The Autumn carnival is hotting up with some outstanding performances at both Caulfield and Rosehill last Saturday. Here’s our rundown on the highlights.
- Sunlight 103
- Estijaab 102.3
- Written By 102
A Group 2 in Sydney and a Group 1 in Melbourne, but in terms of overall quality, the status of the respective races didn’t truly represent the abilities of those involved.
The Silver Slipper at Rosehill turned into a super spectacle, with the fillies Sunlight and Estijaab clearing out to space their rivals by more than six lengths.
This race was run at a fast pace for two-year-olds and produced fast overall time. In fact, this is the fastest overall time rating race of the 2YO season so far.
Needless to say, the quinella pair are both outstanding prospects.
In Melbourne’s Blue Diamond, Written By produced a very respectable number, but the quality of those behind him is questionable.
The pace was strong by 2YO standards and the time solid, but in the context of the early speed it wasn’t anything special. When you consider that Written By ran more than 3L slower overall time and 5L slower L600m compared to the 3YO Group 3 race won by Overshare, it puts the performance a little more in perspective. That’s normally not the sign of a genuine top class 2YO race.
That means his rating has been pushed higher than the clock really warrants, leaning more on his dominant margin and the historical standards of the race. For us that always raises a query going forward.
It was a great ride and great win, especially from the barrier, but Written By’s dominance says as much about how moderate those chasing him were on the day.
We’ll wait to see how the form stacks up.
- Kementari: 104
- Pierata: 102
- D’Argento: 101.8
Kementari ran to a slight new peak here, up from 103.5 first up, off the back of a tactically astute ride.
He’s well established now at the pointy end of the three-year-old rankings this season, but Saturday’s race produced a couple of very worthy adversaries for the Godolphin runner when they meet again in the Randwick Guineas in a fortnight.
Both Pierata and D’Argento closed stylishly on Saturday and the latter in particular looks like relishing the 1600m on the big track next time.
They have set the scene for the Randwick Guineas to be an outstanding race.
Can Kementari carry his figure or better to the Randwick Mile? D’Argento made up 2.4L on him in the final 200m on Saturday.
As good as Kementari has been this time around, it’s not a huge stretch to draw a conclusion that one of the others could roll him at the mile next time, especially being over the testing Randwick 1600m.
- Brave Smash 101.7
- Tosen Stardom 100.1
This represents Brave Smash’s second best rating since coming to Australia, behind only the 102.7 he produced in The Everest last October.
It seems likely he is now going to revert back to the shorter course and be given his chance in the Newmarket Handicap at the Flemington straight. Given he ran so well in the Everest at his fourth run last time in, you certainly wouldn’t rule him out in that race.
But his racing style and record from his former life in Japan have us itching to see what he can produce when he does eventually get to the mile in Australia.
Tosen Stardom’s 100.1 looks a perfect platform to peak 3rd up in the 102 to 103.5 range in the G2 Blamey Stakes on 17th March
Humidor returned a very similar rating to what he’s achieved in his previous two first up Australian runs. His 95.8 was in a similar region to his 94.8 in the spring and 96.2 last autumn. In both of those campaigns he went on to Group 1 successes.
- Russian Revolution 103.2
- Snitty Kitty 101.9
- Booker 102
- Hellbent 100.9
Russian Revolution’s rating is consistent with his 103.5 in last year’s Galaxy and about one length off his career peak in last year’s McEwen Stakes (1000m). The constant theme among every one of those ratings is that they have come first up.
His ratings have dropped off a cliff second up in his past two campaigns, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up next. It’s worth pointing out that in his debut prep he was able to improve to new peaks both second and fourth up, so perhaps we can be a little forgiving of that more recent pattern.
Snitty Kitty gave a great sight up front off the wide gate and franked her already accredited status as a smart sprinting mare. The Galaxy in Sydney at the same trip may represent another chance for her to win a Group 1.
Booker is flying this preparation and this was a terrific run out wide. Given she won up to 1400m last prep, the options for her are more widespread than Snitty Kitty.
Hellbent returned his best rating since March 2017, when he went to 102.8 when second to Silent Sedition in the William Reid Stakes. If he can maintain form between his run on Saturday and peak, then he’s a definite chance in the Newmarket Hcp.
Peter Young Stakes
- Gailo Chop 105.5
- Single Gaze 103.5
A new peak for Gailo Chop, up from 105 in the Caulfield Stakes. He’s absolutely airborne! He set a solid speed up front and ran very fast time.
With Humidor on a different path and Tosen Stardom seemingly doing the same, the Australian Cup looks a lovely race for Gailo Chop at this stage of the autumn.
Single Gaze has run a clear new career peak here, chasing as honestly as ever behind the winner.
Hartnell was plain and that’s now the 3rd preparation in a row he has rated lower at his second up run. He’s a long way from the dominant force we saw in the spring of 2016.
Mornington Cup Prelude
- Homesman 100.3
- Almandin 103
Almandin has run an identical first up rating here as to the one he did over 2040m at Moonee Valley in the spring – running second both times.
Notably, he went to a monster 107 second up last spring.
Now if he were to do the same second up this time around, it’s a number that would most likely be winning the Australian Cup. The caveat is that rating came at 2500m – not the 2000m of the Australian Cup, where his peak rating is this 103 mark.
There is a recent precedent of a Melbourne Cup winner claiming the Australian Cup a season later in Shocking, who did the double in 2009 and 2011. Whether Almandin is sharp enough to do that remains to be seen, but he at least adds plenty of interest to this year’s renewal.
Stablemate Homesman made a very encouraging Australian debut in fighting on strongly after Almandin looked to have him cold at the 200m point.
- Silent Sedition 101.4
The blinkers went on, she controlled at a slow speed and sprinted fast to win easily, defying a massive betting drift. Her final sectionals made it near impossible for the others to catch her. A 101 rating is up there with her best, which include a 101.4 over 1500m and the 103 she went to in winning the Group 1 William Reid last year.