For mine, the Futurity Stakes is usually a distant third in terms of the quality of Group 1 race on Neds Blue Diamond Day, but that certainly is not the case in 2020.
Eight horses will step out in the Futurity Stakes on Saturday and an incredible match race between Spring Carnival star Kolding, Kiwi star Melody Belle and three-year-old star Super Seth has been confirmed.
There is a genuine case to be made for all three, but you can find my 2020 Futurity Stakes tips below.
- 2 Units straight out #1 Kolding
- Boxed Trifecta of the selections below
Kolding will take massive improvement into his second campaign start and I think he’ll be winning the Futurity Stakes. The Ocean Park gelding hinted at above-average ability when he won the Group 2 Queensland Guineas in winter but went to a whole new level when a winner of both the Group 1 Epsom Handicap and the inaugural Golden Eagle, most notably. He was a big improver second-up last time and I’m happy to trust that into this race.
Super Seth takes weight from all of his rivals in this race and it does look an excellent opportunity for him to record a Group 1 win in weight-for-age company. The Dundeel colt capped a smart spring preparation in memorable fashion by pipping Alligator Blood on the line in the Caulfield Guineas and if his first-up run this time, a dominant win in the Group 3 Neds Manfred Stakes was anything to go by, he’s in for another huge prep. This is his first tilt in open company and at this point, I just think that Kolding is a stronger horse.
You need only have a brief glance at Melody Belle’s record to know that she’ll be in the finish of the Futurity Stakes. The Commands mare has been the star of New Zealand turf for several seasons now and has won no few than ten Group 1 features; returning in spring last year for consecutive wins in the Group 1 Windsor Park and Group 1 Livamol Classic before claiming an elusive Aussie feature in the Empire Rose. Trainer Jamie Richards revealed this week that she isn’t completely wound up for her first-up run in the Futurity and for that reason, I’ve got Kolding and Super Seth finishing over the top of her.
The real lottery of the 2020 Futurity Stakes looks like picking the horse that’s going to finish fourth, and Wild Planet looks a live chance of doing it. The Team Hawkes-trained gelding ran some nice races in the spring but clearly needed the run when he weakened late to finish three lengths from Anaheed in the Group 2 Rubiton when resuming. He’ll enjoy good improvement from that effort and the rise in trip, while he also looks like he’ll receive a lovely run in transit.