Friday, October 02, 2009

Spring Racing Season 2009 – Week Ten

Light Fantastic returns tomorrow
There are five Group One races on the cards this Saturday, four at Randwick (Sydney) and one in Melbourne, so it’s there’s a lot to look forward to this weekend racing wise.

Last weekend yielded some unexpected results, with Sydney sprinter Danleigh taking out the Manikato Stakes and Road to Rock winning the George Main Stakes. Denman, however was consistent, winning the Stan Fox Stakes as he liked.

So onto this weekend’s expected delights…

The racing is at Flemington this Saturday in Melbourne and the feature race is the Group One Turnbull Stakes (2000 metres) and has a field of the usual suspects, they being old troopers El Segundo, Maldivian, Viewed, Efficient, Red Lord with up and comers like Vigor, and Predatory Pricer in a classy 16 horse field. It would be good to see El Segundo win with female jockey Michelle Payne on his back but there is a question mark regarding his performance at Flemington.

There are several other interesting races on the program at Flemington - for instance the Group 2 Rose of Kingston Stakes over 1400 metres for mares. Hot Danish will start the deserved favourite. Other contenders include the classy Romneya, Augusta Proud (perhaps out of her depth in this) Cat’s Whisker and Neroli.

And it will be good to see old favourite Light Fantastic returning in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes, and may surprise with a win.

The first of the four Group One races at Randwick is the Flight Stakes (1600 metres) for three year old fillies. It has a dazzling line up of talented fillies, notably More Joyous who won the Tea Rose Stakes so convincingly last start. The place getters in that race Melito and Deer Valley, a daughter of the sire of the moment, Lonhro plus Run for Naara who ran second to Denman last week, represent her major threats. But then again there is also the wonderfully named Little Surfer Girl, Sister Madly, and Hurtle Myrtle.

Heraklion, another of Lonhro’s offspring, is running in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000 metres) though will have plenty of competition from the likes of Onemorenomore, Love Me like A Rock, Viking Legend to name a few.

The Metropolitan is run over 2400 metres, and represents a last chance for some of the runners, Speed Gifted in particular, to qualify for the Caulfield Cup. Newcastle Cup winner, Streetfighter is one of the main fancies along with Mr Clangtastic. Also let us not forget solid stayer Fiumicino with Darren Beadman in the saddle, or well performed mare Ready To Lift if she can get over her horror barrier draw.

Last week’s surprise winner of the George Main Stakes, Road to Rock is back again this week in the Epsom Handicap (1600 metres). He is understandably the favourite and will be hard to beat. O’Lonhro who failed to gain a place at his last start after previously winning two in succession against the older horses, is worth consideration nevertheless as is Drumbeats and Rangirangdoo.

In New Zealand all eyes will be on Daffodil, the super staying mare who thrashed the local fillies earlier this year in the AJC Oaks. She will be contesting the Kelt Capital Stakes (2040 metres). She is one of the main fancies for the Caulfield Cup so we’re all interested in how she goes.

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