A fantastic day of racing is coming up tomorrow with three Group 1 races on the program.
First up is the Newmarket Handicap over 1200 metres with race enthusiasts getting another opportunity to see Weekend Hussler strut his stuff. He’s the favourite of course, and deservedly so as I really can’t see anything beating him.
The other young sensation of this autumn, Light Fantastic, is favourite for the next Group 1 on the cards, the Cadbury Guineas over a mile (1600 metres) and I am really looking forward to seeing him race again, albeit not on the course but on the box. The only real competition he faces in the race is from Marching and Playwright. But Light Fantastic is something special, so I do expect he will be there at the finish.
The Australian Cup over 2000 metres is the feature race of the day. Miss Finland acquitted herself quite well last week by coming third in the Futurity, so she’s been spared the breeding barn for now. She appeared to motor home in a dour fashion in the Futurity Stakes, only really getting into stride in the last 200 metres. She’s up against Princess Coup, Fiumicino, the Derby winner last spring, and Sirmione who is trained by the old stayers master, Bart Cummings. They appear to be the main threats. Sentimentally I would like Miss F to win as she was sensational during her two and three year old days, winning the Golden Slipper and the Oaks in the same year. Her usual jockey Craig Williams will be back on board. To him Miss Finland is Miss World as he’s ridden her in all her victories.
There have been many memorable Australian Cups over the years. Lonhro, a beautiful black horse and star of the turf in the early to mid 2000s who even defeated the great mare Sunline, won it in sensational fashion back in 2004. It was an extraordinary win by Lonhro who was blocked for a run in the straight and seemingly in a no win situation, but he was pulled clear and raced to the lead in a few strides and won the race. He’s now a young sire whose offspring have been showing promise. One of his daughters, Black Minx, won a listed race last week.
Burgeis who scored a close third in the Blue Diamond two weeks ago is also racing at Flemington tomorrow in the Group 2 Jayco Stakes. I’ve been following her career as she is trained by Tony Vasil who was the beleaguered trainer of Haradasun, so I am interested to see how she goes this time round against a weaker bunch of two year olds.
Other horses in my personal black book racing on Saturday are Estee in the first in Melbourne and Sugar Babe and Stripper in the first in Sydney. Also racing in Sydney in the Group 2 Winning Edge Presentation Stakes are Racing to Win, Desert War, Mentality, Sniper’s Bullet and Paratroopers, all of whom are in my top 30 stable.
Camarilla, a super Sydney mare is returning in the Triscay Stakes after a long break from racing after being effected by the EI Virus crisis last spring.
So there’s a wondrous day of racing ahead for fans of the sport. I might even have a few bets myself, for a change.