The Autumn Sun of course stole the show as he resumed with a victory in the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m).
The impressive colt looks well on track to become the fourth colt in six seasons to claim the Hobartville Stakes-Randwick Guineas double, joining the likes of Dissident (2014), Hallowed Crown (2015) and Kementari (2018).
Stablemate Seaway is giving the indication he could be a lightweight Doncaster Mile hope now having won both starts this prep.
Earlier in the card, Time To Reign put a forgettable first up outing behind him when taking out the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m).
Race 1: Zardoro - Class 2 Highway Handicap (1100m)
Zardoro settled midfield and stayed close to the fence in the straight. The Medaglia D’Oro gelding was waiting forever to get a clear run. He snuck through at the furlong and really knuckled down to the task from there.
He’s only a Class 2 horse now so he can keep plying his trade in these races for a little while longer now. After this Saturday, the Highway Handicaps go on hiatus for about six weeks.
Trainer Terry Robinson may now elect to give him a freshen up prior to the Highway Handicaps recommencing.
Overall, a it was a bit of a low key Highway Handicap. This was perhaps compounded by the fact we won’t see these horses racing in another one for some time now moving forward.
Race 2: Time To Reign - Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m)
Time To Reign had a lot of excuses for his failure in the Lonhro Plate however got things back on track contesting Saturday’s Silver Slipper.
The Time For War colt produced a dominant win against some good opposition including Golden Slipper favourite Tassort.
We’ve landed on a Timeform rating of 116 for the win. It’s right on the five year average of the race. Interestingly, 116 is the same figure his sister She Will Reign produced when she won the race in 2017.
While more of a fun fact than anything, She Will Reign, like Time To Reign, also beat home a Godolphin colt, putting 1.5 lengths on Veranillo.
She Will Reign is of course is the last horse to win the Silver Slipper-Golden Slipper double.
Pierro in 2012 is the last colt to have won the Silver Slipper - Golden Slipper double.
Those who have backed Tassort early for the Slipper don’t have to be hitting the panic button.
The son of Brazen Beau got a long way back and was running on well. Despite the defeat he is still favourite for the Slipper. It is possible to get beaten in this race and then go on to win the Slipper, Estijaab showed that last year.
Born A Warrior finished off well enough in third. While he is running out of time to make the Golden Slipper field he could be tracking nicely towards a Sires’ perhaps.
Race 3: Archedemus - Benchmark 78 3YO+ Handicap (1350m)
Archedemus on Saturday continued his rapid rise through the grades and has won four on end now. This latest success returned a Timeform rating of 102.
It’s a case of full steam ahead to the Provincial Championships from here. He’ll likely go to the Kembla Grange Qualifier in four weeks.
Star Of The Seas could be ready to go at his next start. He’s hit the line nicely in each of his two runs back from a spell.
Not much to talk about outside in this race outside of those two. Both are worth following however.
Race 4: Seaway - Open 3YO+ Handicap (1500m)
Right from nominations on Monday this looked a perfect race for Seaway as a progressive type down in the weights.
The son of Ocean Park got a dream run outside the leader and had plenty in the tank when Kerrin McEvoy asked from him.
We’ve awarded the run a Timeform rating of 108, a shade down on the figure he ran winning first up.
From here, Seaway should go to the Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill in three weeks time.
The Chris Waller-trained gelding could potentially get into the Doncaster Mile as a lightweight hope fourth up.
Comparisons can be drawn to him and Comin’ Through last year who ran a luckless second in the Doncaster Mile behind Happy Clapper.
Comin' Through entered the Doncaster third up and like Seaway this autumn, was in his first preparation as a gelding. The well bred son of Fastnet Rock gained a start in the Doncaster Mile via winning the Ajax Stakes and become exempt from ballot in the prestigious mile event.
All Too Soon was solid in second. It might be worth considering the Coolmore Classic for her second up.
One Foot In Heaven in sixth was working through his gears well enough first up as well.
He’ll improve on that run second run from a spell, likely over ten furlongs.
Race 5: The Autumn Sun - Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m)
The Autumn Sun is a quality individual, simple as that. On Saturday he was first up on a testing track over 1400m. He spotted a nice three-year-old in Vegadaze a big fitness edge.
Despite that, the Redoute’s Choice colt really showed his class in the straight.
We’ve awarded his Hobartville Stakes victory a Timeform rating of 119. It’s actually below the five year winning average of the race. The reason for that is the 2018 Hobartville is one of the hottest renewals of the race you’ll ever see.
Chris Waller’s latest stable star is clearly the dominant colt of his crop and is largely expected to claim his fourth Group 1 victory at Randwick next fortnight.
