By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick
Yitai Synergy "Better Than That"
Boom two-year-old filly Yitai Synergy didn't live up to the hype on debut in the opener at Royal Randwick but Corey Brown warned punters that we didn't see her at her best.
"She is obviously a lovely horse," said Brown, "And we were disappointed but I think we can put it down to never having been let off the bridle before."
"In her work and trials she has done it with ease but today I had to let her off the bridle and she didn't know what she was doing. She still ran well but she is better than that."
Meanwhile, Glyn Schofield liked what he felt from the second-placed Igniting, with the colt wobbling down the straight.
"He was green, that's why he had the blinkers on. He ran around a bit but there was a lot of improvement there only having had one trial. It was a very encouraging debut," said Schofield.
On the winner, Movie Role, it only took nine rides for 20-year-old English jockey Tom Marquand, here until early February, to notch up his first winner in Sydney.
"Hopefully in the next few weeks it can be fruitful, I can learn a bit and earn a bit as well," he said, before making it a double with Live And Free.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) December 29, 2018
Mister Songman Dances Clear
'Promising' is too tempered a word for Mister Songman. The four-year-old could be a star on the rise. He made a mess of his rivals at Randwick, putting seven lengths on the field and stopping the clock at 1.20.55, not far off Trapeze Artist's 1400m track record of 1.20.33.
So what's next for the ex-Tassie galloper?
"It's his first preparation with us so we are still learning a lot about him as well. We want to continue to place him through his grades before we set our sights on anything too high just yet," said co-trainer Adrian Bott.
Bott said what the horse had been missing at his two prior 1100m starts for the stable was the ability to put races away between the 600-400m. That certainty wasn't the case out to 1400m with Punters Intelligence revealing a slick 10.99s for that split, the quickest of the race. The race was as good as over at that point.
Mister Songman ran along in 34.77s for his first 600m before slipping home his last 600m in 34.08s. A horse that can do it both ends like that is destined for much better things than benchmark racing.
Alizee's Class Shines In Classic
Alizee is back, and back in a big way.
The giant four-year-old mare, that tipped the scales at 598kg before Saturday's race, missed the spring after bleeding in trackwork but she looks set to make up for lost time over the upcoming autumn carnival.
"She is a weight for age horse all over and it's really exciting to have her back," said a beaming James Cummings.
"You can get carried away, it is a Christmas Classic, but full respect to the opposition who are handy horses and she went past them like it was a barrier trial. We're looking forward to the prep ahead."
It was "a beautiful flowing ride" from Hugh Bowman as perfectly put by Cummings.
"I came out a bit earlier than I would have liked to tack onto the field but the class of the horse, she travelled up to them, I just sat patiently and waited for her to get comfortable, let her glide through her gears. I'd expect huge improvement from today too," said Bowman.
Punters Intelligence reveals a last 600m of 33.07s for Alizee, with the mare likely to tackle the G2 Expressway Stakes second up which sets up a titanic clash with Trapeze Artist.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) December 29, 2018
Cummings To Deprive Gelding - For Now
James Cummings concedes that Randwick winner Deprive is ready to progress to better races but will try to resist that urge.
"He is the right horse to just bring through the grades without throwing him in the deep end so soon. Whether we back off him now and find something better for him or allow him to keep going through the grades, we'll see how he pulls up," said Cummings.
"He just got there so easily, it was extraordinary. He is progressing beautifully, the horse."
The 1200m race was run near three lengths slower than the Christmas Classic won by Alizee, but Deprive's last 600m of 34.07s (six lengths slower than Alizee), was still far superior to his nearest rival in the race.
As the year draws to a close, it's worth noting Hugh Bowman and Cummings' deadly combination for the last 12 months. The pair combined on 60 occasions for 18 wins and a further 14 placings.