The Follow Files: Moody star shines on return at Flemington

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Over the weekend we saw Group racing at Flemington and Rosehill Gardens, as well as Listed races at Pinjarra for the annual WA Magic Millions Day.

The autumn carnivals in both New South Wales and Victoria are now upon us, with the second Group 1 of the year – the Black Caviar Lightning – run and won at Flemington. At Rosehill we saw plenty of runners return from their post-spring spells, with the Silver Slipper Stakes being the highlight race of the day for the two-year-olds.

At both Flemington and Rosehill, the track played fair for most of the day and runners could win from anywhere. We have found three runners to follow at their next start after producing very impressive runs at the weekend.

Flemington – Black Caviar Lightning Day

Track rating: Good 4 (Good 3 after R4)
Rail position: True entire circuit

Race 7: Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) | Time: 0:56.46

  • Horse to follow: I Wish I Win (2nd)

The Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning should turn out to be a very good form race for the sprinters this autumn. At the end of the 1000m there was only 2.5 lengths between the winner Coolongatta and Nature Strip, who finished sixth. The most eye-catching run of the day at Flemington had to be that of I Wish I Win for the Peter Moody yard, as he finished in the fastest 800m, 600m, 400m and 200m sectionals of the entire meeting when flashing home on the outside to finish second in the sprint feature. This four-year-old gelding ran home in 31.64 seconds over the final 600m, showing that he had returned in great style, but ultimately the 1000m was just too short for him.

When to bet: If you haven’t had a bet on I Wish I Win in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap on March 11, you have missed the boat, as he is now a $4.60 second favourite with online bookmakers behind In Secret. Moody said all he had to tick off was the straight track, and that is exactly what he did, so they will now push on to the Newmarket in three weeks’ time. There is no doubt that this gelding is a star on the rise, and we will be following throughout his entire autumn campaign.

Race 8: CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) | Time: 1:21.96

  • Horse to follow: Elliptical (1st)

The Anthony & Sam Freedman-trained Elliptical kicked off his autumn campaign in style, taking out the CS Hayes Stakes after running home from the back of the field to win by a head. After finishing second in both the Caulfield Guineas and Spring Champion Stakes at Group 1 level, this son of Dundeel has amassed over $1.1 million in prize money while only recording two race wins across his seven career starts. With such an impressive return under his belt, it looks as though this colt has strengthened over the summer months and returned stronger.

When to bet: The Freedman team has Elliptical nominated for five Group 1s in Sydney: the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas (which is where he is expected to head), as well as the Doncaster Mile, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Australian Derby. After showing that he can match it with the best of the best in the spring, there is no doubt in our mind that this colt is in for a massive autumn preparation.

Rosehill Gardens – Silver Slipper Stakes Day

Track rating: Good 4
Rail position: True entire circuit

Race 6: Millie Fox Stakes (1300m) | Time: 1:15.19

  • Horse to follow: Roots (3rd)

In the Group 2 Millie Fox Stakes, the Chris Waller-trained mare Roots was very good finishing third, less than a length behind Electric Girl, on her return to the races. That follows a very strong spring campaign where she finished in the top two at four of her five starts, including three wins. It didn’t look to us that she was completely wound up for her first-up assignment, but her run would have pleased her connections, when you consider that she didn’t get much luck until the final 200m of the race.

When to bet: Waller has this mare nominated for the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes on April 8, so there will be at least two more runs between now and then. If he and his team choose to keep her in Group 2 or Group 3 grade against her own sex, she will be going very close at her next start. The Group 2 Ajax Stakes over 1500m on March 11 looks to be an ideal race for this mare to go to next.

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