The Group 1s get underway in Adelaide on Saturday with the TAB Classic one of two on the program at Morphettville.
Taking place on the same day as the Schweppes Oaks, the TAB Classic field is headed by Spright with Cool Passion, Jamaican Rain and Thrillster among the other candidates.
Who will take out the Morphettville feature?
1. SPRIGHT ($4.41): Spright seems a false favourite and I’m keen to bet around her. She is a very similar horse to Osborne Bulls, in the fact that she always has that ‘flashing light’ on her after a seemingly unlucky run that says back me next start. The issue with her is, she needs everything in her favour to win and with her racing pattern, it is very rarely the case that she gets everything going her way. She ran an incredible 16.3 lengths above benchmark for her final 600m last start when seventh behind White Moss as the leaders went to slowly for her to get into the race. The start before was an ‘unlucky’ second behind Sunlight in the Group One William Reid (1200m). Barrier 15 is no issue as she will go back and does go J.Collett to D.Oliver but if she wins, it will be without me.
2. COOL PASSION ($5.26): The Tony McEvoy-trained Cool Passion looks extremely well-placed here. She was nosed out by Champagne Cuddles first-up, who has since progressed to run some terrific races in genuine Group One company over the Sydney Carnival. She wasn’t far off Trapeze Artist last start in the Canterbury Stakes, running 10.6 lengths above benchmark which is the best last start figure in the race. Her recent Gawler trial was outstanding, as she beat Sunlight who has opted to not run in this race.
6. JAMAICAN RAIN ($6.51): Craig Williams jumps off Ellicazoom to ride the Richard Laming-trained Jamaican Rain. Adelaide is expecting between 5mm-19mm of rain between Wednesday and Saturday, if Morphettville gets most of that rain, it brings the aptly named Jamaican Rain right into this race. She defeated Naantali first-up on a good track at Caulfield and that galloper has gone onto Group One level. She is a leading contender.
13. ANJANA ($8.01): The daughter of Sepoy has looked a different horse this preparation with Mick Price, as any issue she had last preparation as been well and truly sorted. She was well-backed first-up at Flemington and exploded through a gap when clear to defeat Sunset Watch and Fine Dane. She was far too good for her rivals two starts ago at The Valley, she ran the 10th-fastest last 200m of the meeting, 13th-fastest last 400m of the meeting and 12th-fastest last 600m of a meeting that included a 955m dash and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes over 1200m. Her last start effort when third (beaten a half-length) behind Humma Humma and Behemoth was terrific and goes Z.Spain to M.Dee which is a positive, as is barrier one to barrier nine.
14. THRILLSTER ($5.26):I was very keen to follow the Leon & Troy Corstens-trained Thrillster wherever she went after her terrific first-up run at Caulfield a fortnight ago. Her jumpout prior to her first-up run was outstanding and she was $11 into $6.00 for that race at Caulfield. She looked terrific in the mounting yard and was outstanding in defeat, doing everything except win the race.She sat four-wide the trip, running the fastest 600m-400m of the race, third-fastest 400m-200m before just weakening late, running the fifth-fastest last 200m. She went 7.4 lengths above the overall benchmark. I’m confident she improves from that run and the map from barrier 11 with S.Baster on board is the only issue for me. Despite that, she looks a leading contender in an open race.
The Tony McEvoy-trained Cool Passion brings the strongest form lines to Saturday’s Group 1.
The evergreen seven-year-old mare was most recently beaten 2.5 lengths by Trapeze Artist in the Canterbury Stakes (1300m) where they ran record time.
All her form lines are extremely strong, she’s now at peak fitness and has been freshened which looks ideal.
Spright and Thrillster worry me most, but each will need a bit more luck in the run while Cool Passion gets the race run to suit.
1. Cool Passion
4. Jamaican Rain