OAKLEIGH PLATE 2019

 

 

This is one of the best handicap Sprint races in the country, probably my favourite to be quite honest, at 1200m or less . But then again I’m not a great fan of the big sprints down the Flemington straight, so am probably biased in that respect. I have also had some great results personally in the past 10 years or so, with the likes of Swiss Ace, Woorim and Mrs Onassis winning at very good odds.  I think the most unique thing about this race  is that barriers play very little part in the result. In fact you are probably better off drawing wide than closer to the inside, which is quite unusual for a race at this distance. One year an on pacer will salute, and the next year a backmarker. It’s always a race with enormous depth and it’s share of quality performers. That often makes it very difficult to pinpoint a winner. Below are the last 17 winners and relative statistics (Age, weight carried, barrier and starting price). I’d like to say it helps a lot but in reality form analysis of runners might be a more useful method to find the winner.

 

  • 2019 BOOKER 4m 52.0kg (14) $17.00
  • 2018 RUSSIAN REVOLUTION 4G 56.5kg (10) $4.50
  • 2017 SHEIDEL 5M 53kg (3) $8
  • 2016 FLAMBERGE 6G 58kg (15) $31
  • 2015 SHAMAL WIND 5M 54kg (14) $10

 

 

  • 2014 LANKAN RUPEE 4G 56kg (7) $4
  • 2013 MRS ONASSIS 5m 52.5kg (11) $16
  • 2012 WOORIM 6g 55.5kg (8) $21
  • 2011 EAGLE FALLS 5g 57kg (9) $21
  • 2010 STARSPANGLEDBANNER 3c 52kg (6)
  • 2009 SWISS ACE 4g 54kg (18) $31 (I got $66!)
  • 2008 WEEKEND HUSSLER 3g 53kg (10) $2.10
  • 2007 UNDUE 5g 57kg (14) $15
  • 2006 SNITZEL 3c 51.5kg (4) $11
  • 2005 FASTNET ROCK 3c 57kg (6)$2
  • 2004 REACTIVE 5m 52kg (1) $16
  • 2003 RIVER DOVE 4m 51.5kg (10) $17

 

Pertinent facts;

  1. 16 of last 17 winners have been first or second up when winning this, and 15 of the past 16 winners have been first up. Not that significant given most of the runners attempt the race fresh from the Spring . Less than half the field are in that category this time around so we might see a second up, or even fitter performer win this years edition?
  2. 15/17 aged between 3 & 5 years. 4/17 winners has been a 3yo and all have been Males.
  3. Only one horse has carried more than 57kg to win in this period, but 6 have carried 55.5kg-57kg.
  4. Only 2 winners have drawn inside barrier 4 and one outside 15. Wide draws no real disadvantage overall (10/17 barrier 9 or wider)
  5. 8/17 sired by a Son or Grandson of Danehill. Not too many contenders this year but they do include two of the favourites Bivouac and Anaheed along with the rougher priced Crystal Dreamer and Fine Dane.
  6. Average winning price is very high @ $14, especially given there has been 2 winners around a $2 quote.
  7. Six of the fairer sex have won in this period which is encouraging given they would be outnumbered each year. None have started at less than $8, and all have been mares aged 4 and 5.

 

BALL OF MUSCLE- Glynn Schofield is 10-6/20 aboard which is an incredible record. The horse is 0/8 in G1 races, and he has a lot of weight to concede to very good horses. Could give a lot of cheek on the pace though.

ZOUTORI- 4/9 since being gelded. One of the losses was a less than one length defeat at WFA behind Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane. Two of the others were his only starts on right handed tracks. Has won his last three starts first up all at 1200m, and hasn’t won below that distance.  0/3 from barriers 1-3. Stable has won this race four times in the past twenty years. Looks like a genuine fresh horse given none of his wins have been with less than 16 days between runs, and even his best run in defeat was off a break of 21 days.

BIVOUAC- Hard to fault in reality and from a vintage 3yo crop. Drawn to win and flew here to win first up last preparation. Conceding weight to older horses, and his odds are the negatives. Too cool a ride might also bring his undoing and he did get blocked badly in the Manikato which he probably should have won.

