Race reviews: Flemington, October 7th
Race 2: BRAVO TANGO: Came into this undefeated with two rain affected wins in the bush, was unlucky most of the straight and still looks to have plenty to learn. Flashed late, may just need to learn to settle a little closer and a gear change may be needed, but he looks to have a stack of potential.
Race 6: PURE SCOT and BRING ME ROSES: Both impressed and look suited going forward over further and look to play a major role in the VRC Oaks. They ran on hard and look likely to be able to handle that extra trip.
Notes: The babies were at the races for the first time here and the result was the barest possible margin for the speedy NOMOTHAJ (1st). She led throughout and as they all went to the inside part of the track, she sat one off the fence in front and although challenged throughout the latter stages, kicked away strongly from the other on pacers. RANIER (2nd) ran a super race, sat back last towards the middle of the track and really flashed late. Looks like he will appreciate stepping up in trip. They were a little wayward early and there was a couple held-up when the runs came but there was nothing running on strong at the end besides the runner-up.
BRAVO TANGO (2nd) looks the one to follow here. After running on hard in easier races to score at his first two runs, he got well back again today, saved ground approaching the straight, layed in badly early in the straight when Melham had a wall of horses in front of him. He was difficult to ride the length of the straight, finally clear the last 100 and flashed late. Looks to have a future.
Notes: Yendall and Weir combined for a big priced winner SNITZEPEG (1st), ridden a treat in the box seat before pulling into the clear at the top of the straight and running away. Ridden like that he will win again this Spring if he has another before going to the paddock. ESPERANCE (unplaced) appeared a little disappointing, may just need a break now after a couple of fabulous wins to start his career, obviously has potential and will be a force in the Autumn.
Notes: One of the biggest performances of the day from MAIN STAGE (1st) coming from a seemingly impossible position at the 400 to run over the top of the leader CLIFF’S EDGE (2nd) in the last few strides. The Busuttin/Young trained 3yo was ridden a lot quieter today, sat last and gave the leader and runner-up at least 10 lengths at the top of the straight. Came with a barnstorming finish and looks better suited ridden this way? The runner-up was good after setting an even tempo, was clearly the best of those on the speed. Don’t be looking any further back than 1st or 2nd.
Notes: Such a blanket finish will usually result in it being a race that won’t stand-up going forward form wise. KEEN ARRAY (1st) has been crying out for a win, hasn’t been suited by the draws recently. He over-raced badly ridden closer today up the straight. Stuck on well after challenged the last 400. All of the beaten brigade seemed to have their chance, SPIETH (unplaced) was a flop but there wasn’t anything making ground in the race. Hard to have excuses for any of the beaten brigade.
Notes: Probably her most dominant win to date? Not much competition but the way WINX (1st) cruised to her 21st straight victory with no effort at all was actually scary. Not much to say, she is a star, how do they beat her at the Valley in our premier WFA event? Simply put, they can’t? HUMIDOR (3rd) raced like a stayer and really had zero chance with the tactics adopted. Surely they had to try something, thinking they could outsprint the best horse of our lifetime in a small field like that was mind-boggling. Unlike many that claim to be sick of seeing her win, I love it.
BRING ME ROSES (1st) came here as a maiden and left as a Group 2 winner, she had been beaten less than a length at her previous two runs in SA and had showed promise, but absolutely relished in the big open spaces here at HQ today. She sat well back, got to the outside and charged home, running away to score with ease. She has rocketed to the top of the Oaks betting, deservedly so.
Notes: PURE SCOT (4th) was last into the straight and was forced to change course a couple of times after being held-up in the straight. She exploded through a gap the last 75m and was unlucky not to run a place, doubt she would have beaten the impressive winner but should have run 2nd. LEATHER’N’LACE (3rd) was gallant in defeat, may have been forced to run to the front too early.
Hopefully some of you followed the blackbooker AMELIE’S STAR (1st) from a couple of weeks ago when mentioned as a Caulfield Cup hopeful. She has now gone from a 50/1 chance to equal favourite with some shops after a dominant win thanks to a brilliant ride. The writing was on the wall at Caulfield last start when she rattled home against the tempo of the race.
Notes: The big talking point was ALMANDIN (unplaced) who raced very flat after looming at the top of the straight and was actually tiring through the line? A change of tactics was notified to ride him back today and he didn’t race like the same horse. Not sure what they do with him now, likely that the Cup defence will be his next start and give him a month off into that as they did last year? I wouldn’t be sacking him off that run, he is still at the top of the betting for the big grand final on the first Tuesday in November.
Notes: An open race on paper and it looked a tough betting proposition. NOW OR LATER (1st) was looking for runs the entire straight, got out at the 200 and once balanced up sprouted wings late and was easily the best through the line. MERRIEST (11) looked all over the winner and would have traded at a low price late in the straight, did a nice job but had every chance. SWORD OF LIGHT (unplaced) and MISSROCK (unplaced) found very little in the straight after being on the speed. PROMPT RESPONSE (unplaced) looked the unlucky runner, didn’t get a crack at all in the straight, forget it went around.
Notes: PURE PRIDE (1st) showed a massive reversal in form third-up after a couple of so-so efforts to begin this campaign. She was last into the straight, held-up badly early on then exploded through a gap between runners and ran away. Absolutely dominant but need to see that as the norm before putting her as a horse to follow. Not sure about the tempo early, BURNING FRONT (unplaced) seemed to do all he could to restrain from leading which seemed odd, WYNDSPELLE (2nd) ran on well out very wide on the track, he has been consistent since coming to Oz and will get his first win here in his next couple of runs no doubt.