The Skip Away – Grade III
1 1/8 Mile Dirt Stake Purse $100.000 Open 4 Year Olds And Up.
This race answered some very important questions for me and will set up a season where the next question wont get answered until about April. Tekkers took this out not because he had the best form, far from it, not because he had the best draw, again far from it, he won this race because of a lightning work and some stupendous improvement. But apart from that which is pretty unique to HRP what else did we learn? Well this was a three year old just turning four and getting no weight allowance in a stakes race and winning, that was a pretty rare occurence last year. What else? Well drawn nine he got the outside speed push, and guess what….he stayed in front, again a pretty rare occurance last year. So the assumption we can make and it will take a few more races to confirm this is that the four year olds may continue to dominate as they did last year as three year olds and that the wide draw may not be such a kiss of death as it was last season. Pretty bold statements but its important to try and catch these trends early to take full advantage of them.
So if those statements are true we will wait until April to see if the new crop of three year olds can do what last years crop did or we will find out that last season three’s were exceptional and the fours will dominate.
1st Tekkers, trained by Fractious
This is one of those horses that may have been called a morning glory as he has always been a very strong worker but his racecourse performance has never lived up to it. Well those strong works got even stronger on the 2nd January and it seems he may have found his mojo because he totally dominated this race today, making all and winning unchallenged. How good is he? Well only time will tell us that but this is a big start to the season and i am sure his trainer is pretty excited about the future.
2nd Skeleton Balle, trained by Oval Express Farms
This old warrior ran a nice race staying on from a way back to take second but he never looked like getting close to this winner. This was another good effort but if he cant beat a four year old at levels now then i doubt he will do it later in the season so he may have to go back to PM to find another win.
3rd Swept Twice, trained by Gdp Inc
Kept on nicely for third but never really looked like doing any better. This was a good run and as a fairly lightly raced sort he is still open to improvement.
4th Zombie Tomb Raider, trained by Night Rider Stables
Stalked the leader but fell away when the whips came out. Like Skeleton Balle he may struggle to find a stakes race this year as it looks like the four year olds have trained on pretty well and when the three year olds come into these races i feel horses like these will be back in claimers.