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CRAIG YOUNG AND
Friday, February 19, 2010
Apollo 13: autumn stars have landed
DARLEY STUD head trainer Peter
Snowden remembers when the
Apollo Stakes at Rosehill was a race
of few chances. When it was domin-
ated by headline-makers. But Satur-
day's version is all so different.
''This is one of the strongest I've
seen in years,'' Snowden said this
week, with his Queensland Oaks-
winning mare Purple one of seven
group 1 winners in the field.
''At this time of year there is usu-
ally only two or three chances but
there are 13 on Saturday.''
Form trainer Joe Pride has two
runners in a cracking Apollo Stakes:
last season's autumn find Vision
And Power, which won the George
Ryder before winning the Don-
caster Mile, and Hadaaf.
''A couple of old warhorses in a
race which is going to be a very good
pointer for the rest of the carnival,''
Pride said. ''There is just no way it
won't be a strong form race.''
Gai Waterhouse has already
declared Epsom Handicap winner
Rock Kingdom ''the one to beat'',
while stablemate and multiple
group 1 winner Theseo is returning
from an injury-enforced spell.
''A group 2 race but a group 1 field,''
Theseo's jockey, Nash Rawiller, said.
''We know what he [Theseo] can do,
never underestimate him.
''Whatever he does on Saturday
he'll improve on but I rode him twice
in [recent] trials and he felt good.''
Rawiller said Rock Kingdom was
also ''going good'' and added: ''His
trials have been enormous.''
Rawiller and Pride believe the
recent Expressway Stakes winner
Rangirangdoo will be difficult to
beat due to a race-fitness edge.
''Rangirangdoo did look good win-
ning the other day,'' Rawiller said.
Rival jockey Glyn Schofield has
picked up the ride on the Mark De
Montfort-trained McClintock, which
was backed into favouritism when
resuming with a third in the Express-
way. ''He ran well the other day and
hopefully he'll run a similar type of
race,'' Schofield said. ''I think he'll be
stronger at the seven furlongs.''
Pride and Snowden wouldn't mind
a wet track at Rosehill.
''Vision And Power ran into hard
tracks in the spring which was the
exact opposite of what happened in
the autumn,'' Pride said.
''He won't let down on firm tracks
but with all the rain around the
tracks are lush and both Vision And
Power's trials have been real good.
''He can run a cheeky race fresh. I
wouldn't underestimate him if he
has come back as good as I think.''
Pride is also wary of the South Aus-
tralian stayer Alcopop, which hasn't
raced since finishing sixth as favourite
in last year's Melbourne Cup. Alcopop
had a strong gallop on the course
proper at Kembla Grange last Sat-
urday morning. ''A ripper of a horse, a
good-quality horse,'' Pride said.
Pride, who led in a winning double
at Warwick Farm on Wednesday,
believes the Apollo Stakes ''might be
beyond'' Hadaaf but added: ''He is a
good, old, honest horse.''
Pride will start quality mares
Patronyme and Sacred Choice in the
final race with untapped sprinter
Neeson resuming in the third.
''Patronyme will be found [by pun-
ters] with Corey Brown on top and she
has won three from three first-up,'' he
said. ''Sacred Choice is another hon-
est mare who never runs a bad race. I
like taking these types to the races,
you know what you are going to get.''
Pride took over the training of
Neeson, formerly prepared in
Queensland, last preparation. ''A
nice progressive horse with amaz-
ing speed,'' he said.
Cummings puts heavyweights into ring for St George
Busy man . . . Nathan Berry will ride at Moonee Valley on Friday. Photo: Jenny Evans
BART CUMMINGS has Melbourne
Cup winner Viewed and rejuvenated
Australian Cup victor Sirmione
running in Saturday's St George
Stakes at Caulfield.
Sirmione returned from a lengthy
injury-enforced spell with an eye-
catching third behind super mare
Typhoon Tracy at Caulfield a
fortnight ago and Viewed was sixth.
