All Aged Stakes - 1400m, Randwick R8
What makes the All Aged Stakes a great race is that it brings the best sprinter-milers together – those that may have been on a TJ Smith or Doncaster path can have a crack at each other by splitting the distance between them.
There is always an intriguing mix of formlines, and this year is no exception. We have five horses coming into this 1400m event off a 1200m Group 1 WFA sprint, four runners dropping back in distance from Group 1 races between 1500m-2000m, plus an international and two first-up contenders to boot.
Giga Kick, one of two three-year-old’s in this race along with Jacquinot, will jump favourite in his first test beyond 1200m. It’s not hard to see why given he has only lost three races in his career, by a combined two and a half lengths, all against top liners.
Giga Kick was excellent in the TJ Smith when running second, beaten half a length behind what can be regarded as the win of the season by the freakish I Wish I Win. He’s an Everest winner, and 1400m shouldn’t be an issue based on breeding.
The TJ Smith was run on a heavy track, which gives a few rivals the chance to turn things around on Giga Kick.
Private Eye didn’t go a yard on the day and gave up the ghost early in the straight. He was fourth in the Newmarket with the top weight first-up, was less less than half a length behind Giga Kick in the Everest, and as an Epsom Handicap winner over 1600m will enjoy the step up in distance.
Lost and Running was an honest sixth in the TJ, but also didn’t like the ground despite having won on a heavy track before. He needs it dry to product his absolute best, and shouldn’t be forgotten if he gets those conditions.
Mazu has run in the top five, beaten two lengths or less, in his last five starts. Ahead of him in those races have been Private Eye three times, Giga Kick twice, and Lost and Running once. You know he will run well, but he just seems that half a level below the best. Wet ground will suit him more than most though.
Jacquinot has only raced at 1400m twice, and both times came away with Group 1 victories. The first was in the Golden Rose, after which he stayed in Sydney for a crack at the Everest. He was on the heels of Giga Kick, Private Eye and Mazu there, and he should be better suited at this trip than 1200m. He is another that doesn’t want it too wet, but is a serious threat.
Cascadian won this race last year after placing a narrow third in 2021, and now drops back from 2000m after his Australian Cup win. He’s a remarkably versatile horse, in both distance range and track conditions, but this could well be the hottest field he’s yet faced.
What to make of Zaaki? He hasn’t been seen this autumn after initially not convincing trainer Annabel Neasham he was at his best, but has now been declared ready to go. He’s won the last two times he has resumed at 1400m, but this is a stiffer test than what he beat in those assignments, and we know he’s better over further.
The rest of the field will have to spring a surprise in order to win. Bandersnatch and Electric Girl will be game but look outclassed. Ho O Amazon is looking to do the Japanese proud, but has run into a hot race, while Kolding is 200-1 but could be longer.
Roch N Horse is the one that could pop up at bigger odds. She’s won both a Newmarket Handicap and a VRC Classic as an outsider, but 1400m in this class of field is certainly a test.
Electric Girl will likely take up the running, but unless the Japanese horse also wants to bowl along there isn’t a lot of natural speed in this race. Zaaki has led at 1400m before, Bandersnatch can sit handy, as can Mazu from time to time.
It is likely that track condition and pattern will be bigger keys to the race than speed or lack thereof.
Selections: 1.Giga Kick 2.Jacquinot 3.Private Eye 4.Mazu
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds