Looking Ahead - April 23

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.

On Tuesday, we like the chances of a pair of lightly-tried maiden contenders at Wagga with Group 1 backgrounds while at the Ballarat meeting we focus on a 2-year-old we believe can put his sprinting pedigree to winning use.

Wagga Race 1, 1.00pm AEST, William Farrer Hotel Tye Angland Medal H., $22,000, 1000m

Exrocka (NZ) (Shamexpress {NZ}) trialled well earlier this year and carried that over to race day when she finished third at Nowra from a tricky gate. She has since been sold through an online sale for $20,000 and joined Emma and Lucy Longmire's stable. With race day experience under her belt, she can shed her novice tag.

Originally a $130,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast buy for Champion Thoroughbreds, Exrocka is the only foal to race for New Age Rocka (Fastnet Rock), successful on two occasions. She is a half-sister to the G1 Flight S. winner Danglissa (Danzero) and to the dams of the Listed Maribyrnong Trial winner Unite And Conquer (Hinchinbrook) and the dual Group 3 winner Sweet Redemption (Snitzel).

Exrocka pictured as a yearling

Wagga Race 2, 1.35pm AEST, Raine & Home Maiden, $22,000, 1300m

Contaminated (I Am Invincible) is a son of the unraced Pentire (GB) mare Diva Bellarina (NZ), who is a daughter of the G1 New Zealand S. winner Deebee Belle (NZ) (Bin Ajwaad {Ire}). The next generation of this family features the G3 Easter Cup winner Miss Maren (Stravinsky {USA}) while further back in the pedigree is the G1 Avondale Cup winner Eva Grace (NZ) (Vice Regal {NZ}) and the dual Group 2 winner Saavoya (NZ) (Savabeel).

Trainer Nick Olive has been patient with Contaminated and produced him on his home track at Canberra to finish fourth in his 4-year-old debut. He made up good ground over 1200 metres so, on pedigree, anything further is going to suit the gelding.

Ballarat Race 1, 12.55pm AEST, Bartlett Blinds Maiden, $35,000, 1200m

Bilbao (Written Tycoon) hasn’t been seen at the trials, but did looks compittive when third at a recent Sandown jumpout. Trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace are dab hands at striking early with their representatives and have enjoyed a good season with their 2-year-olds.

This colt was a $240,000 Inglis Melbourne Premier graduate and is out of Beach Front (Strategic), who won six times up to 1200 metres and was stakes placed. Her second dam Ossie Cossie (Mister C {USA}) was successful in the Listed Lightning H. and produced the Listed Phelan Ready S. winner Jantzen (Johannesburg {USA}) and is a half-sister to the dam of the dual Group 3 winner Natural Destiny (Naturalism {NZ}).

Bilbao pictured as a yearling