''Viewed got a lot of backwash and
lacked clear running over the last
couple of furlongs,'' Cummings said
on Thursday. ''Yes, he [Sirmione] did
surprise me, but he is much
improved with the long time off. It
made him stronger.''
The master trainer's AJC Australian
Derby winner Roman Emperor begins
its autumn campaign in Saturday's
Apollo Stakes at Rosehill. ''The run
shall improve him,'' Cummings said.
The Cummings-trained Rock
Classic runs in the first at Rosehill on
Saturday. After winning at
Canterbury, Rock Classic was beaten
a neck by Monton, a rival again, at the
track a fortnight ago. Rock Classic
rises to 1500m which Cummings says
is ''beautiful, just perfect''.
Moses shoots high
Owner Joe O'Gara and trainer Kevin
Moses are hoping for a better result
with their Sydney Cup winner No
Wine No Song in Saturday's Apollo
Stakes at Rosehill.
''He broke down after running
sixth in this race last year,'' Moses
said. ''He has now done both
tendons, he is balanced now.''
Moses reckons No Wine No Song
''is absolutely flying for an eight-
year-old'' but warned ''we have a
long way to go with him, a race
called the Sydney Cup is the one
we are after''.
Moses has Estancia Rios in the
Golden Slipper Festival Handicap
and Deltona in the Parramatta Cup.
''Estancia Rios won well the other
day and is still going along well on
the training track,'' Moses said.
''Deltona keeps trying and like the
other two loves his racing.''
All Silent back on track
Grahame Begg's outstanding
sprinter All Silent has been given
the all clear to contest a jump out
on the course proper at Flemington
''The bruised hoof is right and he'll
go about 800 metres,'' Begg said on
Thursday. ''He galloped yesterday,
Nick Hall came over and rode him
and said he couldn't fault his action.''
Begg's Villiers Stakes winner
Palacio De Cristal, which is heading
to the Coolmore Classic and
Doncaster Mile, resumes in
Saturday's Apollo Stakes at Rosehill.
''She is going to weight-for-age for
the first time so she must go to
another level,'' Begg said. ''I hope the
track dries out more and more.''
Begg's two-year-old Kingfisher
runs in the second and stablemate
Purrpurrlena is in the final race.
''Kingfisher ran a nice race first
time at the races,'' Begg said.
''He ran fifth on a heavy track, had
to go back from a wide gate and he
seems to have improved. Purrpurrlena
won her last start at Rosehill. She can
measure up again, she just needs a
good speed up front.''
Blinkers for Third Man
Tough juvenile Third Man will be
fitted with blinkers in Saturday's
Rosehill Gardens Event Centre
The son of Snitzel is set to start
for the fourth time in six weeks and
last-start conqueror Butt I'm Ready
''I put the hood on him on Monday
to get him to focus and it did the
trick,'' Third Man's trainer, Rick
''He'll wear it on Saturday and if
he can perform well we'll head to the
Black Opal in Canberra.''
Worthington's other Black Opal-
bound two-year-old, Howdiddydoit,
runs in the second at Wyong on
Sunday. ''He was caught wide, made
the bend eight wide at Canberra last
time and the effort to finish third
was good,'' he said.
Busy time for Berry
Nathan Berry will represent NSW in
the National Apprentice Series
Handicap at Moonee Valley on Friday
night before a date with stewards at
Racing NSW next Tuesday.
The 19-year-old was selected from
the impressive crop of young riders to
don the blue silks of NSW and will ride
Redhead Rage, but Tuesday's inquiry
at Racing NSW headquarters could
decide Berry's immediate future.
Stewards opened an inquiry into
Berry's ride on Rubirose, which ran
third at Canterbury last Friday.
Berry described the ride as
''immature and ordinary'' and
stewards will take further evidence
from Rubirose's trainer Kevin Moses
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