Kilroe Mile – Grade I (P6)
SA Race #9 1m Turf Graded Stake
Purse $400.000 For Four Year Olds And Upward.
1 Lunar Blaze John Henry Gaffalione
Now a seven year old this one has been a regular in the top turf races for some time and of course won this race last year after a terrific win in the Pegasus World Cup. He hasnt won since then however and whilst that would usually mean an older horse is on the decline its harder to tell at HRP as the racing is so even and competitive. His works are as good as ever and he has looked sprightly enough on the gallops so once again we will just have to wait and see. A new jockey and a draw that with some help from the race engine could be an advantage i wouldnt be writing him off as a has been just yet.
2 Pure Gifts Mb Stables Maldonado
Not as accomplished as some in the stable he spent his entire career on dirt but has decided that this year he would like to be a turfer. The difference between turf and dirt among the top few percent of routers seems to be much less than real life so that shouldnt be a concern especially when he took the grade two San Gabriel in his first ever race on the grass. He went too fast too early in the Pegasus World Cup Turf last time and drops back to a better trip for him so we can forget that run. Like so many from teh stable he gets the perfect draw and the top turf jockey in the game so whilst i wouldnt put him in front on form the odds are certainly stacked on his side.
3 Edging In Nakamura Stables Gryder A T
Dead heated with Pure Gifts in the San Gabriel and the two are drawn well again today so there shouldnt be much between them. Its quite an intriguing match between them actually as Nakamura Stable, the much smaller of the two, has had a huge start to the season and Mb Stables is no stranger to mopping up these big races. It really is a race within a race and one to savor.
4 Sunlander Estero Farms Tunon M
A lightly raced four year old and one with some very good efforts to his name. His 1.34 flat work suggests he will be very competitive but looking at his racing he may find this mile a bit sharp, especially if the pace is a bit average. Definitely one to put in the mix with a good draw and a jockey that has looked pretty effective so far this season.
5 Gallant Man TwinTowersRacing Velazquez J
With only eleven starts this six year old is definitely in the lightly raced bracket and whilst he hasnt got the list of success some of these have he has recorded some good speed figures recently. He has spent most of his time sprinting but as is the case at HRP he seems just as happy over longer trips as demonstrated when fourth in the Knickerbocker Handicap. On the face of it he has to improve again and will need a few of the others to have a bad day but if that happens he is certainly good enough to get in the finish.
6 The Grandmaster John Henry Bejarano R
In typical HRP style here we have a top sprinter that worked a mile as fast as the best routers so finds himself in only his third ever route race. Twice a grade one winner over six furlongs he has the dubious record of dead heating for fifth, beaten one length in two consecutive BC Sprints. An amazing coincidence and whilst he is certainly better known as a sprinter he has won at grade two level over the mile so this is by no means a throw it in and hope sort of entry. I must admit i rather like his chances here especially after that mile work and if there was only one i had to bet on it would probably be him.
7 Call Me Spanish Maxmillion Farm Franco G
His record of five wins from twenty six starts pretty much sums him up really. A real hit or miss type we could either see the horse that won the Hill prince and was a close second in the Manhattan or the horse that was beaten nine lengths in the Sword Dancer. His works follow a similar pattern so it really is hard to predict how he will go today.
8 Butter Ball Chili King Stables Leparoux J
Bought from Aml Racing for just $125 that may prove a shrewd investment if this five year old takes this race today. His works are strong so its not beyond possibilities but as yet he hasnt shown the sort of form that could beat the best of these. Having said that in his first start this year he dead heated in a blanket finish in the Tropical Turf Stakes in a sub 1.33 mile time and that isnt far off being good enough to be in at the end of this race.
9 Argead Aml Racing Gutierrez Mario
This horse was put up for sale by the trainer but failed to attract a good enough bid so he takes his chance here in an effort to up his value. The winner of the HOL Derby last year he got a shocker of a draw on seasonal debut and never got into the Pegasus World Cup. Going on his 1.34 flat mile work he is a lot better than that run but once again he gets the visitors draw ramming home one of the trainers main points when they talked about hanging up their horse shoes. A win would be sweet for the owner but he will need a few favors from the race engine.
10 Charleys Glance Maxmillion Farm Beschizza
Another in and out performer from the trainer his chances are severely affected by this wide draw but the turf king has performed some remarkable wins from bad draws and outsiders in this type of race so i wouldnt be writing him off. The winner of the Mathis Brothers Mile at the end of last year he was pretty ordinary on seasonal debut in overnight company so purely on that fact i would only give him a chance based on his works which have been pretty sharp since that debut run.
There is no obvious choice here but thats the case in 90% of the races i cover. On that basis i am going for Grandmaster to step up to the mile with maybe Argead getting some luck from the draw chasing him home.