We saw some tremendous performances across the weekend, by both horses victorious and in defeat.
Check out our horses to blackbook from last weekend’s racing.
Flemington R5 – Goldman.
The New Zealand import was sensational bolting in by five-lengths at his first two Australian starts in New South Wales and treated his opposition with contempt again on Saturday. Goldman hadn’t beaten any stayers of note in his first two Australian runs, but lowered the colours of a strong field of credentialled stayers.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained four-year-old showed superior staying skills to lead all the way and defeating former Melbourne Cup favourite Soulcombe by over two-lengths. Goldman firmed into $11 for the Melbourne Cup and if you pay homage to Gai Waterhouse’s comments post-race that Goldman is still yet to furnish, he could be in for a massive spring.
Flemington R7 – El Patroness.
The Danny O’Brien-trained mare was sensational winning the ATC Oaks a year ago and she looks primed to run another big race over The Championships. Returning to the races following a long lay-off, El Patroness has been building nicely into her campaign. She put the writing on the wall for a big run in the Australian Cup when making ground behind the in-form Serileo Miss at Flemington over the mile. She wasn’t fancied in an open edition of the Australian Cup, jumping $81, but had no luck and never saw clear daylight.
Rosehill R6 – Atishu.
No prizes for finding Atishu coming through this meeting, but the Chris Waller-trained mare certainly deserves a mention. Atishu was terrific winning the Matriarch Stakes over 2000m in the spring carnival and subsequently ran another eye-catching third in The Ingham in December. Waller gave Atishu two trials in preparation for Saturday and she was brilliant against the race pattern to run second. Race winner Roots and Finepoint (3rd) both sat in the first two pairs, with Atishu spotting a long last.
Atishu ran the 2nd fastest last 600m, 400m and 3rd fastest last 200m of the meeting and looks ready to win second-up.
Rosehill R8 – Cleveland.
It was the New Zealanders’ who took centre stage of the weekend and no doubt the European contingent will be confident of putting their names in lights in the coming weeks. Joseph O’Brien presented Cleveland in the Tancred Stakes and unlike most others in the race, he wants much further. The son of Camelot has won over 3749m in Europe and was poorly suited at the set-weights on Saturday. He is set to drop to 51kg in the Sydney Cup where he is a deserved favourite.