Another exciting weekend of racing is coming this Saturday with the running of the Group One Australia Stakes over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley. Weekend Hussler and Apache Cat are part of the small field that includes Time Thief. The Hussler has not run at Moonee Valley before, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it. He has drawn barrier 3 and the Cat has drawn barrier 2 with the colt Time Thief drawing the outside. Apache Cat won this race last year, so he well may win it again this year. I follow all three of the aforementioned horses, so I am unable to choose a favourite.
Other interesting races on the cards at Moonee Valley are the Schweppervescence Plate which sees the return of Rebel Raider the surprise winner of the VRC Derby last year, and Reaan who won the 2008 Blue Diamond Stakes. Also worth watching will be the Group 2 Sporting Bet Fillies Plate where classy fillies like Romneya, Estee, both trained by Lee Freedman and the Gai Waterhouse trained Gold Water will be contending against each other.
In fact the whole program looks very interesting, so I’ll be following it closely all afternoon, *though (the thought just struck me) it is tempting to go in person and see the Hussler and the Cat in the flesh and test out the Canon G10 at the races.
In Sydney, super filly Samantha Miss returns to racing in the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes and in the Widden Stakes a top line up of two year old fillies including Our Joan of Arc and Marquardt will be strutting their stuff.
I am also interested in a couple of races in New Zealand tomorrow, where the regally bred Aetherius (Ethereal x Stravinsky) will be running. Also Sunline’s first daughter, Sunstrike, is also racing after a bit of break. She has had five starts, but has not shown anything like her mum’s ability. I saw a news item on her once on TV after her first race. She was a very attractive filly.
Last week’s C F Orr Stakes was won by Maldivian who pulled the same trick that won him the Cox Plate last year, by leading throughout and sprinting away at the finish with no other horse being able to catch him. Alamosa came second with Theseo filling third position. Light Fantastic, of whom much was expected, failed to make any ground and finished fourth.
Rostova continued on her winning ways, scoring easily in the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude while Real Saga won the colts Prelude.
*I have decided, in the course of writing this entry, to go to Moonee Valley on Saturday – it’s only a short bus trip from home and it shouldn’t be too overcrowded at the track, other than with Weekend Hussler and Apache Cat fans. The weather is supposed to be fine and sunny - about 30°C.