The three consecutive days of Group 1 racing left us with no shortage of talking points this week and plenty of intelligence to be taken from those races looking ahead to even bigger races in coming weeks. Here is a quick look at the key performers over the weekend.
SHE WILL REIGN 101.5
There’s plenty of hype about her regarding the Everest now, but the objective merit in this win is still well below the approximate 106 figure that will be needed to win the $10million race.
When you consider there were seven horses within 2L and the 2nd horse Viddora was very unlucky, the rating is consistent with what that other logic tells us.
On the flipside, there is subjective merit in She Will Reign’s win, which suggest the performance carried more merit than the 101.5 figure. Sectionals do say she might be better over 1100-1200m, she lost some speed from not handling the final turn all that well and did circle the field in arguably a slightly inferior part of the track. Allowing for that, we could subjectively put her at 103-104 maximum, which is thereabouts in The Everest, but in our eyes a false $4.60 favourite.
This was a dynamic win, with an outstanding turn of foot and sectional speed. She’s showing indicators that suggest she’s even better than a 102.2 horse, potentially in the 104-105 range.
She has kept improving as the distance of her races increased and this figure sits strongly alongside some of the top Flight performances we have seen over the years. A very exciting filly for the future.
IN HER TIME 104.5
CLEARLY INNOCENT 101.8
After two luckless Group 1 runs in Brisbane, In Her Time returned here with a new career peak. We need to note she probably did benefit from all favours in the run, but it was still a quality sprint performance.
On this number, you have to say she’s probably unlucky not to get a spot in The Everest. She’s much better qualified than some of the others that have secured a start.
English is on track for the Everest now and was outstanding to make up so much ground from back off a below average speed. She has a series of numbers that can make her competitive.
Clearly Innocent made a nice return and we know he does improve second up. He will need to do that in order to be competitive in the Everest, but with a peak of 106.5 though, he has the talent.
Chautauqua ran almost identically to first up, but finished further away due to the strength of this race. He’ll no doubt peak on Everest Day, but does need to improve significantly and that combined with his get back style is making him look a little vulnerable for the big race.
HAPPY CLAPPER 104.9
TOM MELBOURNE 100
This was an almost identical rating to the one he ran to in the George Main behind Winx and he is a deserved Group 1 winner now. It will be interesting to see where Pat Webster takes him next. The $500k Craven Plate over 2000m under WFA conditions looks at his mercy.
Tom Melbourne’s rating was identical to his previous start and seems to have peaked at that level for the time being. We think more positive tactics could take him to that next level.
BIG DUKE 102.3
He was the highest rated horse out of the Metrop. Money said he’d run a big race and he clearly stepped up from his last start 96.7
He has a peak of 103 and is probably better if he can get some rain.
He still needs to lift to be a big factor in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, but if he could improve 1.5L to a 105 rating then he could be very competitive down in the weights.
Thousand Guineas Prelude
The difference in weights creates slightly different ratings to finish positions and leaves Catchy as the highest rated. She gave Booker 3.5kg in weight and went down by 0.5L
Catchy continues to hover around the 101.5 mark and while she’s not making the improvement we expected of her at this stage, she still holds an edge over the other Fillies in Victoria if they were to meet on level weights.
An interesting angle out of this race is that the late speed rating was moderate, with none of them really hitting the line hard like 1600m will be ideal, so the Thousand Guineas still looks wide open.
We understand it is still the intention for Catchy to take on the boys in the Caulfield Guineas. Her ratings are up to a similar mark to what we are seeing from the colts and geldings, so no doubt she can be very competitive.
Caulfield Guineas Prelude – Sectional Analysis
SUMMER PASSAGE 100.1
ROYAL SYMPHONY 95.2
What a difference to the near record speed of the Golden Rose!. Perast went around 15L slower here to the 600m and ran to a new peak.
Summer Passage and Perast shared the lead and ran the quinella, aided by a big slow down between the 800m and 600m and then especially the 600m to 400m when the speed would normally be close to the race peak.
The speed in this section of the race was significantly slower than any other race on the day. It ended up a big sprint home over the last 400m, so it’s little wonder those off the speed couldn’t run the leaders down. The leaders went 12.04 secs from the 600 to 400m and then had a big speed increase running 11.11 from the 400m-200m.
In some respects the jockeys back in the field erred by not taking off sooner / more aggressively. The lack of speed from the 800m to 600m and then continuing inside that mark should have been a trigger for those chasing to take off and clock much faster speed between the 600m and 400m. Most made some ground on the leaders, but still only clocked a moderate fractions and then finished the last 400m full of running, with energy in reserve.
Royal Symphony’s rating was well down on his last start 100.5. We did say last start that the race shape flattered his win and this time he got stronger opposition with an unsuitable race shape and he didn’t look the same horse. This is the issue with horses that are consistently a long way back in the field.
That said, he still ran well enough and can win the Caulfield Guineas if he strikes a more genuine pace, but that distinct get back style is a big risk.
Kementari’s effort in the way he achieved his 98 rating says he may peak in the Guineas – but it will need to be a clear new peak to win.
The Caulfield Guineas looks a wide open race!
Bonneval’s number is up on her first up 101.7 and equals what she did in the Oaks at Randwick. She’s progressing perfectly for the Cups in a stable that knows how to peak them on the big day.
Plenty has been made about the tactics adopted on Hartnell, but it was a solidly run race so he was well enough suited and not good enough.
After a promising 105 first up, he’s rated down and couldn’t win a Caulfield Cup on his current form with 58kg. It will be interesting to see if the stable press onto that race or choose a different path.
Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
SANTA ANA LANE 98.5
This was an equal career peak, but well down on the ratings we typically see in G1 races, which highlights the difference between WFA quality horses and those best suited under handicap conditions.
At 98.5 (normalised to WFA) Santa Ana Lane wouldn’t get close to genuine Group class WFA horses, but under handicap conditions, down on the limit in a race like this he was able to secure a big win.
That’s one of the appealing aspects of Australian racing, which has a number of Group 1 handicap races and why recent changes implemented (notably for the Cups) threaten that aspect of racing.