Spring racing Spring carnival
  • All the Spring Carnival horses to watch for 2019
  • Nominations from pro punters Trevor Lawson, Mark Rhoden, Mark Van Triet and The Professor

We’re fast closing in on the best time of the year: spring racing.

The Winx Stakes kicked off the Group 1 racing season at Randwick, with the Memsie Stakes next up at Caulfield.

As the good horses return from the spelling paddock, we asked our pro punters to nominate their spring stars… the horses they expect will make headlines in big races over the next few months. There are, of course, some obvious nominations, but there’s a few others that will be worth keeping an eye on.

Without further ado…

Verry Elleegant

4YO mare trained by Chris Waller

WON Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m), Randwick, April 2019

WON Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Rosehill, March 2019

WON Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes (1500m), Rosehill, March 2019

Mark Van Triet, WA Winners: “Dominant filly who was very immature in the Spring, then still did a few things wrong in the Autumn but her staying class shone through. Capable in all conditions and races such as The Metropolitan and Caulfield Cup look genuine targets.”

Arcadia Queen

4YO mare trained by Chris Waller

WON Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m), Ascot, December 2018

WON Group 2 WA Guineas (1600m), Ascot, November 2019

WON Group 3 WA Champion Fillies Stakes (1600m), Ascot, November 2018

Mark Rhoden, NSW Winners: “Champion WA filly (now a mare), now with Chris Waller for an Eastern campaign. It’ll be great to have her based and racing in NSW. She’s entered in everything at the moment, but the big money on offer in The Everest and The Golden Eagle will surely tempt the connections. On figures, she’ll be competitive in anything she races in… the only question is whether she reproduces that form against the stronger opposition she’ll encounter on this side of the country.”

Mystic Journey

4YO mare trained by Adam Trinder

WON All-Star Mile (1600m), Flemington, March 2019

WON Australian Guineas (1600m), Flemington, March 2019

WON P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m), Caulfield, August 2019

Trevor Lawson, Melbourne Ratings: “On my ratings she had the two highest figures for a three-year-old last season in the Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile. And she’s a winner, with 10 wins from 13 starts over distances from 1000m to 1600m.”

Classique Legend

4YO gelding trained by Les Bridge

WON Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m), Randwick, April 2019

Mark Rhoden, NSW Winners: “Should be unbeaten after four runs. Kicked off his career with two of the highest rating wins I’ve seen on the Kensington track before having a torrid run and lowering his colours to Krone at Rosehill. Bounced straight back to his best in the Arrowfield during The Championships to round out his first preparation. Being owned by Hong Kong interests, there was a strong possibility he would be shipped to Asia, but his owners bought an Everest slot for the horse instead – a great result for our racing. I’m very keen to see if he can live up to the potential he showed in that first campaign.”

Zoustyle

4YO gelding trained by Tony Gollan

WON Listed Gold Edition 3YO Plate (1200m), Doomben, December 2018

The Professor, Queensland Winners: “One of the most exciting horses to come out of Brisbane in a long time. Has won six from six and done it with a leg in the air on most occasions. Had one run in the Queensland Winter Carnival, winning a 3YO Open Race by 1.3 lengths, beating Plague Stone and Jami Lady over 1200m.

“We’ve seen horses like Houtzen and Winter Bride travel down to Victoria in recent springs and win at Group 3 level, and I have Zoustyle ahead of both of these horses by some margin at the same stage in their careers. What sets him apart from your run-of-the-mill sprinters is his ability to run fast sectionals at both ends of the race. He has proven that he can do this not only over the 1000m but also up to the 1200m, which is always a big query for these types of speedy, front-running sprinters.

“Obviously will have to take a step-up in grade to be competitive in the Victorian Spring but looks the type of horse could make that jump. Trainer Tony Gollan is eyeing off an Everest slot and will resume the horse in the Group 3 Concorde over 1000m at Randwick. With the news that the winner of the Schillaci Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield will get an automatic entry into the Everest, that could be a big target for Zoustyle as well. I’ll be watching with great interest how he goes this spring.”

Kubrick

3YO colt trained by Chris Waller

SECOND Group 1 JJ Atkins Plate (1600m), Eagle Farm, June 2019

Mark Van Triet, WA Winners: “Lightly raced colt from the Waller stable who registered good late numbers in both wins, then was arguably unlucky covering plenty of extra ground to finish narrowly behind Prince Fawaz in the G1 JJ Atkins. Looks a likely Caulfield Guineas type.”

Brutal

4YO horse trained by Team Hawkes

WON Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m), Randwick, April 2019

Trevor Lawson, Melbourne Ratings: “Had the second-highest rating for a three-year-old on my scale when running second to Winx in the George Ryder, before producing a high figure with only 49.5 kgs in the Doncaster. Lookss ideally suited in races up to 1600m.”

Loving Gaby

3YO filly trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace

SECOND Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), Randwick, April 2019

SECOND Group 1 ATC Sires Produce (1400m), Randwick, April 2019

Mark Van Triet, WA Winners: “Raced with little luck at the highest level in the Autumn, yet wasn’t beaten more than two lengths in four G1 races. Trained at Caulfield… the Thousand Guineas looks her race.”

Begood Toya Mother

5YO gelding trained by Daniel Bowman

WON BM84 Handicap (1440m), Caulfield, June 2016

WON Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), Caulfield, August 2019

Trevor Lawson, Melbourne Ratings: “Produced quality ratings past three runs before spell. Will get into the handicap races with a light weight. Looks suited to races like the Rupert Clarke and the Toorak Handicap.”

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