The Group 1 2YO Colts and Geldings WA Sales Classic Final (1730m) will be held at Gloucester Park on Friday night and here is my preview of the feature event.
This race looks to have five key chances with Kohli, Play The Boys, Mistersandman, Village Benny or Rock Me Over as the likely victor when it is all set and done.
Kohli should have sufficient speed to lead and I cannot envision Kim Prentice handing up with the Bryan Cousins-trained two-year-old gelding. That means the Greg and Skye Bond-trained colt Play The Boys should face the breeze while Totally Tintin races behind the leader. Born To Stride should head to the pegs and Mistersandman could land 1 out 1 back.
Village Benny and/or Rock Me Over could press forward to see if the breeze is up for grabs, otherwise they will be in the moving line with cover.
It’s going to be tough for horses back in the field and they will include Naval Aviator and Ooshtaa.
Play The Boys was an impressive heat winner as he sat outside Hughey The Hammer to win by a neck in 1:56.2. This is by far the quickest mile rate that any of the horses in this field have paced in their careers but a number of them have heaps of improvement left in them and it will be a different kettle of fish on Friday night; what I mean is that there will be a lot more depth compared to the heat that Play The Boys won.
I do respect horses that can run good sectionals and I have to rate Play The Boys on top. He also has plenty of improvement in him and he may prove far too good. Every horse has a price however, and I couldn’t dive into the $1.50 on offer about this horse so I am happy taking him on considering a few others are likely to reach a new peak performance in this Group 1 feature.
One of those horses looks to be Kohli who has raced outside the leader or raced 1 out 1 back in his two career runs.
On debut, Kohli beat Ooshtaa home by 7.5m. That horse cannot win this event but did pace a career-best 1:57.4 mile rate in his heat when 17.4m off Play The Boys. Based on that, I believe Kohli can pace at least a 1:56-something mile rate which is what will be required to win this event. In fact, it may require a 1:54 or 1:55-and-change mile rate in order to salute.
I hope you don’t mind reading some of the calculations that I consider when handicapping a race and provides a little bit of insight into the way that I assess races.
The other pacer that I think should map well is the Kat Warwick-trained colt Mistersandman who will be driven by Kyle Harper.
I’ll be a little critical and say Harper waited too long to let this horse go in the heat and he should have run down Village Benny in the home straight. It was a heat and the horse is ready for the final which means Harper has completed the first task and he will be more urgent in the Group 1.
A pair of runner-up performances from three starts have been good and this horse has looked better each start.
There is little between this horse and stablemate Rock Me Over (slight edge to Rock Me Over) and the price on offer suggests a bigger gap with $7 on offer for Rock Me Over and $21 for Mistersandman despite barrier draw advantage to Mistersandman.
Village Benny defeated Mistersandman in their heat on debut and he has winning claims but doesn’t look likely to get to the breeze here and should settle behind Mistersandman.
Naval Aviator has a poor draw and needs to find improvement in order to win; place chances look best for this horse.
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