Group 1 Insights and Tips

What an embarrassment of racing riches we have this weekend, with five Group 1s at Rosehill and the All Star Mile at Flemington.

Stars of all ages and genders battle it out on the grass over a range of distances and conditions. Let’s go.

golden slipper
How to dissect the Golden Slipper this year? This has to be the toughest yet.

More than half the peloton comes out of a race on Sydney’s bottomless heavy tracks that have been produced in recent weeks, a surface we won’t get on Saturday.

Four horses come out of the Blue Diamond, and each of them has raced exclusively on good tracks, mostly in Melbourne. Still, we’ll likely be on a soft 5 or 6 this weekend, so they’ll be up against unchartered terrain on multiple fronts.

Then you have the Sydney Juveniles who have avoided heavy runs and haven’t raced in the last month so it’s hard to get a line on them. Plus there are a few backing horses, which is never easy for a two year old, and a favorite that hasn’t been seen since mid-January on the Gold Coast!

Coolangatta is the starting point as an accepted benchmark, and we know the Maher and Eustace stable can work wonders with any horse. Russian Conquest was closest to her, but disappointed on a heavy last outing. Best of Bordeaux is the only unbeaten alongside Coolangatta, but the form behind him has been lousy.

(Photo by Olga Gasheva via Unsplash)

The Blue Diamond shape still stacks nicely in the slipper. Daumier is attracted by a good race and has shown his professionalism. Jacquinot is perhaps the most talented of all the starters, and is clearly good enough if the race goes as it should and the stragglers can gain ground at Rosehill.

Sejardan doesn’t do much wrong and will finish tough. Fireburn is perhaps the forgotten luck in every way – she beat She’s Extreme three weeks ago, and this filly came out and won last week. She also beat Revolutionary Miss when they met in January – this filly has since finished second in the Diamond.

Selections: 1.Jacquinot 2.Fireburn 3.Coolangatta 4.Sejardan

George Ryder Stakes
$1,000,000 is on offer for the George Ryder Stakes these days, against the All Star Mile at Flemington, and a high quality field has been assembled.

Mo’unga hasn’t won since last August, but has run strong races against the best horses around. He is a genuine WFA Group 1 talent, has enjoyed Rosehill on his forays here and is the test material accordingly.

Forbidden Love smashed its way through the Sydney Carnival on wet tracks, with two dominant wins in a row. She will still have a little softness in the track here, but it won’t be bottomless, and her opposition is mounting. She is however in the zone and will be in front of Mo’unga.

Private Eye, Dalasan, Kolding and Law of Indices all chased Forbidden Love in the last heavy start and are all capable of turning things around if conditions allow. Colette was a poor last start in the Chipping Norton, considering what she is capable of. She deserves a chance to show she can bounce back.

Hilal has taken on fellow three-year-olds Anamoe and Converge, stars in their own right, and is about to open a business for the first time. It is also a watch. Hungry Heart will win a good race at some point, but it just needs a dry track.

Selections: 1.Mo’unga 2.Forbidden Love 3.Dalasan 4.Hilal

Ranvet Stakes
The Ranvet is the sharpest race on the Rosehill card, with champion mare Verry Elleegant looking to have a Winx hold on the event.

Their rivals are thin on the pitch, but led by three-time Group 1 winner Montefilia, who always runs with a big heart and can provide some sort of contest. Emissary is a lightly run five-year-old from Melbourne who should give a good image of himself.

Angel of Truth is hard to catch and relished the rain to slot into Chipping Norton’s latest start. The Entente should be ready to show something third on better ground. Greybeard Sikandarabad connections are hoping for a fifth place check.

Selections: 1.Verry Elleegant 2.Montefilia 3.Emissary 4.Entente

Horse participating in a harness race

(Image by Digwen from Pixabay)

The Galaxy
What a classic Group 1 handicap awaits us here. There are legitimately a dozen chances. The track conditions and the way it plays out will be key.

The Golden Rose In The Congo winner and the Expressway Overpass winner are three-year-olds with a lot of weight. Jamaea is a filly who descends from 1400 meters to 1100 meters. I pass it all on. Paulele looks at the choice of this age group.

