I ALWAYS have a little chuckle when people try and pump up the quality of a field by the fact it has a Group 1-winning horse in it.
Take this Saturday’s Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield for example.
The list of 20 nominations contains a few Group 1 winners.
The Mick Priced-trained Heart Of Dreams is one of them.
This bloke loves to chew punters’ money, but he is a good horse.
He does have two Group 1 wins to his name.
But the other Group 1 winners are not what I would call “Group 1 horses”.
If trainer Tony Vasil accepts, Green Birdie will start as the topweight on Saturday.
He’s eight years old, about to turn nine, and he’s had 24 starts at Group or Listed level and produced just three wins.
Of those three wins, just one was at the Group 1 level.
To be fair, Green Birdie did win a top-class Group 1 in the Krisflyer Sprint, beating champion sprinter Rocket Man at Singapore in 2010, but that doesn’t make him a Group 1 horse in my eyes.
Green Birdie has raced at Group 1 level 14 times and won once.
Eight of those starts were after the Krisflyer victory, so it’s looking more and more likely that it was a fluke, where everything went right on the day.
The other Group 1 winner nominated for Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes is Eagle Falls.
Now isn’t he a little darling?
The David Hayes-trained gelding is about to turn seven and he has raced in 11 Group 1 races for just one win.
The Group 1 race he did win was the Oakleigh Plate in February last year.
If you go back through the field of that race, not many of his rivals have gone on to great heights.
Now I’m not saying Green Birdie and Eagle Falls are bad horses, because clearly they’ve more than paid their way for connections ($3.5 million-plus between them), but winning two Group 1 races from a collective 25 starts is not an impressive statistic.
Having them in this Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes does make the race somewhat stronger, but it doesn’t make it a super race.
For this time of the year, though, it is more than handy.
Below is a story produced by Racing Victoria on Heart Of Dreams.