Metropolitan racing heads to Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on Saturday afternoon for a competitive 10-race program. We’ve got plenty of feature racing to dive into, including the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes for the three-year-olds as Aft Cabin looks to win again after a dominating his opposition in the Eskimo Prince Stakes. We’ll also be finding out a lot more about the two-year-olds moving forward as we have the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes early in the meeting.
The rail is in the true position the entire circuit and the track is currently listed as a Soft 5; however, with some clearing days leading into Saturday, we expect to be racing in the Good range. The first race is set to get underway from 12:20pm AEDT.
Keep reading for our free race-by-race preview and quaddie selections.
Race 1: HIGHWAY CLASS 3 HANDICAP (1400M)
There’s a general rule in punting which is “never back a favourite in a highway.” However, we’re making an exception in the opener at Rosehill on Saturday. Atmospheric Rock returns after a short 91-day spell and is yet to miss the frame for trainer Danny Williams. This three-year-old gelding is unfortunate to only have one win in his four career starts, although he has only ever been beaten less than a length in all those performances. This will be the second highway race he’s competed in, with the first being at Kembla Grange before spelling on November 19 and it was a strong effort from back in the field. You can tie the form between the equal favourites in Saturday’s race to that day, with Atmospheric Rock powering into second while Super Extreme was back in fourth. The latter has gone on to win twice since that, while ours went to the paddock, meaning we get a 5kg swing on our key rival for beating him home. He’s got gate three on Saturday and should be close enough and good enough despite being the only galloper in this race first-up.
Miracle Spin is well over the odds in the Midway race of the program at around $10 with online bookmakers. He comes here first-up after a 130-day spell and finished his preparation in the winner’s enclosure. He proved too good at Newcastle on October 11 seeing him get his second career win on a heavy surface over the 1880m and the Matthew Smith yard made the decision to tip him out. He looks to be returning in terrific order with two eye-catching barrier trials leading into this, and finds a race shape that should suit this son of Pivotal very well. He’s a get back horse and with a stack of speed on in this 1500m contest, we think Miracle Spin can round up some tiring horses late to be a cracking each-way bet. Barrier four looks ideal and we get the 2kg claim for apprentice Dylan Gibbons which only gives us confidence that with 54kg on his back, Miracle Spin can power home late to be right in this.
You’d have to imagine that Economics is one of the better bets on the program at Rosehill this weekend. His form jumps off the page heading into a BM78 for the three and four-year-olds and despite being first-up his class should prevail in this 1100m contest. He won first-up in the Heritage Stakes at Listed grade last preparation, before going into the Coolmore Stud Stakes under a fitness cloud when missing a start to be a month between runs. He was by no means disgraced however, only being beaten 3.7 lengths by superstar filly, In Secret, who has since won resuming as well. His barrier trial even rates well coming into this, being lipped out by Cinderella Days, who subsequently ran a massive third in the Eskimo Prince Stakes. Ryan Maloney takes the reins after sitting on Economics in the barrier trials and only needs to be overcoming barrier 10 to be ultra-competitive in a race like this. So long as he doesn’t give horses like Parisal and Insurrection too much of a head start, he should be too good for BM78 company.
Despite just seven runners engaged for the Silver Slipper Stakes, it’s one of the tougher races on the program. We’ve landed with Platinum Jubilee though as she seems to have plenty of versatility and can be ridden adaptively in this smaller field. They elected to lead first-up in the 2YO Plate at Randwick and just got beaten by a nose on the line by Fire Lane. After that Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott elected to take on the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and were only beaten by Skirt The Law. Platinum Jubilee was ridden back on that occasion and you can argue that’s the better way of racing for this filly out of Zoustar. Tim Clark has all the options from barrier seven in the Silver Slipper with no natural leader, we can see him taking luck out of the equation; or if he wants to slot in for cover, he can cross with Madeira Sunrise drawn his inside. Regardless of what he elects to do, we want to be with her on Saturday in a race where you can make a case for six of the seven runners. Are the girls better than the boys? This will be a good indicator moving forward for the Golden Slipper.
Another very open race with three equal favourites around $6.50 each and the one we’ve taken is Kokoro. This Real Impact gelding returned in superb order to win first-up at Randwick-Kensington on February 3 and put away a nice field in the process. He got the perfect run before putting the race to be with 200m to go and won in dominant fashion despite a margin of just less than a length on the winning post. He’s starting to progress nicely throughout the grades now for the John O’Shea yard and should only be improving here second-up. He maps to get a mid-field sit with some cover throughout the 1400m and with a decent tempo to be set by Willinga Rufio and possibly For Valour, it should set up nicely for the backmarkers to come into play late. Brenton Avdulla sticks after saluting first-up and we think he’ll be hard to beat again on Saturday.
