Just like ‘run outs’ and some brilliant Aussie fielding were the order of the day at the SCG, so too was the proverbial ‘throw at the stumps’ at the Gold Coast.
They flocked from all over the east coast like seagulls upon the Bundall circuit in a last ditch bid to line up in next week’s lucrative Magic Millions race day.
For what it’s worth from this ‘form expert’, (a term used increasingly loosely around the industry these days) I sincerely think the winners of the big features were at home in their box eating hay on Saturday afternoon, but we’ll dissect what we had on offer no less, and as always, we’ll keep a sharp eye on races further afield which will hopefully save the battlers from eating the dates off the calendar at any stage in the New Year.
Swift Witness (Gold Coast Race 2)
Hard to go past this Waterhouse/Bott winner (Or Team Gai-drian as I like to call them) when splitting up the 2yo winners. Quicker overall time and nearly identical last 600m with the filly coasting to the line after exploding away to a 3L lead at the furlong. She’s got a fair margin to make up on She’s All Class who she ran into on debut at Wyong, but she was very green that day and will surely have benefited from the look at the circuit Saturday while the other filly stayed at home. A live chance in what I think is one of the weaker renditions of the 2yo Classic. Stable does have an excellent record in this race.
Yao Dash (Gold Coast Race 7)
Wowee Yao-ee! Not sure which horse Josh Fleming was on when he didn’t call him in the first five approaching the furlong, but this bloke had them covered a long way out. Worth noting he beat home Funstar and Emeralds at 3yo and was run down late in the Golden Rose by the current world’s highest ranked sprinter in Bivouac and Yes Yes Yes who would go on to win an Everest at his next start. Since then though, he’s been beaten by 7L in two stakes races, and rolled in a Bm84 at Ballarat. But you couldn’t help but be impressed with the win Saturday and there is no better rider in the country than N Rawiller at the moment and he’s sticking for next week. You are taking on trust but Nash and the Waterhouse ‘bone and muscle’ suits at the GC on a week back up.
Spirit Ridge (Syd Race 7)
I’ve been spruiking him for a while and he was good – very good – on Saturday. Has not put a foot wrong since landing on our shores, and again was strong through the line, carrying weight this time. Mark Newnham has indicated a Sydney Cup may well be an Autumn target for him and while it is true, the further he goes the better he gets, the stable has struggled to nail down features with promising stayers at the back end of their preps. Shadow Hero looked every bit a two-state Derby winner, yet he peaked in the Spring Champion over 2000m before the VRC Derby and over a mile in the Randwick Guineas in the Autumn. Much the same as Greysful Glamour looked an Oaks winner from the first time she set foot on a track yet her career highlight to date is a G2 Villiers over the Randwick mile. That said, both of those were local breeds and this bloke is an import, and the Newnham stable is flying, so who am I to second guess them? My point is? Don’t be afraid to jump on this bloke perhaps a run earlier than you normally would next time in, even if it is at WFA. He has the quality.
Sudebar (Syd Race 4)
Doubt too many missed the stoutly built grey working home with a withering run from the corner. Winner is not only very handy but was hard fit and rated a treat in front. Was excellent at the end of last preparation running 2nd to Shadow Hero in the Gloaming and motoring home in the Caulfield Guineas. Winner 2nd up in the past and will relish further. Very promising type.
Brutality (Syd Race 5)
Extensive Stewards report here and would suggest K O’Hara probably lucky not to have a future ‘please explain’ date booked with them given their rather bullish attitude of late toward other senior riders. A winner first up, should have won Saturday, and is a winner at a mile. You just want to be on next start!
More Prophets (Syd Race 9)
Betcha Flying, as highlighted here a month ago, is literally flying. And was also 9 runs deep into her prep. So there was no shame in getting outgunned late by her. This filly let go like a bomb first up at 1100m, then straight to 1400m where she looked the winner 2nd up before peaking 50m out. Again to 1500m and three weeks between runs 3rd up Saturday, a bit of a head scratcher but then again J Thompson has won more G1’s than me. Once more she looked the one to beat at the furlong before outgunned late. 1400m Bm78 in a fortnight with a Fillies and Mares Bm78 mile on the same card. Expect she’ll accept for both and decide after the draw but I’d prefer her back in the seven furlong race. Hoof on the till.
Matowatapke (Syd Race 1)
Faded quickly first up, sent out fave in a very average Saturday race this week and was never in the hunt.
Greek Hero (Syd Race 5)
Contrary to Deputy Chief Stipe Wade Birch’s opinion I quite liked his run first up. History will show that not only did Nash not give him a run on that day, but that this European import also likes a big glass of warm milk with his lucerne hay before his arvo nap. #pussycat
Ballistic Boy (Gold Coast Race 8)
One of my favourite (and most profitable) horses for 2020, but I think Chris Anderson might have cooked the golden egg-laying goose here. Peaked very early in his prep for a ten furlong horse and probably should have headed to the paddock after last week’s barrier mishap. Then again, the $250k prizemoney plus the $100k Magic Millions bonus that was on offer in The Wave would have hung like a shiny apple from the branches of the tree in spite of the forked tongued serpent lurking nearby. I really think this bloke has a feature race in him on a roomier circuit, whether that be Sydney Autumn, Eagle Farm in the Winter or even a Melbourne Spring. Stick him in your black book but I expect they’ll be more patient with him next time in so save him for a mile plus.