Who Will Have Sweet End to the Year?

The Sugar Swirl – Grade III
GP Race #8 6f Dirt Graded Stake
Purse $100.000 For Fillies And Mares Three Years Old And Upward.

Well as we draw to an end of another year at HRP it is time to look forward to 2022. It has been an odd year in more ways than one with the real life roller coaster of covid and the changes at HRP which have seen a full 180 degree flip in many of the things we had got used to. We started the year with HRP’s first ever Triple Crown where a horse was running in the third leg with a chance of winning the bonus. It was a wonderful time to be part of the HRP community and whilst it was all soured a bit by doubt about the bonus being paid and a distinct lack of wider interest it certainly captured our imaginations for a few months. Of course we had the engine change which saw closer’s slowed down resulting in far more front runners and stalkers winning. Horses were coming out of the gate like a line for Noah’s Ark and it took a while for the community to accept that the new race engine was looking to have a race won and lost at the start as well as at the end of the race. Then of course there was probably the most welcome change which was seeing the older horses last past May and carry their form all the way through to the BC. I guess 2022 will tell us whether this was down to a bad batch of code or somehow the effect of weight had been adjusted along with the race engine making the weight for age that had been so influential in the past less of an issue in the results.

So onto my last write up of the year which see’s a decent field of fillies and mares trying to secure a Christmas bonus for their trainers. There is no Mb Stables here but the pretender to the crown Smokey Stover is represented and they get the inside draw, here is how they line up for the Sugar Swirl;

1     Grand Cyclone       Smokey Stover      Bravo J

When this mare won her maiden back in 2019 she sold for $20, 15 races later and she sold for $1250 and then two races after that and after a run in the BC she sold for $500. It is somewhat reflective of the game that a horse that has generated $1800 in sales has only won $840 and one feels that whilst she is a very nice mare her value is more hopeful of a big career in the paddocks than her ever repaying the massive investments. As a five year old that career is not far away but she gets a great chance to go out in style with the ace draw here off the back of strong works. She ran a really solid race in the BC running from a horrible draw and doing well to end up sixth beaten just two lengths. Her on pace running style would be ideally suited to this draw and she really is the one to beat.

2       Durr         Our Athletes           Leparoux J R

The three year olds have been competitive but not dominant this year so this fillies two recent efforts have been pretty good all things considered. She gets a great draw to stalk the lead today but she faces a couple of very good ones here and er best result may be a place finish.

3         Pirate Princess        Angelos Stable         Gonzalez El

Her neck second in the Chillingworth Stakes saw her finish in front of Durr and being drawn next to each other again she should be able to confirm those placings with her rival. It has taken her a while to get her start sorted out this year as she had been getting too far back early but her last two runs look to have sorted that and i expect her to be in group two just behind the leaders and stalkers. Another that may struggle with the best but should be competitive for place money.

4        Ms Joyce      RNP Stables       Lopez P

Her last four races have all been on the turf so it is hard to weigh up her best form especially as one of those resulted in a good win in the Maddy Stakes. Hrp doesn’t seem to have the same separation in surfaces as real life however and if you go back to her strong third in the grade one Test then it is obvious she can run on this surface just as well. It is hard to settle on where she sits in this field but there is clearly signs of ability and she may end up as a big danger.

5      Chrystal Rose       Night Rider Stables        Albarado R J

a consistent mare she has yet to really break through at this sort of level but has shown some improvement in her last two and may be ready to step up. She ran a solid race to be second in the Open Mind from an outside draw so she is not out of this but it is hard to see her beating the number one choice.

6      Silk Of Serena       Chubby Racing        Zayas E J

In past seasons a three year old that had won five of her last six at lower levels would have been a show in for a race like this but this year things have been different and she will have to work hard if she is going to make in six from her last seven and four in a row. the trainer as been doing well this year as has this filly having moved from a $5 maiden claimer in June to a very promising type who deserves a shot at a race like this. A rags to riches story she may be but you can’t beat winning form.

7     Gold Futures        TwinTowersRacing       Tunon M

this mare is from a stable that doesn’t hide when it comes to challenging their horses and she has stood up this year with some good efforts. there was plenty to like about her start to the year as she took out the Santa Margarita early on and whilst that was over nine furlongs we all know that routers at HRP sprint better than their real life counterparts and she has been a close third in a grade two over a sprint trip since then. The wide draw will be challenging but i see her as one of the better chances of beating grand Cyclone.

8      Smoke Rising      Rampage Stable       Saez L

this filly has already proved herself against older horses by winning the Dream Supreme last time with Durr safely behind. That effort suggests she may be the best of the three year olds but being drawn wide wont help her chances as she as been blessed with very nice draws in all of her recent efforts. If the race engine is kind and she doesn’t end up being shot to the back or front but settles just behind then she will be right there at the end.

9      Power Slide         Power Racing          Smith M E

There is lots to like about this filly who has only raced three times and won two of them including a stakes race last time out. she may be the one with the brightest future but she has been placed in the car park and that will be tough for a filly with so little experience. Her works suggest she is very good, her efforts so far suggest she is very good and i guess today we will find out just how good she is.


Well in my mind i see Grand Cyclone starting fast, hugging the rail being a length or two clear in the stretch and holding on by a head but that may be more because we have seen that sort of race played out so much this year that it has become lodged in my head. She is certainly the one to beat here and the obvious choice but there will be plenty of runners here waiting to challenge her. It is hard to settle on one although the two fillies drawn widest may be the biggest dangers with some race engine luck.

Categories: Grade III, STAKES ARTICLES

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