THE ALL AGED STAKES - ENGLISH
This was the standout race on the day, with genuine Group 1 quality on display. English ran to a 106 rating, a new career peak up from her last start 104.8 in the TJ Smith. She’s now well and truly established herself as a G1 WFA performer and could potentially extend her talents to at least 1600m in the future.
Black Heart Bart is now starting to justify our very high rating of him last season off some WA Listed race wins. His 105.6 rating was stamped by a very strong closing run off the slow pace and it’s possible that we will see him rate higher in the future. He has plenty of staying blood in his pedigree and has some good performances around 2000m in WA, so it will be very interesting to see if Darren Weir progresses him in that direction during the Spring.
THE CHAMPAGNE STAKES - PRIZED ICON
The scratching of Yankee Rose left this race lacking quality and the subsequent ratings back that up. Prize Icon only ran to a 97.5 rating, which is at least 2.5 lengths short of reasonable Group 1 standard for a 2YO. To provide a comparison, Yankee Rose has run between 103 and 104.1 in each of her 3 career starts so far.
On the surface the time rating out of the race appears very solid when adjusted for conditions on the day, but such indicators are meaningless unless there is consideration of the early pace. When the time is interpreted in the context of the fast pace established by the Kiwi El Sicari, there are some very clear benchmarks which highlight a well below average contest by G1 standards.
THE FRANK PACKER PLATE - HE’S OUR ROKKII
He's Our Rokkii is a progressive type and we saw him take another good step forward here with a 101 rating win, a clear new peak beyond his previous 97.8 rating.
This win positions him right up there among the best distance 3YO’s we’ve seen this season with only Tavago (106.5) and Tarzino (103.5) clearly better, while Jameka and Perfect Reflection are similar.
The challenge he faces as all of these 3YO’s do is that come August they move into Open Age company and the depth of talent increases dramatically. He’s Our Rokkii will need to progress to somewhere in that 104 to 106 range if he’s to be a Group 1 contender in the Spring.
THE JRA PLATE - GUARDINI
Guardini looked a class above his opposition here. He sat 3 wide with no cover for most of the race (genuine early speed) and then sustained a strong run in the straight to win by 1.5 lengths. .
His performance rated 99.6, which is solid but it still leaves him plenty to do if he's to step up to the next level and contest G2 / G1 races in the future. There are clear indicators to suggest that going up to 2400m will be even more suitable for him and that could very well see him progress to the next level.
He'll need to take that next step though as he's moved up 6 points in the handicapper ratings to a 107 mark, which makes him challenging to place in future races. His exposed Australian ratings are currently well short of WFA standard, but a 107 official mark will see him well up in the weights in G2 / G3 handicap races and far less suited than others.