Scone is often described as the horse racing capital of Australia; horse breeding haven where many of Australia’s best studs are located.
It conducts 16 meetings a year, and this weekend it takes centre stage with two high-quality race cards on Friday and Saturday. And deservedly so, too, because the track itself would have to be one of the finest in the country, with its wide-open stretches and long home straight.
Rarely does a horse suffer interference of any magnitude, and any horse that can lead all the way certainly earns victory after piloting the rest of the field around long sweeping turns.
It is more often than not won by a horse at double-figure odds that gets under the guard of most punters.
Given that, my aim is to try and pinpoint those historical factors that could find us the winner this time around. Below are the last 16 winners with age, gender, barrier draw and weight carried to win.
2018 Sedanzer- 4m (5) 53.35kg $4.60
2017 Duca Valentinois- 5g (4) 53kg $10
2016 Pajaro 5g (16) 54kg $21
2015 Tales Of Grimm- 6g (3) 4kg $8
2014: Cameo – 4m (1) 54kg $21
2013: Speediness – 5g (9) 57.5kg $13
2012: Raspberries – 4m (2) 56kg $9
2011: Dysphonia – 4m (10) 53kg $11
2010: Keeping’ the Dream – 5g (15) 53kg $10
2009: Obvious Choice – 4g (11) 53kg $21
2008: Newton’s Rings – 7g (8) 57.5kg $8.50
2007: Spy Zaim – 4g (12) 53kg $6
2006: Fighting Fund – 4g (6) 51.5kg $8
2005: Impaler – 4g (11) 57kg $9
2004: Jeremiad – 4g (11) 58.5kg $3.50
2003: Full on Magic – 4g (13) 53kg $13
A. 14 of 16 were either 4 or 5 years of age
B. All 16 raced at 1300-1600 metres last start
C. 13/16 had thirteen days between runs
D. 13/16 started $8 or better
E. 14/16 stayed at same weight or dropped weight from last start
F. 11/16 drew barrier eight or wider
G. 9/16 placed fifth to ninth in early to middle stages of race (behind leading bunch. (Midfield types but not backmarkers)
H. 9/16 ran at Hawkesbury last start (7 of last 8)
I. 11/16 carried 54kg or less
J Average winning price roughly $11.00 over this period.
K 4 of last 8 winners from Darley/Godolphin stable
Hands down the Historical pick this year is the Chris Waller trained NEW UNIVERSE. He comes out of the Hawkesbury meeting 13 days ago, is the right age, right price and doesn’t go up in weight. Historically the barrier is the slight negative (not withstanding last two results), and it’s a little disturbing his record suggests he prefers wider draws. The stable has scratched stablemate Tom Melbourne (probably racing at Doomben on Saturday), so that might be a sign that this horse is going well enough to win. His first up run was better than it looks on paper. It was on pace dominated and he got too far back for starters, and his chances were basically nil with a three wide no cover run in transit. He did well enough the last 200m of the race to suggest he can be competitive here. I think he has a bit of a reputation of being a Bookies horse but perhaps this is an opportunity for punters to recoup some losses.
My first thoughts on this race were only to put FIERCE IMPACT on top given his run at WFA in the All Aged last start. He also should be running in this race in preference to Doomben on Saturday which is a good sign. His late sectional figures were roughly on a par with Take It Intern last start at the same meeting, but he carried 4kg more weight and his race was faster run early (and of course of a higher standard). He gives that horse 3kg in this. Personally I’d prefer him to have a kilo or so less, but I think he can still beat that horse (the favourite) home. Perhaps the inside alley negates the weight to an extent, but it’s just concerning to me that a formline through Mahalangur/ Duca Valentionois/Take It Intern/Special Missile suggests he isn’t as well weighted as I thought. On the other hand dropping 3kg from a very good effort at WFA is always a good recipe for success in a handicap race the following start. You would have to say it was a career best run by him.
The biggest problem for him and a few others in this race is a perceived lack of speed on paper. I’m not a fan of SPECIAL MISSILE but he looks the only leader, and his last run was good. He is also from an in form stable who have only had him for five starts and might be in the process of working him out. Surely this horse is going to take some running down? 1600m is as far as he wants but this is his best chance to post a win at the trip if the pressure isn’t on up front. Notably all his wins are in the Winter so perhaps this race has come a couple of weeks early?
DUCA VALENTINOIS deserves a mention given he won this race in 2017 and was runner up last year with 59kg. He drops to 57.5kg this year and he defiinitely hasn’t gone backwards in the past twelve months. His first up effort was indicative of that. He has only had the one run back this time so it’s a different preparation for him in regard to his last two runs in this race. And he has drawn wide this year after drawing inside in both those editions. TAKE IT INTERN looks some hope but I’m willing to risk him at the price on offer. He is drawn out a bit and in his only win here he had all favours at Flemington. He seems a bit one paced and might need a little further than the mile of this race. FUCHU looks a good hope on his win last start against the hot favourite Agassi, who had won at the same distance and track the start before in very impressive time. Three starts prior to that this horse was just over a length behind Archedemus at roughly level weights, and that form lines up well with New Universe here. Notably this horse has won his last four starts on dry tracks and was unlucky not to score on a dry track prior to that when first up. The only defeats in his last seven starts have been on rain affected tracks and he should get close to his preferred conditions here. He might be one that can be nearer the pace, but just not sure barrier 9 is of great assistance to him for that scenario to eventuate. The quick back up is interesting ( no real precedent for this race), but he had a soft run in transit six days ago so he may well handle it. His age is a good one historically. SALSONIC gets to his favourite trip on a suitable surface, and I did Blackbook him off a run at this track a couple of year ago, which I think was in the Guineas. He is another though who will need a hot speed up front and that doesn’t look overly likely.
Again I have managed to confuse myself after form analysis (found more chances than I had hoped), and still might not have mentioned the winner. I’m worried about a slow pace so you could do worse than take a Quinella of Special Missile/Fuchu who might be the first two in running and hard to run down. I’l let the history stats decide my on top pick though and I’ll just hope there is enough pace up front to bring the midfield/backmarker types into it;
- NEW UNIVERSE (History says).
- FUCHU (Doesn’t want any rain).
- FIERCE IMPACT (on last run he wins this).
- SPECIAL MISSILE (might get a soft on pace run).