ThoroughBred Racing

Champions Sprint preview

Champions Sprint preview

Nature Strip

Had his colours lowered as an odds-on favourite by Giga Kick in the Everest last start after being forced to work hard from a wide barrier, showing that there is a chink in the armour of the world’s highest rated sprinter second-up. A return to Flemington means that James McDonald doesn’t need to be forced into a speed battle and has the opportunity to be more patient than he was at Randwick. Already a two-time winner of this race and should be suited by the wide draw.

 

Masked Crusader

Has a bad habit of being slow out of the barriers and that is making his life extremely difficult in elite level sprint races. Closed off strongly in the Everest but basically blew his hopes at the start. Only raced twice at Flemington previously and was a little underwhelming on both occasions. Has the talent to be competitive in this race, just hard to trust that he will be genuine on the day.

 

The Inferno

Missed a run in the Manikato Stakes and while poor to the eye in the Moir Stakes, there was multiple excuses on that occasion. Kept up to the mark with a solid recent trial at Mornington and will appreciate a return to a Good surface. Only previous start at Flemington was inconclusive as he was severely hampered by interference in the Lightning Stakes.

 

Rothfire

Very honest sprinter who was no match for Bella Nipotina last start but was still the best of the rest in the Manikato Stakes. First start at Flemington so somewhat unknown as to how he will handle the straight course. Record suggests he is a class below the elite Group 1 sprinters but his racing style should put him on-speed early and he might give some cheek near the lead.

 

Paulele

Disappointing run in the Manikato Stakes and hard to really know what went wrong. He seems to appreciate firmer footing so may improve back on top of the ground. Only previous Flemington straight course start was in the Coolmore Stud Stakes last year and he was disappointing. James Cummings has opted for the blinkers and that could be a gear change that sparks this enigmatic entire back to his best form.

 

Front Page

Brilliant winner of the Kosciuszko at Randwick on Everest day, jumping straight to the lead and running his rivals in to the ground. His win rated approximately five lengths inferior to Giga Kick’s victory in the Everest over the same distance on the same day. Jumping sharply in grade to now take on the best sprinters in the country at weight-for-age and although possibly outclassed, he has previously won well on the straight course at Flemington.

 

The Astrologist

On the quick back-up after placing third behind Argentia in the Rising Fast Stakes last Saturday. Significantly up in class although does have a real liking for the straight track at Flemington. Hard to see him winning at weight-for-age against the best sprinters in the country but may run a cheeky race and sneak in to the placings if the big guns fail to fire.

 

Baller

Powerful win at his Flemington debut in the Bobbie Lewis Quality before solid effort when beaten 2.6 lengths by Private Eye in the Gilgai Stakes here on Turnbull Stakes day. Clearly a run below the elite sprinters at this stage of his career but has a liking for the straight course and should appreciate the improving track conditions.

 

Bella Nipotina

Brilliant winner of the Manikato Stakes in what was clearly a career peak performance. It was obviously impressive to the eye winning by almost five lengths and was replicated on the clock too. Finished third, beaten almost five lengths, by Nature Strip in this race last year off a narrow defeat in the Manikato, but there is a strong case to be made that she is clearly racing better this campaign. Likely to race on a dry surface for the first time this preparation and seems to have a real liking for wet ground.

 

September Run

Not suited in both runs this preparation at Moonee Valley and happy to forgive the beaten margins in the Moir and Manikato Stakes. Multiple winner at this track in the past but has struggled to match motors with Nature Strip in the past, and finished fourth in this same race last year.

 

Roch ‘N’ Horse

Has won a Newmarket Handicap and recorded placings in both the Bobby Lewis and Gilgai Stakes since joining Mike Moroney’s Flemington stable. Clearly taking on stronger opposition now but is better suited at the weights in this event than she was when carrying a weight penalty in the Gilgai and placing second to Private Eye.

 

Levante

Returns to racing for the first time since running a terrific fourth when on the wrong side of the track in the Newmarket Handicap here in March. Only beaten two lengths by Roch ‘N’ Horse on that occasion and the pair have matched motors several times with mixed results in New Zealand.

 

Argentia

Strong chance she will now be trained as 1200m straight track horse following her strong win in the Rising Fast Stakes last Saturday. Connections have rightly attempted to stretch her out over further due to her pedigree being a daughter of Frankel out of Princess Coup but her best performances have been when fresh and kept to six furlongs. Rises sharply in weight and takes on clearly stronger opposition so faces a much harder task than she did a week ago.

 

Giga Kick

Unbeaten three-year-old who shocked the racing world with victory in the Everest last start, defeating Nature Strip. Difficult to assess where the ceiling is with this lightly raced sprinter as he keeps rising to the occasion. He is a dual winner at Flemington so the straight course should hold no worries for connections. Hard not to be impressed with the burst of acceleration he showed last start at his first attempt at 1200m and there is a strong case to be made that he could still be open to further improvement.

 

 

Lofty Strike

Solid run last week in the Coolmore Stud Stakes when fourth to In Secret, finishing alongside the likes of Jacquinot, who had been competitive in the Everest. Needs to improve if he is to win here but is still very lightly raced and has the blinkers applied for the first time.

 

Selections

14 Giga Kick

1 Nature Strip

9 Bella Nipotina

5 Paulele

Flemington
5 Nov 2022
Soft 5Rail TBA