THE PUNTING MONOLOGUE "AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS SPECIAL LISTEN

Cox Plate Day Meeting Review

Date: 22/10/22

Track: Heavy 8

Pattern: Off-Rail best.

Race 1: Inglis Banner – 1000m

Tempo: Pretty slow first sectional but the track was probably at its wettest at this stage.

Race Overview: Overall they have run ordinary time and, although the track was at its wettest, this doesn’t look like it will be much of a form race.

Arkansaw Kid ($2.70): Very solid in the market. Was wide in the run but they did go slow early, and as the day wore on it became clear that was the place to be. Against him going forward.

Mexico ($4): Every possible chance the way the race was run.

Optume ($16): Looks like a horse who is already looking for further. Did travel sweetly then left a bit flat footed at the turn. Have some hope for her.

Last Word: Against this race going forward.

Race 2: Open Hcp – 1000m

Tempo: Even tempo for a race over this trip.

Race Overview: Overall time was a fair way outside standard (4.5L) for this class.

Scissor Step ($5): Although overall time wasn’t great this is a nice horse. Good effort first up. Should improve into campaign. Not dismissing him because of the time.

Esta La Roca ($4.2): Caught wide but kept grinding. Had the Bella Nipotina formline here. Worried about him away from the Valley where his biggest figures have been.

Ashford Street ($3.7): Absolute wetty but hard to make any excuses for him here. If the tracks firm up in the next couple of weeks, he is unlikely to feature.

Last Word: Winner only for me moving forward from this race.

Race 3: Red Anchor – 1200m

Tempo: Well outside standard for the early part of the race (9.8L)

Race Overview: Slow early tempo but ran home well and there is some talent in this race.

Sejardan ($7): Sydney form is proving to be much stronger than the Melbourne form. J.Kah first time and goes like a rocket the last 200m (Fastest of the day if that means anything?). If they back up in the Coolmore will be outclassed.

Sweet Ride ($3.2): Not sure how it got beat. Not up to the Coolmore but will win plenty of races. Hope they aim lower over the Carnival.

Shalailed ($2.6): Really plain effort I thought considering his SP.

Great Barrier Reef ($6.50): Ridden warmer in this race and didn’t work out. Think he has something but might be next prep.

Last Word: Some nice horses here but if they go towards the Coolmore will be outclassed.

Race 4: Crockett Stakes – 1200m

Tempo: Much stronger early tempo than race 3.

Race Overview: This is the race where it became clear that the jockeys wanted nothing to do with the rail.

Wee Nessy ($8.5): Did plenty wrong in this but found the right part of the track. She has something but she is getting deep into her campaign now. Might be time for a spell and come back next year.

Willinga Beast ($2.8): Never in the right part of the track. Would need to hang your hat on the SP to follow her.

Last Word: Becoming clear by this race that you need to be forgiving of those horses near the rail.

Race 5: Fillies Classic – 1600m

Tempo: Even/Slow tempo through the middle.

Race Overview: Good Margin to 3rd here. Overall race has gone outside standard and think there is only one horse to take out of it.

Zoe’s Promise ($9.5): Brave win but form is purely on wet decks. Against back on dry.

Climbing Star ($4.8): This is the horse to take out of the race. Unfortunately couldn’t get to the right part of the track. J.Kah next time and we might see a horse.

Do It La ($2.6): Really wanted to follow her out of her last run at Flemington but think she got shown up here. Has her limitations.

Last Word: Climbing Star the only horse to take out of this race.

Race 6: Crystal Mile – 1600m

Tempo: Strong early tempo with the bunny Buffalo River out in front.

Race Overview: Race has gone well inside standard. Expect winners to come out of this race.

My Oberon ($5.5): Couple of things in his favour (tempo and right part of track) but he has absolutely flown at first run in Aus. G1 horse maybe even as soon as the Champions Mile.

Bankers Choice ($6): First signs of life for a while but given how well the race has gone he can be followed too.

