Yard to the Post @ Chipping Norton Stakes Day
Race Day: Royal Randwick on Saturday, 25 February 2017
A low pressure system settled off the coast of Sydney today, sending a steady stream of showers to rain on WINX's parade at Royal Randwick.
The weather impacted the crowd, only a small number braving the wet, but it didn't change the result. Sydney's glamour girl of racing won her fifteenth straight in very boggy conditions.
Right from the jump it looked good for her, despite a late drift out from $1.10 to $1.22, settling behind her main rival HARTNELL travelling three wide behind the leaders. In the end HARTNELL couldn't sustain his effort and WINX was left to run down a very brave LASQUETI SPIRIT, with crowd favourite WHO SHOT THEBARMAN staying on into third up the inside.
The track pattern fooled both analysts and jockeys, the inside ground proving to be better despite the rail being back in the true. Jason Collett showed where the fast lane was in the Group 2 Surround Stakes, streaking up the inside on Kiwi LA BELLA DIOSA, who got a break on the very impressive OMEI SWORD.
After going very hard in the lead on CHETWOOD earlier in the day, Tim Clark made amends on adaptable mare DIXIE BLOSSOMS, who stacked them up and kicked clear in the Group 2 Guy Walter.
A full review will be complete Sunday 5pm, the team are conducting a detailed analysis of the track bias.
Jump to Races
|Conditions||SOFT 7 to HEAVY 10|
Tim Clark finds the best passage
|1||Dark Eyes||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||5||59.0|
|2||Montauk||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||3||60.0|
|3||Hogmanay||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||55.5|
In The Running
DARK EYES took up the running from HOGMANAY outside him with ZAUNKONIG in the box seat. MOST EXALTED and KING'S OFFICER back to last. A STEADY tempo was set, DARK EYES getting rolling into the turn and edging off the rails (the jockeys didn't know the bias yet).
DARK EYES (1st) kicked into the straight and got well clear to win, from MONTAUK (2nd) chasing a bit wider on the track. HOGMANAY (3rd) and ZAUNKONIG (4th) plugged on a few lengths behind the winner. MARGINS 3.8L x 0.2L x 0.1L. TIME 2:09.63 / 36.46 (STEADY tempo)
An odd race to analyse, Tim Clark gave DARK EYES a perfect ride and was in the better ground (little did he know at the time). He's in great form up in distance and put a clear margin on them. Even closer to the rails would have been better for ZAUNKONIG and HOGMANAY chasing, but Angland and Bowman were right to think that it was 'quicksand' down there after previous meetings with the rail true. MONTAUK did about as much as he could, while MOST EXALTED and KING'S OFFICER had excuses again (tempo against, bias against!). They could come up good odds next start. Forgive MOST EXALTED and KING'S OFFICER.
Rachael Murray takes a mudlark for a spin
|1||Mr Spin||Mick John O'Neill||Ms Rachael Murray||4||57.5|
|2||Trying||Norm Gardner||Jason Collett||9||57.5|
|3||Ruthless Agent||Kurt Goldman||Brenton Avdulla||1||58.5|
In The Running
LIPPY AND PEARLS took up the running at a FAIR tempo after doing some early work, from KISS IN THE DARK on her outside. GRAND ROUGE and RUTHLESS AGENT just behind them. GLITRA was stuck wide with no cover. RUTHLESS AGENT cut up the inside on the turn and took over, while TRYING and MR SPIN improved up the rails from last as the pack fanned.
TRYING moved up on the inside with MR SPIN before Collett took the horse wider to make it's run, MR SPIN (1st) continuing up the inside and got the win from a gallant TRYING (2nd). RUTHLESS AGENT (3rd) with a big margin back to the rest led by GRAND ROUGE (4th). MARGINS 1.3L x 2L x 7.6L. TIME 1:38.80 / 37.90
Two different races! The top three cut up the inside and broke right away while the others struggled, showing us how strong the NEAR RAILS bias was. Collett will be cursing himself he came wider on TRYING once in the straight, Rachael Murray taking advantage and driving straight up the better ground to win on outsider MR SPIN ($31). RUTHLESS AGENT good from closer to the pace. GRAND ROUGE (4th, wide on turn) and GLITRA (9th) had no chance from where they were. GLITRA lost a plate [vet: lost off-hind plate].Forgive GRAND ROUGE and GLITRA.
