Grand Final weekend racing review highlighted by the Epsom Handicap on Saturday at Randwick, the Moir Stakes on Friday night at Moonee Valley & the Underwood Stakes & Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday.
It was a solid weekend of punting. The Moir Stakes meeting on Friday night served us well with Jon Snow and So You Too particularly big results. Saturday was a highlight day with Happy Clapper saluting in the Epsom and then finding Foundry at double figure odds in the Metropolitan. Sunday was a little bit tougher, though had you followed last week’s review (unlike me) you hopefully would have found Perast at a big price.
Not to mention the Grand Final Weekend in both football codes and massive wins for both Victorian squads the Richmond Tigers & Melbourne Storm.
I won’t bore you anymore and will get into the review as there is a bit to cover this weekend. I am focusing on the Moir Stakes meeting at Moonee Valley on Friday night, the Epsom Handicap meeting at Randwick on Saturday and Caulfield’s Underwood Stakes & Rupert Clarke Stakes on Sunday.
Previous posts this Spring Racing carnival:
Race 1 – Suggested Bets – Experimentation & Over Exposure
Winner: – Muraaqeb
A bit of early disappointment at The Valley with Muraaqeb getting the gun run and coming off the back of Experimentation to run him down with Over Exposure back in third. I think Over Exposure is probably the horse to follow going forward. He got back in a really awkward spot on the inside and found the line well and looks to be a horse with a bit of talent going forward. Experimentation is probably looking for 1400m now too.
Race 2 – Suggested Bets – So You Too & Miles Of Krishan
Winner: – So You Too
There were some early scenes here at Moonee Valley with So You Too just prevailing. The early odds were taken at $4.40 and he ended up starting $3. The hope that he would jump and hold the lead went out the window when he stumbled out of the gates. He recovered to box seat and Jeff Lloyd pushed his way into the clear to secure a narrow verdict and a ripper result. He met some pretty well exposed types in this race and I am not sure there is too much to be said for those behind him given he overcame difficulties to salute.
Race 4 – Suggested Bets – Super Too & Madeenaty
Winner: – Super Too
Not a lot to brag about here. It was a pretty simple two bet play and I was hoping for Madeenaty for the better result but Super Too was just way too fast. She could keep winning a few of these races with the rail out and drawing well. There isn’t too much to be said for the rest. She was in a different class and won accordingly.
Race 5 – Suggested Bets – Tavago, Jon Snow & Berisha
Winner: – Jon Snow
The big result of the night here with Jon Snow despite running well in two first up runs behind Vega Magic and Humidor starting $9.50 in a much easier race stepping up to the 2040m and proving too strong. This was a tough on speed win. I thought he was battling at the 600m but he just proved too tough and fought off his rivals. It is hard to see what behind him could beat him going forward. The two runners that I thought did run well were the Weir pair in Star Exhibit and Gallic Chieftain. Star Exhibit was just held up for about 50-100m before the home turn which cost him crucial momentum while Gallic Chieftain really hit the line strongly in between runners. The latter in particular looks ready to win next start.
Race 7 – Moir Stakes – Suggested Bets – Russian Revolution, Derryn & Heatherly
Winner: – She Will Reign
Sheesh, got this one wrong. The three horses I backed ran third last, second last and last to bring me back down to earth pretty quickly after the win on of Jon Snow. It was a cracking race. They went along at a mad tempo in front and She Will Reign produced an exceptional performance to win, but there were many other good runs in the race. Sheidel has gone enormous out in front and was an exceptional effort to hang on and place. Viddora, Jungle Edge and Faatinah all had legitimate excuses and Malaguerra and Voodoo Lad from the back were very good. Cracking race, plenty of coming winners to come out of this year’s Moir Stakes.
Race 8 – Suggested Bets – Masculino, Mighty Boss & Wassergeist
Winner: – Showtime
Ouch! This one hurt as I pulled the wrong rein backing Masculino instead of Showtime. He has turned into a proper racehorse Showtime. I thought Mighty Boss had him on the home corner, but this bloke was just far too good. Holy Snow was another very good in the race while Azazel who I couldn’t believe was so short in the market actually ran quite well considering he was jumping so sharply in distance. I think he will be a lot better equipped for his next start run in this distance range. They have run quicker time than I Am A Star here so I think the race is definitely worth following going forward.
