Three to Follow, Three to Forgive & Three to Forget: Winter Warmers


Well punters, we’re facing a long road ahead. And if you need any reminder, then perhaps this little piece I punched out on the corresponding week last year should serve as a timely reminder…

Although I doubt too many would still need convincing after the weekend?

Double figure odds were par for the course Saturday, where just a small percentage of the quaddie dividend would be enough to tide you over for both the oncoming second and probably third waves of the global pandemic.

Ho hum. It’s not all doom and gloom, and if there’s one thing this virus has taught us is that we should always look on the bright side of life. So, whilst they were winning without names late on the card in Sydney, the upside is the program exposed a few we can firmly put the red pen through for the long months ahead.

The highlights were few and far between, but here we go anyway.


Exhibition: (Syd Race 1) First of the day should have been an easy pick for followers of in-form stables and jockeys. Few yards are pumping them out at the rate of the Freedman’s Sydney operation at the moment, and since returning from a horror streak of injuries, Andrew Adkins is currently the form Sydney jockey. A gritty win this. Worked three deep before the corner and headed multiple times in the straight, a testament to horse and rider to get the bob in on the line. Certainly of a different ilk to half-brother, former sprinting star Japonisme, this colt looks a nice middle distance three year old going forward.

Mount Popa: (Syd Race 4) Probably the one to get most excited about out of a fairly bleak day’s racing. Not sure what he beat here, but he did it real easy. Another astute international purchase by connections of stablemate Master of Wine, this five year old is also sired by Maxios and on what we’ve seen so far in just his two Aussie starts, he also looks a promising stayer of the future.

Stella Sea Sun: (Syd Race 6) Great training performance to have this lightly raced mare ready to win first up on the testing tracks we see at this time of year. And an absolute pearler of a ride. I put the pen through her after I mapped her no hope of being better than three deep the trip but was snagged back by Collett last the fence on jumping who then picked the right time to commence a run in the straight between the right horses. A concept a few of his more accomplished counterparts struggled with on Saturday. She was strong through the line and only has upside off the back of a dominant first up performance. Creeps out of F+M 78 grade now but has a couple of options over the coming month down in weight and up in class.


Zaniah: (Syd Race 3) Bungled the start and was lucky to keep her rider after giving B. Avdulla a nice touch up on the way out of the machine. Had a bit of scrambling to do in order to acquire a position and then was strung up from the top of the straight until angling clear at the 300m. By then Witherspoon was off and gone, but this lightly raced mare was an eye-catcher eating up the heavy ground late and there’s a fair case to say she gets there on the line had she not blown the start. Definitely want to be on next time.

Handle the Truth: (Syd Race 5) A positive ride in the small field looks to have switched this fellow back on after a few moderate performances of late. Accounted for the rest easily and took a quality galloper in Viridine to run him down. He won’t run into that sort of cattle when he no doubt lines up again for some lucky punters in their Kosciusko slot.

Threeood: (Syd Race 6) A lengthy Steward’s report here and the subject of an ongoing inquiry centring around the rider’s lack of early vigour in order to maintain a spot upon settling, and ‘disinterest’ in riding her out in the run on over the final 300m. Think the ride and the grilling MacDonald received and possibly the outcome of the inquiry will speak for themselves. Vetted clean post-race and was a dominant winner the start prior so I wouldn’t sack her on the back of that run.


Broken Arrows: (Syd Race 3) The long list of excuses has finally run out for this fellow. Raced like a horse down on confidence Saturday and ridden by a rider straight out of the same book. 19 starts now, just the 3 wins but 10 placings is enough to bracket him in the ‘nonnie’ catergory.

Jonker: (Syd Race 5) Showed a ton of promise as an early two year old. Thought he might have shown something amongst this field Saturday. Has been too long now since he fired a shot. Still has his manhood intact, and really not too sure where connections head with him after a long run of outs.  

Misteed: (Syd Race 6) She got us in after a spirited effort behind promising Wandabaa following a string of luckless runs. Posted deep after J Collett pulled off a Houdini effort and pinched the fence from the outside draw but really no legitimate excuses for a plain effort. Winless for 11 months now and rated right up to the maximum in fillies and mares 78 grade. She’s proving too hard to catch.


What do you think?