Trainer Donna Logan is no stranger to leading back a feature winner during the Sydney Carnival over recent years, with the likes of Volkstok’n’Barrell and Rising Romance both winning at Group 1 level. Logan helps the run continues in this Saturday’s G1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) where she’ll be represented by Valley Girl. Valley Girl is coming off a WFA win followed by a close-up fifth in the NZ Derby (2400m), so Logan’s confidence is justifiably high. “Coming back to 2000 metres won’t worry her. She can handle it wet or dry.” “She is a very level-headed filly and I’m sure she will take the trip in her stride,” Logan told AAP during the week. Hong Kong-based Australian jockey Brett Prebble will ride Valley Girl who travels to Australia on Wednesday.
1. JAMEKA – D Oliver (1)
Took two smart 3yo males to get the better of her last week in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), when third to Tarzino (favourite for the Derby) and Montaigne (contesting the WFA G1 BMW). Back to her own sex for only the second time this prep and drawn to get the gun-run from the inside alley. Form is as solid as you could hope for leading into this and she’s the testing material.
2. STAY WITH ME – D Dunn (15)
Kept coming in the run home over a mile when fourth behind Le Romain and Press Statement in the Randwick Guineas three weeks ago. Each of her three runs this time in suggests the 2000m will be her trip and did run second to Jameka in the 1000 Guineas back in the spring. Will settle back and run well, but might have to give Jameka too much of a start.
3. VALLEY GIRL – B Prebble (8)
New Zealand trainer Donna Logan has been a regular – and successful visitor to the Sydney Autumn Carnival in recent years and not what kind of horse it takes to win with. This year Logan has brought over G1 winner daughter of Mastercraftsman – Valley Girl. Drew the widest of eighteen in the NZ Derby (2400m) at her most recent start but still finished fifth, and that effort will ensure she has plenty of admirers come Saturday.
4. HONESTA – C Williams (12)
Finished fourth in the Arrowfield Classic (1600m) last start, only her second this time in, and looks as though she’s wanting the longer trip. Rounded out last prep with three consecutive second placings in the Flight Stakes, Ethereal Stakes, and to Jameka in the VRC Oaks. Has the form in the right races and think she’s over the odds at $17.00
5. RISQUE – D Lane (2)
Big win at first Australian start, coming from well back in the run to defeat Mossin’ Around in the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes, before an even better effort for mine, although finishing third, in the Aust Guineas (1600m). The NZ filly, now with Hayes/Dabernig, was posted deep throughout and joined the leading group at the top of the straight, battling on strongly to finish less than a length behind Palentino and Tarzino. Gets a much more sweeter run her from two, could follow Jameka throughout, and although yet to be tested beyond a mile, from what we’ve seen of her so far, you’d think she’d run it out – especially up again her own sex.
6. AMBIENCE – B Avdulla (4)
Brenton Avdulla picks up a Godolphin ride aboard a filly who was a leading contender in the all the leading filly races last spring. Two runs back from a spell however, would suggest she’s a bit off that at the moment, given she’s finished down the track in both the Surround Stakes and Arrowfield Classic. Step up to 2000m will help, as will the likelihood of a good run from gate four however, just wanted to see a bit more than we have leading into this.
7. SINGLE GAZE – K O’Hara (10)
Excellent return to racing when second to Ghisoni in the Surround Stakes, and was better again when taking out the Arrowfield Classic a fortnight ago. That was her first start beyond 1400m, and she camped up on the speed and toughed it out well. This field has far greater depth though, and whilst proven at the mile, 2000m is a different kettle of fish.
8. CAPELLA – O Bosson (6)
Another NZ filly who has two most recent runs have been over 2000m and 2400m – at G2 and G1 level, and off a seven week break. The most recent of those starts was a closing fourth (half a length) in the NZ Derby and a repeat performance of that effort – should see her a genuine hope here. They’ve shaped up with the NZ fillies and wouldn’t think this daughter of Rip Van Winkle wouldn’t either.
9. ASINARA – J McDonald (13)
Second of the Godolphin runners and no surprise to see McDonald sticking with her after their third placing behind Single Gaze in the Arrowfield Classic at Kembla recently. She closed from well back in the field to run the winner to 1.3 lengths on the line, only her second start since 2nd January. Would be meteoric rise through the grades, but looks to have the ability to run well.
10. SAILING BY – C Newitt (9)
Got within a lip of catching the bold front-running and in-from Mahuta first up from a good break, running second in the G2 Autumn Stakes (1400m), before failing to make an impression from mid-field in the Australian Guineas and finishing tenth. Three weeks before the two runs above, so wouldn’t think the first up effort flattened her much, and this being her first go beyond a mile, would be happy to leave her out from what we saw in the Guineas.
11. SELF ESTEEM – J Bowman (14)
Lead from the jump and beat all bar Ghost Protocol home when contesting a BM 85 (1900m) a fortnight ago. Did take on the older horses last time out, but they were an average bunch, and would think she has too much to do against a much stronger field from the wide draw.
12. BELIEVE – K McEvoy (11)
The Anthony Cummings trained filly was shooting for three straight wins when contesting the G2 Phar Lap Stakes last time out, and although she was unable to complete the hat-rick, lost no admirers with her effort. She took up the running to set the pace of the 1500m trip and was only caught within the last 50m by Hattori Hanzo and Man Of Choice. Jumps up another 500m here – won’t be able to set the pace to her liking as she did last start, and just might be asking too much from her at only her fourth start.
13. CHABAUD – T Berry (16)
Made it back-to-back wins at her most recent start when making a sweeping run around the field before the turn and holding off all the challengers in the straight, to score a three quarter of a length win in the Tasmanian Oaks. Will probably have to do the same again her from the widest gate – but there’s a bit of class difference compared to last start, and hard to see her being able to repeat the effort.
14. HEARTLINGS – T Clark (5)
Well supported when lining up in the Arrowfield Classic last start ($6 into $4.80) but was very poor, finishing second to last and over seven lengths from the winner Single Gaze. Recorded a poor recovery rate but still to prove herself at this level and would be happy to wait for her to do so first.
15. HAPPY HANNAH – B Shinn (3) (1st EM)
Recorded a strong win last start in a BM 67 (1600m) at Warwick Farm, the kind of victory that suggests there’s better races in store for in however, wouldn’t think the G1 Vinery is one of them just yet – but the market suggest otherwise and she’s $6.00.
16. LONELY ORPHAN – D Jones (7) (2nd EM)
Country galloper who gets her shot in town courtesy of three consecutive wins – all of which have been in the bush, and she’ll find the city girls much too strong.
17. PEGGY’S COVE – T Huet (17) (3rd EM)
Recorded the third win of her career last start, in a Class 2 over 2030m at Newcastle and the fourth won be coming in this race on Saturday.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Think we could see a competitive race here despite the market zeroing in on two gallopers. Risque and Jameka are the class horses – both in solid form and get the right runs and are the logical selections however, the NZ fillies have done well this season and reckon that could continue to be case here too with Capella and Valley Girl. Double figure odds, no concerns at the trip – a little bit of cut in the ground would be ideal, nice run from the gate – would be happy with her on an each-way basis. Similarly, expect Honesta to improve here now that she’s up to the 2000m and well run – $17 is too good to pass up and need to find a spot for her in the selections.
3. VALLEY GIRL