Group 1 winning sprinter Exceedance joins Vinery Stud’s roster in 2020 at a $38,500 inc. GST service fee.
An explosive son of Champion Sire Exceed And Excel, he scored a career-defining victory in the 2019 Coolmore Stud Stakes Gr.1 and is competitively priced for his first book at stud this year.
“Exceedance is an exciting addition to our line-up,” Vinery General Manager Peter Orton said. “He has enormous potential at stud. Exceed And Excel is a terrific source of early speed and his female side has great depth. He is a beautiful looking horse and has that strong pedigree to back him up.”
The Team Hawkes trained colt demonstrated his natural talent as a 2yo with a spectacular last to first victory on debut over 1100m. The race commentator, Matt Jackson, portrayed the win in dramatic fashion as the race unfolded; “Exceedance is rocketing home, look at this, Exceedance! What a win on debut! He came from a minute back.”
He was just as impressive second-up when just failing to catch Splintex at Rosehill despite clocking amazing sectionals. “He’s one of the nicest young horses I’ve ever ridden,” Tommy Berry declared in defeat after he ran an awesome 32.21s for the final 600m, the fastest at Rosehill that day. “He kept quickening in the straight and could be anything!”
That blistering turn of foot was palpable when Exceedance returned as a 3yo for a devastating first-up victory over boom colt Bivouac in the San Domenico Stakes Gr.3 at Rosehill. He followed up with more brilliant splits when flashing home late for placings in the Run To The Rose Gr.2 and Golden Rose Gr.1.
The stage was then set for the Coolmore Stud Stakes Gr.1 in Melbourne. It’s a grand final for colts and has launched the stud careers of Zoustar, Merchant Navy, Brazen Beau, Star Witness and Northern Meteor in recent years.
Despite being checked at the start, Exceedance fulfilled his potential with a powerful finish to defeat Bivouac and Loving Gaby in the straight-six championship at Flemington. “We were banged up between two others out of the barriers,” winning jockey Dwayne Dunn explained. “But John Hawkes told me he would win it in the final 200m – not the first 400m. I decided to get on the back of Bivouac and it worked out perfectly.
“All credit to the horse, he looked after me once things went wrong early. He travelled up nicely and I knew what was under the bonnet. He’s got a great attitude, can really accelerate and is from a high-class family.”
Exceedance is the first living foal out of NZ-bred mare Bonnie Mac (Thorn Park). She won a Proud Miss Stakes LR at Morphettville and is one of four black-type winners from Gold Class (Gold Brose).
“That was extra special in the Coolmore,” Orton added. “He’s a super horse and it’s been a great season for 3yo colts with Exceedance, Bivouac and Yes Yes Yes. We knew he had talent from the outset but what he achieved in just 9 starts was amazing.
Vinery Stud has recently changed its service fee terms, which will now be Payable on Live Foal as from this season. Exceedance ($38,500) stands alongside All Too Hard ($27,500), Star Turn ($16,500), Headwater ($13,750), Press Statement ($13,750) and Casino Prince ($5,500). ll fees include GST.
|EXCEED AND EXCEL (AUS)|
|PAS DE NOM|
|WATCH YOUR STEP|
|BONNIE MAC (NZ)|
|THORN PARK (AUS)|
|SPINNING WORLD |
|GOLD CLASS (NZ)|
|GOLD BROSE |
Exceedance BR News
September Leaves October Group 1 Run LateMon, 2 Nov 2020
Rapidly emerging filly September Run asserted herself the best 3YO sprinting filly in the land when making it three consecutive stakes wins down the famous Flemington straight – and an all important first Group 1 – with a dominant victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m). A daughter of Darley's prolific sire of high class sprinters Exceed and Excel, she became the fourth Inglis graduate to win the race in the past five years following the successes of Exceedance (2019), Merchant Navy (2017) and Flying Artie (2016). Her comprehensive triumph, after being cuddled behind the pack for much of the trip, provided sales company Inglis with its fifty-second Group 1-winning graduate since 2018. In the biggest 3YO sprint race of the Victorian spring, Inglis had three graduates – September Run finished first, Wild Ruler third and Doubtland fourth. Homebred Swats That ran second. September Run (pictured) was a $380,000 Premier Yearling Sale purchase for her owner Hermitage Thoroughbreds, from the Blue Gum Farm draft. Winning trainer Chris Waller, who watched the race at Rosehill, believed September Run's education and training at The Hermitage property was a significant ingredient in her maiden Group 1 success. "They work up the straight track every day there,'' Waller said. "It's as good a training facility as you'll find in Australia and there's been some pretty good horses there to say the least."