Barrier 1 is as sweet as Honey
|1||One More Honey||John P Thompson||Jay Ford||1||55.5|
|2||Arctic Angel||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Ms Kathy O'Hara||10||55.5|
|3||Teaspoon||Michael Freedman||Hugh Bowman||5||55.5|
In The Running
ARTIC ANGEL sped to the lead and set a STRONG tempo from GREATER GOOD and ONE MORE HONEY on the rails. TEASPOON was wider on the track and SONGLIKE four wide no cover. MELIBOEA keen in the run back in the pack.
ARTIC ANGEL (2nd) looked the winner until tiring late, ONE MORE HONEY (1st) coming off her heels to win. TEASPOON (3rd) brave chasing from out wider. TORVILL (4th) holding ground near the inside. MARGINS 1L x 0.1L x 1.4L. TIME 1:12.28 / 37.23.
ARTIC ANGEL tore through the buggy track in the early part of the race and got them all chasing and just couldn't hold on, it came up in the vets report that she was struggling post-race after that effort [vet: poor post-race recovery]. ONE MORE HONEY on the improve and got the job done from the perfect barrier given the NEAR RAILS bias. Perhaps the best runs were TEASPOON (stuck wide) and SAVATIANO (5th), tried to make run down centre of track. Both ones to follow. Follow TEASPOON and SAVATIANO. Forgive TEASPOON and SAVATIANO.
Mark Newnham has a surprise Slipper contender
|1||Diamond Tathagata||Mark Newnham||Glyn Schofield||6||55.5|
|2||Coruscate||John O'Shea||Brenton Avdulla||5||55.5|
|3||Single Bullet||Gary Portelli||Tim Clark||11||55.5|
In The Running
ALL DAY was slowish and booted up the inside to lead from CORUSCATE, DIAMOND TATHAGATA (three wide) and SINGLE BULLET (four wide). EDEN ROC and DRACARYS parked behind them. Not much pressure but the race had a STRONG tempo profile overall.
CORUSCATE (2nd) drove to the lead, but was out-fought late by DIAMOND TATHAGATA (1st), who got a narrow win. SINGLE BULLET (3rd) fought on out wider and EDEN ROC made late ground up the inside. MARGINS 0.2L x 0.8L x 0.1L. TIME 1:14.22 / 38.10
A slow time run and the winner was stuck wide on the pace, looks like everything else had their chance! DIAMOND TATHAGATA was 2nd to She Will Reign (by 4L!) on debut and backed it up with another strong performance. SINGLE BULLET also very brave out four wide, they were the two runs of the race. EDEN ROC might suck a few more punters in closing up the inside late, don't forget that was the best ground. Follow DIAMOND TATHAGATA and SINGLE BULLET. Forgive SINGLE BULLET.
Swooping in Winx's colours to win
|1||McCreery||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||7||56.0|
|2||Arod||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||4||58.0|
|3||Testashadow||Gary Portelli||Jason Collett||3||55.5|
In The Running
CHETWOOD led at a STRONG tempo, striding well clear of the pack mid-race (touch keen). LEEBAZ and TESTASHADOW left with the work of chasing the leader eight lengths behind him. MCCREERY patiently ridden at the back.
CHETWOOD (5th) paddled late, the pack storming home with MCCREERY (1st) bursting out to beat AROD (2nd) and TESTASHADOW (3rd). WOULDN'T IT BE NICE (4th) not far off. MARGINS 1L x 0.2L x 0.9L. TIME 1:19.28 / 37.19.
A big lead mid-race, a decent lead on the turn, 3L at the 200m, joined 60m out and ending up 5th, it was a roller-coaster ride for backers of CHETWOOD,,who couldn't sustain his run in the end. The first time he'd seen Randwick and conditions this HEAVY and his bold racing style didn't suit, not to mention he appeared in the vet's report [vet: poor post-race recovery]. MCCREERY the class swooper left the clean them up down the final 100m. He's on track for the Doncaster. Interesting that jockeys still weren't looking for that inside ground. Follow MCCEERY.
A team of Kiwis outsmart the locals
|1||La Bella Diosa||Mandy & Matt Brown||Jason Collett||1||56.0|
|2||Omei Sword||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||9||56.0|
|3||Global Glamour||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||2||56.0|
In The Running
GLOBAL GLAMOUR took up the lead at a FAIR tempo from FRENCH FERN, PUMPKIN PIE and LUBITON, who was pushed wide on the track. Kiwi LA BELLA DIOSA stayed on the rails in midfield.
