On The Watch

Lindsay Park-Trained Filly Formality Impresses With Her Fast Sectional Times

Raced in a Coolmore partnership, Formality is now unbeaten in two starts having won a Two-Year-Old Fillies’ Maiden Handicap (1100m) at Werribee on 5 January when racing on debut.

On Saturday, Formality began brilliantly from barrier seven and went straight to the front. She then settled well, racing on the rails with the Clinton McDonald-trained filly Spoils (Snitzel) taking a narrow lead, racing on her outside.

Formality lifted gamely in the straight, drew to a clear advantage at the 100 metres before going on to score impressively by a length and a half from the Tony McEvoy-trained filly Time Awaits (Nicconi) with Spoils a short neck further back in third.

Time for the 1000 metre journey was a smart 58.10, which was only 0.56 seconds slower than the open class sprinter Thermal Current’s (Exceed And Excel) 57.54, recorded later in the day in winning the W J Adams Stakes (Listed, 1000m).

But it was Formality’s sectional times that impressed most of all. Clocked from the 800 metre point she ran 200 metre sections of 11.25, 11.43 (400m in 22.68), 11.05 (600m in 33.73) with her final 200 metres in 11.15 to give her a fast last 800 metre time of 44.88.

The TAB now has Formality sharing favouritism at $6.50 for the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) to be run at Caulfield on 25 February, with Lindsay Park now having three of the top five in TAB betting.

Also at $6.50 is the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt Pariah (Redoute’s Choice) and the Ciaron Maher-trained colt Jukebox (Snitzel), another impressive Caulfield winner.

They are followed in the betting at $8.00 by the talented Lindsay Park-trained fillies Catchy (Fastnet Rock) and Tulip (Pierro), who is also raced by Coolmore.

Jukebox, who was having his second start after winning a Two-Year-Old Maiden Plate (1100m) at Geelong on 12 January, returned quick closing sectionals in taking out Saturday’s Inglis 2YO Premier (RL, 1200m).

After settling nicely in fifth place on the rails, Jukebox got through on the inner on turning for home and after taking the lead at the 200 metres, he went away to score in good style by two lengths in a time of 1:10.43 for the 1200 metre trip.

Jukebox was clocked to run his last 1000 metres in 57.08, last 600 metres in 34.86 with his final 400 metres in 23.25.

Another noteworthy effort on the watch at Caulfield was the win of three-year-old filly Legless Veuve (Pins) in the Manfred Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m).

Now the winner three of her six starts, the Stuart Webb-trained filly again demonstrated attributes of being able to settle comfortably off a steady tempo and then be capable of producing high speed.

Having her first run since October, Legless Veuve was drawn awkwardly in barrier nine but after a quick beginning she crossed smarty and settled particularly well outside the leader Into Orbit (Northern Meteor).

They then steadied the pace with the first her first 600 metres clocking only 37.42 (12.47 200m rate) before lifting the tempo approaching the home turn.

Legless Veuve then sprinted her final 600 metres in a very quick 33.60 (11.20 200m rate) with her last 400 metres in 22.16 and last 200 metres in 11.25, making it very difficult for those back in the field to make any ground.

After getting the better of Into Orbit on passing the 200 metres, Legless Veuve went on to beat that Team Hawkes-trained colt by three-quarter lengths with the more favoured runners Hey Doc (Duporth) third, Derryn (Hinchinbrook) fourth and Morton’s Fork (Ad Valorem) fifth.

That latter trio had found it difficult to make any impression in the sprint home, despite their fast closing sectional times.

Hey Doc being timed to run his last 600 metres in 33.60, last 400 metres in 22.21 and last 200 metres in 11.23. Derryn running his last 600 metres in 33.57, last 400 metres in 22.20 and last 200 metres in 11.23 while Morton’s Fork ran his last 600 metres in 33.57, last 400 metres in 22.16 and last 200 metres in 11.24.

All those talented three-year-olds, especially the Sandown Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) winner Morton’s Fork, being disadvantaged by the very moderate early tempo and while visually they may have looked somewhat disappointing, in fact their efforts were very sound indeed.

At Saturday’s Randwick meeting, On The Watch was particularly taken by the win of the Godolphin-raced colt Veranillo (Medaglia D’Oro) in the Hinchinbrook Plate (registered as Lonhro Plate) (Listed, 1100m).

Now unbeaten in two starts, Veranillo was having his first start since winning a Two-Year-Old Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill on 12 November, and the quality colt took the eye as a type in the yard pre-race, but there is little doubt that he will improve in condition with further racing.

After being given a good trip by James Doyle, tracking the keenly-going leader Eden Roc (Star Witness), Veranillo looked to be under pressure at the 200 metres but he responded well and then went on to score with something in hand by a length and a half.

Clocked from the 1000 metres, Veranillo ran 200 metre sections of 10.89, 10.89 (400m in 21.87), 11.46 (600m in 33.24), 11.59 (800m in 44.83) with his last 200 metres in 12.35 to give him a fast last 1000 metres in 57.18.

Veranillo now heads to the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) with trainer John O’Shea saying the colt will probably have one more lead-up race before the running of the rich race at Rosehill on 18 March.

Whether Veranillo will be up to that task remains to be seen as the overall standard to two-year-olds this season appears to be at a high level, but O’Shea added that he felt the colt could go to another level with the addition of blinkers which he intends to use on Golden Slipper Stakes day.