While the focus for Rosehill on Saturday is on the appearance of the $6.00 favourite for the Longines Gold Slipper, She Will Reign in the $250,000, Group 2 TAB Silver Slipper (1100m), the following race, the $400,000, Group 2 Schweppes Hobartville Stakes (1400m), is rapidly becoming bred-shaping.
The last four winners of the race tell the story of the reason for the rise in stakes for the race with surely Group 1 status not far off. Press Statement won last year following by Hallowed Crown, Dissident and Pierro, all of whom are now at stud.
Previous winners of the race include Racing To Win (2006); Thorn Park (2003); Lonhro (2002); Nothin’ Leica Dane (1996); Danewin (1995); Shaftesbury Avenue (1990); Sir Dapper (1984); Marscay (1983); Imagele (1973); Baguette (1970); Todman (1957); Shannon (1944) and Flight (1943).
This is serious race history and Saturday may well produce another blue-blood for later duty in the breeding paddock.
The Waller trained Comin’ Through is the half-brother to Criterion (NZ) who strode the world stage with credit to his owner and breeder Sir Owen Glenn for taking on the formidable and sporting challenge in doing so.
That would give Fastnet Rock colt Comin’ Through a value by itself, but he made sure he franked that by winning the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes over 1600m at Flemington on October 29th at his second race start.
Sent to spell by Waller after his Victorian win he was produced for the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on February 4th.
The sprint distance was always going to be too short, but he showed he was on the right path when after being eighth at the 400m, he came home well to finish fifth, 1 1/4L from the winner Man From Uncle.
“It was a good run first up. He will take benefit from that and improve over further distance in the Guineas at his next start when he will be rock hard fit,” said Waller.
“However, he will run well and class will take him a long way and he will be fighting out the finish,” he added.
The $1m, Group 1 Girvan Waugh Randwick Guineas (1600m) is at Randwick on March 4th.
Back to Rosehill on Saturday and the market has factored in the late surge from Comin’ Through with TAB.com.au having the colt as the $3.80 favourite over Prized Icon at $4.80, Man From Uncle $5.50, Veladerio $8.00, Inference $9.00 and Bryneich $10.00.
The Hobartville Stakes has always been a vital proving ground for the three-year-old’s and for Man From Uncle, the surprise winner of the Eskimo Price Stakes, this is the Anthony Cummings trained gelding’s chance to prove that win was just the start.
Cummings is an exceptional judge of a developing individual, think Might And Power before he changed trainers, The BMW winner Fiveandahalfstar, Ranvet winner Zavite, Rosehill Guineas winner Dealer Principal.
He marks out ambitious plans for his runners, so when he said after the Eskimo Prince win that last spring’s trip to Victoria for Man From Uncle gave him the required maturity to foot it with his classic year classmates it is time to listen.
Cumming mapped out the plan, Randwick Guineas and the $3m, Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), which the trainer is actually yet to win.
There are others testing their autumn plans, James Cummings with VRC Derby winner Prized Icon, Inference who was third in the VRC Derby for the Hawkes’ stable, Waller’s Veladerio who is also heading the Randwick Guineas and Godolphin’s well-bred Lonhro colt Bryneich who is just trying to match it with a field of this quality.
“He lacked a little focus first up so I have put blinkers on him to try and turn him around,” said trainer John O’Shea.
“His win at Canterbury before that was very good and he has trained on nicely and he gets a good gate. He is another one who is up in grade, it is quite a strong race which will allow us to see where he is at,” he added.
Saturday is a test for not just Bryneich, but for all of the nine strong field.
The Hobartville Stakes is Race 6 at 3.45pm.
It is also a test for the juveniles in the race prior, the Silver Slipper. She Will Reign is a little like Bryneich in that the Manhattan Rain filly has yet to meet a field of this standard.
She might only have six opponents, but Khan won the listed Breeders’ Plate over 1000m at Randwick back in October and looked very smart in doing so. The Exceed And Excel colt was immediately spelled by the Snowden’s and the chestnut will have benefited from the time.
Godolphin have exposed their Medaglia d'Oro colt Veranillo twice for two good wins, the last over 1100m at Randwick on February 4th when he was much too good without being extended.
“He is up in class, so we will know where we stand with him after Saturday. There are a couple of smart ones in the race, but at this stage we will be going on to the Golden Slipper. He is a very nice colt who had shown ability in his first prep and raced up to it with a good, tough win,” said O’Shea earlier in the week.
The Gary Portelli trained She Will Reign is the $1.60 favourite for the race with Khan $4.60 and Veranillo $6.00. The latter two’s place odds are better than the filly’s win price.