Talking Points: Saturday - 4th of May 2024

Dual-state ratings this week with the SA Derby and Victory Stakes.

ANTINO winning the U&U RECRUITMENT VICTORY STAKES Picture: Race Images Photo

Coco Sun

No question the ride by Jamie Kah won this race. She was positive out of the gates, managed to land on the leader's back from barrier 8/16, and didn't even bother trying to go around a horse with plenty of room up the inside.

The overall time was much faster than the other 2500m race won by The Map, but the speed figure is still on the lower end here.

Coco Sun, sitting third in run, has ended with a finishing speed of 104.9%, meaning she is still finishing quickly here despite settling on speed.

Warmonger was clearly the run of the race, and given another very poor steer sectionally. He was left with far too much to do and the decision to take him back for all-important cover continues to baffle.

He was three-wide at the tail of the field which is even worse- there was no reason for him not to be three-wide midfield and actually given a hope given he jumped fine.

Anyway, Coco Sun has run to a slight new peak of 109 to win, up three pounds from her narrow defeat in the Oaks the week prior.

Since 2000, fillies have (now) won just four SA Derbies, the latest being Zarita in 2008 who ran to 107 having run to 110 when winning the Oaks two weeks prior.

Then we had star WA mare Delicacy, clearly the pick of the bunch, running to 113 in her Derby win having gone 110p in her Oaks win.

Qafila was an unlucky 4th at 107 in her Oaks run and then improved to run 111 in a dominant Derby win.

In terms of recent male winners, Coco Sun fits in around Dunkel, who went 107+ in his win and Jungle Magnate (108).

She's behind the likes of Explosive Jack (115) and not even close to the best recent winner of the SA Derby, Russian Camelot who went a whopping 122p in his huge win in 2020.

As with the Oaks winner Vibrant Sun, I'm unfortunately leaning on the pessimistic view for Coco Sun. Even a filly like Qafila never won another race, although she only had five more and three were at G2/G1 level.

She can probably go to Queensland and be competitive in the Oaks off this, especially if Autumn Angel goes to the Derby, but past her three-year-old season, I don't think she's turning into a Caulfield Cup horse or anything like that.


This was the win of the day Australia-wide, with Antino taking out the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) first-up from a spell, coming from last to do it.

The trip was the query and he was beaten for speed early but he's won with authority and run up to his peak rating which is very encouraging.

He was a rock last time in, running to 118 at his first four starts, a couple with very poor luck, and he's run to that figure again here, seemingly with more to offer.

The pace was strong and while Antino looks like the big closer from a hopeless spot, sectionally he wasn't in a terrible position. He's still slightly inefficient at ~102%, but if you compare that (very loosely) to the SA Derby, he has effectively paced his race better coming from last than Coco Sun did.

Still, the overall strength of the win is very good and he should only be better as he steps up in trip.

118 is the same number that Rothfire ran to win this race last year, who then matched that number when third to Think About It in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup (1300m) before running a huge 124 when second with 57kg in a Stradbroke.

Antino is likely to follow the same path and while I don't know what sort of weight he'll get in a Stradbroke, he'll be a leading chance in that, as well as a very good chance in the Kingsford Smith.