10 Horses Set To Dominate Headlines This Spring Carnival

10 Horses Set To Dominate Headlines This Spring Carnival



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Opening the festivities on October 15 are two of the biggest races on the calendar – ‘The Everest’ – the richest turf race in the world, and the Caulfield Cup, the world’s richest 2400m turf race and significant springboard for the Melbourne Cup. From there Group 1 racing flows through to Cox Plate, Derby Day, Melbourne Cup, Oaks, and finally, Stakes Day. With feature racing set to light up both Sydney and Melbourne throughout October and November, and future markets ready for your bets, we thought we’d take a look at some of the leading lights set to dominate the headlines this spring.

Note all odds are accurate as at 12/10/2022


Trainer: James Cummings
Likely Targets: Cox Plate – $1.90 with BossBet; Champions Stakes – $3.50 with BossBet

With his return victory in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (2000m), Anamoe became the first Australian-trained horse in 20 years to win Group 1 races at two, three, and four. Hot on the heels of his triumphant Neds Might & Power win, all paths lead towards domination in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley, a race he was arguably unlucky not to win in the stewards’ room last year after a long inquiry against winner State Of Rest. Should he take Australasia’s weight-for-age championship, the new Group 1 VRC Champions Stakes (2000m) – the former Mackinnon Stakes – is likely to prove tempting.

Deauville Legend

Trainer: James Ferguson
Likely Targets: Melbourne Cup – $6 with BossBet

European three-year-olds have been all the rage in the Melbourne Cup in recent years after the victories of Rekindling and Cross Counter as well as the strong performances of Il Paradiso and Tiger Moth. Few have come with the credentials of Deauville Legend, though, as a last-start winner of the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2400m) at York – a race widely considered to be one of the strongest UK races for three-year-olds and the premier lead-up to the Group 1 English St Leger (2900m). He is only set to shorten ahead of the first Tuesday in November. 

In Secret

Trainer: James Cummings
Likely Targets: Coolmore Stud Stakes – $4.60 with BossBet

Denied at her first Group 1 outing when second in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m), Godolphin filly In Secret will get her chance to atone when she lines up in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m). Such is the prominence of her form that she was even considered for Godolphin’s slot in The Everest along with stablemates Kementari and Paulele, so that is high praise indeed. Fillies have a good record in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and she looks on track to get her first big-race win there.


Trainer: Nick Ryan
Likely Targets: Empire Rose Stakes – $5 with BossBet

Former Perth mare Kissonallforcheeks produced one of the wins of the day when taking the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington in mid-September, putting herself right on song for a $1 million bonus should she then take out the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) at Headquarters on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. While her subsequent effort in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) was disappointing, she struck trouble and never got a clear crack at them. She can fly the flag for Western Australia this spring.

Mr. Maestro

Trainer: Andrew Forsman
Likely Targets: Victoria Derby

Legendary Kiwi trainer Murray Baker was known for bringing three-year-olds across the Tasman to tackle any number of Derbies up and down the eastern seaboard and his former training partner Andrew Forsman looks set to continue that tradition. His colt Mr. Maestro has raced into Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) favouritism after big wins in the Victoria Derby Preview (1800m) and the Listed Super Impose Stakes (1800m). It appears he only needs to stay the extended trip to be able to land the blue riband for the New Zealanders.

Nature Strip

Trainer: Chris Waller
Likely Targets: The Everest – $1.95 with BossBet; VRC Champions Sprint – $2 with BossBet

Globetrotting sprinter Nature Strip has taken all before him and, after a return win in The Shorts in mid-September, still looks as good as ever, even as an eight-year-old. It will be hard for him to top last season when he conquered Everest for the first time and took the English to task on home soil, but he looks poised to become the second two-time winner of The Everest (following Redzel) before defending his title in the Group 1 VRC Champions Sprint (1200m) on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.


Trainer: Robert Heathcote
Likely Targets: Manikato Stakes – $6 with BossBet; VRC Champions Sprint – $19 with BossBet

There are few feel-good stories in racing currently quite like the “thriller from Chinchilla” in Rothfire. The castoff who went on to defeat the bluebloods as a two-year-old and early three-year-old, his career looked to be done before he made a return late last year. While it took him time to recapture his best form, he showed in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) in early September that he still had fight left in him. He is set to claim that elusive Group 1 win as an older horse in the Manikato Stakes (1200m), adding to his victory at the highest level in the Group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) as a juvenile, while he may also make the trip to Flemington for the Group 1 VRC Champions Sprint (1200m).

Sharp ‘n’ Smart

Trainer: Graeme & Deborah Rogerson
Likely Targets: Spring Champion Stakes – $7 with BossBet; Victoria Derby

New Zealand three-year-old Sharp ‘n’ Smart turned heads with an impressive Listed win at Pukekohe in April, defeating his likely Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) rival Mr Maestro. However, it was his two beaten efforts in Queensland in the Listed The Phoenix (1500m) and the Group 1 J J Atkins (1600m) that stamped him as a potential horse of the future. A potentially smart staying prospect in the making, he looks capable of following in the footsteps of other Rogerson three-year-olds like Savabeel and Efficient.

Smokin’ Romans

Trainer: Ciaron Maher and David Eustace
Likely Targets: Caulfield Cup – $3.80 with BossBet; Melbourne Cup – $19 with BossBet

Smokin’ Romans has been one of the finds of the early spring. Last year, he was a Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) winner and a Group 3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) placegetter. Now, he is set to start favourite in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), one of the most storied handicaps in global racing, after putting together a pair of victories in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m). Carrying just 51.5kg in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, he is sure to have plenty of admirers.

So Dazzling

Trainer: John Sargent
Likely Targets: VRC Oaks – $6 with BossBet

Seeing the Dato Tan Chin Nam colours – the black and white checks with yellow sleeves – successful in big races at Flemington is not unusual when you consider some of the horses to have sported those silks: Saintly, Viewed, So You Think, Faint Perfume, God’s Own, Norzita and Precedence among others. However, So Dazzling is unusual amongst that group in that she is not trained by Bart Cummings or owned by Tan, both now long gone. Instead, Kiwi trainer John Sargent – who knows a thing or two about preparing Oaks winners – prepares the filly for an ownership group led by Think Big Stud, the former property of Tan. So Dazzling burst into Group 1 VRC Oaks (2500m) calculations with a big win in the Kennedy Oaks Preview (1800m) at just her second start.

Check out our BossBook Hub for spring racing betting and style tips as well as race day previews.

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