The Forgive Files – January 25 and 26

Filed in Horse Racing by on January 28, 2013

This week’s edition of The Forgive Files takes us to the January 25 meeting at Moonee Valley, as well as the January 26 meetings at Caulfield and Warwick Farm.

Moonee Valley

Zedi Knight: In a field of only seven runners he managed to be posted four-wide on the speed around the first corner and his race was all but over 400 metres from home, tailing off to run last. However, he was second-up (his combined first and second-up record carries one win from 10 starts, compared to 10 wins from 31 starts later in his campaigns) in a Group 2 WFA race, and therefore a significant improvement can be expected as he drops in class and gets further into his preparation.

Le Bonsir: He jumped and shared the lead with Our Protocol, and these two gallopers scorched turf over the first 600 metres. The eventual winning time was 1:11.21 and the final 600 was run in 36.73, implying that the first 600 metres (from a standing start) was run in a blistering 34.48 seconds (faster than the Group 2 Australia Stakes). In the end, he did well to only be beaten by 2.4 lengths in finishing fifth. Expect improvement off a more moderate tempo next start.


Highly Recommended: He dropped from 2000 metres at Rosehill to 1400 metres at Caulfield off a 25-day break and rose in weight from 54 to 58.5 kilos, so it was unsurprising to see him left a little flat-footed when the pace picked up turning for home over the shorter trip. The first two horses in running were also the first two across the line, so he can be forgiven for making little ground in the straight. He will be better off at a longer trip and on a track with some give in the ground.

Red Shift: Jumping from 1400 metres first-up to 2000 metres second-up (and also rising in class from a BM72 to a BM89) was always going to be a tough ask. He raced closer to the speed than has traditionally been the case (maybe ridden a little upside-down) and despite failing to make ground in the home straight, finished just over one length from the second-placed Bells Of Troy. He will definitely derive plenty of ‘race fitness’ benefit from the run and should be strongly considered if his third-up run is also over 2000 metres.


Knoydart: Punters may be loath to forgive a $1.40 favourite for an unplaced run, but he had zero luck. He settled back in the field on a moderate tempo and while the eventual winner Zin Zan Eddie took a run closer to the inside rail as the field shifted wider, the favourite was hooked wide and spent most of the final 400 metres being buffeted by That’s A Good Idea (who was shifting out towards him) and Turnley (who was on his outside and holding a straight line). Just forget that he went around.

Macedonian: He hasn’t won since 2010, but his fourth-placed run on Saturday was one of his best since that time. He was worse than midfield approaching the home turn and did an excellent job to run on strongly given that nothing carted him into the race and that the first three horses across the line all raced on the speed. He is an out-and-out stayer and can now be backed at any race exceeding 2400 metres – in particular, keep an eye out for him as an Adelaide Cup contender.

Thanks to Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images AsiaPac for use of the photo


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