Rosehill will conduct its first meeting since Golden Slipper day. The track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday and with fine & sunny weather in Sydney, the track should remain in the Good range on raceday.
The Brisbane Winter Carnival is upon us and the Group 1 BTC Cup will be run at Eagle Farm this Saturday. The track was rated a Dead 4 on Thursday and with showers forecast for Brisbane, the track is likely to stay in the Dead range on raceday.
In the Centrebet Juvenile Stayer (Sydney Race 1, 1800m), the class runner is Drago. He has been racing in Group 1 company finishing 4th in the Sires Produce Stakes to Guelph and again finishing 4th in the Champagne Stakes last start to the same galloper. He came from a long way back and was only beaten 0.7 length by Guelph. Trainer Anthony Cummings has openly admitted that he’ll be aiming Drago at the Champion Stakes and Victoria Derby in the Spring. The 1800m suits Drago nicely on Saturday and he should kick off the day on a winning way for the punters.
In the Ken Callander Fellowship (Sydney Race 3, 1100m), the Guy Walter-trained Party Dress has slowly worked her way back to form. Her last start 2nd over this distance at Canterbury was a good effort. From barrier 4, Blake Shinn will settle her just behind the leaders. And this mare hates wet track. She has seven career wins and all of them were on Good track. The likely Good condition on Saturday will certainly help her. Currently at $13.00 fixed odds, Party Dress represents a good each-way bet.
In the Lord Mayors Cup (Sydney Race 6, 2000m), I like the Chris Waller-trained Beaten Up. This imported horse has slowly worked up to a suitable distance. The step up to 2000m will suit Beaten Up nicely. His last start 2nd (beaten by a nose) over the mile at Hawkesbury was a great run. And Waller seems to have the knack to get these imported horses, like Kelinni, ready for Australian racing. At $5.00 fixed odds, I believe that is still value for Beaten Up.
In the Group 1 BTC Cup at Eagle Farm (Brisbane Race 7, 1200m) Buffering would have to be the best sprinter currently racing without winning a Group 1 race. Somehow, he kept running into Black Caviar & Hay List. Well, those two horses will not be there on Saturday and that gives Buffering his best chance to finally win his maiden Group 1. The weight-for-age scale would give Buffering an advantage. And with a good record 2nd up, at Eagle Farm over 1200m, all figures are pointing to Buffering as the likely winner. However if the rain keep pouring down and the track downgraded to Slow, then the best wet-tracker in Australia, Rain Affair, will come into play. Rain Affair has been unbeaten from 6 starts on Slow or Heavy going. He is in-form having finished a close 2nd to retiring champion All Too Hard in the All Aged Stakes two weeks ago. And the drop back to 1200m suits him perfectly.
By Owens Wong, Editor