Saturday Preview: Six things to keep an eye on

9 min read
From Group 1 racing in Brisbane and Adelaide to hot provincial action at Scone, there is plenty of interest for racing fans this weekend who will also be looking further afield as the countdown to Royal Ascot begins.

G1 sprinting action in Queensland - the Doomben 10,000 at Eagle Farm

It is more like the Eagle Farm 10,000 this year with Saturday's classy Brisbane card moved across the road from Doomben - that track's surface known for not draining as well as Eagle Farm's sand-based profile. And Brisbane has had plenty of rain!

Just as well many of this feature sprinting contest's runners have wet track form with the likes of Kementari (Lonhro) and Shelby Sixtysix (Toronado {Ire}) shown to relish Heavy going. As does Vega One (Lope De Vega {Ire}) who finished on the heels of the placegetters in this race won last year by Eduardo (Host {Chi}) - though that was off two good lead-up runs whereas this time around he is second-up on the comeback trial from serious injury.

And there is Mazu (Maurice {Jpn}), the exciting 3-year-old who has been in the headlines this week having been chosen by Everest slotholders Arrowfield Stud and The Star to represent them in the next two editions of the $15 million race. The winner of his last five, he is three from three on Heavy tracks.

Mazu | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

The consistent performers Count De Rupee (Real Impact {Jpn}) and Zoustyle (Zoustar) are capable on any sort of going while Rothfire (Rothesay) - who gave a bold sight when resuming - boasts excellent second-up form. He loves Eagle Farm (six starts, five wins) as does Alpine Edge (Better Than Ready) who has won all three of his starts at the track.

The good form of Paulele (Dawn Approach {Ire}), Generation (Snitzel), Isotope (Deep Field) and the New Zealand visitor Entriviere (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) adds depth to this very even race - one in which a win by any of its 15 contestants would not surprise.

Alegron again? - the G1 South Australian Derby

Run since 1860 (debuting on the now defunct Thebarton racecourse), South Australia's premier Classic contest has been won by some extra-smart staying types with a couple of its more notable modern day winners going on to G1 Melbourne Cup success - Subzero (Kala Dancer {GB}) and Gatum Gatum (Star Of Baroda {GB}).

The current crop of staying 3-year-olds look to be pretty good and the horse with the standout form lines is Alegron (Teofilo {Ire}) - the G1 VRC Derby and G1 ATC Derby placegetter who was so strong weaving his way through the field to claim Listed VRC St Leger victory on his most recent outing.

He is the logical favourite though an interesting rival is Detonator Jack (NZ) (Jakkalberry {Ire}) who has links to two previous SA Derby winners. For a start he is a stablemate to - and by the same sire as - last year's winner Explosive Jack (NZ) plus his G1 Golden Slipper S.-winning fourth dam Courtza (NZ) (Pompeii Court {USA}) is a full sister to the 1993 winner Our Pompeii (NZ). Yet to taste defeat, he has been working his way through the classes in impressive style.

The first three home in this race's main lead up, the G3 Chairman's S., provide good competition - the winner Jungle Magnate (NZ) (Tarzino {NZ}), the runner-up Harleymoven (Foxwedge) and the third-placed Saint Tropez (Not A Single Doubt). Or could that race's well-fancied flop Son Of Emperor (NZ) bounce back for his in-form sire So You Think (NZ)?

Queensland's exciting juveniles - the G2 Spirit Of Boom Classic

Prince Of Boom (Spirit Of Boom) was an apt winner of this race named after his Eureka Stud-based sire last year and he has certainly held up the form having been racing in great heart in recent weeks. The 2020 winner, his stablemate Rothfire (Rothesay) also has plenty of talent, and takes his place in Saturday's G1 Doomben 10,000.

Run since 1982 under a few different names, this race has produced some very nice horses - won by the future Group 1 winners Flavour (Rubiton), Virage de Fortune (Anabaa {USA}), Gold Edition (Lion Hunter), Sizzling (Snitzel), Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible), Pressday (Domesday), Daybreak Lover (Namnan), Lovely Jubly (Lion Hunter), Shamekha (Secret Savings {USA}) and Chief De Beers (Hula Chief {NZ}).

So who looks ready to star this time around?

The unbeaten Capital Tower (Capitalist) - who at one stage was Hong Kong-bound - seeks to earn valuable black type, the $600,000 Magic Millions graduate boasting the pedigree of a great stallion prospect being from the family of Redoute's Choice (Danehill {USA}).

Exo Lady (Exosphere) has a great record too, beaten only once in five starts with her latest win in the Listed Dalrello S. a tough one. Several others ran well in that race, such as Mishani Warfare (The Mission) who ran a cheeky race in the R. Listed Magic Millions, Brereton (Zoustar), Heroic Son (Heroic Valour), Jemeldi (whose sire Winning Rupert won this race in 2016), Minks Star (Star Witness).

Form from New Zealand (Slipper Island by No Nay Never {USA} and Dimaggio Joe {NZ} by Almanzor {Fr}) and New South Wales (the runaway debut winner Count Da Beans by Spill The Beans and the eye-catching debut runner-up Ringmaster by Zoustar) add plenty of interest.

Juveniles chasing black type at Scone - the Listed Woodlands S.

