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The Melbourne Review Feb 8

2 weeks ago

OVERVIEW

Geez the weather was fierce on Saturday and a very strong easterly wind (blowing them home down the straight) and quick ground made it pretty tough for backmarkers to get into the race. We had runners in R2 and R8 and the jockeys said there was a distinct difference in the track later in the day, the ground got really quick which is reflected by some of the times.

Do keep this in mnd at Caulfield, on hot days or fine days with a strong drying wind the track can firm up and when it does leaders tend to dominate.

STAND OUT WINS

R2 HOW WOMANTIC: The sky is the limit for this filly that just continues to do enough and get her head down at the right time. Don't underestimate this win on the basis of a narrow margin - she has been in work since June, had a little set back then started all over again and is still up and firing and actually making physical improvement at her fourth run into the prep. We are likely to send her to the G1 Surround Stakes on Feb 29 and as long as she holds condition and continues to work well she will be hard to beat there.

R4 HANSEATIC: Wow, this was some win! As expected the colt was able to sit closer from an inside gate than he has from a wide gate in two previous runs but he was just as explosive when let off the leash - and that is saying something because the leaders did get a breather running to the 500m and were advantaged as far as the sprint home was concerned. Hanseatic ripped up in 10.79sec from the 400-200m which was much faster than anything else in the field, then sustained that speed with an 11.08sec last 200m - what does that mean? It means the colt can drop gears with powerful acceleration to get out of trouble and into a race when his rider likes, but then sustains that speed through the line. This is a very rare quality in a young horse.

R8 ALABAMA EXPRESS: This was a pretty strong WFA G1 so it was no mean feat for Alabama Express to win after sitting 3 and 4 wide without cover for the entire race - AND he ran time! 1.22.07 is just a tick outside of the track record and his 600-200m split of 22.14sec was just brilliant considering the ground he covered. How much will this race take out of him? His trainer said he dropped 14kg's during the run, I'll be keen to see im in the yard before his next start. 

Apologies to ANAHEED (R6) and MISS SISKA (R7) which were both brilliant - albeit with favours - in their respective races.

HORSES TO FOLLOW

R3  MUNTASEERA (2nd): First-up from a summer break this filly was the victim of traffic turning into the straight and could not get clear to hit her gears until the race was all over. The winner had a comfortable margin at the line but Muntaseera needs to build momentum and get running, she didn't get that chance in this race.

R4 WINSUM (7th): There was a fair old tout on this colt coming into this race after four unbeaten jump outs and we saw why with a very good debut run in a very strong field. He recorded the second fastest last 600m (33.71), 400m (22.22) and 200m (11.22) behind the winner and was ridden very conservatively from the wide gate, loved how hard he finished - serious colt, can't wait to see more from him. 

R6 WILD PLANET (7th): A very nice return and something of a hidden run in this race given how impressive the winner was. Wild Planet was totally beaten for speed early but picked up the last 275m and was really hitting his gears when he got in very tight between Age of Chivalry and All Too Royal - with clear running he probably runs fourth. Follow him out to 1400m in Listed-G3 races.

R8 FIERCE IMPACT (2nd), KINGS WILL DREAM (3rd), AVILIUS (5th): Outside of the winner of the Orr these three horses were the clear stand out performances. while Avilius and Kings Will Dream will head to the Peter Young and then possibly the Australian Cup, Fierce Impact heads back to Sydney for a 1600m WFA race to try and win a wild card slot in the All Star Mile...if he gets into the ASM look out, he is shaping up to be the best miler in the country.