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GROUP 1 Reviews

G1 WFA George Main Stakes 1600m:
Author: Futures King

Randwick: What a day’s racing. Anamoe and Nature Strip certainly cement themselves as the two best horses we have in Australia. We were looking at possibly getting onto a good track at Randwick, however the rain the night before ensured we were on a Soft surface the entire meeting. It was just nice to see a track in Sydney where you could lead and win and run on and win. More of it please. 

Race Review: Gee we are getting some slowly run Group 1 races. Where’s the intent from the jockeys and connections? Hinged led them up here at an absolute crawl (15 lengths slower than avg to the 600m mark) which certainly made it difficult for horses to make up ground from the back. James McDonald lobbed Anamoe into the perfect position outside the leader and it was a matter of how far on the corner given the pedestrian tempo. There’s a bit to digest from this race with a number of horses pulling up lame and a few interesting performances. A number of these runners will head onto the Epsom Stakes and down to Melbourne for the Turnbull/Might and Power Stakes. 

Ones to follow:

Anamoe: He’s a genuine star of Australian racing. Come back in dominant fashion in the G1 Winx Stakes over 1400m and further added to that with a win over 1600m in the G1 George Main Stakes. Sat outside leader and never looked in doubt. The biggest talking point of the race is that he was found to be 3 out of 5 lame post race which places some serious doubt over his racing future. Anamoe’s value is estimated to be around 50 million, so I cannot see them risking him at all if there’s any doubt he isn’t 100% moving forward. Keep a careful watch on any announcements from the Godolphin stable over the next few days. If they proceed, he’s likely to head to the Might and Power over 2000m at Caulfield in a few weeks time. 

Icebath: Saw a bit of criticism from punters about the trainer scratching her from Newcastle to run here, however his decision was certainly justified when she ran a huge 2nd in this race. Camped off the leaders and really hit the line nicely. Looks to be heading to the Epsom next start where she will be a huge chance, particularly if it is a heavy deck. 

Hinged: Definitely not her go leading them at such a sedate tempo. She’s much better ridden close to the speed, absorbing a high tempo and still being there at the finish. Thought she did a great job to stick on for third when the sprint went on and she should be right on track for the Epsom Handicap in a few weeks time.

Fangirl: Only just did enough here, sitting behind the speed plugging away for 5th. Is certainly a far better mare on Good ground, but it is hard to see her getting these conditions in Sydney. She just can’t accelerate like we know she can when there’s give in the ground. In the unlikely event of a good track Epsom day, she is certainly the one to beat, however if it is a Soft 6 or worse, happy to take her on. 

Montefilia: Thought this was a huge return for a horse who will comfortably get out over 2000m this prep. Sat close to the slow speed and showed she could match it with them late when the speed went on. Think the plan is to stay in Sydney and contest the Hill Stakes in a few weeks time over 2000m. Looks the perfect set up.

Jury out/forgive: 

Converge: Another who doesn’t go on wet ground. That’s two horrific performances and you simply couldn’t back him on any rain affected tracks. 

Duais: Looked to be building to the line nicely, running a beautiful last 600m, however has pulled up lame too. Thought she looked a good bet next start over 2000m, but will be interested to see what they do from here. 

Profondo: Eh, anyone who continues to back this boy has too much money. Was terrible here, does need a fast tempo to show his best, but how many chances can a horse get?

G1 Handicap 1400m Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes
Futures King 

Caulfield: This meeting is going to be a nightmare to review going forward. We had pouring rain, sunny skies and headwinds. Would tread with caution following the form out of this meeting as nearly every race had differing track conditions which means some horses may have been advantaged/disadvantaged in the same spot in different races. Real head scratcher.

Race Review: This is going to be a shorter review than normal, as I think it’s a pretty junk race and I’m still a bit salty from I Wish I Win not getting a start, however I’ll do my best. 

We were on a Heavy 8 by the time this race came around, with the middle to outside being the best ground. The early stages of the race certainly didn’t pan out with the expected leader Buffalo River missing the start. The eventual winner, Callsign Mav, lobbed into a beautiful spot midfield, just off the fence and found the right lane turning for home and was too strong late. There are a number of horses who either didn’t handle the Heavy 8 or were on the inside which was equivalent to quicksand.

Ones to follow: 

Tuvalu: Easily one of the runs of the race for mine. The money was there to suggest he was ready to fire and he nearly held on. Had to work hard early to cross and then had the pressure poured on him by Buffalo River in the mid section of the race. To look the winner at the 200m and only be swamped late first up on a Heavy track, was a huge effort. The only horse I want to follow out of the race.

Callsign Mav: Hard to knock the winner. Definitely had all the favours and got his conditions, however he was super tough to hold off the closers late. Not sure what they do with him next, but will be looking for another wet track.

Jury Out: 

The race as a whole. Genuine Group 3 field. As stated above, can really forgive any of those without wet track form and those on the inside. 

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