FAATINAH- Phenomenal first up performer (6/8) and ran second in this race 2017 beating a very good 3yo home (Extreme Choice). Notably he failed first up prior to that race with jockey reporting he needed more give in the track. He should get that here. Otherwise that was his only placing at G1 level from nine starts and at age 7 historically not a great statistic. His barrier looks an asset though which ensures he gets a good spot on the pace.

BONS AWAY- Was close up in this race last year from barrier 16 when also second up. Slightly better drawn this year with a similar weight.  Seven starts now since he carried ess than 57.5kg so will appreciate weight drop, though only 1/9 with less 565kg or less and 0/7 when drawn out wider than barrier 10.

CRYSTAL DREAMER- Stable has four wins in the past Twenty years. Age against him historically. Never raced at G1 level. 4/9 with less than 57kg and Summer/Autumn stats are better than Winter/Spring. Beat Gytrash here first up last preparation, and that is G1 form now. Hard horse to catch but generally wins when least expected.

TROPE- Last first up run was very good although it was a very bunched finish. He was disappointing at WFA in his only start left handed last preparation, but he may have been at the end of his preparation and does meet Bivouac 8.5kg  better for it. Only win on debut which was at this trip, which again indicates that he does go well fresh. Blinkers went on last start which might also explain his failure. Winkers go back on for this and in astute stable.

ALL TOO ROYAL- Well weighted off last start and has a very good strike rate. 2/2 with this break between runs, and never carried less than 54.5kg. Class the question mark but meets Anaheed 3kg better for last start off a wide run, which indicates that he might be up to G1 level. Has fitness advantage although not too relevant from a historical point of view. His price looks overs.

ANJANA- Very wide draw a possible concern. 5/9 below 1400m and 0/5 in Spring indicate she might be better at this time of year getting close to Autumn. All wins (5/7) from barriers 1-6. Stable change and a very in from trainer. Way over the odds being a 4yo mare with a decent strike rate. Just needs a super ride from a very side barrier.

BOLD STAR- Very fit, ideally drawn and never runs a bad race. Class query and less notable jockey aboard this time. Trainer doing a superb job with stablemate Gytrash shocking many with his G1 Lightning win last week.

FINE DANE- Really does look outclassed here, although a return to dry footing and a low weight might bring out the best in him. The stable has produced a long shot placing in this race before though I’m struggling to remember the name of the horse.

HALVORSEN- Freshened up and has won here at this trip. A drying track really does look in his favour having won his last 4 starts on good tracks.  And he has Gytrash form beaten 0.1L by that horse last preparation. He is also 4/5 at this distance with the only defeat on debut when he lead. His first two starts were both poor leading both times. Meets Bold Star on same weight terms for beating him comfortably last start so he looks well in at the weights. Maybe a better straight track horse but not conclusive. Dean Yendall is 1/1 aboard.

HUMMA HUMMA- Very good mare who wasn’t suited first up on a wet track. She is 5-1/6 on dry left handed tracks which are her only wins so a drying track suits. All her wins are with more than three weeks between runs (21 here) and class might test her a bit. She also has better stats drawn out a bit, so not sure the inside barrier is advantageous. Still a good chance though and William Pike aboard is a positive.

MYSTYCO- Looks a bit outclassed but never missed a place here from 4 attempts and has a good first up record, though moreso earlier in his career. Meets Halvorsen 1.5kg better for a two length defeat the last time they met. Has some good stat,s and is very consistent so could run a place at ridiculous odds.

PIPPIE- She is a very fast mare who has two big margin wins in her only first up runs. Last preparation she ran almost identical time to Bivouac on the same day here at this distance. From that day she is 2kg better off in comparison. She beat home Embrace Me that day who was so good at WFA recently behind Scales Of Justice so I think she is up to this class.  The barrier isn’t ideal (13/18) but I still think she can lead and just might be impossible to catch. That was a super trial win recently bounding straight to the lead and untouched. Soul Patch was under harder riding behind her and he was very good first up last week behind Alligator Blood and Catalyst, beating home Dalasan. She is going to fly here with only 52kg, the lightest weight she has carried.

