Kembla Grange Blackbookers & Review - August 28
- Kembla Grange blackbookers & review from August 28
- We've taken a look back at all 10 races from San Domenico Stakes Day
- Replays & review from Saturday is included below
Rachel King (R) on Harpo Marx wins the Premier's Cup during Sydney Racing at Kembla Grange Racecourse on August 28, 2021. (Getty)
Race 1 - 11:30AM TAB HIGHWAY CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
Not a strong Highway and many had their chance to catch the brave PROPOSE A TOAST, who was second-up off a nice return at Canberra. As a four-year-old who has placed in one attempt at a mile, there should be still some improvement there.
The Fossil (fourth) was a big price as a last start winner and was briefly held-up at a key stage in the run home. Doesn't win irrespective, but perhaps should have snuck a placing.
Kelvedon Road (seventh) recorded the fastest last 600m (33.94) after missing the start and going to the rear before rattling home. Only a three-year-old and having his first try at 1400m, he's got upside.
Foodie King (sixth) is limited, but only got warm late after taking a month of Sundays to wind up from a tricky spot. I'd be getting him to a mile now.
Race 2 - 12:05PM MIDWAY HANDICAP (1300 METRES)
ROYALZEL isn't a top-level colt but was a Stakes winning two-year-old and while he was expected to win here which he did only narrowly, you have to respect any early season three-year-old win against older rivals. With the gap between runs and a scratchy trial, he clearly wasn't at his top here either.
He held on to deny Oxford Tycoon (second) who was held-up until the 100m before getting off the winner's heels and launching late. Should've won, but with three victories from 24 starts, he has been a hard horse to catch over the journey.
Bowery Breeze (sixth) was inconvenienced by Oxford Tycoon at the 100m, just as she was about to launch late. Wouldn't have won irrespective, but no doubt this mare should've finished a position or two higher.
Obvious Step (fifth) was outsprinted fresh, although stuck to the task well and was beaten under two lengths. Was tried over 2000m in the autumn...not sure she gets that journey, but a mile should suit this time in.
Race 3 - 12:40PM PELTZER SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
SIGNORA NERA was first-up following a third in the QLD Oaks, with the Chris Waller-trained mare absolutely bolting in here to record win number three after being thereabouts throughout the autumn and winter.
Off an 11.07 400m to the 200m sectional and a final furlong of 11.18, she has recorded nearly the fastest last 200m of the program, albeit I'm not in a hurry follow many of the beaten brigade, many of which are at their ceiling.
One with excuses in the run was Celestial Falls (seventh) who raced three-wide the trip, a galloper that hadn't been to the races in more than 13 months. We know she has class, albeit here trials leading into this were plain. We'll get a better gauge on her next start.
While she was well held. Hasstobegood (fourth) hasn't had any luck from wide gates since a good first-up effort at Rosehill. Take the winner out and she was the best run in this race after working throughout.
Race 4 - 1:15PM NSWROA TROPHY (2000 METRES)
Off Shaw (second) has had three runs in 10 days and despite a victory on August 18, connections would consider themselves unlucky in the subsequent runs after narrowly defeated when spotting 8kg to Heza Gentleman on Wednesday and was beaten in the last stride here by OUR INTRIGUE.
The winner can progress further despite the 20/1 SP here, an ex-NZ galloper with some reasonable form lines and bounced back off an ordinary showing in her second run for Chris Waller. She should be able to get over further again.
Clearly the one to follow from the race is Mankayan (third) who was eye-catching on his Australian debut at Flemington and likely prevails here if Bowman presses the button a little earlier, with the Australian Bloodstock import simply left with too much to do.
A winner over 2400m in Europe and placed over 2800m, the scope is there to get over more ground with this long striding gelding who will be the best horse from this event and one that will be winning decent staying races in the future.
Race 5 - 1:50PM FUJITSU GENERAL MING DYNASTY (1400 METRES)
Military Expert (second) was unlucky with the colt pestered throughout by Yulong Turbo, a rival that dropped off at the top of the straight (beaten more than 10 lengths), leaving the eventual runner-up vulnerable a long way out and COASTWATCH cashed in late.
If given a little more peace up front, the result may well have been reversed and the winner appears to have had a real birthday here (very soft run/peaking third-up). Can't see him improving enough to figure in a Golden Rose or Caulfield Guineas.
At this level, Arnaqueur (fourth) wasn't suited staying at 1400m second-up and while he won't have the class to figure in a Golden Rose, A Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) could be much more suitable target in October.
Subterranean (third) was a little disappointing given the suck run he had, but wasn't expected to figure later in the spring at Group One level.
