Rosehill Trial (30 November) Review
By Ray Hickson
Has a gelding procedure done the trick on the promising, but so far enigmatic, three-year-old Overlord?
On the evidence of his first appearance as a gelding, for an easy trial win over 900m at Rosehill on Monday, you’d say it has though there will be many who will handle his impending return to the track with some caution.
Unlike on race day Overlord appeared to do most things right to the point of jumping with them, he then travelled three wide on the speed but comfortably before Hugh Bowman put him to the test and, under urgings, opened up a margin late.
He ran good time, his 53.94 was the third fastest of the 900m heats, so it’s a good sign.
It may be a stretch to draw a line between Overlord and his far more illustrious stablemate Kolding but their pre-gelding records are interesting reads.
Kolding had seven starts as a colt for a maiden win and a few placings up to Benchmark 76 level. Post-gelding he won seven of his next eight including an Epsom and the inaugural Golden Eagle and is now an established miler-2000m horse at the top level.
Clearly Overlord has a way to go, and he is a maiden to this point, but he has a couple of placings to Peltzer and a fourth to Rothfire (at Group 1 level) plus a Group 3 placing from his six starts so it’ll be interesting to see what he produces in the coming weeks.
Overlord wins a trial at Rosehill on November 30
What did he beat? A field largely consisting of unraced horses so that’s a small query.
One of them was a stablemate called Unification, a $1.2m purchase, having his seventh trial for 2020 and he’s an interesting horse because he’s a gelding and certainly wasn’t asked for a big effort in finishing 3.9 lengths from the winner.
On the subject of horses where the jury could be out, Away Game made her first appearance as a three-year-old in a 900m heat and she ran a close third behind a Class 1 horse in Mission River.
Away Game, Magic Millions winner and Golden Slipper runner-up, appears to have had a stop-start preparation given she was nominated for Group 1 races in the Melbourne spring but as yet hasn’t raced since her Robert Sangster Stakes effort in Adelaide in May.
So on face value, given she led and seemed to travel well, was she disappointing given she didn’t win the heat? On her side the trial was run in 53.82 which was the second quickest of the morning and it was her first official trial back.
If she trials again and improves then you could back her with confidence first-up, if she doesn’t trial again there’s just that small question mark.
It was hard to miss the finish of unraced filly Fifteen Aria in the same heat, she ran sixth beaten four lengths, at her third trial overall and first since July.
The $600,000 filly worked home impressively from the back and was very strong through the line.
Another well bred, unraced, filly from the Chris Waller yard to keep an eye on is Grace And Harmony, a daughter of former topliner Champagne Harmony, who finished on from well back for third in a maiden trial over the 900m.
It showed she had gone up a notch from her previous trial and clearly she has some ability.
In the same trial another Sebring filled called Kamea gained at least a pass mark in her first official trial, trained by Lauri Parker she was stoked up a little but looked good closing off late.
Fake Love wins a trial at Rosehill on November 30
The standout from the two-year-old trials has to be Ciaron Maher and David Eustace’s filly Fake Love though the caveat is she has recent racing on her side.
She was a debut winner at Caulfield in October and ran fourth at Flemington at the start of the month. In the trial she assumed control after taking a little while to settle then did it easily in the second half as she ran out a clear winner.
Behind her, especially given what Fake Love as done to date and the fact it was the fastest heat of the morning, the runs of Ashema (Annabel Neasham) and Stavanger (Team Hawkes) were very handy at their first public trials.
Don’t Hesitate, a $280,000 purchase, showed improvement on his first trial as she stretched out strongly late to win his 900m heat in 54.46.
Unusually for a Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott charge, the colt settled fourth in the run and had to chase them down but he did it pretty well late.
The other youngster to highlight is Glamour And Glory, a Star Turn filly from the Hawkes stable, who was having her second trial and this time she was asked to compete.
In her first she just strolled behind them well off the placegetters, this time after being held up behind a wall she was asked to weave through and attack the line and she did in fine style to be beaten half a length in 54.60.
A few others worth noting from the Rosehill session are Macleay (brushed home well), the now gelded Never Never River (did it easily), Travest (strong late in a sprint home), Athiri (easy hitout), Poetic Charmer (worked home) and Zing (wide but solid).