The Group 2 Missile Stakes headlines the nine-race card at Rosehill this Saturday, with a number of Spring horses returning to the track! The track is currently rated a Heavy 9 and that could get worse as there is a stack of rain predicted leading into raceday. The rail is in the true position.
Tim Geers has assessed every race of the day at Rosehill below!
Best Bet: Race 1 - (1) Dancing Gidget
Best Value: Race 3 - (16) Tuscan Light & (17) Treasure The Love
Getting stuck in early at Rosehill with my best of the day in the first race. (2) Dancing Gidget has returned in terrific order this preparation, with a dominant first up win at Kensington followed by another strong performance here at Rosehill last start. She savaged the line on that occasion, suggesting the step up to 1500m will be ideal. Both wins have been on wet ground so although this will be a water-logged track, she should handle it. The small concern is the fact she carries 60kg, but she showed first up she can carry weight. JMac replaces the suspended Bowman, but JMac rode her first up, so all signs point to her running very well once again. Happy to take $3.30 but we may get better come race time. (9) Montefila was my top selection last weekend before she was sensationally scratched due to the way the track was playing. I’m against her here, however. She gets in light with 53kg but the form out of that first up run is a little bit questionable. Bazooka ran 2nd in that race and then only managed 5th last weekend. Montefilia’s run was much better considering the pattern of the day, but David Payne has also only had one winner from 24 runners at Rosehill in the past 12 months. (6) Papal Warrior continues to run well and receives a 2.5kg weight swing on Dancing Gidget. She’ll be right up on speed from the inside gate, but it’s hard to know if the rail will be the place to be with so much rain. (3) Matowatakpe seems to go much better at Warwick Farm, like many other runners from that stable.
(4) Royal Banquet makes the progression to Saturday grade now after a dominant win at the midweeks last start. He posted a 5.3L win at Warwick Farm on a Heavy 10, which certainly bodes well for today’s race. The slight query is the fact he beat absolutely nothing in that race. The form is less than impressive, but he did it in the style of a horse who can make the step up. Maps ideally and will handle the ground so he appears the one to beat again. (6) New King is the really interesting runner in the race at double figure odds, which looks a bit of value. He’s a European import who has his second run in Australia today. He was beaten 5.5L first up over 13000m, but he’s undefeated from two starts when second up from a spell. His best is going to be over further than 1500m (he hasn’t won below 1750m), but James McDonald jumps off (2) Word For Word and is an eye-catching jockey booking. New King’s 8L victory on wet ground at Sandown last year was over the likes of Mubariz and Cristal Breeze, who have both since come to Australia and won races.
The Highway Handicap isn’t a race I have a lot of success in, and maybe it’s because I often throw darts like I’m about to. Call me crazy, but I’m playing two horses here at huge odds, and both come from the same stable. (16) Tuscan Light is $151. She’s been beaten out of sight in her first two runs back from a spell, but if you go back to her first preparation, she was beaten out of sight in her first two runs before she came out and won third up at Queanbeyan, and she won quite well! That was on soft ground, so with a similar set up for today’s race, I wouldn’t be shocked to see her improve sharply at the monster odds. Barrier 1 at least means she can be close to the speed like she was when she won. Her stablemate (17) Treasure The Love is $34. She brings a similar setup to the race. She’s been well beaten in her first two runs back from a spell, but she’s never run a place from 12 starts when first or second up from a spell. She does have a win and a 2nd from four starts when third up though. Her only career win was on heavy ground like she’ll get today, so I’ll have something on her at the price too. Of those in the market, (13) Total Recall is a progressive stayer that I have some time for, while (3) Group Think had no luck at all in a similar race last start.
The key to this race could be the way it’s run. (5) Heart Of The Oak could jump straight to the front and lead all the way because there doesn’t appear to be anything else to take her on up front. She beat Positive Peace first up last prep and Positive Peace then went on to win a handful more races after that. The main query here is being first up on what will be a Heavy 10 track, but she gets in light with 53kg and could pinch it if she gets away with cheap sectionals up front. (1) Wandabaa goes well fresh and comes here off a six-week break. She won two on the bounce in Sydney before running 2nd to Starla in Brisbane, who probably should have won again last start. (3) Outback Diva can bounce back after things just didn’t work out for her last start, and (7) Estrado has to be included in the form she’s in.
