Rating the Aussies

By Adam Hamilton

THE Inter Dominion returns to Alexandra Park from Friday and the Aussies have arrived in-force.

Our Aussie correspondent, ADAM HAMILTON, rates them ahead of the opening round of heats at Alexandra Park.



  1. BLING IT ON: What a story. Back from injury and stud duties for 16 months to win the Group 1 Victoria Cup at just his second comeback race. Deliberately kept fresh since. Co-trainer Luke McCarthy is buzzing. Gee he’s going to be hard to beat in anything he contests. I rate him alongside Cruz Bromaz the top seeds in the series.
  2. COLT THIRTY ONE: Oozes talent and learning all the time Already a Group 1 Blacks A Fake winner and Victoria Cup runner-up. Lethal finishing burst, but has strength as well. I’m sure he’ll make the final and be a definite threat.
  3. SAN CARLO: The old fella just wasn’t himself on NZ Cup Day, so forget all about it. Previous form in Victoria this campaign was stunning. So tough and versatile. Stable convinced he’s never raced better than this campaign as a whole. Look for him to bounce-back big time.
  4. OUR UNCLE SAM: The find of last year’s Melbourne Inter Dominion. Nothing went right down south, especially with the standing-starts, but right back to his best with a simply phenomenal Alexandra Park win last Friday night. Remarkable win really. Did run second in last year’s final. Keep him very safe.
  5. ATOMIC RED: Classy but injury-plagued NSW stayer on the comeback trail. Fitter for recent racing and his astute trainer Steve Turnbull wouldn’t have made the trip unless he was really happy. Quick beginner. Could be a surprise packet.
  6. MY KIWI MATE: Talented Victorian sit-sprinter who has built nicely on the comeback trail from injury. Fantastic run when did the work and never gave in against Colt Thirty One last outing. Needs the right runs and luck, but will acquit himself well.
  7. CONVICTION: Stablemate of Atomic Red who isn’t quite as good in my books. Good enough to give cheek if everything goes his way, but just making the final would be a big effort.
  8. SICARIO: Former Kiwi who has shown glimpses since switching ownership and to Brent Lilley’s barn. Specifically set for this and can improve, but would need to on what he’s shown in easier races so far this campaign.



  1. MCLOVIN: Great to see him in the series after so much indecision and then the hiccup with “the thumps” in the Dominion. Forget that run and go on his monstrous Group 1 Bill Collins win and fantastic (and slightly unlucky) second to Tough Monarch in the NZ FFA. Reported to have trained really well last weekend. His best is good enough to win it all.
  2. TOUGH MONARCH: Looked to have gone to the next level in Aussie then proved it with his breakthrough Group 1 win in the NZ FFA on NZ Cup Day then his brave second in the Dominion. Primed, classy, begins quickly and looks a really serious player.
  3. BIG JACK HAMMER: Roared through the grades to win twice at Group 1 level last season. Trainer David Aiken admits he’s “just a touch below the very best ones”, but he’s an opportunity and has good gate speed. Can make the make final and be a place hope if all goes right.

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