First rule of the punt; if something looks to good to be true, then it generally is. Such was the case at Randwick on Saturday where to the inexperienced campaigner the Sydney quaddie almost looked a “one out go” in all four legs and certainly worth a lazy $5 ticket.
And it only took for the first leg to be run and won, and optimistic punters may as well have set a match to their fiver and used the ashes for confetti, with short priced favourite Helga going down, thus setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
The well backed Pandemic the only exception to the rule on the back half of the blowout card, after strong support race morning, displacing early pick Sir Elton, both of whom have featured here in our 3 to Follow, Forgive and Forget.
Rulership: (Syd Race 1) Another week, another 2yo race in Sydney, another winner to Team Snowden. Whilst it may seem par for the course at the minute, I’m sure even the co-trainers, in spite of their seemingly endless depth to their 2yo stable, couldn’t help but be excited about this fellow. Easy enough time in front after Nash crossed and led, but put the afterburners on at the business end, spacing rivals, home in a slick 33.61, and looks a force to be reckoned with approaching the Blue Diamond and beyond.
Pandemic: (Syd Race 8) There was only one runner in the Bm78 1100m that punters wanted to back in the 24hrs leading into start time, and that was the lightly raced Pandemic first up coming off a last start stakes placing mid Spring. Although he trialed well, the short quote was always a risk with the horse mapping mid field the fence and the speedy Sir Elton drawn to get a charmed run just behind the speed. And for a few strides approaching the 200m, backer’s hearts would have been in there mouths with Sir Elton easing out behind the leaders 3 deep and Pandemic angling for a run through in the 3 wide line. But it was for no more than a few strides at best, with the Godolphin son of Sepoy bursting clear at the 100m for an emphatic victory. Looks well above average, professional attitude, and worth following.
Better Reflection: (Bris Race 8) Sneaking up north here, for what looked one of the better bets late in the day, for those with enough fodder left, or that had exercised due patience throughout a tough afternoon. Very handy, racey 3yo filly, she only fell in resuming under the big weight but has clearly returned in the same order that saw her post a victory over the classy Gem of Scotland last prep. Look to her in target QTIS races over the short courses as she works through her campaign.
Helga: (Syd Race 6) Was always a risk from the sticky draw in spite of the small field in a thin race in which I even realistically considered Pumpkin Pie a threat of toppling them late. And so, with that in mind, Punters probably figured she could overcome a three deep trip or some early work to get outside the lead and still get the prize at the business end. But, as is so often the case, after appearing to travel sweetly to the 300m, the early worked showed and there was little in the tank with eventual winner, To Your Health, who opted out of the early speed battle and took a sit 3rd the fence, prevailing by a nose after a soft run edging out leader and last start winner Missybeel. Helga vetted clean post-race and wouldn’t discount her from a better draw in and around this grade (Bm78 F+M) again this prep.
True Detective: (Syd Race 8) Always showed talent but just lacked a little bit of earnest conviction when it counted. The ultimate gear change, gelding, seems to have put that at rest after a solid return which saw him still attacking the line after overcoming the bad draw and some heavy traffic between the 400m and 300m. Sky is the limit for him now with his mind on the job.
Sir Elton: (Syd Race 8) They say always forgive a good horse one bad run…? But just how good is he after Saturday, as well as his defeat before being spelled last preparation. Perhaps the boom has gone off him a touch, but his trials were good, he sweated profusely on a very muggy afternoon, and just took the gas at a crucial stage when eyeballed by Pandemic which could be attributed to both the humidity and condition first up, with the two going somewhat hand in hand. Unwanted in betting late in the week, which suggests stable were expecting further improvement from the run and will be a price 2nd up where he might just bounce back to his brilliant best.
Pumpkin Pie: (Syd Race 6) Scratched last week at 1800m on account of the 0/3 on the Heavy. That may just have been her race, but I doubt it after she loomed up Saturday over the mile, then seemed to throttle back a gear once within a half length over the final 100m. Might back up Saturday Bm78 2000m? One very last try!
Sambro: (Syd Race 7) Probably overdue, but I had Saturday down as his D-Day. Over 600 days since his last win, and only the 3 career victories but a promising 3rd in a million dollar race his latest. Failed to fire in what are thin and patchy stakes races and has failed to deliver on his early promise.
Passage of Time: (Syd Race 7) Enigmatic talent who remains an equally perplexing enigma at 6 and veteran of 28 starts, as much as he did in his earliest campaigns. Not a reliable conveyance.