Blue Diamond weekend, and the fickle nature of 2yo racing was again on display, with a roughie who looked to be well kept by opposition to date, taking out the G1 feature in Melbourne, and in Sydney where Golden Slipper hot-pot Cellsabeel had her bubble well and truly burst.
AS for the racing amongst the more seasoned brigade it was once again high quality as we head toward the Autumn carnival with a couple of nice stayers in the making resuming and plenty of the folding stuff in the pockets for followers of this column.
Brandenburg: (Syd Race 7) One we flagged working through the grades in his maiden prep. He put the runs on the board with some nice runs in the Stan Fox and the Carbine, both traditionally ‘good horses’ races. But not even I, perhaps his biggest supporter had him winning the Hobartville. The support for Microphone was well founded with the track racing a filthy on pace bias, and he looked the obvious pick with residual fitness and a G1 to his name over the trip and many thought the race over when he speared across to lead comfortably. Particularly with the unlikely Brandenburg serving it up to him on his outside. But the positive ride from jockey Rachel King proved a master stroke with Kiwi bred stayer proving too good over concluding stages and putting the writing on the wall for a huge Autumn.
Master of Wine: (Syd Race 8) Another we flagged here last time in who could well be the star of the Autumn. A dominant first up winner over 1400m on the back of winning the Listed Tatts Cup at the end of a successful late Spring campaign. Lightly raced and well handled, he looks the real deal and no surprise to see him take the step up to challenge for some of our staying features this time in.
Pippie: (Melb Race 8) We found Pippie in a No Metro Win race at Doomben at the start of her last campaign. She quickly elevated her status form a promising QLD sprinter to a genuine stakes performer in Melbourne in that campaign, and took it to the next level Saturday with a first up Group 1 win. She was dominant Saturday albeit with track conditions to suit, but you get that more often than not at Caulfield, and will be hard to catch in anything she contests over the short courses.
Castelvecchio: (Syd Race 7) He’s a smart galloper but it takes him at least a mile before he even starts to warm up, and with the way the track was racing Saturday, he was never a realistic winning hope. Still, he was supported no less, sent out second favourite. His last 100m was particularly impressive, eating up the ground late. He is going to be hard to topple in a Rosehill Guineas, AJC Derby and possibly a Queen Elizabeth.
Aliferous: (Syd Race 8) Hinchinbrook mare from the Lees yard who had a sound albeit muddled Spring campaign after placing in the Mr Quickie, Vow and Declare, Qld Derby in the winter. She defied to pattern making late ground from well back and is one to black book for the coming weeks.
Subpoenaed: (Syd Race 9) Without doubt, the best thing beaten all day. Almost did what no other horse had done all day, come from last and circled deepest to miss by 0.2L margin on the line. Both runs back on have been excellent, can’t go wrong backing a horse in this kind of form.
Cellsabeel: (Syd Race 3) A couple of scratchings and most notably the glue on shoes probably should have spelt danger signs for punters. And she raced accordingly. Blew out the gate late in the market, virtually unwanted as they headed to the start, it would appear her campaign has come to an end.
Nature Strip: (Melb Race 7) How can you take $1.50 about him? There’ll be excuses saying he was in the wrong part of the track etc but his record on all ground counters that argument. And the fact Loving Gaby went straight past him. Plenty of people wanted to tell me I was a mug for potting him early last prep once he won the VRC Classic so impressively, but I was the one laughing Saturday after they charged in at the short quote. He simply is not a sound betting proposition, and you won’t go broke not jumping on the bandwagon for these types on conveyances.
Wren’s Day: (Syd Race 8) Doesn’t look likely to live up to the hype that surrounded his arrival.
Oriental Runner: (Syd Race 9) Back to a dry track, good draw, soft lead, leaders track, and couldn’t aim up. Forget for now.