August 14, 2009

Saturday in Australia (late Friday night here in the U.S.) sees the first G2 races of the new season, and both feature exciting fillies and mares racing in open company.

At Rosehill, in the AUS-G2 Premiere Stakes, 7-year-old Fritz’s Princess makes her second start in two weeks, after finishing fourth of 11 in the G3 Missile Stakes. Before her 9-month injury-induced break, Fritz’s Princess enjoyed the best form of her career, including a third-place finish behind Typhoon Zed and Keen Commander in the AUS-G1 Galaxy, a second-place finish behind Absolut Glam in the AUS-G1 Winter Stakes, and a superb win in the AUS-G2 Shorts over Hot Danish.

Her top competition in the 6f event includes last year’s Premiere victor Triple Honour, AUS-G1 V.R.C. Classic winner Turffontein, and newly-minted 3-year-old Phelan Ready, winner of the AUS-G1 Golden Slipper this past April. It’s a tough spot for him, going up against seasoned older horses, but the weight-for-age conditions will help.

Approximately 20 minutes after the Premiere, at Caulfield the other AUS-G2 race will be run, the 7f Liston Stakes. A much larger field for this, with several top fillies and mares including favorite Typhoon Tracy, an undefeated 4-year-old Red Ransom mare last seen in March winning the AUS-G1 Coolmore Classic. This will be her first foray into open company, in what will be the beginning of a Cox Plate campaign. Also in here is the 5-year-old mare Zarita—winner of the AUS-G1 South Australian Oaks and AUS-G1 South Australian Derby as a 3-year-old—who didn’t win any of her 10 races last campaign, but was third in the AUS-G3 St. George Stakes in February, and only 1.5 lengths back of Niconero in the AUS-G1 Australian Cup in March. The other mare in the field, 4-year-old Gallica makes her first start after finishing off-the-board in the AUS-G1 AJC Oaks in April, but she won the AUS-G1 Schweppes Oaks at Morphettville in March. She appears to want longer than 7f.

[Let me mention here that Typhoon Tracy is a favorite of blogger friend Anne from Melbourne; check out her blog Cat Politics for a nice mixture of horse racing and music from Down Under]

Also at Caulfield, older mares go in the AUS-G3 Cockram Stakes over 6f. The top-weight favorite is the gutsy 4-year-old Romneya, last seen in March running out of the money in the AUS-G1 Robert Sangster Stakes. An interesting connection for Americans: Romneya’s dam Mannington is a half-sister to Bollinger, the dam of recent Kentucky Derby hopeful Friesan Fire.

Last year’s Cockram winner, 5-year-old Princess Gisella is back for new connections after selling for $140k at the 2009 Australian Broodmare sale; the idea is to increase her value this campaign with more group wins or placings. Lee Freedman-trained Marchelle Belle has won 6 of nine starts, including the listed Tasmanian Oaks in February, and the Yalumba Masters first-up on August 1—a race in which Princess Gisella finished fourth. The second and third-place finishers in that race, Annesong and With Apologies respectively, are here as well.

Thursday Results in Europe:
Profound Beauty breezed to victory against 3-year-old colt Mourayan in the IRE-G3 Ballyroan Stakes, with the other filly in the field, Shreyas, five lengths back in third. Profound Beauty's next target: IRE-G1 Irish St. Leger on September 12.

In the FR-G3 Prix Minerve, Zarkava’s half-sister finished out of the money, as Kalla nipped Peinture Rare by a short head, followed 2.5 lengths back by Pearlescence in third, just a neck in front of Zerkerya; Jakonda was fifth in the 10-horse field.

Favored Soneva won the FR-G3 Prix de Lieurey, and may aim for the FR-G1 Prix du Moulin at Longchamp next. Wilside finished third, a length behind the Dr. Fong filly Emergency; Sweet Hearth was 10th in the 11-horse field, but relatively close-up with the main pack. Article Rare scratched.


Anne S said...

Go Tracy Go! I really hope she wins.

Whew I finally can make comments on this blog. I've tried before but had difficulty getting it to stick, owing I thought to my computer being weird and needing a reformat.

It might have been IE Explorer as I'm now commenting with Firefox.

Anyway, Valerie this blog is a great idea and I look forward to following it with interest

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