The Rosehill Guineas, short of the Cox Plate, may well be the race in Australian history with the greatest honour roll attached to it. The previous winners include…
Amounis, Dulcify, Strawberry Road, Octagonal and Tie The Knot.
The race has also been won by immortals Ajax and Wenona Girl plus original Hall Of Fame Inductees Phar Lap, Tulloch and Kingston Town.
But what does this all mean? There have been many winners of this race also, that are not remembered as champions. This race has been run every year since 1910 and always at Rosehill so it can be targeted by the best horse on the way to the Sydney Derby.
How about this year? Ignoring the top two for the time being; is there anything under the two favourites that can blow the field away?
Tatra ran third in the Randwick Guineas, but surely the extra distance of this race suits the favourites more than this colt.
Hvasstan won the Alister Clark Stakes over this distance, beating a very good field. In the VRC Derby in the spring, Hvasstan was not far behind Fiveandahalfstar after a torrid run and beat home It’s A Dundeel. Maybe the value in the race?
Sacred Falls came to Australia with a big boom after being undefeated in New Zealand. Track bias and bad runs have hindered his Australian preparation, but the longer the races, the better for this fella. Don’t be surprised if Sacred Falls is the big improver.
Twisted Emotion won really well recently at Gosford and Hugh Bowman stays on. During the spring he ran second to Fiveandahalfstar and potentially should have won that race. He is the clear best long-shot in the race.
Fiveandahalfstar is the most in-form horse in Australia. His front running style makes him very hard to get past considering his obvious stamina and the way many metropolitan courses favour those who lead. You can go over the form as much as you want, and yes he is not winning, but he almost is. He will look the winner at some stage and it will not be a surprise if he holds on to win.
It’s A Dundeel looks like the best bet of the day. Sure, you don’t have to be a Waterhouse to know $1.80 is short but he just looks so well suited. Before the Derby in Melbourne he beat the $1.40 chance Proisir in the Spring Champion Stakes. Proisir was not unlucky, It’s A Dundeel was simply brilliant. Then the son of High Chaparral was beaten as a long odds on favourite over the 2040m at Moonee Valley. But his conqueror that day was Super Cool who has gone on to do great things. Then he got so far back in the VRC Derby that not even Bernborough could have won from the position James McDonald had him in. He also hated the really firm ground. Then first up he was brilliant taking ground off Pierro, then in the Randwick Guineas he beat Proisir. There are no holes in his form. We have seen the best of Fiveandahalfstar, but have we seen the best of It’s A Dundeel?
Verdict: It’s A Dundeel to get past Fiveandahalfstar with Twisted Emotions to fly home for third. Hvasstan for 4th. In a race like this, where there only appears to be two main chances, we are often stunned by upsets. However, It’s A Dundeel and Fiveandahalfstar don’t look like they are the types who will disappoint. Win bet on It’s A Dundeel. Take the $1.80 and run.
By Zeb Armstrong