Summary Of Our Trainers’ Tips For Spring Champion Stakes Day

From Michael Freedman

Horse: Mumbai Muse
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Brian Crowley Stakes) She just pulled up a bit flat and her blood was a little bit off (after the Tea Rose Stakes), nothing serious but enough at that level to take the polish off. She came back bouncing and looking pleased with herself. I was rapt with the trial. She gives me the impression that she’s on top of her game again and she’s only had three runs this preparation. It’d be lovely to pick off a nice race this preparation and then reboot for the autumn. She’s certainly a high class filly. She’s been so competitive against the good fillies in the first two parts of the Princess Series, she’s probably got her foot on the till. You’d imagine from the draw (gate 4) she would camp just behind the speed somewhere.

Horse: Ducasse
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, Callander-Presnell) Ducasse has drawn wide gates in three consecutive races. The colt drew the outside of 16 in the Ming Dynasty and seven of nine in the Tapp-Craig and hasn’t been beaten far. Up to the mile at Randwick it’s probably more negotiable from a wide gate than some of them at Rosehill. We might try and look at being a little more positive. He has the visors going on, I feel he’s been stargazing a bit in his races. He gives every indication that he will appreciate the mile. He hasn’t had a great deal of luck in any of his runs this campaign. He needs to at some stage put his hand up but he’s going better than his form suggests.

Horse: Bunker Hut
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 10, National Jockeys Trust Hcp) It’s a harder race than a Midway but the step up to the 1400m with a slightly softer tempo and a good barrier draw will set up better than what it was looking like last week. I think he is up to that level if he gets the right run. I thought his run at Rosehill on a track that wasn’t suiting horses trying to make ground down the middle of the track was a pretty decent run.

From Luke Pepper

Horse: Opal Ridge
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, The Invitation) The whole ride through for everyone involved has been unbelievable. I always knew she was different, and next level, but to be racing in these races for this amount of money for a little country stable in Scone is pretty amazing. It’s a tough race, she’s stepping back into a race against pretty much top level mares proven at Group 1 level. She’s got to perform, if she’s highly competitive and if she’s right in the finish then we’re crazy not to have a crack at (the Golden Eagle). If there’s any doubt we won’t head to it but if she puts her hand up then we will back up. She’s so versatile, she’s led and won and come from last and won. The barrier (gate 3) takes a lot of thinking out of it, you can be confident where you’re going to land and if they go slow she can be close and if they run along she can sit off them. She was good on that firm track (first-up) but if she gets a bit of sting out of it that will help her.

From Brad Widdup

Horse: Ausbred Rising Sun
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 4, EGroup Protective Services Hcp) After placing in a Group race in Melbourne, he went up a few Benchmark points and has been carrying big weights early in the spring carnival here against more season horses. I had a bit of a setback with him when he had an infected leg and had to miss a run, so it‘s been a tricky preparation but he is going well. Ideally I think he would be better suited over 2000m.

Horse: Fire Lane
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Brian Crowley Stakes) All of her life she has basically ran in black type company and she drops back to a Benchmark race (last start in BM72) and did a massive job. Before this preparation, she had a big two-year-old preparation with the Magic Millions and everything like that. She went right through to virtually the Slipper but did a big job. She is in good order, is drawn well and I would expect her to run a solid race.

Horse: Ausbred Flirt
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, The Invitation) Ausbred Flirt will be stepping back from a mile to tackle the 1400m feature. I did it with Icebath when she ran in the Epsom and then come back in trip to win this (in 2021). I have never worried about dropping them back from a mile to 1400m. A mile to 1200m is probably a different story but I think a mile back to 1400m is fine so I am happy to do it. She came from the outside draw (last start in the Angst Stakes), had to work early and it was a month between runs over the mile so I think there is a few things there to suggest she is going well. There was enough there for her to suggest she is going well with how she ran in the Angst (Stakes).

