Looking Ahead - February 8

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.

Today, we have sorted out a New Zealand-bred with the pedigree and form to warrant respect at Moonee Valley where we also like the first-up chances of a promising 3-year-old. At Canterbury Park, we have settled on a filly with a Group 1 background.

Moonee Valley Race 1, Alinta Energy Geothermal Plate, $50,000, 1600m, 6.30pm AEDT

A NZ$150,000 Karaka purchase, Tower Road (NZ) (Savabeel) is a true blue Waikato Stud product as he is out of the O’Reilly (NZ) mare Thy (NZ), a two-time black type winner and third in the G1 Australian Oaks. She is also a three-quarter sister to the G1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner The Jewel (NZ) and a half-sister to La Diosa (So You Think {NZ}), another Classic winner.

Trained by Danny O’Brien, Tower Road was third on debut last month and followed up with a sound fourth placing at Pakenham. With the benefit of that outing over 1600 metres, he should be tougher to beat and has the added benefit of the experienced Damien Oliver in the saddle.

Tower Road as a yearling

Moonee Valley Race 3, Sarah’s Dream H, $50,000, 1000m, 7:30pm AEDT

Fine Dane (Danerich) returns from a break here and has a proven first-up record after winning on debut earlier this season. He was a minor player in his next three outings, including a third at Caulfield behind the subsequent Group 1 winner Written By (Written Tycoon). That form line alone entitles him to healthy respect in this line-up.

The 3-year-old is a son of Fine Feelings (Monde Bleu {GB}), who won on four occasions and both of her foals to race have been successful. The mare is a grand-daughter of the multiple black type winner Crazy Neaux (Raveneaux) of the G2 Angus Armanasco S, winner La Belle Dame (Royal Academy {USA}), who also finished runner-up in the G1 Thousand Guineas.

Canterbury Park Race 3, Rise Up This Autumn H, $50,000, 1100m, 7.15pm AEDT

Team Hawkes representative Riviera (All Too Hard) is out of a winning sister to the former champion Australian 2-year-old filly Fashions Afield (Redoute’s Choice). She won the G1 AJC Sires’ Produce S. and finished runner-up in the G1 Golden Slipper before training on to claim the G1 Flight S. She is also the dam of the G2 Todman S. winner Kiss And Make Up (More Than Ready).

A $50,000 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale buy, Riviera recouped some of her purchase price with a first-up victory at Sandown before she was turned out. She was unplaced when resuming at Randwick last month, but with the benefit of that run the filly can be more competitive for rider Tommy Berry.

Riviera as a yearling