We can’t believe the price we’re getting with online betting sites for Electric Girl in this year’s edition of the Millie Fox Stakes. This one’s a Group 2 for the fillies and mares and while there are plenty of nice types in this year’s edition of the race, Electric Girl is too classy to go past at the price on offer. It’s unfortunate she didn’t find the winner’s enclosure for team Hawkes last preparation; however, it was more of a position of circumstances that meant she was unable to snag a win. You only need to be looking at the class of galloper she was beaten by, with margins of only 0.1, 1.6, 0.2 and 1.3 lengths respectively behind gallopers such as – Sheeza Belter, Promise Of Success, Nimalee and Shades Of Rose – these are some of the A-grade mares we have on offer and Electric Girl was very close to knocking them all off at some stage in the preparation. She’s coming off a 105-day spell and hasn’t had any official barrier trials since being tipped out, but we couldn’t imagine she’s not ready here first-up. Barrier three looks ideal and if she gets any luck for a change, Zac Lloyd can steer her home to victory.
We’ve been impressed with what we’ve seen so far from King Frankel since arriving in Australia and we’re happy to be with him in the Parramatta Cup. Although he’s first-up in the preparation on Saturday, he appears to be wound up by the Mark Newnham yard at the barrier trials for this assignment. A lot of these gallopers have bigger fish to fry later in the preparation while King Frankel has been ticking over through the grades since winning on his Australian debut back on September 24. He’s won at Class 1, BM72 and Open company so his ceiling may not be as high opposed to some key rivals here; however, he does continue to win and be well placed by the team, so until he lets us down, we found it hard to be against him regardless of the short price on offer. There’s quite a lot of speed in this race and based on how he’s trialled up, don’t be shocked to see jockey Tyler Schiller take a sit rather than lead this time. He’s shown a nice turn-of-foot this time in, and we think they may try a change of tactics for this progressive five-year-old gelding.
Aft Cabin is a clear and fair favourite in this year’s edition of the Hobartville Stakes; however, at the price he is simply unbackable for us. The each-way bet in the race is the New Zealand raider Pier for the Darryn and Briar Weatherley team. He comes across the Tasman in terrific form when running into third behind Maven Belle at Pukekohe in the Almanzor Trophy at Group 3 level on January 21 when resuming. He was enormous that day and never really found a clear run turning for home and still had the ability to run third. Prior to that, he toughed out a win in the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas at Riccarton Park back in November. He’s a classy type having never missed the frame and we’d much rather take the $9.50 as an each-way play in the race, rather than the extremely short quote for Aft Cabin. He may well be a superstar, but he’s yet to win a Group 1, something that Pier has done before. Sam Weatherley is here for this ride and he’s not here on a holiday either. From barrier six look for Pier to find the one-by-one if he can show some early toe to get across while we aren’t sure where Aft Cabin gets to on this map. Pier’s best might not be good enough to win, but if he can find the frame again on Saturday, we’ll take it.
Cross Talk looks to be one of the better bets on the card at Rosehill; however, the market hasn’t missed him at all. He’s opened close to even money with bookies and we’ve got him on top in his first-up test. He’s returning from a minor set back in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap from the spring and has been trialling exceptionally well for this first-up task since that failure on a heavy track at Randwick. He now gets back to his favoured Rosehill course where he’s had one start for one win and although you can make the argument he’s more effective on softer decks than what he’ll find on Saturday, his class should see him through. He’s not quite at a best bet quote for us; however, if he does drift to somewhere closer to $2.50/$3 we’ll definitely be having a bet on Cross Talk in the penultimate. He’ll do his usually thing of lead and play a game of “catch me if you can” but we don’t think his rivals can chase him down here.
We’re with Andermatt in the finale of the Rosehill meeting and think he’s tough to beat despite the market gravitating to Midwest. This James Cummings-trained has a nice fitness edge on some of his key rivals coming here third-up after a lovely second-up performance behind Group level bound galloper Remarque. He ran fourth from the back half of the field on that occasion and presented to win, however was slightly outmatched by some quality gallopers. This race isn’t easier by any stretch, however the map we get does look kind and we get a nice weight swing on Kote from the same race as Zac Lloyd hops aboard for team Godolphin. The track may be getting too firm for this son of Snitzel by this time of the day, but we do think horses will be swinging wider on the track as the day goes on. Meaning he’ll be peeling out on the three wide line and presented to win at a key stage. Andermatt is consistent and we think can produce a stunning turn-of-foot to conclude the Rosehill card and score a victory.