Boxing Day racing in Melbourne took place at Caulfield and I think a couple of potential Group 1 candidates emerged from the program.
Down below is a review of the meeting and a horse or two to follow.
Caulfield Track: I think getting out wide, for the most part, was the spot to be, but we saw a couple of winners nearer the inside, so hard to say for certain that there was a pattern.
Overall the track played very well I thought. Good 4 to a Good 3 after race three was about spot on as well.
Group 1 Contender Number One: I think Ayrton is well and truly in the mix to be an Australian Guineas contender. He was outstanding in winning the third and his overall time was significantly faster than the following race.
Last 400m/200m was average for the day, but it was his mid race speed that impressed me. Produced a sub 11 split between the 800m-600m, quickest by several lengths, and then his 400m-200m split was the quickest of the race by a couple of lengths.
He looks a Group 1 contender. Needs to improve his finishing speed to be a Group 1 winner IMO but only two starts into his career, plenty of scope for that to happen.
Group 1 Contender Number Two: I had queries on Pandemic at 1200m prior to the Christmas Stakes but after the race, and his win, I think he could be a Group 1 horse. Leaders went 34.88 for the first 600m, which is decent speed for this grade.
They’ve dashed home, especially Pandemic, who has sat off that hot speed and ripping home a 33.5 last 600m. Overall, the raced has rated super and it can be followed. As for Pandemic, he could be a sneaky Goodwood horse.
Lord, What Do We Do: Tick over three lengths first to last is a concern, but think the form will be solid. They crawled mid race, going 49.37 between the 1400m-600m. The positive for the race is that it produced the best last 400m and 200m of the meeting, and with that, think there were a couple of good runs from the beaten brigade.
The blackbooker from the entire meeting for me is Mosh Music. She was only second and given the race shape, she had no hope being last, but her late splits were outstanding for a mare second up off a long break.
The other is Tavidance. He’s a horse that needs give in the track. Was a Good 3 and again, another not suited by race shape. 2000m on a track with give in it, he can win.
Alarm Bells: I very much worry about the first race, the two year old event won by Godolphin first starter Picarones.
Visually, solid, but relative to the day, the race has rated horribly. Worst last 400m and 200m of the meeting and overall time was slow compared to other 1200m races. The winner looks to have room for improvement, but on times, can’t see this bunch being anything special this season anyway.