The autumn racing season is well underway and the Group 1 racing is heating up this weekend in Sydney.
At Rosehill Gardens, we have Casterton and Vin de Dance both contesting the Group 3 Manion Cup. Trainer Chris Waller believes that Casterton can bounce back to form and will get conditions to suit given the recent rainfall and heavy track rating. Having drawn the widest barrier, prominent Sydney jockey James McDonald takes to the irons again this start and will provide the horse a comfortable ride, making his move early to ensure Casterton won’t be left flat-footed. Stepping up to a more suitable distance of 2400m, we look forward to seeing a strong finish.
Vin de Dance has made the journey across the ditch from New Zealand to Australia this week and has done nothing but impress the Baker and Forsman team leading into the weekend. A well-travelled horse, Vin de Dance has taken this week all in his stride and looks set to relish in the Sydney conditions. Having previously won on both soft and heavy tracks, Forsman believes that the wet shouldn’t worry Vin de Dance and he is primed to run a competitive race.
Night’s Watch also heads to Rosehill this Saturday having made the trip up to Sydney overnight. A solid field in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes, we are hoping to see his luck reversed this start after a difficult run in transit throughout his Australia Cup run. A slight change in gear with a near-side blinker, Ben Melham on board and the softer going that this horse appreciates, Night’s Watch is armed to replicate the great Gailo Chop’s win from 2018.
Heading down to Victoria on Saturday we have Mornington Cup Day on the Peninsula where High Bridge has made the trip from Sydney in search of good ground to contest the feature race of the day. The 2400m Listed Mornington Cup is a race that gains a ballot-free entry into the 2019 Caulfield Cup, so trainer Chris Waller is taking advantage of the firmer tracks, giving High Bridge the opportunity to earn his place in the feature Group 1 field this spring carnival.
Also joining High Bridge at Mornington is Lindsay Park trained Fastnet Tempest, who runs first-up this campaign in the Listed Hareeba Stakes. A son of Fastnet Rock, Fastnet Tempest is a consistent performer having won and placed in a number of Listed races in recent times, including a second place in the Sale Cup last preparation.
Sunday sees two OTI runners head to Ballarat where Greyazz and Sollevare go head to head in the 1400m BM64 for the final race of the day. Both horses are making a return to the track this preparation, with Greyazz coming off the back of an eye-catching career debut win for trainer Archie Alexander. Matt Cumani trained Sollevare is looking for further and will benefit from the added race fitness. Having drawn the widest barrier in a field of 13, apprentice jockey Fred Kersley will offer some weight relief and look to ensure a comfortable run in transit for the horse.
Above: Greyazz makes light work of his first win.
We wish each of our weekend runner’s connections the best of luck, and happy punting!Continue Reading