Group 1 Colgate Optic White Stakes (previously known as the George Main Stakes)
Royal Randwick Racecourse, Saturday 15th September 2018
Race 6: 3.10pm (AEST)
1600 metres, WFA
23217 1. LE ROMAIN (2), J: JAMES MCDONALD, W: 59 KGS, 13.00
6731X 2. WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (1), J: TYE ANGLAND, W: 59 KGS, 301.00
695X7 3. IT’S SOMEWHAT (5), J: COREY BROWN, W: 59 KGS, 81.00
X0476 4. RELIGIFY (7), J: JAY FORD, W: 59 KGS, 151.00
62X02 5. ACE HIGH (8), J: JASON COLLETT, W: 58.5 KGS, 26.00
111X1 6. WINX (3), J: HUGH BOWMAN, W: 57 KGS, 1.10
521X5 7. EGG TART (6), J: KERRIN MCEVOY, W: 57 KGS, 21.00
21X61 8. UNFORGOTTEN (4), J: GLYN SCHOFIELD, W: 56.5 KGS, 13.00
It’s only a small field, and that’s because owners and trainers don’t really want to face off against the mighty mare Winx. Some will bide their time and race on alternate weekends, or go down to Melbourne and race there. Such is the daunting prospect of lining up against a horse who was won 26 races consecutively, and most in Group 1 company.
Let’s dismiss some chances that aren’t expected to compete at this stage of their preparation.
Who Shot The Barman is a popular horse in Australia, but he’s an out n out two miler. He won the 3200 metre Sydney Cup in the autumn as a nine year-old, prior to that: the Group 1 Auckland Cup over the same distance as well as a third placing in the Melbourne Cup. But a miler he isn’t. He’ll use this as a tune-up race for an eventual and final tilt at the Melbourne Cup, should he get that far.
Can’t really have Religify in my picks. The market would agree also, currently at a starting price (SP) of $A151.00.
Godolphin galloper It’s Somewhat seems to be unloved in the market with an SP of A$81.00. I don’t think he’s as bad as those odds would suggest. The winner of the 2017 Doncaster Mile, The American bred gelding is a capable galloper and in a small field like this, could end up running a place.
Ace High was another high-profile three-year old from last season who counted the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500 metres) to his trophy cabinet. Like a few others, he is slowly being wound up toward a run at future staying races, and would use this as a tune-up to blow out the cobwebs.
Chris Waller trained Egg Tart is a quality mare who isn’t quite at her best at the moment. She’s very adept up to a mile as her previous form would suggest, and would benefit from this small field lining up. Top jockey Kerrin McEvoy to ride.
Newcastle trained Le Romain runs hot and cold, and even in his new preparation, we’ve seen a win and an unplaced run (Tramway Stakes). Has group form, but running against Winx is another thing altogether. Could run a place, but it depends how many runners eventually line up if scratchings occur.
Four year old mare Unforgotten is a galloper on the rise. You can see her in the two videos below. She’s another staying type who won the 2400 metre ATC Australian Oaks last season, but surprisingly, her breeding suggests a sprinting pedigree (being by Fastnet Rock). She is nominated for bigger races in the near future, so will be one to keep an eye on. Will probably be second favourite by race-time. I’m hoping she’ll be peaking by Caulfield Cup time.
As for the raging hot favourite Winx. Is there anything more that needs to be said? Probably not. Except for the mention of a number. Number 27.
Winx, Unforgotten, It’s Somewhat
Video Reference Guide
2018 Chelmsford Stakes (Unforgotten, It’s Somewhat, Religify, Ace High)
2018 Winx Warwick Stakes (Winx, Unforgotten, Religify)