The Sydney autumn carnival came to a close at Randwick on Saturday with a massive ten-race card.
It was a good day for favourite backers after short-priced elects Militarize and Giga Kick won both features.
‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira took riding honours after he once again stamped his class with a treble.
Meanwhile, it was another very wet day in Melbourne where punters dominated the bookies.
Magic Man To The Fore
Joao Moreira is a high-class jockey and the Brazilian hoop once again confirmed his talents in Sydney on Saturday. Moreira snagged a treble, combing with the Chris Waller camp for all three wins. Back-to-back Group 1 winner Militarize headlined the day for Moreira with a strong win in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes. The Dundeel colt took a while to build his revs over the mile, but was too strong for Bases Loaded who ran another brave placing.
Moreira had previously won the James Carr Stakes with the talented Olentia, before closing off the day with popular runner Democracy Manifest. Moreira still has a few more weeks left in Australia and it was great to hear post-race that the star hoop is likely to extend his stay.
How Different Osipenko’s Autumn Could Have Been
There must be a feeling of ‘what could have been’ for Chris Waller-trained Osipenko following an impressive win in the Group 3 Frank Packer Plate at Randwick. The Pierro colt was heavily backed to win the Group 1 Randwick Guineas last month, but was scratched on race morning due to an elevated temperature. He subsequently tackled Anamoe in the George Ryder Stakes before running sixth in the Doncaster Mile. Looking back at the Randwick Guineas, there is little doubt with hindsight that Osipenko not only would have been in the finish, he probably wins.
Waller and connections then watched his stablemate Lindermann beat Pericles in a driving finish to the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas. Although Pericles understandably didn’t perform at his peak on Saturday, Osipenko was utterly dominant as he cruised home in second gear to beat Pericles by a length. Osipenko will now likely head for a break in preparation where he will strive to secure that elusive Group 1.
Vilana Stamps Stradbroke Credentials
Godolphin entire Vilana was very soft in betting upon resumption in the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes at Randwick, but was impressive nonetheless as he powered to a dominant win. The four-year-old contested the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap 12 months ago after winning the Fred Best and looks primed for his second assault on Queensland’s premiere handicap. Combining with Nash Rawiller, who has now won three of four starts aboard the horse, Vilana even defied the dreaded pre-race vets inspection and a three-wide trip to win.
He’s A Star Giga Kick
It was the genuine Group 1 performers to the fore in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes as Giga Kick rounded-up his opposition to claim his maiden Group 1. The Everest winner was brilliant in defeat behind I Wish I Win in the TJ Smith Stakes a fortnight ago and was too strong for his older competitors on Saturday. Eased back to last from the wide draw, Craig Williams rode Giga Kick like the best horse in the race, tagging Bandersnatch in the three-wide running line before letting the three-year-old loose down the straight. Zaaki was brave as always in second, with Cascadian charging late into third. Giga Kick didn’t disappoint and stamped his credentials to become Australia’s best horse.