On The Watch

Marmelo runs fastest closing sectional times in the Caulfield Cup

Marmelo’s (Duke Of Marmalade) debut performance in Australia, when he caught the eye of many with his effort in dead-heating for sixth in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) was certainly impressive, so too were his sectional times which were the fastest of the race.

Having his first start since winning the Prix Kergorlay (Gr 2, 3000m) at Deauville on 20 August, Marmelo was back in 15th place at the 600 metres point before running on strongly under Hugh Bowman to finish just two and three quarter lengths from the winner Boom Time (Flying Spur).

In a fast run race with the leader Sir Isaac Newton (Galileo) proving hard to control way out in front, which resulted in fast overall time for the 2400 metres of 2:27.66 – it also resulted fast closing times with Marmelo’s being clearly the quickest in the 17-horse field.

Marmelo being clocked to run his final 2000 metres in 2:02, last 1600 metres in 1:36.50, last 1400 metres in 1:23.88, last 1200 metres in 1:10.66, last 1000 metres in 57.87, last 800 metres in 45.85, last 600 metres in 34.82, last 400 metres in 23.27 with his final 200 metres in 11.79.

The TAB reacted quickly by promoting Marmelo to $6.50 equal favouritism with last year’s winner Almandin (Monsun) for the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) at Flemington on 7 November.

Trained by Hughie Morrison at East Ilsley (GB), Marmelo is a relatively lightly-raced four-year-old (by Northern Hemisphere time) having so far started 11 times for three wins and five placings.

His most noteworthy achievements being two victories in this year in France in the aforementioned Prix Kergorlay, a noted lead-up to the Melbourne Cup, and the Prix De Barbeville (Gr 3, 3000m).

A proven, quality stayer in Group Class over 3000 metres, Marmelo now heads to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November with strong credentials, highlighted by fast times and a strong performance at his first start in this country.

In the Caulfield Sprint (Gr 2, 1000m) on Saturday, the underrated Henry Dwyer-trained mare Snitty Kitty (Snitzel) showed her potential for further Group success by winning decisively in fast time.

Snitty Kitty was quickly away and then settled nicely outside the leader Super Too (Hinchinbrook) going at a quick tempo. She got to the upper hand at the 200 metres and then drew away to defeat her speedy rival two and a quarter lengths in a fast 56.28.

Clocked from the 800 metres, Snitty Kitty returned 200 metre sections of 10.27, 10.68 (400 metres in 20.95), 10.88 (600 metres in 31.83) with her final 200 metres in 11.40 to give her a fast final 800 metres time of 43.23.

It was the four-year-old mare’s second stakes success and her first at Group level in a highly consistent record of six wins (and three placings) from 11 starts to date.

Snitty Kitty looks set to progress to even better things.

In the Tristarc Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) the dual Group Onewinning filly of last season, Global Glamour (Star Witness) made an impressive return in scoring a narrow but very game win after working from a wide barrier and then travelling on the pace.

Global Glamour, who sprinted her last 600 metres in 34.34 and her final 400 metres in a quick 22.65, then fought back to defeat Cool Passion (Not A Single Doubt) by a short half head with Shillelagh (Savabeel) just under a length away in third.

Previously trained in New Zealand, Shillelagh was having her seventh start for leading trainer Chris Waller and her late-closing third, her second run this preparation, was also impressive.

After settling in second last place in the 14-horse field after starting from a wide barrier (11), Shillelagh went widest of all on straightening and caught the eye with her strong late finish and subsequent quick sectionals.

Shillelagh was timed to run her final 1000 metres in 57.34, last 800 metres in 45.39, last 600 metres in 33.62, last 400 metres in 22.05 with her final 200 metres in 11.28.

She should be improved by the run and Shillelagh is a horse to watch in the quality mares’ races over the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

The Chris Waller stable also holds an ace with Kaonic (Savabeel) who followed his win in a Three-Year-Old Maiden (1550m) at Canterbury on 4 October at his second race start with an impressive win in the Benchmark 75 (3YO) Handicap (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.

After being slow to move, Kaonic settled in second last place in the ten-horse field before Glyn Schofield improved his position on passing the 300 metres.

Kaonic then sprinted quickly (wide out) and after taking the lead at the 200 metres the colt drew away to win comfortably from the John Sargent-trained filly Luvaluva (Mastercraftsman), who showed potential by running on well for second.

Racing on a Soft 7 track, Kaonic ran the 1600 metre journey in 1:36.72 and was clocked to run his final 1400 metres in a quick 1:22.54, last 1000 metres in 59.35, last 600 metres in 35.29 with his final 400 metres in 23.25.

The colt looks a rising talent and Kaonic has now been set for the Carbine Club Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m), a race the leading trainer has won twice in the past three years.

Later in the programme, in the mares’ feature, The Nivison (Gr 3, 1200m), success went to consistent White Moss (Mossman) who took her record to five wins from eight starts in taking out her first Group success.

The Jason Coyle-trained grey mare was smartly away and then travelled well outside the leader before dashing to the front on turning for home.

She was not seriously threatened from that point and went on to score quite impressively in the good time of 1:10.08 on the affected going, also recording very good closing sectionals of 56.38 (last 1000 metres), 45.48 (last 800 metres), 34.30 (last 600 metres) and 23.02 (last 400 metres).

While last word goes to the Tim Martin-trained mare Heavens Above (Street Cry) who was having her third run this preparation in The Nivison.

Winner of the Coolmore Classic (registered as T A D Kennedy Stakes) (Gr 1, 1600m) at Rosehill in March, Heavens Above settled near the tail of the field before running on really well under her top weight (59 kilograms) for sixth, beaten just under two and a half lengths.

Heavens Above was most impressive on the watch, clocking very quick closing times of 55.87 (last 1000 metres), 44.88 (last 800 metres), 33.71 (last 600 metres) and 22.52 (last 400 metres).

She is now likely to head to Melbourne also with excellent prospects in the Group mares’ races over the carnival.