Boxing Day black-type preview

7 min read
In the black-type preview for Boxing Day all eyes are on New Zealand with Group 1 racing at Ellerslie featuring the G1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic and G2 Eight Carat Classic. We also head to Wingatui for the Listed Allied Security Hazlett S., Royal Randwick hosts the G3 Summer Cup and Caulfield stages two Listed races.

Quality mare a major threat again

G1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic, 2000m, Ellerslie

Danzdanzdance (NZ) (Mastercraftsman {IRE}) blitzed her rivals last time out and the 4-year-old can provide another knock-out blow at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.

She will step out in the G1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic and a repeat of her Trentham performance when she bolted away with the G1 Captain Cook S. would see her hard to hold out.

The step up to 2000 metres will ideally suit last season’s G1 New Zealand Derby placegetter and she looks sure to prove a handful for her opposition.

As always, Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman are well-represented and the best of their quartet of contenders may be Lizzie L’Amour (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}). Runner-up in the this race 12 months ago, she is in good touch and has a liking for Ellerslie where she has a G1 New Zealand S. success to her credit.

Sensational filly favoured

G2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, 1600m, Ellerslie

Can Media Sensation (I Am Invincible) write another leading headline? It would appear highly likely given the form she is in.

She has reeled off three straight wins, culminating in her G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas romp and an effort that dispelled any concerns about her mastering 1600 metres.

Media Sensation was successful in the spring in the G3 Soliloquy S. in her only appearance on the course and from an inside gate she looks sure to be given every chance to star again.

Queen Of Diamonds (NZ) (Savabeel) handled a sharp rise in class late time out with aplomb to take major honours in the G3 Eulogy S. and she looks a player again while Rip Em Up (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) will appreciate getting out to 1600 metres and look for her to be hitting the line strongly.

Smart 3YO hard to roll

Listed Shaw's Wires Ropes Uncle Remus S., 1400m, Ellerslie

Dawn Patrol (NZ) (Dawn Approach {IRE}) has been impressive in a brief career and he looms as the 3-year-old to beat on his return in the Listed Shaw’s Wires Ropes Uncle Remus S.

The chestnut was untested to win his first two starts before a trip to Riccarton for the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, in which he finished runner-up to Madison County (NZ) (Pins) after being caught in the worst part of the track.

Dawn Patrol

Lincoln Falls (NZ) (Savabeel) will be making his black type debut and on the evidence of what we have seen from the colt to date, he certainly won’t be out of place.

Twice successful from three outings, he was impressive putting away an age group line-up at Trentham at his most recent start.

Youngster can make presence felt

Listed Hallmark Stud H., 1200m, Ellerslie

A fresh Sword Of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel) has a chance to upstage his older rivals with the 3-year-old looking better suited to the shorter trips.

Last season’s G1 Sistema S. winner added to his record two runs back when claiming the G3 James and Annie Sarten Memorial before he was found out over 1600 metres when unplaced in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas.

Sword Of Osman

Rikki Tikki Tavi (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) was a course and distance runner-up last time out and should have finished closer as she was unable to gain a clear passage in the straight.

Spring Heat (More Than Ready) hasn’t raced since she finished fifth in the G1 Levin Classic and has had two trials to fit her for her return. The filly She’s A Thief (NZ) (Showcasing {GB}) was stakes placed last season and an inside gate will be ideal for her free-running style.

Queen to rule at Wingatui

Listed Allied Security Hazlett S., 1200m, Wingatui

The Allied Security Hazlett S. should see Prom Queen (NZ) (Super Easy) competitive at the weights.

She has been freshened since finishing fifth in the Stewards’ S. at Riccarton and with only 53kg on her back she is well-placed to return to winning form.

This will be the sternest test of the ability of Vendima (Sepoy), but she is at the top of her game with four wins from her last five outings while Sensei (Dream Ahead {USA}) was good last time out at Riccarton and a player here with a little luck from a tricky gate.

The class acts in the field are the Group 1 winners Enzo’s Lad (Testa Rossa) and Signify (NZ) (Perfectly Ready), but with 60kg apiece they are conceding significant weight to some in-form sprinters.

Aloisia to return to winning ways

G3 Summer Cup, 2000m, Randwick

Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour {IRE}) returned to form last time and she looks primed for an overdue return to the winner’s enclosure in the G3 Summer Cup at Randwick.

She won the G1 Thousand Guineas last season and followed up with victory in the G3 Moonee Valley Vase, but then went off the boil. Her last-start effort for second in the G2 Villiers S. though was an encouraging performance and one that puts her in the frame here.

Champion trainer Chris Waller holds a strong hand and the best of his chances might be My Nordic Hero (GB) (Archipenko {USA}).

The lightly-raced 7-year-old won the G3 Festival S. two runs back and was then third in the Villiers while Articus (FR) (Areion {GER}) was out of sorts on a wet track in that race and a better guide to his chance might be his previous placing in the Goulburn Cup.

Torgersen to lord it at Caulfield

Listed MRC Lord S., 1700m, Caulfield

Torgersen (NZ) (Pins) wouldn’t need to show improvement to topple this Listed Lord S. line-up at Caulfield, which is far from the strongest he has met and matched during his career.

The Waller-trained 6-year-old was runner-up in the Listed Kilmore Cup before he was again second at Pakenham and will have the services of Stephen Baster.

Age Of Fire (Fastnet Rock) finished in behind the major players in both of those races and he looks an each-way hope while stablemate Bondeiger (War Pass {USA}) has been freshened since winning the G3 Inglis Cup for his second victory at Caulfield.

So Si Bon (So You Think {NZ}) has been a head-scratcher for a while, although his recent efforts have been respectable and he looks a place chance in a modest field.

Soldier to win the Christmas war

Listed Ladbrokes Christmas S., 1200m, Caulfield

With the benefit of a first-up under his belt, improvement should be forthcoming from Native Soldier (Sepoy) in the Listed Ladbrokes Christmas S.

The winner of a pair of Group 3 events during his spring preparation, the 3-year-old returned earlier this month to finished fourth at Flemington on a soft track and better going would help his cause.

Native Soldier

An interesting runner is George Patton (USA) (War Front {USA}), who finished fourth in the G1 French 2000 Guineas and was then third in the G3 Prix Daphnis. He has subsequently been off the scene for a lengthy period and was unplaced earlier this year in the Listed Carrington S. in his sole appearance for Peter and Paul Snowden.

Manolo Blahniq (NZ) (Jimmy Choux {NZ}) is a handy type and he makes some appeal off the back of his resuming run for third at Pakenham. He’s up in class but drops a hefty seven and a-half kilos down the handicap.