At the top of the weights, Splintex and Big Parade have to carry their share, which could be difficult. Bella Nipotina looks well weighed in either, but won’t surprise if she gets a comfortable run.

Melbourne’s form stacked up beautifully in Sydney last weekend, and we can expect that to continue. Away Game went well in the Oakleigh Plate behind a rising superstar and still gives a good count. Minhaaj was well liked there and was unlucky, so forgive him. She is way above the odds. Ballistic Lover has the right form against Minhaaj and is a distance specialist.

Brooklyn Hustle has enough talent to win a Group 1, but lacks luck. She and Malkovich were a millimeter apart on the Flemington straight last time out, so he’s in the running too. He was also in the Oakleigh Plate, running well.

All these odds live, even before you get to the preferred isotope. She made a name for herself in Brisbane as a smart three-year-old but has only raced once in the last ten months. It was a win in January on Away Game, which ties her up, but it seems like a big ask.

And if the first emergency Shelby Sixtysix comes in first emergency, how can it be ruled out? Splitting Eduardo and Nature Strip and then backing it up winning last week is as hot as the form gets. This will be his sixth race since early February.

Selections: 1.Minhaaj 2.Brooklyn Hustle 3.Away Game 4.Isotope

Rosehill Guineas
Only nine horses will board the gates of the Rosehill Guineas, but four of them have already established their class, in what is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing races of the fall.

Anamoe is the starting point, as he has been in almost every race he has entered in the past year. He runs so well every time he hits the track and was excellent in the loss at Randwick three weeks ago. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take even money on him.

Converge got the better of Anamoe in Randwick’s Guineas after settling into the race easier than their main rival. He is preparing a great preparation and could well win again – if he does, he will claim to be the three-year-old champion of his season.

Profondo is in the races for his fifth start and hopes to put his epic failure in the Australian Guineas behind him. It was his first Flemington start, his first Melbourne start, and he was overtaken by breakneck speed before fading badly. He’s raw talent, and we know he loves the 2,000 metres.

Forgot You aren’t a Group 1 winner like the aforementioned trio, but have run very well in races like the Caulfields and Australian Guineas, as well as a VRC Derby. The jury is a bit out on him at this level, but he gets 2,000 meters, which is a tick, and showed in the spring that he doesn’t care about the pot off the track.

Selections: 1.Anamoe 2.Converge 3.Forgot You 4.Profondo

All Star Mile
Victoria’s answer to Everest is the All Star Mile, and while it hasn’t been the outright success of its counterpart, due to some negligence in terrain selection, it will still produce a stellar event. .

Zaaki is the heavy favorite and entitled to be the highest rated and most talented horse in the race. Whether 1600 meters is his absolute best distance is up for debate, and if this run went over 2000 meters his chances would be even slimmer.


(Photo by Clint Hughes/PA Images via Getty Images)

The widest barrier can make things sticky, but there’s enough speed in the race, and with $5,000,000 on offer, they’re unlikely to hang around. This will allow Zaaki to slot in nicely if the speed is high, and if there isn’t much pace he can just pick up the pace and put the acid on the rest of the field at the half mile.

Inspirational Girl was Zaaki’s last all-conquering start in the Blamey, but it felt like his run considering the different stages of their preparation and the weight scale. I’m Thunderstruck is a talented four-year-old now aiming for 1600 meters after two runs at 1400 meters. He’s fine, but he’ll love Flemington after those Caulfield races. The inner barrier is not perfect for him.

The three-year-old is attracting a lot of interest from Australian Guineas. Captivating was disappointing there, but if it bounces back to its best, it’s worth a seat ticket. The lightsaber was rolling at a brutal speed and was still there swinging; he is hard. Pinstriped was the bad luck story but is pretty short on the market.

There are a host of other chances for trifectas and first fours, although it’s hard to see them beating all comers – Tofane is a true Group 1 mare, Cascadian is a very good Flemington miler at the top level, Icebath is capable of a blistering run on her day, and Sierra Sue must produce her best at a mile.

Selections: 1.Zaaki 2.Inspirational Girl 3.Pinstriped 4.Lightsaber

About Jessica J. Bass

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