On the All Star Mile weekend, we saw some glimpses of horses that might be worth keeping an eye on in terms of long-range Melbourne Cup forecasts.
One of those was the former Darren Weir stayer Red Cardinal, who won his second race on the trot in Saturday’s Group 3 Sky High Stakes over 2000m, on a very wet Heavy 10 at Rosehill.
2017 Belmont Gold Cup winner Red Cardinal makes it two in a row, as he takes the Sky High Stakes (G3) at Rosehill. pic.twitter.com/oHzCtfQgkj
— TVG (@TVG) March 16, 2019
New trainer Kris Lees says the former European galloper has earned a crack at the 3200m Sydney Cup.
Red Cardinal is proven over the distance and loves the sting out of the ground, and now, obviously has a liking for the right-handed way of going.
Chris Waller’s new acquisition Verry Elleegant also won in convincing fashion at Rosehill, dispatching a good field in the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes, also over 2000m.
VERRY ELLEEGANT was just too classy in the G2 Phar Lap Stakes!
Could we see her during The Championships abasing the boys in the G1 Australian Derby (Apr 5) and/or in the G1 Australian Oaks (Apr 12)?https://t.co/8pBbdEtvZ2 pic.twitter.com/tEy02RfDuc
— Sky Racing World (@SkyRacingWorld) March 17, 2019
Waller’s next assignment with the former Kiwi filly is the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes and then on to the ATC Australian Oaks.
Whether she retains James McDonald as her rider remains to be seen.
The two fillies she beat: Seabrook and Aristia are also on track for the Australian Oaks, which has the makings of a very good line-up.
New Zealand Oaks – Trentham
If you managed to score the trifecta in Saturday’s Group 1 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham, then you would’ve walked away with $36,000 on the Victorian tote.
The winner Sentimental Miss was paying $21’s, with second place getter Beyond The Fort (stable mate of Auckland Cup winner Glory Days) and third place getter Star Karen adding to the long odds.
A daughter of Reliable Man, this is the first group 1 winner for the NZ based sire.
Bred to stay, it will be interesting to see what her future plans are, considering other top mares such as Princess Coup, Fanatic, Bonneval and Savvy Coup have all graduated onto higher honours after winning this race.
Andrew Ramsden Stakes
One race we seem to have overlooked from a Melbourne Cup perspective is the Andrew Ramsden Stakes, a listed race run at Flemington in the last week of May.
This used to be known as the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes, run over 3200m, but these days the race is shortened to 2800m and is confined to 3, 4 and 5 year old’s only.
It is one of 5 races set up as a ballot exempt direct qualifier to the Melbourne Cup, along with the Bart Cummings, Caulfield Cup, W.S Cox Plate and the Lexus Stakes (or Hotham Handicap).
Last year, the race was won by the Waterhouse/Bott stayer Runaway, who not only started in last year’s Melbourne Cup, but also won the Group 3 Geelong Cup the week before.
So, the concept of pre-qualifying a horse is a good one for trainers to have a think about, especially being 6 months out from November.
My only query is leaving it till late in the season, with only Queensland Group races left to be run in June, and with the anticipation of wet weather and a heavy track at Flemington.
Furore – Hong Kong Derby
Of interest from last night, was the victory of former Kiwi bred and Australian raced galloper Furore to win the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Furore was last seen in Australia running sixth behind Levendi in last year’s ATC Australian Derby.
Another former Australian in the race was last year’s Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream, who was just overtaken on the line to finish fourth.
Not that it will happen, but because the quarantine restrictions between Hong Kong and Australia have now eased, maybe that will give connections of horses up there in HKG some food for thought about nominating their horses for some of the rich races down in Australia during the Spring.
It will also give them enough time to get back to Hong Kong for December’s rich Longines International Day.
Stranger things have happened, and anything can happen within six months!
Wouldn’t it be good to see Beauty Generation running in The Golden Eagle?
This Saturday at Rosehill
All eyes will be on Rosehill again with the running of five Group 1 races; the Golden Slipper, The Galaxy, George Ryder Stakes, Rosehill Guineas and the Ranvet Stakes.
It is Sydney’s equivalent of VRC Derby Day.
I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be another wet Saturday, as it was last weekend, indeed as it was last year when Estijaab won the Slipper in the wet.
In terms of Melbourne Cup indicators, the two races we should watch out for are the Rosehill Guineas and the Ranvet Stakes.
It looks highly likely that boom colt The Autumn Sun will line up in the Guineas, but he’ll be lined up against Kiwi Madison County who ran an eye-catching fourth in the Randwick Guineas, and who will relish the wet track and 2000m distance after being away from the racetrack for 6 weeks.
In the Ranvet, all eyes will be on the former English galloper with Kiwi connections: Eminent, who we wrote about a few weeks back.
Personally, I don’t think he’ll feature in the placings as his UK form of late wasn’t flash, and he won’t be as seasoned as some of his Australian based rivals.
He might appreciate the wet track more than most, so it will still be good to keep an eye on him while keeping your punting money safe.
The Winx Factor
Let’s not forget Winx in the George Ryder Stakes.
It’s a big field nominated, 23 at last count on Monday, so perhaps some of these rival trainers are having a last throw at the stumps before her retirement?
The wet track could be the leveller though.
Will we get another epic commentary from Darren Flindell?
Keep reading KRUZEY’s Melbourne Cup 2019 Watch as we continue to count down the weeks and months before the first Tuesday in November for 2019.