Friday, March 14, 2008

Autumn Racing Carnival – Week 7

There are no Group 1 races this weekend as Melbourne’s share of the carnival is almost over and the focus shifts to Sydney from now on.

However, there are still some interesting races being run tomorrow, in Melbourne the Group 2 Blamey Stakes sees Melbourne Cup winner Efficient returning briefly to run in it. I really can’t see the point of him just having one run this autumn, but I assume his connections think it a good idea for whatever reason. He is not expected to win, as the distance (1600 metres) is a bit short for him, though he has won at 1600 in the past. The main contenders are Orange County, Cargo Cult and Molotov.

In Sydney the Silver Slipper Stakes for two-year olds has some interesting runners. I am interested to see how Star Ripper goes. He is having his first start, but has a blue blood pedigree as his mother was the great Dane Ripper who I witnessed winning the Cox Plate way back in 1997.

The feature race on the Sydney program is the Golden Rose, a Group 2 race for three –year-olds. 2007’s Golden Slipper winner Forensics will be competing against Mimi Lebrock, a Bart Cummings trained filly. Bart’s on a bit of a roll at the moment after Sirmione won the Australian Cup last week. A remarkable trainer is Bart Cummings. He’s now 80 years old and has had an illustrious career winning a total 248 Group One races, and he’s not finished yet - he can still pull winners from the hat every so often. Bart also trained Star Ripper’s mum Dane Ripper who won the Australian Cup in 1998. Bart of course trains her son.

So there’s not that much action as far as my top 30 stable goes this weekend, but as the Sydney carnival progresses the excitement will build and we shall get the chance to see Weekend Hussler in action again and Apache Cat will be back soon as well. Not so Light Fantastic who has been spelled and will be back in Spring.

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