There isn’t many times I’m excited to get stuck into a card in Adelaide, but this is one of them. The Australasian Oaks and the Robert Sangster Stakes headline a big day of racing and the support card is actually pretty good – at least for Morphettville. I’m confident that I can find a few winners and continue my outstanding Group 1 record this season!
William Pike. He is a great man, but his record outside of Perth really does leave a lot to be desired. In saying that, I still think that he can start the day with a winner in the Queen Adelaide Stakes. Li’l Kontra scored a very classy win in the Dequettteville Stakes at Morphettville last start and I still think that she has the scope to improve on that performance. As long as Pike rides like he does in Perth, she will prove hard to beat.
A Shin Rook has also been included in the entries for Flemington – I can’t tell you how much I hate dual-acceptors, but if he does stay in Adelaide he will be tough to beat. He has been a little bit catty at times during his racing career in Australia, but he was able to return to winning form last start and he is well-placed to go on with the job. It is no secret that I am no fan of Craig Williams, but I still trust him to get A Shin Rook home from barrier three.
This is a pretty good edition of the McKay Stakes. It is not often that Godolphin send a horse to Adelaide and Haunted really should prove too strong for his rivals. He returned to the races with a classy win at Caulfield and I think that race was stronger than a black-type race in Adelaide – as sad as that fact may be.
This is a gross race. Any race that has Thunder Cloud and All Too Huiying as the two favourites probably shouldn’t even be run, but I’m still hopeful that I can find the winner. He has done absolutely nothing this campaign, but Octabello is a horse that does have some talent on his day. This is a genuine drop in class from the March Stakes, Golden Mile and the Easter Cup and I think that he can close in this contest at double-figure odds.
Spanish Reef has a clear edge over the rest of this field and I am shocked that there is currently $3 available. She let me down when she failed to win the Sunline Stakes at The Valley, but the form coming out of that race has been strong and she was not beaten far in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes. This is a sizeable drop in class and I would be happy to back her at $2, which shows just how keen I am. Throw in the fact that Ken Keys is an outstanding bloke and she is one of the best bets of the day.
There are few more forgettable Group 1 races on the Australian Racing Calendar than the Australasian Oaks, but it has produced some decent winners in recent years and this year’s edition is fairly strong. Amangiri is the hype horse, but I can’t have her. She is a horse that always seems to find excuses and I believe that she may develop into a genuine cat. Aristia is the horse that I like at nice odds. She did flop in the Australian Oaks, but her run before that in the Vinery Stud Stakes was excellent. Verry Elleegant would start this race as an $1.20 favourite and Aristia has all her form around the Australian Oaks winners. The $7 currently available is well and truly over the odds.
We aren’t going to call it the TAB Classic, so don’t even ask. This might be one of the weakest Group 1 races that I have ever seen, but I don’t care because I am very confident that I have found the winner. Jamaican Rain is a simply outstanding bet. Her first-up victory in the Mannerism Stakes was outstanding and she had genuine excuses when she was galloped on in the Coolmore Classic. I’m still getting over that as I had huge overs. All will be forgiven when she bolts in on Saturday in the Robert Sangster Stakes!
Terbium might be the next great story in racing. His sire is a literal donkey, not really but he may as well have been, but he has serious talent and he has recorded four wins from as many starts. I think this is the toughest test of his career to date, he only beat Zousain to win the Zeditave Stakes, but he still has a crazy amount of upside and I would love to see him carry on his winning ways!