Speedskater may have the edge at Hawkesbury
Thursday, 9 September 2010:
The grey gelding has just the one win in his resume from seven starts but he is a clear cut top rater in the field he meets today.
Chris Waller trains and Hugh Bowman will ride, so a currently flying trainer and a class act rider atop can only breed confidence that Speedskater will win fresh up.
He cost 170K as a yearling and his half sister Juste Momente, also a grey, won six races and over half a million dollars including the 2008 G1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville, where Miss Andretti could only finish fourth.
The half brother to Speedskater is Captain Coltish, an imposing entire that cost 800K as a yearling and to date has won five of eleven starts including one at Listed level.
Speedskater is not an easy horse to ride and is clearly best with a strong senior pilot hence the Bowman booking.
Waller has obviously had his patience tested with Speedskater, as shown by the fact it has raced seven times but trialled a hefty twelve times to date, so both horse and trainer are still learning about each other.
I see the natural off pacer best situated fresh up in the spring, with his maiden success coming in that state and season two campaigns back with senior rider Corey Brown in the saddle.
The last campaign for Speedskater saw him tackle some strong fields and not quite behave or handle the autumn racing.
His fresh up outing in a Benchmark 80 at Rosehill last campaign saw him unlucky enough to strike a remarkable form reference race since and the last finish was not as dire as it sounds.
Flowerchild beat Star Of Octagonal and Zingaling in the race and there is some serious horsepower there and in particular the second name for this spring.
So today I see for Speedskater the best chance for further Blades Of Glory, so to speak.
It is not quite a case of Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy but Chris and Hugh can team up and do it for you at Hawkesbury!
Galleriaborghese is another tricky one to ride but this mare has enough ability to figure in the finish.
Three starts back she finished runner up right here at Hawkesbury carrying 53kg in a class two over 1400m behind Sailor Sam, with Jay Ford riding the then filly.
Ford is back on today and at 53kg in a class one the now mare rates a logical chance using just the weight factor.
I do not have any concerns about Galleriaborghese coming back from the mile last start here, as she is in effect coming back in class too on recent racing, with the added bonus of the jockey that handles her best being back aboard.
She's Sirius is an improver on her fresh up placing here behind the handy Byzantine, after an awkward start.
Despite a wide gate the mare has the early dash to get across and Peter Robl stays aboard, which is a good sign and he was the rider when the mare cleared maidens.
Conahan deadheated fresh up on a wet track but the form through Onetonnegun, the other deadheater, is sound enough and its last start third came behind the tidy filly Quidnunc and the staying three-year-old Circle Of Power, which won yesterday at Canterbury.
I do not see any problems for Conahan on better footing here and his trainer Clarry Conners has given the gelding plenty of time to get over the resumption shared success.
The horse on debut on good ground was well backed in what has turned out to be a strong form race since and despite finishing last some of the names ahead make for good reading.
The winner Zutara was Group placed twice afterwards and the runner up Ilovethiscity last time out was third and a certainty beaten in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m).
We even find that Parriwi finished sixth in the race and at her next campaign raced four times for three wins, including one at Listed level, and a close fourth.
Please note that Blake Shinn takes the ride on Conahan here and Peter Robl, who deadheated on him fresh up, is going with She's Sirius in the race.
Carve 'Em Up will find this more manageable than last start and he did score right here two starts back narrowly but well.
Jimmy Cassidy has ridden the former New Zealand galloper the last two times and is on again today plus I do think improved footing will not hamper the gelding.
Some of his efforts in New Zealand on top of the ground were sound including fourths behind Adaline, a G2 winner afterwards, and a fourth to November Rain, which was second just beaten in the G1 NZ Oaks (2400m) behind the smart Keep The Peace and then second the following outing versus the older handicappers in the G1 Easter (1600m) behind Time Keeper.
It is hard to ignore those formlines when you are analyzing a class one 1400m race at Hawkesbury.
The only other runner I give a trifecta chance too is the badly drawn Anschluss from the powerful Peter Snowden yard, as this gelding last start right here had no luck whatsoever.
I also note he races best with Joshua Parr aboard and that is the case today plus he finished third to Speedskater, when that clear first pick today cleared maidens impressively at Canterbury last spring, for some nice race analysis symmetry.
A good betting race, as always, to end the days racing and Speedskater is the win by a margin or fail by plenty type of horse in the event.
Conahan and Carve 'Em Up are both drawn okay and up to this grade, while respect the pair of mares in Galleriaborghese and She's Sirius despite awkward barriers.
The form reversal runner could well be Anschluss, if it is ridden cold, which I do suspect from such a wide draw will eventuate.
Enjoy the race.