Black Heart Bart proved a class above his rivals in the Memsie Stakes, relishing the savage speed set by Charmed Harmony. Rising Romance and Mahuta filled the placings. The Snowden stable pinched two of the other Group races on the card with Redzel and Defcon.
At Rosehill, Astern (pictured) held off Star Turn to win the Run To The Rose with a gap back to a classy crop of three-year-olds. It will be a red hot form race going into the spring carnival. Sir Bacchus and Chetwood also impressed in their respective wins.
He’s Our Rokkii (Race 2, Caulfield)
He has now won four of five since the blinkers went on! He really impressed at the backend of the autumn beating Odyssey Moon and Old North but his return win at Caulfield suggested that he has gone to another level again. Gave weight and a fitness edge to Prince Of Brooklyn but he pulled out plenty to get the verdict. David Hayes thinks there is a Group One handicap win in him and The Wolf is starting to believe it too.
Santa Ana Lane (Race 5, Caulfield)
Weaved a path towards the inside rail to run third first-up behind Redzel. Couldn’t quite match the late sectionals of Under The Louvre but few horses in the country can. He only got 1.5kg off that horse too, who is a Group One winner. It provides a perfect launch pad for his spring campaign. Not sure what his targets are over the carnival but if he isn’t too aggressively placed, there are plenty of small fish for him.
Palentino (Race 7, Caulfield)
Prior to the Memsie, The Wolf suspected he’d need one more run before hitting his top. It definitely looked the case but he’s ready to win now. Despite the hectic pace he still overraced back in the field before being asked to chase a long way from home. He looked set to finish right down the track but really stuck to his task to finish the race off nicely. Whenever he steps out next, you want to be in his corner.
Star Of The Day
Evacuation (Race 3, Rosehill)
Black Heart Bart? Astern? Too obvious. Evacuation had a big reputation to live up to given he only had a Kembla maiden win to his name but boy did he deliver. This More Than Reday colt was sent around even money but defied a little drift to win running away. He was first-up over 1400m on a heavy track so there was so much merit to the win. He had his Caulfield Guineas quote slashed from $26 into $9 after the race. To add some extra spice, he also broke the class record. He’s right off the top shelf.
Ruling Dynasty (Rosehill, Race 8)
This horse is one of the most dour gallopers around. He showed a bit of dash with freshness in his legs first-up before turning in two ordinary runs. If they keep training him like they are, he’ll eventually need the hurdles! James Cummings is a a good thinker and The Wolf hopes he adopts a European style system for this stayer. Kick him off over longer trips with a good gap between runs. Until then, steer well clear.
Off The Map
Hellbent (Race 5, Caulfield)
It was only a narrow win when he stepped out for his new trainer DK Weir at Sandown but the times stacked up. Hence punters weren’t shy in stepping into him at his next outing despite the big rise in grade. He was $7.50 into $4.40, starting a clear second favourite only behind Straddie winner Under The Louvre. He settled back in the field and never figured with tearaway leader Redzel pinching a winning break. Disappointing.
J-Mac on Allergic (Race 8, Rosehill)
How far should have Allergic won by? Trucked up behind the leading pack before Tim Clark proved too cunning on Sense Of Occasion, holding Allergic in a pocket. Clark also ended up getting the chocolates. It’s hard to be too critical of James McDonald. Allergic’s supporters, and there were plenty of them at the $2.30, had every right to feel hard done by. They should have been lining up in the collection line.