Thursday, October 28, 2010

2010 Spring Racing Season – Week 14 – Derby Day

So You Think winning the 2010 Cox Plate - photo by Pat Scala "The Age"
There was a feeling last Saturday watching So You Think win the Cox Plate for the second time, that a grand moment in racing history was taking place before our eyes. It was indeed a sensational win on the part of So You Think and one could only feel sorry for the connections of the other horses in the field that they had the misfortune to meet a horse of such freakish ability. After all, the quality of the field was first class with the likes of More Joyous, Shoot Out, Whobegotyou and the evergreen Zipping participating. They would have fought out the finish in quite a different way had there been no So You Think stealing a march on the lot of them.

Shoot Out who ran fourth in the Cox Plate, powering home very well, will meet So You Think again this coming weekend in the MacKinnon Stakes and on the following Tuesday in the Melbourne Cup. Yeah, we know that So You Think has never won nor raced beyond 2040 metres, but other High Chaparrals, Monaco Consul & Shoot Out have won Derbies, and Descarado won the Caulfield Cup, so there is every possibility that So You Think can run the two miles of the Cup. If he wins it, there’s no denying that he’ll be a star of the turf of a calibre unseen for many years,

Black Caviar’s win in the Schweppes Stakes last weekend, her seventh in succession, was as spectacular as So You Think’s in the Cox Plate. Though it was only a small field she thrashed Hot Danish winning by 5½ lengths. Bring on Hay List! Based on her run last week, Black Caviar could very well beat him. We’ll hopefully witness a clash between these two in a week’s time when they’ll fight out the Patinack Farm Classic on Emirate Stakes day.

The feature race this Saturday is the Victoria Derby for three year olds run over 2500 metres. Always hard to predict, the Derby certainly sorts out the stayers from the middle distance runners. The current favourite is Rekindled Interest who won the AAMI Vase last Saturday. However, Retrieve who won the Norman Robinson the previous week is a genuine contender along with Digital Fortress, Praecido, Almindoro and Lion Tamer who have placed behind Retrieve and Rekindled Interest in recent contests. Still it wouldn’t be all that surprising if an outsider like Bart Cummings trained Cosmonaut or Kudalkulari stole the show.

Typhoon Tracy who did not compete in the Cox Plate will be taking on her own sex again in the Group One Myer Classic (1600 metres). She deserves a win after performing well in the lead up races to the Cox Plate. She won the Myer Classic last year and should do so again this time, despite a quality field that includes classy mares Hot Danish, Palacio De Cristal, Katie Lee, and very smart filly Yosei ,who has an enormous weight advantage and may well give Tracy a run for the money.

The Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes (aka the Ascot Vale Stakes), a sprint over 1200 metres for three year olds, is of interest due to the return of the very promising Pressday, who has not raced since winning the Group One T J Smith back in June this year. Blue Diamond winner, Star Witness, who by all reports is in fine form, is one of the challengers along with smart filly Solar Charged who was back in winning circles on 9th October where she won the Thoroughbred Club Stakes by 4½ lengths.

The Mackinnon Stakes (2000 metres) looks the pick of the card in terms of quality with class runners like Shocking, So You Think, Shoot Out, Metal Bender, Descarado and C’est La Guerre. It should be a wonderful race and another winning opportunity for So You Think.

Stayers hoping to beat the ballot for the Melbourne Cup and not entered in the Mackinnon have a chance in the Group Three Lexus Stakes (2500 metres). Linton, Mourayan, Herculian Prince, Maluckyday, Cedarberg and Alcopop are all vying for automatic entry into the big one. I’m hoping for a Linton victory as he reminds me of Efficient and represents a good lightweight chance in the Cup.

The weather on Saturday is predicted to be wet (yet again!). The condition of the track will naturally affect the outcome of many races especially if it is downgraded to slow or heavy.

1 comment:

Marshall-Stacks said...

racing horses is a wonderful exhilarating pastime, until MONEY enters the equation. Then men, and some gai women, do terrible things to animals.
I have been on the fence many times for the fabulous thrill of the field thundering close by for The Big Race, but the last time was way back when Tommy Woodcock was in the stall with Reckless.
Now my idea of a great carnival, is one with no equine accidents or equine injuries.