Get Out of Jail Card for Kosciuszko AspirantWed, 30 Sep 2020
Wednesday’s Kenisngton meeting at Randwick could prove pivotal for Kosciuszko prospect Jailbreak. Trained by Dubbo-based Kody Nestor, the promising 4YO son of Rubick recently posted his fourth win with a comprehensive hone track victory over 1100m. According to racingnsw.com.au, Nestor’s initial for this preparation was to lay the foundation for a Country Championships bid next year, however Jailbreak’s first-up win was so impressive he’s throwing his hat in the ring for a Kosciuszko berth this year. There are just two spots remaining in the rich Kosciuszko sprint, like The Everest on the same card, over 1200m. Wednesday’s Exceedance New To Vinery Handicap (1250m) provides a well-time opportunity to make an impression for the $1.3 million event. “If he happens to win the race, you never know, we might get a slot,” enthused Nestor. “He has improved that extra couple of lengths [since his fast closing April start behind Kosciuszko runner Fender] and that’s why we’ve elected to have a shot and take them on. We have a great back up plan if it all fails.”
Exceedance Excelling in New Career At StudWed, 23 Sep 2020
Group 1-winning sprinter Exceedance has had a positive start to his new role at Vinery Stud with 9 of his first 12 mares already scanned in foal off early covers this month. Exceedance has received industry-wide support from broodmare owners looking for an heir-apparent to his sire Exceed And Excel. There are upwards of 45 black-type mares among those bookings and the numbers have continued to build during September. Exceed And Excel (Danehill) was raised at Vinery and carried the ‘Big V’ brand to a Group 1 victory in the Coolmore Stud Stakes before embarking on a stud career that has harvested 175 stakes-winners to date. Appropriately, Exceedance also capped his career with a Group 1 win in the stallion-making feature straight six sprint at Flemington. Exceed and Excel is standing at $38,500 inc GST, on live foal terms.
Vinery Stud Manager Delighted by FreshmanWed, 23 Sep 2020
Peter Orton is demonstrably excited about freshman sire Exceedance (see above item). “He has that X-factor,” declared Orton, Vinery stud manager. “He’s a stunning type with a great pedigree and he could explode with an extraordinary turn of foot. That’s what we look for in a stallion prospect and he’s got it all.” Orton revealed, “We were very conservative with his numbers as we prefer to be less taxing on our young stallions when they first come to stud. But these early scan results (9 out of 12 early coverings with positives already), and the way he works in the barn will allow us to confidently top his book up a little now.” Mares booked into Exceedance include Group 1 winners Devil Moon (Turnbull Stakes) and Miss Wilson (NZ Breeders Stakes), as well as Group 2 winners the likes of Hallowell Belle (Gilgai Stakes), Miss Gunpowder (Thousand Guineas Prelude) and Amberino (Emancipation Stakes) who is also the dam of multiple Group 3 winner Winter Bride. Awesome Planet is another top-drawer matron scheduled to visit Exceedance. She won a Doomben Roses Gr2 and her first foal, Awesome Rock, claimed a Group 1 at Flemington in the Mackinnon Stakes.
Hallowell Belle is among Exceedance's 45 black-type visitors (pic: Steve Hart)
Inglis Locks in Gytrash For 2020 The EverestMon, 17 Aug 2020
Gytrash - the giant killer of Australian sprinting – will represent Inglis in this year’s running of The TAB Everest. The Gordon Richards-trained 5YO announced himself one of the nation’s leading short-course gallopers during the autumn with a stunning preparation that saw him reach the pinnacle of G1 success. During a spectacular campaign, Gytrash (Lope de Vega x Miss Barley) raced six times for two wins, three seconds and a third. Of those, four were at Gr1 level during which he won one, finished second twice and third once. In doing so he defeated the likes of Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane, Redzel, Sunlight, Loving Gaby, Bivouac, Tofane, Mystic Journey, Exceedance, Scales Of Justice, Home Of The Brave, Ball Of Muscle, Streets of Avalon, Vega Magic and Malaguerra – many of which he will undoubtedly come up against in the $15m The TAB Everest at Randwick on Saturday October 17. Gytrash – a $40,000 Premier Yearling Sale graduate - is the third confirmed runner in the world’s richest turf race alongside fellow Inglis graduates Nature Strip (Premier Yearling Sale) and Classique Legend (Classic Yearling Sale).
