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Opinion

My take on Group 1 racing 19-20 March

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Roar Guru
18th March, 2021
19

This week we have six Group 1 races: one at Monee Valley (MV) on Friday evening and five at Rosehill on Saturday.

While MV is currently rated a soft 5 with a likely improvement in coming days given predicted fine weather, Rosehill is likely to be run on very heavy track with 60 to 100 millimetres of rain predicted from Thursday to Saturday.

With regard to the Weight for Age (WFA) William Reid Stakes (1200m) at MV, I will be only having a small bet on the basis of the large field having so much depth.

Winning chances
•Hey Doc, who loves the MV 1200m with two wins and a second from three starts in Weight for Age (WFA) races
•Indian Pacific who was just beaten in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m)
•Ancestry, who ran a blistering 1:09.37 over the MV 1200m distance last Saturday, winning by 2.25 lengths
•Libertini, who beat the Everest winner Classique Legend last October at WFA over 1200m running 1.07.6
•Brooklyn Hustle, who ran fourth in last month’s Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), beaten just 0.3 lengths before finishing a luckless when eighth in the Newmarket
•Portland Sky, who won the Oakleigh Plate (1100m)
•September Run, who ran second in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) behind Nature Strip before disappointing in the Newmarket when short favourite
•Swats That, who ran third in the Lightning Stakes ting before finishing fifth in the Newmarket, 2.2 lengths from the winner

I will have a very small bet on Hey Doc given my hope that he will be parked behind the hot speed, yet not too far back, but I am hardly confident.

At Rosehill on Saturday, I like a few races.

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In the Group 1 WFA Ranvet Stakes (2000m), the race has just five acceptances but promises to be one of the highlights of Sydney’s Autumn carnival as it features two multiple Group 1 winners (Addeybb and Very Elegant).

Take your pick. Addeybb is two for two on Heavy tracks.

He also beat Very Elegant home in the 2020 Ranvet Stakes on a soft 5 track by 0.5 lengths before thrashing her by 2.8 lengths in the 2020 Group1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

Has Very Elegant improved? Maybe. She has won four Group 1 races since, including the 2020 Caulfield Cup.

While both horses will be very short, I pick Addeybb to win, after winning the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot last October beating home Skalleti and Magical.

In the WFA George Ryder Stakes (1500m), we have another exciting clash given the field includes many top horses.

Anamoe ridden by Damien Oliver

(Scott Barbour/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Allowing for the heavy track, I like three horses: Avilius, unbeaten in two starts on a heavy track and who recently ran third (beaten 0.4 length by Very Elegant) in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) on a Soft 5 track; Arcadia Queen who is unknown on such a surface, and Funstar, who ran fourth in the Chipping Norton (beaten 0.6 lengths).

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Kolding, a very good horse on a dry track, may struggle in the heavy.

I will back Avilius, currently $5, who is looking sharp at the shorter distances this time in and has a best-ever performance on a heavy track when winning the 2019 RANVET Stakes by 2.3 lengths after storming home from eighth at the 400m.

A tough, grinding race on a heavy track should indeed suit Avilius.

In the Rosehill Guineas (2000m) for three-year-olds, very few of them have form over the distance, so who really knows?

While I like Mo’unga, who finished an unlucky second to Lions Roar and has his only start on a heavy track, quite a few other horses have a chance including Lions Roar, Khoekhoe, and Montefilia

Nevertheless, I will not risk much on this race given that few are yet to run at the distance and 2000m is a totally different race from 1600m.

Of the $3,500,000 Golden Slipper (1200m) for two-year-olds, this is another race where I will have a moderate bet.

With few having been exposed to a heavy track before, it is impossible to know who will, or will not, handle the ground.

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But I will back Stay Inside, who should have finished much closer last start when fourth of seven at the Randwick 1200m beaten 1.7 lengths after being last at the 800m with the last 600m of the race run in 33.89.

With one start on a slow 7 track, Stay Inside won by four lengths over 1100m.

According to his trainer, Michael Freedman, “He is a horse that is just getting better, a bit like Danzero and Flying Spur… He didn’t have any luck in the Todman but we always knew the Golden Slipper was where he had to be at his best – and he will be… It looks like we are getting rain this week. That won’t worry him and there has been the improvement we wanted from the Todman.”

In the $700,000 Galaxy (1100m), while I backed Eduardo last start (small bet) when winning (and debating Nature Strip) in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) in a course record time of 55.20 (600m 32.86), he now has to give weight to some good horse which also has good heavy track form.

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Nevertheless, I am backing Eduardo, given its excellent form on heavy tracks, with a smaller covering bet to include Haut Brion Her, who beat Eduardo home on a Heavy 9 when second (0.3 lengths) over 1300m in a million-dollar race behind Gytrash.

To sum it up, and assuming the track is heavy, I will be looking to win money of Addeybb and Avilius, with any other collect on smaller bets a bonus.

Good luck, punters.