ANAHEED- Very good win first up and she is weighted to beat Bivouac off their two recent meetings with 2.5kg less. She should be the same price in the market as him although that price should probably be closer to $4.50. The wider than ideal draw looks a problem but she is very tough and 1100m rather than 1200m is going to suit. She could slot in just behind the leaders anyway. The last 3yo filly to win this ( I think) was Miss Kournikova in 2001 and I’m pretty sure she drew very wide that day. She looks hard to beat with 51kg though you could make an argument she isn’t weighted that well against older horses.

FREE OF DEBT- A 3yo colt who has drawn very wide off a good first up run, although he was suited that day with no other speed in the race. Nonetheless he was off a very long spell and he should be fitter for this and has 7kg less. Will be ridden for speed but can’t really see him matching motors with Ball Of Muscle and Pippie drawn inside him so might get caught wide.  He was third in a Blue Diamond as a 2yo though when he was just in behind the leaders. Could shock but probably around right price at present.

VAINSTREAM- He looks a bit outclassed and there aren’t any stats that stick out for him. Has barrier 1 so his best chance looks to be coming up the inside rail if the field fans on the turn.

 

Summary;

I’m going to have to go with the 4yo mare PIPPIE. She is very quick and I expect her to lead even from a wide barrier. That recent trial of hers was indicative of her being back to her best and primed to win this. Her wins here last Spring were indicative of an Oakleigh Plate winner. She should be more around the $6 mark so the current price appears to be value enough.

HALVORSEN does look great value though with his current form and Gytrash formline. The drying track looks ideal for him as does a very fast pace. He might be better suited in the Newmarket over 1200m down the straight ,but you can probably secure $20+ here and that’s great odds given he won his last start at this track and distance.

HUMMA HUMMA also looks to be suited with drying conditions and she might race closer to the pace than she has been of late from an inside barrier. Maybe a better place chance but she is capable of a big surprise

I have to put in ANAHEED for fourth given I think she should be equal favourite at worst, but I wouldn’t have the likes of TROPE and ZOUSTAR and ALL TOO ROYAL too far behind, just to name a few. And that’s not mentioning the outstanding 3yo Colt BIVOUAC. It’s another outstanding edition of this race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MM Musings 11/01

I’ve only really looked at this meeting today and have spent the vast majority of the time on the 2yo race. Mostly because I knew bugger all about most of them as I normally miss the early races on a Saturday. Not too sure you can take these ideas too seriously but I’ll include a couple of Logical Longshot’s ( not too long) in this post. I’m starting off in Race 4;

KEMALPASA– Put simply I think he is too big a price to ignore today given he has won 8 of his last 12 starts and not missed a place in any of them. Where are you going to find $12 about a topweight with that sort of form anywhere? Even better he has been here a while and has won a trial in preparation. Have to back Win Only at a double figure price but he looks good for a place multi also.

R5 LA TIGERESA- Was blocked at a crucial time in the straight last start and she might have won that race with clear running. I thought Tahitian Dancer was poorly weighted against her that day (I still saved), and she is even worse off today. Remembering this mare was a close second to Teleplay who then went on to beat Hey Doc who in turn won the Winterbotom at WFA level in Perth. Hopefully no excuses from a perfect barrier today.

R6- Hard to tip confidently against Alligator Blood here but Leviathan recorded good time figures last start, and It’s Kind Of Magic overcame a three wide run last start at M/Valley to win well. Both these horses are proven at 1400m whereas a lot of others have been shy of this distance or perhaps looking for further. I thought they could go in the Quaddie with him and in Trifectas perhaps. Healthy respect for Dubious and Hightail also.

R7 I have this down to three but admittedly have just based this assumption on times. Something to keep in mind  is that the last ten winners have won prior.

I’m going with GOTTA KISS who has drawn perfectly, won last start and should get the gun run. She broke the class record winning last start and LADY BANFF was right there with her and should have won the race off a 3 wide run. The latter has won at the distance whereas the former hasn’t, but the stable is adamant she is looking for it, and also her breeding suggests it shouldn’t be an issue.  LB will be up on the pace and has drawn a bit wide. If they can can take a sit though who knows what she is capable of? FARNAN is the other I like given his time last start compares favourably to that of Capitalist who won the same race prior in 2016. The stable might have pulled off  a masterstroke last week galloping at the Gold Coast given 4 of the last 5 winners have won here 7 days prior.  GOTTA KISS Each Way @ $13 and $4 presently.

