The best of the midweek racing comes from Flemington and Randwick this week, tab.com.au form analyst Mitchell Lamb finding options at both circuits.
Maximus is taking some very positive steps forward this campaign, and I can’t see that progression ending with a loss here.
A four year old stallion by Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Artie Schiller, Maximus won just the one race from five attempts in his first prep in the Spring of last year. However since returning in the middle of February he’s 3 for 4, with his only loss when he raced wide and was just a little flat second up, but he put that behind him quickly with back to back quality victories — the first beating an in form Haski, and the second being an easy five-length win over Spearhead at Cranbourne — so his form is as solid as you can get, even with the step up in grade.
He should be able to get a nice run midfield, with a most likely good tempo up front, and give every chance to display what is his above average turn of foot. He looks a black type galloper in the making and can justify his favouritism here.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Orcein, another well-bred youngster from the Snitzel production line, made a nice impression in his first preparation, chasing some better-than-average types home at his first two starts in good quality Saturday juvenile races.
Recently, Chris Waller sent him to Brisbane and he ran a good race in the McLachlan. Despite being a beaten favourite — he was awkwardly away, was ridden to hold his place, over-raced a touch, and just couldn’t dash the last 150 metres – he was only beaten two lengths into fourth.
He was given a good break after that to mature further and we’ve seen him in another pair of trials; the first at Rosehill which he won without any great pressure, the second he actually was the eighth horse to cross the line, but at no stage in the straight did he have any clear galloping room. Both efforts left me with the impression he’s going well as they enter this campaign with him.
He will have the blinkers off for the first time for this assignment and he draws wide, so I’d love to see them ride him quietly from that gate — even if he’s wide in the run, as long as he gets some cover that will be fine – as that should give him every chance to unleash late and lets his class shine through.
Judging by her trials, her lovely pedigree and the type that she is, John O’Shea might have a handy filly on his hands here with Separated, who makes her race debut at Randwick on Anzac Day over the 1200 metres.
By All Too Hard out of a grand-daughter of Melbourne Cup heroine Jezabeel, Separated has only come into O’Shea’s stable only recently, after looking the part in two trials when under the care of Tulloch Lodge. She improved from her first trial to her second, something that I love to see for any horse having its first start.
She’s clearly got a bit of early speed and from the good draw she should be right up there in this race — none of this race’s brigade leap out for me as far as being anything special, so even though she is obviously behind them with experience right now, there’s unknown upside factor there. I’m happy to take that risk, as she’s got a good level of talent and that might be enough to have her hard to beat in this.
OVER THE ODDS
I thought High Energy was massive in the Galilee Final a couple of Saturdays back at Caulfield, and for a horse that’s still in his first prep, he’s making nice inroads into becoming quite the handy stayer.
The son of High Chaparral was forced to cover a lot of ground in that race, travelling wide throughout and then having to circle the entire field in order to get into the race, but he was still able to work out wide as well as anything else, to be beaten under a length into fourth.
Now he has to go a further quarter of a mile here for the St Leger, but the way he stuck on at Caulfield fills me with plenty of confidence that it shouldn’t be an issue.
He does draw awkwardly again, but with Damian Lane replacing an apprentice, you’d like to think he can find a spot for him to relax and get some cover — if he does that he’ll be strong at the end of what is a gruelling test for the three-year-olds.
Leg 1 – 1,2,3,12
Leg 2 – 1,2,3,5
Leg 3 – 2,6,8,14
Leg 4 – 2,3,5,8,11
($100 = 31.25%)
Leg 1 – 2,3,5,7,10
Leg 2 – 1,2,10
Leg 3 – 4,8,10,12,13
Leg 4 – 7,9
($100 = 66.67%)