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Friday, October 20, 2006

No Tin In Turf

- The Tin Man is out of the Turf. "He just isn't training back up to his best form and I'm not going to bring him there if he's not," so said Richard Mandella to Bloodhorse. And that's despite his working five furlongs in 59.2 the other day. He apparently has not bounced back from his narrow win in the Clement L. Hirsch. I thought at the time that it was somewhat disappointing that he had to work as hard as he did to win, and apparently it took its toll. He got a Beyer of 103, which was a bit below the 105 in the Million, lower still than the 108 in the race before that, so he was not on a good track as far as the numbers go.

In the latest Turf report in the Form, Marty McGee wrote that no more than 10 horses appear likely for the race, and that was including The Tin Man, and Shirocco as well. The latter's status has more recently been called into question.

Walter posed the question of who deserves to be the favorite amongst Shirocco, Hurricane Run (who seems to be pointing here), Cacique, and English Channel. It's hard to say without knowing the turf condition; if it comes up soft, then the defending champion Shirocco would deserve to be favorite. But my opinion is that Cacique is, right now, the best of the four, at least on firmer ground.

Sunday's International at Woodbine has attracted some horses that could have been a factor in the Turf, at least in exotics anyway, and the race is becoming a thorn and the side of the Breeders Cup race with its $1 million $2 million purse. This year, the race has attracted Go Deputy, who seems to really have come into his own in his last two, and his second to Cacique earns him some respect in my opinion. Pletcher has been stuck on 93 stakes winners, and God, it seems like an eternity now, and this seems to be a good spot for him.

But there are some compelling entries from Europe, inculding Kastoria, a five-year old mare from Ireland and the winner of three in a row, most recently the Grade 1 Irish St. Leger; and Blue Monday, beaten less than two lengths by David Junior albeit at a shorter distance. And then there's Collier Hill, last year's St. Leger winner who has been in good form of late.


Stalusk said...

Today in Melbourne, imported stayer Tawqeet dived between runners in the final stages to win the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup over 12 furlongs for Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Australasia group. The Kingmambo stallion had to change course early in the straight but found plenty under strong riding to defeat the mare Aqua D'Amore (Danehill), prepared by leading Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse, and Japanese raider Delta Blues who started at 100/1 and rallied strongly after a wide run. Japan's other entry Pop Rock (Helissio) ran a solid seventh after missing the start. Tawqeet has now been installed favourite for the Melbourne Cup ahead of Coolmore's Yeats, and the two Japanese runners on the third line of betting.

Earlier in the day, More Than Ready's excellent sprinting son Perfectly Ready took out a Group Three seven furlong contest with leading rider Glen Boss aboard. A 3yo Belong To Me gelding also took out a minor stakes race.

Anonymous said...

Are you in Australia, Stalusk? What has Grey Swallow been up to down there?

Stalusk said...

Hi Walter,

Yes I live in Melbourne. Your enquiry is timely. Grey Swallow will race this Saturday (Friday night your time) in the Cox Plate, very much the equivalent of your Breeders Cup Classic. He has breezed at the course on at least three occasions and has impressed a lot of people here. The local media have certainly featured the horse for several weeks leading into this race. Most are spruiking that this is clearly the best international to have raced here. I'm not quite of the same opinion, as I feel Godolphin's Grandera (who placed third behind Northerly a few years back) was at least on par with Grey Swallow, maybe even superior.

GS is now with a local trainer who has only had moderate success, but his new owner is a logistics magnate with ambitions to create his own empire in this country, akin to Coolmore in Ireland. He will have tough opposition from El Segundo (a dual Group 1 winner), Racing To Win (outstanding Sydney galloper with nine wins and four seconds from 13 starts but first time at 10 furlongs) and the best 3yo filly in the country Miss Finland. There appears to be another runner in the race that we here don't know a lot about, Honor In War. We know he's a Grade One winner in the States and is by the pretty underrated Lord At War. He's been transferred to a very good young trainer Danny O'Brien. Most here give him no chance but the Cox Plate is all about hustle-bustle and I always that would suit an American runner.

It promises to be a sensational race.