Friday, February 04, 2011

The Autumn Racing Season Build-up continues

Star Witness winning the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes in November 2010
It’s only a week until the first Group One race of the autumn carnival, the C F Orr Stakes, but this weekend has some fascinating competitions in store, even though they are not group races.
As I write the rain is bucketing down in torrents, so the Caulfield track tomorrow will be most likely rated on the heavy side.
Alas for the chances of Star Witness in the listed Manfred Stakes (1200metres) having his first start for the autumn. I have an idea he doesn’t handle the wet all that well, but as he is the class runner, and has already won two Group One races , you can’t really dismiss him out of hand. Mr Chard, who has won on heavy going at Caulfield, looks to be his main challenger, along with Dusty Star and Enjin Number Nine and perhaps the rather curiously named Sayahailmary, the only filly in the race.
There is a bit hype about another Starcraft colt in the Chairman’s Stakes (1100metres) for two year olds, the wonderfully named Cape Canaveral (Starcraft/First Date). It appears that there are a host of attractively named youngsters in this race who could easily win. The filly Hollyweird , with a few wins already under her belt will probably start favourite . Then there’s Atomic, Hell’s Kitchen, Metonymy and Vatican (God’s Own/ Our Sistine).
The 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily resumes for autumn in the WJ Adams Stakes (1000 metres), thrown in at the deep end against older well performed horses like Eagle Falls, Reward For Effort, Playwright, Winter King and Faster Son. However speedster, and fellow 3 year old filly Solar Charged, could be Crystal Lily’s main challenger.
In Sydney the grand mare Hot Danish returns to the race track in the Group Two Expressway Stakes, a sprint over 1200 metres. The field is small, but select, with the likes of Danleigh, Love Conquers All and Vision and Power, vying for a win. But Hot Danish, though getting on in years, has an almost perfect record of first up wins and will most likely prevail again.
UPDATE: SaturdayCaulfield races have been abandoned due to the rain, which I can testify bucketed down all night into this morning.

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