One of the owners of Sapphire Coast-bound duo Dragons Breath and Boomahnoomoonah has a lucky number which corresponds with both their barrier draws.
Unfortunately, that “lucky” number is 17.
Granted both will start a bit closer than that after scratchings, but it is still a blow to two otherwise extremely good prospects.
Dragons Breath will be having only his second start when he lines up in Sunday’s Clarke Law Maiden Handicap (1200m) but was awesome at his debut there at the end of last month.
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The Natalie Jarvis-trained gelding was underwhelming in his barrier trial at Canberra 15 days, which is why he went up at $101.
He did have some fans, though, starting at $61 but still ran well above expectations to finish a diminishing two-and-a-half-length fifth in a fast-run 1000m.
“He went well, probably better than expected actually,’’ Jarvis said.
“We were really happy with how he finished off and I think he will go better with the practise as well.
“He didn’t really know what he was there for that first race and I think he will get better as he continues to learn.
“He was quite happy to just follow them then Shaun (Guymer) got him to the outside and got him going and he understood what he had to do and he finished off.
“He has been a nice horse but he is going to take a little bit of time to work it out.”
Dragons Breath is a well-bred three-year-old son of Golden Slipper winner Sepoy out of a mare by Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.
His third dam, Sydney’s Dream, is the mother of Charge Forward, who was beaten a nose in Dance Hero’s record-breaking 2004 Golden Slipper.
Boomahnoomoonah also has a Golden Slipper connection, being a daughter of the Waterhouse/Bott race winner Vancouver.
This three-year-old filly has raced four times and posted a PB on December 20 when a very close second in her 1300m maiden assignment, also at the Sapphire Coast.
“She is a one-week back-up and I think she will get better with the extra distance (100m) she gets on Sunday,’’ Jarvis said.
“She finished off exceptionally well. She was a little bit wayward in the straight and that could have cost her winning the race.
“When she straightened up again and rebalanced, then she finished off hard over the last 50m. She is a really nice filly and we have liked her since she arrived in our stables.’’
While her immediate focus is on Sunday’s card, Jarvis is already looking to next year — specifically January 4 — when she will be well represented in the Moruya Cup.
“We have got a huge team headed to Moruya Cup Day,’’ she said.
“That’s where all our horses are aiming for pretty much.
“We have Hay Bale in the Cup. He ran second in the Christmas Cup here. And we have also Airfree in the race. She won the Moruya Cup in 2020.
“We will also have Kattegat in the Country Magic.’’
SAPPHIRE COAST BEST BETS
Race 5 No.3: Dragons Breath
Opened up at $101 on debut but was close to the run of the race, coming from a long way back over 1000m — racing at 1200m today which should suit.
Race 1 No.8: Capilse
Keith Dryden-trained filly who could peak here third run in off a rock-solid second placing last time out.
Race 6 No.2: Francisco Pizaro
Has been going great guns of late; impressive both in victory and defeat at the last two appearances of 2020.
Race 4: 3
Race 5: 2, 3, 7
Race 6: 1, 2, 3, 4
Race 7: 4, 5, 10, 17
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Jess Taylor boasts a healthy 17 per cent winning strike-rate at the Sapphire Coast and can boost that figure again.
INSIDE MAIL: SAPPHIRE COAST
Capilise is Nicconi filly trained by Keith Dryden who improved markedly at her second career start — as expected — when she was runner-up here on November 30. Drawn out a fraction but is on an upward trajectory. Jesta Diva has finished second three times in seven outings but to be fair, she could have won either of her last two starts given the extremely narrow margin each time. Drawn perfectly! Twentyeightdragons trialled well twice (in August and September) at the Gold Coast when Michael Costa had him.
BET: CAPILISE win, quinella 8,9
Turfeze has raced 10 times for a win and five placings. The daughter of Turffontein resumes here from a middle alley but has the pace to race handy and give herself a chance. Proud Mia is a very, very fast filly who will need to be on guard when they jump so as to negate her wide draw. Form reads well for this. No More Chicken led throughout to win her maiden easily at Wagga. Has to be included.
BET: TURFEZE win
Polyxena resumes in the perfect race. The daughter of T J Smith Stakes winner Master Of Design has raced five times first-up for a win and four placings so that alone makes her a major player. Halliday Road has been going great guns this time in work with four placings and a fourth from her five appearances. Note that all four of her career wins have been at this venue. Sure to go well again. Michael Oscar excels at this track and was close-up in a very strong race at Riverside last start.
BET: POLYXENA win, box trifecta 2,3,4,7
Kembla Grange housed chestnut Direct Default has won or placed at about half of his 32 starts but he has only won twice which plays against him. Still, he has the nice draw, he has won second-up and he was surely encouraging when he resumed on the Riverside track. Freaky Freckles has won twice in her 17 starts but importantly both of them were here at the Sapphire Coast. Orry Boy and/or Millamoo could sneak a place at odds.
BET: DIRECT DEFAULT win
Dragons Breath did nothing in his trial ahead of his debut which is why he went up at $101. He had some support in $61 but ended up running even better still, finishing fast from a fair way off them to run fifth. That was 1000m here, today the extra 200m brings him right into it. The Theresa Bateup-trained galloper Alan was most impressive winning a Kembla trial 18-days ago. Has drawn wide but Jess Taylor is a big asset in that regard. Bethpage sent out some positive signs when she had her first run for Jason Ponsonby.
BET: DRAGONS BREATH win
Franciso Pizaro has really hit his best stride in recent times. The Joseph Ible-trained gelding was outstanding winning at home in Canberra and was almost the run of the race after that despite finishing fifth at Nowra. On trial at the mile but pattern (and fitness) says he will be sweet. Phelan Thirsty has been a real ‘find’ for trainer Graeme Murray winning his last two at $21 each time. Hard to knock winning form. River Charge has a big weight but the perfect draw!
BET: FRANCISO PIZARO win
Party All Night is possibly going to be saved for a race at Canberra next week — keep an eye on him there. Supposing he doesn’t arrive it opens the door for another Canberran in Physcoa who sent out some encouraging signs at her first prep which concluded on a high note for her at least. Port Douglas is a lightly-raced son of Cox Plate winner Adelaide from the Matthew Dale yard who was spelled after two runs at the first prep, the last of them was in town which indicates what they think of him going forward.
BET: PARTY ALL NIGHT win or if scratched, Physcoa win