Saturday Spotlight

Three to follow on the weekend

Bodyguard (Caulfield Race 8 #3)
TRAINER: Peter and Paul Snowden
RACE: Blue Diamond Stakes (Group 1, 1200m)

Prominent racing tycoon James Harron can do no wrong in 2024 with a group of colts that have justified their big price tags.

Of these runners, none have been more impressive than undefeated $1.6 million dollar purchase Bodyguard (I Am Invincible) who takes the next logical step in his short career tomorrow.

A product of the racing and breeding operation of Emirates Park and sold at the 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, connections are hopeful that he can replicate his family’s success in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Caulfield.

Bodyguard is from the unraced Fastnet Rock (Danehill) mare Tumooh and is the grandson of 2014 Golden Slipper (G1, 1200m) winner Mossfun (Mossman).

His breathtaking win on debut down the Flemington straight in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (Listed, 1000m), made him the 99th stakes winner for Yarraman Park-based Champion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit).

He was immediately spelled and made his return recently in the Blue Diamond Prelude (G3, 1200m) for the colts and geldings.

He had to defy a strong market drift to win but did so in style, while indicating he had plenty of improvement to come.

For this event he draws well in barrier six, retains Mark Zahra in the saddle and looks to get all the favours in running.

The Snowdens know how to win a feature event and now further improved second up; it’s going to take a special performance to hold out this boom colt, should he pass a veterinary examination today.

Straight Charge (Randwick Race 4 #2)
TRAINER: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott
RACE: Silver Slipper Stakes (Group 2, 1100m)

It’s no secret that the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable have some very talented two-year-olds this season.

One of those is the very speedy Straight Charge (Written By), who only two months ago was being touted as a legitimate threat to Storm Boy (Justify) for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m) on the Gold Coast.

And while things didn’t go to plan up north due to a minor setback, Bott is confident this colt is back on track.

Looking back on recent history, the Silver Slipper (Gr 2, 1100m) is stamped as a key form guide for the Golden Slipper.

This year’s field is set to give a key indication if those at the top of the market can measure up on the big day next month against raging hot favourite Storm Boy.

Of the past ten winners, three have gone on to win the Golden Slipper (Farnan, She Will Reign and Mossfun), another three have been placegetters (Best Of Bordeaux, Cylinder and Sunlight) and two others (Headwater and Time To Reign) have finished in the top five.

Tim Clark, who has been booked to ride Straight Charge tomorrow has previously made interesting comments regarding his chances: “I think this horse is faster, but Storm Boy has got a lot of depth to him.”

Based off that, it will be handlebars down and his high cruising speed will be put to the test this weekend.

The Tulloch Lodge youngster has all the qualities needed to be a force, he just needs to bring it all on race day. The trainers think he will, the jockey thinks he can measure up and now all the pressure lies on him to deliver.

All Inclusive (Doomben Race 4 #8)
TRAINER: David Vandyke
RACE: Qtis Jewel Prelude Plate (1110m)

David Vandyke appears to have a quality youngster on his hands that will measure up over the upcoming Winter Carnival.

Sired by All Too Hard (Casino Prince) and out of Lonyx (Lonhro), this two-year-old gelding has been a nice mover at the trials and is ready for race day pressures.

Assessing his pedigree further, it is worth noting that Lonyx is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Sexy Eyes.

All Inclusive’s sharp Sunshine Coast trial win over 1000 metres caught the eye. He jumped and settled well, ran on strongly and recorded a solid time with something up his sleeve.

While there is some quality in this line up, he looks above average.

The lethal duo of Ryan Maloney and Vandyke pair up once more and he can put the writing on the wall for a strong campaign. He also carries a cheeky Golden Slipper nomination which is worth monitoring.

To read more from The Great Tipoff’s Luke Hovhanesian click here.

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