Race 6A (Flemington) – $876,000 DARLEY CLASSIC – 6 fur, straight course – 11:40 PM EST Fri
As we discussed last week, having a high barrier draw in a straight course sprint means a horse is closer to the stands’ rail (where the fans are) and this gives a jockey a chance to “take back a bit” early and see how intense the speed is. Remember under the Australian system, the betting number refers to weight carried, NOT post position.
Here is how the main contenders stack up after the post draw (Bet #, Name, Post):
#1 Buffering (post 1 of 13)
#10 Chautauqua (post 3)
#5 Slade Power (post 4)
#9 Terravista (post 6)
#2 Lankan Rupee (post 11),
NOTE all the main dangers are INSIDE except for #2 Lankan Rupee.
#2 Lankan Rupee should be able to easily track the speed from the outside and go on with it. I also love the jock switch back to Chad Schofield, who is an extremely talented young jock and rode Lankan Rupee a treat when he won the Newmarket Handicap over this course and distance with a similar outside draw in March. The one concern is LR’s last race was really draining and Lankan Rupee will have to be on his best to win. His speed figures this preparation are a few lengths slower than in March and April 2014, when he’d eat this group for lunch from ANY post draw. My fair odds 3/1
#10 Chautauqua is just a beast. He explodes home and is two for two going down the straight. Certainly the main danger, and IF he can find room on the inside in the latter half of the race he will be extremely hard to hold out. Generally, deep closers do not win these graded-stakes quality straight course races. Fair odds 4/1
#5 Slade Power proved himself to be the best sprinter in Europe, and he beat Wesley Ward’s American sprinter UNDRAFTED (a very narrow loser in the Bredders’ Cup Turf Sprint to Bobby’s Kitten last Saturday) by 1.5 lengths in the July Cup at Newmarket. That form makes him competitive, but he has not competed anywhere since the July Cup and I think he’ll find out these Aussie sprinters are not pushovers. Fair odds 6/1
#1 Buffering is kind of an Aussie answer to America’s beloved Funny Cide, running well (and occasionally winning) in big sprint races all over Australia. The now 7 year old ran huge in the Manikato two weeks ago, but never got a breather because Lankan Rupee harassed him from the outside under fast fractions. I expect Buffering will get a softer trip up front Friday night (U.S. time), and while the inside is usually a negative in straight course sprints, if a “need the lead” type like Buffering can get to the inner rail they can save all the ground. Seeing a rail next to them also can help a horse focus. Definitely use this horse in your tris and supers.
#9 Terravista just keeps winning races but he looks like a horse that will be better around a turn. Most good “straight course” sprinters like to mix it up close to the pace. He certainly can win and another horse to juice the exotics if one can afford to use him. His trainer Joe Pride is the best trainers of sprinters in Sydney. Fair odds 12/1