the tougher races on the card so it’s probably lucky we get it out the way early. Sausedge has been pretty good this preparation and gets in very well at the weights with most of her rivals giving her a few kilograms in the run.
He was brilliant resuming when flashing home for second at Canberra over 1200 metres before flattening out late in the National Sprint last start, which seems to be the best form line coming into this race. She should be peaking third-up and is a good chance. Condor has to be given a chance.
They went really quick two-back when he set the pace and fatigued late, which he had every right too, before working home well in the Newcastle Newmarket last start. He will probably lead, which is always advantageous with the rail out.
There are a host of other chances which include Hanger, Top Prospect and Ken’s Dream.
Recommended bet: Prepared to shoulder arms in the first.
The Baillieu Handicap over 1400 metres for the juveniles is the next race to assess. I’m prepared to back two gallopers here and one of them is Time is Precious. She was strong on debut when winning at Randwick before going out for a long break.
She resumed at Flemington down the straight over 1000 metres when she was probably outsprinted to the line, before running half a length off Thermosphere when running on the inferior ground. She draws well again here (2) and the rise to 1400 metres should suit her. She’s over the odds.
I’m also keen to have a crack at Jemss. She didn’t do much on debut, but her last two runs have been superb. She hit the line nicely two-back to run third behind Vangelic at Kensington, before coming to this track and being unlucky not to win.
She got trapped wide and last and looked the winner with 300 metres to go before the run tolled on her late.
She will need a bit of luck considering she gets back in the field, but she will be rattling home late. Return with Honour was incredibly unlucky not to win last start, while Holyfield and Untamed can’t be discounted.
Recommended bet: Backing both #6 Time is Precious at $8.50 and #9 Jemss at $14. Also taking a trifecta including #6, #9, #5, #3 and #8.
The Tulloch Stakes over 2000 metres at Group 2 level arrives here in the third. I’m pretty keen to be on the favourite in Quick Thinker and think the $2.80 on offer is good value. He only ran three lengths off Shadow Hero and Castelvecchio last preparation, which reads well for a race like this.
He resumed back in New Zealand over 1200 and 1400 metres and hit the line nicely in both runs, before only running two lengths off Funstar last start in the Phar Lap Stakes. He’ll love getting out to the 2000 metres today and he draws perfectly.
With luck, he should be winning. The second-elect in Zebrowski shapes as the only danger. He has won brilliantly in his first two runs this preparation over 1400 and 1550 metres. He has good tactical speed which is always advantageous, and he just travels so well in the run each time he races.
2000 metres is a slight query but he’s got plenty of ability. Diasonic and Relucent have been running alongside in pretty good Melbourne races and are smart types, but they probably run into a couple better here.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #1 Quick Thinker at $2.80.
The Neville Selwood at Group 3 level over 2000 metres is the fourth race on the program. In a race where I don’t trust the favourites at all, I’m happy enough to be on Mount Tabora.
He’s been running well lately, beating Polanco and narrowly missing against Sure Knee. He was brilliant two-back when an all the way winner at Flemington over a mile, before stepping up to the 2000 metres for the first time last start and fading late to run a length off the winner in fourth.
He can have it a bit easier out in front, give a good kick on the turn and be hard to run down here.
Ilwendo is another who is over the odds. He won well resuming over 1550 metres on a heavy track, before having excuses last start in a crowded finish. He comes here third-up where he has won three from three and as long as Kerrin McEvoy can get him across early, he will be hard to get past as well.
Life Less Ordinary, Aliferous and Scarlet Dream are all coming out of better races than this, but each of them struggle to win so I’m prepared to risk them.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on #6 Mount Tabora at $17 and #5 Ilwendo at $26.
The Star Kingdom Stakes is the next on the program over 1200 metres. It’s a wide-open affair here, as most of the races on this program are, and I want to be on Manicure. Her form from last preparation when beating Dawn Dawn and then running second to Tofane in consecutive starts at Group level looks very good for this race.
She has trialled up okay leading into this race and she’s won two from four when fresh. She maps brilliantly to get the run of the race and she’s good enough to be winning this.
Kementari is the x-factor. He is a Rosehill Guineas winner who looked like being a superstar but never reached the heights expected of him. They sent him to stud last year after being a perennial placegetter at Group 1 level, but he was infertile and comes back to the races after a brilliant trial.
