Winter form hard to pick
From a punting perspective, Saturday’s Group races are shaping as a tricky proposition. A mix of in-form winter performers who have a fitness edge and carnival contenders who are first or second-up. Do you stick with the horses you know are racing well and have match practice, or opt for a touch of class to prevail?
And how well will the form on wet winter tracks stack up as the weather warms up in the coming weeks? Take the Group Three Aurie’s Star Stakes at Flemington. The Peter Moody-trained Ready To Rip has a couple of recent runs to his credit, winning both in style. But they have been on slow tracks. In fact, his record on the wet might be telling. He has raced nine times on slow or heavy ground for five wins and two placings. In contrast, he has just one placing from six starts on good ground.
Stablemate Golden Archer was superb when he resumed from a long break with victory last month. One of the best two-year-olds of his generation, he looks like he means business. Pago Rock and Moment Of Change wouldn’t have to have improved much to be a force at this level and both race particularly well first-up.
The Missile Stakes is the feature in Sydney and while it isn’t a vintage field—who would have picked Earnest Ernest as a Group Three runner?—it will hold enough interest. Title looks hard to beat on ability alone but he has traditionally been vulnerable first-up with just one win from five attempts. Centennial Park has a good fresh record while Pinwheel looks ideally suited. He was third to Rain Affair in the corresponding race last year, it’s his home track and he races well fresh. The Rosebud for the three-year-olds will also be interesting with the likes of Jade Marauder and Fundido set to make their seasonal returns. Tim Martin is stepping Red Dynamite straight up to Listed grade after giving him an easy kill at Goulburn on debut last month and he could be the fly in the ointment. Whether you fancy a winter wonder or a carnival hopeful, Sportingbet has you covered. www.sportingbet.com.au.998 views