In a big weekend of racing, eight runners will feature around Australia over the Labour Day long weekend. The navy and gold silks will feature at Cranbourne on Friday night, Flemington and Randwick on Saturday, and Morphettville and Warrnambool on Monday.
The ever-consistent Blue Ocean kicks off a busy weekend of racing in a Benchmark 64 (Race 7 – 9:30 pm). The Phillip Stokes-trained gelding has worked well during the week and is wound up for the 2025m contest, a distance where he boasts a narrow defeat behind the Group performed Game Keeper. From barrier three, we hope to see him settle back in the field and hit the line strongly under leading apprentice Lachlan King.
San Huberto headlines our weekend runners, lining up in the time-honoured Group 1 Australian Cup over 2000m (Race 8 – 4:45 pm). The son of Speightstown has come through his first-up run, where he finished second in the Listed Mornington Cup Prelude, in tremendous order. Trainer Matt Cumani couldn’t be happier with his condition leading into Saturday’s feature event, and we anticipate that he will put in a very competitive effort. Dean Yendall is booked to ride from barrier six.
Two OTI gallopers line up in the Listed Randwick City Stakes over 2000m (Race 4 – 2:25 pm).
The Chris Waller-trained Selino will be out to improve on his first-up performance over 1900m, where he put in a commendable effort after plotting a three-wide course. He steps out here two weeks between runs, and we expect to see him working home strongly from back in the field. The stable can’t fault his condition leading into Saturday and are hopeful of an improved effort with Jason Collett in the saddle.
Group 1 ATC Derby-winning entire Quick Thinker also contests the Listed race with Hugh Bowman aboard from barrier seven. The 2000m distance should be a more suitable trip for him after resuming over seven furlongs. Trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman confirmed that his work had been sharp leading into the race, and we are confident that he will be right in the finish provided he gets conditions to suit.
We take a strong hand across the South Australian border on Monday’s public holiday.
Night’s Watch is set to race in the Listed CS Hayes Memorial Cup over 1600m (Race 6 – 4:00 pm AEDT) for Archie Alexander. The seven-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding has performed below his best in recent times. However, dropping back in grade and distance, we hope to see him improve significantly and put in a strong performance. Mark Zahra is booked to ride from barrier five.
Two runners will contest another vintage edition of the Group 2 Adelaide Cup over 3200m (Race 7 – 4:45 pm AEDT).
Progressive galloper Darvin lines up in the race for Matthew Williams. The Le Havre gelding has been a pillar of consistency this preparation, winning his last two starts impressively. Williams reported that Darvin is in excellent order and working well in the lead up to the race. With Dean Yendall riding from barrier seven, we’re anticipating that he will put in a bold performance and figure in the finish.
The Archie Alexander-trained Barade also races in the Adelaide Cup. Alexander confirmed that the French-bred gelding has come through his last start, where he finished fourth in the Group 3 Launceston Cup, in terrific form. He has secured the prized booking of leading local hoop Jessica Eaton for his biggest test to date. We’re looking forward to seeing him continue his campaign and expect to see him running a big race.
OTI and Archie Alexander also partner up with Milonia in a 1400m Maiden at Warrnambool (Race 4 – 2:25 pm). Alexander is delighted with her progression since her fourth-placed effort at Swan Hill last start, where she continued to find the line after being pressured in the straight. The step-up in trip and wide track at Warrnambool will be to her benefit. With John Allen jumping from barrier nine, we hope to see her show further improvement and find the finish line strongly.
Wishing connections the best of luck!