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Trainer Chris Waller continues to assert his dominance on the Australian racing scene and the talented horseman based out of Sydney led the charge at the 2015 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Waller trained runners secured victory across 6 races, those being: Boban in the Memsie Stakes, Preferment in the Turnbull Stakes, Press Statement in the Caulfield Guineas, Japonisme in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and Delectation in the Darley Classic. His biggest win of the Carnival came with the dominant win of 4YO mare Winx in the W.S Cox Plate.
Darren Weir had his most successful Carnival securing victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes with Stratum Star and the Toorak Handicap with Lucky Hussler which gave the likeable trainer back-to-back victories in that race. His crowning moment came with the success of Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup.
The training partnership of David Hayes and Tom Dabernig enjoyed success at Caulfield with wins in the Caulfield Stakes with the globetrotting Criterion and in the Thousand Guineas with Stay With Me. Murray Baker was the only other trainer to secure multiple wins across the 21 Group 1 races on offer when taking out the Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan. His 2nd triumph came with the last G1 of the Carnival, leading Turn Me Loose into the winners stall in the Emirates Stakes.
The other trainers to taste G1 glory across the carnival were Antoine De Watrigant, Mick Price, team Hawkes, Peter Gelagotis, Rob Heathcote, Rob Smerdon and Robert Hickmott.
Courtesy of his relationship with Chris Waller, Hugh Bowman was the leading hoop for the Melbourne Spring Carnival. Bowman had success with Preferment, Press Statement and continued his amazing partnership with Winx, securing the Cox Plate and making it 3 G1 wins for the year aboard the mare.
Glyn Schofield also made the most of the association with Chris Waller, booting home 2 winners with Boban and Japonisme. Dwayne Dunn proved to be a ladies man, with his 2 winners across the Carnival being the filly Stay With Me in the Thousand Guineas and the mare Politeness in the Myer Classic. Damien Oliver was the only other jockey with multiple victories riding Fawkner on the Makybe Diva for Robert Hickmott and by winning the VRC Oaks for Ciaron Maher aboard Jameka, ‘Olly’ scored his 4th win in the time honoured classic.
Craig Williams’ only win of the Carnival came aboard Stratum Star in the Sir Rupert Clarke, continuing his affiliation with the race, making it the 5th time he has won the race and the 8th G1 win held over the Caulfied 1400m trip. Damian Browne continued his good association with Buffering for his lone Carnival win and made it back-to-back A.J Moir Stakes wins aboard the 8YO in the process.
The biggest story of the Spring came with the Melbourne Cup victory of Prince Of Penzance, with Michelle Payne becoming the first female to ride the winner of the Great Race since it was first run in 1861.
The 2015 Carnival was the first time since the Spring of 2009, that there were no multiple G1 winning horses across the Carnival.
The International raiders also had lean pickings, with the only success coming with the French galloper Gailo Chop in the Mackinnon Stakes.
4 Year Old’s were the majority winners at the 2015 Carnival securing 6 races. These were Delectation in the Darley Classic, Mongolian Khan in the Caulfield Cup, Preferment in the Turnbull Stakes, Stratum Star in the Sir Rupert Clarke, Turn Me Loose in the Emirates Stakes and the only mare of this age to win- Winx in the Cox Plate.
The ‘elder statesman’ of the equine world secured 3 events with all 3 being 8YO geldings. Buffering took the A.J Moir Stakes, Mourinho was victorious in the Underwood and Fawkner became the only grey to win during the Spring when achieving success in the Makybe Diva.
Apart from the races that are restricted to fillies and mares, Winx win in the Cox Plate was the only win by a female horse across the Carnival G1 events.
There were 6 favourites secure victory across the G1 races of the Melbourne Spring from the 21 contested. The shortest price favourite to win was Chautauqua in winning the Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, paying $2.20 on the UBET tote. There were 2 runners to start at odds-on quotes across the Spring G1 events and both were beaten. Exosphere started as the shortest priced favourite when jumping at $1.50 in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and being beaten into 4th. Chautauqua was responsible for starting the second shortest priced runner in G1 events across the Carnival when he went to the post a $1.80 favourite, finishing 2nd to Delectation in the Darley Classic.
The longest priced winner for the Carnival was the Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance, paying $74.10 for the win on the tote and jumped at $91 fixed price. The next longest price winners were Politeness in the Myer Classic and Japonisme in the Coolmore Stud Stakes, both paying $20 for the win.
Of Chris Waller’s 6 G1 wins of the Melbourne Spring, 3 started as favourite. The average tote starting price of his winners was just over $9.
There was plenty of big money on offer for exotic players, with some huge guaranteed pools and jackpots offered across the carnival by UBET. Every Saturday across the main days featured guaranteed quaddie pools of $1m. That meant over 5 successive Saturday’s, punters could play into pools of at least $1m and each pool eventually closed well above that figure, with the best dividend returned on Derby Day with a dividend of $11,959.
First 4 players weren’t left out with a $200k jackpot for the Melbourne Cup, which saw that pool grow to over $3.9m. With Prince Of Penzance winning at such a large price, it ensured the dividend was a mammoth $202,747.
The 2016 Melbourne Spring Carnival as usual will culminate with the Cup week Carnival. The dates of this are:
• Derby Day- Saturday October 29 • Cup Day – Tuesday November 1 • Oaks Day – Thursday November 3 • Stakes Day – Saturday November 5
The official dates of the remainder of the carnival are yet to be finalised, but should follow the normal path with the Memsie Stakes the first G1 starting in late August, through to the Emirates Stakes closing out the Carnival.
The Melbourne Cup will once again attract plenty of attention from the Internationals. Heading the charge will be the likes of prominent owner Lloyd Williams Order Of St George, a huge 11 length winner of the 2015 Irish St Leger. Mongolian Khan will be back looking to start in the Cup after his unfortunate scratching in 2015 following success in the Caulfield Cup.
Other horses that have the scope to be players across the 2016 Spring include the Darren Weir trained Mahuta who captured the G2 Sandown Guineas, Exosphere who started favourite in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and his conqueror that day Japonisme and Dispostion who was a dual G1 runner-up. Winx who will return as a 5YO for the 2016 Carnival could be in for a successful Spring, judging by her 2015 results.
Then there is always the horses that arrive as if from nowhere to stamp themselves as potential stars. Why not back your judgment and find a long range winner through UBET’s early markets when they go live.