Race 6 - 2:30PM XXXX SAN DOMENICO STAKES (1100 METRES)
2.3 lengths between first and last in days feature makes it a hard one to break down with the winner IN THE CONGO brave and reversing a decent margin on Paulele (second) from the Rosebud, with the runner-up being heavily supported late, but wasn't suited by the slow tempo.
Going the other way in the betting was the Golden Slipper winner Stay Inside (fifth) who failed to match Paulele in the run to the line and although was still within two lengths of the favourite, it was a plain return all the same.
Champagne Stakes winner Captivant (third) was certainly a pass mark here fresh, a galloper that is much better suited over seven and eight furlongs. Is at a similar level at this stage to last year's Golden Rose and Guineas winner Ole Kirk, although this is a far stronger three-year-old crop.
Not sure Saturday definitely answered questions for any of these runners, so would prefer to see them all again.
Race 7 - 3:10PM THE AGENCY ILLAWARRA PREMIER'S CUP (2000 METRES)
HARPO MARX has continued his strong form, recording a sixth Australian victory for trainer Bjorn Baker and bringing up his first Stakes win in the process, jumping well up in grade, but plummeting in the weights.
A son of Galileo that can handle any conditions and is equally effective at 2000m as he is 2400m, he'll now be aimed towards the Newcastle Cup which even this far ahead, does look suitable, especially winding up late on that big circuit.
Spirit Ridge (second) was spotting 6kg and race fitness to the winner with this gelding last seen on June behind a dominant Zaaki. Super honest, but certainly no top liner, his best chance at a Group One would be The Metropolitan with a few more runs under his belt.
There are no pending spring major winners in the line-up, albeit Criminal Code (fourth) continues to race well and with two ten furlongs performances completed for the winter, he's seemingly looking for a little further now.
Race 8 - 3:50PM RANVET HANDICAP Tips (1200 METRES)
MADAM LEGEND has class and the Brock Ryan ride was a superb one, letting the five-year-old roll forward under own steam and idling up to the early leader, she travelled like the winner a long way out. Is there a Stakes win in her? Not sure, but she should get her chance at something stronger now.
Tycoonist (fourth) was the well supported favourite and he had the winners back in transit, but failed to finish off. That looked an end of preparation run to my eye and if so, that's ending a campaign where he was unlucky to have not won another one or two more.
Zakat (third) has gone superb here, especially off a muddling tempo, with the Godolphin mare making good inroads wide and from the rear despite being unsuited. Generally, a hard runner to catch for punters, albeit is consistently thereabouts.
Her stable mate in Promotions (fifth) was held up before trying to let down in restricted room late. Bad strike rate though, while it's worth forgiving Animate (sixth) who was exposed early and had nothing taking him into the race late. His fresh run was good.
Race 9 - 4:30PM ATC'S MOST WINNING OWNER GODOLPHIN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
This was certainly a strong 78 and it was taken out by the lightly raced Godolphin four-year-old ANDERMATT, a galloper that handles any conditions and this was an impressive return in his first start as gelding.
He did defeat a subsequent Group winner in Vulpine first-up last campaign and while this was run to suit, the son of Snitzel look capable of progressing much further in the spring. Can continue to go through the grades with a rating of only 80.
Gleneagles (third) lacked the turn-of-foot at 1000m of the Quinella, but this was definite pass mark from the three-year-old who was brilliant over the 1400m on Hawkesbury Cup Day prior to a Group One JJ Atkins tilt, He should only improve off this.
On The Lead (fifth) was the run of the race outside the winner, sharing a similar last 200m to Andermatt, but the poor start proved costly. Expect he can improve further on firmer ground and with a low rating of 74, he can pick off a few in these benchmarks soon.
Race 10 - 5:10PM ATC THANK YOU OWNERS HANDICAP (1500 METRES)
Tight finish with only a length separating the first six across the line and all had their chance in the end, with hit or miss Godolphin gelding KORDIA getting the chocolates at a big price from Yiyi (second) who is honest, but getting close to his ceiling now and may need it wetter.
Kingsheir (third) was briefly held-up, although had his chance late if good enough. A very impressive first-up winner who was practically off the scene for 12 months, I wouldn't be in a hurry to jump off him yet as he has much upside as any runner in the race.
Kiss The Bride (sixth) was always going to be a run or two short second-up at 1500m, but he looks to have returned well for Bjorn Baker. His last victory came over 2400m last winter and the 1800m BM78 on September 11 looks perfect third-up.
Jumping slow from an inside gate, Toomuchtobear (seventh) was never in winning calculations, especially attempting a run on the inside, but he was far from disgraced. A four-year-old with just six starts and a rating of 67, he can be placed softer for now.