Sydney has been hit by a lot of rain last week, so it will be difficult for me to predict:
(1) The firmness of the racing surface
(2) Who will run and who will scratch
(3) The track bias (speed vs. closers) last weekend at Rosehill was highly speed-favoring, but with the rain I would expect the track will either be “fair” to all running styles or favor closers.
Note: Under the Australian track rating system, a “dead” track is a track that has slight give in it – much like a “good” track in the North American track rating system. I would be much more concerned about betting an off track that was rated SLOW or HEAVY.
With the ambiguity of the racing surface, I will nominate horses for each Group 1 race – the “most talented animal” and the “best soft track specialist(s).”
The Galaxy (5.5 furlongs) – Saturday 3/29, 12:20 AM EDT
Most talented animal – 2/1 morning line favorite #2 SNITZERLAND had 3-wide trip and was on a hot pace in her last race. Figures to improve as she had 4 weeks between starts and usually Aussie horses come back every 2 weeks. She has won over $1.8 million.
Best soft track specialist – 10/1 outsider #4 RAIN AFFAIR is 8-7-1-0 combined on slow and heavy tracks.
The George Ryder (7.5 furlongs) – Saturday 3/29, 1:00 AM EDT
Most talented animal – 5/2 morning line favorite #1 BOBAN (six wins – including three Group 1 wins – from the six times Glyn Schofield has ridden him in a race). Boban is 2-0-0-0 combined on slow and heavy tracks.
Best soft track specialists – 7/2 second choice #12 RED TRACER has spent a career beating up on soft “mares races” but is ambitiously spotted here. 10-8-1-0 on slow and heavy tracks.
12/1 outsider #4 SACRED FALLS (3-3-0-0 combined on slow and heavy tracks). He’s second off the layoff and comes out of a strong race. He’s also an uncoupled entry with Boban and Red Tracer (all three are trained by Chris Waller).
12/1 ousider #6 SPEEDINESS has not raced on a wet track since forever, but he crushed a maiden field on a slow track (2-1-1-0 on slow and heavy) and his connections think he moves up on a wet track. He also swallowed his tongue last race and gets a tongue tie in this weekend’s race.
Rosehill Guineas (10.0 furlongs) – Saturday 3/29, 1:40 AM EDT
Most talented animal – A pretty even race, but I like 8/1 shot #6 THUNDER FANTASY here. This horse has been pointed to the bigger races in Melbourne, including the Australian Guineas against Melbourne Cup winners Fiorente and Green Moon. Looks like ten furlongs, a legitimate pace and only having to beat up on three year olds could be the ticket. #1 Shamus Award and #4 Puccini also have the Group 1 form to contend.
Best soft track specialist – Most of these horses, being inexperienced, have not raced on soft tracks. #12 LATE CHARGE is an inconsistent horse but is undefeated on slow and heavy tracks (2-2-0-0), winning both races at good odds. Might be a good horse to use for the trifecta off a 30/1 morning line quote.