Friday, April 10, 2020

Easter Weekend–Thank Heavens for Horse Racing

qe stakes_winx 1
Winx – QE Stakes 2017

As we’ve never gone anywhere at Easter(or not for many decades), the Covid 19 lock down hardly makes a difference to the Cat Politics domicile, we being content to stay home and kill the time with our usual occupations.

In my case I’ve always enjoyed watching the races which thankfully are still being run, albeit without public attendance.

This Saturday’s race meeting at Randwick marks the first anniversary of Winx’s final race in her illustrious career in the 2019 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She went out a winner naturally, achieving the rare distinction of winning the QE Stakes for the third time. I was fortunate to witness in person her first QE victory in 2017.

As well as the Queen Elizabeth Stakes there are three other choice Group 1 events on the program – Sydney Cup, Australian Oaks and Coolmore Legacy Stakes.

The Oaks is the first to run and appears a match race between New Zealand filly Probabeel and new filly on the block Colette, with Shout the Bar, Nudge and Toffee Tongue all a good chance as well.

Verry Elleegant won the Australian Oaks last year and is one of the fancied contenders in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes this year. At her last start a fortnight ago she won the Group 1 Tancred Stakes spectacularly by over 4 lengths, though was beaten narrowly by English horse Addeybb in the Group 1  Ranvet Stakes at her previous start.  Addeybb is again one of her rivals in the QE Stakes, so it will be interesting to see if she can turn the tables on him this time round.

Both will have to defeat the classy Japanese contender Danon Premium whose form against such leading lights as Cox Plate heroine Lys Gracieux and Japan Cup winner Almond Eye is excellent.

Overall the 2020 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field is a doozy with the likes of New Zealanders Te Akau Shark and Melody Belle, Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare and highly regarded import Master of Wine all in contention. It looks a fabulous race and one not to be missed.

The Sydney Cup like its Melbourne counterpart is run over 3200 metres. Top chances are Young Rascal, Mustajeer and Raheen House, among others.

Run over 1600 metres, the Coolmore Legacy Stakes for fillies and mares has attracted  a top class field that includes shock Doncaster Mile winner Nettoyer, the classy Alizee, Victorian mare Miss Siska, the in form Positive Peace and sole filly Funstar having her first start against the older mares. 

So that’s my Saturday afternoon entertainment settled, even if I can’t be there in person.

Update Sunday Afternoon

It was an interesting afternoon of racing that I watched on my computer yesterday.

Colette, a small but tough filly, a daughter of 2014 Golden Rose winner Hallowed Crown, won the Australian Oaks impressively by a couple of lengths from Toffee Tongue and Quintessa. She’s one to watch for in the spring.

New Zealand mare, Etah James now trained by Ciaron Maher, won the Sydney Cup from fellow New Zealander The Chosen One.

As expected the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was exciting and resulted in British horse Addeybb getting the better of Verry Elleegant once again. The hyped Japanese horse Danon Premium was left wanting on the heavy track and finished third.

The Gai Waterhouse trained, former American mare, Con Te Partiro took out the Coolmore Legacy with Funstar unable to overtake her in the straight. Danzdanzdance, another New Zealander finished third.

might and power 7

Rest In Peace Might and Power who died yesterday evening after suffering a colic attack from which he could not be saved.

He had an illustrious career on the track winning the rare treble of the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate, as well as several other Group 1 races.

I was at Moonee Valley when he won the 1998 Cox Plate and still remember the occasion vividly.

He was a long time popular resident at Living Legends and was often to be seen on race days at Flemington, which is where I took the above photo in 2016. He was 26 years old.

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