So that’s another massive Saturday done, and it was another day full of Group 1 highlights:
Nature Strip confirmed he hasn’t gone the way of Paul McCartney in 1966, as he joined Chautauqua in completing a winning hat-trick in the TJ Smith Stakes:
So that makes Nature Strip of the few horses to ever complete a winning hat-trick in an Australian Group 1 race; Manikato in the William Reid + the Futurity, Kingston Town in the Cox Plate, Lord Reims in the Adelaide Cup, Tie The Knot in the Chipping Norton, Makybe Diva in the Melbourne Cup, Black Caviar in the Lightning, and Winx in everything.
Another highlight was Golden Slipper winner Fireburn backing up and winning the Inglis Sires’, complete with Brenton Avdulla showing a bit of arse in his celebration, and now the Champagne Stakes and a crack at what could be the seventh Juvenile Triple Crown awaits on Easter Saturday… if Gary Portelli wants it:
And finally for this particular part of the post, the Hayes brothers played their cards right with Mr Brightside, who delivered a ‘Killer’ performance in the Doncaster, shitting on the theories about Victorians needing to have a run in Sydney before a major race:
He’s coming out of his cage and he’s doing just fine.
The ATC Derby will be reserved for the impending Crazy Craig review, because he picked a horse who featured very prominently.
Another thing I noticed in Sydney today – In the card-ending Group 3 P.J. Bell, James Cummings (for Godolphin) trained the First 4,. which is rare enough, but I would point out that Chris Waller once trained the first six runners home in the Group 2 Chelmsford back in 2014.
So all up today, the highlight for Crazy Craig included a superb 2nd place in a Group 1 for the Value Pick, the Pick of the Day offered Jacques Merde, and there was a huge win for the Random Darryl Kerrigan Pick..
I THINK THAT CALLS FOR THE LUCKY LIPS VICTORY TUNE:
Value Pick: Benaud in the ATC Australian Derby at Randwick = 2nd ($4p)
Ya know, at the 300m mark, I saw Benaud genuinely head Hitotsu as they started their runs, and I thought to myself at that split second, “Shizen, Crazy Craig’s Value Pick might actually win a damn race!”, and from thereon, the two horses proceeded to utterly annihilate the rest of the field as part of a great three-way fight with the Tulloch Stakes winner character, but at the end of the day, the best horse in the race, and potentially the best 3-year-old of the season in Hitotsu, just straight up broke Benaud’s heart and won the Derby by a head.
In fact, nobody had seen Benaud this heartbroken since Australia lost the Edgbaston Test in 2005.
So while we console ourselves with another Value pick running a big place at the odds, that race also means we’ve seen a slice of 21st Century racing history, as the Maher-Eustace trained Hitotsu becomes the first horse in the new millennium to win both the VRC Derby and the AJC/ATC Derby in the same season, and the first since Mahogany in 1993/94 to complete the Derby double, and further to it, he’s also the first horse since Mahogany to win the VRC Derby, the Australian Guineas, and the ATC Derby in the same season.
So all up, a great run by Benaud, beating everyone bar a fantastic colt, and quite frankly he deserves to wear the cream jacket after that performance, and I’ll leave it to jockey Brenton Avdulla to convey his thoughts.
“He gave me a great ride. I thought we were the winner at the 300m. Really proud of him. Fully credit to John and the team to have him spot on grand final day. Third last year, second this year, maybe next year.”
Pick of the Day: Cardigan Queen in Race 7 at Bendigo = 5th
“And the lord said to Cardigan Queen, come fourth and receive eternal life!”
Cardigan Queen finished 5th.
Random Darryl Kerrigan Pick: How’s The Serenity in Race 6 at Ascot = WINNER ($2.10w/$1.26p)
So much serenity.
In fact, given How’s The Serenity absolutely shat it in, this scene from The Castle might also be appropriate, considering it was the Darryl Kerrigan Pick.
Categories: Horse Racing