Friday, November 07, 2008

Last day of the Melbourne Racing Carnival - Emirates Stakes Day

Tomorrow represents the official end of the Spring Racing Carnival. There are two Group One races on the program - the Emirates Stakes over 1600 metres and the Patinack Farm VRC Stakes, a sprint over 1200 metres. Apache Cat, Melbourne's favourite horse, will be making his only appearance this spring in the sprint, before going overseas to compete in Hong Kong. Unless things have changed drastically with the Cat's will to win, he should easily account for the rest of the field, the main dangers being Sydney horse Triple Honour, back after sustaining an injury early in the spring, Sunburnt Land, a recent Melbourne winner and classy sprinting mare Bel Mer.

The Emirates is a wide open contest of evenly matched runners. Last year rank outsider Tears I Cry won it, but this time it is possible that the favourite will win. The favourite is currently Sea Battle, running on his home track for in form trainer Mark Kavanagh. The Gai Waterhouse trained Bank Robber is a threat as is former top galloper Sniper's Bullet, along with All Silent, a winner last start at this track, also likely to finish well.

The Oaks was won by the remarkable Samantha Miss, who proved she was a class above the rest of the field and also proved that she can stay. She won easily by several lengths, Miss Scarlatti coming second and the Bart Cummings Allez Wonder a close third.


Valerie said...

Nice catch on All Silent.

Wow, what a shocker with Apache Cat! Hope he is physically alright.

I never took Swick seriously due to his last out performance, but let me ask you. Some trainers get reputations for "holding" their horses a bit in races before bigger races, and I noticed both Swick and Viewed appeared to have similar form reversals leading into their recent big wins. Is Bart Cummings known for this tactic, or was this just a fluke? Are there any trainers you are aware of who do utilize this method, just for my own future information in handicapping?

Anne S said...

Hi Valerie,

The Cat's run was most surprising. Nobody seems to be able to account for it, other than someone on the Racing & Sports forum remarking that he looked a bit fat. Apache Cat normally runs very well first up, so it was shocking that he failed to fire in the race.

As for Bart's two horses putting in shocking runs in their previous races, I am not aware of it being a tactic of Bart's but being a canny old bloke he may just have planned it that way. It's mighty suspicious that it happened twice. However, when watching the horses parade before the Patinack, one of the commentators remarked that Swick had developed a "mind", in so far as he was unpredictable and only won when he had a mind to.

There was similar form last year with Efficient who hadn't won anything for a year. But we all put it down to him being a 3200 metres specialist.