Gytrash has become a giant slayer (pic: Mark Gatt)
Vinery Poised for a Huge SeasonFri, 10 Jul 2020
Like a footy team that’s been building towards the future, Vinery Stud is starting to see the fruits of their labour over the past few years, and in 2020 they head towards the stud season with a gun crop of six stallions. Even without the considerable influence of champion sire More Than Ready – finally having a break after setting a record of consecutive trans hemisphere shuttles – Vinery’s fire-power this year is as imposing as any for a long time. In addition to highly proven stallions Casino Prince and his star son All Too Hard, Vinery boasts boom freshmen Headwater and Press Statement, backed up by ultra-commercial Star Turn whose first 2YOs are set to hit the track in the Spring. The final Vinery offering for 2020 is the massively exciting Exceedance, the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes winner whose acceleration and sectionals put him amongst vaunted company. Click on the image below for an in-depth preview of Vinery’s 2020 stallions.
Significant Hunter Freshman Sires on ShowTue, 9 Jun 2020
Included in Hunter Valley stallion parades this year will be the exciting newcomers Brutal, Cosmic Force and Tassort (Newgate), Calyx, Magna Grecia and Yes Yes Yes (Coolmore), Castelvecchio (Arrowfield), Exceedance (Vinery), Microphone and Too Darn Hot (Darley), Pierata (Aquis), Unite And Conquer (Kingstar) and Zousain (Widden). These as well as established sire stars Exceed And Excel, Fastnet Rock, I Am Invincible, Snitzel, Written Tycoon, Zoustar and their many barn mates will be on display. A full list of all stallions standing in the Hunter Valley this season can be viewed at the HTBA website: www.htba.com.au/links. Nowhere else in the world is such a dazzling line-up of elite stallions available for inspection in one geographical region – the Hunter Valley is a true centre of Thoroughbred Breeding Excellence.
Widden Stud's exciting freshman Zousain (pic: Steve Hart)
Precocity Has No Place to HideThu, 7 May 2020
The connections of just retired colt McLaren knew from the get-go just how precocious the gifted juvenile was. By Exceed and Excel, whose star continues to rise courtesy of a recent production line of 3YO Gr1 sprinters like Exceedance, Microphone, Bivouac and Standout, McLaren was robbed of the chance to show his true talent. Following his Gr3 Canonbury Stakes debut win, jockey James McDonald remarked: “He’s got that much speed, he doesn’t know how to harness it yet. That’s the exciting thing. Once he does learn to harness it, he is going to be a very good horse because it’s all on raw ability at the moment. I love his acceleration. He has a great will to win. He is a real racehorse and it will take him a long way.” Co-trainer Peter Snowden said after the race. “He is an exciting colt. What he does at home is really, really good. I only let him go once and that was enough for me. I saw what he could do.’’ Bought by Newgate Farm managing director Henry Field for his ownership group, Field recalls: “He’s an incredibly athletic type. Rangy, well-angled, big but well put together and you could see how he was going to take shape. He was a colt we just had to have.” The well-named McLaren was produced by a half-sister to the internationally performed Gr1 sprinters First Command (by Commands) and Oneworld (by Danehill Dancer), and hails from the family of Gr1 Oakleigh Plate winner River Dove, dam of Gr2 Silver Slipper winner Headwater.
Exceedance Joins Vinery Roster at $38,500Wed, 6 May 2020
Vinery Stud has announced its explosive Gr1-winning sprinter Exceedance will join the roster and stand at a $38,500 service fee in 2020. Exceedance (Exceed And Excel) scored a career-defining victory in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes and is competitively priced for his first book at Vinery. “Exceedance is an exciting addition to our roster this year,” Vinery General Manager Peter Orton said. “He has enormous potential at stud. Exceed And Excel is a terrific source of early speed and his female side has great depth. He is a beautiful looking horse and has that strong pedigree to back him up.” The Team Hawkes-trained Exceedance demonstrated his natural talent as a 2YO on debut with a spectacular last to first victory over 1100m. He was just as impressive second-up when just failing to catch Splintex at Rosehill despite clocking an amazing 32.21s for the final 600m. That blistering turn of foot was palpable when Exceedance returned this season for a devastating first-up victory over boom colt Bivouac in the Gr3 San Domenico Stakes. He followed up with more amazing sectionals when flashing home late for placings in the Gr2 Run To The Rose and Gr1 Golden Rose. The stage was then set for the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Exceedance fulfilled his potential in the straight-six championship at Flemington. Although he was checked at the start, jockey Dwayne Dunn said “He travelled up nicely and I knew what was under the bonnet. He’s got a great attitude and can really accelerate.” The Coolmore Stud Stakes is a grand final for colts and has launched the stud careers of Zoustar, Merchant Navy, Flying Artie, Brazen Beau, Star Witness and Northern Meteor in recent years.
