Chaos still reigns supreme on the home front with the renovations yet to be completed, so I endeavour to put a little order in my life by following the races in Sydney, which appear to be just as interesting as the Melbourne summer/autumn carnival was. They’ll even have a chance to see Black Caviar in a couple of weeks contesting the T J Smith Stakes. It is highly unlikely that we’ll see her in action again in her home state as plans to return to Royal Ascot are on the horizon, after which a mating with UK champion Frankel is being mooted, though nothing is definite other than the T J Smith.
This weekend, however, Rosehill will be hosting two fascinating Group One races – the Rosehill Guineas and the Galaxy.
The Rosehill Guineas is a race for three year olds over 2000 metres. The small, but select field includes top colt It’s A Dundeel who won the Randwick Guineas a fortnight ago. Ridden differently in the Randwick Guineas, closer to the speed than normal, and wearing blinkers for the first time, it worked like a charm. No doubt the same strategy will be applied this time. He made the mistake previously of several times leaving his run too late or letting the leader get too far ahead. Other runners in with a chance are Hvasstan and Twisted Emotions who are both promising young stayers.
The Galaxy (1100 metres) has attracted a full field of quality sprinters. Hay List headed the weights, but he has been scratched. He returned from a long injury forced break a couple of weeks ago, but was outrun by light weighted filly Snitzerland and finished out of the placings. I’m astounded his connections still want to continue his racing career after all the injury alarms, some of them near fatal, that he has given them.
So, Snitzerland will start as favourite for the Galaxy, but it won’t be as easy this time. Super talented sprinting mare Sea Siren resumes in this race and she runs well when fresh. She’s my pick as the potential winner. I’m also interested in the wonderfully named Isabella Snowflake, a classy Melbourne filly, who has four wins from five starts. Of the male contenders, Bel Sprinter and Golden Archer look the top chances along with Unpretentious.
Also of interest is Race 8, the Ajax Stakes where the Queen’s horse Carlton House will be having his first start in Australia for Gai Waterhouse. How he’ll go against the likes of Lamasery, Havana Rey and Monton is yet to be seen. It’ll be worth watching the race just to see Carlton House’s jockey, Hugh Bowman, decked out in the Queen’s colours - Purple, Gold Braid, Scarlet Sleeves, Black Velvet Cap, Gold Fringe.
The final race on the card at Rosehill the Birthday Card Stakes for fillies and mares over 1200 metres, is of interest to me mainly because a couple of the runners are in my black book. Grey filly Catkins, won me a goodly sum when she last raced, and I follow Emotional Circus because her name appeals to me. She’s also quite talented and has won her share of races and could start favourite in this race.
In other racing news, Cox Plate winner Ocean Park will be taking on the world at Meydan Dubai in the Dubai Duty Free. Wishing him luck, and hope he wins.
Good Friday has to be the most boring day on the calendar, so at least contemplating the form for Saturday’s races fills the time nicely.
I celebrated Good Friday with a cold Hot Cross Bun. We’re still without a kitchen, so no chance of toasting it. Still, it wasn’t too bad and quite delicious.
Happy Easter everyone and hope the Easter whoever indulges your sweet tooth.
Update Saturday night
It’s A Dundeel was spectacular, winning the Rosehill Guineas by 6¾ lengths from Sacred Falls and Tatra. He raced at the back of the field, but, nearing the corner for home he came belting down the outside and sustained that run to the post. It reminded me of Makybe Diva, and how she could round a field and storm home on the outside from a long way out. Have we got a new superstar? We’ll see when he competes in the Australian Derby in a few weeks.
Bel Sprinter won the Galaxy in a similar sensational fashion, storming home late at great speed and whizzing past Snitzerland who looked the winner, to score by a couple of lengths. Sea Siren was most disappointing failing to even run a place.