Looking Ahead - January 1st

3 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 kick off 2019 with a trip to Ellerslie to see if a promising 2-year-old can back-up his stunning debut win, before heading to Flemington where Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have an interesting debutant and Lindsay Park give a Group performer his chance to notch a confidence boosting win.

Ellerslie Race 3, G3 Barneswood Farm Eclipse S. $70,000, 1200m, 1:55pm NZDT, 11:55am AEDT

Whiskey Neat (Denman) put on a clinic on debut at Otaki last time out winning by 10.25l and while this shapes as much tougher opposition, he looks a star in the making.

A $72,500 weanling purchase, then sold for $220,000 as a yearling, he hails from a very nice family, with his dam Ouija (Viscount), a half-sister to Renaissance and Sessions out of the Listed winning mare Seances, who was a sister to the G1 winner Unworldly as well as multiple Group winner Gordo.

Whisky Neat pictured as a yearling

Flemington Race 1, New Year Plate, $125,000, 1000m, 1:15pm AEDT

This looks a really open 2-year-old race with 11 of the 13 having their first start. Ciaron Maher and David Eustace present the well-related filly Wahine (Fastnet Rock) for her debut having given her a recent hit out in a Tatura trial where she finished second, beaten by Tasman's Reward (Reward For Effort). He then came out and won on debut (and fronts up here). She should take natural improvement from that trial.

Pedigree-wise there is not much to fault her. A $210,000 Magic Millions buy, she is out of Killcareless (More Than Ready {USA}), who hails from one of Australia's best racing families. This filly's fourth dam is Shantha's Choice, making her a relative of the likes of Redoute's Choice and Manhattan Rain.

Wahine pictured as a yearling

Flemington Race 2, Summer Racing Handicap, $135,000, 1400m, 1:50pm AEDT

Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock) gets his chance at a well-deserved win when down in class into a BM78 race at Flemington. Coming off a seven-week freshen up, he looks well-placed having run at stakes-level in all but one of his 12 starts to date.

He was beaten only four lengths by Sunlight in a G1 Coolmore Stud S. two starts back before finishing third, less than a length behind the talented Ringerdingding (Sebring) in the G2 Sandown Guineas. Long Leaf was a $NZ750,000 buy for Coolmore from the mare Frustrating (Stravinsky {USA}), a half sister to G1 winning sprinters Tiger Tees and Terravista.

Long Leaf