Horse Of The Month
Betsfree.com.au Best Horse Of The Month
It is exciting to bring to you our BetsFree.Com.Au Horse of the Month. This page will be a chance to celebrate the horse that is making every post a winner and getting the heart racing for punters at the track and at home.
In most cases, our selected horse will be a local Aussie horse, but we will not be strictly limited to that basis and on rare occasions an international horse may force our hand due to exceptional performances on the race track. The criterion for selection is, quite simply, race winning performances that stand out from the pack.
Winx - Horse Of The Month March 2018
We have declared Winx to be our Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month for March 2018.
She left us no choice.
After skipping her scheduled start in late February, the Group 1 Futurity Stakes because of rider Hugh Bowman’s suspension, she returned for her autumn campaign to win the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes by seven lengths. That was a clear demonstration that she intended to pick up where she left off after she won her third consecutive Cox Plate at the end of October 2017.
She was tested a bit more in her second outing in March, but she eventually won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes by a comfortable-n0-photo-necessary 3/4ths of a length.
The most recent win boosted her prizemoney to over $16.5 million and it seems as though she is only improving with age.
Alongside all the ones beside her name in the record books for first place finishes, one very telling tribute to her greatness is the shrinking field of horses willing to jump against her. With the lone exception of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick in September of 2017, the last time she was in a field of more than 10 was in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes in February of 2017.
In the Chipping Norton Stakes, she would have faced a field of six competitors but for the decision by her trainer Chris Waller to run her stablemates Libran and Who Shot Thebarman.
We could engage in fanciful speculation and say that if she were to try the Melbourne Cup, Waller would have to supply half the field if Racing Victoria insisted on having 24 run.
Records continue to fall in her wake. Records of various descriptions.
She put on a display of closing speed in the George Ryder, covering the final 600 metres in 33.62 seconds, faster than any other horse at the meeting, including the sprinters. The same can be said of her last 200, 100 and 50 metres.
She now has 24 consecutive wins and it would seem that her next race, which we assume will be the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 14 at Randwick, would see her move into a tie with Black Caviar for most consecutive wins. Winx won that race last year.
Winx won her 17th Group 1 victory, taking her ahead of the legendary American horse John Henry.
It is difficult to say with certainty how much longer she will run on. Every time she takes to the track, a new high water mark is set for one thing or another.
When she is done, all that follow after her will suffer the inevitable comparisons.
This is the third time we have named Winx our Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month and hopefully, her name will crop up at least once more before she is done.
Someday, we may have to call her broodmare of the month, but hopefully, that day is some time off.
Written By - Horse Of The Month February 2018
The Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month for February 2018 is Written By.
A certain jockey by the name of Jordan Childs would doubtless agree with us, as he has ridden the two-year-old chestnut colt by Written Tycoon from Yau Chin four times, and has yet to put up any result other than first.
Written By first took to a heavy track in December of 2017, where he and Childs took first in a field of nine at Ladbrokes Park Hillside for a set weight plus penalty race called the Cameron Thurley’s Bucks Day Plate (1000 m).
Grahame Begg handled the preparations for Written By and the young colt came home first by a length over eight others, including two by Tony McEvoy, including Sanctimonious and Logan River, both of which jumped shorter than Written By. Based on starting price, Written By was the fourth favourite, with Seberate the only other in addition to the aforementioned two to go off at a lower price.
The next time out was a trial at Cranbourne Training Complex, where Written By came home well ahead of any others, with 3.5 lengths between him and Victory Express.
It was on to Caulfield from there for the February 10 meeting, where Written By was the best of 13 in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100 m). Punters had caught on by this time and Written By had a starting price of $6, behind the $4.80 Plague Stone and the $5.50 High Ratio.
Written By crowned the month of February with the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes, where by this time, the word was out and he went off as the $5.50 favourites and won easily by 2.5 lengths over Enbihaar, with Oohood another half-length back.
Winning the Blue Diamond Stakes boosted Written By’s prize haul to $1.14 million, so if he continues to develop and have some similar success as he matures, we could well be looking at the next Black Caviar, even if we could be accused of premature speculation.
When it comes to buying horses, there are bargains to be had. Written By’s dam Yau Chin cost only $3,000 for Neville Begg and Partners. Written By’s Sire Written Tycoon was a limited racer, making 11 starts, winning the Group 2 Todman Slipper Trial and running second in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes, both in 2005.
The bloodlines of Written By do not start to get impressive until five generations back, when names such as Canada’s Northern Dancer, U.S. Triple Crown winner Secretariat and Canada’s Nijinsky show up.
We are unclear as to what the future has in store for Written By, but as of now, he is clearly deserving of being called the BetsFree Horse of the Month for February 2018.
Sunlight - Horse Of The Month January 2018
We have chosen Sunlight for the betsfree.com.au Racehorse of the Month for January of 2018 for her win in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200 m.
There is not a lot of high quality racing during January, and the Magic Millions meeting stands out as an oasis in the desert. The race is restricted to thoroughbreds that have passed through the Magic Millions sale, where they typically hit the auction block as yearlings.
Sunlight won $1.205 million for beating Fullazaboot and Outback Barbie. She jumped as the $4 favourite, just narrowly ahead of Ef Troop at $4.20, but she had to work hard, as the race featured a lot of bumping and at least one obvious case of interference, along with some careless riding charges.
The two-year-old bay filly was sired by Zoustar, a lightly raced stallion that made nine starts with two Group 1s and one Group 2 wins to his credit. Those wins came in succession and were the Group 1 Golden Rose, The Group 2 roman Consul and the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. Zoustar might have won more, but from looking at his record, it seems he spent nearly as much time trialing as he did actually racing.
