Social Icons

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spring Has Sprung

In Australia, that is...

With spring racing just getting started in earnest Down Under, late Friday nights (and early Saturday mornings) are pure bliss for me. And after a long work week, there’s nothing better for relaxing than firing up Twinspires (ironic, isn’t it, that I can bet on horses half-way around the world, but not at Presque Isle Downs, about 75 miles from my home).

At Moonee Valley, 3-year-old filly Dan Baroness won the G3 Champagne Stakes, her first graded stakes placing. However, the Testa Rossa filly Ortensia impressed me most, getting second over Impressive Eagle. Ortensia is a headcase; all the other horses had to clear the paddock before they led her out and immediately to the track. She apparently freaked out and flipped over once before, so they handle her cautiously. Still, she's very talented; look for her in the 1000 Guineas on October 15.

16-1 longshot Guillotine threw a shocker in winning the G2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes, on top of 22-1 Casual Pass and 80-1 Tears I Cry. Not often a graded stakes sees so many high-priced horses coming in, so very disappointing performances for Maldivian, Pompeii Ruler, and Alamosa who had finished second, third and fourth respectively behind Weekend Hussler in the G2 Memsie last out.

In the G1 Manikato Stakes, 5-year-old gelding Typhoon Zed narrowly defeated 4-year-old mare Absolut Glam who was making her seasonal debut after last seen winning the G1 Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm back in June. Doubtlessly, Typhoon Zed benefitted from his current fitness level, having reeled off three consecutive placing including winning the G3 Concorde Stakes on August 30. Still, Absolut Glam looked fabulous closing strongly late and we’ll see big things from her this campaign.

In the race I was most looking forward to witnessing, lovely 5-year-old Carnegie mare Tuesday Joy rebounded from her tough Memsie loss to Weekend Hussler and took the G2 Arrow Training Stock Stakes with extreme ease. Trainer Gai Waterhouse is aiming her for the G1 Turnbull Stakes on October 4, hopefully a rematch with Weekend Hussler as both colt and mare aim for the ultimate prize, the G1 Melbourne Cup on November 4.

At Rosehill, I was all over Hurrah who won the G3 Kingston Town Stakes, but my quinella was ruined when the favorite Red Lord beat out Sir Fussalot. Considering Typhoon Zed’s big win, I played Hurried Choice in the G2 Theo Marks Stakes, as the 4-year-old Choisir mare had finished third behind him last out. It was an angle that paid off big time, as Hurried Choice won impressively over the other mare in the race, Forensics. Longshot Ice Chariot finished third, as favorites Hoystar and Theseo failed miserably. Girl power!


STEVE BREM said...

Hope you're right about Ortensia! I bought her at the sales.

STEVE BREM said...

Oh, I nearly forgot - I selected and recommended Absolut Glam also!

Valerie said...

Steve, thanks for chiming in! Wow, what two nice fillies. I've been on the Absolut Glam bandwagon for quite some time now, but just discovered Ortensia this past week. Amazing that here in the States we can view and appreciate your racing so much! I'll add your blog to my blog list as well to keep track of any insights you have on these two and others. Cheers!

STEVE BREM said...

From your research, is Scenic the vehicle through which Foolish Pleasure has had the greatest impact on the breed?

Valerie said...

Undoubtedly Scenic is one of the top products of a Foolish Pleasure damline. That cross with Sadlers Wells is potent, as visible in Foolish Pleasure’s daughter Radiant who produced Desert Fox (I believe he is standing in New Zealand now) and Lady Elgar whose progeny include the promising turfsters Grand Couturier racing now in the U.S. and Yaqeen in the UK.

The up-and-coming line to watch here in the U.S. is Smarty Jones whose first foals are racing this year.

Through his daughter Americanrevelation’s daughter They Say, Foolish Pleasure also produced Hasna whose first two offspring appear to be well-respected. What do you think of their potential?

STEVE BREM said...

Gai and I were underbidders on Hasna as a yearling. We approached the successful bidder and asked if he'd consider letting Gai train her - he'd had another trainer for 30 years. Somewhat surprisingly, he said yes! She was a perfectly balanced, crackerjack two-year-old. Her Encosta filly was a carbon copy and made a lot of money at the sales. My client had visions of buying her, I told him she would be too expensive ($1.5 m) so we settled on a Lonhro filly ex a G1 winner for $500k instead. Both unraced at this point I think.