R5: Coolmore Stud Stakes – 1200m 3YO SW G1
The track is currently a Good 4 (Friday) with fine weather forecast. It should race in the Good 3 to Good 4 range for the entire meeting without any real influence from wind.
With the rail in the true position the track should race evenly, although three to five horses off the fence could become the very best ground as the meeting progresses. Straight races under similar conditions in the past have been dominated by horses in that three to five position. We’ll be watching race 3 over 1100m to get an idea if that looks to be the case for this meeting.
Speed and Tactics
There’s good natural speed in this race. Archives (9) participated in a fast pace up front when he won at Moonee Valley last week and also raced up on the lead in an above average pace two starts ago at this track and distance. Star Turn (4) was keen to run in the Schillaci Stakes last start and was right up there in a solidly run race. They look the two most likely to set the speed, while Saracino, Russian Revolution, Extreme Choice and even Flying Artie have good early speed. We expect the early speed to be least genuine and strength over 1200m will be a key to winning.
Early Pace Rating: Genuine to above average
Late Pace Rating: Average to below average
Best Suited: 1.5 to 3.5 lengths off the lead.
WFA Performance Ratings – Winning Benchmark
The profile created by some top class lead up form into this race suggests that a WFA Performance Rating of at least 106 will be needed to win. A key part of our assessment is identifying the potential performance of each runner in the race and who has the best prospects to reach that 106 mark and higher.
In our assessed price order:
Comes off an outstanding 105 rating G1 Moir win with elite closing sectionals to suggest he will be much better over 1200m. He relished a high pressure 1200m in the Blue Diamond running a career peak of 106.5 and looks set to run to at least that level here, if not a new career peak. The prospect of finding the back of Star Turn in the run looks ideal.
He was beaten by getting too far back in the Roman Consul. By the time James McDonald wanted to start making ground, the tempo had already increased making his task too difficult. His sectionals home though were top class and he shouldn’t have that problem here, especially with a genuine speed expected up front. He has top class ratings to match Extreme Choice and will be hard to hold out over the final 100m.
He couldn’t have been more impressive winning the G2 Schillaci against older horses last start and his 106 rating from that run puts him right in the finish here. It wouldn’t surprise us at all if he won, but we just have a slight query if he can repeat that level of performance over a solidly run 1200m, especially with the quality of closing speed possessed by the top two chances.
A perfect front running ride from K. McEvoy saw him run to a new 104.5 rating peak when upsetting Astern in the Roman Consul last start. This however is an entirely different early pace scenario and he’s unlikely to be able to control the race like last time. That raises a query whether he can repeat his last start figure, let alone go to a new peak of 106 that will be needed to be in the finish. He is however still unbeaten so we certainly have to maintain some respect for his chances.
His first up win was solid enough but well and truly below the standard needed to win this. Even forecasting him right up to his peak in the Blue Diamond, he’s still safely held. He needs a big new peak to get into the mix here.
His 3YO form is at least 2.5 lengths below the standard that will be needed to win this and he had every possible chance to run past Russian Revolution last start and couldn’t. He looks significantly under his true odds in the current market. We are very happy to risk him.
Is yet to run anything close to the 106 rating that is needed to be in the finish of this race. He looks to have scope to improve, but not to this level of competition.
Drops back from the 1600m of the Caulfield Guineas to 1200m here. Weekend Hussler did that in 2007 to win this race, but Saracino is certainly no Weekend Hussler. 17 other horses have attempted it since 2005 with 14 of them unplaced. Impossible to like.
He showed promise when he won first up over 1000m at Caulfield in July, but seems to have hit a ceiling with his performance ratings. It would be a big surprise if he could suddenly run a massive new peak to be anywhere in the finish here.
Looks totally outclassed in this race.
Both Extreme Choice and Astern appeal as potential value in this race, depending on what markets do on the day. However Extreme Choice looks best set up to potentially reach a new career peak here and that makes us lean his way as a good betting prospect.