Thursday, August 19, 2010

2010 Spring Racing Season – Week 4 – Warwick Stakes

Metal Bender
The focus of racing shifts to Sydney this week and the running of the Warwick Stakes, a Group Two event over 1400 metres.

It features the resumption of several star performers of the Sydney and Queensland carnivals.
Most keenly anticipated is the return of Metal Bender, who proved he was back to his best when winning the Hollindale Stakes/Doomben Cup double in May. He’s up against the likes of Danleigh and Sniper’s Bullet who were beaten by Love Conquers All in the recent Missile Stakes, old trooper Theseo, Triple Honour and Australian Derby runner up Descardo who are all resuming. This race may be a little short for Metal Bender, but it will certainly be interesting watching him run.

The Group 3 Silver Shadow Stakes for three year old fillies also looks interesting with Solar Charged attempting to redeem her defeat at the hands of Obsequious who is also nominated. Chance Bye resumes here too with special boots on her hind feet to counter her tendency to injure herself when galloping.

Last week it was gratifying to see Shoot Out continue his winning ways in the Liston Stakes. He raced four wide the entire trip yet still managed to overtake Predatory Pricer close to the post for a comfortable win. After the race his trainer John Wallace stated bluntly that he would win the Cox Plate. He sounded very confident, as did Stathi Katsidis, Shoot Out’s jockey, who denied claims that the horse was peaking too early, saying that these races are just barrier trials for him.

Shoot Out will next race in the Memsie Stakes on 28 August and will face his toughest competition to date. So You Think was scratched from the Liston, but will run in the Memsie, as will Typhoon Tracy, along with the usual suspects Predatory Pricer, Heart of Dreams et al. It certainly appears on paper to be the first of the great races of the spring and will certainly sort out the wheat from the chaff. If Shoot Out wins it will surely signal him as a freakish beast to be compared to the great racehorses of the past. It’s been some years since there was a true champion of the turf, with many promising but failing to deliver such as Weekend Hussler, Haradasun, Whobegotyou etc.

Another sterling performance last Saturday was the run of Rebel Raider in the Group 3 Spring Stakes at Morphettville. He signalled he was back with a stunning win over an unsuitable (for him) short distance. We may yet see female jockey Claire Lindop take out the Melbourne Cup on this horse if he stays sound.

Panipique, who I have been following since I won a tidy sum on her in her first race earlier this year, proved she is still a force to contend with, beating Crystal Lily in the Quezette Stakes last Saturday.

Star Witness only managed third place in the Vain Stakes, it being won by the unfancied Toorak Toff with Soul running second. Perhaps the heavy track told against Star Witness. I hope that was the case.

And of course next Saturday Australia goes to the polls. It’s anyone’s guess who will win, but I am of course pinning my hopes on a Julia Gillard victory. I watched, in horrified fascination, a Liberal advertisement on the ABC the other night, talking head after talking head spouting nonsense. Some even had difficulty following the auto cue. Anyway, once the election’s out of the way we won’t have to put up with the constant barrage of political campaigning which I’ve tried to avoid seeing or hearing throughout the long tedious weeks since the election was called.
Update: Saturday Afternoon

Whooee! Metal Bender proved his class with a great win in the Warwick Stakes with stablemates Triple Honour and Danleigh taking out the minor placings, giving trainer Chris Waller the trifecta. I had a hunch about Metal Bender, so had a small bet on him. He was unwanted in the betting, so paid $15.00 for the win, no doubt odds longer than we'll ever see them in future.

My only other bet of the day was on Parables in the Silver Shadow Stakes and she brought home the bickkies in fine fashion during a troublesome race where she was first blocked for a run, then bumped, but when getting clear stormed to the line with a devastating sprint. She also paid well ($6.50)
Let's hope my luck continues in amore general sense with a Julia Gillard victory in the Federal elections. We'll hopefully know the result of that competition later tonight.

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