Thirty-five years ago, then jockey Mark de Montfort and prominent owner Peter Horwitz won a Doncaster together with 100/1 shot Row Of Waves, who is still one of the longest-priced winners of the famous Randwick mile.
The stakes will be a lot lower when they chase a first win with the lightly raced Kippax, who will take a power of beating in the John Ramsey Racing Class 1 & Maiden Plate (2200m).
Kippax, who races in the same colours as Horwitz’s past champions Sir Dapper, Charge Forward, Livistona Lane and Juggler, has improved after each of his six runs, which include his past two at Newcastle when he was strong late.
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“He got held up at the top of the straight and we had a bumping duel with the horse that won again at Newcastle on Saturday, Alakhanan, and they both hit the line as good as one another,’’ de Montfort said.
“He is still a bit new. I would rather it be 1900m but otherwise it is a good race for him. He is weighted well and hopefully the track doesn’t get too wet for him.”
Kippax is well-equipped on pedigree to see out 2200m and more.
The three-year-old is a son of Tavistock, whose offspring include the Derby winners Werther, Tavago and Tarzino as well as Chris Waller’s 2020 SA Oaks winner Toffee Tongue.
Kippax’s dam Millennium Star is also a daughter of the great Octagonal, who won the AJC Derby nine years after de Montfort rode $1.50 favourite Myocard to victory in the 1987 classic.
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KIPPAX (Race 1, No.10)
Tavistock gelding out of an Octagonal mare who was very strong at the end of the 1850m at Newcastle last start. Should run the 2200m and is progressive.
LAND AHOY (Race 3, No.12)
Dundeel filly bred to win a classic and trained by the right man for that in John Sargent. Her trials have signalled talent and she has a bright future.
MUSCADELLE (Race 2, No.12)
Stablemate of the exciting Strawb, this first starter has trialled like she will win plenty of races as she develops.
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Race 5: 1, 2
Race 6: 4, 5
Race 7: 2, 10
Race 8: 3, 4, 6, 11
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
JEFF PENZA heads to Australia’s horse capital today with a fantastic book; none better than Land Ahoy for ‘Sarge’.
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SHAYNE O’CASS’S TOP PICKS
GODFREY PARK (Race 1, No.2)
Hasn’t run too badly in his two starts. The last one suggested he is on an upward spiral. Faces fairly moderate line-up here.
MATTER OF FACTOR (Race 3, No.2)
Very consistent filly who gets in well with the 3kg ‘off’ and will jump from the perfect gate. Getting close to winning again.
Joining Kippax on the float from Warwick Farm is the sturdy five-year-old Eden Vale, who has already clocked up 52 races, winning four of them and running a place 12 times.
The son of Gooree and Gai Waterhouse’s Up And Coming Stakes winner Dreamscape will be ridden by Rachael Murray for the 15th time when he starts in the Cavanough Racing Handicap (1300m).
Eden Vale came from the clouds to finish third at Newcastle two runs ago at the Row Of Waves odds of $101.
“He is a bit highly rated in the country and too lowly rated at the provincials,’’ de Montfort said.
“He’s got two different ratings and they are so far apart. He can’t get runs at the provincials so I have to take him up there.
“He quite likes soft tracks and I know he’s got a lot of weight but the majority of the runners all have within 2.5kg of each other.”
Eden Vale doesn’t share Kippax’s posh family heritage but that hasn’t stopped him from amassing $132,335 in earnings.
“The owner couldn’t get $500 for him as a yearling,’’ de Montfort said. “He’s a home-bred country horse and the owner wanted to offload him but no one wanted him so he thought he may as well race him himself.
“He’s quite chuffed that he’s won a few races. He’s turned into a handy country horse who will hopefully be around for a while.’’
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Land Ahoy is raced by the same person (Sir Owen Glenn) and trained by the same person (John Sargent) as Gust Of Wind, who had her first start, and won, at Scone. She is also the last horse to ever beat Winx. Land Ahoy might win a classic one day. She is bred too; her fourth dam is the legendary Allez France. Surf will only get better, Soho Peggy can figure fresh and Hilarious could sneak a place.
Bet: Land Ahoy win.
The Deel Is Dun is a Jason Deamer-trained mare who posted her third win in a Cessnock Benchmark 58 over 1570m on June 2. She has placed five times in 16 starts and bar tempo and luck issues might have won a few more. Sadler’s Rest gets back but has quite a strong finish. Valatia has won eight races, half of them at Scone. Consider.