Other Horse To Follow From The Meeting: – Mintha
I mentioned this filly after her first up run at Flemington behind Fox Swift and she backed it up again on Friday night by chasing home Houtzen in a fast run 1200m race. I thought Houtzen was good but this filly Mintha is clearly flying and I will be very keen to follow her wherever she goes third up.
Race 3 – Suggested Bet – Sambro
Winner – Ataraxia
There was some early disappointment on Epsom Day too on Saturday. I was pretty keen on Sambro and he just went a bit early for the Magic Man from Hong Kong in Joao Moreira. He got left in front a long way home and was only collared late by Ataraxia and Dissolution. The winner had a perfect stalking run and probably had all his cards fall into place. I certainly think that Sambro is probably the best horse going forward and if these horses all meet again he will be likely to turn the tables. It was a much improved run by Tangled and those first four horses really cleared out from the rest. I am not sure this race is going to be the “A Grade” form going forward though.
Race 4 – Suggested Bets – Mackintosh, Classic Uniform & Perfect Rhyme
Winner – Classic Uniform
This was a small winning race, but this was an awful race really. How this group of horses ran around for a share of $500k in prize money is beyond me. Classic Uniform got his easy lead and all his Christmases come at once with fitness on his side and he fought on for a strong victory. There is not much to be said for the rest with quite a few being out of form and the winner very deep into his campaign so I don’t think this is a race that we will be using as a key reference going forward.
Race 5 – Flight Stakes – Suggested Bets – One More Honey, Legal Girl & Pandemonium
Winner – Alizee
Wow! This was just breathtaking from Alizee. She stamped her class and dominance over her rivals with a slashing performance from the back of the field. She got back, gave them all a start and simply sliced her way through the field before dashing away from her rivals late for the most dominant of victories. It really was a breath taking win. It is hard to really talk about anything else given how dominant she was. Luvaluva maybe from an Oaks point of view down the track looks like she is on target, but all honours with the winner who was completely dominant and is a pretty special filly.
Race 7 – Epsom Handicap – Suggested Bets – Happy Clapper, Sound Proposition & Snitzson
Winner – Happy Clapper
This was a great with Happy Clapper stamping his class and securing a well deserved Group One win in the Epsom Handicap while the roughy I was keen on in Snitzson ran really well for third and hopefully a few smarter than me took the good place price on offer. I think that was Happy Clapper’s Grand Final so I am not 100% convinced on what he will do going forward. Snitzson looks right on track for the Toorak I would imagine in two weeks time at Caulfield while I love the way Foxplay went through the line. When she meets the mares at set weights in the Myer Classic she is going to prove very hard to beat I feel, she is going well. Tom Melbourne is flying, but his name is Tom Melbourne and he keeps finding on better.
Race 8 – The Metropolitan – Suggested Bets – Foundry & Life Less Ordinary
Winner – Foundry
This was a great result with Foundry coming up from Victoria for the Lloyd Williams stable and saluting in The Metropolitan at double figure odds. He was able to hold off Big Duke and emphasized a point I was pretty keen to make in my preview that I think the Melbourne stayers had a pretty significant advantage over the Sydney stayers particularly in this grade. It really was a case of the Melbourne Form coming to fruition. I think that was the Grand Final for most of the Sydney horses so it is hard to recommend following any of them going forward. I think Big Duke is probably the one to follow now. He has found form, he is most likely just going to keep getting better the deeper he gets into his campaign with that Weir polish behind him.
Other Horse To Follow From The Meeting: – Clearly Innocent
He is going to The Everest next start so he is certainly going to find it hard to win there, but Clearly Innocent has clearly come back well. I loved his run in the Premiere Stakes on Saturday. First up over 1200m he really savaged the line late up the inside and was climbing over their back when they went across the line. I am not sure he can win The Everest, but he will make his presence felt and then I would be very keen to be with him wherever he went third up in the hope he was stepping up to 1400m. He looks to have come back exceptionally well.
