The BMW is a very unique race. 2400m at WFA worth almost 2.5 million dollars. This year’s edition has a standout favourite, some proven WFA horses, some imports, some wildcards, some non-winners and some plodding stayers. Where to look? Look to the bottom of the field.
This import has won its last two starts by a combined total of 13 lengths. He looks ideally suited at the 2400m and his international form is really solid too. The imported stayers are better than the Aussies stayers. Simple. WFA is the only tick against this boy; if it was a handicap he would be on top, but in giving weight to the bottom two in the weights he is slightly disadvantaged. He looks to be able to grind his way into a race and also has a good turn of foot; a unique two skills that are very crucial in Australian distance racing. Look for this entire to make his presence felt at some stage in the home straight.
Another German import, Marwingo ran on really nicely at his last start. He generally does not look as good at the 2400m as at the 2000m but his talent is too good to ignore. He will be at close to 20/1 on Saturday. There is a chance that he has been trained to be better at the longer distances as compared to when he first arrived and was brilliant at distances between 1600m to 2000m. On his best form Marwingo has plenty of class and can be dominant if he has his mind on the job.
A potential superstar in the making here. He seems to run second a lot, but he should have won all his starts this time in. Cummings knew he could not beat It’s A Dundeel last start and kept him for this race instead. He has weight relief due to being a three-year-old and he needs it because he does not seem to be the smartest horse in the world. He will lead, he will kick and he will probably win. But…
Remember when this mare ran past Solzenitsyn and Rangirandoo at Moonee Valley? She looked like a world beater. She is screaming out for the 2400m and ran on as well as Maluckyday and Marwingo in the Ranvet. She has form around all the best horses and she does not mind a wet track. The most appealing fact is that she is three times the odds of Fiveandahalfstar. Yes she has been towelled by that horse at her last start but there is just something about her. She looks to be a similar mare to Republic Lass in that she is a little inconsistent but can pull out a huge run on occasion. Republic Lass was third in the BMW the day Northerly and Freemason ended each other’s careers with a battle to the death down the Rosehill home straight.
Verdict: Fiveandahaflstar deserves to be the favourite and there is no doubt that this group of three-year-olds are better than the older horses plus they get weight relief. Follow the class in this race; the plodding Sydney Cup types do not have a good record in this race. The four horses listed above all have a touch of class. It takes a really good WFA horse to win this race like Octagonal or Tie The Knot not a grinding stayer that is forever running on.
4th. Hatras. A handicapper but he may have some hidden class and just may be a freak.
3rd. Marwingo. Class personified and he has to improve at some stage.
2nd. Fiveandahalfstar. If he brings his best he is just better than the others but he has moods and is a long way into a preparation.
By Zeb Armstrong