The stats that matter for Foxbridge success

AIDAN RODLEY
Last updated 07:38 17/08/2012
FOXBRIDGE PLATE SPEED MAP – HOW WE EXPECT THEM TO SETTLE

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A study of the past six Foxbridge Plates shows the winner needs to be a gelding, at least six years old, with the ability to settle in the first four in running.

Bulginbaah and Jacowils, both six when they won in 2006 and 2008 respectively, were the youngest winners over that period, while 2007 winner Baltaine came from the furthest back in running after he settled in fourth position in a field of nine.

Each of the last four winners have stalked the speed in second place before outsprinting their rivals in the closing stages.

On those guidelines, last year’s winner Fritzy Boy and Sandblaster are the two that best fit the bill, with five-year-old Sweet Suitor maybe still one year away.

Of course, races don’t follow a strict set of rules.

It could well be Sweet Suitor’s time and even the presence of James McDonald as eight-year-old Sandblaster’s rider can’t get me excited about his chances.

My tip pick in the race is Xanadu, a high-class mare with much to recommend her as the horse to beat in tomorrow’s feature.

She has proven herself in Gr I company with her New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes placing at Te Aroha in April. She is unbeaten fresh. She handles a rain-affected track.

And against her there are few negatives.

However, if Xanadu is to win the Foxbridge Plate, she’s going to need to turn the recent race history on its ear.

She’s a four-year-old mare, black marks next to her name on age and sex criteria.

And she’s likely to settle off the pace, despite getting a favourable barrier one draw.

Last year’s placegetters Fleur de Lune and Smoulder were both four-year-old mares, but not even the great Seachange could win the race when she was four, having to settle for third behind Bulginbaah and Don’t Ya Lovett in 2006.

Fritzy Boy is now eight and comes into the race off an interrupted preparation because of a niggling leg injury.

But he has a terrific record fresh-up and on rain-affected tracks and he could well be the third multiple winner of the Foxbridge Plate in the past 12 years after The Message in 2000-1 and Bulginbaah in 2006, 2009 and 2010.

 

A study: the past six Foxbridge Plates

2011 Fritzy Boy, 7yo gelding, settled second in running

2010 Bulginbaah, 10yo gelding, settled in second

2009 Bulginbaah, 9yo gelding, settled in second

2008 Jacowils, 6yo gelding, settled in second

2007 Baltaine, 7yo gelding, settled in fourth

2006 Bulginbaah, 6yo gelding, settled in third

 

1 Justanexcuse (Lisa Latta)

Positives

Has raced in great form over the past 12 months.

Good heavy-track record.

Suited to weight-for-age.

Negatives

Only a fair record fresh.

Wide draw.

Race regarded more of a starting point than a target.

 

2 Special Days (Stephen McKee)

Positives

Performed well in Gr I company in Hong Kong.

Seems to have adapted well back in NZ.

Negatives

Wide draw.

Up in grade.

Unproven on slow or heavy tracks.

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3 Fritzy Boy (Alby MacGregor)

Positives

Won this race last year.

Terrific record fresh Fr90 (4-3-1).

Terrific record on slow and heavy tracks.

Proven Gr I weight-for-age winner.

Negatives

Has been battling a leg injury.

Is now an eight-year-old and seemingly past his best form.

 

4 Sandblaster (Donna and Dean Logan)

Positives

Improving formline.

Stakes winner on the track.

Negatives

Stepping a long way up in grade.

Unproven in this company.

 

5 Back In Black (John Steffert)

Positives

 

Negatives

Stepping up in grade.

Racing at a distance far shorter than his best.

Yet to place in five starts at Te Rapa.

Prefers better going than he’ll get tomorrow.

 

6 Sweet Suitor (Graeme and Debbie Rogerson)

Positives

Easy trial winner leading in.

Races well fresh.

Has a good record on slow and heavy tracks.

Well drawn and sure get one of the best runs of the race.

Negatives

Unproven at this level.

 

7 Master Power (Chris Wood)

Positives

Ran well in this race last year for fourth.

Negatives

Still yet to stamp himself in this company.

Goes up 7.5kg on his last run in easier company.

 

8 Shez Sinsational (Allan Sharrock)

Positives

Proven Gr I weight-for-age performer

Races well fresh.

Negatives

Racing at a distance shorter than she prefers.

Race regarded as a starting point rather than a target.

 

9 Fleur de Lune (Lee Somervell)

Positives

Proven Gr I weight-for-age performer.

Ran well for second in this race last year.

Races well fresh.

Negatives

Race regarded as a starting point rather than a target.

Yet to win on slow or heavy tracks, despite placing in all of them.

 

10 Baby Guinness (Karen Fursdon and Gemma Sliz)

Positives

Stakes winner at the course and distance.

Negatives

Unproven at weight-for-age level.

 

11 Te Toro Lass (Graeme and Mark Sanders)

Positives

In-form proven wet-track performer.

Likely to be peaking for this race.

Negatives

Unproven at this level.

Steps up in grade.

Wide draw.

 

12 Smoulder (Graeme and Mark Sanders)

Positives

Proven Gr I performer.

Placed in this race last year.

Negatives

Racing below her best form.

Showing an aversion to rain-affected tracks.

Wide draw.

 

13 Xanadu  (Ken and Bev Kelso)

Positives

Proven Gr I performer.

Races well fresh.

Handles rain-affected going.

Negatives

 

14 She’s Invincible (Gary Alton)

Positives

Races well after a short break.

Negatives

Unproven at this level.

Steps up in class.

Taking on her biggest test.

Not suited to weight-for-age.

 

15 Miko (Moira Murdoch and Dominic Olson)

Positives

 

Negatives

Unproven in weight-for-age company.

Well-beaten by Sweet Suitor at the trials.

Poor course record.

Has yet to placed in three starts on slow or heavy tracks.

 

16  Swiper The Fox  (Leo Molloy)

Positives

Stakes-winning two-year-old with big weight advantage.

Good record on slow going.

Improver second-up.

Negatives

Unproven at this level.


- Waikato Times

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