It might be the middle of winter in Sydney, if 19c and continuous sunny skies can be called winter, but the two-year-old’s commencing the programme at Randwick on Saturday can hardly be called mid-winter fare if granted they are not the speedy precocious types out and about in the autumn.
The 11 facing the Dale Jeff’s starting team in the $125,00, Australian Turf Club Handicap are racing over 1400m as well, not for them the sprint distances up to 1200m, but they are a testament to the consistent quality of two-year-old racing in the harbour city.
Taking the first four in TAB.com.au’s market, $2.00 favourite Mandela, Starla at $6.50, Havin’ Fun at $7.50 and Frosty Rocks at $10.00 with all having pedigrees of note.
Mandela is a Sebring colt out of the Lonhro mare Lonoree, Starla a Snitzel filly out of the Encosta de Lago mare Houston Benefactor, Havin’ Fun a filly by All Too Hard out of the Spinning World mare Our Quivira (NZ) and Frosty Rocks is a colt by Your Song out of the Galileo mare Virtual Velocity. All have considerable interest with success for any adding value.
The Snowden trained Mandela certainly has a lot resting in his shoulders, Sebring has regretfully passed on making success for the colt just that more valuable, albeit that this is not black type racing. Should he win, as the market suggests, then further success in the early spring will be important.
The colt nearly won, should have won, on debut over 1200m at Canterbury on July 3rd, but he had a rush of blood just as he was taking over the lead out in the middle of track and he veered left under Tommy Berry. Straightened by Berry the colt still almost made it to the line in first position, but there is nothing like the rails to be the quickest way home and Exceed The Stars under Blake Shinn were right there to take the nose decision.
It was back to the trials for Mandela and he duly won over 1050m under Tim Clark on July 12th.
Hopefully recalibrated, and with the trial experience, Mandela will justify his backers who have supported him from $2.40 into $1.95 on Friday morning and out to the $2.00 on Friday afternoon with wagers including $4000 @ $2.40, $500 @ $2, $2000, $1000 and $500 [twice] @ $1.95 and $500 @ $1.90.
Clark rides with barrier one.
For all in the field the 1400m on Saturday might still be too short and quite apart from the wagering outcome of the race it will be interesting to review their future potential.
A city win for fillies is not too far behind junior black type when it comes the broodmare paddock and buyers reviewing catalogue pages, while as with Mandela, city success for colts can become the launching pad to that junior black type and their own breeding career if they can avoid some of the heavyweights currently limbering up for new campaigns.
They commence their quest for such honours at 11.30am.
Randwick's Course Proper might race in the Good range on Saturday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS