Though Spring is not in the air in Melbourne at present, this week being a particularly dreary and wintry one, there’s a lot to look forward to in the racing scene this weekend, which is sure to add sparkle to my Saturday afternoon.
There are two choice Group 3 competitions, one at Caulfield and one at Rosehill, and also the Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes (formerly the Liston Stakes) at Caulfield and several interesting listed races.
Several of the stars of autumn begin their Spring campaigns, most notably champion two-year-old, Sepoy, who starts off his three-year-old season in the listed Vain Stakes. It’s run over 1100 metres, so easy going for the youngsters. Sepoy should win this if he’s half the horse we think he is, despite the hoodoo on Slipper winners in the race. His only competition as far as I can see will come from Golden Archer from the Peter Moody stable.
The Quezette Stakes is the fillies equivalent of the Vain Stakes and it’s good see the reappearance of classy fillies from the autumn, such as Satin Shoes, Glissade and Golden Slipper runner up Mosheen, Also in with a pretty good chance are the so far unbeaten Cute Emily, and the lesser credentialed Metonymy who both are trained by the in form Peter Moody.
Whobegotyou returns to the turf after a long absence in the Group 2 P B Lawrence Stakes (1400 metres) and could well win it. But I will be most interested to see how unbeaten mare Lights of Heaven performs in this, her first race in open company. A number of imported stayers are having a practice run in this race, so they are not really expected to win over 1400 metres, but Absolutely, the only other mare in the race, who finished second behind Lights Of Heaven in the South Australian Oaks, and won the Sydney Oaks on a bog track back in April, could be in the finish if the track is on the slow side.
The Group Two Cockram Stakes over 1200 metres is a race for mares and sees the return of Victorian Oaks winner Brazilian Pulse, Sydney mare Parables and the talented South Australian mare Southern Speed. Lady Lynette, now a seven year old could surprise, as could Pinker Pinker, but fitness may favour Bletchingly Stakes winner Mid Summer Music and the runner up Rue Maple. Whatever, it will be an interesting race to watch.
Rosehill hosts the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes, a race for three-year-olds over 1100 metres. Magic Millions winner Karuta Queen resumes in this as does the wonderfully named Hollyweird, and as far as the fillies go, are two of the top chances. Of the colts Foxwedge and Fontelina look the likeliest if they can beat the fillies.