It wasn’t that long ago Cellarman was noted as something of a non-winner but Chris Waller has certainly turned things around and that was evident in the Ajax Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday.
Cellarman had won four of his past five starts heading into the Group 2 event, his toughest test, and Punters Intel data shows he’s low flying.
The gelding easily clocked the fastest last 600m of the Ajax, in 33.72. Add to that a 400m-200m of 11 seconds plus an 11.65 last 200m (he was held up for a few strides as well).
There’s no doubt, in the current mood, he’s capable of winning a good race through the carnival.
Tom Melbourne was beaten again in the Ajax but he did run the second fastest last 600m of 33.87 – the only other horse to break 34 in the 1500m.
The final Golden Slipper lead ups make for interesting comparisons.
Sunlight ran overall slower time in the Magic Night compared to Written By in the Pago Pago by just over half a second.
Sectionally she did a lot more work early. Her first 400m was run in 23.79 compared to his in 24.37.
Written By was almost a second faster for the last 600m running 34.18 to Sunlight’s 35.03.
The runners-up from the two two-year-old races are worth mentioning – Cristobal ran 34.53 for her last 600m with a slick 11.15 from the 400m-200m; Sandbar ran 33.95 with an 11.56 last 200m.
It should be noted that times for the Slipper lead ups in the past few weeks have varied from slower than average (March 3 on soft ground at Randwick) to lightning fast (March 10 on good ground at Randwick) to about average (March 17 on good at Rosehill).
Speaking of fast times, Sprightly Lass burned rubber for the most part of the Maurice McCarten Stakes (1100m) and her data illustrates that there’s little surprise she was wobbling at the finish.
She won the race before losing it in the stewards room to Dothraki but if her speed can be harnessed she’ll take plenty of catching.
Her first 100m was run in 7.95 then 10.47 for the 1000m-800m and 10.70 from the 800m-600m. She staggered the last 200m in 12.15 and her last 600m of 34.25 was the second slowest of the race.
From a Country Championships perspective, Most Exalted’s last 600m of 33.40 in the final event at Rosehill on Saturday suggests he can be a force in the Muswellbrook Wild Card race on April 1.
Watch Punters Intel with Gerard Middleton, Brad Davidson and Brad Gray on Sky Thoroughbred Central at 7pm on Tuesdays.
Fastest last 600m: Nieta 32.81
Most ground covered (to win): Auvray +10.5m