Mick Price has a great chance of making it back-to-back victories in the Group 2 The Vase at Moonee Valley on Saturday with Tarzino. Price took out last year’s edition with Moonovermanhattan who ran seventh in the Caulfield Guineas at his previous start, just as Tarzino did in last week’s renewal of the Guineas. The seventh placing should’ve been a lot higher though as Tarzino found no clear room in the final 200m and went to the line with plenty left to offer. He is $4.00 in early markets and the equal favourite alongside of Pasadena Girl, one of three fillies in the race.
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1. SHARDS – J McDonald (3)
No match late for Press Statement when second (3 lengths) in the G2 Stan Fox Stakes (1500m) two starts back but was never in the hunt from his wide draw in the Caulfield Guineas, also won by Press Statement, running thirteenth (9.2 lengths). Mixing his form up a bit this time in but his better runs have come when drawn well, just as he has done here, and could easily bounce back with an improved run Saturday.
2. SOVEREIGN NATION – M Walker (7)
Confidently ridden to take out the G2 Stutt Stakes prior to finishing fourth (2.4 lengths) in the G1 Caulfield Guineas. Enjoyed a nice run in the Guineas and although he had every chance, it will stand him in good stead for this race. Stable is taking all before them this spring and have a genuine hope here as well in this son of Encosta De Lago.
3. LAST BULLET – P Gatt (11)
Caught the eye finishing hard late from well back in the field when eighth (1.8 lengths) in the Guineas Prelude but wasn’t nearly as effective in the Guineas itself, finishing fourteenth and over nine lengths from Press Statement.
The Adelaide galloper will be giving them a start again here and hard to make a strong case for him being able to run them down.
4. TARZINO – C Newitt (10)
Mick Price’s colt should’ve finished much closer than the 3.8 length seventh that he did behind Press Statement in the Caulfield Guineas, going to the line under a hold as he searched for runs between horses. That followed two wins from three starts and it looks as though the son of Tavistock will eat up the 2000m being by a Zabeel mare. Should prove very hard to beat.
5. KENTUCKY FLYER – V Duric (2)
Held on from his on-pace position to score here at the Valley three starts ago before a honest effort, when coming from last after drawing wide, to finish sixth (3.1 lengths) to Tarzino over a mile at Caulfield. Drew well and sat on the pace in the G1 Caulfield Guineas but stopped very quickly, finishing last and close to 20 lengths from the winner. Has had a winning trial since to prove all is in order and drawn to get a nice run here but still have several rated in front of him.
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6. HIERARCHAL – G Boss (8)
Scratched from Geelong Classic on Wednesday in preference for this and the rapidly improving High Chaparral colt would have to rate some chance on his last start performance. He was lining up for only his third race start when closing strongly to finish 1.6 lengths behind Vanbrugh in the G1 Spring Champion (2000m) at Randwick. Not the strongest Spring Champion field this year however, he’ll still have improvement in him and this isn’t the greatest edition of this race either. Takes a bit of time to wind up and the Valley may be a query but not enough to ignore his hopes altogether.
7. RED ALTO – O Bosson (6)
Another son of High Chaparral but unlike the previous runner, his chances of winning this are slim given recent efforts. Winless after six starts, he has finished tenth in both the Pin and Win Stakes and Listed UCI Stakes at his two most recent starts, beaten over six lengths on each occasion. The 2000m will be in his favour, he appears a dour type, but still has significant improvement to make to be winning here.
8. TALLY – J Doyle (12)
A Godolphin runner who broke his maiden status in grand style, winning the Kyneton Maiden (1850m) by seven lengths.
The colt by Street Cry relished the jump in trip from 1540m last time out and the 2000m of Saturday’s race will pose no problems for him it all. Led last start and drawn wide here, so with a relative short straight to find a position, it’ll be interesting to see how keen they are to find the lead with him here. Sure to be right in the market and more than likely – the finish.
9. ASSERTIVE STAR –
Place-less in his five starts, admittedly most of them have been in Stakes races and he hasn’t been far off the likes of Tarzino and Ayres Rock – when settling well back in the field, so the form on paper could be a bit deceptive but he has picked another handy race to try and break his maiden status in. Whilst he could run better than his early price suggests, hard to see him winning.
10. PASADENA GIRL – J Bowman (1)
Good effort first up behind in-form Stay With Me and was doing her best work late behind Gunpowder, who dominated from up on the speed, when fifth (2.4 lengths) in the Guineas Prelude. Was deep for the majority of the race in the 1000 Guineas and came around the field whereas the winner, Stay With Me, saved ground inside and proved too good late, with Pasadena fighting on for fourth (3.5 lengths). Had a lot to do last start but should get the favours here from the inside gate. With the fillies more than holding their own against the males this season, she’s a genuine chance.
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11. JAMEKA – D Oliver (5)
Continued her solid run of form by running second to Stay With Me in the 1000 Guineas at her most recent start.
She came from near to last and was the widest running on the turn last time out, getting the better of Pasadena Girl by a length – as she did at their previous start in the Guineas Prelude. The Hayes/Dabernig runner has only missed a place once in her seven starts – and on that occasion she finished fourth, and from gate five with Oliver aboard, would think she’s a great chance of keeping that record intact.
12. SAGARONNE – C Williams (4)
Raced without luck in the Listed Atlantic Jewel (1200m) three starts back but her two runs since, in the Guineas Prelude and the 1000 Guineas, have seen her finish well behind the leading fillies, a few of which she meets again here. Will have to lift to be winning here.
RACE OVERVIEW –
Only one of the twelve runners has been over the trip previously (Hierarchal), but quietly confident that Tarzino and Jameka will run it out strongly. Tarzino should’ve finished much closer in the Guineas behind this season’s leading 3yo Press Statement, whilst Jameka was very good late in a solidly run 1000 Guineas.
4. PASADENA GIRL