Race 1: Maiden 1600m
I don’t fancy anything.
Race 2: Maiden 1600m
This is complicated by the fact that neither of the market principals have been the trip. There are also unexposed sorts who are bred to relish the extra, so it’s not totally impossible to get a boilover, but I am going for an expected result.
#4 INTOXICATING (14-10) has only run against winners to date. She’s admittedly received weight against them, but she’s been close up to horses who’ve competed in Grade 1’s and one would think she surely has to be good enough to win a maiden now. Her dam won 6 races up to 1800m and she has siblings who’ve won over this trip and further, so the distance should bring out the best in her. One of my cardinal betting rules is to not take short prices about horses going up in trip so I won’t be backing her, but I do make her the one to beat.
#6 GREGARIOUS GAL (3-1) is by German sire Areion (Sire comment:high-class German sprinter at 3-5, brother to Agnetha; prolific source of winners in Germany) out of a dam who won in Germany. I don’t know much more about the breeding than that. She gave a heavily supported runner a fright on debut when a good 2nd before being trounced in her 2nd start. Neither of those formlines have worked out well, but she’s shown enough to be competitive in this field if the step up to 1600m does suit her. Her stable is in hot form and have a win strike rate of 30% this season (2 winners on Thursday). I certainly respect her chances.
#’s 7, 8 and 9 are all unexposed sorts who could improve stepping up in trip based on their breeding, but they do need to show significant improvement for the step up in trip in order to threaten the selection.
I don’t like #’s 1,2 or 3.
SELECTION: 4; respect for 6
Race 3: 80 Handicap 1600m
I don’t like either of the outsiders #’s 1 or 7, but all of the other runners look competitive here and I don’t fancy anything.
Race 4: SA Sales Cup (Fillies) 1450m
Due to the races that she has contested to date, the handicapper has been unable to give #2 FEATHER BOA (14-10) an accurate official rating. The horse who beat her last time (Orarari Gold, received 3kgs) officially went to a 101 after that win, which makes FEATHER BOA at least a 105. She’s beaten Canadian Summer in a Sales race and that one went on to win a Grade 1 (now rated 104) which confirms that FB should be a 105. She’s far better suited to this 1450m than the 1200m of her last run, a race she looked to have a hard task giving away weight to the field. The level weights conditions of this race make it very tough for most of this field to be competitive and I make #2 FEATHER BOA the one to beat.
#6 MRS BROWN (5-1) quickened well late on debut after finding some interference in running. It was an extremely weak field, but she won going away and this full sister to Aragosta is likely to be looking for a lot further in time. She’s unexposed and it wouldn’t be a total shock if she were to win, but her breeding does suggest this trip should be too short for her against this sort of opposition.
#8 FOLLOW THE FLOW (10-1) is out of a dam who had decent ability, but she doesn’t have an easy task against these rivals.
I tipped #1 MISS DAISY (22-10) to win last time when she was a comfortable winner, but the low weight and the way the race was likely to pan out was why I went for her. I don’t see any of those advantages for her this time and I don’t think she really wants to go this trip either. For me her rating is too high at 105 (more like 100) and I don’t think she can beat #2 at level weights, so I’M AGAINST HER.
Race 5: SA Sales Cup (Colts and Geldings) 1450m
Too many unexposed sorts for me to have any strong opinion.
Race 6: Grade 2 1450m
#5 DESERT MIRACLE (22-10 has been rested for 7 months, but this stable brings them back fit and she’s always looked best at this sort of trip. Her stamina has looked stretched in her races over further, but she looked high class prior to those attempts and I expect her to come back firing. She has a wide draw to overcome, but the spur is set at 10,5m and that probably means they’ll come towards the outside rail so I’m not too concerned about it. She’s first choice despite the negatives.
#10 GIMME A SHOT (5-2) is the sole 3 yr old representative. 3 yr olds have won this in the last two years and they finished 2nd, 4th and 5th in 2019, so this filly clearly needs to be taken seriously. This filly has far less experience than the previous 3 yr old winners, but that also means there could be a lot of upside in her rating and she has to be respected with just 51,5kgs. She needs to prove herself over the trip, but her dam won over 1800m which does offer hope she’ll get it. She wasn’t beaten far by the unbeaten Gobsmacked last time and shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.
#1 BIG BURN (28-10) won this is a 3 yr old last year. She’s changed stables since her last run, but she’ll be fit despite a 2 month rest and she’s a big runner here.
Not easy to separate them, especially with Desert Miracle returning after such a long rest, but I’m plumping for her to make a winning return. Exotic bets would require all 3, but I don’t fancy anything else to upset.
Race 7: Grade 2: 1450m
#8 WILLIAM ROBERTSON(12-10) showed good improvement as a late 3 yr old, culminating in a 2nd in the Grade 1 Mercury Sprint. He looked to have a tough task giving 10kgs to his field last time, but he acquitted himself well, running on from behind after being squeezed between runners out the gates.The 1 draw should allow him to be perfectly placed throughout and the weight conditions of this race means he should have the measure of his older rivals.
#11 MERCANTOUR(5-1) carries just 51kgs as a 3 yr old and the 3 yr olds are competitive in these races at these weight terms. He is by Var out of a Western Winter mare, so there could be some question marks as to his ability to get this trip. However, he did run well when giving weight to the field over 1400m and he did find some interference that day, so it’s it’s far too early to be able to say he doesn’t stay this far.
SELECTION: 8, but I definitely respect the 3yr old 11.
Race 8: Middle Stakes 1800m
I don’t fancy anything here.
Race 9: 76 Handicap 1800m
An open race, but I do think that the only 3 yr old #8 POET’S WARRIOR(7-1) could follow up on his maiden win. His time was only 0,27 secs slower than that of Raiseahallelujah who won the 96 Handicap on the same day and that one was completing a hattrick, so in a MR 76 here he could definitely be competitive. The aggressive tactics used after his gelding paid dividends as he skipped away from his field, never to be sighted again and I expect similar tactics here. The drop back to 1800m is not going to hurt his cause. His stable is in sterling form, so he looks the value play in the race.