Remaining Vinery Quartet Offer Significant ValueWed, 6 May 2020
Outside of Exceedance and All Too Hard (see above items), Vinery’s other quartet of stallions offers a combination of those starting to hit their straps on the track and in the sales ring, and an incredibly proven stallion:
- Star Turn ($16,500) arrived with a bang courtesy of his yearlings who achieved over 10 times covering fee at the Magic Millions. He had 14 yearlings sell for six-figures in 2020 and they were targeted by our leading trainers, including his top priced colt selling for $550,000 to the bid of Team Hawks. Star Turn won in November of his juvenile season before returning to defeat Golden Slipper winner Capitalist in the Gr3 San Domenico Stakes. Sent to Melbourne for the spring carnival, he showed another brilliant burst of acceleration to defeat older horses at weight-for-age in the Gr2 Schillaci Stakes.
- Press Statement ($13,750) was the only colt of his generation to win a Gr1 at two and three and he’s on track for a Gr1 stud career. Chris Waller trained Press Statement to complete the J J Atkins Stakes – Caulfield Guineas double and they have a front-line chance in this year’s first leg with promising colt and dual-city winner Spokesman. Ciaron Maher & David Eustace also train his first-crop winners Incredulous Dream and Major Murphy while John O’Shea has the promising filly Newsreader, who will be set for the Woodlands Stakes LR at Rosehill later this month.
- Headwater ($13,750) has a potent pedigree, combining Champion sire Exceed And Excel and Oakleigh Plate Gr1 winner River Dove. As a 2YO Headwater won a Gr2 Silver Slipper Gr2 at Rosehill so it’s not surprising that he has precocious first-crop winners like Wisdom of Water, Aquagirl and Mileva, and more juvenile winners than some other high-priced stallions. Wisdom of Water is a flying machine and was an unlucky fourth in the $2 million RL Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January. He returned recently with an impressive 5-length victory and is on a path to the Gr1 J J Atkins Stakes.
- Casino Prince ($5,500) is the perfect stallion for breeders wanting to retain to race and you won’t get any arguments at such an amazing fee. All Too Hard was one of two Gr1 winners from his first crop and there could be another at the Brisbane winter carnival if Baccarat Baby takes her place in the Stradbroke Hcp (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6. Casino Prince is a prolific winner-getter and he props up the Vinery roster with career stats of 360 individual winners at an incredible 71% strike-rate.
Pierata Headlines Aquis 2020 Stallion RosterTue, 5 May 2020
The Fung family has announced that outstanding Gr1-winning sprint star Pierata will headline the Aquis stallion roster in 2020. The best son of Champion sire Pierro, Pierata defeated 39 individual Gr1 winners of 79 Gr1 races including the likes of Trapeze Artist, Bivouac, Brutal, Exceedance, Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane and Redzel, during a stellar race career. Renowned for his toughness and tenacity as much as his class, Pierata's career, in which he accumulated in excess of $5.8m in earnings, was punctuated by a series of outstanding performances. In Randwick's time-honoured Gr1 All Aged Stakes, he was too sharp for the likes of Osborne Bulls, Fierce Impact, Champagne Cuddles, Le Romain and Manuel. In the Gr2 Shorts over 1100m, he was too quick for the likes of Redzel and Classique Legend, while in the Gr3 Sydney Stakes over 1200m, he ran a quicker time that what it took Redzel to win The Everest on the same card. All told, Pierata won or placed in 5 Gr1 races from 1100m to 1600m and holds the distinction of being the only offspring of Pierro to win a Gr1 at less than a mile. Pierata will stand at Aquis Hunter Valley, NSW at a fee of $44,000 (including GST). "Pierata has all the attributes that any commercial breeder desires," commented Aquis' CEO Tony (Tubba) Williams. "Physically he emulates his sire and sire line with distinction, strength, balance, scope, speed and importantly temperament. He developed a following from the racing public and the industry with his tenacious racing style, enabling him to perform at the highest level in every season that he raced."
