Three to follow, three to forgive, and three to forget out of this weeks racing.
Your blackbook-friendly review of the weekend’s racing.
El Dorado Dreaming – Was D-day for the former Group 1 Sires Produce winner but she certainly put everyone on notice nearly pinching another 1400m Group 1 at odds in the Surround Stakes for new trainer Kris Lees. Out of a Zabeel mare and strong placings behind subsequent G1 winners Mystic Journey and Aristia in the Spring suggest she is right on track for an Oaks tilt.
Schabau – Sure to be the subject of plenty of futures betting in the Cups markets over the next few days. Didn’t beat much but the way he did it was impressive. Whether he has the stamina for a genuine staying test at two mile is still a huge question but showed enough of a turn of foot that could suggest a feature mile and a half handicap wouldn’t be out of the question either. Handsome bugger, lightly raced and sure to be on the handicapper’s radar. In the hands of Robert Hickmott who does know a thing or two about those kinds of races.
Johannes Vermeer – Whilst there may be a query about Schabau, you know what you are going to get from this 6yo entire, 2017 Melbourne Cup runner up. Was the flashing light run on in the Blamey and clearly has come back in terrific order. Keep an eye on betting moves for upcoming Sydney features.
Grunt – Big weight, first-up, hot day, landed a couple pairs back the fence inside horses. Less than ideal circumstances and enough Forgive factors to say he is worth another try. Was dominant winning the Group 1 Makybe Diva at weight for age over the mile at Flemington when given plenty of galloping room and he heads to the all-star mile next. A quirky horse for a quirky race?
Unforgotten – Unforgotten might just be worth forgiving for a couple of sins at the end of last preparation. Beaten 4 lengths into third by Happy Clapper who probably has a couple of lengths on most other horses in the country barring Winx. Worth noting there was a further 1.8 lengths back to fourth placed Egg Tart who looks to have come back in good order also. Third in the Epsom to Hartnell and D’Argento. Ticking over nicely toward a Doncaster.
Eckstein – Not a renowned first up performer but finally produced the goods as a rising 6yo at big odds a fortnight back. Slow out and buffeted at key stages second up when looking to angle clear and a better run than margin indicates. Still in the mix for a second feature race this time in amongst pretty even company in and around black type mares events.
Castelvecchio – Forget for the Slipper. Follow for the Sires Produce/Champagne Stks. Was in real danger of getting run over by the ambulance at the top of the straight. Produced an unbelievable turn of foot over the final furlong to finish third. Out of Derby winner Dundeel, has 1600m written all over him.
You Make Me Smile – The Liverpool City Cup is generally a strong guide for bigger races heading into the Sydney Autumn. The Jason Coyle trained 4yo Gelding was aiming to have the picket fence next to his name after three straight wins in lesser grades but was under pressure, with no weight on his back when asked to respond and suggest you can forget him in terms of feature races this time around in what was a weak rendition of what is normally a very good race.
Fundamentalist – Only beaten a lip but is a perennial bridesmaid. Benefited from cheap mid race sectionals, was entitled to skip clear and hang on with the soft run in transit but swamped late again and suggest those fillies that tackled her late have more upside heading out to a mile and further this autumn.