On The Watch

Lightly Raced Gelding Fabrizio A Surprize Sectional Times Star At Randwick

Having only his eighth race start, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained five-year-old gelding worked in the early stages before crossing to the lead from the Irish-bred import Signposted (Rock Of Gibraltar), a winner of his prior four starts.

Fabrizio then ran along at a strong tempo under Tim Clark, increased his advantage nearing the 200 metres and then drew clear to score impressively by four lengths, with Signposted holding on well for second.

Time for the 1600 metre journey was a fast 1:34.55 on the Good4 track, which proved to be 1.63 seconds faster than champion mare Winx’s (Street Cry) 1:36.18 recorded later in the day in winning the George Main Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).

Fabrizio’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1400 metres) was 10.76, 11.46, 11.84, 11.82, 11.67, 11.43 and 11.92 to give him a fast 1:20.90 for his final 1400 metres.

It was an unusual display of sustained pace and impressively, Fabrizio still went to the post strongly suggesting that he would even cope with a longer trip.

The win was Fabrizio’s fifth in a limited eight-start career and he is clearly a horse with considerable potential now that the stable appears to have the five-year-old in the best form of his career.

And while Fabrizio provided the surprize of the day, no one was surprised when Winx continued on her winning way with another brilliant performance in taking out the George Main Stakes – her 11th win in succession.

After being slowly away, she settled back in second last place in the six-horse field before moving up easily, wide-out, rounding the home turn.

Winx then dashed to the front approaching the 100 metres and she then drew clear to win comfortably by a length and a quarter from Hauraki (Reset).

The first 600 metres of the race was covered in a very moderate 38.77 (12.92 200m rate) with the tempo picking up from the 1000 metre point.

Clocked from the 1000 metre, Winx’s 200 metre breakdown was 11.65, 11.99, 12.08, 11.84, 11.60, 10.74 and 11.15, for a final 1000 metre time of 57.41.

But the feature of Winx’s performance, yet again, was the manner in which she can relax at a steady tempo and then produce high speed, seemingly without effort.

She demonstrated that when Hugh Bowman asked her to improve nearing the 600 metre point with sections in 11.60, then a brilliant 10.74, which saw her dash towards the leaders, and then 11.15 to win with something in hand.

That gave Winx a final 600 metres of 33.49 and final 400 metres of 21.89.

She now heads to the Caulfield Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) on Saturday week and then to the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) a fortnight later, heading to Melbourne in perhaps even better form than last year when she won that feature weight-for-age race by almost five lengths in course record time.

The other impressive Group winner at Randwick was the Godolphin import Hartnell (Authorized) in the Hill Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m).

He had a perfect trip behind the leader Storm The Stars (Sea The Stars) sitting off a very steady pace which saw the first 1400 metres clocked in 1:29.25 (12.75 200m rate) with the full journey in 2:04.11.

Hartnell raced to the front shortly after turning for home and then went on to score effortlessly by five and three quarter lengths from the stayer Who Shot Thebarman (Yamanin Vital).

After clocking only 1:06.59 for his first 1000 metres, Hartnell was timed to run quick closing sectionals of 57.52 (last 1000m), 45.62 (last 800m), 34.14 (last 600m) with his final 400 metres in 22.80.

He also now heads to Melbourne with his main mission being the Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) on 15 October.

In the first of two feature three-year-old races on the Randwick card, the Kris Lees-trained colt Guard Of Honour (Northern Meteor) impressed in winning the Heritage Stakes (Listed, 1100m).

Having only his third race start and his first run this preparation, Guard Of Honour was well-supported and enjoyed a good trip in third place on the rails after beginning well from barrier one.

After getting to the front at the 100 metre, he then fought back well to score narrowly from the $61 outsider Flash Fibian (Ready’s Image), winning narrowly but in smart time.

Guard Of Honour clocked a fast closing times of 55.33 (last 1000m), 44.78 (last 800m), 34.26 (last 600m) with his final 400 metres in 23.08.

The underrated runner up, Flash Fibian, a winner of his past two starts at Wagga in April and May after finishing second in the Black Opal Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Canberra in March, came from last in the 11-horse field and was timed to run his final 1000 metres in a fast 55.00.

The quick tempo was a result of the Gerald Ryan-trained colt Tango Rain (Manhattan Rain) going along too keenly in front and he showed exceptional pace, suggesting quite a future is to be had with better manners.

Tango Rain’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 1000 metres) was 10.24, 10.61 (400m in 20.85), 11.28 (600m in 32.13), 11.42 (800m in 43.55) with his final 200 metres in 12.38, when he weakened after going too fast mid-race, to finish sixth.

In the Tea Rose Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) for fillies, the opposite applied from a times perspective with the first 800 metres being run in a steady 49.32 with a quick final 600 metres (34.67) resulting.

That added merit to the effort of the winner, the Chris Waller-trained filly Foxplay (Foxwedge) who had raced back in sixth place, was held up at a vital stage in the straight, but still recovered to score a late-closing win.

Foxplay’s 200 metre breakdown (from the 600 metres) was 11.85, 10.98 and 11.25, giving her the last 600 metres in 34.08 and last 400 metres in 22.33.

She now heads to the Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) at Randwick on Saturday week with strong credentials.