Rockhampton races preview 2YO Classic Day

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THE Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic is the feature on Saturday’s seven-race TAB card and the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s Darryn Nufer previews the meeting.

Race 1 – Rockhampton’s premier trainer Tom Button had a good day to start the Sale Carnival on Friday with a winning double and saddles up Seized here. He’s shaped as a horse that is better than a Class 2 galloper and the Plate conditions work in his favour. Wouldn’t sell Questions Answered short of running a cheeky race. Drawn well and was a 2-length winner at the Sunny Coast two runs back. It wouldn’t be a Rocky sales carnival without Brisbane trainer Paul Butterworth striking and he has Shadyvale Star in this. Southern form reads well, will get a good run from the alley (3) and the 3kg claim sees him in well. All Pickled disappointed last time but two runs prior were good.

SELECTIONS: Seized; Questions Answered; Shadyvale Star; All Pickled.

Race 2 – Miss De Mirage resumes here for new trainer John Wigginton. Always shown ability and maybe Wigginton can get her to deliver. Aceplay’s southern form reads okay for a Rocky maiden. Trainer has good strike rate when he brings them here. Yashoda has gone under as favourite last couple but “that man” Wiggins is flying and couldn’t rule her out with him steering. Hard to get a line on former NSW galloper Highly Influential who has first go this area but looks a chance.

SELECTIONS: Miss De Mirage; Aceplay; Yashoda; Highly Influential.

Race 3 – Not a race on paper that I got enthused about. Perhaps Ruffy Road can break through after a series of placings. From gate one will go forward and Elyce Smith might be able to dictate terms. Her 2kg claim could also help at the business end. Little Hunter should be doing his best work late and if the Button Barn continues to have a good carnival before this race, watch him. She Salutes doesn’t have any form on paper but wary of the Butterworth camp. Could improve. In-form combo Jared Wehlow – Ryan Wiggins team up with Cedar Rapids having his first go this area and can’t be discounted.

SELECTIONS: Ruffy Road; Little Hunter; She Salutes; Cedar Rapids.

Race 4 – The Championship for Capricornia Yearling Sale graduates runs as a 3 & 4-year-old event for the first time. A little disappointing that we have a small field considering it’s great prize money but gee don’t we have an exciting contest on our hands. Going with the three-year-old, John O’Sing’s Marway, who is promising and untapped. The 54kg looks a luxury for him and Brad Pengelly has wanted to stick and must have put in some hard yards to ride at that weight. David Vandyke has had this race earmarked a long way out for Emsie Is A Star. Of course she won this race last year when it was for three-year-olds. Her last start, three-length win at the Sunny Coast was explosive and her clash with Marway has been hyped for some time in the lead-up. Tom Button’s The Tax Accountant has been super in back-to-back Brisbane metro thirds. Great form for this race. Paul Butterworth’s Northern Dragon brings good southern form into this but she tends to find one better than her (7 second placings from 20 starts). Couldn’t rule out though.

SELECTIONS: Marway; Emsie Is A Star; The Tax Accountant; Northern Dragon.

Race 5 – Garnett Taylor’s Bold Xavvi is a last start winner this track and trip and a repeat sees him go close to winning. Having said that, Cyclone Topgirl is no pushover and put simply – she’s a winner (10 wins from 13 starts). Guissola has never gone better coming off two successive wins and won’t know himself here with 54kg. Gypsy Secret is honest as the day is long and she usually lobs when punters let her get under their guard. Under-rate her at your own peril.

SELECTIONS: Bold Xavvi; Cyclone Topgirl; Guissola; Gypsy Secret.

Race 6 – Great renewal of the Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic. Race is hard to assess with many of the main hopes drawn wide. Having said that they were able to win down the outside of the track on Friday with the rail in the true and the jockeys on the “main hopes” here are good hoops. They’ll know there is always speed in this race and they’ll look to find a position soon after leaving the gates and that’s where this race could be won. It wouldn’t surprise me if those “main hopes” drawn wide camp off a hot tempo and charge home to fill the placings. These big two-year-old races are all about timing and there is a sense of that with Tony Gollan’s filly Pull Anchor. She arrives here off two third placings in Brisbane metro grade (1200m & 1400m) when not beaten far so the 1200m will be no concern for her. Bobby El-Issa rides and he had a big day Friday to start the Sale Carnival with a winning double. Craig Smith’s Hezhome has two Rocky wins to his credit in the lead-up and gives every indication that the 1200m will suit. He’s a cool, calm character and that will work in his favour. Suspect there is still improvement to come with him. Minor setback during the week is some concern but the stable is happy with him. Natalie McCall’s The Sinner was impressive winning his only start at the Sunshine Coast. Was a wet track that day so the firmer surface here is some query but look, ability probably sees him start a deserving favourite. The interesting runners are the Ben Currie duo Jelviss and Good Humour – both one start for a win, both drawn well (3 & 4). Some query that they tackle 1200m having not raced since January and February respectively. But who am I to doubt Ben Currie who has been training winners for fun in recent times? If there is a smokey that could run into the money at big odds it might be Lyle Rowe’s Bantu Bay.

SELECTIONS: Pull Anchor; Hezhome; The Sinner; Jelviss.

Race 7 – Looking forward to seeing Now Ask Me return here. Last prep she showed that with time, she could develop into a Rocky carnival horse. Gets in super after the 2kg claim for apprentice Elyce Smith. Perhaps willing to forgive Media Vita’s last start failure when not sure things went his way. Expecting improvement. Now Ask Me’s stablemate Jayaqua is drawn favourably and has been racing consistently. One that could go around at big odds and run a cheeky race is Annie’s Our Hero who hasn’t been far away of late.

SELECTIONS: Now Ask Me; Media Vita; Jayaqua; Annie’s Our Hero.

 

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