R8- I really don’t like this race which seems to have multiple chances. It’s hard to bet confident about anything. I’m keen to back SMARTEDGE who has been such an improver of late and looks to have been set for this. I thought the most interesting thing was Luke Currie jumping off Over Exposure (for McEvoy) to ride USAIN BOWLER. It won it’s last start at 1400m very easily though does come off a failure.  VEGA ONE has a few negatives but crucially is 4-2/7 with more 15-28 days between runs. Kept fresh worked for him last time out. SAMBRO is a total enigma but he was doubly engaged today, and might just have hated Eagle Farm last start as a lot of horses do. His win rate is not encouraging but JMac might find the key. DEEP IMAGE looks the one they all have to beat but can he win again conceding weight to some decent rivals?

R9 I had to go with BOOMSARA here who is 2/2 third up. Initially I thought there was too much pace in the race but he is the only one of the pacemakers to have drawn well. He was so tough first up on a hot speed, and then might have been a touch flats second up. He races best here so is hard to knock. The one I am wary of is TOKORIKI LAD who was a bit stiff to be beaten by Chapter And Verse here last year. He meets that horse 4kg better and was seen to be making useful ground last start though was never a winning hope. It took this horse an age to find form last preparation so is he  ready? You would suspect so given the prizemoney on offer. Outback Barbie seems to find E/Farm a no go zone so could improve but I would have liked to see her with less weight and a bit less distance. She could win though.

Good punting. The two Bolded are my LL bets for today though I’d probably list BOOMSARA as my best bet.

 

Logical Longshot 26/12

A Merry Christmas and Boxing Day to everyone out there who has any contact with me. I wasn’t goint to bother with a selection today and had a horse called TURN THE TIDE in R8 Blackbooked off a terriffic run last start behind Yulong January at Pakenham. Clearly he was the second best run in that race having been 3-4 wide in that race from the 1000m point. He had no luck first up either in his run prior, unable to obtain a run until too late in the race.

Having said that he is no luxury odds from a dodgy barrier and I noticed the topweight CRITICAL THINKING is 3/3 at this track and distance and he is 0/6 on all the other Melbourne Metro tracks. He hasn’t been going too badly (beaten 5L by Yulong January two starts back), and the claim and reasonable barrier is going to help. His only poor run at Caulfield was at 2000m which was obviously a bridge too far. At $13 today he is very good value and I’m expecting him to run a cheeky race at that price. He is my LL for  today Win Only at this stage (unless $4 a place becomes available). I did back Turn The Tide earlier so am hoping one of the two will salute.

Good punting today to all those who are having an investment.

Villiers Stakes mini preview 14/12

I wasn’t going to bother but I may as well pass on the info I have gathered on this race from late Thursday night. I spent roughly an hour or so on it that night and was convinced I’d found a really nice roughie at big odds- LE JUGE. Not sure why it was scratched but nevertheless it’s one to follow at it’s next start providing he hasn’t sustained an injury. Unfotunately hat left me to start all over again, and at least I’ve found another one at odds that appears to have a sneaky chance, and also provides me with my only ‘Logical Longshot’ for the day.

Firstly historically speaking this is a race that has been won by an in form horse that drops in weight, the more the better, which is generally the case in a decent Group handicap race that has a dozen or more runners in the field;

Tempo wise we have at least four on pace runners here. They are Gold Fields, Quackerjack, Goodfella and Mushairreb. One of the former pair are likely to take up the running and I suspect Gold Fields will hold out Quackerjack from an inside draw. How fast they go will probably decide the race but given we only have a thirteen horse field I’m not sure I want to be having to come from last or near last in the race. Still I guess the on pace runners do make up nearly thirty per cent of the field so you could argue there is enough speed there to give every horse it’s chance.

