Another European 3YO coming calling

5 min read

A lightly-tried Northern Hemisphere 3-year-old proved dominant in the G1 Melbourne Cup and a fellow European with a similar profile will take aim at the weight-for-age feature on Saturday’s card at Flemington.

The Charlie Appleby-trained Cross Counter (GB) (Teofilo {IRE}) won the big staying prize at just his eighth lifetime appearance and Latrobe (IRE) (Camelot {GB) will attempt to do likewise in the G1 Seppelt Mackinnon S.

Prepared by Joseph O’Brien for the Williams family, the G1 Irish Derby winner was allowed to bypass the G1 Melbourne Cup and 2000 metres should be ideal for the high-class colt.

He has also proved his versatility with success on good going and on rain-affected tracks.

Latrobe after winning the 2018 Irish Derby

Spring of content

Godolphin has been a major player this spring and Blair House (IRE) (Pivotal {GB}) looks primed to give a strong account of himself.

Cross Counter’s stablemate was a first-up fourth in the G1 Underwood S., before he finished runner-up in the G1 Labrokes S., and William Buick has extended his Australian stay to partner the chestnut.

Shillelagh (NZ) (Savabeel) was outstanding when she came from the back of the field to win the G1 Empire Rose S., and the extra distance shouldn’t pose any problems to her while there will be keen interest in Extra Brut (Domesday).

Derby hero backing up

He triumphed in the G1 VRC Derby and trainer Darren Weir won last year’s Mackinnon with Tosen Stardom (JPN) (Deep Impact {JPN}) and also ran the 3-year-old Cliff’s Edge (Canford Cliffs {GB{), who finished sixth.

Mighty sprinter Redzel (Snitzel) will be at the top of his game when he defends his G1 VRC Sprint Classic title having held out all-comers last time out for his second Everest crown.

He will undoubtedly be hard to roll with the excellent Pierata (Pierro) looming as a main danger after a convincing last-start victory in the G3 Sydney S.

Form turnaround required

We have yet to see the best of the G1 July Cup winner U S Navy Flag (USA) (War Front {USA}), but he might be much better-suited to Flemington while stablemate Spirit Of Valor (USA) (War Front {USA}) was sound when runner-up in the G1 Manikato S.

Jungle Cat (IRE) (Iffraaj {GB}) didn’t figure in the G1 Toorak H., and back to a sprinting trip should see the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke S., winner much more competitive.

The mares will do battle in the G2 7News Matriarch S., and there looks to be a sense of timing around Temple Of Bel (Bel Esprit).

She made late ground to finish in behind the major players in the shorter G1 Empire Rose S., and an extra 400 metres here is ideal for the 4-year-old.

Improvement expected

The G1 Cox Plate day hype got the better of Savvy Coup (NZ) (Savabeel) and improvement can be expected of the dual Group 1 winner while Aqua D’Ivina (Pierro) is in a rich vein of form and warrants plenty of respect.

Jaameh (IRE) (Iffraaj {GB}) has been racing genuinely and victory in the G3 Queen Elizabeth S., would be deserved. He is a two-time winner on the course and following placings in the G3 The Bart Cummings and the G3 Lexus S., he will lap up the extended 2600 metre trip.

The G3 De Rucci Chatham S., looks a wide open affair and a little early luck from a wide gate could see Dollar For Dollar (High Chaparral {IRE}) a threat.

He was a strong second two runs back in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke while Mr Sneaky (High Chaparral {IRE}) is a talented sprinter and a course winner.

Step back in grade

Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock) will appreciate a significant drop in class when he steps out in the Listed Watch Springtime S., following a last-start sixth in the G1 Coolmore Stud S.

Sunset Watch (Akeed Mofeed) is a progressive type and he headed a number of his rivals in this when a close second in the G3 Australia S., at Moonee Valley.

Meanwhile, the opening day of the spring carnival at Riccarton will feature the G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Unbeaten colt The Chosen One (NZ) (Savabeel) faces his toughest test, but looks ready to excel again while his stablemate Madison County (NZ) (Pins) is also racing well and the step up to 1600 metres will favour him.

Madison County

Major Guineas force

Te Akau is chasing their seventh win in the race and they have three runners with the best-credentialled being last season’s Group 1 winner Sword Of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel).

Sword Of Osman

The Listed Yesberg Insurance Services Pegasus S., and off the minimum it looks a race well within the grasp of last-start second Sensei (Dream Ahead {USA}).

The Listed Redwood Metropolitan Trophy and the 2500 metres is expected to prove ideal for Mental Telepathy (NZ) (Shocking), who has won four of his 10 starts and was impressive last time out when untested at Te Rapa.

Unbeaten mare

Meanwhile in Perth, the exciting Enticing Star (Testa Rossa) is undefeated in eight appearances and looks likely to add the G2 Waroa-Le Steere S., to his record for trainer Adam Durrant and owner Bob Peters.

They also have a decent chance in the Listed Conquer Cystic Fibrosis Ascot Gold Cup with Royal Show (Redoute’s Choice).

The 5-year-old has showed steady improvement this preparation and 1800 metres looks ideal for her at this stage.