High praise for the Rosehill track just last week but it was fair to say the surface finally succumbed to the tribulations of the past month on Saturday.
Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn’t necessarily make it the right thing to do. And the decision to go out to the traditional six metre rail position onto an unraced pad of turf that has had over a foot of water soak through it in the past fortnight for day three of feature racing at Rosehill was (with the beauty of hindsight) the wrong call.
It created a distinct inside and on pace bias for horses working over last week’s three and four deep running line while those out wide struggled to make ground on what appeared to be quicksand in spite of the good track rating. A bit of a low blow late for the club which has done an admirable job in trying circumstances of late to keep the carnival afloat.
It took a while for punters to work it out but once they did they drove the point home hard with a couple of well supported all the way winners to finish off the card.
Plenty of merit in the win of Hungry Heart against the pattern who now has a fortnight to get set for the Oaks, while much like our track curators across the Autumn, there’s a few trainers looking to delicately manage the art of the seven day back-up with leading contenders for this week’s G1 features.
Saif (Syd Race 1)
Not sure what he beat here but he did it very easily. With the extra week lead up to The Slipper, there doesn’t appear there will be too many of the top line 2yo’s backing up for the Sires and Champagne and this bloke has well and truly put himself in the picture. Wasn’t pressured Saturday and was a month between runs so no reason why he won’t back up for this week’s Group 1 Sires Produce where he is currently a $15 chance.
Hungry Heart (Syd Race 6)
The only horse to defy the pattern, although did have the race set up for her with Harmony Rose assertively taking up the role of leader. No knock on J Parr, they were the right tactics but this filly has always had quality about her in spite of her thin win record and as I eluded to after her last win, she has plenty of upside heading to the Oaks being by Frankel. A strong indication from David Payne that Montefilia will line up against the boys in the Derby which opens the Oaks betting up considerably, and unless she were to run consecutive weeks in G1 mile and a half races, this filly looks to have the 3yo fillies staying test at her mercy. Currently $6.50 but I expect her to start much shorter than that raceday if Montefilia is in the paddock.
Yao Dash (Syd Race 8)
Clearly flattered by the track pattern Saturday and the gun ride from Williams standing in for a suspended Nash on what can be a tricky conveyance, didn’t hurt either. But he has been flying all prep and the form behind him is really stacking up. Should have won Magic Millions day. Split Nimalee and Polly Grey his next start who are both subsequent stakes winners then defeated Starspangled Rodeo who franked the form around him by winning the last on Saturday. Booked himself a ticket for the Doncaster Mile on Saturday where he’ll carry just 50kg. He’s a winner out to 1900m which augers well for a Randwick mile and there’s no trainer with a better record than the ‘bone and muscle’ Waterhouse yard for mile features in her own backyard. The current price of $13 looks generous provided the rain stays away.
Cherry Tortoni (Syd Race 3)
Those that know me can attest to the fact patience is not my strong point so believe me when I say I am confident we are finally going to get paid next week in the Derby. (Provided Montefilia goes to the Oaks!) You couldn’t have backed him with stolen money by race 3 given his racing pattern and the way the track was playing. With that in mind I was happy just to see him tractable on the Sydney leg after his Spring Champion blowout last time he was in town. He’s a gross type so the 7 day turnaround and the extra two furlongs won’t hurt him one bit, nor will the switch to the open spaces of Royal Randwick. I’m heavily invested on Montefilia in the Oaks and I wanted this bloke to do a job on them Saturday to change David Payne’s mind. That wasn’t the case through circumstances beyond the big chestnut’s control, but I liked what I saw. Provided it’s just the boys lining up for the Derby, I’ll be betting up at the $13.
Bottega (Syd Race 8)
Drew horribly and was unduly bustled to accommodate for the track pattern. Asked to do a bit at both ends and was still offering late. Nice trial behind Eduardo and a good 2nd to Gem Song resuming who was credible in the G1 last week. He is going really well and there are some nice races in coming weeks, most notably the Hawkesbury Cup.
Great News (Syd Race 9)
Forced to work from wide draw to take up an on speed place outside the lead. Conceded race fitness to leader Starspangled Rodeo who taps into some nice formlines around Yao Dash. He headed the winner a few times in the straight but was just outgunned late, second up. Is current $3.20 favourite for the Provincial Championships Final at Randwick in a fortnight. Strikes that third up after a solid hit out Saturday. Definitely the one to beat.
Master of Wine (Syd Race 2)
Shared Ambition is no slouch not beaten far in the Australian Cup, defeating the promising Mount Popa first up, and narrowly missing to the smart mare Paradee in between. He had favours up front but M of W was close enough if good enough and was entitled to put up a bit more of a fight.
Harmony Rose (Syd Race 6)
She’s a terrific filly with a big future but given every conceivable by Parr and couldn’t hold out Hungry Heart. Hard to see her turning the tables.
Sir Dragonet (Syd Race 7)
G Boss hasn’t been much fun to be around of late and he was fired right up taking aim at his critics after back to back G1’s on Saturday. Was once again vocal in his criticism of trainers for not having there horses screwed right down for big races. While I tend to agree with him somewhat on the Bivoauc front, his rides on that horse have been ordinary. And the fact is the Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet was on a seven day back up Saturday after not being able to match it with Adeybb and Very Elle last week, now thrown into what was effectively a G1 WFA barrier trial for a bunch of handicappers heading to the Sydney Cup. He won’t run top three in the Queen Elizabeth and G Boss will keep struggling to get regular rides if he keeps walking around with his bottom lip on the ground and biting the hand that feeds him by bagging trainers.