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Top 10 Horses To Watch In The 2022 Spring Carnival

Updated: Aug 27, 2022

Welcome to the last top 10 for the time being, the top 10 horses to watch across Australia and New Zealand heading into the spring carnival. I will not be using horses from the hype horses list, but I will be trying to pick horses that have a reason to watch and not just good horses who have had lots of success in recent times (Like a Duais or Anamoe) but horses that will win or be very competitive in a select Group 1 standard race. Order is not necessarily relevant. I will also be ignoring 3yos as the crop itself is very up in the air and will be discussed separately.

10. Hosier

At 10 we have Hosier, a once hyped horse where the hype has since been lost. He has since been transferred to Kris Lees due to wanting to see more of the Sydney wet tracks which seems to be a very smart move, on top of the fact the Sydney stayers are typically inferior. He will probably come through the country cups targeting the Metrop.

Prediction: Will be very competitive in a Metrop, and my tip to take it out.

9. Profondo

At 9 we have Profondo a horse who could be anything but at the same time, could be all hype, even if that hype has died down from last spring and autumn. The problem with Profondo is that his autumn was abysmal and there was no other way to put it. However, they have kept him in training and his trials are suggesting he is back on the right track. There are plenty of options for him from Hcp to WFA. Questions on if he can measure up against the best horses though.

Prediction: Unlike the others on this list, I have no clue where he will go, or even if he will measure up. Just an exciting colt who showed ability and could perform strongly from anywhere between 1400-2400m. Cox Plate probably the ultimate go but very much a wait and see.

8. Gold Trip

At 8 we have Gold Trip, who ran 4th on a bottomless track in the Arc back in 2020 but has not seen the race track until last week with his solid 3rd carrying top weight from far back. He will relish the wet tracks but also be competitive on our dry surfaces I'd have to assume. Hopefully, he is able to run in Victoria, which I imagine he will be.

Prediction: Cox Plate competitive if he can run in Vic. George Main Stakes if wet or the Sydney October 2000m races if he can't run in Vic will be very winnable.

7. Mugatoo

At 7 we have Mugatoo, who will be having his first start since the start of 2021 come August/September. He was one of our best WFA horses but jury is out on if he can return to that level. However, he is progressing very well with each trial and should be ready to fire first up. I do believe he is a horse that is better fresh or off a 3 week break so the Winx Stakes seems the ideal target. I do believe his at his best at the mile but is certainly competitive at 2000m. Prediction: Will take out the Winx Stakes first up, and being one of the favourites come the Makybe Diva Stakes or George Main Stakes.

6. Grand Promenade

The horse who had the toughest run in last years cup comes in at 6. After that gutbuster, the Maher & Eustace team made the smart decision to skip the autumn and let him recover. His recent work seems to be lacklustre which is concerning so hopefully the race has not taken everything out of him. Stable have stated the Melbourne Cup is the goal but his best trip seems to be around 2400m but I will not question the stable.

Prediction: While the stable have suggested the Melbourne Cup is the goal, I believe the Caulfield Cup will be a weaker race, and is over his best distance making me think if the stable head that way, he will be very competitive in a Caulfield Cup. I just hope they head that way.

5. Converge

Even though he won a G1 last prep, beating Anamoe fair and square nonetheless, the way he finished off left something to be desired, getting spanked in the Rosehill Guineas and 18th in the Doncaster Mile however, I put this down to the stable getting it wrong sending him beyond his best distance and by the Doncaster, he was just too tired.

Prediction: If kept to the mile, will be very strong in the Epsom and my tip for the Golden Eagle where he will run very well.

4. Ayrton

I am not giving up hope. A somewhat contentious selection who may not have lived up to the hype promised early into his career but I believe he can and he will. His run in the Stradbroke was luckless and a write off, sitting 4 wide no cover near the speed but still finished off reasonably well. I do not think he will be that WFA horse that I thought he would be but his ability is undeniable and his best trip seems to be 1400-1600m.

Prediction: Will be winning one of the Rupert Clarke, Epsom or Toorak Hcps if the stable goes that way with him. Could measure up in a Champions Mile as well.

3. Rothfire

At 3 we have Rothfire, a somewhat forgotten horse until his performances into his Queensland campaign. His win in the Run To The Rose back in 2020 was awesome but injuries since have proved to be troublesome. It seems this year that they will avoid getting him into the Everest which seems the right move as that campaign seems to be cursed for him, plus he is only a 5 year old gelding and will get another chance in 2023.

Prediction: Will be perfectly suited to the Manikato Stakes and could run very well in the Champions Sprint. Could be a multiple G1 winner by the end of this prep maybe taking out a Moir as well.

Edit: Hopefully the increases in Sydney prize money do not sway his agenda.

2. Realm of Flowers

At number 2, we had a horse that my tip for last years cup in Realm of Flowers. Unfortunately, injury struck but her talent is undeniable. Her win in the Andrew Ramsden was the best in history of the race in the past 4 years, beating Grand Promenade who ran very well in the cup last year by almost 5L and Miami Bound and Persan by over 6L. To put it into some more perspective, Through Irish Eyes was beaten by 9.5L last year and by only 3L this year, showing how strong she was. Each one of her recent trials has been better than the last suggesting she is building nicely.

Prediction: The best local hope for the Melbourne Cup this year and providing she is fit, will run as such and has all the tools and ability to win, especially off a quick tempo like last year.

1. Classique Legend

By far the horse to watch. Injuries ruined not only a superstar career but a potentially great rivalry in Nature Strip vs Classique Legend. While we missed out on that over the past 18 months, I am expecting big things or hoping for big things on his return. His Everest win was nuts and the best sprinting performance I have seen since Black Caviar (subjective) and it is a shame. Prediction: Provided he is sound and close to his best, he will be very competitive in the Everest. If he returns to his best, he will win it.

There are the top 10 horses to watch this spring. How many will return to their best and win group 1s? A quick summary below of the said horses

Hosier - The Metropolitan

Profondo - Wait and see

Gold Trip - George Main/Cox Plate Competitive

Mugatoo - Warwick Stakes & Makybe Diva/George Main

Grand Promenade - Caulfield Cup (if they head that way)

Converge - The Golden Eagle

Ayrton - Rupert Clarke & Toorak (If they head that way)

Rothfire - Vic G1 Sprints

Realm of Flowers - Melbourne Cup

Classique Legend - The Everest

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