I THOUGHT SO - He’s a horse that’s worn plenty of punters down but I’m happy to wipe the slate keen because on Saturday he’ll be having his first start for the Snowdens and if anyone can get him firing, he’s in the right home now. Since joining his new stable he looked good beating his smart stablemate Calanda in a trial then they applied the ear muffs in his next trial and it went to another level, towelling up the likes of Foxplay. His Randwick record is good and he’s drawn to get the gun run on Saturday in what’s a strong race, but well within his reach.
FIERCE IMPACT - This Japanese-bred import couldn’t have been any more impressive when a luckless fourth in his first Australian start. He drew the outside, was dragged back to last then held up until inside the 300m when he started to make his run along the inside, which was inferior ground, and closed off quickly, going better than anything to the line. Had he drawn a gate he could have settled closer, this time I expect him to be no further back than midfield from a perfect draw. Should strip fitter and has more upside than those around him in the market (Beacon and Schubert) which only beat him last start because they had unimpeded runs in the right part of the track.
GRAFF - I reckon this bloke is something special and I expect him to make a JJ Atkins statement here with the blinkers on for the first time on raceday. He had no right to win at Hawkesbury after appearing to lose interest coming to the home turn, then picked himself up and proved too strong in the run to the line. You don’t see two-year-olds win like that and for him to show us what he’s truly capable of, the blinkers are the key. He’ll be suited by a solidly run race and if he focuses, which he should do with the hood on, then we might just see a real good colt. That’s what I’m expecting and you can still get $26 for the JJ Atkins.
ALOISIA - I’m not sold on the Queensland three-year-old fillies form, for me the Schweppes Oaks form reference is the way to play the race, so which one Aloisia, Sheezdashing or Savacool? I landed on Aloisia. Her performances have been mixed this preparation but if she brings her A-game, she’s in this up to her ears. Her last run in Adelaide was excellent, she found the line strongly in a race that wasn’t run to suit those back in the pack, which to my thinking adds merit to the race because both Aloisia and Sheezdashing were close-up at the finish after racing well back. I do concede Aloisia above 2000m is questionable but this isn’t the level of an Australian Oaks and at the price I’m happy to chance the arm from a good draw.
THE MISSION - He didn’t perform up to the level he was in Sydney last time out in the Doomben 10,000 but he did get knocked over at the top of the straight so happy to give him the benefit of doubt. This horse has been terribly placed this campaign. His four Sydney runs, all either at Group I level or weight-for-age grade and look at the names of the horses winning the races he’s been contesting – Redzel, In Her Time, Trapeze Artist twice and English. Finally, some common sense has prevailed and he’s found himself in a race he can win, at his right level, I just hope all the bullets weren’t fired in Sydney. The step up to 1350m suits, he’s in against Group III horses at best, of his own age and this is at set weights. Also, likely to get a strongly run race which he wants.