Morphettville Black-type Preview

5 min read

Adelaide’s four Group 1 races all take place within the space of a couple of weeks in May, beginning this Saturday with the TAB Classic and Schweppes Oaks. The South Australian Derby follows next Saturday, with the Goodwood a week later. As usual, the interstate raiders are out in force, and the stage is set for some engrossing battles at Morphettville.

Fillies clash with elders in Adelaide mares’ feature

Morphettville, G1 TAB Classic, $600,000, 1200m

The 3-year-old filly Shoals (Fastnet Rock) won this race last year – the first since 2010 to beat older mares in the fillies and mares’ sprint, which is registered as the Robert Sangster S.

Three fillies are in this year’s field in a bid to follow in those footsteps, Anjana (Sepoy) has been a Listed winner at Flemington and was fourth in the G1 Thousand Guineas, fellow Listed winner Thrillster (Starspangledbanner) ran second in the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude and fifth in the Guineas, while Lady Cosmology (Universal Ruler) brings in a consistent black-type form line from Perth.

Perth runner, Lasy Cosmology

Among the older mares, the favourite Spright (Hinchinbrook) has performed well against some of the strongest sprint company this season. She was third in the G1 Moir S., fourth in the Manikato S., seventh in the VRC Sprint Classic and second win the William Reid S.

Cool Passion (Not a Single Doubt) was a multiple Group winner in the spring and was an eye-catching last start fourth against a stellar field in the Group 1 Canterbury S.

Princess Jenni faces toughest test

Morphettville, G1 Schweppes Oaks, $500,000, 2000m

The fillies’ feature is the toughest test yet for the lightly-raced Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}), who could be a rising star.

After a win and a placing from two low-grade starts in the late spring, the David Brideoake-trained runner has made an impressive return. After a first-up seventh in the G2 Kewney S., she has won two in a row including the G3 Alexandra S. at The Valley.

Two of her rivals have already made an impression in two Oaks this season. Aristia (Lonhro) won the VRC Oaks at Flemington in the spring and was unplaced last-start in the ATC Australian Oaks at Randwick. In between times, she placed in three black-type races including the G1 Vinery Stud S.

Maracaibo (Redoute’s Choice) was a close fourth in the VRC Oaks and was not far away running fifth in the ATC Australian Oaks. She also placed in the G3 Adrian Knox S.

Mirette (Unencumbered), who was fourth behind Princess Jenni in the Alexandra S., went on to win the traditional Oaks lead-up – the G3 Schweppervescence (Auraria) S.

Unbeaten record on line

Morphettville, G2 TAB Euclase S., $250,000, 1200m

The sky could be the limit for the unbeaten Terbium (Terango). Trained by Phillip Stokes, the three-year-old has had four starts for four impressive wins.

Terbium began his career in the January with three-length victories at Strathalbyn and Park in Pakenham, then won at Sandown in early February.

His first big test came later that month in the G3 Zeditave S. at Caulfield, in which he scored a brilliant win over the favoured Zousain (Zoustar).

Now he steps up again to Group 2 level, taking on a talented field of 16. The second favourite is Behemoth (All Too Hard), who has been first in second in four of his five starts – most recently a runner-up finish in the Listed Redelva S.

Spanish Reef back from Group 1

Morphettville, G2 Hughes Limousines Queen of the South S., $200,000, 1600m

Favourite Spanish Reef (Lope de Vega {Ire}) is stepping down in class for this race, having produced a big last-start performance at Group 1 level. She finished fifth in the Coolmore Legacy S. at Randwick, only 1.2 lengths from the winner Kenedna (Not a Single Doubt).

Her previous form had also been strong, winning the G3 Schweppervescence Trophy (Matron S.) and beaten by no more than 1.45 lengths when fourth in the G3 Bellmaine S., fourth in the G3 Mannerism S. and second in the G2 Sunline S.

Second favourite Music Bay (Choisir) won by four lengths at Sandown two starts back, then finished a close fourth behind the G1 Schweppes Oaks favourite Princess Jenni (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}) at Caulfield.

In-form sprinters clash

Morphettville, G3 D C MCKAY S., $150,000, 1100m

More than half of the form-filled field of eight for this sprint feature are last-start winners.

Godolphin runner Haunted (Lonhro) is making his black-type debut. He has won six of his 12 starts so far, most recently a stylish two-length victory at Caulfield on April 20.

The Tony McEvoy-trained Despatch (Written Tycoon) won the Listed Redelva S. at this track in April of last year, then doubled his black-type tally with a last-start win in the Listed Oakbank S.

Hard Empire (Hard Spun {USA}) was a last-start winner of the G3 R N Irwin S. and also commands respect in this line-up.

Experience a boost for Li’l Kontra

Morphettville, Listed Queen Adelaide S., $100,000, 1050m

The 2-year-olds clash in the first of Morphettville’s black-type features. While two of the seven-horse field are on debut, and another two have only raced once, experience could be a major assist for Li’l Kontra (Krupt).

The filly has already raced seven times, winning two and placing in all of the other five. After placing in the Cinderella S. in early March, she was a last-start Listed winner in the Dequetteville S.