HILL STAKES - 2000m, Rosehill R7
The Hill Stakes has certainly been put more on the map in recent years, thanks to a prizemoney increase to the level of $2M. It’s fair to say it hasn’t attracted the elite quality that they might have hoped for, it has still drawn a deep and even field.
Montefilia is the favourite, as the proven quality in the field. However, it has been a long time between drinks for her, with her last win coming in March last year, and she’s getting to the point in a mare’s career where the question has to be asked whether she still has a zest for racing and a will to win. She’s been good without being exceptional in all three runs this prep, and this is something of a D-Day for her.
Numerian looks to be the forgotten horse, even if he himself hasn’t won since June 2022. He was second in this race last year, splitting Cascadian and Montefilia, and the former galloper would be a short price favourite in this. Numerian’s 2000m record in Australia is 6: 1-4-0, with most of those second’s at Group 1 level or stronger races than this. Residual fitness from a Queensland campaign should carry him a long way, and his on-speed racing style will be suited in this race.
Zeyrek should be around the mark somewhere, as he usually is, but Numerian has had his measure a couple of times this year already. Protagonist looks well suited third-up after two pleasing runs to begin his prep, and the dryer the better for him.
Sky Lab put the writing on the wall first-up behind Buenos Noches, and was good again last start behind Just Fine. Hinged can be a player as well, if she can bounce back from cardiac arrhythmia last start.
Young Werther has always had talent, and might now be putting it all together with two wins in a row. He’s been placed at Group 1 level four times in his career, and ran placings in the ATC Derby and the Tulloch Stakes in his only two runs the Sydney way of going, so that won’t be an issue.
Another horse at big odds is No Compromise. He’s drawn poorly and will have to go back, but he knows how to attack the line, and 2000m second-up profiles well for him. He has shown some very good second-up form in the past over unsuitable 1600m trips, and his first-up run showed he can win a race this prep.
Selections: 1.Numerian 2.Protagonist 3.Young Werther 4.Montefilia
* Odds Correct At Time Of Posting. Check Playup Website For Latest Odds