Group 1 racing returns to Sandown for first time in 25 years: Spring racing talking points

With three Group 1s across the country this weekend, the spring carnival hits a new level and there’s plenty to discuss on both sides of the Murray. Golden Group 1 The Golden Rose signals the first proper Group 1 of the season. Apart from Behemoth who was somewhat set for the Memsie Stakes, the other […]

Group 1 racing returns to Sandown for first time in 25 years: Spring racing talking points

With three Group 1s across the country this weekend, the spring carnival hits a new level and there’s plenty to discuss on both sides of the Murray.

Golden Group 1
The Golden Rose signals the first proper Group 1 of the season. Apart from Behemoth who was somewhat set for the Memsie Stakes, the other Group 1s so far this season have been taken out by gallopers with loftier aims later in the spring. The Golden Rose is a target race and has attracted another strong field of three-year-olds where Anamoe will look to cement his position as the country’s best three-year-old.

We are going to have to wait a while though before we know the true depth of the current crop with none locked in for an Everest slot (yet) or a Cox Plate run. Profiteer is set to become the first horse to take on the older horses in a Group 1 (though not the A-graders on Friday night which will provide some insight into the where the three-year-olds rank .

Return to prominence for Sandown
Group 1 racing is not only returning to Rosehill, but also Sandown (for the first time in 25 years). It is a shame that the raceday will be overshadowed, to an extent, by the build up to the AFL grand final and that it comes at the cost of losing the Zipping Classic meeting, once a strong community and family-oriented event.

It is also disappointing that very little money has been on facilities for spectators and participants since its inception in the 1960s. There has been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Sandown and the current MRC board’s desire to continually pump money into Caulfield only strengthens this. Hopefully the Underwood Stakes shift is a sign that racing at Sandown is here to stay and not merely a red herring.

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Middle distance rethink
While it will be exciting to see Zaaki step up in distance on Saturday, it is extremely disappointing that only four other horses accepted for the Underwood Stakes. Next week’s Turnbull Stakes will attract a larger field, but I daresay the Might and Power Stakes (formerly the Caulfield Stakes) will struggle to surpass five runners.

Gone are the days that horses run in the Memsie, Craiglee, Feehan, Underwood, Turnbull and Caulfield Stakes in the lead up to the key spring features given the influx of northern hemisphere bloodlines and trainers’ desires for more spaced preparations.

However, the pattern should allow for the superstars to line up against each other more often and it’s not like this is a new issue. Northerly and Sunline only clashed once outside of Cox Plates (2001 Feehan Stakes) and it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Zaaki and Verry Elleegant won’t clash until October 23.

Share the Group 1 love
While all four Melbourne metropolitan tracks now host Group 1s, it is a different story in Sydney. The Warwick Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes, Canterbury Stakes are all now run at Randwick, highlighting the shift of high-class racing away from Warwick Farm and Canterbury (even the Liverpool City Cup is run at Randwick).

I definitely think there needs to be more of an attempt to run stakes races at these tracks and provide each with at least one marquee raceday. I definitely think there’s potential for a decent night meeting at Canterbury to complement the Manikato Stakes meeting, which both spectators and punters would support.

Horse power at Mount Panorama
We would normally be a few weeks away from the Bathurst 1000, but this Sunday the town hosts its showcase racing meeting. Once again, the Bathurst Cup will be overshadowed by the Mount Panorama, an $80,000 sprint with a potential place in the Kosciuszko up for grabs. Based on the nominations, it looks to have attracted a strong field and vindicates the club’s decision to introduce the concept.

Source : The Roar Horse Racing More   

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Harness racing selections: Thursday, September 23

Two meetings to look at on Thursday, with Redcliffe and Tabcorp Park Melton getting my focus. Down below are your best bets for the respective programs. Redcliffe Best bet: Race 1, Number 3, Dancing With My Ex Let us down last Thursday when leading and being run down late, but keen to butter up because […]

Harness racing selections: Thursday, September 23

Two meetings to look at on Thursday, with Redcliffe and Tabcorp Park Melton getting my focus. Down below are your best bets for the respective programs.

Redcliffe

Best bet: Race 1, Number 3, Dancing With My Ex
Let us down last Thursday when leading and being run down late, but keen to butter up because this race looks just as thin as what he faced last week. Led from the pole last Thursday and looked home, but was bloused late. Looks to lead again and prove hard to get past.

Next-best: Race 3, Number 1, Shes All Star
This is a pretty thin race so I’m confident this former NSW pacer can make a winning debut in the sunshine state. Hasn’t set the world on fire in recent times, but comes up with a pole draw and finds a race with little to no depth. Extremely hard to beat if she can hold a spot from the gate.

Value: Race 7, Number 1, Maggie
Started $4.20 first up, so not sure what price we’ll get for her. I’m hoping for around $6-$7, but I’d say that’s unlikely. I still think each way, she’s a great bet. Just looked in need of the run fresh.

Comes up with a much better barrier and provided she has improved from the resumption, which you assume she has and will, she’ll take beating.

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Tabcorp Park Melton

Best bet: Race 3, Number 4, He’s Charlies Angel
Either the debut was just a one off, or he could be a potential star. The debut win at Cobram was something else. Did work but gave them a spanking, ran a sizzling last half and won with a bit in hand. He could be one right out of the box and is the standout on the program.

Next-best: Race 1, Number 10, Stunning I Am
Hit and miss, but her best is certainly good enough to beat these. Plain I thought last start at Stawell after seemingly getting every chance from behind the leader. Perhaps she is a momentum horse, and she likely gets the drag up behind the favourite. Plus, with Chris Alford steering, she has a bit going for her.

Value: Race 6, Number 1, Stormtide
Happy to speck this four-year-old at a price. Dragged back from a wide gate when racing here last time out and was good late when a close up fourth. Gets a much better draw this time around and can sit much closer in the run. If he reproduces the effort from last start, he’ll take beating.

Source : The Roar Horse Racing More   

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