I think QUACKERJACK is a deserved favourite but I wouldn’t want to taking much less than $4 from a slightly awkward barrier and rising 4kg in weight. His wet track stats are also slightly better than his dry track ones although you wouldn’t have noticed that last start in a race he almost certainly would have won had he got an economical run in transit, Whatever beats him probably wins but I’m risking him at the current price. EL DORADO DREAMING seems the most logical next best as she does have Group 1 placings to her credit as an older mare and a G1 win as a two year old filly. Brenton Avdulla has elected to ride her over one or two others and she has drawn to perfection. I can’t quite back her though given she has just the one win and it isn’t at this distance either. Those factors and the weight she has to give some of the others has me looking elsewhere although she does have definite winning claims. GOLD FIELDS has done me a couple of favours lately and I have had something small on him but only in hope really. This is his first go right handed and he looks poorly weighted drawing a formline through Mandela Effect/Ranier. He is a 1600m specialist though and I must say his recent trial win against decent opposition was a very good one. The horse is flying and he might well look the winner in the straight.  LIVE AND FREE found another way to get beat last start when everything went his way in the straight with Blinkers on first time. You could say he has just become a non winner, but I think he has to get the benefit of the doubt second up as he might have just run out of gas late. I think he can beat RANIER off that run with an extra kilo weight relief, and the fitness he would have gainer off that run. The Randwick ‘mile maestro’ Glen Boss goes aboard and it will be interesting to see how he pilots the horse today. Does he dare go forward from a wide barrier as has been the case in his recent Doncaster and Epsom triumphs with Brutal and Kolding. This horse isn’t in the same class as those two but he doesn’t need to be in this. It is a bonus that he’s aboard that’s for sure, and Trainer John O’Shea is confident the Blinkers have improved the horse. NOBLE BOY looks a realistic hope but is still yet to prove himself at a mile and the wide draw isn’t encouraging for him. BOBBING has drawn well and might get a race run to suit this time. He couldn’t get into the race last start with the pattern that transpired. He has won at a mile but I’m not that confident he will get it in this class. He also has a bad habit of hanging out which presents an issue for the jockey. At least Robbie Dolan is 1/1 aboard. The other slight question mark for me is whether he needs some give in the track. His stats certainly suggest so. MUSHAIRREB at the bottom  looks the type that could win the race, dropping massively in weight off a placing last start. He is yet to win here though, and has had every chance at most of his runs. Whether he is good enough is debatable.

The same goes for the mare I like at odds AQUA D’IVINA. From formlines I have worked out she is roughly a 3-3.5kg inferior horse to Live And Free. She gets 2kg off him here which puts her in with a chance, and she is now four times the price which seems ludicrous. Firstly her mother won this race. Secondly she is 4/5 with this sort of break between runs, Thirdly she is 2/2 at the distance and 3/3 between 1600m and 1800m. Her only failure beyond 1500m was a 2000m race at Flemington when she might not have handled the Melbourne way of going.  fourthly She drops 3.5kg off a win which looks great historically, and if you look at her overall time of last start it was 0.7 of  second slower than Quackerjack, same track and distance on the same day. That horse rises 4kg and she drops 3.5kg which is a 7.5kg swing. That I think equates to more than the time difference last start although I haven’t factored in the extra distance that Quackerjack had to travel off a wide run! Again though I think that puts her in the ballpark as a definite hope in the race. The other thing is she had won four races prior to her last victory, and the first two wins were then followed by another win, which is of some encouragment today. The drift in her price is no encouragement, nevertheless I am committed to her now and I will go with this First 4, which admittedly seems a very unlikely one.

  1. AQUA D’IVINA Each Way.
  2. Live And Free
  3. Quackerjack
  4. Mushairreb

 

Logical Longshots 7/12

Not much luck last week with a runner up who looked certain to win, and two rides on others that were just not positive enough. It was just a small loss on the day with $4.20 a place for Live And Free being somewhat of a saviour. This week I’ve gone with the four hopes and three of them can be backed Each Way. The best of them is probably the first entry.

