I might be marking the dates off the calendar in lockdown, but I’m glad I’m not eating them!

The punt can be a cruel game, with my best bet, Blondeau, who we were heavily invested in as the anchor of the quaddie last week before they called them off, attacking the line this week like a horse possessed, indicating would we have cashed a fat result had the jocks persevered in spite of the cold. Or “visibility”, as they term it in the steward’s report. But we got something out of him Saturday, and we press on and show gratitude for small mercies in these trying times.

In about the only other good news to come out of Sydney racing this week (give me a spell from the $2 million gimmick races) with just 89 days to The Everest by the time this goes to print – not that I’m counting.

Don’t think we saw any of the contenders for that feature going around Saturday, but we did see plenty of cattle that will be punching around in the chilly weeks to come, and if nothing else brings you joy over lockdown, then surely armchairing one home down the outside does. So let’s get stuck into the important stuff.

Follow

Steely (Syd Race 7)

Strong win against moderate opponents but has had a marvellous prep and this win really stamped it. Starting to build a handy record and with big queries over international stayers visiting, you could do worse than spec this bloke in some early markets. Yet to tick the ten furlong plus box, but he is out of a QLD Oaks winner and was strong through the line Saturday at the 1800m. Adept on all going and earns a crack at stakes grade with a race like the Premier’s Cup looming.

Blondeau (Syd Race 8)

A few nervous moments under Berry who atoned for the Avdulla ride where he simply got too far back. The good draw helped, no doubt, but he attacked the line in the same style as his win at the Gosford stand alone, suggesting his prep isn’t over yet.

Sanblas (Darwin Race 7)

It’s that time of year again folks, sadly I won’t be up there due to you-know-what, but I was quite taken with the win of this lightly raced Heather Lehmann gelding in the NT Derby and think he’s a live hope in the time honoured Darwin Cup to be run on the first Monday in August. Did plenty of work upside the leader in the Guineas but thrived out to the 2050m under a quieter ride on Saturday. Has been a long time since a three year took out the top end feature but he looks a progressive type and might be the one to break the drought. Something to follow over the coming weeks in what is looking like an extended stay in the great indoors.

Forgive

Revivalist (Syd Race 1)

Highlighted his win out of the provincial meet last week and an unusual move from the stable to back up a two year old for a non feature. But they must have liked what they saw on paper with early noms. Might have also been a case of one more run and done for this Shalaa colt. Bold effort, positive tactics, and just felt the step to 1400m late on the trying surface. He has better races in store for him.

Great House (Syd Race 7)

Very typical of the Galileo breed. He is looking very dour at just 4yo. Outsprinted when they quickened. Boxed on solidly and held down 2nd comfortably. There’s a Bm78 race 2400m in three weeks which would see him lumped with a bit of lead, otherwise a trip south looks on the cards, but his future definitely lies beyond the ten furlongs.

Oscar Zulu (Syd Race 8)

Weight and the runs on the heavy track caught up with him here. Nothing more. Think he’s a nice Villiers type.

Forget

Zing (Syd Race 4)

Got its W the last start, but is very limited and lacks sincerity.

Kinane (Melb Race 6)

I hope Mick Kent has a strong stomach, because it must dead set make him crook watching this bloke go around. Was it two mill, or three? Can only assume he wouldn’t have passed the vet, because he’s lost a leg from the horse we saw a little over a year ago.

Ef Troop (Bris Race 4)

A low ride, but he is a low conveyance. Sent out fave but you could not back him stolen money for mine.