By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens
No matter who you speak to about Sandbar, the adjective “tough” is thrown into the conversation almost immediately.
The Snitzel colt has won three of his six starts, with all wins coming by the margin of 0.2L. It’s an admirable trait in a horse and something you can’t train into them. They either have that determination or they don’t.
It was on display in the $150,000 Smithfield RSL Club Rosebud (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens with Kerrin McEvoy peeling off the backs of Charge and Golden Tycoon who filled the minors.
Sandbar kept finding to win the Rosebud
“There is a lot of improvement there. He only had the one trial. He is a very honest little fella,” said trainer Brad Widdup.
As far as what was next for Sandbar, Widdup didn’t want to commit just yet but there’s little doubt that the Run To The Rose and Golden Rose would be at the very top of the list. Menari won the Rosebud last year before starting favourite in the Golden Rose, to run third behind stablemate Trapeze Artist.
The query over the race is the blanket finish and time. The Rosebud was run five lengths slower than the 1100m race won by Trekking, albeit, he is a talented older sprinter and beat Tactical Advantage. Sandbar's last 600m was 34.78s with Trekking's 33.79s. That's six lengths inferior. Certainly something to think about when assessing this race going forward anyways.
“I’ve got a couple of options now but it’s nice to get this one under the belt,” said Widdup.
There’ll be no Golden Rose for Charge though with Chris Waller indicating that the G3 San Domenico (1100m) on August 25 and the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) on September 15 look more suitable targets.
Jay Ford, who rode Charge, has little doubt the son of Zoustar has the makings of a top liner but also has a query on him beyond the sprint trips.
“He is a very talented horse but still lacks race sense. He doesn’t really know what he is there to do but he has got ability,” said Ford.
“He is very aggressive and free-flowing is his go so whether that means he can run 1400m is another question.”
Greg McFarlane suggested that the third-placed Golden Tycoon will now head for a short break, also ruling out a Golden Rose tilt.
“Normally I would have already tipped him out, even before this, but I thought he had a chance in this race. He’ll improve a tonne next preparation,” said McFarlane.
“What I’ll do now is tip him out and see how he goes for a couple of weeks and might bring him back for the Coolmore down the straight at Flemington.”
There was only 2.4 lengths over the first eight horses home so there was bound to be a hard luck story. It was Ringerdingding. Punters Intel reveals that he was one of only two horses to break 12s home the last 200m (11.96s). Excletic was the other at 11.99s. Ringerdingding's last 600m of 34.73s doesn't do him justice, ranking fourth quickest.
“If he had more room, if Plague Stone wasn’t there, and he gets clear room on the outside of Kerrin (Sandbar) he probably goes close to winning,” said Tim Clark.
Plague Stone, who was very easy in late betting, to start equal $3.80 favourite with Oxford Tycoon, who finished a long last, still needs to iron out his tendency to overrace.
“He was a bit keen in the early stages which worked against him,” said Hugh Bowman, “It certainly told late. He was gallant but his manners need to improve.”
The jockeys not heard from above:
Kerrin McEvoy (Sandbar): "We ended up getting a nice run from what looked an awkward alley with that weight. Got into a nice rhythm and he was very tough coming home, so he is in for a nice preparation."
Tye Angland (Legend Of Condor): "He ran well. He will be better once he gets over a little bit further now and when we can get him to the outside as he gets a little bit intimidated in behind them."
Blake Shinn (Oxford Tycoon): "I couldn’t have asked for a better run in the race but he just didn’t come on today. I feel he is a much better horse than that."
Tommy Berry (Outrageous): "I was pretty happy with his run in a race that was just way too short form him and he was a bit slow out. He picked up well in the straight but he wasn’t overly happy on that track, it’s a bit worn out coming to the end of winter. He gives me the feel that a mile will be right up his alley this preparation."
Jason Collett (Golden Tycoon): "Great run. He was there right until the finish. It’s just all happened a bit too quickly."
Rachel King (Exceltic): "He is a really nice horse and will be even better when he gets up over further."