Australian racing began a little earlier than usual tonight, catching me off guard, but I started off right by hitting the quinella in race 3 with Vigor and Voice Commander for $53.70. With James Winks suspended, Vigor picked up the services of Glen Boss (upon whom I confess having a serious crush). After losing his appeal of a seven-meeting suspension, Kerrin McEvoy is off his mounts today as well.
In the Patinack, it is hard to look beyond Apache Cat, even with the five-month layoff. Sunburnt Land disappointed here a bit in the G2 Salinger last week, finishing third to Hot Danish, but with long-time rider Chris Symons up he should recover nicely here for a piece. (Oh, and he is by Scenic...Foolish Pleasure connection...). Keen Commander also comes out of a disappointing run in the Salinger, but a jockey change to Hugh Bowman may get him back on track (though he does appear to like shorter). Turffontein is a personal favorite, and I wouldn’t look past the mare Bel Mer who has two placings in three tries on the Flemington straight.
In the Emirates, Gai Waterhouse sends the dynamic duo of Bank Robber and Royal Discretion, the former whom looks most promising here with Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Blake Shinn up. Craig Williams replaces Winks on Bart Cummings’ talented mare Mimi Lebrock who comes in off a third-place finish in the G1 Myer Classic last weekend here—dropping down nine pounds in weight, she looks a strong contender breaking from barrier 5. Darren Gauci rides Conquering who is in good form, but he was beaten last out in the G2 Crystal Mile by Sea Battle who breaks awkwardly from barrier 15, but has three wins in three tries on this track—a horse for the course, to say the least. For an upset, look no farther than Clare Lindop on Leon Macdonald’s mare Serious Speed.
In the Queen Elizabeth, hard to look past Baughhurst and Light Vision, with Capecover just behind, but the improving Keepthedreamalive could pull a shocker at a price.