Much like the VicBred Super Series, NSW Breeders Challenge or New Zealand Jewels, the Breeders Crown is a magnificent exhibition of talented young horse power.
For mine, semi-final night is perhaps as competitive and entertaining as the big dance the following week.
Bendigo plays host to eight magnificent qualifiers with some bumper contests between Australasia’s slickest young guns.
Let’s try and find a few winners;
THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLIES (SEMI-FINAL 1)
Emma Stewart’s Pistol Abbey enters this as a heat victor but you get the feeling the best version of Soho Burning Love does have her covered.
In the heat, Soho Burning Love was forced to breeze and was left on her heels a touch when Mark Pitt zoomed along the sprint lane with Pistol Abbey.
Aside from those two, Luvyoubabe is a nice each-way hope from the ace draw and visitor Red Charmer must be respected coming from Grant Dixon’s stable which has proven capable of winning big races down south.
1 Pistol Abbey
2 Soho Burning Love
3 Red Charmer
Luvyoubabe (1) place $2.20
TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLIES (SEMI-FINAL 1)
We have a match race!
Undefeated New Zealander Princess Tiffany meets bottomless boom horse Kualoa and to make things even sweeter, they’ve drawn side by side off the front row.
Kualoa was toppled by her talented stable mate Two Times Bettor in the heats but her best was comfortably better than the rest throughout the VicBred Series.
Hype is travelling with Princess Tiffany and whilst she may not sit outside Kualoa and win here, she is my hot hope for next week.
Swimsuit Edition should trail Kualoa throughout and qualify whilst Larajay Macray could do the same from three-pegs.
Everything else is worlds behind them unless Monique Burnett ignites and finds the top with My Girl Pearl.
2 Princess Tiffany
3 Swimsuit Edition
4 Larajay Macray
Boxed Exacta – Kualoa (3) & Princess Tiffany (4)
TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLIES (SEMI-FINAL 2)
The best horse in this race is easy to locate but her path to victory may become harder than expected. Two Times Bettor is far and away better than these but gate eight means Mark Pitt’s only big task will be getting off the fence early.
That aside, many others have place chances in a weaker semi with Our Road To Mecca, Miss Streisand, Tangoingwithsierra and Betamerica leading the way.
1 Two Times Bettor
2 Miss Streisand
3 Our Road To Mecca
BEST BET: Two Times Bettor (8) win $1.80
THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLES (SEMI-FINAL 2)
Speak No Evil has become the warm favourite for this series with Shez All Rock and Nostra Villa both standing in a grassy paddock.
Speak No Evil’s heat win was dominant and ominous and whilst a 1:59.9 mile won’t scare anyone the way she left them standing in a 26.5 last 400m will.
Angel Of Arts ran a nice second to Speak No Evil at the Shepparton heat and draws behind her so she seems a certain place horse. Stable mate Macey Jayde could drop three-pegs and run top four as well whilst Saphirique and Our Angel Of Harlem will be the horses trying to gain ground off the pegs.
1 Speak No Evil
2 Angel Of Arts
3 Macey Jayde
4 Our Angel Of Harlem
BEST BET: Angel Of Arts (8) place $2.20
THREE-YEAR-OLD COLTS & GELDINGS (SEMI-FINAL 1)
Absolute corker here with boom horses everywhere.
Konan will take some catching from gate one, Colt Thirty One beat them all in the Victoria Derby and Ride High has a hype surrounding him that is hard to justify.
With Chris Alford in the bike, you’d assume Konan will do enough to hold the front so I doubt Colt Thirty One has much interest in breezing.
Ride High will come looking at some point so Dixon may force his hand and take the front from Konan – or posting Ride High off the track.
Major Times sat outside Duplicated and stuck it to him in their heat at $28 so he’s to be respected as is The Black Prince, former All Star Think About Me, Diamonds N Cash, Tam Major and Yankee Roller from gate eight.
1 Ride High
2 Colt Thirty One
4 Major Times
BEST BET: Ride High (12) win $2.30
THREE-YEAR-OLD COLTS & GELDINGS (SEMI-FINAL 2)
The depth of this second semi is not like semi number one but we have another match race here that will make you drool.
Wonder-horse Ignatius, which people like Shane Tritton have described as the best in the land, faces New South Wales Derby and VicBred Super Series champion Poster Boy from gates four and five with the removal of the emergency.
Maratei has drawn two but I expect him to get out of the way for whomever arrives first between the big guns.
Duplicated is no fool and he can be a factor from alley three and Alpha Charlie and Bettor Be Sorry can do some late damage with luck.
2 Poster Boy
BEST BET: Boxed Exacta – Ignatius (5) & Poster Boy (6)
TWO-YEAR-OLD COLTS & GELDINGS (SEMI-FINAL 1)
Pacing Gold and VicBred Series champ Centenario lands gate three with stable mates either side so he looms as the short-priced favourite here.
It’s been a long season for him but he gets his chance again here.
Mark Purdon’s little professional Another Masterpiece can win the whole thing but will likely just do enough to qualify from the back row.
Major Exclusive has found his second wind, Fourbigmen can capitalise from gate two, Max Delight has won his past couple, as have West Aussie The Embezzler and Culture King.
2 Another Masterpiece
3 The Embezzler
4 Culture King
BEST BET: Exacta – Centenario (3) to beat Another Masterpiece (9)
TWO-YEAR-OLD COLTS & GELDINGS
It all went wrong for Hurricane Harley in the VicBred Final when he was a raging favourite but he bounced back to form in his heat.
Gate three will see him winning this unless he throws it away.
Hardhitter is a really nice horse with a Group 1 victory but he may need to settle for a placing from gate six.
College Chapel is a ripper and could beat these by posting them but I doubt he will whilst Nostra Ideal will be hoping College Chapel leads but should run top five regardless.
1 Hurricane Harley
2 College Chapel
3 Nostra Ideal
BEST BET: College Chapel (1) place $1.40