The Trial Files: Melbourne Cup Day

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Melbourne Cup Day – 3rd November 2015


The rail moves from the True to the 2m position for the most famous day of racing in this country. On Derby day the inside two lanes were a highway, the rest of the track was quicksand. It will be interesting to see how the track plays early. Let’s hope its fair!


Race 1 – Emirates Airline Plate 2YO SW 1000m


The Trial Standout:

PROMPT RESPONSE is head and shoulders above her rivals based on trial form. She trialled OK in Sydney before burning the turf in a recent Flemington trial.

Trial Comment from Flemington 16/10

“David Hayes had four runners but not surprising it was a Gai Waterhouse runner who led them into the home straight – PROMPT RESPONSE. She was the eventual winner of the trial and looked outstanding pulling away from the field late. She was a trial winner in Sydney back in early October when ridden off the speed but this trial was far more professional and impressive. She looks a ready-made 2YO who can go to MV or Flemington and be hard to beat in the coming weeks.”

Damien Oliver takes the ride on the daughter of Beneteau and while the wide draw might have been poison on Derby Day it is often a huge advantage in these early season straight track 2YO races. Oliver can either lead out wide on the track, cross down to the rail or look to tuck in behind the speed. This filly has already shown versatility and that makes her bombproof on debut.


The Dangers:

MOWTOWNL LIL trialled at Cranbourne on the 20th October. This Robert Smerdon trained filly settled in the second half of the field but peeled wide and charged to the line strongly under her own steam.

It was a really nice bit of work and from barrier eleven she should be able to blend into the race early and enjoy a relatively soft run. She has the turn of foot to go close here.

STOP MAKING SENSE has been seen at both Caulfield and Cranbourne in recent weeks.

Caulfield 6th October:

She jumped with them and sat off the leaders having a nice run in transit. I loved the way she ducked back to the fence and extended nicely to win this heat running through the line strongly.

Cranbourne 20th October:

She jumped with the field but McEvoy restrained her from the wide barrier. Coming to the home bend she was a bit green and needed to have her mind switched onto the task at hand. She is still very green but possesses a lethal turn of foot. Probably the most talented of those in the field.


The others:

CONCEALER has had two trials in Adelaide, winning her most recent Murray Bridge hit out – albeit in very slow time. She didn’t show huge tactical speed early in the trial but made a lightning move around the field approaching the home bend to take the lead. She was as green as grass over the final 400m but was still able to win the trial under very light riding from Holder. It was a nice trial.

EXCILIA MISS trialled on the same morning as PROMPT RESPONSE in a significantly slower time. I commented: EXILIA MISS had trouble keeping up coming to the home bend but eventually picked up the bit and ran to the line strongly. She’s likely to find 1000m a little too short.

The John O’Shea trained INFRA DIG trialled at Rosehill on the 16th October where she was slow to begin, settling at the tail of proceedings. She was held up in the early part of the straight but ran to the line strongly under riding over the final furlong. The James McDonald / John O’Shea partnership have been on fire this spring but feel this is one race they will struggle to win.

PEEKING DUCK trialled at Balnarring on the 15th October prompting this comment: Placed under pressure in the straight but did make some headway late in the trial.

She rates big odds on debut and will need to improve drastically on that trial to win here. Unlikely.

POP backs up from a trial last week which is a positive lead she is handling with the workload. She trialled over 800m at Caulfield and left the stalls slightly awkwardly before rushing forward into second spot. She was hunted along for much of the trial and just battled to the line under heavy pressure. Needs to improve drastically to be competitive.

SECRETARY OF STATE is another filly backing up quickly having trialled at Sandown just last Thursday. She jumped nicely and pulled her way to a share of the early lead. She was hard ridden over the last two furlongs eventually finishing third – it was only an average trial.


The Raced Brigade:

The clear pick of those who have been seen on the racetrack is MISSROCK. She got back to near last in the Debutant Stakes before peeling wide and reeling off a tremendous sprint to run past her rivals late.

They went very hard in front on that occasion and Zahra managed to find what turned out to be a real sweet spot in the track – several horses off the inside. She is a filly who will be better over 1200m and maybe even up to 1400-1600m down the track so remaining at the 1000m poses some concern.

On what we’ve seen it would be tough to see the other three raced horses being competitive here against what does look a sharp bunch of debutantes.


The Betting Strategy:

Happy to bet around MISSROCK here as I really felt she would be best suited second up at the six furlongs or further.


BACK – WIN – MOTOWN LIL – 1.5 units