You could easily could make the argument that this very talented son of High Chaparral should be unbeaten after four starts. Alas, he's only won the one time, and for those who backed him last Saturday at Flemington in the Silver Bowl Final you had to be left wondering why on earth Dean Yendall didn't pull the trigger on him sooner than when he did.
Really, that's twice now Yendall has misjudged the ride on Mount Kilcoy. The start prior he got into traffic issues aboard him, and I'm not surprised he's not on this time around. It happens, and I'm not going to be too harsh on Yendall, but they've given the gig to Ben Allen now and I will be all in on the Weir-trained colt again.
He only looks to have one danger here, outside of any hard-luck tales, and that appears to be top-weight, Masculino, who's flying right now. But Mount Kilcoy is getting seven kilos off him and draws much better to get a sweeter run in transit. I can't see how that's not enough for him to win this and start to get that rating of his up for surely a crack at some decent level of racing in the spring.
AROUND THE GROUNDS
Yes, it was a drop in class, but Shogun Sun still smashed a field of older types at this track a fortnight ago. He finally put it all together this time in, and looked highly impressive doing it.
Now he comes back to three-year-old company and although he has to carry a big weight and draws very wide, I can't see that stopping him from posting back-to-back wins, against what is an average bunch with little depth amongst them.
The soft to heavy surface won't bother him, and I think as long as Jim Byrne isn't forced to go too far back on him and keeps him within striking distance when they turn for home, even if he's been wide in the run, he'll be far too strong late. He looks a great bet to wrap up the day on a winning note.
A beautifully bred son of Redoute's Choice, Rekindled Force put forward an encouraging first campaign back in the spring of 2017, winning twice, before coming to town in a hot race won by eventual Australian Oaks winner Unforgotten. Rekindled Force was found wanting a little on that occasion.
Tipped out, he now returns a gelding. The reason? I'm not certain, because he would have been a valuable commodity if he'd got to black type level, but obviously that decision has been made for a reason and he is ready now for raceday after two trials. The first of those was on his home track of Scone where he wasn't asked to do too much and looked big. The second he was given much more of a hitout when still looking a little underdone and went with a quality mare in Zestful, although she was under much less pressure.
This Highway event looks a great race for him to kick things off in; he gets weight from his main danger Highway Sixtysix, who's a filly, and he should be able to stalk her from the inside gate. If his fitness holds up late then I think he'll be too good for her.
I reckon Foreign Territory is really shaping up as one of those quality Tulloch Lodge speed middle distance/staying types that we've seen come off the production line there for too many years to count. Now that he gets up to the 1800 metres of this, I feel confident this is where we will see the son of Tavistock really excel.
He's definitely got a motor, but he worked a little last start in the lead and although he still had his chance to win, Godolphin filly, Deft, just had too soft a run a few lengths off him. Once Brenton Avdulla peeled her off the back of Foreign Territory after they straightened the race was over.
He'll have to turn the tables on Deft, as well as a few other better types, as you'd expect this is a better class being a Saturday race. But I can see Foreign Territory dictating terms, and as mentioned; I believe he's much better off up to this trip and most likely beyond it.
OVER THE ODDS
When watching the race live, I could have sworn Zaidin got up at Geelong last start. But he had to share the spoils with Royal Pegasus, who would have been stiff not to get something out of the race after being held up. Nonetheless, Zaidin's effort to dead-heat for first, as a two-year-old, albeit a late-season one, against the older horses, was a very encouraging effort.
He gets back to two-year-old company now and even though it's a Saturday standard race, it's not one with a whole lot of depth to it. I think he's way over the odds on what I've seen of him against this lot.
The big query is the Lindsay Park debutant Ronan's Rock; he could be pretty handy and he does have the firing Craig Williams on board. But he's well found in the market, in fact he looks set to start favourite, and I'd prefer to be on Zaidin at his current quote. I'll certainly be looking at multiples with the pair of them, though.
Leg 1 - 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10,11,15,16
Leg 2 - 3,6,13,15
Leg 3 - 1,11,13
Leg 4 - 2,6,15
($100 = 25.26%)
Leg 1 - 1,3
Leg 2 - 1,6
Leg 3 - 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,13
Leg 4 - 3,10,12,13
($100 = 78.13%)
TAB EARLY MARKET MOVERS & BIG BETS
Race 1 - The Fire Trap $4 - $3.80 ($250 @ $3.90)
Race 3 - Asterius $5 - $4.40 ($200 @ $4.80, $500 @ $4.40)
Race 4 - Girl In A Million $11 - $7 ($300 @ $11, $300 @ $9.50)
Race 5 - Smartedge $7 - $6 ($375 @ $6.50)
Race 7 - Dreamforce $5.50 - $5 ($500 @ $5.50, $400 @ $5.50, $250 @ $5.50, $400 @ $5.50)
Race 8 - Drachenfels $6.50 - $6 ($200 @ $6.50, $300 @ $6), Albumin $5 - $4.20 ($500 @ $4.20)
Race 1 - Ronan's Rock $6 - $4 ($500 @ $6, $200 @ $6, $500 @ $5.50, $500 @ $5, $900 @ $4.50, $500 @ $4.40, $500 @ 4.20)
Race 2 - Magnesium Rose $8 - $6 ($500 @ $6.50, $400 @ $6.50)
Race 4 - Mantastic $4 - $2.90 ($500 @ $4, $1,000 @ $3.70, $400 @ $3.50, $500 @ $3.30, $400 @ $3.10, $400 @ $3)
Race 5 - Rillito $2.30 - $2 ($1,000 @ $2.30, $300 @ $2.30, $200 @ $2.25)
Race 6 - Mount Kilcoy $3.10 - $2.70 ($400 @ $3.10, $300 @ $3.10, $1,500 @ $3, $500 @ $3)
Race 7 - Jukebox $4 - $3.10 ($5,000 @ $3.90, $500 @ $3.90, $800 @ $3.50, $850 @ $3.30)
Race 9 - Theanswermyfriend $5.50 - $4.80 ($1,000 @ $5.50, $300 @ $5.50)