Spring Stars to Watch
by JULIAN COOK
3YO F (Sebring X Affable)
Trainer: Anthony & Sam Freedman
Likely Target: Schweppes Thousand Guineas
Progressive filly aiming to provide father/son duo Anthony & Sam Freedman their first Group 1 title as a training partnership. Announced herself with a brilliant debut victory in May and her three return runs have been full of merit. She now appears desperate for further and the 1600m of the Schweppes Thousand Guineas should suit her down to the ground.
WISDOM OF WATER
3YO C (Headwater X Regal Tier)
Trainer: Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)
Likely Target: Catanach's Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes
A more than handy pickup for the all-conquering Price/Kent operation, Wisdom Of Water is a Group 3-winning juvenile set to take the Melbourne spring carnival by storm. His jump outs have been sharp this time in and the stable have signalled their intention to keep him to sprint trips, with the $350,000 Catanach’s Jewellers Blue Sapphire Stakes one of the scheduled runs for this son of Headwater.
3YO C (Lord Kanaloa X Vasilissa)
Trainer: Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young
Likely Target: Neds Caulfield Guineas
Neds Blue Diamond Stakes hero looking to join two greats of the turf in Manikato & Redoute’s Choice in claiming the Blue Diamond/Guineas double. Nice return when wide/on-speed in the McNeil and the stable believe that he’s come back bigger and stronger than he presented in his two-year-old season. Superstar jockey Craig Williams will jump aboard for the Guineas.
4YO G (Rebel Raider X Good Thinking)
Trainer: Grahame Begg
Likely Target: Coongy Cup
Grahame Begg put his rising star away immediately after his barnstorming Alister Clark Stakes victory in March, dreaming of Caulfield Cup glory. Progressive and tractable, the gelding was slated as a lightweight Caulfield Cup chance but a slight setback this prep dashed those dreams, for this year at least. Begg’s Caulfield love affair dates back to 1990 when Whisked won the Thousand Guineas and with options aplenty for his rising star, an appearance in a Coongy Cup on his home deck on October 14 remains a possibility.
5YO M (Zed X Opulence)
Trainer: Chris Waller
Likely Target: Stella Artois Caulfield Cup
Superstar mare who appears to be getting better with age. Verry Elleegant now has four Group 1’s to her name, the latest upon resumption in the Winx Stakes. Champion trainer Chris Waller has had 19 Caulfield Cup runners since 2010 for zero placings, but has he ever lined one up as good as this girl?
4YO G (Camelot X Lady Babooshka)
Trainer: Danny O’Brien
Likely Target: Neds Stakes
Boom horse whose effortless SA Derby victory, when last and posted wide at just his sixth career start, will go down in history. Put the writing on the wall with a brilliant second upon resumption in the Makybe Diva on September 12, but it was his breathtaking Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes victory on September 26 which confirmed his status as Australia’s most exciting galloper. The Neds Stakes on October 10 is his to lose.
5YO G (Bachelor Duke X Fastnet Lady)
Trainer: Matt Laurie
Likely Target: McCafé Schillaci Stakes/McCafé Caulfield Sprint
Rising star who has been expertly managed back from injury by Mornington trainer Matt Laurie. This speedster has the ability to graduate to the elite level, but his ever-patient trainer has suggested that will be kept at a slightly lower level this spring, before a crack at the Group 1’s next Autumn. Set to light up either Neds Caulfield Guineas Day or Stella Artois Caulfield Cup Day in the Schillaci or Caulfield Sprint.
3YO C (Written Tycoon X Naturale)
Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes
Likely Target: Neds Caulfield Guineas
From the same family as the immortal Black Caviar, Golden Rose winner Ole Kirk now has the runs on the board to match his impressive pedigree. Beat a star-studded field in the ‘Rose to rocket to the top of Neds Caulfield Guineas markets and will have his admirers as he looks to join The Autumn Sun as recent winners of the stallion-making Golden Rose/Caulfield Guineas double.