Todd Burmester’s Spring Watch

By guest reviewer Todd Burmester Around every corner at the moment there seems to be someone who wants to tell you we have poor weight for age horses going around at the moment, and that this Spring carnival will be a weak one. On the surface, I’d forgive you for thinking the same, however, dig a little deeper and I think you might find we are in for one hell of a Spring. The headline act, by all accounts, is likely to be Black Caviar. That’s pretty exciting in itself, but hey, we’ve seen her before and we know what she’s likely to keep doing – as beautiful as she is, let’s see what else we might be able to look out for this Spring with a little further investigation. Take a look at The Cox Plate market, and at the top of the billing you have Whobegotyou. He seems to have found his way to the top of the market for this race for a good few years now at some stage or another. There is no doubting he’s a good horse, but if 2040m is his best distance, I’ll eat my hat. He’s a mile horse in my opinion. In his favour is his affinity with Moonee Valley though, so I will concede that. I really feel his position at the top of the market is lazy on behalf of those setting the odds however. Let me throw some names at you of horses that I think have done enough in their careers to date to suggest they have the credentials of big Spring potential (not limited to The Cox Plate). How about these: Lights Of Heaven, Rekindled Interest, Shootoff, Scarlett Lady, Shamrocker, Secret Admirer, Sincero, Torio’s Quest, Bel Sprinter, Studley Park, Aeronautical, Sepoy, Smart Missile, Maluckyday. That’s 15 horses without trying too hard or digging too deep in all honesty. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest to you that somewhere among that lot, I’ve probably named “the next big thing” in Australian racing. And those are just the ones with good exposed form. There’s a good chance there are horses right now in the paddock ready to return that have “grown a leg” and will surprise us by doing big things. Now of course, they won’t all make it as champions, and I personally have often been sceptical of 3yo form going into open company, but to narrow things down a bit, I’ll tell you that my preferences for those that I feel will certainly make the big time. I have quite a liking for Secret Admirer, Scarlett Lady, Aeronautical and Studley Park. These are horses that to my way of thinking, have done things to date in their careers that you just don’t see every day, which gives them “The X Factor”. If forced to name one horse – Secret Admirer is the one for me. She’ll win something big this Spring. It’s time for a changing of the guard, and anyone getting a little bored with “Whobe” at the top of the market, despite his brilliance on his day, or that thinks the Black Caviar procession is not exciting – look out, I think there is a fair chance you are about to see some fairly special racing this spring.