If he is at his best here, he probably wins.
Fell Swoop and Villami will both be on the speed and can be hard to get past if there is any bias.
Recommended bet: #6 Manicure E/W at $8.
The first Group 1 on the program arrives here in the form of the Tancred Stakes over 2400 metres. With the favourite being too short, I think there are some opportunities elsewhere and I’m keen to back two in this race.
Mustajeer has been impressive going around the Sydney way this preparation and he is over the odds. He only ran a length away from the winner in the Caulfield Cup before failing in the Melbourne Cup in the Spring.
He resumed well in the Paramatta Cup when looking a winner, a long way out, before hitting the line nicely behind Master of Wine last start. He shapes as an improver stepping out to 2400 metres third-up.
Mirage Dancer is the other I want to be on. He resumed in the C.F Orr and was just flat-footed over 1400 metres before hitting the line really well in the Peter Young Stakes behind Miss Siska. He copped a terrible steer in the Australian Cup and battled on okay off a torrid run.
He maps to get a much better run today and he was placed in the Caulfield Cup over this distance in the spring.
Veery Elleegant and Carif are next-best.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #2 Mustajeer at $9.50 and #5 Mirage Dancer at $14.
The second of the Group 1s arrives here in the form of the Vinery Stud Stakes over 2000 metres. It’s a match race here between Funstar and Probabeel, and I think the price differential is too much for me not to have something on the Kiwi in Probabeel. They’ve raced four times with Funstar winning three, but Probaeel’s effort last start in the Phar Lap was brilliant when looking gone on the turn.
They step up to 2000 metres for the first time which I think is more advantageous for her, and there should be some speed injected into this race early. The Jamie Richards team have been dominant here lately and he could add another Group 1 to the tally.
We’ve already spoken about Funstar, who is also a star. She has won five from seven and she has brilliant tactical speed. She can sprint off a slow speed and also off a hot speed which is incredibly important. She can be winning.
Asiago and Nudge are the best of the rest.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #2 Probabeel at $4.50.
The Emancipation Stakes is the next on the program over 1500 metres for the fillies and mares. Sweet Deal was scratched from the Coolmore after a minor setback and I’m prepared to be with her here. She destroyed them first-up when winning by two lengths before getting nailed on the line by Dawn Dawn in a race where the leaders just went way too quick up front.
She done a fantastic job to nearly win that race, and there’s not a chance they will go as quick here. She draws perfectly (2) to either lead or box seat and with the rail out, she will be hard to get past. Noire was brilliant late in the Guy Walter when she had room to run in, before doing a terrific job to run third in the Colmore after running five-wide and without cover on a Heavy track.
She will need luck from the gate (1) but can be winning if the track plays fairly enough. Pohutukawa is always thereabouts and has received a huge push from trainer James Cummings during the week, and Girl Tuesday flies fresh and a bold showing is what I expect from her.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #8 Sweet Deal at $4.
The Doncaster prelude closes out the day over 1500 metres at Group Three level. Desert Lord does a lot wrong in his races, but the winkers come off today which will hopefully help him and he has a few things going for him. He over-raced in the Southern Cross on resumption when only running three lengths off Cascadian who is much shorter than him here, before putting in an average performance in the Newcastle Newmarket.
It’s worth noting that he only ran two lengths off Kolding and Fierce impact last preparation on a soft track, he reaches this third-up and he draws ideally (1) to dictate from the front and give them something to catch. Cascadian draws terribly (16) and will have to go back to last, but he is the best horse in the race in my view and therefore is still a danger.
He has had absolutely no luck in his last two starts and even though it probably wasn’t the plan to come to this race, he should be fit enough to put in a good performance.
Star of the Seas is as honest as they come, while nothing went right for Rainbow Thief last start and he can be an improver on that effort.
Recommended bet: #9 Desert Lord E/W at $10.
Race 3 #1 Quick Thinker.
Race 6 #2 Mustajeer.
Race 4 #6 Mount Tabora and Race 5 #6 Manicure.
R2: 6, 9, 5, 8, 3
R3: 1, 5
R4: 6, 9, 1, 8
R5: 6, 1, 9, 3, 10
R6: 2, 9, 5, 8
R7: 1, 2
R8: 8, 6, 11, 9
R9: 9, 2, 3, 10