The Azeri – Grade II
1 1/16m Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $350.000 For Fillies And Mares Four Years Old And Upward.
Whilst the A League went to the Santa Margerita Stakes this race features the second string of champion older fillies. Now thats a statement that looks true on the face of it but when you look at some of these you realise just how similar even the top horses are here at HRP.
1 Threat, trained by D J C Racing Stables
Second in the BC Juvenile Fillies at two she looked set for a huge season as a three year old but struggled to repeat her success as a two year old. She won a couple fo races in the mid summer and then took her best win of the season in her last race of the year when taking the Falls City Handicap. Despite those three wins she was a dissapointing three year old and one had to think that she had failed to improve from two to three. The question is now has she improved as a four year old and aftre a seasonal debut where she made ground into fifth in the Fritchie Stakes over a trip too short the question remains unanswered. She is working well enough and has a good draw to work with so now may be the time she has to prove herself outside of the juvenile ranks.
2 Dirty Deeds, trained by Aer Stables
Looks the outsnading filly in the race and gets all favours with the draw today. She battled the best last year and was very nearly the best of her sex but her stakes winning journey started in 2016 when she took the Summer Oaks and the CCA Oaks before a great run to dead heat in the Cotillion. She ran poorly in the BC Distaff that year but came out as a four year old and faired pretty well against the three year olds. Winning the grade one La Troienne and the Beldame she ran teh race of her life in the BC Distaff running from gate 13 and very nearly making all teh running. She ended up a game fourth just a length off the winner in that race and after a little win at SUN to end the year she wasnt given much time off as she came out just a month later for her seasonal debut in the HOU Ladies Classic. Splitting Viking Vania and Whispering Nurse in finishing second she put herself right in the picture for top female of 2018 at this early stage and on that form should be good enough to win this race.
3 Eden, trained by Canadian Racing
Well here we have a fly in the ointment. This seven race wnner took a win at the end of last year at the free track a little bewildering considering she had won at WO during the summer and then to compound the confusion took another free track win on her seasonal debut. Whatever the reasons for those runs at the lowest level she is far far better than that and shouldnt be judged on those runs alone. Working as fast as anything in the field and a winner of 7 from 15 she could be a real surprise in this race if those free track runs havent dummed her down too much.
4 Musical Treat, trained by Mb Stables
This filly looks the main threat to Dirty Deeds having taken the SUN Oaks and the grade one Alabama last season. Running from a wide gate in the BC Distaff she was a couple of lengths behind Dirty Deeds and then a length behind her on seasonal debut in the HOU Ladies Classic so whilst she isnt far behind she still has to find a bit to turn the tables.
5 Osmium, trained by D J C Racing Stables
This is another that has to be considered a danger especially after her seasonal debut win over Wicked Heat in the La Canada Stakes. She was pretty good as a three year old winning the grade three Turn Back The Alarm Handicap and finishing a close third in The Comely but one felt she was just below the best last year. Her presence here gives us a good line to teh weekends other big fillies and mares race through Wicked Heat so we should be able to make an assessment of the winner of this race against the winner of the Santa Margerita
6 Simply Great, trained by TwinTowersRacing
Bought for just $30.000 and a winner of just three from 16 she may find it difficult to get into this race especially from an outside draw. The stable is always competitive though this may be a little too much for the improving filly.