It’s not often I’m keen to bet in the staying races in Sydney, especially on a very heavy track, but today’s an exception. (1) Rezealient looks a decent bet for mine at $5.50. This horse came to the Maher/Eustace stable this preparation, and he’s found form after a couple of runs to get fit. He won well at Newcastle two starts ago and then ran 2nd to the progressive Korcho over this track and distance two weeks ago. He’s previously struggled on heavy ground, but they were all when he either wasn’t fit, or was in a different stable. The run on a Soft 7 last start gives me hope that he’ll handle today’s heavy track and I think he’ll be in the finish again. (7) Guise steps up sharply from 1800m to 2400m which I don’t normally like, but I think she probably needs that distance now. She made nice ground behind Fulmina last week over the shorter trip, and now comes into this on the quick backup. She’s worth a bet at $7.50.
Great little line up of three-year-olds here for The Rosebud. I’ve gone the way of (4) Kumasi who I think could be a pretty serious colt. He only won narrowly on debut at Gosford but he then ran 2nd to Prague in the Pago Pago Stakes, which is a reasonable formline. I think Gerald Ryan will have him ready to go first up and being by Snitzel, he should handle these wet conditions. (1) Ole Kirk might well turn out to be the best horse in the race, but I just wonder if 1100m might be a touch sharp for him. He was ridden poorly in the ATC Sires Produce where he ran 4th, and he was left with too much to do again in the Champagne Stakes. He’s run very well in every career start to date, but he will probably give them a start and over 1100m, he might fine one or two too quick. But I won’t be letting him go around $10 because I think he’s a pretty serious animal. (5) Anders brings the form behind Peltzer to the race, which has just continued to stack up wherever you look. He went on to win his next two after running into Peltzer, and he returns from a 10-week break today. He’s trialled well and should be fighting out the finish. Interested to see how (10) Sixxgun measures up. His debut win on a bog track at Canterbury was outstanding.
The feature of the day is the G2 Missile Stakes. (5) Flit goes on top for me. She resumed with victory in the Light Fingers Stakes last year, where the stable applied the blinkers for the first time in her career. That was over this distance at Randwick and the blinkers had an obvious effect. They look to have followed the same sort of path leading into her first up run today, with one trial, the blinkers back on and James McDonald booked to ride. She should get a good run and provided the inside isn’t complete quicksand, I think she’ll be very hard to beat. (4) Melody Belle is favourite but I think she’s vulnerable first up over 1200m. This distance appears short of her best nowadays and she hasn’t won first up for a while. The wet ground does favour her as she has 11 wins from 18 starts on rain-affected tracks, but I think we’ll see her drift from her current $4.00 quote. I could have something on her if she hits the $6.00 mark. (10) Eduardo won on his stable debut for Joe Pride. He likes wet ground and he also has the added benefit of a run under the belt. Nine of the 12 horses in the race come into this first up, and Eduardo is the classiest of those that have had a run. Don’t discount him. (3) Imaging is an interesting runner, resuming from a spell as a gelding today. He’s got a good first up record with four top-two finishes from six starts, and that includes last prep when he was absolutely hammered on the home turn and dropped out to run second-last. His record on wet ground is good, he’s won his only start at the track and if 1200m isn’t too sharp for him, he could be right in this at $31.
It’s a fascinating race this one because (10) Tailleur looks very hard to beat but there also looks a few good chances around her. Her run last start was actually very good on a day where it was very hard to win from back in the field at Kensington. She was back and wide without cover, so to run 2nd was actually full of merit. She will handle the wet and provided the track is playing fairly, she’ll be hard to hold out. (1) McCormack shouldn’t be underestimated first up from a spell. He’s won three from four when first up from a spell. His record at this track is poor but he’s worth throwing in the quaddie first up. (3) Golly I’m Lucky comes to town having won three from three this preparation. The form out of those provincial races actually appears okay so don’t discount him in town. (4) Lancaster Bomber is crying out to win a race but he ran at Canterbury on Wednesday so it remains to be seen if he’ll be scratched in the morning. Pretty happy to oppose (7) Best Stone who fell in last start despite an 11/10 ride from Nash Rawiller to give her every possible chance.
(3) Perigord gets the nod at double figure odds to close out the day. I thought his win first up at Canterbury was very good, coming from off the speed and off the rail to win with 61kg, which isn’t easy to do, especially at Canterbury. He won second up last prep and he should get a race run to suit here because there looks plenty of speed on up the front. (2) Cristal Breeze will be another one that relishes the speed on up front and looks to get a great run from barrier 4. He was absolutely blessed in run first up at Canterbury but it was a sound effort last start behind Handspun, and that form is good despite Handspun failing to follow up when unsuited last start. (9) Valdostana resumed with a good effort at Warwick Farm, where the stable have a terrible record, and now comes to Rosehill, where the stable have a good record. Barrier 9 is tricky but expect a strong performance.
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