Yard to the Post @ Championships Day One
Race Day: Royal Randwick on Saturday, 01 April 2017
The track staff at Royal Randwick may have done a good job to get the grass cover in perfect order for Day One at The Championships, but the lush green turf was deceiving to the eye. Underneath lay a big track bias that favoured horses near the rails.
It shouldn't have come as such a great surprise then that Kiwi JON SNOW, who ran 3rd to GINGERNUTS in the New Zealand Derby, would turn the tables on the popular favourite given a better run in transit. Later in The Doncaster, roughie IT'S SOMEWHAT found the spot leading on the rails and turned it into a big result for the bookies.
It was left up to CHAUTAUQUA in the TJ Smith Stakes to defy the pattern and storm home for an incredible third straight TJ Smith Stakes. FELL SWOOP (3rd) had gone hard in the lead before ENGLISH (2nd) cruised up to take over only for the big grey to boom home again. Amazingly, they are the same three runners that filled the trifecta last year.
It took a while for the jockeys to realise how the track was playing, FREE STANDING ($31) taking out the Country Championships Final and DIDDUMS ($21) getting the inside run too in the PJ Bell Stakes.
A full review will be on-line Sunday 9am.
Jump to Races
A tough southerner relishes the mud
|1||Property||Robert Smerdon||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5|
|2||Condor Heroes||Gerald Ryan||Mark Zahra||3||56.5|
|3||Sheikha||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Joshua Parr||5||54.5|
In The Running
FROM WITHIN led SHEIKHA and ALIZEE out three wide no cover. CONDOR HEROES missed the start and got back over-racing.
PROPERTY $4.8 (1st) moved up the inside, found space and ran away with it. CONDOR HEROES $4.8 (2nd 3.3L) ran on through the pack. SHEIKA $4.6F (3rd 4.6L) and FROM WITHIN $6 (4th 4.9L) battled on.
PROPERTY came from the G1 Blue Diamond ct Caulfield and was very strong, breaking clear from the pack. But, and there is a big but, the track bias wasn't clear at this stage of the day and those out wider didn't stand a chance. ALIZEE $4.8 (5th 5.2L), SOLAR PATCH $81 (9th 6.9L) and DISSOLUTION $10 (6th 5.3L) were the horses that settled in the three wide line, both ALIZEE (stuck wide) and DISSOLUTION (ran on late) very admirable. CONDOR HEROES strong too after missing the start and over-racing, but he did follow a path closer to the inside. Follow PROPERTY. Forgive ALIZEE and DISSOLUTION.
A classy colt turns it all around
|1||Acatour||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||1||56.0|
|2||Theanswermyfriend||Robert Smerdon||Luke Nolen||9||56.0|
|3||Veladero||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||2||58.0|
In The Running
VELADERO jumped to the lead with THEANSWERMYFRIEND striding up on his outside. ACATOUR behind them on the rails. A STEADY tempo set-up with the leader pushing for home early on the turn as EUSEBIO came wider to chase at the back.
ACATOUR $10 (1st) came off the leaders backs, peeled wider and ran on best to a clear win. THEANSWERMYFRIEND $2.4 (2nd 3.5L) battled on with VELADERO (3rd 3.6L).
The inside barrier again and ACATOUR showed a bit more of what he's promised in the past. Both place-getters probably had their chance given the track bias, EUSEBIO $4.6 (6th 7.7L) the one clearly disadvantaged on the day. FLYING JESS $31 (7th 14.9L) poor again and in the report [vet: speedy cut to the off hind fetlock]. Forgive EUSEBIO.
The Sydney Cup favourite shows his class
|1||Big Duke||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||1||58.0|
|2||Aloft||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||8||56.5|
|3||Rock On||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||2||55.5|
In The Running
ALOFT gently crossed to the lead and PENTATHLON rolled forward to settle on the outside. BIG DUKE in the box seat. The tempo was slow so VANDANCER took over half-way to make it a STEADY tempo overall. KINEMA over-raced badly at the back. They quickened up for home from the 800m, BIG DUKE pushed out underneath ALOFT on the turn to make his run.
BIG DUKE $2.45 (1st) sustained his run right to the line to win. ALOFT $4.4 (2nd 2L) fought on and ROCK ON $8.5 (3rd 2.8L) peeled wider from the inside and chased gamely.
He is a serious stayer and even though he did find the inside running, BIG DUKE was probably a class above today. His final 200m of 12.35 seconds so strong in the conditions. ALOFT very game in the finish and ROCK ON took advantage of getting a rails run through on the turn. The Kiwi ROCK ON in the report [vet: poor post race recovery] along with VANDANCER [vet: abrasions to both hind bumpers]. Follow BIG DUKE.
