Costa Rolfe



Costa’s Racing Odyssey: Ashford set to Street them

Beware the 'winter horse in form'.

Saturday’s Sir John Monash Stakes at Caulfield pits a classic ‘winter horse in form’ against a couple of better-credentialed stakes gallopers kicking off their spring campaigns early. And although Ashford Street leaves behind the handicap conditions that have helped him to two utterly dominant wins on the trot, he can give fancied pair Oxley Road and Mileva something to think about here. This horse is racing in such great style at the moment and at around the $7.00 mark, Ashford Street can continue his purple patch and make it a hat-trick.

He’s hit a pretty messy race and is again drawn wide but at the double-figures in the last at Caulfield Curran is another horse going extremely well. The Golden Topaz form looks good after Sirius Suspect’s Flemington win and down in weight, he appeals as a place prospect for any particularly brave multi punters.

Earlier in the program, New Zealander King Halston can show significant improvement out to the 2000m of Race 3. The grey son of Reliable Man has been pretty solid grinding away in two Australian runs and gets out to a more suitable distance here. Amongst his opposition is the in-form Montenegro, originally an Inglis Easter purchase for Tom Magnier who has gone three-from-three since being switched to Pakenham’s synthetic surface.

This weekend’s July Cup at Newmarket will also hold great interest for Australian audiences, with the mercurial colt Artorius set for a defining performance in the testing Group One event. His Platinum Jubilee Stakes run was phenomenal and the challenging 1200m course should really suit the son of Flying Artie, who is of course placed over the mile of the G1 Caulfield Guineas.

This horse is what he is, and you obviously can’t tip him with confidence given his racing pattern, but there is no denying the enormous ability of Anthony and Sam Freedman’s colt. His stud future is already assured as a Blue Diamond winner but adding a July Cup to that success would be the crowning moment on a compelling career.





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