Reflections on Run To The Rose Day

Saturday at Rosehill was about very fine performances with Menari topping them all. In recent weeks the ultimate athlete Winx has taken everyone’s breath away either on-course or watching the broadcast. It almost seems too much to expect, but Gerald Ryan’s Corumbene Stud home-bred colt is giving the three-year-old ranks of what may well be another quality year his own masterclass.

Menari is yet to win his first Group 1, to be rectified in two weeks in the $1m Golden Rose (1400m) back at Rosehill, and he is in the formative stage of his racing career. Comparisons with champions like Winx are not to be made except where superior performances give a tingle that once again we are privileged to see what our sport regenerates.

However, the win by Menari in the Group 2 The Run To The Rose over 1200m was there for the numbers, barrier nine with his nearest rival Pariah in three, away swiftly, even and quick middle sectionals, a turn of foot from the 400m to the 200m that put paid to the chase with ease and jockey Josh Parr not having to put the pedal to the metal, yet the final 600m was still 33.30 for the colt.

He was not the quickest with Shogun Lodge having quicker sectionals from the 600m to the line, but he was ninth at the 1000m and Menari, Pariah and Perast had already gone into the distance and they decided the race. The Racing and Sports Timeform team will do their numbers and it will be interesting to see where they rank Menari after this win.

Menari and Josh Parr stepping up the pace, picture

No matter what the figures when Ryan says, matter-of-factly, that Menari is ‘a very good horse’ then it is time to look forward to what might come. Ryan also says there is a length’s improvement to come from the Snitzel colt. Darren Flindell called ‘Menari the Ferrari’ in his description of the end of the race, Ryan is working on another gear to come.

The trainer was also asked for a comparison with this rising star and the colt's sire Snitzel, who he also trained. Ryan was correctly circumspect about comparing the two from different eras, except he noted that Menari was considerably taller than his sire, the colt is 16.3 to Snitzel’s 15.3. Menari might also gain a Group 1 victory in the spring while Snitzel’s was in the late summer.

Snitzel’s excellent record as a sire though matters not on height and when he clocked a Group 1. Saturday was extraordinary. Menari first, Perast third and Snitzel’s sire Redoute’s Choice produced second placed Pariah.

Not content with that Snitzel’s Russian Revolution won the Group 2 McEwen Stakes over 1000m at The Valley. Back at Rosehill the senior sire’s Ravi won the Group 3 Sheraco Stakes over 1200m and on that form could well claim her own Group 1 next autumn in the Coolmore Classic.

One aspect that Snitzel had no opportunity to do was to climb Everest, a $10 million dollar WFA The Everest over 1200m at Randwick on October 14th. The decision if Menari does will be left to Corumbene’s George Alomonte and an available slot to start in, but Ryan knows his colt can stand up in the race.

Going back to Saturday to read the opportunities, barrier of no consequence, out very quickly from the barriers, high middle race cruising speed, another gear or perhaps two, race fit, weight-for-age scale.

For the three-year-old’s and their connections there is a lot to consider over the coming weeks with black type requirements and the lure of riches elsewhere.

Rosehill’s track played hard and fast as does Randwick at present, courtesy of the NSW dry winter, allowing Chris Toogood and Nevesh Ramdhani at Randwick with their staff time to prepare their turf for the rigours of spring and summer. The quality of racing and certainty of track has boosted turnover and the quality of viewing, again both on-course and through broadcast, unsurpassed.

Need more, next week that thrill seeker herself Winx is back at Randwick. 

Menari, picture