By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens
Ragged Run Opener
Last year The Schweppervescence (1400m) provided the Champagne Stakes winner in The Mission. Could Paul Perry do the same this year?
There were a few hard luck stories in the race but arguably none more so than Ragged Rascal. He went around $101 and was beaten near 8L but Josh Parr had all sorts of troubling angling clear in the straight. His run in the Pago Pago prior to that was good too.
It was no surprise to hear Parr say after the race, “I was pleased with his run. He didn’t have much luck at all.”
Punters’ Intel reveals his last 600m was 35.13s, the fourth quickest in the race while his final 200ms split of 11.78s was the third quickest. Not too shabby for a horse that was only allowed to really wind up the last 100m.
Irikandji takes out the Schweppervescence at Rosehill Gardens
Gai Chases Eighth Doncaster
“Is the Pope Catholic?”
That was how Gai Waterhouse responded when asked if Arbeitsam would back up in next week’s The Star Doncaster Mile after winning the Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).
“We specifically chose this race to aid him getting into the Doncaster. I just felt the 2000m would be easier than the 1500m Prelude,” Waterhouse revealed.
“It was a lovely win. You notice how cushily Tim Clark had him going. He didn’t overextend him, he just got him into a beautiful rhythm, and the gelding just kept extending.
“I know they had a very big opinion of number one (One Foot In Heaven), but I was really pleased to see this Dynamic horse win because he has had his foot on the till his past few starts.”
One Foot In Heaven was supported to start $4 with TAB but only boxed away, albeit in a leader dominated race, to run sixth.
“He was okay, I think he’ll improve with the run,” his jockey Damien Oliver said upon dismounting.
TAB halved Arbeitsam’s Doncatser quote after the race from $51 to $26.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) March 31, 2018
Spright Bounces Back
The jury was certainly out after Spright’s ordinary, albeit brief, spring but Garry Frazer never lost faith in his mare.
The four-year-old produced scintillating closing splits to stop the clock at 33.07s for her final 600m, running her last 200m in a sizzling 10.98s, as revealed by Punters’ Intel. The next best was New Universe at 11.24s.
“Nothing went wrong, she obviously just didn’t come up, so we stopped and put her out and started again,” Frazer said post race.
“Sometimes they do that to you, especially mares, but she’s been flying at home. I was confident actually.”
Frazer earmarked the Hall Mark Stakes (April 21) as her likely second-up assignment.
Jay Ford added, “She’s a really good mare when she is right. Last prep was a bit of a right off, she never came up, but her trials have been good leading into today and it’s good to see the old Spright letting loose like she can.”
Mare Is Just Foxing
Don’t write off Foxplay just yet.
“She won (the Coolmore Legacy) last year and is going just as well at the moment. They just walked in front there.”
That was Chris Waller’s assessment after the Emancipation Stakes where the four-year-old ran fourth. Kerrin McEvoy said as much after the race too.
Punters’ Intel not only reveals that the leaders did get the race run to suit but also that Foxplay ran the fastest last 200m in the race.
Is she looking for 2000m?
“The mile will be perfect next time,” Waller responded.
Waller said it’s unlikely Foxplay will back up in the Doncaster which sets her up to defend her title in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes on Day 2 of The Championships.
Laurie The Man For Almandin
The Sydney Cup has long been the Sydney target for Almandin and Lloyd Williams so what was he doing in the Tancred Stakes?
“I’ve really got to say that the only reason we are here today is that (ATC Chairman) Laurie Macri rings us every week saying when are you going to bring a horse,” stable rep Nick Williams revealed.
“We might have had Rekindling here but he had a little setback so we gave him a quiet autumn but Laurie said you have got to bring some of these big horses up and he’s putting so much effort in to this carnival that we have got to support it. It’s a great few days racing and we’re looking forward to getting to Randwick. It’s fantastic to see the blue and white in Sydney.”
So next stop the Sydney Cup?
“I would have thought so. That’s always been the plan. Unless Kerrin got off and said we should be running him against Winx which I’m sure he won’t be doing!”
That last line was good but the quote of the race belonged to Mark Zahra having ridden favourite Gailo Chop.
“He was super but Lasqueti Spirit was a pest,” said Zahra.
Almandin is now $3.50 favourite for the Sydney Cup with TAB, in from $8, while Ambitious, after running an eye-catching third moved from $51 into $8.
— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) March 31, 2018