Bet: The Deel Is Dun each-way; Valatia place.
Lightly raced Halcyon House has had four starts for a win and three placings. That probably should read two wins and two placings given the son of Husson went within a whisker of winning a 900m race here on debut on January 30. Fitter for the first-up third here 13 days ago. Drawn one, too. Atkinson is a two-year-old son of Spill The Beans who kicked off career with a length win over 803m at Coffs on May 22.
Bet: Halcyon House win.
Eiger resumes in today’s Cavanough Racing Handicap, as in Brett, the man who trains him. Eiger is pretty talented and on the up. He won his first couple and has raced at home at Scone just the once, finishing second to the handy Powertrain. Schappose performs rather well first-up. Bengalla Bay will be prominent for a long way.
Bet: Eiger win; box trifecta 3, 4, 5, 6.
Brett Cavanough can win this one as well with Star Boy’s half-brother Boom Gate. This son of Casino Prince gets back and finds his feet then can unload down the middle and over the top of them, tempo and luck permitting. Has a good record of two wins and four thirds from his nine starts. Peter and Paul Snowden-trained filly Sybella was only beaten two lengths at Newcastle last start. Could peak here.
Bet: Boom Gate each-way.
Royal Banquet is a stablemate of the exciting mare Strawb, who was unbelievable (again) at Newcastle on Saturday. Royal Banquet is a son of Snitzel out of Bjorn Baker’s VRC Sires’ winner Twilight Royal. Only had two runs for a win and third. Smashing trial win leading into this. Kim Waugh’s Trojan Angel was well backed and got the job done (impressively) when winning on debut at Taree. Respect. Daltoro bolted in at Cessnock 20 days ago.
Bet: Royal Banquet win.
Music Miss is a Kody Nestor-trained mare who arguably could have won two of her three runs this campaign after returning from a long absence. Whatever the case, she is clearly racing better than ever and is surely nearing a peak performance. Go well here. All Hollywood has a good record of two wins and five placings from her 10 starts. Maybe a little bit costly but she always appeals. Miss Hugo A Gogo has talent but needs to lift if she’s going to beat the other two.
Bet: Music Miss win; quinella 3, 6; exacta 6 to beat 3.
Wilburglen is a son of the Aga Khan’s Arc winner Dalakhani and bolted in at his first run for Kody Nestor in a Wellington maiden over 1400m on June 4. The grey son of a grey was $6.50 into $4.20, which would indicate that he’s loving life at Dubbo now. Speaking of Dubbo, Clint Lundholm has Gorn Hoff in the right race here and he’s booked the jockey who rides him best, Greg Ryan. Ben Shoof is another of the last-start winners, while Northern Conqueror has claims.
Bet: Wilburglen each-way; box trifecta 2, 4, 5, 8.
KODY Nestor is banking on a drop in grade this afternoon to help Music Miss break through for a well-deserved victory and keep Wilburglen in winning form.
Music Miss is closing in on a fourth win after running a place in two of her three starts back from a long spell, while Wilburglen will be shooting for his second win.
“These horses are well suited at this meeting,” Nestor said. “It’s probably a bit of an easier grade compared to some of the races they have been tackling.’’
Music Miss last won at Dubbo in December, 2018, but after only two more runs was forced to the paddock for more than a year.
She resumed with a strong second behind Bee Double Bee at Coonabarabran on April 18 before finishing down the track at Wellington.
Last start, the daughter of Your Song came from a long way back to finish third behind Original Prankster when beaten less than a length
“She has been knocking on the door,” Nestor said. “I thought her run at Wellington had plenty of merit in it.
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“She just got back out of her ground at Wellington, which is a tight, turning track. Warren is a big, roomy track, which will suit her.
“Before that, she came out of that race at Dubbo with a little issue so I was forgiving on the run. All Hollywood won that race and Music Miss beat her home last start.
“She gets in well at the weights. The benchmark 58s around this area are quite even and with her rating she gets in quite well with 55.5kg.
“She has a soft draw and I think she will prove pretty hard to beat.”
Wilburglen made his debut for Nestor on June 4 at Wellington, where he recorded an impressive win by more than three lengths over Whitefields and Bon Ruby.
“It wasn’t a strong maiden but he won it in good fashion,” Nestor said.
“In my mind, he has taken a fair bit of benefit out of the run being he was first-up.
“If he is going to go on from here, he has to be very competitive in this race this afternoon.”