From there you would think The Autumn Sun goes to the Doncaster Mile via the Rosehill Guineas, thereby dodging stablemate Winx who will contest the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) on the same day.
Vegadaze has enjoyed a fantastic maiden prep. It will be interesting to see if he can build upon it next preparation.
It’s probably worth running him in the Randwick Guineas even if it simply helps get a better gauge on whether he is a sprinter or miler, then start planning his spring campaign. The Lope De Vega gelding could be a lightweight Epsom hope in the spring at this stage.
Race 6: Baller - 3YO Open Handicap (1100m)
Baller settled midfield, was clear on straightening and went through his gears to get the win.
The son of High Chaparral produced a Timeform rating of 101 for the victory, the same figure he ran to when wrapping up his maiden campaign with a second to Zalatte in December.
He’ll be tested at stakes level next start in the Listed Fireball 3YO Quality (1100m) at Randwick on March 9.
One of the things worth mentioning after this race is how well Anthony Cummings is going.
So far in 2019, Cummings has saddled up 29 runners for eight winners and five placings with the stable is running at a profit on turnover of nearly 34%.
Race 7: White Moss - Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes (1300m)
White Moss won at 50-1 and was arguably entitled to run like that as well, she had to work hard to cross and lead from the wide gate.
As far as Fillies and Mares races go, the Millie Fox tends to be a good favourites race.
There have only be two other blowouts in the Millie Fox in the past 20 years. A Country Girl (20-1) in 2007 and Verdict Declared (40-1) in 2000.
Both were trained by the Baroness Of Bombala, Barbara Joseph.
It sounds like Jason Coyle will attempt to stretch White Moss out to 1500m for the Group 1 Coolmore Classic.
While Daysee Doom claimed the Millie Fox Stakes - Coolmore Classic double 12 months ago, betting against White Moss to achieve the same feat looks a relatively safe option.
Both were giving her fitness heading into Saturday and were closing well late.
Race 8: Red Cardinal - Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m)
Running the quinella was an excellent result for Australian Bloodstock. Both imports produced strong efforts under big weights for horses who realistically, aren’t even wound up.
What we witnessed on Saturday was the best performance by Red Cardinal since arriving in Australia assessed at 113.
His career best came when winning the Group 3 Belmont Invitational over two miles in the States back in June 2017.
Red Cardinal and Big Duke will each be heading toward the Sydney Cup. They’ll probably run in the Randwick City Stakes in two weeks. The Canberra Cup that weekend is also an option, run over the same distance and worth an extra $45,000 to the winner.
Third placegetter Age Of Fire will race on the same weekend and likely be down in the weights.
Race 9: Malahat - Benchmark 94 4YO+ Handicap (1100m)
Malahat has long been a bit of a money muncher for punters. After commencing his campaign with two fair closing efforts, the son of Exceed And Excel had Blinkers reapplied on Saturday and took up a more forward position.
It appears they could prove the key to him.
The final event of the day produced an interesting finish, the runner up Junglized is a fighter, Malahat is anything but.
Inside the furlong you could see Junglized on empty yet still trying to win as Malahat attempted to throw it away. At the furlong he looked set to salute by much further than the slender margin which ensued.
The four-year-old still has a Benchmark in the mid 80’s. There isn’t much on offer in Sydney for him next month though unless they wish to test him at Group level.
|FP||Silk||Horse, Age & Sex
Sire & Dam
1. THE AUTUMN SUN (AUS) 3yo C
REDOUTE'S CHOICE (AUS) - AZMIYNA (IRE)
|Arrowfield Pastoral Pty Ltd (Mgr: J Messara) & Hermitage (Mgr: O A Koolman)|
6. VEGADAZE (AUS) 3yo G
LOPE DE VEGA (IRE) - RAINY DAZE (AUS)
|R D Spratt & Mrs K J Spratt|
2. BONDI (AUS) 3yo C
SNITZEL (AUS) - BONDI BLONDE (AUS)
P & P SNOWDEN
|Newgate S F (Mgr: G D Murphy), China Horse Club Racing Pty Ltd (Mgr: A K Teo), Horse Ventures (Mgr: M B Sandblom), Winstar Farm Llc (Mgr: J Mullikin) & Strawberry Hill Stud (Mgr: J D Singleton)|
7. PURPLE SECTOR (NZ) 3yo C
PINS (AUS) - EDEN VALLEY (NZ)
JOHN P THOMPSON
9. RANCHO NOTORIOUS (AUS) 3yo C
HIGH CHAPARRAL (IRE) - ZEDITY (AUS)
5. PAQUIRRI (AUS) 3yo C
I AM INVINCIBLE (AUS) - MISS SOLIS (AUS)