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Timeform Recap: 2017 Spring Champion Day
10 Oct 2017 | 

Some talented three-year-old's have booked their tickets south for the Melbourne Spring thanks to strong displays through feature racing at Randwick.

Three Group races were conducted across Randwick’s nine race program on Saturday with the feature event the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).

Gloaming Stakes winner Ace High was looking to become the fourth horse in six years to claim the Gloaming Stakes – Spring Champion double.

With that history behind him, Ace High went into the Group 1 feature at Randwick as favourite.

Tangled contested the Spring Champion off a closing fourth in the Dulcify Quality at the course seven days earlier.

The son of Snitzel and 2003 NZ Oaks winner Bramble Rose was considered a live chance of being the first horse since Hampton Court in 2014 to claim the Dulcify – Spring Champion Stakes double.

A stride for stride battle between the Gloaming and Dulcify form ensued with Ace High narrowly holding on for victory over a closing Tangled.

Sully was making late ground for third after overracing through the early and middle stages before incurring some minor interference in the straight.

The Gloaming form historically is the line which holds up best in the Spring Champion Stakes and it’s proven to be that way again with Ace High the tenth horse to claim the double since the race was switched to the spring in 1978.

He follows in the footsteps of Kingston Town (1979), Best Western (1981), Sir Dapper (1983), Magic Of Sydney (1996), Tie The Knot (1997), Fairway (1999), It’s A Dundeel (2012), Complacent (2013) and Vanbrugh (2015).

In becoming the tenth horse to achieve the feat, Ace High produced a Timeform rating of 115, a pound superior to his Gloaming Stakes success.

The figure is one pound below the prior five year winning of the Spring Champion Stakes which is bolstered thanks to strong performances by It’s A Dundeel (2012, 122), Complacent (2013, 122) and Hampton Court (2013, 120).

Tangled and Blake Shinn on the rails with Ace High and Tye Angland outside in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), picture

The next Group 1 this spring for the staying three-year-olds is the Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on November 4.

The history of Spring Champion Stakes runners in Victoria’s Group 1 3YO staying feature augers well for not just the winner Ace High but the placegetters in Tangled and Sully.

Monaco Consul in 2009 was the last of only three horses to claim the Spring Champion Stakes – Victoria Derby double with Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995) and Stylish Century (1989) the others.

Since Monaco Consul however, three horses, Lion Tamer (2009, 5th), Sangster (2010, 3rd) and Prized Icon (2016, 3rd) have gone on to win the Victoria Derby coming out of the Spring Champion Stakes.

Viridine maintained his unbeaten record when taking out the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes (1200m).

The colt settled third on the fence and was gifted a dream split along the rail as early leader Shudabeen moved off the inside.

The Poet’s Voice colt capitalised and what followed was a two length success.

His display returned a Timeform rating of 113p, impressive for a colt having just his fourth career outing.

Such a figure is on the low side for a Roman Consul Stakes however the three-year-old does look highly progressive.

The recent honour roll of Roman Consul Stakes winner reads strong with colts such as Zoustar, Brazen Beau, Exosphere and Russian Revolution winning the past four renewals.

Viridine’s next Group 1 aim is the Coolmore Stud Stakes down the Flemington Straight Six on November 4.

Three of the last four Coolmore Stud Stakes winners have come out of the Roman Consul, Zoustar, Brazen Beau and Japonisme.

Zoustar (2013) and Brazen Beau (2014) each claimed the Roman Consul Stakes – Coolmore Stud Stakes double.

Japonisme ran third in the 2015 Roman Consul Stakes behind Exosphere before turning the tables on the imposing colt in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.

Dixie Blossoms rounds out the Group winners for Randwick on Saturday, claiming back to back successes in the Angst Stakes (1600m).

Pitchforked into the race under Set Weights plus Penalties along with her stablemate Daysee Doom, the pair dominated the mares event, running the quinella for trainer Ron Quinton.

While second to Daysee Doom in the Golden Pendant a fortnight earlier, Dixie Blossoms proved herself the better miler with a three-quarter length success.

She was awarded a Timeform rating of 111 for her victory.

The success comes in noticeably above the prior five year winning average of the event and is the equal highest rated Angst Stakes victory alongside 2002 winner Miss Zoe.

111 is three pounds shy of Dixie Blossoms’ master rating achieved during the autumn when dominating the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes (1400m) by 6.5 lengths.

Quinton’s consistent mares will now venture to Melbourne for likely the Tristarc Stakes followed by the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on November 4

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