Blake Shinn cracks the code in the Country Champs
|1||Free Standing||Cathleen Rode||Blake Shinn||1||56.0|
|2||After All That||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||21||56.0|
|3||Not for Export||Dar Lunn||Christian Reith||14||56.0|
In The Running
STONEYRISE went to the lead and set a STRONG tempo from PUMPKIN PIE on his outside and PERFECT DARE three wide no cover. NIC'S VENDETTA even wider and DISTINCTIVE LOOK out on a limb. GALAXY WARRIOR circled the pack out in the centre of the track on the turn. FREE STANDING and CAERLESS CHOICE got a nice run up the inside. COGLIERE was slow to begin.
FREE STANDING $31 (1st) moved through up the inside and drove to the lead to win clearly, the only horse hard up against the rails. AFTER ALL THAT $12 (2nd 2.5L) ran on out wider with a pack of them, including NOT FOR EXPORT $201 (3rd 2.6L) and GALAXY WARRIOR $7.5 (6th 3.2L). CAERLESS CHOICE $9 (4th 2.8L), PUMPKIN PIE $7 (2.9L) and STONEYRISE $26 (7th 3.3L) all fought on too.
Blake Shinn you genius! He cracked the code of this very biased track, perhaps not intentionally, when he came back to the inside to find a run on FREE STANDING and strode clear of the pack. No knocks on the winner, but given even luck to all in this field you would expect the result to have been different. Plenty stuck wide in the boggy part of the track and there was no run better than GALAXY WARRIOR, taking a route via his home town of Mudgee on the turn and still fighting bravely. To trainer Gayna Williams and all the owners, our condolences, he deserved it today! Fav' PERFECT DARE a bit keen and may have not handled the track. PELERIN was unfortunately galloped on and taken to the Randwick Equine Centre for care [vet: galloped on]. Follow GALAXY WARRRIOR. Forgive GALAXY WARRIOR.
Clipperton keeps it simple and wins
|1||Diddums||Gerald Ryan||Sam Clipperton||2||54.0|
|2||Prompt Response||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||1||55.0|
|3||Smart Amelia||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||7||54.0|
In The Running
DIDDUMS kicked up on the inside to lead MODERN WONDER and RAIMENT out three wide. CONCHITA four wide and MY COUNTRY even wider on the track. PROMPT RESPONSE got the box seat. SWEET SHERRY moved into the race coming wider on the turn. A STRONG tempo was set-up. SAMANTHA copped a bad check on the turn.
DIDDUMS $19 (1st) kept fighting on hard against the inside to win clearly. PROMPT RESPONSE $7 (2nd 1.8L) fought on nearer the inside and SMART AMELIA $26 (3rd 2.6L) ran on up the inside while MY COUNTRY $31 (4th 4.7L) chased hard out wider.
She couldn't match the promising I Thought So the start before and seemed out of her grade today, but DIDDUMS produced a big run thanks to a canny ride from Clipperton. Hard against the rails on the turn and straight was the place to be and she fought very hard to hold off PROMPT RESPONSE. MY COUNTRY and INVINCIBELLA $18 (6th 6L) produced the eye-catchers out wider. RAIMENT $2.35F (7th 7.1L) and SWEET SHERRY $12 (8th 7.2L) both worth forgiving too. SAMANTHA $11 (13th 11.3L) got into a lot of trouble in the run. Forgive MY COUNTRY, INVINCIBELLA, RAIMENT and SWEET SHERRY.
"The nugget" digs in and gets gold
|1||Invader||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||4||56.5|
|2||Summer Passage||Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Zac Purton||13||56.5|
|3||Trapeze Artist||Gerald Ryan||Tim Clark||3||56.5|
In The Running
SIRCONNI took up the running from SUMMER PASSAGE and MENARI out wide at a STRONG tempo. THE MISSION strode up four wide on the turn. TULIP in the box seat and INVADER getting a nice run back on the inside behind her. FROLIC back wide and circling the field on the turn.
INVADER (1st) peeled off their backs to find space and charged at the line late to win, beating SUMMER PASSAGE $16 (2nd 0.8L), who had driven to the lead early in the straight. TRAPEZE ARTIST $17 (3rd 1.6L) fought on from near the pace. A gap back to 4th.
Bowman gave him the perfect ride and the nuggetty colt INVADER did the rest. He's such a genuine horse that always tries his heart out, running more on guts than natural ability. Kiwi SUMMER PASSAGE and Gerald Ryan's colt TRAPEZE ARTIST both strong after getting runs near the inside too. TULIP $4.2 (5th 4.4L) a late drifter and had every chance. THE MISSION $18 (6th 4.9L) and FROLIC $3.8F (7th 5.1L) the two that had to plot a wide course and were unlucky. MENARI knocked up after racing wide and in the report [vet: poor post race recovery]. Follow INVADER. Forgive THE MISSION and FROLIC.
