Thursday, February 11, 2010

Autumn Racing Season 2010 – Week 3 – William Reid Stakes

Typhoon Tracy after winning the CF Orr Stakes
Moonee Valley stages the next Group One race of the season, that being the William Reid Stakes, a sprint over 1200 metres. Last year, and for several years previous to that, this race was named the Australia Stakes. Apache Cat won it in 2008 and again in 2009. There is a slight chance that Apache Cat will return to the scene of his triumphs to lead out the field, as was mooted in a comment made by his owner Robyn Lawrie on my post on his retirement.

And what a field it is!

Had she not sustained an injury in track work, star filly Black Caviar would have been gunning for her first Group One win in open company, and sixth win in succession, but alas it is not to be. She will be out of action for six months. I’m terribly disappointed and I’m sure her connections are heartbroken about her injury and her missing the rest of the autumn.

So Nicconi will be the new favourite. He has the class and form to win. Also in the field is an old favourite of mine, Light Fantastic, who if he shows any of his earlier brilliance will be in the finish. The entire field is first class what with former smart Sydney middle distance runner Mentality, class sprinters Turffontein and Sniper’s Bullet and three year old colts Shellscrape and Wanted all being part of the mix. Master O’Reilly the 2007 Caulfield Cup winner looks a bit out of place in this race, but he might surprise.

As I was hoping to cheer Black Caviar in person - planning to attend Moonee Valley on Saturday - I’m pleased that Light Fantastic will be running and hope I can snap a decent photo of him. It’s a small consolation for missing Black Caviar.

The rest of the card is rather lacking immediate interest, but there are some excellent races in Sydney this weekend. More Joyous returns in the Group Two Light Fingers Stakes, and Manhattan Rain and Demerit in the Group Two Royal Sovereign Stakes, so I’ll be keeping an eye on those races as well.

Last week’s results, as far as Typhoon Tracy and Denman are concerned, turned out true to prediction. Typhoon Tracy won the Orr Stakes with consummate ease beating home Heart of Dreams and Sirmione by a couple of lengths, and Denman effortlessly won the Wellington RC Stakes by four lengths from Carrara and Most Immediate. Tracy now has broken the hoodoo on winning in open company. Her next assignment will most probably be the Futurity (1600 metres) on 27th February. Denman will clash with Cox Plate winner So You Think in the Autumn Stakes on March 6th, a race keenly anticipated by all racing fans.

The surprise of the day came from Psychologist in the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude – she blitzed the rest of the field leading from start to finish winning by a large margin. Beneteau won the colts Prelude by a similar margin.

Avenue found the Rubiton Stakes too hard first up where she finished fifth. Here De Angels won, beating that other old sprinter Lucky Secret into second with Rostova running third.

This post originally read quite differently, but I had to hastily revise it after the scratching of Black Caviar. Let's hope nothing else goes wrong between now and Saturday, though as Melbourne was dumped with rain this afternoon, the complexion of the William Reid Stakes may change.

No comments: