Three to follow on the weekend
Veight (Moonee Valley Race 9 #8)
TRAINER: Tony and Calvin McEvoy
RACE: Australia Stakes (Group 2, 1200m)
One of the boom youngsters of the spring, the Tony and Calvin McEvoy–trained three-year-old Veight (Grunt) will attract plenty of attention at Moonee Valley.
He hasn’t been seen since his respectable fifth in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) and the talk from the stable indicates he has returned in fine fashion.
Tomorrow, he tackles the older horses for the first time in the Australia Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) and given he handles the testing Valley circuit, connections are confident he can handle the step up to weight-for-age company.
He has shown tactical versatility in his races to date, and the soft draw in barrier five plus the booking of Damian Lane gives him every chance to start his preparation with a bang.
This colt gave Yulong Investments’ stallion Grunt (O’Reilly) his first winner and his first stakes winner in the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Group 2, 1400m) on March 11 last year.
He has since gone from strength-to-strength, including a win in the McNeil Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) and a runner-up effort in the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m).
Furthermore, his success holds immense value to Yulong being out of dual Group 3-winning mare Neena Rock (Fastnet Rock).
She represented one of Yulong’s first significant purchases into the broodmare market ($500,000) back in 2015.
Regardless of tomorrow’s result, Veight will remain a horse with immense interest, both on and off the track.
Switzerland (Randwick Race 1 #6)
TRAINER: Chris Waller
RACE: 2YO Handicap (1000m)
Coolmore Stud and Tom Magnier have $1.5 million reasons to be hopeful for a great debut from colt Switzerland (Snitzel) tomorrow.
Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) has the runs on the board for Coolmore, having produced Golden Slipper winner Shinzo, while Best Of Bordeaux joined the stallion roster in 2023.
The lethal duo have teamed up once again to produce, what they hope will be, the next stud prodigy.
Switzerland is out of North American mare Ms Bad Behaviour (Blame), who was a Group 3 winner with multiple Group and Listed placings. She has been a star broodmare producing the dams of 12 stakes winners headed by Group 1 winner Forte (Violence), the Champion US 2YO Colt of 2022.
Switzerland has had two trials leading into his race day debut and has looked mighty impressive in both. He has sat off the speed and trucked along to the line under no riding.
There will be question marks over his debut performance over the 1000-metre scamper, but regardless of the result, he is one to follow as he gradually steps up in distance.
Switzerland’s professionalism and attitude towards racing is evident already and with master trainer Chris Waller holding the keys, it would take a brave punter to go against them.
Felix Majestic (Race 7 #12)
TRAINER: Gary Nickson
RACE: Carrington Stakes (Listed, 1400m)
Gary Nickson would attest himself that he has never received the best horses in NSW. He is just one of many trainers scattered amongst the millions spent at the sales by the ‘big guns’.
However, what his horses are is tough. His dedication to the craft and his sense of smart tactics has allowed him to punch far beyond his weight in recent times. There is no better example of this than in Felix Majestic (Smart Missile).
Often neglected by the market (avg. $7 SP) this gelding out of Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) is a true bulldog who loves leading and hates being headed.
The jump, lead and win tactics have seen him go to another level this campaign and you can expect more of the same from barrier one tomorrow.
Yet to have success at black-type level, connections will be hoping fifth time’s the charm in the Carrington Stakes (Listed, 1400m).
With the rail out nine metres for the entire course, many analysts are suspecting the track will play leaderish and this might be the ounce of luck this talented runner needs. Jason Collett takes the reins and should give him every chance of success.
In a NSW racing scene where it is hard to stand out, Felix Majestic and Gary Nickson are doing their best to shake up the system.
To read more from The Great Tipoff’s Luke Hovhanesian click here.