Pakenham R8 AMADEUS looks a lot like Kiwia a couple of weeks ago being a track specialist 3/3 here, and he has not only won this race last year, but also the year before. Going for a threepeat today. He comes off a nearly identical run to last year in the same race with the same break between runs. In fact with 4-6 weeks between runs he has a 3/6 strike rate. Given he has only won four races all told the three victories here look very significant. He has drawn out in barrier 7 which is great given his 0-5/10 record from gates 1-3. Luke Currie rode him to victory in this race two years ago and it doesn’t seem the weight is any major concern. He has 1kg more than last year but actually stays at the same weight as last start whereas last year he rose 1kg from his M/Valley run. Each Way. Second $4.90

Ascot R7 ARCADIA PRINCE seems value here given he was a bit of an eyecatching run here two weeks ago after a poor first up effort. Bar Plates come off and he meets a couple of horses out of his last race a fair bit better off at the weights. The two favourites Stageman and Flirtini look the ones to beat but neither has yet won at the distance and he has won five times at the trip and also won this race last year. Handicapper ratings have him clearly second behind Flirtini. Given that and his profile I think he should be a $5 chance but you should be able to get double that.  Win Only.

Ascot R8 MISSISSIPI DELTA has been described as a ‘simplistic tip’ elsewhere because of the Platoon reference I used on Thursday (on Twitter) I suspect (though maybe I’m just flattering myself). She thrashed that horse with 3kg more when first up and he managed to run second to Regal Power in the Railway the week after at level weights. She meets him 4.5kg better today which looks significant. But i urge you to watch the replay last start to see she really did win that RJ Peters race with quite a bit in hand ,and this could be her best preparation after quite a number of trials. The 1500m-1800m progression looks perfect for her, she has drawn perfectly, and she has an awesome strike rate. She may do nothing today but I find it impossible to let her go around at $16 odds. Each Way. It’s never ideal taking on William Pike on a stablemate, and I do think Tuscan Queen is the one they all have to beat. No doubt she doesn’t appear to be as good as last year’s winner Arcadia Queen yet but I do like the way she won last start. She seemed to surge again at the 200m when Pike brought out the whip after sustaining a long run from the turn in a race that probably suited the on pacers more.  Whatever beats her will probably win but I’m sure hoping that does happen with Mississippi Delta.

Ascot R9- STAFFORD’S LAD looks overs in a race that is dominated by two horse’s in the betting. You can line him up with both British Bessy and Sentimental Gift though on his last start when an eyecatching runner up to Morning Song. BB has a narrow win over MS with 0.5kg more weight.  Prior to that this horse was beaten 2.76L behind Prince Turbo who then defeated BB by 3.27L. Okay he is no super bet with a 4/24 strike rate but he should be at slightly less than a double figure quote on form, yet you can get $23. The weight drop should help, he generally wins a race every preparation (hasn’t done so yet), and the jockey has a decisive win aboard. Each Way.

My old mate Push To Pass goes around here and he isn’t totally hopeless either. He needs to find some zip, but the weight drop after the claim is going to be of some benefit. I’ve never fancied him much beyond 1800m, but he does have a win at this trip here and maybe he is looking for the extra distance nowadays. I’m probably being hopeful though.

Logical Longshots 30/11

Just the three today and I haven’t really had time to analyse too many races so hoping for the best. I made a decision in the last couple of weeks to just go Each Way if $4 a place is up early odds, rather than looking for a $20 win price. I’ve already missed a placing dividend on a few that have paid $4. I just haven’t made my reasoning obvious on the Blog until now.

Rosehill R7 LIVE AND FREE– I’ve always liked this horse but he hasn’t really lived up to expectations really. Interesting that he gets the Blinkers on today which hopefully means he can sit closer in a race that seems devoid of speed (he has won from closer to the speed when he was a 3yo). He is  sired by Savabeel who is a son of Zabeel, and that breed can often grow a leg with the shades on. Back on May 5 this year he beat home Bobbing by 1.7L in a race at the Kensington over 1550m conceding it 1kg. Today he concedes the same horse 0.5kg yet is three times the price of that horse today. Brenton Avdulla going back aboard also looks a bonus. He is 2-1/3 aboard and was riding him as a 3yo when he was showing all that promise. The horse is also quite small so I feel he can benefit from the big weight drop today. Each Way from a good barrier. 2nd $4.20

Rosehill R8 BALLER– Also finds himself in a race with questionable speed and he is an on pacer who should be able to cross without too much trouble from a wide barrier. He comes here first up and is 2/3 fresh. Back in late August he was beaten 1.7L by Deprive and Trope. Bon Amis was in that same race beaten 0.2L length with 1.5kg more weight. That suggests that BA is around a 3kg superior horse to Baller but today concedes it 6kg. The price difference is startling. Tommy Berry is back aboard and he knows the horse well being 2-1/3 aboard and he also rode him in a trial win recently. He is probably an 1100-1200m horse in this grade and gets his chance today.  Win Only unless he drifts markedly which wouldn’t be a good thing.

