Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Studebaker or Elvis?

In the past 20 years, 4 horses have won the Turnbull-Cox Plate double. And these have been Super horses, Makybe Diva, Northerly, Phantom Agent and Better Loosen Up.

In that same time period, 4 horses have won the Turnbull-Caulfield Cup double. Northerly (who won the Cox-Caulfield and Turnbull in the same year), Elvestroem, Sky Heights and Lets Elope.

Turnbull-Melbourne Cup winners? Well, that's even less frequent: Makybe Diva in 2005 and Let's Elope in 1991.

So should we throw the form from the Turnbull away or not? Does Littorio have a spring that follows the illustrious path of a Elvestroem, or are we looking at a career highlight, Sphenophyta style?

Two reasons for optimism: 1) Littorio has put together a body of work this spring that has looked fantastic as a whole. A big win yesterday and two fast finishing runs over unsuitable trips prior to this. 2) Has a stayers pedigree - whilst he has looked a non-winner in the past, he always looked a good older horse - so this is no fluke spring.

The reason for being a little pessimistic? We could be looking at a true vintage crop (pardon the pun) of stayers this year. Even in the absence of Tuesday Joy, there were four runs behind Littorio that you have to take a longer look at:

2) Master O'Reilly: Long Run. A Sustained 300 meter run from the turn. Very, Very strong.

3) Zipping: Took a while to respond to being shaken up. Tried to follow Master O'Reilly, but couldn't respond. The good news was that his run had a lot more pace to it than that of Master O, with a fitness edge, this could be the one.

4) Efficient: A very nice run. 2000 is far too short. 2400 will be still too short, but if he runs and there is pace??

5) Guillotine: Ran on pace for fitness? Stuck on better than the more fancied types. Did almost everything wrong, pulled for the first 1000 metres, couldn't find a run when he tried to shake it up. Think that with a gear change and some average luck, he could have been winning this.

There you have it. Too much ink has been devoted to the poor run of the Hussler, but you can add Maldivian to that pile. This years Turnbull was a showcase for the countries best stayers, and you have to think that it will provide a better lot of form than Turnbulls past.

So there are five stayers that I am working around over the spring.

1 comment:

Professor Chaos said...

Efficient not nominated for the Caulfield cup. Dang.
Also, to clarify - I think that as Zipping improves his fitness, he has a lot better turn of foot than Master O.