Winter Games can prove how good he is in the Listed The Sharks Gatecrasher Stakes on Saturday at Hollywoodbets Greyville.
Mike Miller’s assistant trainer Craig Eudey said stable jockey Tristan Godden had the choice of ride for both the Listed The Sharks Gatecrasher Stakes and the Listed Hollywoodbets Super League Devon Air Stakes and he had opted for Winter Games and Epic View respectively.
Eudey revealed that the yard had been “very disappointed” when What A Winter colt Winter Games had been beaten on debut.
The fact he finished five lengths that day behind another Gatecrasher contestant Zoombomber in the 1200m contest might have prompted the bookmakers to have Winter Games at a longer price in the Gatecrasher than his twice-winning stablemate Romance In Rome.
However, Winter Games confirmed his promise next time out by beating a Johan Janse van Vuuren-trained raider around the turn over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Greyville with the rest of the field 4,20 lengths and more behind him.
The form of that race has not worked out well, but Godden’s choice tells the story of who the stable elect is seen to be.
It does not always work out to plan though and Romance In Rome did impress last time out when winning by three lengths at Hollywoodbets Greyville over 1400m, his second win in succession.
Furthermore, he is by the promising new stallion Danon Platina, whose progeny look to be of a progressive make up.
Lastly, on formlines there looks to be little between Winter Games and Romance In Rome, and the latter might in fact come out marginally ahead.
However, Winter Games is held in high regard and being out of an Ideal World mare who won over 1600m and who has produced a winner by Duke Of Marmalade over 2000m, he should relish the step up in trip.
He jumps from draw four out of nine and Romance In Rome, who has Robert Khathi up, jumps from gate five.
Winter Games led from start to finish in his win and wasn’t stopping at the line so might try and dominate again on Saturday.
Godden has chosen the one-time winning Red Ray filly Epic View ahead of the twice-winner African Folklore in the Devon Air Stakes.
Epic View stayed on resolutely when winning going away over 1200m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville second time out and gave the impression she was looking for further.
Last time out in the Gr 3 Strelitzia Stakes over 1100m at Hollywoodbets Scottsville she had to run on palpably the unfavourable side on the day being drawn ten out of ten. She might have been beaten 8,65 lengths, but the winner was the exceptional Winter Cloud. Furthermore, the two horses who beat Epic View narrowly in that race, Bomber Girl and Secret Identity, have both come out and won comfortably since.
Epic View has a fair draw of six out of 14 on Saturday.
African Folklore by Querari won her second and third starts at Hollywoodbets Scottsville over 1000m and 1200m respectively.
In the last of those runs she beat two horses, Captain’s Christy and Lady Lacewing, who went on to beat Epic View in the Strelitzia. In fact she even gave weight to her stablemate Lady Lacewing that day.
Nevertheless, the bookmakers agree with Godden’s choice and have Epic View ahead of African Folklore in the betting.
The Miller yard give both Winter Games and Epic View winning chances on Saturday, although they are in ultra competitive fields.
These two races are always full of intrigue as they often unearth new stars and can put put dampeners on the credentials of the early bloomers.
Last year the two races were respectively won by Canadian Summer and Cousin Casey, who both went on to be named Equus Champion two-year-olds of their gender.