Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes 2015
IT’S hard to imagine two races with the same conditions, same distance, same status and same prizemoney, on the same day, that are so different.
And it’s hard to imagine the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday will “rate’’ within cooee of the Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick.
The horse that links both races is the John O’Shea-trained Contributer.
Form suggests Contributer will prove a class above local tradesmen such as Mourinho and Tasmania’s The Cleaner.
But ratings don’t always win races and Contributer must overcome a few little hazards.
He is drawn in, which can be tricky when the Valley rail is true — a spot that usually suits horses running on off the rails.
He must also ignore the disruptive powers of The Cleaner, whose relentless front-running style can put even class animals off kilter.
He must also handle the tight-turning Valley track a little bit better than he did during a gallop on Tuesday when one top trainer observed: “To my eye he wanted to lay in a bit.’’
On pure class, as asserted last autumn against the sort of horses who will fight out the Chelmsford, Contributer should have panels on them. He had the wood on glamour stablemate Hartnell during The Championships and beat the Japanese in the Ranvet.
The Dato is almost clinical to assess, but the Chelmsford far trickier — compounded by the fact Chris Waller has a staggering 11 of the 16 runners.
Is this good for racing? Surely not.
There are no quirks to the Dato speed map. The Cleaner will spread them out, Mourinho and Kenjorwood will be next, Contributer and Dibiyani behind them.
It’s hard for horses to come from the third and fourth waves behind The Cleaner and run him down, which puts Mourinho, and even roughie Kenjorwood, in the best spot.
The Chelmsford is almost frightening proof of Waller’s incredible depth of average-to-good weight-for-age horses. But they look less scary when you assess them as individuals.
Only Kermadec ($4.40) and Royal Descent ($5) have any real carnival claims. The rest, mostly imports, are pretty much old-style Cups horses.
Bar Hartnell, who resumes, the key chances all came through the Warwick Stakes.
Royal Descent won it but found herself in a glorious stalking spot on the back of Pornichet, who had been softened up early. Kermadec got buried early, then flashed, which he has a habit of doing.
The X-factor is Hartnell. If he wins and Contributer handles the Valley, then John O’Shea is the carnival’s “must watch’’ trainer.
VIA Super Racing