Well the end has arrived. No, not the end of the world. Although one could easily be mistaken after a cursory glance at the nightly news over the past week or so. Just the end of the Group 1 racing season.
It’s a sad fact we won’t see any of the highest order of thoroughbred racing between now and the running of The Winx/Warwick Stakes on August 22. But, if it’s any consolation, after well and truly taking off before the turn four deep, the powers that be at RQL HQ have done somewhat of an about turn and we’ll now pick up a large chunk of the back end QLD winter dates at traditional venues Sunshine Coast and the time honoured Ipswich Cup meeting at the recently renovated Bundamba circuit.
Hardly news to write home about but add to that the re-appearance of a serious Everest contender on Saturday and that should be enough to stoke the fire in Punter’s hearts as we forge on into a long winter.
Classique Legend: (Syd Race 7) Time flies when you’re on the punt. Remember black booking this fellow in this column off the back of a midweek Kenso maiden win 18 months ago. Now a four year old, he was dominant Saturday carrying top weight in a SWP race, sitting deep the trip and letting rip under the big impost like the good horse he is. Didn’t beat a lot but covered a stack of ground from the widest draw, first up, in rain affected going. The indication was he’s just having the one run and will go for a break before he resumes for his Everest tilt but I’m guessing they’ll keep the big fella ticking over and see what the handicapper gives him for the Winter Dash over 1200m in a fortnight.
Achiever: (Syd Race 1) Nice to see B. Avdulla ride a winner after a month drought… Just keep drilling down into this Peltzer form at every opportunity for the remainder of the 2yo season. It has produced winners the last three Saturdays in town and also probably the run of the race in the Group 1 J.J. Atkins in that of Overlord. By promising sire Pride of Dubai, this colt probably goes for a break now but Punter’s should stick with anything in and around these form lines.
Aquitaine: (Bris Race 9) Another rich vein of form worth tapping into around Fituese particularly for anything heading north over the coming weeks. We highlighted her here a fortnight ago and she was probably the bet of the day for those with enough patience, and ammunition to hold out until the last in Brissy. I thought this might have been Fituese’s GF but they elected to stretch her to 1200m in a ratings race in the heavy last Saturday which was a mistake. But I’m glad they did as she would have been a $1.50 here, instead smart punters secured $3 or better about the Godolphin filly who had a bit on these. A chance to have a crack at the Waterhouse Classic over 1350m on Ipswich Cup day and has wins at 1200m.
Overlord: (Bris Race 7) Probably has the misfortune of being the current holder of ‘the best maiden in the country’ belt at the moment. I have no doubt his day will come shortly and I’m equally as certain black type will follow not long after. Runs the quinella if not wins if he draws inside half, simple as that.
Misteed: (Syd Race 6) This looked her race Saturday after a luckless, and costly, run of outs. And relieved punters were probably entitled to go the early crow at the 300m. The winner, Wandabaa looks like a horse going places, and her record now along with the margin to third suggest Misteed is worth giving another chance.
Ranier: (Bris 8) It’s hard to tabulate ‘toughness’ in the form guide, and I think that was a huge factor in the running of Saturday’s Stradbroke Handicap on a track described by leading hoops and trainers as ‘concrete’. So take nothing away from the gutsy Tyzone who deserved his G1 after finishing runner up last year. As always, a few unlucky runs in the capacity field feature but thought the effort of Ranier who had to be dragged back to a long last from the draw and came with a sustained run on a jarring surface was worth mention. A lot depends on how most of these pull up, but a couple of Listed Quality Handicaps in the Spear Chief and the Glasshouse look well within his grasp.
Burning Crown (Syd Race 5) Was optimistic he had turned the corner but sadly I was mistaken. Just does too much wrong for my liking and I’m quitting while I’m behind to ensure against any more damage.
Archedemus: (Syd Race 8) Along with High Opinion, refer to last fortnight’s article.
Kementari: (Bris Race 8) Saved the best for last… “Held up in the home straight and as a result went to the line not fully tested by its rider”. Hard to believe that ride can only produce two lines in the steward’s report. Kemantari will remain an enigma, and as I’ve opined here before about plenty of others, you won’t go broke not backing him even if he does happen to jag one. But the fact is Maloney handed up box seat mid field the fence to opt for runs four, five, seven, nine wide whilst his stablemate railed through behind him from a long last to only get beat a length. He sticks to the fence, does he win? Any other horse I’d say yes, for Kemantari I’d say definitely maybe. But a more significant explanation was required from the rider about his decision making process than what RQL Stewards served up. No wonder there are integrity concerns with QLD racing when they treat punters with contempt and hand out these kind of responses.