Sydney racing is at Rosehill this weekend. The track was rated a Good 3 on Thursday and with overcast weather in Sydney, the track should remain a Good 3 on race day.
Sunny weather in Melbourne, the Caulfield track was rated a Dead 4 on Thursday and the track should be bordering on Good 3/Dead 4 on race day.
In the Blackwoods CRC Industries (Sydney Race 3, 1200m) Chris Waller has a promising Testa Rossa gelding in ‘Heart Testa’. The gelding won 2 from 2 in his first preparation. He ran 2nd hard held in an 800m trial at Warwick Farm last week. He is ready for a first up win.
In the Blackwoods Hitachi (Sydney Race 4, 1500), the in-form Paul Messara stable has provided the horse to beat in ‘Secluded’. The 4 year old mare has run two good 2nds in her past two starts. With the claim of Sam Clipperton, Secluded will only carry 54kg and from barrier 1, Clipperton can park the horse just behind the speed and get a nice trail. Titbit is another horse I like in the race. Steping up to 1500m suits her. However being a back marker, the anticipated slow pace could come against her.
In the Blackwoods Uvex Safety (Sydney Race 5, 2000m) top weight Cantonese is striving to win his third race in a row. He is definitely the form horse in the race winning 5 of his last 6 starts. He also won at this track and distance 2 weeks ago. His regular jockey Jenny Duggan has got her one month suspension overturned during the week so she would continue her association with Cantonese. After Duggan’s claim, Cantonese will only carry 56.5kg so he hasn’t been harshly treated. Cantonese can continue his winning way.
The feature race for the meeting, the Listed Festival Stakes (Sydney Race 6, 1500m) has a lot of runners with Villiers Stakes ambitions. None more so than last year’s winner Monton. The Ron Quinton trained Monton won the Festival Stakes-Villiers Stakes double last year, however he does have 59kg to contend with this year and that may be too much to ask for Monton to achieve the double. I think Peter Snowden trained Galah could well be the horse to beat. The 4 year old has been racing consistently in good class races in Melbourne, beaten only 2 lengths in a Group 3 race two starts back and ran a close 2nd over a mile at Flemington last start. Even though he hasn’t started for 4 weeks, Galah is hard fit and ready to run a strong 1500m. From barrier 3, McEvoy will have all the options on where to settle the horse. Currently at $5.50 fixed odds, Galah is my pick for the Festival Stakes.
By Owens Wong, Editor