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The BMW preview

Sydney's autumn carnival kicks on. The CHampionships don't officially start until next week but there are still Group 1 races at Rosehill to be run. Taking on the richest WFA 2400m race in the country is regular contributor Mitch Fenton, @mitchfenton88, from UBET.

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The BMW
Rosehill, G1, WFA 2400m
1630 local time, 0530 GMT
Odds Comparison
Form guide

At time of preview the Rosehill Gardens track was rated a Heavy (8) surface. Our Sydney track expert expects it to dry up somewhat but still be rain-affected come Saturday so I’ve based my preview off a Slow (5) track.

1.PROTECTIONIST (GER)

A brilliant 4L Melbourne Cup winner back last November - coming from as far back as 18th in the run to demoralise his opposition. His closing sectionals in the race were:

600m – 34.52
400m – 22.70
200m – 11.68

Those type of sectionals at the end of two miles are unheard of, in-fact his closing 200m sectional of 11.68 was the second fastest ever recorded in a Melbourne Cup. Has had two runs back since that win in the 1800m Peter Young Stakes and the 2000m Australian Cup and both efforts have been fair to middling, certainly not setting the world on fire on either occasion.

He could only manage the fifth fastest closing 600, 400 and 200m sectionals in the Australian Cup. There’s no doubt he’s looking for further but from what I’ve seen from him in his two runs back he needs 3200m and I still think the mile and a half might be too sharp for him.

Can’t entirely dismiss him as he does has a G2 2400m win in the Hasna-Pries in France and he oozes class but I think he needs one more run to bring him right up to the mark for the Sydney Cup.

Has won two from two on soft going including G2 Prix Kergorlay, a major Melbourne Cup lead-up race, so if the track is rain affected it won’t worry him in the slightest.

2.WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)

Has come on in leaps and bounds since placing in the Melbourne Cup and he now looms like he’s going to be a genuine G1 WFA horse. He’s had two runs back this campaign. He settled 5.5L off the speed 1st up in the Gr1 Chipping Norton at Warwick Farm before zipping home his last 600m in 3.3L quicker than average time to finish fifth beaten just 1.4L behind Contributer who has since won again in the G1 Ranvet Stakes in which he blew a high quality field away. His last 200m split was faster than Contributer, just to exemplify how well he finished the race off.

Second up he went to the 1900m Sky High Stakes at Rosehill and again he settled back in the ruck before powering home his last 600m 1.4L faster than average, including a race fastest final furlong of 11.94 on a Soft 5 rated surface. That might be a tad deceiving however as race winner Hartnell was allowed to trot the last bit, but it was still a terrific run by ‘The Barman”.

Glenn Boss who rode the horse in the Melbourne Cup climbs back aboard and he gets out in trip to 2400m that will suit down to the ground. I think the Sydney Cup over two miles will be his perfect race but that’s far from saying he’s not a winning hope in this based on his two terrific runs back this campaign. Twice a heavy track winner so rain-affected going won’t be an issue.

3.BEATEN UP (GB)

Has had four runs back this campaign in the Expressway, CF Orr, Peter Young & Sky High and has failed to flatter in any of them. Got within 2.5L of Hartnell in the Sky High but that was only a battling effort. He’s either looking for further or more likely, and what I think, he just hasn’t come up this prep.

4.OPINION (IRE)

Has followed the same path as stablemate Who Shot Thebarman through the Chipping Norton first then into the Sky High Stakes. Both runs have been terrific and he’s ticking over very well heading towards the two mile Sydney Cup, but I just have a few question marks over him under the handicap he’s been allotted.

5.EXTRA ZERO

An old marvel who's been up this time, longer than the honeymooner’s proverbial. He’s had 13 runs to be exact and in those 13 runs he’s had one win – run second on an incredible seven occasions and had four third placings. He’s missed the placings one just one occasion and that was a luckless effort where he was beaten just 3L. HOW’S THAT FOR CONSISTENT! It’s seen the 8-year old gelding crack the $1million in stakes.

Last start was his toughest assignment of all the G1 2000m Australian Cup at Flemington. He was 16th and last at the 400m mark some 9L off the leaders before sprouting wings late to get beaten by the narrowest of margins. I’ll be the first to admit I though he’d won watching it live then again as they rolled the replays, but it was stablemate Spillway who got the verdict. His sectional times running home were freakish. Nothing else in the prestigious G1 race came close to matching them.

