The Coolmore Classic meeting will be held at Rosehill this weekend. The track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday and with fine weather forecast, the track should remain in the Good range on raceday.
Melbourne racing will be held at Caulfield on Saturday. The track was rated a Dead 4 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Melbourne, the track probably will remain Dead 4 on raceday.
In the Moet & Chandon Stakes (Rosehill Race 2, 1200m), I believe Overreach can turn the table on Villa Verde. The last time these two fillies met was in October last year at Caulfield. On that occasion, Villa Verde was a bit too good. But Overreach is a more mature filly now and the fact that Villa Verde will be having her first start the Sydney way of going will certainly give Overreach an edge. Overreach is short, but should win.
In the Sky High Stakes (Rosehill Race 3, 1900m) there are plenty of good stayers running in it. But I opt for a horse who is running at 1900m for the first time. The Paul Murray-trained Alma’s Fury has been racing very consistently having won the Group 2 Apollo Stakes this preparation. He looked as though he was looking for more ground in the Chipping Norton Stakes last start so I believe he is ready to run out the 1900m. Currently Alma’s Fury is at $10.00 in the fixed odds market and that represents a good each-way bet.
In the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (Rosehill Race 6, 2000m) a few horses are backing up from the Australian Cup. But none of them were as impressive as Fiveandahalfstar. The VRC Derby winner has chalked up three 2nds this preparation and he was very impressive beaten only by a nose by Super Cool in the Australian Cup last start. From barrier 4, Peter Robl will take Fiveandahalfstar to race just behind the leader. With even luck, Fiveandahalfstar should make amend to his Australian Cup defeat.
The Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (Rosehill Race 8, 1300m) consists of a super hot field. More Joyous, Pierro, Moment Of Change, Happy Trails, Rain Affair and Solzhenitsyn would ensure it is going to be a mouth watering contest. I believe Gai’s two champions will fight out the finish. Pierro and More Joyous are both great horses. The 1st up effort from Pierro was impressive as he was racing on an unsuitable Heavy track over 1400m and yet he won with authority. However, I think the 1300m suits the 1st up More Joyous better. And the fact that the mare is unbeaten over the distance and winning 6 from 8 starts 1st up would also have prompted me to pick More Joyous over Pierro. Finally I believe More Joyous is more tactically flexible of the two horses and that quality is very important in weight-for-age races. I hereby declare More Joyous the winner of the 2013 Canterbury Stakes.
By Owens Wong, Editor