Looking Ahead- September 15

4 min read

Looking Ahead puts the spotlight on runners of interest across Australia and New Zealand. Whether they are a particularly well-bred or high-priced runner having their first or second start, a promising galloper returning to the track or a horse which has trialled particularly well, we’ll aim to give you something to follow.

We start out in New Zealand with our eye on two well-credentialed horses at Ruakaka and Awapuni, check out a filly up to Group 2 class at Randwick, and find a last start beaten favourite in a Group 3 dropping back to a Class 1 at Newcastle.

Ruakaka Race 1, Tavistock at Cambridge Stud Maiden, $10,000, 1200m, 12.37pm NZST (10:37am AEST)

Yulong Express (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) has been patiently handled by Shaune Ritchie and was put aside after his Boxing Day debut at Ellerslie, where he was unplaced after a wide from run from the outside gate. He has won a recent trial and will this time step from the inside barrier.

He was originally sold at Karaka as a yearling for NZ$60,000 before he made NZ$210,000 at the Ready to Run Sale. He was purchased by the former champion Singapore trainer Laurie Laxon, who races him with Yulong Investments. Yulong Express is from the family of the G2 Waikato Guineas winner and Group 1 performer Wyndspelle (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}).

Yulong Express at the NZB Ready To Run Sale

Awapuni Race 6, Nufarm/FPA NZ BM72, $25,000 1550m. 3.13pm NZST (1:15pm AEST)

The lightly-tried mare Lubaya (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}) had no luck in her seasonal debut when denied clear air in the straight. An $80,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale purchase, she is a sibling to six winners, including the ill-fated dual Group 1 winner Lion Tamer (Storming Home {USA}).

Their grand-dam is the three-time top-flight winner (My) Blue Denim (NZ) (A Chara {IRE}) with the Group 2 winner and Group 1 performer Harris Tweed (NZ) (Montjeu {IRE}) also featuring in the pedigree.

Lubaya pictured as a yearling

Randwick Race 7, G2 Darley Tea Rose S. $200,000, 1400m, 3:50pm AEST

A lot of promising fillies in this but one of those stepping up in class significantly is Symi (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), who looks to have a big future. Having won on debut, she led them up at Randwick two weeks ago and faded to be beaten into fourth, but that was a good education and she’ll be improved by that. She can defy the oddsmakers and run a big race here.

She is bred to be up to this level, given she is a full sister to G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Catchy out of the multiple group winner Cats Whisker. Symi was bought by Alan Bell for $700,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Sale shortly before her sister won one of Australia's best two-year-old races.

Symi was a $700,000 Magic Millions purchase

Newcastle Race 8, Westfield Kotara Class 1, $35,000, 1200m, 4:54pm AEST

Signore Fox (Exceed and Excel) drops back from G3 company to a very winnable Class 1 in a bid to get some confidence back. He endured a wide run before finishing last in the Ming Dynasty S. last start when very high up in the market.

He bolted in at his maiden at his previous start and on that alone, he has plenty of quality. A $300,000 buy at the 2017 Easter Sales, he is out of the Group winning mare Sharp Susan (USA), who is from a family stepped in American black type. Signore Fox is also a half brother to current South African Horse of the Year Oh Susanna (Street Cry {Ire}).

Signore Fox pictured as a yearling