Victoria’s’ Premier 2yo race was first run in 1971 which makes 2015 the 45th rendition.
It has been won by some exceptional racehorses in the past with Manikato probably the most notable of them. The great TJ Smith filly Bounding Away completed the Blue Diamond/Golden Slipper double in 1986, as did the Darley owned Sepoy in 2011.
Other notables include Redoute’s Choice in 1999 and Bel Esprit in 2002. The latter perhaps most famous for being the sire of the great Black Caviar, and the former as one of the great 2yo Sires of the new millennium.
Dwayne Dunn is the most successful jockey in recent times with a staggering 4 wins in succession between 2005 and 2008, a feat made all the more remarkable at odds of $26, $17, $8 and $13. The last 3 of those were for David Hayes who is the most successful trainer with 5 winners in the last 24 years.
Below are the last 12 winners of the event followed by Gender (sex), Sire, Barrier, form figures last 3 starts (where applicable), field positions during race (start, 800m, turn) and starting odds;
- 2014 EARTHQUAKE 2f (15) Exceed And Excel 1X1 (4-6-6) $2.80
- 2013 MIRACLES OF LIFE 2f (1) Not A Single Doubt 111 (7-6-3) $3.25
- 2012 SAMAREADY 2f (7) More Than Ready 11 (9-9-1) $2.10
- 2011 SEPOY 2c (5) Elusive Quality 111 (2-2-2) $1.60
- 2010 STAR WITNESS 2c (14) Starcraft 11 (13-13-12) $10
- 2009 REWARD FOR EFFORT 2c (5) Exceed And Excel 12 (3-3-2) $16
- 2008 REAAN 2c (9) Hussonet 12X1 (9-9-6) $13
- 2007 SLEEK CHASSIS 2f (9) Flying Spur 2-1-1 (6-5) $8
- 2006 NADEEM 2c (12) Redoute’s Choice 416 (12-8) $17
- 2005 UNDOUBTEDLY 2c (4) Redoute’s Choice) 15 (5-4) $26
- 2004 ALINGHI 2f (5) Encosta De Lago 11 (11-8) $2.10
- 2003 KUSI 2g (7) Desert Prince 1 (6-6) $8- Awarded race due to positive swab from winning filly Roedean
This is not the easiest race to find a definitive historical angle on but the following is the best I can come up with for this period;
1. 8 of the last 9 winners have Danehill blood on either the Sire or Dam side. (not as significant as I first thought given 80% of this years entrants do!)
2. 10 of the last 13 winners had won their previous start (including 2002 winner Bel Esprit). 8 of those had won their prior 2 starts. The 3 that didn’t all came via the Colts And Geldings Blue Diamond prelude. 13/13 had won at least one race coming in.
3. 10/13 had their last start at Caulfield.
4. The last 4 winners have started as favourite, though it had been 7 years since the last favourite had saluted.
5. Last 3 winners have been fillies (5/13 overall)
6. 7 of the last 8 male winners have been Colts as opposed to geldings – the only exception being Kusi (official winner some months later).
6. Last 4 winners have arguably been the fastest 2yo coming into the race. (in comparison with older horses)
7. Average winning price $14.80 (12 years)
8. Barriers are of little consequence with 5 of last 12 winners coming from barrier 9 or wider.
9. 4 of the last 10 winners had a Gear change leading in (2 Blinkers On, 2 Winkers On). 3 of those had been beaten at their prior start.
Best 5 chances on a historical basis
1. #2 OF THE BRAVE– He looks a top hope being unbeaten thus far from 2 starts and having won the BD Prelude for Colts & Geldings. He is a colt and has Danehill Bloodlines. Very similarly bred to 2009 winner Reward for Effort, who was also a son of a Rory’s Jester Mare. About the only negative is the price (hardly a negative @ $12!) and the fact he hasn’t run spectacular time.
2. #8 FONTITON is the fastest 2yo coming into the race and is unbeaten 3/3. She is a filly and will start favourite (in synch with last 3 winners). She doesn’t have the Danehill Breeding on either side of her pedigree but neither did Samaready in 2012.
3. #10 FLAMBOYANT LASS ran 3rd to Fontiton in the Fillies prelude to Fontition at her first start in the Melbourne direction. That race was run faster than the Colts division and she gets 2kg off the male 2yo’s here. Sired by a son of Redoute’s Choice (Stratum), she has a bit going for her, and will no doubt be ignored in the betting market as the result of her wide barrier (15). That didn’t stop Earthquake (15) or Star Witness (14) winning in very recent times.
4. #5 SAMPEAH ran 3rd to Of The Brave in the BD Colts & Geldings prelude off a win on debut in Sydney. Like Flamboyant Lass he should benefit greatly from his first run in Melbourne, where he made up a lot of ground on the leaders in the straight. He is a son of Exceed And Excel (Danehill) who has sired 2 of the last 6 winners (Earthquake & Reward For Effort). He also has Blinkers applied for the first time which could be very significant. 1200m should suit him a lot more than some others.
#6 BANTAM is very similar to Sampeah being from the same stable, by the same sire, coming off an unplaced run (after a win) in the BD Prelude for Colts, and wearing Blinkers first time. He got trapped very wide last start and draws a much better barrier in this.
The first 2 (OF THE BRAVE & FONTITON) look the best of the 5 chances coming off a win last start at this track. The others still have to prove they can win in this direction, and only Kusi has managed to do that in the last 28 years, if my memory serves correct (prior win in Sydney). Ironically, as stated, he actually ran second at the time to Roedean (later disqualified), so you could say it hasn’t been done for a very long time.
They would be my ‘Historical’ Quinella, and why not throw the rest into Trifectas given the value they represent?
By Brisburgh Phil