The Festival Stakes meeting will be held at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Rosehill will be racing on a Good track on race day.
The Melburnian visitor Muntaseera looks the horse to beat in the opening event at Rosehill (Sydney Race 1, 1100m). The I Am Invincible filly made her debut at Flemington on 5th Nov over 1000m where she finished 2nd behind Aryaaf. That race experience would do her the world of good. Having drawn the outside gate (7), Hugh Bowman would ease her back in the field and Muntaseera will be finishing with a booming run in the straight.
The Mark Newnham-trained Invictus Salute is ready to peak on Saturday in the Ranvet Handicap (Sydney Race 5, 1100m). The 4YO mare has been rather consistent having won 3 times with another 5 placings from 13 starts and she has a good record over 1100m with 2 wins and 4 placings at the trip. Invictus Salute did a good job last start over this track & trip with a 2nd behind the Chris Waller-trained Lucicello. The in-form Rachel King will be on board on Saturday. From barrier 11 and with pretty good pace in the race, King is likely to settle just behind the leading bunch and Invictus Salute will be too strong in the run home.
Scone trainer Bernie Kelly has Bobbing primed to take out the Festival Stales (Sydney Race 7, 1500m). The lightly raced 6YO had a fair bit of injuries early in his career. But his class is there for all to see when he took out the Provincial Championship Final at Randwick in the autumn. This gelding resumed in the $1.3 million Kosciuszko where he came from third last to finish a close 3rd, beaten only 1.1 lengths by Handle The Truth before a sound 4th under 60kg at Newcastle. This gelding is ready to peak stepping up to 1500m 3rd up this campaign. Bobbing has only been allotted the limit weight of 53kg and has drawn nicely in barrier 5. James Innes will settle behind mid-field and Bobbing will mow down this field in the last furlong of the race.
By Owens Wong, Editor