San Domenico a valuable step for colts

5 min read

The G3 San Domenico S, to be run on Saturday at Rosehill, has proven an important early-season 3-year-old race for future stallion prospects and with nine colts engaged, the 2018 renewal promises more of the same.

Stallions such as Foxwedge, Duporth, Testa Rossa, General Nediym and Our Maizcay all kicked off their three-year-old seasons with wins in the San Domanico, while the past two winners of race, Pariah (at Arrowfield) and Star Turn (at Vinery), are both forging their careers at stud.

The return of Chris Waller's Performer (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) to the track is much anticipated and he tops the market.

Performer showed his star qualities when he won the Listed Breeders Plate at his first start and after winning the G3 Canonbury S., things went awry went he dropped Hugh Bowman in the final stages of the G2 Todman. While he went on to the G1 Golden Slipper. he was clearly short of his best when well beaten when drawing an outside barrier.

He looked strong in a recent trial, where he beat subsequent G2 Silver Shadow S. winner Fiesta, while Waller has indicated that he'll take further improvement from this race,

"He’s come back really well, he’s a good horse as we all know. I think, give him a chance to switch off and settle and he will finish off well," trainer Chris Waller, on Performer

Peter and Paul Snowden's speedy colt Neutrality (Sebring {Ire}) also returns and expected to set the pace based on his dominant recent trial win at Randwick and what we saw of him as a 2-year-old.

He's only had two starts, the most recent of which was a well-beaten fourth when he set the speed in the G2 Silver Slipper in February. He looks to have taken considerable improvement based on his trial.

We haven’t seen Jonker (Spirit of Boom {Aus}) at the racetrack since he was badly interfered with when fancied in the 2YO Magic Millions at the Gold Coast in January but the David Atkins trained colt did come through a recent trial win at Newcastle.

“This colt is pretty smart, he’s got a lot of natural ability. We gave him a good break after the Magic Millions, we missed the autumn and he has come back well," David Atkins, trainer of Jonker

Godolphin's Plague Stone (Lonhro {Aus}) has the advantage of race fitness on his side with two runs this campaign, the most recent of which was fourth behind Sandbar in the Listed Rosebud S.

Just behind him in the Rosebud was Ringerdingding (Sebring {Aus}) for Edward O'Rourke, who also fronts again here.

Tchaikovsky (Redoute's Choice {Aus}), a $1.3m yearling purchase for James Harron Bloodstock, has had two trials heading into this race and is expected to sit just off the pace set by his stablemate Neutrality.

The G1 Golden Rose S. on September 29 is the destination for most of these colts, but that race could also be shaped by what transpires in the G3 Ming Dynasty (1400m).

Danawi deserves a win

Five of the field in the Ming Dynasty hold Golden Rose nominations, including the current favourite, the maiden Danawi.

Danawi (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) was second in the G3 Up and Coming behind Master Ash at Randwick last week, the colt's third second in as many runs and he seems deserving of a win.

Danawi, pictured as a yearling

But this looms as a tough race. Outrageous (All Too Hard {Aus}) was just behind Plague Stone in the Rosebud S and while he has a wide barrier, can prove competitive here.

Signore Fox (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) was a dominant Hawkesbury maiden winner last time for the Snowdens but faces a rise in class her while James Cummings has two contenders in Aramayo (Poet's Voice {GB}) and Cloak (Medaglia D'Oro {USA}).

Avilius bandwagon set to build

The G3 Premier's Cup (1900m) is the other black-type race on the Rosehill program, with Godolphin import Avilius (Pivotal {GB}) widely expected to continue on his winning ways.

He progresses from a Benchmark race win at Randwick where he demonstrated he had lost none of the ability which saw him win in Listed company in Europe as well as run several placings at group level, including a second behind Cracksman (Frankel {GB}).

"I wouldn’t say he caught us by surprise as he has some great form behind his name in Europe but it was a very impressive racetrack debut in Australia," Avilius' jockey Glyn Schofield.

That form is superior to his rivals, which are highlighted by Emperor's Way (Roman Emperor {NZ}) and the mare I Am Serious (Choisir {Aus}).

Brutal the headliner at the Valley

Moonee Valley plays host to a pair of Listed races, with the McKenzie Stakes (1200m) featuring the current Caulfield Guineas favourite Brutal (O'Reilly {NZ}).

Brutal, pictured as a yearling

Brutal opened his career with a 5l win at Caulfield, making a considerable impression and he is well favoured to repeat the dose against a stronger field here.

Unbeaten pair Marcel From Madrid (Sepoy {Aus}) and Leonardo Da Hinchi (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) look the major threats along with Ocean Knight (Ocean Park {NZ}), who resumes from a spell for Lindsay Park.

Dual G1 winner Hey Doc (Duporth {Aus}) resumes in the Listed Carlyon Stakes having had just one run in the autumn since his win in the Manikato S at this track last October.

“The horse is great, everything is pointing in the right direction and with his affinity for Moonee Valley I wouldn’t be disregarding his chances,’’ Hey Doc's trainer, Tony McEvoy

This is a race which will be run at a frantic pace with speedy Super Too (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) set to lead them up, while Quilista (Scandal Keeper {USA}) and Faatinah (Nicconi {Aus}) are also like to contend for the front.

Mr Sneaky (High Chaparral {Ire}) has been placed multiple times at Group level and looks set for a nice campaign off the back of an impressive recent trial.