Race 1 – Suggested Bets – Steel Frost, Tribal Wisdom & Stormsabrewing
Winner – Steel Frost
Well this gave us a bit of a false dawn following the big Grand Final Day festivities the day before. Steel Frost won and gave a nice early cure to the hangover. He had a perfect run in transit and was able to come to Melbourne off two good Adelaide wins and get the job done. I think there were a couple of really good runs behind him and horses we can certainly follow going forward. Imperator Augustus at his first start for Weir was excellent sitting wide the trip while Stormsabrewing turned in a lovely first up run. She looks in for a really good campaign and I will be keen to follow her second up.
Race 2 – Suggested Bets – Lyuba, Motown Lil & Selenia
Winner – Snitty Kitty
Over-analysis here! Snitty Kitty was the fastest and best horse in the race. I was a little bit miffed by her recent jump out and thought she may not be able to cross Quilista and as such thought it might be a bit of a speed war which would set it up for some of the swoopers. It turned out to be the complete opposite. Snitty Kitty pinged out, found the front, owned the race and won well. She is a mare that has improved with each campaign and I think she can be competitive in some good races this campaign. I don’t think there is much to be said for those behind her. Quilista over-raced badly in the early and middle stages and then found the line OK for third. I think next start if she is allowed to run along and use her early speed she might be able to bounce back.
Race 4 – Suggested Bets – Guardini, Our Century & Count Da Vinci
Winner – Cool Chap
Gee, did I get this race wrong. Guardini and Our Century were the main two bets in the race and neither showed up. The race won by Hardham at Flemington two weeks ago proved to be the strong form reference with four of the first five coming out of that race. Cool Chap broke a long run of outs to win from Nozomi and Jacquinot Bay. They are all pretty well exposed types though so I am not sure about this race going forward. Count Da Vinci was jumping sharply in trip and ran well again, he should be ready at his third run back next start. Turnitaround is another that should be ready third up. He was a gap between runs into this run off a good first up run and had to do a bit of work travelling wide the trip. He should run well third up. I’m Feeling Lucky showed signs of finding form while Tarquin just had no luck at all so I would keep an eye on all of them next time.
Race 5 – Suggested Bet – Catchy
Winner – Booker
Gee, this one hurt. I had been on Booker all campaign but jumped off here to be with Catchy. Catchy ended up a fair way back and Booker well ridden by Dwayne Dunn was up outside the speed and proved too strong. The jury is out a bit on Catchy for mine going forward. I can’t see her winning the Caulfield Guineas against the males for which she is currently favourite. I think that creates some opportunities elsewhere for sure. Booker and Shoals look like being very hard to beat in the Thousand Guineas assuming that Alizee stays in Sydney.
Race 8 – Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes – Suggested Bets – Theanswermyfriend & Attention
Winner – Santa Ana Lane
Wow, what was going on here? The two horses I backed pretty much cut at each other from the start. I have no idea what Ben Thompson was thinking on Attention trying to take on Theanswermyfriend. The latter was huge. His effort to hang on and run fifth given how fast he went early was outstanding. The winner Santa Ana Lane had all his Christmases come at once while Mr Sneaky was also very good and probably got left in front a bit too soon. I think the horse from a Toorak point of view might be Tosen Stardom. His last two runs have been really good and from a better draw and up to the mile in the Toorak I think he might be ready to deliver a peak performance.
Other Horse To Follow From The Meeting: – Rich Charm
I have to admit after being down on the day I did have a little extra side bet at the end of the day on Rich Charm to see if I could get myself back to even (probably not a good strategy I recommend, it rarely works, but it was Grand Final weekend)! He looks to have come back well. It has taken a while for him to get fit this campaign and he just got baulked for a run at the top of the straight when he was looking at going for a run and held up. He went through the line strongly but the bird had flown. He looks to have come back well though and looks capable of taking the next step this campaign and winning a good race.