Jon gets the luck and Ginger gets beaten
|1||Jon Snow||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Damian Lane||9||56.5|
|2||Harper's Choice||Gerald Ryan||Jason Collett||10||56.5|
|3||Hardham||David Brideoake||Luke Nolen||5||56.5|
In The Running
HARPER'S CHOICE took up the running from JON SNOW and PRIZED ICON at a STEADY to FAIR tempo. HARDHAM (four wide), INFERENCE (five wide), GINGERNUTS (six wide) and IMPAVIDO (seven wide) all made their runs together into the turn as the sprint went on.
JON SNOW $7.5 (1st) wore down HARPER'S CHOICE $26 (2nd 0.8L) in a driving finish. HARDHAM $31 (3rd 0.9L) fighting on well. RUTHVEN $15 (4th 2.1L) and GINGERNUTS $2.6F (5th 3.3L) not far off.
Two big runs from Kiwis in this year's Derby, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman getting yet another Australian feature race from across the pond. JON SNOW was brave, but he did get the right run, GINGERNUTS taking a wide course and ever so unlucky on the day. The Melbourne form of HARDHAM and RUTHVEN surprised the market, both running great races. PRIZED ICON $11 (7th 9.5L) not suited in the HEAVY and in the report [vet: thumps]. Forgive GINGERNUTS.
From the heavens and into history
|1||Chautauqua||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||11||58.5|
|2||English||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||1||56.5|
|3||Fell Swoop||Matthew Dale||Joao Moreira||6||58.5|
In The Running
FELL SWOOP took up the running at a STRONG tempo and RUSSIAN REVOLUTION moved up on his outside. ENGLISH slid up the inside and found the box seat. ASTERN in midfield with TIVACI on his outside (no cover). SPIETH way back in the pack and CHAUTAUQUA out the back in a hopeless position ridden along. RUSSIAN REVOLUTION under pressure early in the straight. SPIETH never got clear in the straight up the inside.
FELL SWOOP $21 (3rd 1.5L) fought hard and ENGLISH $12 (2nd 0.2L) peeled off his back and cruised up to win. The two of them had the race in their keeping until CHAUTAUQUA (1st) wound up and flew at them late to arrive right on the line.
No words, just numbers for the mighty grey. ENGLISH ran her last 200m in 12.96 seconds, CHAUTAUQUA in 11.95 seconds. CHAUTAUQUA was about 7 lengths behind the leaders at the 200m. 3 wins back to back. He is our no. 1!! Words are needed for SPIETH, The hearts of racing fans are with you Bryce Heys, you will get the breaks one day soon. Follow CHAUTAUQUA. Forgive SPIETH.
Track bias the story in this year's Doncaster
|1||It's Somewhat||James Cummings||Zac Purton||9||55.0|
|2||Happy Clapper||Patrick Webster||Blake Shinn||2||55.5|
|3||Sense of Occasion||Kris Lees||Corey Brown||10||52.5|
In The Running
IT'S SOMEWHAT took up the running at a FAIR tempo from TESTASHADOW and I AM A STAR in the box seat. ECUADOR moved up three wide and HEY DOC stuck four wide. HAPPY CLAPPER behind I AM A STAR on the inside. LE ROMAIN three wide with cover. REDKIRK WARRIOR pushed wide on the turn.
IT'S SOMEWHAT $31 (1st) got them chasing and stuck on right to the line to hold off HAPPY CLAPPER $7 (2nd 0.5L) in a close finish on the line. A big gap back to SENSE OF OCCASION $61 (3rd 4L) running on up the inside.
He's better than ever this horse, the big-striding on-pacer IT'S SOMEWHAT taking the prize, a much fitter horse second-up after winning fresh over 1500m. Zac Purton knew the pattern and rode to it perfectly. HAPPY CLAPPER got the inside run you needed, very brave and not far away. MCCREERY $14 (6th 5.7L) good out wide and REDKIRK WARRIOR $6 (11th 9.7L) travelled very strongly on the turn out wide before peaking (bias against, wet track or distance second-up didn't help?). LE ROMAIN $4.8F (15th 11.8L) held up for a run, but poor over the final 200m for a horse as good as him. No Follows or Forgives.
|1||Waking Moment||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||10||56.0|
|2||Perfect Rhyme||Ron Leemon||Kerrin McEvoy||8||57.5|
|3||Fallacy||Toby Edmonds||Hugh Bowman||13||56.0|
MATRON WILSON $31 (13th 32.1L) in the report [vet: poor post race recovery].