Saturday sees the 10th running of this speed test for the juveniles and it has attracted a capacity field with connections keen to see their horses given every chance down Scone's expansive straight.

Opening up favourite is the race's most expensive purchase, the $900,000 Magic Millions graduate In Secret (by I Am Invincible who sired the 2019 winner Libertini). The Segenhoe-bred/Godolphin raced daughter of the dual Group 3 winner Eloping (Choisir) impressed with her debut win at Hawkesbury.

In Secret | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Also coming off a smart victory is Luna Rocks (by I Am Invincible's son Hellbent) whose final 200 metres at Warwick Farm was the fastest run on the day. Sold for $360,000 at the Magic Millions, she is a half-sister to last year's R. Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Shaquero (Shalaa {Ire}).

Another big buy at that sale was the $260,000 yearling Soaring Ambition (by Not A Single Doubt, grandsire of last year's winner Xtremetime by Extreme Choice) who did not have much luck last time out.

Deep Expectation (Deep Field) comes off a win in a Hawkesbury juvenile feature whilst Lady Harlem (by Sebring who sired the 2018 winner Pretty In Pink) has trialled very well having run a nice second behind the subsequent G3 Kindergarten S. winner Semillion (Shalaa {Ire}) at Moonee Valley on W.S Cox Plate Day.

Scone's feature for the mares - the breeding history of Dark Jewel Classic winners

The sole Group race contested at Scone - and one of the few Australian features named in honour of a great broodmare - the G3 Dark Jewel Classic always attracts fields of talented mares and it is interesting to see if and of them have made a mark at stud as did the race's namesake.

There have been 22 runnings of this 1400-metre race which was upgraded from Listed to Group 3 status in 2014. Of those winners, 13 have been represented by more than a couple of runners - and of those five have produced stakes winners.

The popular Nanny Maroon (Alquoz {USA}), winner of another three Listed races, produced two black-type performers - the record-breaking G2 Challenge S. winner De Lightning Ridge (Tale Of The Cat {USA}) and the stakes-placed Coast To The Post (Anabaa {USA}) - grandam of the recent G2 Percy Sykes S. winner Paris Dior (Pierro).

Chuckle (Danehill {USA}) did a great job with nine winners including the US Group 3 winner Hoofit (Mossman) and the local triple Group winner Crack Me Up (Mossman) whilst Romare (Marscay) had just three runners but two were winners including the Listed Debutant S. winner Eramor (Stratum). And her unplaced daughter Horshoe (Commands) has produced the dual stakes winners Emerald Kingdom (Bryannbo's Gift) and Steel Fros (Bryannbo's Gift).

Crack Me Up | Image courtesy of Sportpix

Really Flying (Real Quiet {USA}) is the dam of G3 WA Sires' Produce S. winner Camporella (Exceed And Excel) and Rosa's Spur (Flying Spur) - also winner of the G3 Dane Ripper Quality - is dam of the Listed Cap d'Antibes S. winner Members Joy (Hussonet {USA}) whose daughter Pure Elation (I Am Invincible) won twice at Group 2 level.

Another two Dark Jewel winners have produced stakes-placed winners - Rio Osa (Canny Lad) the dam of the smart UK galloper Sutter County (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) whilst Shannara, a dual Listed-winning full sister to Lonhro (Octagonal {NZ}) produced the Group 3-placed Jerle (Exceed And Excel).

The race's inaugural winner Little Pattie (Polish Patriot {USA}) is grandam of the dual Listed winner Fifteen Carat (Show A Heart) whilst both Stella Maree (Magic Ring {Ire}) did well - all 11 of the foals by the former being winners (six of them at metropolitan level) whilst all eight of the latter's named foals won, three in town.

Baaeed to remain undefeated? - UK's star miler to resume in the G1 Lockinge S.

Last year's European Champion Miler and GB Champion 3-Year-Old Sprinter Baaeed (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) makes his much anticipated return in the G1 Lockinge S. at Newbury on Saturday with Australian visitors to this year's Royal Ascot meeting likely to catch a glimpse of this exciting galloper.

And for those who will be watching from afar, it will be interesting to check out the formlines of a couple of horses who are due to stand in Australia this spring - Baaeed having beaten the likes of Palace Pier (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and Victor Ludorum (GB) (Shamardal {USA}) who are both Darley-bound.

Yet to taste defeat in six starts, the Shadwell homebred member of the William Haggas stable kicked off his career in June last year - steadily making his way through the classes from a debut maiden victory at Leicester to a novice win at Newmarket and a Listed win at that same track.

Baaeed (GB) | Image courtesy of Shadwell Stud

Group 3 success at Goodwood followed and as a short-priced favourite Baaeed has won his last two races at elite level - the G1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. - in impressive fashion.

One of his star sire Sea The Star's (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}) 89 stakes winners and 16 Group 1 winners, Baaeed is a full brother to the five-time Group winner Hukum (Ire) out of the Listed winner Aghareed (USA) (Kingmambo {USA}) whose dual Group 1-winning dam Lahudood (GB) (Singspiel {Ire}) hails from the same branch of the prolific Feola (GB) (Friar Marcus {GB}) family as Nashwan (USA) (Blushing Groom {Fr}) and Deep Impact (Jpn) (Sunday Silence {USA}).

Saturday Preview
Six things to keep an eye on