Race 1 - 11:30am
Rotator finished second in a photo finish to the Group 3 Widden Stakes on debut and was sent to the paddock after finishing fourth in another strong metropolitan sprint. There was a lot to like about her first-up run for second over 1100m at Rosehill and there is no doubt that she’ll enjoy good improvement into this. She’s already an odds-on favourite and is too short for me, so I’ll happily watch.
Race 2 - 12:05pm
This week’s Highway race has drawn a decent field of middle-distance horses and it looks like the former Godolphin galloper Galapagos’ to lose. Now saddled by Cody Morgan, Galapagos has continued to improve with racing this time and worked home well to finish third at this track and distance last time out. He’s drawn well and will take a power of beating.
4 Units Galapagos
Race 3 - 12:40pm
Passage Of Time will carry winning form into the third on Winter Cup Day and looks tough to beat again. The Joe Pride-trained sprinter has finished worse than second only once in four starts this time, that race being at Group 3 level and his most-recent effort suggested that he has found peak form. The wide barrier shouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience given the small field and he can make it two in a row.
2 Units Passage Of Time
Race 4 - 1:15pm
Ljungberg will carry plenty of benefit into his second-up run at Rosehill on Saturday and looks a live each-way chance of returning to winning form. The I Am Invincible gelding was a smart winner at this point of his last preparation and worked home well to finish fourth in a similar race to this one, first-up. He has a lot more upside than early favourite England and has options from the rails draw.
1 Unit E/W Ljungberg
Race 5 - 1:50pm
Quakerjack will carry winning form into this race and looks tough to beat again, but he has opened at even money and there is nothing left for me at that price.
White Boots has returned several pleasing efforts this time and looks a live chance of winning at double-figure odds. The Kim Waugh-trained gelding faded to finish ninth in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup last time out, but his performances and results prior were outstanding, and he is rock-hard fit for what is clearly an easier task.
1 Unit E/W White Boots
Race 6 - 2:25pm
Only ten stayers have accepted for the feature race, but several quality gallopers are in the group and we’re set for a quality contest.
Hush Writer resumed for an excellent win in the Listed McKell Cup a fortnight ago and looks the one to beat again. The Japanese import has returned several pleasing efforts since transferring to the care of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott and found form around some of the country’s best horses last time. He’ll only improve into this and will take beating.
Yogi will resume in this race and while there is no doubt that he’ll be better further into his campaign, he’s capable of a sharp fresh performance. He resumed in autumn for a smart win over a quality field at Caulfield and the $7 on offer at publish does look a tough of overs.
3 Units Hush Writer
1 Unit E/W Yogi
Race 7 - 3:05pm
Sweet Victory is another horse that will take improvement into her second-up target at Rosehill on Saturday and she will take plenty of beating under these conditions. The Smart Missile mare ran on well to finish fourth at Randwick a fortnight ago and she can settle closer this time from the rails draw. Mark Newnham’s horses are flying and this one is available at an each-way price ($6 at publish).
2 Units E/W Sweet Victory
Race 8 - 3:45pm
Sylvia’s Mother hasn’t been seen at the races since February, but she is an above-average galloper and can make a winning return on Winter Cup Day. The Snitzel filly strung together three-consecutive and impressive wins when resuming in summer, before ending her campaign fifth in a Group 2 race. She’s trialled well and looks ready to go.
Tony Nicconi will also resume in this race and he is up to winning, should he bring his best form. The Nicconi gelding won his first two career starts in spring, including a Group 3 race and he’s primed for a big run here after winning a couple of handy trials.
2 Units Sylvia’s Mother
1 Unit E/W Tony Nicconi
Race 9 - 4:25pm
Kapajack was an impressive second-up winner and is clearly the horse to beat in the last at Rosehill. The Team Hawkes-trained gelding could not have returned a better effort a fortnight ago and he should just be winning, but the $1.55 on offer at publish is too short for me and I’m happy to pull stumps at the eighth.