Sydney racing moves to Rosehill on Saturday. Cloudy period forecast on race day. The Rosehill track was rate a Good 3 on Thursday, and should remain a Good 3 on race day.
Showers predicted on race day in Melbourne. The Flemington track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday but could be downgraded to Dead 4 on race day.
In the opening race (Sydney Race 1, 1100m) the Tim Martin trained Let’s Frolic should start the meeting off for punters in a winning way. The 2 year old filly was racing a bit keen on debut two weeks ago at Warwick Farm over 1000m. Top weight Regimental Pride finished off his race well and just got there by a nose last start. There isn’t a lot between the 2 horses however Regimental Pride has to concede 3.5kg to Let’s Frolic and that could make the difference at the finish.
In the Australian Turf Club Bm71 (Sydney Race 3, 1400m) race favourite Lilliburlero looks the good. On debut, the Redoubt’s Choice filly box seated from the inside gate over 1400m at Newcastle. She moved away in the straight to win by one and a half lengths. From barrier 5 on Saturday, I can see Glyn Schofield given Lilliburlero a nice trail and be too strong at the finish.
The David Van Dyke trained Choice Words is having her 2nd up run in the Ascend Sale Trophies BM85 (Sydney Race 5, 1200m). The mare ran on well in her 1st up run without threatening the winner. The step up to 1200m suits her. Jockey Blake Shinn had twitted that he was wrap with Choice Words after he rode track work at Warwick Farm on Thursday. With the scratching of top weight Capital Commander, whom I expect to be the leader in the race, I expect Shinn will settle the mare a bit closer to the lead from barrier 1. Choice Words looks the winner in this race.
The feature race of the meeting, the Listed Christmas Cup (Sydney Race 6, 2400m) top weight Fiumicino is no doubt the class horse in this race. Though he’s a 9 year old, he still shows plenty of zest for racing. He lead from start to finish winning the Underwood Cup last start. But he has been allotted 59kg and has to give plenty of weight to his main opponents. Race favourite Cantonese has won 5 races in his last 7 starts. Jenny Duggan had ridden the gelding in all 5 wins but she will be replaced by Jimmy Cassidy on Saturday. With these 2 horses engaged, the pace should be reasonably genuine and that could play in the hands of Moriarty. The Chris Waller trained gelding finished 3rd to Fiumicino last start and he will receive an extra 2kg weight pull on Saturday from Fiumicino. From barrier 5, Cory Brown would settle the gelding about 5th one off the fence with cover, and issue his challenge in the straight. On weight and measure, Moriarty is my pick for the Christmas Cup.
By Owens Wong, Editor