The knock this time around however is that at 11 tries beyond 2000m he’s only managed to fill the placings once – a second in the 2009 VRC Derby. He’s run in this race before and flopped and while he’s in dynamite form I can’t see him troubling these quality horses over a mile and a half.

Doesn’t handle the wet, has one placing from 11 soft track runs.

6.FAST DRAGON (NZ)

Got a cheap lead in the Ranvet Stakes last Saturday running the first 1400m of the 2000m race in a ‘tortoise like’ 10L slower than average. Despite the soft run in front he still compounded badly and finished last. Will lead them up for a portion of the race but isn’t up to this grade.

7.TO THE WORLD (JPN)

Probably the best horse the Japanese have ever brought to Australia, right up there with amazing Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti. His latest run was a close second to legendary mare Gentildonna in the G1 2500m $4.1million Arima Kinen (The Grand Prix) at Nakayama racecourse. That run saw him rated at 120 by the Horse Racing International Federation (world ranking’s system) that to put into perspective was equal to the figure Adelaide returned in the Cox Plate and Protectionist recorded in winning the Melbourne Cup.

In the race he beat home Japanese champions Gold Ship, Just A Way - the world’s highest-rated horse as well as Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, the world’s second best horse.

The 4 year old entire has only had 10 career starts for four wins and four minors as well as a solid fifth in Japan’s famous Derby. On ratings, form and ability he just wins. It’s that simple. Of course we all know it’s racing and things can and do go wrong – but this invader is a load up, put in, get out job.

Untried on anything bar good going but breeding suggests a slightly damp surface won’t harm his chances at all.

8.HARTNELL (GB)

Godolphin horse who has been imported to Australia. Made a stunning Australian debut in the Chipping Norton running home 5L quicker than the average to get within a half-length of star stablemate Contributer. He then strolled home in the Sky High to prove his first up Australian effort was no flash in the pan.

His European form was very good prior to being transferred to Australia and John O’Shea, he won the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot and the Gr3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket ….but the begging question is, is it good enough to topple such a class horse as To The World? No doubt he’s improved with O’Shea putting some speed into his legs, but I just think he runs a clear second behind the gun Japanese horse To The World.

Multiple wet track winner, so a soft surface holds no fears.

9.SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)

Very disappointing last week in the Ranvet after getting a soft on pace run. She looked before that like she was building nicely so I’m inclined to forgive that effort, but she’s outclassed against a tougher opposition this year, even though she won this race last year….This is five times harder.

Does love the wet though so a heavy track would see her as a genuine each-way chance.

10.LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)

Star mare that will relish getting out to 2400m for the first time since her slashing Caulfield Cup run in the Spring in which she was third behind Admire Rakti and Rising Romance. She’s had three runs back this campaign in the Apollo, Chipping Norton and last week in the Ranvet Stakes. All three of those runs have been very sound but she hasn’t quite produced the brilliance that we’ve seen from her prior yet this time in.

No doubt Kris Lees has set the mare for this race since the Spring and she’s a live each-way hope in the race. If the track was to be rated at a Soft 6 or worse she’d be the horse to beat all of a sudden as she relishes the wet tracks.

Good hope on her best but needs to lift.

11.RISING ROMANCE (NZ)

Was a touch disappointing last Saturday when being tipped over as the odds-on favourite in the G3 1900m Epona Stakes here at Rosehill (even though beaten very narrowly by Scratchy Bottom who got the freak inside run), even conceding the fact she did have to lug the top-weight.

The start before that she was a very unlucky second in the G1 2000m New Zealand Stakes, failing to have the result overturned in the steward’s room after lodging a protest. Steps up to 2400m now which is her ideal trip, having run the race of her life last Spring in the 2400m Caulfield Cup where she was nabbed right on the line by Japanese star Admire Rakti. The difference here is that she doesn’t get in the race with a light-weight however now facing WFA conditions at the highest level.

She beat Lucia Valentina and Zanbagh last Autumn over 2400m and that form has proven to be just about as good as it gets. I give the Kiwi mare a great each way hope at a decent price.

12.HAMPTON COURT

Has been thrashed at all three runs this campaign. Hasn't done anything since flopping as VRC Derby favourite in the spring. Simply isn’t good enough at his best and he’s not going his best.

TIPS
Supremely confident 7.TO THE WORLD, back him straight out.

Take a trifecta 7.TO THE WORLD / 8.HARTNELL / FIELD
$50 = 5000%

Very confident on the first two, plenty of hopes for the third spot so cross your fingers something at value can bob in.

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