Talking Points: Saturday - 3rd of February 2024

Some big two-year-old performances on Saturday, along with an All-Star Mile wildcard.

COLEMAN winning the Lamaro's Hotel Chairman's Stakes
COLEMAN winning the Lamaro's Hotel Chairman's Stakes Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

Caulfield - Coleman

We have a new Blue Diamond favourite in the form of Coleman who was a very smart winner of the Group 3 Chairman's Stakes (1000m). He's run to 111 on the Racing And Sports ratings, officially (in our minds) making him the second highest rated two-year-old.

That honour still goes to the 116 rated Storm Boy of course, but a couple are making serious inroads. Coleman's 111 is the second-highest winning rating of the Chairman's in 25 years, behind the 118 rated weapon Extreme Choice,who was one of the more gifted horses we saw very little of.

It's slightly ahead of Enthaar (110) who went straight to the Blue Diamond and was beaten as favourite. It could be the same path for Coleman and typically, 1000m up to 1200m in a high-pressure race is a query.

28 horses have come through the Chairman's into the Diamond for two winners, Extreme Choice and Road To Success in 2000. They, on average, have won just under their fair share of Diamond's but typically it's not the premier lead up. Coleman is better placed than most to defy that trend, but he's closer to Nayeli (110) and Ennis Hill (106), who finished 15th and 9th in the Diamond than he is to Extreme Choice.


Caulfield – Jimmy

Serious win from a progressive galloper who was offered an All-Star Mile wildcard on the spot. That may have been a bit premature but now the ratings have come through, it seems more than fair because a rating of 109+ is very good going for a Bm84.

They've run the fastest speed figure on the card, narrowly ahead of Coleman, coming home strongly off a good early clip. Fast on fast typically means- you're fast. He was only around a length slower than Exceed And Excel's track record.

This is a big new peak at just his sixth start, up 12 pounds from his win at Cranbourne before a spell.

For context, a rating of 109 would've put Jimmysstar around 7th in last year's All-Star Mile, behind Pounding and ahead of Gentleman Roy, and there's plenty to say he's well into the 110s.

Second favourite for the race now behind Mr Brightside is absurd and all hype- it's exponentially easier to go from 97 to 109 than 109 to 121 and beyond (the All-Star Mile will take at least 122 to win) but he's very exciting and with natural progression is a genuine each-way chance in top level races.


Rosehill – Canonbury & Widden

It's much easier to compare performances on days with direct partner races, like the Blue Diamond Previews, and like Rosehill on Saturday, and by every objective measure, Lady Of Camelot has out-rated and out-run Prost.

It's not even remotely surprising at this point that they're both trained by Waterhouse & Bott, who now have 10 two-year-olds rated 100 or above, including the 1st, 2nd and 4th.

That new title of 4th goes to Lady Of Camelot who stopped the clock with a big win in the Widden Stakes, running to 107 with Timeform. They've run nearly ¾ of a second faster than Prost in the Canonbury, the colt running to 105, keeping in mind that with her 2kg allowance Lady Of Camelot would effectively be rated seven pounds higher than Prost at weight-for-age.

In similar vein to Storm Boy in the Magic Millions, the most impressive part of Lady Of Camelot's win was her last 200m, looking challenged early in the straight before pulling right away with strength in the fastest final split of the race.

According to the stable, she may be coming to Melbourne for the Blue Diamond and if I had to pick between her and Coleman (and the market has them effectively the same winning chance), I'd be taking her with the strength late over 1100m a telling factor.

For Prost, and even Lady Of Camelot to an extent, things are only going to get tougher ahead of races like the Silver Slipper and Todman/Riesling in Sydney. I'd be wary of Prost in those sorts of races, especially the typically stronger Todman, against horses that could return like Straight Charge and Highness.