When the G3 Sir John Monash Stakes rolls around in July you know spring isn’t far away! This year’s edition of the Caulfield winter sprint feature was taken out by speedy mare Wild Rain.
Meanwhile, Oxford Poet (pictured below) toughed it out to lead all the way in the Listed Winter Stakes at Rosehill and Murphy’s Delight outslogged his rivals in the Listed Queensland Cup on a very wet Eagle Farm track.
Harper’s Choice (Race 1, Rosehill)
This two-year-old colt was rolled at odds-on on debut at Newcaslte but it was against the older horses. Dropped back to his own age here and beat all but Morton’s Fork, who is a classy colt himself. Harper’s Choice is beautifully bred out of an Argentinian Group One-winner and sired by Street Cry. A maiden win is imminent for this youngster. Watch out for him over the mile.
Esteban (Race 4, Rosehill)
Talk about growing a leg! This three-year-old made it three straight and by a combined margin of more than 21 lengths! He demolished his rivals at Newcaslte on two occasions before tackling city class. He demolished this field too. Trainer John Sargent said after the race that he’ll likely back him up on Wednesday at Wawick Farm. Will win again, albeit at a much shorter price.
Bondeiger (Race 4, Caulfield)
Craig Williams said everything that needed to be said after the race – “if he gets clear, he wins.” Now, he’s never been the most genuine galloper doing the rounds but his two runs to date for Darren Weir have been full of merit. Third-up in two weeks time will be D-Day for this four-year-old who once upon a time fought out the finish of a Victoria Derby with Preferment.
Thud (Race 8, Rosehill)
This mare has been brutally unluckly this preparation. Should’ve won fresh. Should’ve won second-up. Was clear too late on both occasions. So what was her excuse this start? She simply didn’t run the 1350m. Expect her to tackle the 1200m trip again next start where she can bounce back. She’s a tough mare to catch with only two wins from 14 starts but next start might be the one to cash in.
Fast ‘n’ Rocking (Race 8, Caulfield)
He was truckloaded in betting to start a red hot $2.80 favourite (in from $4.40) but he did what Fast ‘n’ Rocking does best – finds a way to lose. There’s a touch of Extra Zeros about this sprinter in that he runs well no matter the grade but just doesn’t win often enough. He had no room on the fence and looked to have a bit to offer but don’t fall into his trap next start.
Kingsguard (Race 2, Rosehill)
After being posted at $12 on Wednesday the quote of this three-year-old tumbled into $4.80 at jump. He’d run two close seconds, including one behind Firebird Flyer who won again, but was racing out of maiden grade. He made the running but Dark Eyes who sat on his shoulder proved too strong. He paddled late to run third. Costly horse to punters this ex-Kiwi.
Majestic Lass (Race 2, Caulfield)
Jumping $2.50 gives her the shortie of the day honours. It looked destined to be El Sasso at Rosehill but he was a big drifter. Majestic Lass has found a new home with David Hayes having spent the first part of her career with Pete Moody, and she’s clearly loving life having won both starts this preparation. Has a bit of class this filly. Won’t be her last win in town.
I’m Ablaze (Race 6, Caulfield)
The last time this horse won he paid $26 and he did it again to punters here, paying $28 on the totes. Wendy Kelly’s five-year-old gelding had a blanket of swoopers charging at him late but he just did enough to fall in with Craig Newitt riding hard to get him over the line. First leg of the quddie too! Well done if you included him.