Sunlight’s dam, Solar Charged, won her debut race at Kensington in 2009, where she set a track record. She won the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes at Warwick Farm in 2010 and the Group 3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield in 2010. Her attempts at Group 1 races did not produce anything better than a fifth, so her early potential went unfulfilled.
Sunlight’s pedigree is primarily Australian, until a couple United States horses start to show up. As is true with many good horses, going back a few generations finds Canada’s Northern Dancer on both sides of the lines.
The question now becomes: Will Sunlight go on to surpass her sire and dam, or will she, like them, show exceptional early potential, and then fade?
She is among almost 400 horses that have gone as far as the second acceptance stage for the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200 m) in March at Rosehill. Her sire Zoustar has another progeny, Persuader, as a potential starter.
If she can win at Rosehill, she will join a select group of three, Capitalist (2016), Phelan Ready (2009) and Dance Hero (2004) that have filled a Magic Millions – Golden Slipper double.
It would appear that trainer Tony McEvoy has a winner in Sunlight, as she has won three of her four starts, along with two trial wins, and has never finished worse than third.
The bookies have her as the early favourite ($6.50) in the Golden Slipper futures markets.
Congratulations to Sunlight, the January 2018 betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month.
Picnic In The Park - Horse Of The Month December 2017
Choosing a bestsfree.co.au Horse of the Month for December is something akin to asking a five-year-old boy to choose between socks and underwear as a Boxing Day gift.
No matter which he picks, he loses.
Not much is happening on the racecourses of Australia during December. Oh, there is racing, to be sure, but all the prime Horse of the Month candidates are vacationing in the tropics, busy with holiday plans, or simply standing around be admired.
Therefore, since we are completely arbitrary with our Horse of the Month picks and in a little bit of a festive move, we are happy to announce that our selection for the betsfree.com.au horse of the month is Picnic In The Park.
Picnic In The Park is currently number three on the all-time list for consecutive wins by an Australian horse.
He was foaled in 1979 and would be 38 years old now, assuming he is still alive, which is an assumption of some measure.
What we learned in the course of studying Australian thoroughbred winning streaks was that his 21 were all in one season, and that he had the 22nd all but won, when leading by eight lengths, he broke down badly.
He won only $33,000 for that remarkable streak, so obviously, even allowing for the growth of prizemoney, Picnic In The Park was not winning Cox Plates and Melbourne Cups. He was busy racing on country tracks, such as Rockhampton, just to earn his keep.
He began in Sydney, but went north to do his racing in Queensland. He was trained by Malcolm Raabe and all his wins came in the 1984 – 85 season. We should mention that another horse, Top Ace equaled the feat, but maybe we will save him for next December.
Picnic In The Park has another remarkable accomplishment to his credit.
He was the last horse to win two races in one day at a TAB meeting in Queensland at Gold Coast.
Just imagine the hue and cry the animal rights activists would raise were Chris Waller to announce that Winx was going to run twice in one day, rather than twice in one month, as has been the pattern for the mighty mare.
So far as pedigree is concerned, Picnic In The Park had impressive lines. He was mostly of North American extraction, with plenty of that good Irish blood in him. He was by Great Britain’s Lunchtime from Australia’s Tod Lass. The sire of Tod Lass was Todman, the multiple Group 1 winner, but for the detail that when Todman was doing his racing, Group 1 races did not yet exist.
The next time you are asked to name one of the two horses that won 21 consecutive races in one season, feel free to use as your answer, Picnic In The Park, the betsfree.com.au December 2017 Horse of the Month.
The Quarterback - Horse Of The Month November 2017
As we are given to sentimentality, which accounts for our love of the stayers, we are not negative towards the sprinters, but the sentimentality in our Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month for November 2017 mainly arises from seeing an old campaigner retire after providing four full years’ worth of racing.
We have chosen The Quarterback.
Sired by Street Boss of the U.S.A. from Australia’s Soorena, The Quarterback is not in the same top class as are many of our Horse of the Month picks, but we admire the work he did in his 29 starts, where he won nine and placed eight times and won over $1.4 million.
The Quarterback had one shining moment in the sun, in March of 2016, when he won the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200 m) at Flemington from Black Heart Bart and Chautauqua, two formidable sprinters by any standard.
The Quarterback jumped at $21 in that race and save for Charmed Harmony ($81), he seemed to be considered as an also-ran for the race, as six of the other runners in the field of nine, including Chautauqua ($2.45) and Japonisme ($4) were considered better wagers.
There comes a time when it is obvious that a horse has run his course. The Quarterback last won in October of 2016, again at Flemington when he and jockey Matthew Allen took out the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200 m).
Based on his win in the Newmarket and good runs in several other races ahead of the Gilgai Stakes, he jumped third favourite ($6.50) in the field of nine, trailing Faatinah ($2.90) and Under The Louvre ($3.70). He beat horses steered by Damien Oliver, Damian Lane, James McDonald and Brenton Avdulla.
It was his last four races that prompted trainer Robbie Griffiths and his connections to stop The Quarterback from running on. Last place finishes in his last two races were as clear an indication as was necessary, but further impetus was provided by exercise-induced pulmonary haemorrhage.
Having North American blood in his lineage, we found Canada’s Northern Dancer four generations back and further, something we expect of good racehorses from that side of the world. There were also some ties to Nearctic, another great champion from Canada, as well as a couple of the better racehorses produced by the U.S.
This is the time of year when we tend to indulge our nostalgia, combined with our love of thoroughbreds.
Plus, we have already given the Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month accolade more than once, so Sydney’s super mare will have to be content with her second Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year award.
Congratulations to The Quarterback, our Betsfree.com.au Horse of the Month for November 2017.