Ascot R8 DUBIOUS– See Railway preview. I think this horse is overpriced given his only meeting with Trekking suggests he can at least compete with him today under roughly the same weight terms. $2.70 vs $16 is a big disparity in price. Blinkers off seems to be a bonus, and who know what the addition of a Tongue Tie will do today. Craig Williams coming all the way over to ride him  suggests he is going to run a race. It’s been a very good Spring for the 3yo’s although admittedly he probably isn’t a top tier one. He travels well though, has drawn well, and is pretty good on his day. Each Way.

Winterbottom Stakes 2019

 

Below are the last 12 winners of this race (with their Age. Gender and Barrier Draw) which became a Group one race in 2011. Prior to 2006 there were some very notable winners though and many of us who have been around a while will remember the likes of Marasco, Miss Andretti and Ellicorsam, all of whom were prolific winners and did come East and taste success subsequently.

 

2018 VOODOO LAD 7G (13)

2017 VIDDORA 5M (7)

2016 TAKEDOWN 4G (8)

2015 BUFFERING 8G (8)

2014 MAGNIFISIO 5M (10)

2013 BUFFERING 6G (8)

2012 BARAKEY 5G (9)

2011 ORTENSIA 6M (2)

2010 HADABECLORKA 9G (5)

2009 ORTENSIA 4M (5)

2008 TAKEOVER TARGET 9g (1)

2007 GLORY HUNTER 5G (6)

 

  1. Six of the past seven winners have drawn barriers 7-13 and no horse has won inside barrier 8 in the past eight years. Nine of the past twelve winners have drawn between 5 and 10.
  2. Four of the last six winners sat first or second in the run, and one other was further forward than midfield (Magnifisio).
  3. Six of the last Twelve winners have been aged six or over,and three of those have been eight and nine year olds Nine of the twelve have been aged five or over. That is quite an odd statistic for a Group one sprint.
  4. Eight of the past Twelve editions have been won by an Eastern States galloper including the last four in a row.
  5. Six of last Fifteen have been won by a Mare or Filly (Female)
  6. The last two winners have come off beaten runs in the Manikato Stakes (WFA) at Moonee Valley.

 

History;

Probably has me leaning toward VITAL SILVER ( 6yo  local returning from Eastern States Manikato Stakes second) over the favourite TREKKING. Of the local contingent the mare FLIRTINI seems to be the most likely to win.

 

Tempo;

Both Home Of The Brave and Hey Doc have drawn wide here and I expect both of them to want to cross early thus injecting decent speed into the race. The mare Misty Metal looks the most likely to find the lead from a decent barrier and Dubious should also be close to the pace. Vital Silver is another that could lead but he might take as sit just off the pace early given he almost pulled off an unlikely victory in a career best effort last start when getting back further than midfield. He has drawn slightly better in this race though so the stable have options and his normal pattern is to race on the pace. Valour Road is yet another that normally races on pace but it looks unlikely he will find the front here with quicker horses that are better drawn than he is. Trekking should sit around midfield from a decent barrier along with the likes of Durendal and Endless Drama. Viridine, Spirit Of Valour, Rock Magic, Flirtini and Stageman look to the the ones who will drift back to the rear of the field. My best guess is that the race will be truly run and every horse will get it’s chance to win, unless they can’t find enough cover to get an economical (enough) run in transit.

Analysis;

I have this down to about six chances but really only four I could back. The two I’d leave out of winning bets are;

HEY DOC- He is dual Group 1 winner and has to be respected. This is his second up run from a long spell though, and the barrier looks to be a killer. My thinking is he will be ridden for speed, but I think his chances might be better if he is ridden conservatively. Either way he is going to have to work hard for a win.