From John Sargent

Horse: Glad You Think So
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Spring Champion Stakes) Glad You Think So is showing considerable staying potential and has earned his chance at Group 1 level in the Spring Champion Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday. This is effectively his first racing preparation so what he is doing now, he will be a lot better again in another year or so. But we have taken him along quietly and he is learning the game with every run. Like a lot of the So You Think progeny, the longer this colt has been in work, he seems to mature more mentally and physically. I’ve been waiting for him to get to 2000m. He hasn’t run over it yet but we think it will be in his favour. He was beaten less than a length over 1800m (in the Gloaming Stakes) coming back slightly in distance off his previous win so the 2000m should suit him. Glad You Think So has a big action and a low head carriage so if he gets a bit of room to move, it will help him as he will just keep coming.

From Todd Smart

Horse: Love Shuck
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 3, Highway Hcp) We’d targetted the Highway but accepted for the [Listed] Crowley Stakes if we were balloted out. There is a scratching already and knowing some Highway trainers, unlikely they’ll run from wide gates. We should be in and hard to beat. He’s winning on raw talent despite doing a few little things wrong. It’s not as issue (tendency to lay in), inexperienced three-year-old, four starts and three wins, can’t do much more. He wants something to chase, when he got to them so quickly at Wagga, he switched off ducked in, could have won by a space. We use the gear needed (lugging bit, winkers and earmuffs (pre-race only)). He’s still learning to race, all that will all come with experience.

From Nathan Doyle

Horse: Dalaalaat
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 2, Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap) The gelding ran an improved 2nd at Eagle Farm third-up from a break after dealing with wide gates in Sydney and I am relieved to have a soft alley (gate 2). That’s when he’s been at his best, when he can be covered up and expose him late. He drew a nice gate in Queensland and ran a respectable race. It’s a bit tougher for him here but I’d like to keep him down here for a race at Randwick. That’s the main reason rather than being on a truck twice in one preparation.

Horse: Midnight Opal
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 5, Brian Crowley Stakes) The three-year-old has been strategically handled in his two starts to date for a debut win at Scone and a Class 1 win at Kembla Grange. He’s a good horse and he’s doing it all on his first racing preparation. He’s a beautiful horse. He’s athletic, he wasn’t overly big but he looked like he could run and he can do so. I’m sure he’s going to be better again next time in but they are only three once and to take on your own age is probably more beneficial than taking on a benchmark 72 against older horses. He’s been a little bit of a natural. I feel he is a horse that will be a lot more effective in better grade, he’s not a leader. When we can ride him with cover like we did first-up he’ll be a better horse. He has a lot better turn of foot ridden that way as well. I’m sure he can take that step to stakes level.

From Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott

Horse: Raf Attack
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Spring Champion Stakes) Raf Attack ran his rivals ragged when leading throughout in the Gloaming Stakes last start. Raf Attack has got natural tactical speed and is that go-forward type of horse, so he will be able to roll forward from that outside draw (gate 11) which is what he likes to do.

Horse: Ganbare
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 7, Spring Champion Stakes) Ganbare was an impressive winner of the Dulcify Quality two starts back before having a torrid run from a wide gate to finish midfield last start in the Gloaming Stakes. The softer draw (gate 4) helps Ganbare’s chances as well. He was caught wide throughout last start and that made it difficult for him, but I thought he stuck on well considering. Go back the start before and it was a very strong win over the mile.

Horse: Alcohol Free
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 8, The Invitation) She’s come through it (The Everest) really well. I think that was just a bit fast and furious the other day and didn’t really suit her. I think when she gets over further distance, it’ll suit her even more. Adam Hyeronimus would replace Craig Williams on the five-year-old mare, he’ll suit her really well. I think once she can get to the mile it’ll suit her much better. I’d love to see her in the Myer (Empire Rose) or even the Matriarch (Stakes), she’ll run 2000 metres with her eyes shut. Hopefully we’ll get another lovely long season out of her… I’m really, really happy with her.

From Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou

Horse: Arctic Glamour
Message: (Saturday, Randwick Race 9, Callander-Presnell) She was athletic, well balanced, moved well, she was just a really nice filly. A last start winner of the Listed Reginald Allen Stakes. She pulled up terrific. She copped her last run really well. She will go to the Callander-Presnell. It’s a Group Two, we find out if she runs 1600 metres and it gives us three weeks to the Thousand Guineas, so the turnaround is good if we want to go down that path.

From The Editor

Sydney Race 7 – Tom Kitten
Sydney Race 8 – Magic Time
Sydney Race 9 – Snowman

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