THE Coolmore Classic was the only race in Australia to carry Group 1 status at the weekend, but it was a good margin from being the race that produced the biggest numbers.
In fact, Daysee Doom wasn’t even the highest rated mare to win in Australia on Saturday. That honour fell to a couple of less heralded mares from the airborne Darren Weir yard.
Speaking of Weir, his proven topliner Humidor recorded the highest rating of the week in winning the Blamey Stakes, where stablemate Tosen Stardom turned in a shocker and was a beaten favourite for the second time in as many years in that race.
The two-year-olds rounded out the Golden Slipper picture with Written By and Sunlight retaining (even firming – for the time being) their spots atop the betting charts for this Saturday’s blockbuster. But the numbers they recorded painted a different picture compared to what the market assessors came up with.
- Daysee Doom 101
- Silent Sedition 100.9
Daysee Doom has been one of Australia’s most consistent mares over the past 18 months and it’s hard to begrudge her a Group 1 win. There was plenty of hard luck stories behind her, but she carried 57kg and jumped from barrier 14 so it’s hard to be too sympathetic for many others. To illustrate her consistency, she’s run to a WPR figure of 95 or more in 12 of her past 14 runs, with a 93.5 being the ‘worst’ of the two she failed to reach that mark.
After maxing out at a tick over 97 in all of her previous runs, she’s gone to a new level in running to 101 here.
Silent Sedition ran a blinder in this race for the second year in a row. She’s pretty much matched the number she ran to at her previous start and it’s just short of the 101.4 she ran in this race last year. Remember, off that race, she came back to 1200m and won the Group 1 William Reid with a 103, so there’s scope for her to rate higher yet this time around.
- Written By 102.8
- Sandbar 102.4
- Sunlight 98
- Cristobal 95
Times and sectionals pointed to Written By being a far superior performance to Sunlight at Rosehill on Saturday and that’s the way it’s played out in our WPR figures.
Off the back of his 102 in the Blue Diamond, Written By has extended himself a touch further here to produce 102.8 at his Sydney debut. He showed some serious substance on the clock in this race, which was lacking from previous runs.
That puts him into the Golden Slipper as the holder of the best last start rating and on a par with Estijaab as the only 2yo to run to 102 twice so far this season.
The Pago Pago was also noteworthy for the performance of Sandbar, who needs Encryption to be a non-runner to secure his place in the field.
If that happens, he’s right in the game off this rating, where he made Written By work overtime to secure the win. The query is that previous best in three runs was his second start win at 94.4, so was Saturday a sign of genuine improvement or an over-achievement that is likely to result in a natural regression?
Sunlight is the Slipper conundrum. She’s come well off her established peak to put up a 98 here after having to dig deep to fend off Cristobal. That’s somewhat lackluster compared to her three previous ratings of 103, 101.5 and 101.
Out of all the leading Slipper contenders, she is the one that’s had more hard racing than any of them, so there is some query as to whether that’s now caught up with her. On the other hand, perhaps it will prove a masterful sense of timing by Trainer Tony McEvoy to rebound to a new peak on the day.
She did back up to win the Magic Millions and McEvoy has chosen the same path here, but in her final MM lead-up, she ran a 101 and then improved marginally to 101.5 in the Millions. She’s going to need a bigger leap than that this time if she’s to become the fourth horse – and first filly – to complete the MM-Slipper double.
Sunlight typifies how difficult it is to form a confident opinion on this year’s Golden Slipper.
- Humidor 103.5
- Hellova Street 100.5
- Cool Chap 99.4
Everyone is fully aware of Humidor’s undoubted talent, showcased best when he stretched Winx in running a 109.4 in last year’s Cox Plate.
It took him three runs to hit triple figures in the spring and he’s been able to do it just second up this autumn – although the common denominator in those two figures is the Flemington mile.
He regressed after his Makybe Diva spike in the spring until he got to the Cox Plate, so it will be interesting to see what he produces next.
It would seem the Doncaster is a possible next stop off, where he will face a big task at the weights and staying at the mile. But it also seems likely he will then back up into the Queen Elizabeth Stakes the following week – with Darren Weir using the same formula that almost brought Winx undone in the Cox Plate.
THE ‘OTHER’ MARES
- Whispering Brook 102
- Quilista 102
Whispering Brook had her first run for Darren Weir and promptly broke a drought that stretched back to April 2016 and produced her best rating since September 2016 in romping away with a Listed race at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Quilista debuted for Weir last spring and was very good first up before disappointing a number of times in subsequent runs.
This time around she’s found more consistency, twice running to 96.4 (better than any of her spring runs) before spiking up the Flemington straight on Saturday.
At 102 both of these Mares are up there with the best in the Country (well, bar one!) and if they can hold that form they’ll be strong chance in any races Weir chooses for them.
Their improvement was the tip of the iceberg for a Weir stable that is starting to take off! They had 8 winners from 29 runners in Metro races last week (27.5% SR and +28% POT). 45% of those runners ran to a new rating peak for the current racing season.
- Cliff’s Edge 100
- Levendi 98
The Alister Clark looked a perfect set up for Cliff’s Edge and he bounced back strongly after being torched from a wide gate in the Australian Guineas.
He’s well established at this level now, having gone to 100 or slightly better four times in his career.
The challenge for him is whether he’s capable of improving on his 100.5 peak, which he will need to do if he’s to crack it for a Group 1 win in the future.
Levendi has gone to a slight new peak at his first 2000m attempt, eclipsing the 97.4 he ran to in winning last November’s Carbine Club Stakes.
Both are nominated for the Rosehill Guineas this Saturday.