THE huge group races are around the corner and all the big names are now out in force across the entire country.
It kicked off on Friday night as Moonee Valley hosted the Moir Stakes, then it shifted to Sydney on Saturday as Randwick was the setting for the Epsom Handicap before concluding on Sunday at Caulfield for the Underwood Stakes.
The quality of racing did not let us down either.
Friday night saw the “Black Caviar special” She Will Reign doing exactly that in the Moir, while two days later the Caulfield Cup favourite Bonneval showcased its immense talents in the Underwood.
Social media was set alight as the action took place, so let’s take a look at what Twitter had to say on the long weekend of group one racing.
Friday night – She Will Reign set to climb the Everest mountain after Moir win
We are not sure you will see a more heart-stopping conclusion to a group one race this spring.
— Andrew Lang (@thelovefang) September 29, 2017
Making its Victorian racing debut, first-up against a white-hot Russian Revolution, She Will Reign had every excuse to under-perform in the Group One Moir Stakes on Friday night.
— Steve E. Edge (@TheEdgeTweets) October 2, 2017
But win it did, storming home late to topple the desperately unlucky Viddora in dramatic circumstances.
Trialing heading into the final stages of the race, running in the unfamiliar counter-clockwise position, the filly powered strongly to the line to win one of the best Moir Stakes races of all-time.
Nice. Bet ya heart was in the mouth 400m out with She Will Reign! Thought she was gone…
— Kevin (@RogersKev) October 1, 2017
The focus now shifts to The Everest, where She Will Reign is currently the $4.60 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Confidence levels are high for punters ahead of the inaugural running of the race.
I don’t even know what the right superlative to use is…. She Will Reign just put one hoof on the Everest trophy and said BRING IT ON!
— Renee (@SoSaysRenee) September 29, 2017
She Will win the Everest (maybe). But geez that was some win She Will Reign #TheValley
— Tim Walker (@timw1995) September 29, 2017
On the back of that win, who are we to argue?
Saturday afternoon – Happy Clapper wins unusually weak Epsom Handicap
It was a popular win for punters and racing lovers alike, but Happy Clapper’s win in the Epsom Handicap was uninspiring due to the underwhelming field for the typically-well-contested group one.
Moir Stakes tonight but it's too tough this year and the Epsom looks a bit weak this year.
— David Faulkner (@David_Faulkner_) September 28, 2017
A race that has had Hauraki, Winx and Boban win in recent times, Happy Clapper’s win felt lacklustre given the quality simply was not there.
The manner in which the horse won was special however, which did give the race a special feel to it nonetheless.
— RacingCircles (@CirclesRacing) October 2, 2017
Beating the perennial punching bag that is Tom Melbourne, the numbers coming out of the race were surprising.
Happy Clapper was already flying (had clear best speedfigures) going into Epsom but comes out with a new peak number. As does Tom Melbourne.
— Leonard Marlborough (@SpeedratingsAU) September 30, 2017
The win was a popular one for the trainer too, who has persevered with the horse after failing at the top level multiple times.
HAPPY Clapper wins the $1m Epsom at Royal Randwick. Biggest of trainer Pat Webster’s career.
— JJ (@jjliveson) September 30, 2017
We are not reading too much into the form of this race however, but Sunday’s feature is a different story.
Sunday afternoon – Bonneval the new Caulfield Cup favourite after Underwood win
We have a new Caulfield Cup favourite ladies and gentlemen.
After coming across the Tasman as a mare that had scope for improvement, Bonneval has exceeded expectations since debuting in Australia.
Yes…a very fit and winning mare!!Bonneval is living up to her full potential!!🏇👍
— Justin Eaton (@CrpnterJe) October 2, 2017
And now after taking out the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Sunday, the horse is the $5.50 outright favourite at Ladbrokes for the Cup on October 21.
The value has dried up on Bonneval, unless you are as eagle-eyed as this punter.
— Brad 🕵🏻 (@HorseMiller3) October 2, 2017
The win was a peculiar one on the day for Bonneval, which settled at the back of the field where the majority of runners throughout the day struggled to win from.
Superstar jockey Hugh Bowman remained confident on the Kiwi however, and presented it at the optimal time.
Yep. Tempo a surprise. Played to Bonneval. At first I thought mad to settle there. Looking at the figs – what could he do? Fair enough.
— Adam Blencowe (@NoverreMan) October 2, 2017
It was a win that exuded class, and extended the Bonneval winning run to six-straight.
The mare has drawn comparisons from one brave enthusiast compared the horse to another famous female.
Could Bonneval be the next Winx? 🤔🤔🤔
— Chris Leahy (@djchrissyl) October 1, 2017
High praise indeed.
The next course for Bonneval is the Caulfield Stakes, given it will not receive a penalty for running well in the race.
One armchair historian pointed out the Baker training camp will be able to replicate their own stellar feats if they can pull off the Caulfield double.
Bonneval looking to emulate another Murray Baker star Mongolian Khan by running in the Caulfield Stakes and backing up in the Cup #teambonny
— Harrison Mills (@Harrison_Mills) October 2, 2017
Here’s hoping the team can pull it off, because any Aussie knows, when a Kiwi wins, the Aussies win. We’ll claim them as our own anyway.