AUSSIES LOVE SPORT…AND WINNERS!
The G2 Stan Fox Stakes has been captured by champions including Octagonal and his own star son Lonhro, and although not universally recognized as a “Stallion-Making” race, it certainly has some credentials to that claim.
The late Stan Fox, a leviathan owner-breeder himself, would have found two runners in this race particularly appealing as they are representing stallions that took the Thoroughbred breeding world by storm last season, Sebring and his late barn-mate, Northern Meteor.
While Sebring’s dual stakes winning son Criterion (currently Fixed Odds $5 with tab.com.au) is sure to appreciate the drop in class and the 1500m trip, his recent efforts have been disappointing. Astute trainer David Payne has opted to remove the blinkers in the hope of an improved performance and if he can regain his Autumn dash, Criterion must be given a great chance of winning.
Northern Meteor’s son Eurozone ($3.20) looked to be a star in the making when winning his first three races including The Rosebud at Listed level. On that occasion he defeated Dissident who has since performed creditably at the top level, so the form line is encouraging. It’s also interesting to note that co-trainers Bart and James Cummings have aborted plans to head to the Caulfield Guineas in a fortnight, which may be an indication he will be better suited in tomorrows encounter.
But for mine, and on breeding alone, the standout is the Gai Waterhouse prepared Aussies Love Sport , who has been installed as a $1.80 favourite with tab.com.au.
This colt is a true blueblood in every sense of the word, being by the incomparable Redoute’s Choice out of Miss Jakeo, a proven performer on the track herself, who has since produced Mrs Onassis, the winner of the 2013 G1 Oakleigh Plate, as well as three other Stakes winners.
Aussies Love Sport was a brilliant winner of the Ming Dynasty on September 7 (co-incidentally, Lonhro also claimed the Ming Dynasty-Stan Fox double) before bypassing the Golden Rose. The only runner coming off a Stakes victory, he will appreciate the 1500m journey, and in his four starts since a spell, he is yet to finish further back than 4th.
The remaining three runners could best be described as unknown quantities which only add to the punters lament.
Bodega Negra ($21), trained on the Gold Coast by Bruce Hill, has had just 3 career starts, but astute judges were suitably impressed by his dominant win at Doomben two starts back over 1350m to suggest he is a genuine chance of winning. Inexperience cost the Hidden Dragon gelding dearly at his next run when finishing third, but it’s interesting to note that the in-form riding prodigy James McDonald has been engaged on Saturday, and Bodega Negra could prove to be the surprise packet.
The New Zealand bred Best Case is also progressing through the grades. He’s a full brother to the talented Strike the Stars and the Anthony Cummings – Peter Robl combination is a formidable one. Anthony has elected to add blinkers to the son of Savabeel and the stable does have high expectations for him in future campaigns.
Which leaves the Patinack owned Desk Pop rounding out the field of six. At his first run back from a spell, the Tale of the Cat colt finished down the track at Warwick Farm, and for mine, he would have to stage a massive form reversal to have any chance of winning.
With just six horses set to do battle in the Group 2 event, every galloper will be afforded his chance, but it’s difficult to tip against the favourite.
I have Aussies Love Sport on top ahead of Criterion; Bodega Negra can run a big race at succulent odds, and I can’t completely dismiss the talented Eurozone.
You can catch all the action of the G2 Stan Fox Stakes on Sky Racing, with the race set to jump at 1.30pm AEST.
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