At Caulfield, Bon Aurum hit form at the right time to take out the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes with just 52kg on his back while Black Heart Bart asserted his dominance in the Group One Underwood Stakes. Also on the card, Royal Rapture brought up five straight and Legless Veuve and Sacred Elixir won the two Guineas Preludes.
At Rosehill, Impending got the better of Divine Prophet to take out the Stan Fox Stakes and is the current Caulfield Guineas favourite.
Zenalicious (Rosehill, Race 2)
No prizes for finding a winner to go into the blackbook but this filly really impressed The Wolf in the Reginald Allen Quality. She was under pressure early in the race but really grabbed the bit to chase down Invincibella, who is a very talented filly herself. What can’t be underestimated is how soft she won in the end. Not sure what Les Bridge has in mind for her next start but look out if she steps out the mile.
Evacuation (Caulfield, Race 6)
If you need a track report on Caulfield, just ask this colt as he saw plenty of it in the Guineas Prelude for the colts and geldings. He was stuck three wide for the early part before being flushed four and five wide on the turn. He was entitled to drop out but kept trying to not finish too far away. If he draws a barrier in the Caulfield Guineas and can get up in front, he can turn around his form sharply. Worth noting that he was crunched in betting too.
Lucia Valentina (Caulfield, Race 8)
All honours to Black Heart Bart in the Underwood but The Wolf loved the run of this mare. Despite the track being too firm for her liking she picked herself up to run some really slick closing splits. She’ll be freshened up for the Cox Plate now as that’s how she does her best racing. You’d be brave to declare that she can beat Winx but her Queen Elizabeth Stakes win over the autumn was enormous. Would be surprised if she doesn’t at least turn the tables on Bart.
Star Of The Day
Black Heart Bart (Caulfield, Race 8)
The gloss came off his reputation in the Makybe Diva when rolled by his stablemate Palentino but he responded in the best possible way in the Underwood, with a dominant win. It was a faultless steer from Brad Rawiller who judged the pace perfectly behind The Cleaner. He also ticked the box of running out a strong 1800m. He’ll now head to the Caulfield Stakes which sets up a pre Cox Plate clash with Winx.
First Seal (Rosehill, Race 7)
Despite her good record (16:5-6-0) this mare is not a friend of the punter. She again was rolled as favourite, this time first-up in the Golden Pendant. She loomed to win but faded badly late to cling onto fifth. She’ll no doubt strip fitter for that outing next start but you can be equally sure that she’ll be hard in the market too. Her early record against Winx is flattering and after numerous setbacks her best is behind her. On behalf of the punters, First Seal is sacked. Special mention to Hi World.
Off The Map
Whispering Brook (Caulfield, Race 5)
After the early scratchings of Sweet Sherry and Leotie, punters had eyes for only one runner in the Thousand Guineas Prelude. And that was WA raider Whispering Brook who was $2.50 into $2.05 on Saturday. Nick Hall managed to carve across to the front of the field from the wide gate and everything was going to plan, however, turning for home she was under a lot of pressure and faded to finish midfield. One to the bookies.
Christian Reith on Swear (Rosehill, Race 6)
Drawn wide, Reith didn’t really have any option other than to settle towards the rear of the field. However, why he chose to weave a path instead of tag second favourite High Mist into the race will leave punters baffled for years. As it turned out, he found himself squeezed out and lost momentum. He came again to finish close in a blanket finish. Despite leaders dominating the finish, there’s a fair to case to be made that Swear would have overcome that to win.