The Theo Marks Stakes meeting will be held at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday (12th Sept). The course proper was rated a Soft 6 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Rosehill is likely to be racing on the better side of a Soft track on raceday.
The very much in-form Yulong Base can provide trainer Cody Morgan a win the TAB Highway Handicap (Sydney Race 2, 1400m). This 5YO gelding has won twice with two 2nd placings from 4 starts this campaign including his last start victory in a Class 2 Highway Handicap over this track & trip. The 1400m is his pet distance as he has a win and two placings from 3 attempts at the trip and Yulong Base can handle any track conditions. Morgan will put blinkers on the gelding on Saturday and from barrier 12, Andrew Gibbons will go forward and sit just behind the leaders and Yulong Base could prove hard to run down in the straight.
The very promising North Pacific is primed to turn the table on Farnan and takes out the Run To The Rose (Sydney Race 6, 1200m). Back in the Autumn, this Team Hawkes-trained colt ran 3rd to eventual Golden Slipper winner Farnan in the Silver Slipper. He then went for a spell and he came back with a bang. First up on the 11th July, North Pacific outclassed the field by 2.5 lengths on a Heavy 8 track. Last start, North Pacific demolished the field in the Up & Coming Stakes by more than 5 lengths. Even fitter when 3rd up on Saturday. Having drawn the rail’s gate, James McDonald will park behind the pace on the fence and he’ll be ready to pounce in the straight. With two runs under his belt, North Pacific will have a fitness edge on Farnan and he is the one they have to beat.
Special Reward looks to have conditions to suit in the Theo Marks Stakes (Sydney Race 7, 1300m). This Kris Lees-trained 5YO did run a good race first-up when 3rd to the smart Roheryn in the Show County Quality three weeks ago. Stepping up to 1300m second-up looks ideal. Special Reward has a terrific record on Soft tracks having won 3 times and a placing from 4 attempts and the gelding has just as good a second-up record. The in-form Nash Rawiller will take over the rein on Saturday. Beautifully drawn in barrier 6, Rawiller will go to the front and Special Reward could prove hard to catch.
By Owens Wong, Editor