Welcome to the running of the Emerald Shoe, a cup won by many fine horses in past seasons and this field may well rank as one of the best for depth of talent.
Lets break it down to who can win;
Secret Aurora, Not Too Soon or Big Bad Conspiracy and maybe rafindale’s slick runner Dante’s Top Eight – one could make a case for almost all of them.
I suppose it comes down to how the race will be run and the impact the stalkers may have – if given the right runs, they may flash past the competitives in the field. Going off recent cups, Secret Aurora is the one to beat – he has been very impressive and if I had to stick my neck out and tip against him, the stalker Big Bad Conspiracy looks the main danger. For those who bet, good luck, we should see great value in the market for this final.
RECAP: ROUNDING OUT THE TOP 5
|1||7||Big Bad Conspiracy||Burgersfortheboyz||Ossie Wenstrand||1:17.397|
|2||4||Dante’s Top Eight||rafindale||Mira Slainte||1:17.436|
|3||2||Secret Aurora||Dixon Racing||Lorna Osaki||1:17.490|
|4||5||Not Too Soon||Karaka Breeders||Kevin Akau||1:17.527|
|5||8||Kind Of Square||Get Square Lodge||Malena Abdulaziz||1:17.773|
|5yo mare from Woogle Wood, Career earnings: $2,315,610
Overall rating: Excellent(62) – Competitive
Stable comments: – “A lovely filly but a bit below many of the others in terms of OR; so while she’ll make a solid C1 league horse in future seasons, she is work in progress. Really I’m only running because she has been spelled, and there is nothing else for her to go for. Minor place chance at best, behind Ped’s beast in all probability.”
Crackers comments: Making Friends’ early seasons were spent in the apprentice league with mixed results – but she still has 8 wins from 19 starts. She ran her first cup in last season’s Epona and ran a creditable 6th, right among the pack. Here she is better drawn and running quality times. In the mix for a top 3 no doubt.
|5yo stallion from Dixon Racing, Career earnings: $2,979,311
Overall rating: Grand(66) – Competitive
Stable comments: – “This season’s Emerald Cup has a very open look about it, there are several top horses with chances in the race. Secret Aurora came out of his heat in excellent condition and if the race pace suits him, should be one of the main challengers.
The way the race is run could very well determine the outcome – two of the main contenders, Not Too Soon and Big Bad Conspiracy being stalkers, could easily mow down the field if their jockeys can get them placed right. Rafindale’s Dante’s Top Eight caught the eye in the heats and could well be the one to beat.”
Crackers comments: Secret Aurora is clearly one of the most impressive 5 year olds in recent times over short distances. He does a lot right and has produced fine results in his cup campaigns to date, including last season’s Epona cup which broke a run of 2nd places. The Emerald looks very strong on quality, and going in, Secret Aurora looks like having the tag of favorite, but one slip up and he could be swamped – we will know on Saturday.
|5yo stallion from Dawg’s Ranch, Career earnings: $437,000
Overall rating: Excellent(61) – Mud-lark
Stable comments: – “Boy this field is tightly packed and gonna be a great race to watch,with 3 stalkers in field nothing is certain 🙂 . No doubt Secret Aurora is favorite but it’s gonna be hard for him to defend against a tough crowd. Not confident about my chances here, trying to grab some cash & prestige have faith in my jockey (Maybe a win for me if everything comes together…hehe)”
Crackers comments: This young stallion is very lightly raced having just the 4 starts and the ground is not in his liking. The task ahead is a big one, the trainer knows it but he knows he has a nice horse to go forward with, so a solid showing can be expected even against the odds.
|5yo stallion from rafindale, Career earnings: $943,207
Overall rating: Excellent(63) – Competitive
Stable comments: – “
Crackers comments: This well bred son of Sharpnwise and Venus Starz was the eye catcher in the heats – he just powered home super impressively. His previous cup final was not pretty – a 9th in the Epona and a rare blemish for this talented runner. That said, all signs in recent starts say he can do some damage here and is a definite threat to the major players – my value runner in this final.
