Thursday, February 18, 2010

Autumn Racing Season 2010 – Week 4 – Blue Diamond Stakes

The racing really heats up this week with the running of two Group One events at Caulfield this coming Saturday.

The feature race is the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200 metres) for two year colts, geldings and fillies. The acceptances resulted in an even mix of eight of each gender. Sydney colt Beneteau will start as the favourite and he has good claims for favouritism after his win the Blue Diamond Prelude on 6th February. However, the favourite doesn’t necessarily win, two year old races being what they are - totally unpredictable. Of the colts, the beautifully bred Star Witness (Starcraft/Leone Chiara) takes my fancy though he has drawn a wide barrier, as does Lonhro colt Secession. Of the fillies, Crystal Lily and Psychologist stand out as the best chances. Psychologist unfortunately has drawn a wide gate which will test her abilities to the max, and most probably lengthen her odds. Her win in the fillies Blue Diamond Prelude was sensational at her only start. Can she do it again?
Weekend Hussler winning the Oakleigh Plate in 2008
Weekend Hussler returns to racing next Saturday after a year spent recovering from a fetlock injury. He’s nominated for the Group One Oakleigh Plate, a race he won as a three year old in 2008. It’s a sprint over 1100 metres. It’ll be great to see the Hussler back on the scene and we can only hope that he comes back as good as ever. He’s certainly been thrown in at the deep end first up, and will face a top field of old and young sprinters including Lucky Secret, Here De Angels, fillies Avenue and Headway, colts Starspangledbanner, Tickets and Wanted.

The race card certainly offers better class fields than what was on offer last week, though I shouldn’t complain as I was fortunate to witness the run of Linton, a very promising young stayer.

Melbourne Cup winners Viewed and Shocking are part of the field for the Group Two St George Stakes (1800 metres) along with Snipers Bullet, Heart of Dreams, Sirmione, La Rocket and imports Changingoftheguard and Speed Gifted, and you can’t forget the sole mare in the race, the smart Miss Maren. You’d think Heart of Dreams would have a chance of winning this. His performance in the Orr Stakes was excellent, despite being outsprinted by Typhoon Tracy.

Denman appears to have the Group Two D’Urban Stakes (1400 metres) at his mercy with his main, though hardly threatening, rivals Spacecraft, Hanks and Most Immediate likely to fight out the minor placings. The anticipated clash between Denman and So You Think will not happen, as So You Think has disappointingly been ruled out of the autumn season after performing below par in a recent trial.

Sydney racing at Rosehill on Saturday also offers some interesting races, particularly the Group Two Apollo Stakes (1400 metres) which has an exciting field of smart gallopers that include Theseo, Vision and Power, Danleigh, Rock Kingdom, Alcopop, Rangirangdoo and Purple, most of them racing for the first time this autumn.

In Sydney last week, More Joyous blitzed the field in the Light Fingers Stakes with a stunning win, and Shoot Out surprised with a win in the Royal Sovereign Stakes albeit by the smallest of margins from More Than Great, thus putting himself into contention for further riches later in the season. Makes me regret that Graceful Anna is being spelled, considering that she beat Shoot Out fair and square on the Gold Coast on two occasions.

The races will be on free to air television this week, so I guess that takes care of Saturday afternoon for me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice post :-) Here's hoping Weekend Hussler can make it back. As long as he runs on I'll be happy