The track condition will play a big role in his chances. He can reserve his worst efforts for rain affected tracks. 58Kg is not an issue for him – he is used to carrying similar weights. The 3 gate is ok, but it probably means he will find the rail in running. With a firm track and a clear run, he will put himself in the picture again.
Has won G2 1600m at Ascot and twice placed at G1 over the 1600m in UK. He is a quality horse that overraced in the G1 Cox Plate 2040m at Moonee Valley. He likes to lead or sit close, so his 15 gate will require him to use some fuel early. If he gets a rest at some stage in running, he will give them something to chase in the stretch. Definite chance to atone.
Turn Me Loose
Another leader who will add more pace to this race. He made it two excellent wins on end in the G2 Crystal Mile 1600m at Moonee Valley last start after winning the LR Seymour Cup 1600m. He actually drops in weight here from his last two wins. Wider draw (11) will get him rolling early. The long Flemington straight may test him, but a hat-trick is not beyond him.
Multiple G2 and LR winner over 1600m as a 3yo in Ireland. Had two disappointing starts in UK as a 4yo before being switched to Australia and John O’Shea. His Aussie debut at Moonee Valley in the G2 Crystal Mile 1600 was excellent, hitting the line hard from well back on a leader-biased track. If he produces this form again he is a great chance, and the long Flemington straight should suit.
He doesn’t know how to run a bad race. From 12 starts he has been 1st or 2nd on 11 occasions – and he once ran 4th. His win on soft ground from last in the G3 Guvera Stakes 1400m at Flemington last Saturday was great, but he did get a dream inside run on a track that favoured the rail. Never-the-less, he is incredibly consistent and likely to run in the placings again.
Globe-trotting German galloper that’s best wins are at 2000m. He was the eye-catching run in the G1 McKinnon Stakes 2000m at Flemington last Saturday hitting the line best in that race. He was close to the rail on a track that was biased towards the rail, but the performance was excellent. Provided he has the speed to stay in touch, and gets a clear run in the straight, he will be a big chance. Strong pace in the race will help him.
All his runs in this preparation have been quite good. He has run in G1 races at his last 2 starts and performed well without threatening to win. The 1600m is definitely within his distance sweet-spot, and he is drawn well in gate 6 to get the ideal run. He can run a place.
It’s been 18 months since he last won a race, and he has been struggling to regain his best form. The distance is in his ideal zone, and he has drawn a good gate (4). He has been racing better this preparation than last – only beaten 2.5L in the G1 Epsom Hcp 1600m at Randwick in October, but still finding the win elusive. Close but no cigar.
This race is probably short of his ideal distance. He has never won a high grade 1600m race. At 7yo, age is starting to catch up with him, and he would need to improve on his recent efforts to be competitive here. With his best effort at 1600m, he could place here.
Capable galloper at 1600m in lower grades. He has a great strike-rate, winning or placing at 20 of his 30 starts and almost never misses a cheque. Track bias in the G2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley last start was against him, but his previous start resulted in a win in the LR Weekend Hussler Stakes 1400m at Caulfield. With an ideal run from gate 7, he is a place chance here.
She has been renowned as a sprinter up to 1200m until last start when she powered home at 1600m in the G1 Myer Stakes for the fillies and mares at Flemington last Saturday. On that performance she comes into calculation here. This field is stronger than the Myer, but she is having a stellar preparation and is improving with each run. Hard to rate but harder to dismiss.
Sons Of John
This horse has improved a lot this preparation. His 3rd placing behind Winx in the G1 Epsom Hcp at Randwick in October was his best effort to date, and he carries 3.5kg less here. Last start in the G2 Crystral Mile 1600m at Moonee Valley saw him strike interference and it might pay to overlook that run. His is challenged by the class here.
She hasn’t won since she was 3yo and racing against her own age. She has never won at 1600m either but her last 2 starts have been in fillies and mares group races over 1600m and she has performed well. Against all-comers here I think she is tested, and her wide gate (16) will add further difficulty.
He will find the class here a big challenge. He hasn’t won at 1600m and he hasn’t won since his 3yo year. Even with his light weight (52.5kg) I think this race is beyond him.
Returned to the winners list last start after not having won for a year. 1600m is at the upper limit of her capability, and she will find the class here a big challenge. Even on her best form, I think this field has her covered.
He Or She
He is having a great preparation and is unbeaten at 1600m in lower grades. A former West Australian galloper now with Hayes and Dabernig, he produced his best effort to date last start at Caulfield in a BM90 race. He is stepping into the ring with some top class horses here, and he may find that daunting at his first try. He is a horse on the improve, but this will be too tough.
G1 - The Bet365 Celebration Steeple Chase (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gold Cup Steeple Chase (handicap) (class 1)
G1 - Aes Champion 4yo Hdle
Grade B - Setanta Sport H'cap Hdle
Grade B - Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe H'cap Chase