Last Word: Expect the market to stick with this race going forward.

Race 7: Vase Stakes – 2040m

Tempo: Outside standard for the early tempo.

Race Overview: Even tempo but ran home well. Visually was probably a bit ugly but has gone well figures-wise.

Berkeley Square ($2.6): Has always screamed a Derby horse. Goes there on a 7-day back up. Perfect.

Virtuous Circle ($5): Didn’t expect much out of this horse after its low win at Mornington at its 2nd start but has really improved. Goes to the paddock now and will make a horse.

Pericles ($3): 1400-2000m not ideal but now goes to 2500m. Not sure he has the grounding for the Derby even though he will be on the back up.

Last Word: Race has gone well but now we have 3 good formlines meeting in the Derby. Mr Maestro the forgotten horse for mine.

Race 8: MV Gold Cup – 2500m

Tempo: Genuine staying test.

Race Overview: Look at the time (-6.0L inside), look at the margins. Flown.

Francesco Guardi ($3.3): When did this bloke become a horse? He is airborne. If he went to the Melbourne Cup he would be the best “Aussie” in the race. Shame he isn’t.

Lunar Flare ($9): Margin to 3rd. Flying. Will run a race in the Cup.

Persan ($4.4): Plodding effort. Race has gone well but is hard to place.

Last Word: Geez it’s a shame he’s not going to the Melbourne Cup, but Francesco Guardi might come back a staying star next year.

Race 9: Cox Plate – 2040m

Tempo: Just outside standard for a CP but was plenty of pressure in the race.

Race Overview: Not a vintage by any stretch. Didn’t break standard for the class.

Anamoe ($2.4): Got the job done but can’t help but feel like it was just a win. He’s an absolute bulldog in a chase and probably has some ratings left up his sleeve if he had to but, judging this race in isolation, this is a below standard Cox Plate. Doubt any of these horses can beat him if he goes to Flemington.

I’m Thunderstruck ($10): Not sure how he ended up on the rail but might have cost him the race. He has graduated to the big time this campaign. Always finds the line.

El Bodegon ($6.5): Kept finding the line but thought he had every chance.

Zaaki ($6.5): Just not the horse I thought he could be. Length or two off them at this level.

Mr Brightside ($12): Not up to this class! 🐸

Gold Trip ($13): Don’t see what the point of flying out an International jockey is. He is going well but doubt he can win the Melb Cup.

Last Word: Anamoe the versatile Bulldog.

Race 10: Tesio Stakes – 1600m

Tempo: Another race where they went outside standard to the 600m.

Race Overview: Race just outside standard overall. Don’t think the winner of the Empire Rose was here.

My Whisper ($5.5): Sydney form line and peaking 3rd up. Perfect ride.

Roots ($3.5): Should’ve won. Just couldn’t get to the right part of the track.

Sirileo Miss ($5): Every possible.

Last Word: Roots the only horse to take out of the race.

Race 11: Manikato Stakes – 1200m

Tempo: Bang on standard for the early part of the race.

Race Overview: Race has gone well even though this is the tier below the top-line sprinters.

Bella Nipotina ($3.7): Put the writing on the wall last start in the Moir. Was a really hard night to make ground and she just kept finding the line. Smashed in the market and pissed in. Deserved it. You can create the narrative that her best is at the Valley but I think she will be competitive wherever she goes.

Rothfire ($6.5): Every possible. He is definitely in the 2nd tier of sprinters in the country.

Best Of Bordeaux ($8): Don’t think he is up to a Coolmore if he backs up.

Paulele ($3): Gets found out under pressure.

Last Word: Well-deserved win for Bella Nipotina.

Horses to Follow:

· Francesco Guardi – Has flown. Wish he was in the Melbourne Cup.

· Roots – If they can pick off a lower level mares race I would be happy to back her.

· My Oberon – G1 horse. Not many races I wouldn’t be happy to back him in.

· Sweet Ride – I like him. Just don’t want them to aim too high.

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