TREKKING– He’s just too short in price now, and personally think he should be at least $3 from an inside draw, and first time in Perth. He has had a lot of travelling the past 6 months and having watched his last three runs I’m not convinced he is hitting the line as well as he can. The proviso on that is this is  a lesser class race than he has been contesting so he might not have to. Form says he might be too good but I can’t quite have him at the price. The stable have three in the race, which doesn’t exactly suggest to me that the confidence in him is sky high.

The ones I think are the best chances at value odds;

VITAL SILVER– As mentioned he comes out of the right race and he looks suited from a good barrier. He can lead or take a sit, or come from anywhere really. He is unbeaten 3/3 here, and is 1/1 at the track and distance. His runs in Melbourne were extremely good a couple of months ago,  and were pretty much aimed at having him peak for this. He will most likely look the winner in the straight, and might be the one in front on the line.

FLIRTINI– You couldn’t be more impressed by a finishing burst than hers to win last start and she was the only horse to make any ground down the outside in that race. She screamed home late to record quite a soft win despite the margin. Paul Harvey is 2/2 aboard and seems to have found the key to her riding her a bit more patiently.. Back in May she won a 3yo race over 1200m on the same day Vital Silver won the Roma Cup at the same trip. Her time was vastly superior overall, albeit her last 600m was inferior. That’s a good sign though and the weights of the two are similar in this race. Her time last start was comparable to that of Barakey (who went on to win this race) and Vega Magic who was beaten 1.5L in this race before going onto comquering the Eastern States the following year. She looks a great chance in this and should get a speed to suit. Barrier 12 shouldn’t present an issue.

STAGEMAN- As was the case in the Railway Stakes last week, he is Bob Peters owned and ridden by William Pike with the Blinkers going on first time. He has had no luck at this past two starts when beaten by Flirtini, so if you like her then you need to at least consider him a winning chance. He might not quite be a WFA horse and meets Flirtini 2.5kg better for last start when he had no luck at all obtaining a run in the straight. Whether he could have beaten Flirting had he done so, I doubt, but that’s not conclusive. He is very fit but on the other hand he might have trouble peaking for this. Blinkers can make a huge difference though.

ENDLESS DRAMA–  Historically he hasn’t drawn well, but all his wins in NZ have been from barriers 2 & 3 so it might well be a positive for him. His age of eight appears to not be a minus when you look at the honour roll in this race.  I think you have to consider him a good chance at odds because he was competitive against Trekking at level weights in Brisbane, and since then has beaten Te Akau Shark and Melody Belle in a WFA race in NZ. Importantly that was a fresh run, and was on a left handed track, His stats tell you he might be a superior horse counter clockwise. And interestingly he is 2-1/3 at this distance including that win over NZ’s best two horses. He would need everything to go right for him. He does seem to like to get to the middle of the track in the home straight, so if a run presents itself he might just put himself in the finish. Obviously I’m thinking his price is overs, though I don’t quite agree with his trainer who says he should be second or third favourite! Sired by Lope De Vega who has sired two of the best sprinters we have had in recent times- Santa Ana Lane and Vega Magic.

DUBIOUS– The only 3yo in the race but that age group have had a good year against their older counterparts this Spring. He is probably a second tier one but is still very capable and Craig Williams has been keen enough to partner him for this race when he could have stayed home, or ridden Viridine, who he rode to win last start. Blinkers come off and it’s noticeable he has run some poor races with them on. He has drawn perfectly,  drops in weight, and is a good traveller. He also looks like a dead set dry track horse so the conditions in Perth should suit. He has form around Dalasan who won a WFA race in Adelaide earlier this Spring so the class doesn’t look beyond him with the light weight.  There is a lot to like about him if he can produce his best, and you can take $16 to find that out. I’m sure the jockey has a plan in mind, and he is very good at executing them in these big races.

My top four is below, but I’m going for the mare FLIRTINI on top just ahead of Vital Silver. The female horses have a good record in the race and she is one that arrives for the race in scintillating form.

  1. FLIRTINI
  2. Vital Silver
  3. Dubious
  4. Trekking

I really do think that both Stageman and Endless Drama have great chances in the race too, with the latter horse at very generous odds.