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Sydney Preview: Rosehill Gardens plays for Feb. 17, 2023

Profile Picture: Alastair Bull

February 17th, 2023

A trio of Group 2 races headline the card at Rosehill Gardens this weekend. The most interesting is the Hobartville (G2) for three-year-olds, featuring a clash between one of the best sophomores in Australia and one of the best from New Zealand.

We will focus on the Hobartville and have a quick look at the other Group 2 features.

Race 8, 12:40 a.m. Saturday ET: Hobartville Stakes (G2), 1,400 meters (about 7 furlongs), 3yos

Hobartville Stakes Selections

  • #2 Pier
  • #3 Aft Cabin
  • #6 Matcha Latte
  • #5 Zou Tiger

Hobartville Stakes Wagers

  • $10 win/$30 show: #2 Pier ($40)
  • $3 trifecta: 3 with 2, 5, 9 with 2, 4, 5, 6, 9 ($36)
  • $1 trifecta: 2 with 3 with 4, 5, 6, 9 ($4)

The local markets suggest this is a walkover for #3 Aft Cabin. Unlucky to be kept out of the Caulfield Guineas (G1) in spring with injury after easily winning the Guineas Prelude (G3), Aft Cabin returned to racing with a very easy victory in the Eskimo Prince (G3) Feb. 4.

It was a commanding performance, and it would be a huge surprise if any of those behind him that day — among them #5 Zou Tiger, #9 Communist, #10 Brosnan, and #4 Osipenko — can turn the tables.

However, there is a newcomer from across the Tasman Sea that could. #2 Pier was the best spring three-year-old in New Zealand, winning the Hawke’s Bay Guineas (G2) and 2,000 Guineas (G1). He returned from a break Jan. 21 in the Listed Almanzor Trophy at six furlongs, probably short of his best, and finished third despite massive traffic problems.

Spring Champion (G1) winner Sharp ‘N’ Smart and Melbourne graded stakes winners Mr Maestro and She’s Licketysplit have shown the New Zealand three-year-olds are competitive with their Australian counterparts, which also suggests Pier isn’t without a hope.

Aft Cabin may still be too strong, but I’m going to look for value with Pier to win. For trifectas, I’ll include Spring Champion fourth #6 Matcha Latte along with some of those behind Aft Cabin in the Eskimo Prince.

Race 4, 10:05 p.m. Friday ET: Silver Slipper (G2), 1,100 meters (about 5 1/2 furlongs), 2yos

Can #3 King’s Gambit justify his reputation, which took a big dent when he was beaten in the Canonbury (G3) Jan. 28? Possibly, but I’m going with the proven filly #8 Platinum Jubilee, second in the Magic Millions Classic. She could be at better odds than she should be.

  • $10 win/$30 place: #8 Platinum Jubilee

Race 6, 11:20 p.m. Friday ET: Millie Fox (G2), 1,300 meters (about 6 1/2 furlongs), 3yos and up fillies and mares

#2 Mariamia will be tough to topple here, having beaten Caulfield Guineas winner Golden Mile at her last start. She’s unbeaten in three races at Rosehill, and this looks made for her. #1 Electric Girl is a good option for exactas.

  • $20 win: #2 Mariamia
  • $5 exacta: 2 with 1

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