[close]

Timeform Recap - 2018 C.F Orr Stakes

Timeform recap the 2018 C.F Orr Stakes won by Hartnell for trainer James Cummings and jockey Craig Williams.

Timeform Recap - 2018 C.F Orr Stakes

Timeform recap the 2018 C.F Orr Stakes won by Hartnell for trainer James Cummings and jockey Craig Williams.

A bunched finish to the 2018 C.F Orr Stakes
A bunched finish to the 2018 C.F Orr Stakes Picture:Racing and Sports

The story of the 2018 C.F Orr Stakes is one of hard luck. There were tales of woe everywhere you looked in a desperately tight finish with the first seven across the line separated by less than a length.


In Hartnell, the highest rated horse in the field won the race, but he didn't have to be anywhere near his best to do so. He did show some of his best qualities, digging in to win the scrap, but a winning rating of 118 is below his 12-month best of 124 and a full ten pounds shy of his career-high 128 from the spring of 2016.

In Hartnell, the highest rated horse in the field won the race

This is the story of the Orr Stakes overall. It has an honour roll loaded with horses that could/would/should be identified with the very ambiguous label 'Group 1 horse' but it has been won by far fewer 'Group 1' performances.

In the past 25 years, 'Group 1 horses' such as Jeune, Saintly, Lonhro, Typhoon Tracy and All Too Hard have all won the Orr, but have done so running well below their peak rating.

Just three - Redoute's Choice (2000), Black Caviar (2012) and Black Heart Bart (2017) - have run a rating above 125 on the Timeform scale - a number that could be used as an appropriate measure of that ambiguous 'Group 1' tag.

The 2018 edition was, in raw terms, the slowest Orr Stakes in the 22 years that the race has been run at Caulfield and on top of that produced the third slowest last 600m in that time.

That speaks as much to the conditions under which the race was run (those calculating speed figures will have used a track variant more in line with a Soft 5 track than the posted Good 3) than the race itself.

After designated leader Lord Of The Sky Horseform bungled the start Plan A was out the window for the jockeys - many seemingly had Plan A listed as simply 'The Plan'- and it ultimately led to a messy race.

Sectional times show as much, and they probably speak to another long term Orr Stakes trend, one connected with good horses winning despite running below their peak. Just three (2009, 2013, 2016) of the past ten runnings of the Orr Stakes could be considered truly run.

Maldivian won the 2009 C.F Orr in a strong overall time
Maldivian won the 2009 C.F Orr in a strong overall time Picture:Racing and Sports

Maldivian's 2009 Orr Stakes was run closest to what we would consider optimal in that period and of course it resulted in a very strong overall time.

Typhoon Tracy, Black Caviar and Dissident all won editions of the Orr that could be described as high-class barrier trials but it's well worth noting that they all had Group 1 success deeper into the autumn.

So despite looking a messy, even unsatisfactory race, the 2018 Orr Stakes is likely to prove a key pointer to the weeks ahead.

The key takeaways being :

- Hartnell is still Hartnell. A whipping boy for Winx but a force in her absence.

- Brave Smash is back on track and is going to prove at least as effective over 1400m and a mile. His big 1200m runs to this point have come with the pressure gauge marked high which probably hints at him wanting races that test not top speed but the ability to sustain it.

- Mighty Boss's Guineas was no fluke. He ran to 117 when winning the Guineas but the 100-1 SP hung over that rating. A return at 115 here at 10-1 gives him a much more solid look in the form guide.

Racing And Sports




128525
R8 CAULFIELD 10 February 2018
Ladbrokes C.F. Orr Stakes 3U , 1400m
Race Synopsis: In a keenly contested finish where the entire field of 13 finished within 3.5 lengths of the winner, multiple Group One winner Hartnell prevailed in a really smart first up performance. He settled back in eighth place (wide with cover) from his difficult barrier (11), improved from the 700m, moved up (under riding) at the home turn and responded over the latter stages, coming with a late bid to score narrowly but well. Single Gaze raced in tenth place on the rails, Kathy O’Hara got her along the inner in the straight and she ran on really well for a smart first up second. Brave Smash raced in seventh place, between runners, angled into clear running on passing the 200m and caught the eye with his late closing third in good first up run. Thronum went to the front as expected and battled on well for a close up fourth in a good effort, advancing in class here. Lord Of The Sky was slowly away, made and early move to race outside the leader and held on for (0.7 lengths) fifth putting up a smart effort. Abbey Marie made late ground and impressed with her late-closing (0.8 lengths) sixth while Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Mighty Boss made good late ground in restrict room for (0.9 lengths) seventh in another good first up run while the favourite Tosen Stardom was caught deep from his outside barrier (13) and after being back in the field early on, made a move to race in third place (thee wide) outside the leading duo before battling on for (2.4 lengths) 11th after a difficult trip.

FP
 
Horse
Age & Sex
Trainer
Jockey
WT
SP
 
1st  
1. HARTNELL (GB)
7yo Gelding
JAMES CUMMINGS
CRAIG WILLIAMS
59.0
$6.00
 
AUTHORIZED (IRE) - DEBONNAIRE (GB)
Godolphin Australia Syndicate (Mgr: Vin Cox)
2nd  
10. SINGLE GAZE (AUS)
6yo Mare
NICK OLIVE
KATHY O'HARA
57.0
$21.00
 
NOT A SINGLE DOUBT (AUS) - REDALUCA'S GAZE (AUS)
K Yoshida
Jan 14, 2014 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, $70000, NICK OLIVE, NSW
 
3rd  
4. BRAVE SMASH (JPN)
5yo H
DARREN WEIR
J ALLEN
59.0
$9.00
 
TOSEN PHANTOM (JPN) - TOSEN SMASH (JPN)
 Australian Bloodstock, Mt Hallowell Stud, Power Thoroughbreds, G Kairouz, Carty Racing, Walker Racing, A Brogan, D Butcher, Platinum Breeding & Racing, Dr P Goel, D Canny, T Porter, T Ginnane, M Johnston, D O'Connor, B Shannon, Mrs K Davis, Mrs K Davis, Mrs K Cicciarelli, Brave Smash & A Bates
4th  8. THRONUM (AUS)
5yo H
D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG
MARK ZAHRA
59.0
$10.00
5th  5. LORD OF THE SKY (AUS)
8yo H
ROBBIE LAING
DAMIEN OLIVER
59.0
$51.00
6th  12. ABBEY MARIE (AUS)
6yo Mare
MICHAEL KENT
LUKE NOLEN
57.0
$31.00
7th  14. MIGHTY BOSS (AUS)
4yo H
MICK PRICE
MICHAEL WALKER
55.5
$11.00
8th  7. MR SNEAKY (AUS)
5yo Gelding
ANTHONY FREEDMAN
KERRIN MCEVOY
59.0
$9.00
9th  9. DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR (AUS)
6yo Gelding
TONY MCEVOY
JAMIE KAH
59.0
$16.00
10th  11. SHILLELAGH (NZ)
7yo Mare
CHRIS WALLER
MICHAEL DEE
57.0
$10.00
11th  3. TOSEN STARDOM (JPN)
7yo H
DARREN WEIR
DAMIAN LANE
59.0
$4.00
12th  13. JESTER HALO (AUS)
6yo Mare
DARREN KOLPIN
CHRISTINE PULS
57.0
$101.00
13th  6. TSHAHITSI (AUS)
7yo Gelding
CHRIS CROOK & IMOGEN MILLER
BRENDON MCCOULL
59.0
$16.00


Latest Stories