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Royal Aussie winning the Gold Rush last year (Picture: Wayne Marks)

Turf Talk

All eyes were on Charles Dickens and See It Again in the L’Ormarins King’s Plate on Saturday and therefore the fine performance of Royal Aussie in third place has not been given much credit.

The sectionals, kindly provided by Karel Miedema, show Royal Aussie to have actually accelerated quicker than Charles Dickens’ between the 600m and 350m mark.

In most races, horses slow down in the final 300m.

The horses that appear to be “flying” at the finish are usually just slowing down less than the others.

This is shown in the sectionals of the LKP, with Charles Dickens slowing down in the final 300m but not slowing down as much as the others.

The sectionals should not detract from the performance of Charles Dickens though: he was the most efficient racer in the field and won the race comfortably.


The question which must now be asked though is, will Royal Aussie stay the 2000m trip of the WSB Met?

If he does his current odds of 25/1 are too big.

His sire Royal Mo won a Gr 3 over 1700m and was third in the Gr 1 Santa Anita Derby over 1800m. Royal Mo only had six starts, so did not get much chance to show how far he stayed. However, his sire Uncle Mo appeared to be a miler.

Royal Aussie’s unraced Australian-bred dam Abelia is by the Fastnet Rock stallion Smart Missile, who won a Gr 3 over 1200m and was second in a Gr 1 over 1400m in a short career.

However, where there is hope is Abelia is out of a Zabeel mare called Lady Zabelia, who was imported to South Africa and won her maiden over 1800m on debut at Clairwood. She had two further wins, both over 1600m, in an eight race career and she was exported thereafter to Australia where she was still owned by Klawervlei Stud.

Lady Zabelia produced the twice Gr 2-winning speedster  Time For War (Snitzel), who became a sire, and a Listed winner over 1110m by Olympic Glory.

So there does look to be a lot of speed all around in the pedigree, although Zabeel is a major stamina influence and could help Royal Aussie get the Met trip.

Royal Mo has produced a winner over 1900m in the East Cape filly Josie Mo.

Royal Aussie does have a nice big action which will help over middle distances.

He does not strike as having a middle distance conformation though. The immediate impression he gives is of being a strongly built miler type.

He won the lucrative Gold Rush race over a mile last season and has never been tried beyond a mile.

All in all, backing him for the Met would be a bit risky.

However, he could one day become a Gr 1 winner over a mile.