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Festina Lente ready to step to city class

There was a lot to like about the win of Festina Lente in the Bendigo Guineas, he is about to take the next step stretching out to at least 1600 metres.

Given that he is by Strategic, one would assume he would be merely a sprinter, he ran out a strong 1400 metres of the Guineas and was doing his best work on the line.

He is a nice colt that has been taken quietly by the Snowden stable and is beginning to show the benefit of it, this was just his fourth start, he can now boast three wins out of four starts, which is promising.

Even with that form card here there were five other runners preferred to him in the betting order, his starting price of $12.60 was quite surprising.

The favourite, Huegill, was best supported, he seemed to be in a lot of trouble on the fence in the straight after drawing barrier 10, the short cut didn’t work for Michael Walker.

So Swift, first up since winning the Sandown Guineas, turned in a nice run, he came from a fair way back and was doing his best work when the post was reached, he will be greatly improved by the run.

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Festina Lente winning the Bendigo Guineas


Hay List –All class in Newmarket Win

Hay List showed all the championship qualities in winning Saturday’s Newmarket Handicap, increasing his stake earnings just short of $2.5 million.

With no Black Caviar about it was his day, if ever a horse deserved to win a million dollar race, this was the one, he had to overcome adversity, through injury, that saw his life in the balance over several weeks, horses of lesser ability and courage would have long retired to a grassy paddock.

Hay List was at his ultimate best in the Newmarket, he had to lump the steadier of 58.5 kg giving every runner in the field of 22 weight, it was the highest weight carried since the brilliant Gold Stakes won with 60 kg in 1959.

He opened favourite at $3.50, at the close of betting $3.80 was available, the only horses backed against him were, Rain Affair, Foxwedge and to lesser extent, Lone Rock.

Hay List was well served at barrier rise, however, Glyn Schofield didn’t bustle him, allowing the gelding to find his ground in the centre of the track.

Rain Affair bounced out from the inside gate but never got far away from them as he did in Sydney, Buffering made him earn his stripes, maybe Rain Affair would have been better suited if the race was run a week earlier, as he is at his best on a rain effected track.

However, nothing can be taken away from the winner, Hay List, it was courage that won him the Newmarket, his trainer John McNair, from Gosford, can stand tall, he has done a remarkable job to bring the gelding back from death’s door.


Hay List making his winning run

What a trio! Hay List, John McNair and jockey Glyn Schofield, he rode the perfect race, never wanting to try and match the pace with the leaders, preferring to save his mount for the final run, everything was timed to the letter.

Hay List will run in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley before returning to Sydney


John McNair and Glyn Schofield


Import wins Australian Cup

It has become quite common for the imports to win our middle distance and staying races, as was the case at Flemington on Super Saturday, with former Luca Cumani trained Manighar taking out the Australian Cup by the slenderest of margins, from the Caulfield Cup winner, Southern Speed.

Whilst the field numbered just eight runners after the scratching of Lucas Cranach, the race developed into the best weight for age race we have seen all season.

Glass Harmonium, who was expected to lead, blew the start and was last into stride with the result Kerrin McEvoy had no other option but to let Illo stride to the role of pacemaker, Glass Harmonium sat in second, three lengths away Manighar was always handy, with the $2.40 favourite, Americain, at the rear of the field.

Positions hardly altered until the straight was entered, it was then down to business, Manighar moved up along the fence with Southern Speed joining in, Americain was some distance away but was beginning to finish stoutly.

Peter Moody paid a compliment to Luca Cumani, saying he sent the horse over in excellent condition and Moody hasn’t miss a beat either, the winner was a credit to all concerned.

While Moody admitted he is still working the horse out, the B M W, at Rosehill over 2400 metres, is the race that he is targeting as David Hayes is with Americain, who will be much harder to beat in Sydney with a run under his belt.


Manighar and Southern Speed fighting out the finish of the Australian Cup


Empress Rock –Earns black type

Empress Rock became the third three year old filly by the premier sire, Fastnet Rock, to earn Black Type this season, whilst that may not be any claim to a record, it is certainly quite an achievement.

The Bart Cummings trained filly was impressive in winning the time honoured Group 3 Kewney Stakes, her second win after five starts and will now return to Sydney for the Coolmore Classic, over the same distance as the Kewney 1400 metres.

This was her second run this time in, after a break of 10 months, when she finished last in the Golden Slipper Stakes, won by Sepoy.

Punters narrowed the Kewney down to two genuine chances, Shopaholic, a winner at her previous three starts, was the slight favourite at $3.20, and Soft Sand, considered unlucky at her last start at Caulfield, and was at $3.40.

Shopaholic and Soft Sand were never in the hunt at any stage, the former may have trained off after a tough campaign, while Soft Sand finished fairly, and she didn’t flatter her supporters.


Empress Rock wins Kewney Stakes


All Too Hard - Was never easier

All Too Hard does not have to live in the image of his half sister Black Caviar, he can do it all on his own as was shown at Flemington in, winning the VRC Sires Produce Stakes in brilliant fashion.

The Sire’s has lost a lot of its former glamour, many of the previous winners have failed to go on, that could all change with the authoritative win of All Too Hard, who looks the real deal.

The superlatives were flowing; he has taken the next step from winning down the straight in the Listed Talindert Stakes, to the Group 2 Sires Produce, as if it was merely a walk in the park.

John Hawkes, representing his sons Wayne and Michael, is keeping his feet on the ground, but it is not hard to get carried away with a colt like this fellow.

Potentially All To Hard is the most impressive Sires Produce winner since Grosvenor, who won the race 30 years ago, he wins his races with ease, there are no ifs and buts about him.

Whether he will run in the Golden Slipper Stakes is about 50-50, there are no plans set in concrete at this stage, “We are not going to rule out anything yet, maybe the Sires or Champagne could be the better option,” said John Hawkes.

“I have won the Slipper only once and been unlucky four or five times with runners, it is a funny race, if you don’t draw the right gate you don’t win,” he added.  

“He is a super racehorse, a lovely laid back type of colt, he is doing everything on raw material, he will be a much better three year old.”


All Too Hard - Looks the goods

Dwayne Dunn, currently riding on the crest of a wave, described the win as “awesome, he settle in well in the centre of the field, travelling well all the way, when I went for him, within a few strides he was there, we had the race won a long way from home, he is a very exciting colt, with a great turn of foot when called upon,” said Dunn


Dwayne Dunn riding on the crest of a wave.


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