5. Not Too Soon
|5yo stallion from Karaka Breeders, Career earnings: $2,521,477
Overall rating: Grand(67) – Stalker
Stable comments: – “Think mine will run in the placing, but Secret Aurora’s the one to beat. It did win the heat strongly. The final is 1300m and shorter than both heats so the extra pace will help mine running on hopefully.”
Crackers comments: Not Too Soon has been known to leave his competition with windburn. From the early age cup finals he has 2 world cups to his credit. Things change, that great burst has not been seen as often and seems others may have his measure. The question is, can Not Too Soon recapture that old form?
|5yo stallion from RCS Locos, Career earnings: $1,216,447
Overall rating: Excellent(61) – Competitive
Stable comments: – “Valhalla is coming along nicely but is someway short of the top horses in his age group. For me Secret Aurora is the one to beat. If we finish in the top 5 I’ll be pleased”
Crackers comments: The RCS Locos Stable is sending out runner after runner and they have been performing on the big stage with a recent world cup win. Valhalla no different to other RCS Locos runners who take time to come to hand, but when they do, are often in the frame. This young stallion out of Sleipner truly has ability and can certainly finish in the top 5 if previous form runs true.
|5yo stallion from Burgersfortheboyz, Career earnings: $1,350,000
Overall rating: Excellent(63) – Stalker
Stable comments: – “This final is a cracker of a race with some of Track King’s hottest stables. Whoever wins this race deserves to take a bow. Big Bad Conspiracy will take a seat midfield and smoke his pipe waiting for that final sprint. If he can get within reach of the leaders come the last furlong he will be all over them like mustard on a hotdog.
Crackers comments: A very impressive stable, that for time played, has done very well. This barn is not short on quality runners on the up and among them is Big Bad Conspiracy. This son of Damascus has done the age cups and been solid in all to date with his best being a 3rd in the Amethyst – it clearly has ability. Big Bad Conspiracy showed great speed in his heat and really spaced them, so being a stalker he is definitely in the conversation when talking who can win.
|5yo stallion from Get Square Lodge, Career earnings: $927,061
Overall rating: Excellent(61) – Stalker
Stable comments: – “Tough race this one, all runners deserve their spot in the field. I think rafindale horse..Dante’s Top Eight can win but don’t be surprised if Not Too Soon makes it very interesting..a dart can be thrown at the rest as many will be thereabouts at the business end. Unfortunately my bloke, Kind Of Square, may struggle but it is all a good learning experience for both of us.”
Crackers comments: “Tough race” Well said, real tough, all runners in the mix and Kind Of Square is yet another stalker. They are tricky to run and to date this stallion has been fair in cups starts. He will clearly need to improve to be in the mix for a top 5, but this race could be tight and could be to this stalker’s advantage.
|5yo mare from BODRUMLUCK, Career earnings: $1,225,900
Overall rating: Grand(66) – Natural champion
Stable comments: – “My first world cup win came on this race last season. Will Gs Tanju Colak emulate her older stable mates success? Her SP and OR says she may. I am not sure whether she will from this draw. We have high hopes.”
Crackers comments: BODRUMLUCK has an eye for a good horse and is as patient as they come. He has been building on Gs Tanju Colak and has great experience for a 5 year old. Over the 8 starts, he’s always among the leading lights so will again contend here. A Natural Champion and a winner of her heat that could just grind the competition into submission.
10. Pharoah Han
|5yo stallion from Stag Creek Stud, Career earnings: $1,166,780
Overall rating: Excellent(60) – Natural champion
Stable comments: – ”
|5yo stallion from YellonkY, Career earnings: $2,342,430
Overall rating: Excellent(62) – Fast finisher
Stable comments: – “We have that sentence in Poland – who doesn’t risk, doesn’t drink champagne. So I risk 🙂 “
1.Big Bad Conspiracy
2. Secret Aurora
3. Dante’s Top Eight