Pierata heads Aquis' roster (pic: Steve Hart)
Sprinting Crumbs These Are NotWed, 18 Mar 2020
When most of the Gr1 autumn sprint battles have been fought and won, there’s a presumption that what’s left is a smattering of peripheral Gr1 talent, sprinkled through with good, but not elite, sprinters. That’s the antithesis of this year’s Gr1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne, where the calibre of entrants is a reminder that it’s the runners that determine the quality of the race, not vice versa, i.e. think The Everest, All-Star Mile and Golden Eagle. If just Nature Strip, Mystic Journey, Scales of Justice and Pippie turn up for Friday’s night’s renewal at Moonee Valley, it’ll be a cracking spectacle, however…. the elder brigade are likely going to have to deal with a trio of 3YOs, any one of which falls into the elite category, namely: Bivouac, Exceedance and Loving Gaby. Although nominated for the William Reid, it’s expected that rising star Rubisaki will be saved, instead, for early April’s P.J. Bell Stakes at Randwick. Albeit understandable and smart placement, that’s a pity because the gun daughter of Rubick has the potential to crumble a few reputations.
Mystic Journey could make her comeback on Friday (pic: Mark Gatt)
Easter Exceed and Excel Colts in Big DemandFri, 13 Mar 2020
Nick Moraitis will forever be known as the owner of Might and Power (Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate), however it’s his Danehill colt Exceed and Excel, raced in partnership with Alan Osburg, that continues to leave an indelible mark on the industry. Purchased in 2004 by Darley, the son of Lomond mare Patrona is the gift that just keeps on giving. With global progeny earnings approaching $200 million, Gr1 winners around the world, a remarkably high 70% W/R strike rate and 167 stakes-winners that include Champion 2YOs, he has become an institution. Adding to those credentials, arguably four of his best ever colts, Exceedance, Bivouac, Microphone and Standout are current members of a coterie of 3YOs that form the backbone of one of the finest sophomore crops witnessed in decades. At the upcoming Inglis Easter Sale, Exceed and Excel is represented by 18 yearlings, 14 of which are colts that will be hot property.
Expert Rubber-Stamps Bivouac PerformanceWed, 11 Mar 2020
Noted ratings expert Daniel O’Sullivan has provided his thoughts to racing.com on last Saturday’s Gr1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington, and they will have Godolphin’s managing director and Vin Cox and head-trainer James Cummings beaming from ear to ear. Although acknowledging that Exceedance’s performance was below par and out of character for a horse he considers in the elite category, O’Sullivan opined that the slashing win by Bivouac pushed him to a new peak rating of 108.3 that was “clearly the strongest Newmarket win we’ve seen in some time”. The take-away message is that a similar effort in the Gr1 TJ Smith by Bivouac spells trouble for his rivals. He also praised the new peak by runner-up Loving Gaby who enhanced her prospects in the Gr1 William Reid Stakes.
Bivouac won the Newmarket with authority (pic: Mark Gatt)
From One 3YO Spectacle To AnotherThu, 5 Mar 2020
The 3YO milers created massive interest ahead of the Australian Guineas which produced a worthy champion in Alligator Blood. Now, the sprinting sophomores will get their turn in the spotlight on Saturday when they have a crack at toppling open company in the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap. The 3YO colts Exceedance and Bivouac, who filled the quinella in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes over the same course and distance, are back for another duel where they have been given 54kg each. Both are around the eachway quote of $5.00, as is 3YO filly Loving Gaby (52.5kg). Creating plenty of interest off just 51kg is fellow 3YO filly Libertini ($9.50) who placed in the Coolmore Stud Stakes. The market suggests the winner will come from the 3YO division, however Gr1 Lightning Stakes hero Gytrash is unlikely to be fazed by his 57kg. At $7.50 he could once again slip under the guard of many punters.
Expert Uses Data to Validate 3YO Crop StrengthThu, 27 Feb 2020
One of Australia’s leading ratings experts has revealed emperical data to corroborate the general consensus that the 2019-2020 crop of 3YOs is amongst the best in recent years, reports racing.com. Daniel O’Sullivan has assessed the number of sophomores to run a 103+ rating at weight-for-age at this point of the season in contrast to the same time as earlir seasons, and also for the full racing season. To February 22, there are already 15 individual 3YOs who have achieved the feat versus 8 (2018-19), 7 (2017-18), 11 (2016-17) and 6 (2015-16). The 206-17 crop, which included Flying Artie, Star Turn, Astern and Extreme Choice, finished with 16 by season’s end, however at this point of time it appears likely that the current crop could hit 20 or more by the end of July. Topping this year’s 3YO crop of WFA performers are Yes Yes Yes, Exceedance, Bivouac and Castelvecchio. Other highly-rated 3YOs by O’Sullivan also include Libertini, Loving Gaby, Funstar, Standout, Flit, Alligator Blood and Catalyst. It goes without saying that there are other high class 3YOs who have yet to compete at weight-for-age, and hence don't have a rating.
