Thursday, February 27, 2020

Alligator Blood vs Catalyst - Round Two

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Alligator Blood & Catalyst – CS Hayes Stakes finish

It goes without saying that I am keenly looking forward to the Australian Guineas at Flemington next Saturday, where a rematch between Alligator Blood and Catalyst  in the feature race will be the must see event of the afternoon.

As well as the aforementioned rivals, Orr Stakes winner Alabama Express is an exciting addition in the field along with the mystery West Australian Superstorm. Let’s hope Alligator Blood and Catalyst have recovered from their fierce competition in the CS Hayes Stakes and provide another exciting contest. The Australian Guineas is run over 1600 metres, 200 metres longer the CS Hayes, and  that could make all the difference to the outcome of the race.

Last year, Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey thrashed the boys in the 2019 Australian Guineas, but this year’s crop of three year old colts and geldings are cut above those that ran in that race.

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Mystic Journey winning the 2019 Australian Guineas

Speaking of classy fillies, the Group 1 Surround Stakes at Randwick on Saturday has a really excellent field that includes Flit (2019 Thousand Guineas winner), Lyre (2019 Blue Diamond Stakes winner), Kiamichi (2019 Golden Slipper winner), Funstar (2019 Flight Stakes winner) , and highly regarded New Zealand filly Probabeel.

The other Group 1 race at Randwick on Saturday is the Chipping Norton Stakes. From 2016 to 2019 it was won by the mighty Winx, so this year another horse will have a chance to add it to their CV.

In contention are the usual suspects such as Happy Clapper, Avilius, Homesman, Dreamforce and Fierce Impact. The inclusion in the field of talented New Zealander Te Akau Shark, who ran third in the 2019 Cox Plate, makes it interesting.

Due to the Flemington train timetable, I’ll probably get to Flemington early in the afternoon, probably by race 3. Another mild and sunny afternoon is forecast – perfect for photography.

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