Last weekend, we had feature racing from Ascot as the Perth Summer Carnival held its first Group 1 weekend. It was also Cranbourne Cup Day on Melbourne’s south-western fringe. In this week’s edition of The Follow Files, we have picked out three runners from those two meetings that are worth following over the summer months in various states.
Rail position: +3m entire circuit
Race 10: Class 3 Set Weights (1500m) | Time: 1:32.67
- Horse to follow: Jimmysstar (1st)
Jimmysstar remained undefeated in Australia after an impressive win at Cranbourne on Saturday, where he attempted 1500m for the first time in his short career. The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained import came over from New Zealand in September and has only had two starts since, winning both in fine style. Although this son of Per Incanto had to travel wide and carry 60kg, he was able to settle nicely for Craig Williams before booting clear at the 200m mark to record another strong win on Aussie soil.
When to bet: This lightly raced four-year-old gelding has plenty of upside and handled the rise in class with ease. The Listed Lord Stakes over 1700m at Caulfield on Boxing Day stands out as a potential target for this progressive galloper.
Race 6: Benchmark 70 Handicap (1300m) | Time: 1:18.50
- Horse to follow: Bel Air (2nd)
Bel Air continued what has been a frustrating preparation with a second consecutive second-place finish over 1300m on Saturday afternoon. After finishing second behind Stripped Back at Bendigo two starts back, the son of Written Tycoon has now lost his last two races by less than a length combined. At Cranbourne, this four-year-old gelding had to give most of his rivals weight and settled near the back of the field before launching down the outside with an explosive finish to just go down in a photo finish.
When to bet: After having his runs spaced throughout this campaign, it appears as though the Anthony & Sam Freedman stable will target the Magic Millions Carnival in early January with Bel Air. The Magic Millions Cup over 1400m or the Magic Millions QTIS Open over 1300m are both viable options.
Rail position: +6m entire circuit
Race 7: Group 2 WA Guineas (1400m) | Time: 1:36.35
- Horse to follow: A Lot Of Good Men (2nd)
The Trevor Andrews-trained A Lot Of Good Men was one of the better two-year-olds in Western Australia, winning three of his first six starts and finishing fourth in the Magic Millions WA 2YO Classic. Since returning as a three-year-old, the son of A Lot has been running on well over 1200m, 1400m and 1600m against the best of the best in his age group. His last-start second behind Zipaway in the Group 2 WA Guineas was his best performance of the campaign, and he seemed to relish the rise in distance to the mile.
When to bet: This colt is nominated for both the Damien Oliver–Gold Rush over 1400m and the Group 1 Northerly Stakes. After such a strong performance in the Guineas, expect A Lot Of Good Men to go to the Northerly, where he will only have 52kg.