LA BELLA DIOSA (1st) drove through on the rails as the pack drifted wider. OMEI SWORD (2nd) stormed home from the back after getting held up until the 300m mark, just grabbing GLOBAL GLAMOUR (3rd) on the line, who fought on. FOXPLAY (4th) made some ground out wider.
Another race where bias played it's part, a shame for backers of OMEI SWORD, who was a sure thing beaten after she was held up to the 300m and the winner took the 'smart route' up the inside. LA BELLA DIOSA clearly a very smart filly that will go on to be competitive in the better fillies races over the Autumn, but OMEI is special. GLOBAL GLAMOUR put a few lengths on FOXPLAY this time after they were so close last start, you'd suggest those few lengths give an indication of how strong the bias to inside runners was, FOXPLAY coming out wide. LUBITON (5th) was very brave and is going well. Follow OMEI SWORD. Forgive OMEI SWORD, FOXPLAY and LUBITON.
Australia's champ overcomes the elements
|1||Winx||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||4||57.0|
|2||Lasqueti Spirit||Lee Curtis||Jay Ford||9||53.0|
|3||Who Shot Thebarman||Chris Waller||Tim Clark||1||59.0|
In The Running
LASQUETI SPIRIT was ridden to lead from ENDLESS DRAMA and MAGIC HURRICANE with HARTNELL striding up three wide no cover. WINX tracked HARTNELL in midfield. A STEADY tempo was set up. TAVAGO and GRAND MARSHAL were slow to begin.
WINX (1st) came wider on the turn and she quickened past them to win. LASQUETI SPIRIT (2nd) fought on up the inside and WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (3rd) who made ground near the inside and MAGIC HURRICANE (4th), who was held up until the 150m on the rails and also fought on up the inside.
Simply too good, WINX overcame a HEAVY track and some bias to the inside runners to win, who cares about the margin. HARTNELL so disappointing, but hard to not forgive a horse of his quality a bad run on the surface. Not much else to mention, LASQUETI SPIRIT taking advantage of the inside bias and proving she is back in good order, a filly that will relish the Oaks distance in April. Follow WINX and LASQUETI SPIRIT (over further).
Dixie dashes clear by a huge margin
|1||Dixie Blossoms||Ron Quinton||Tim Clark||9||55.0|
|2||Zanbagh||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||8||56.0|
|3||Flippant||Peter & Paul Snowden||Corey Brown||3||54.0|
In The Running
DIXIE BLOSSOMS jumped well and got the lead on the rails, dominating a SLOW tempo. FLIPPANT moved up on her outside and ZANBAGH was stuck wide. DANISH TWIST over-raced behind ZANBAGH and came wide on the track turning.
DIXIE BLOSSOMS (1st) dashed clear in the straight for a big win from ZANBAGH (2nd) fighting on and FLIPPANT (3rd) just holding on for a place in-front of SHILLELAGH (4th) running on up the inside.
She is such an adaptable mare, DIXIE BLOSSOMS showing that she can lead, handle the wet and sprint when needed. That's two very impressive wins at Randwick over 1400m+, a surface that suits the athletic galloper. Watch out Doncaster! DANISH TWIST perhaps not at her very best this prep and was an awkward ride here. Not much else to report. Follow DIXIE BLOSSOMS (at Randwick).
The short way home in the Quaddie
|1||Your Way||Bjorn Baker||Tim Clark||5||54.5|
|2||Kudero||Clarry Conners||Jason Collett||10||58.5|
|3||Grande Punto||Allan Denham||James Innes Jnr||3||57.5|
In The Running
KUDERO pushed on to take up the lead at a FAIR tempo and YOUR WAY switched off heels to sit outside the leader.
YOUR WAY (1st) moved up early in the straight and fought on to beat a brave KUDERO (2nd), who kept lifting up the inside. A big margin to GRANDE PUNTO (3rd) and LOFTY'S MENU (4th).
Two hard fit and in-form horses dominated and they put on a good show despite the small field. YOUR WAY loves Randwick, KUDERO was well ridden. As for the other two, GRANDE PUNTO hates Randwick and LOFTY'S MENU was hardly ridden! He was first-up after a year off and could be worth forgiving. No Follows or Forgives.