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

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 โ€” among them #5 Zou Tiger, #9 Communist, #10 Brosnan, and #4 Osipenko โ€” 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 Hawkeโ€™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 โ€˜Nโ€™ Smart and Melbourne graded stakes winners Mr Maestro and Sheโ€™s Licketysplit have shown the New Zealand three-year-olds are competitive with their Australian counterparts, which also suggests Pier isnโ€™t without a hope.

Aft Cabin may still be too strong, but Iโ€™m going to look for value with Pier to win. For trifectas, Iโ€™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 Kingโ€™s Gambit justify his reputation, which took a big dent when he was beaten in the Canonbury (G3) Jan. 28? Possibly, but Iโ€™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. Sheโ€™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