Exceedance is considered an elite performer by O'Sullivan (pic: Mark Gatt)
Nature Strip Slugged With 58kg for NewmarketWed, 26 Feb 2020
Despite putting the white flag up 200m from home in the Gr1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington, where he finished out of the placings, enigmatic sprinter Nature Strip will have to prove himself better than 92 percent of top-weights from the past 50 years of the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap. According to AAP, the only three horses in 50 years that have been able to carry 58kg (Nature Strip’s impost) or more to victory are Shaftesbury Avenue (1991), Black Caviar (2011) and Hay List (2012). With Gytrash, winner of the Lightning Stakes, in receipt of 2kg from Nature Strip, the extra 200m will weigh heavily on the minds of punters even though at his best Nature Strip will give a good sight. Markets have Nature Strip at $6.50 behind Loving Gaby & Bivouac (both $6.00) and Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Exceedance ($5.00).
Nature Strip has been set a tough task (pic: Mark Gatt)
Bivouac Ready To Launch in OakleighMon, 17 Feb 2020
With it all but agreed that the current 3YO crop is as exciting as any we’ve seen in 20 years or more, there are still more questions than answers, with Alligator Blood edging out Catalyst in Saturday’s spine-tingling Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington – much like Exceedance did over Bivouac in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. The sensational Gr1 Golden Rose winner went down by less than a half-length in the Flemington straight sprint for sophomores and, although he had his colours lowered, Bivouac looks primed to go first-up in the Gr1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield. According to AAP, Craig Williams rode the Exceed and Excel colt in a 800m jump-out at Flemington where he powered through the line – much to the delight of his trainer. “Craig felt he had plenty in hand,” revealed Cummings. "He's a lovely horse and it's good to get through that trial without any concerns and we're proceeding as per the plan." Cummings remained a little coy about what lies ahead for Bivouac, saying, "I've got a good idea about where I want to see him go after the Oakleigh Plate but he's the sort of horse now that we don't have to run him all the time… We'll just pick our mark and once we're very comfortable in what he's shown us and where we head to next is when we'll outline the next step."
Bivouac just missed in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (pic: Mark Gatt)
Godolphin Fire-Power For Light FingersFri, 14 Feb 2020
It appears as though Godolphin has taken the old maxim of never take a knife to a gun fight to heart. At Royal Randwick on Saturday, trainers James Cummings and Anthony Freedman will attempt to ambush race favourite Libertini with a trio of Gr1 winners in the shape of Gr1 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, Gr1 Blue Diamond winner Lyre and Gr1 One Thousand Guineas winner Flit. Throw in the Snowden stable’s Missile Mantra – beaten a lip in the One Thousand Guineas, and Libertini could find herself in the fight of her life. Four trials in the soft since a gallant third to Exceedance in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes will stand her in good stead, however her outside barrier means she’ll probably need to do some work early to stay in touch. Hindsight will show the $2.60 on offer to either be a bad investment or the best 160% return of the month.
Crack filly Libertini is facing a star-studded field (pic: Steve Hart)
Male 3YO Division Right Up With The BestMon, 3 Feb 2020
There’s an inevitable urge to compare many male sophomore crops with what is considered the modern day benchmark: Octagonal, Saintly, Filante and Nothin’ Leica Dane. This time the pundits could be right. The bunch of 3YOs colts and geldings strutting their stuff this season is creating huge anticipation not just for when they take on their elders at weight for age and race in open company, but for when they meet each other. The addition of Standout, who slam-dunked some big names in the Gr2 Expressway Stakes is yet another reason to be bedazzled by this bunch whose cohort also includes, in no particular order: Exceedance, Castelvecchio, Yes Yes Yes, Super Seth, Bivouac, Alligator Blood, Catalyst, and, potentially, Dalasan, Cosmic Force and Microphone. The Gr1 Australian Guineas on 29 February could up one of the race’s best editions, with nothing splitting Super Seth, Catalyst and Alligator Blood at the top of markets.
Kiwi Catalyst could be the best of them all (pic: Trish Dunell)