Punter's Intelligence Wrap - Randwick, 4th February 2023

Aft Cabin was the name on everyone’s lips after he threw down the gauntlet to the three-year-old sprinter-milers with an exciting first-up win in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

AFT CABIN. Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

Granted, he was afforded a perfect passage by James McDonald but Punter's Intelligence sectional data showed the win was just as eye-catching on the clock as it was watching live.

In a fast run 1200m compared to the other races over that trip on the day, Aft Cabin clocked 1:08.85 for the journey and that was three lengths faster than the TAB Highway and six lengths faster than the Benchmark 78 to wrap up the day.

The Godolphin colt's last 600m of 33.22 was the fastest of the Eskimo Prince and it would surprise nobody that his 400m-200m of 10.75 was his most significant work as he crushed his rivals and raced clear.

He sustained the run quite well with his last 200m of 11.37 the third fastest and only half a length off the race's best.

The question is can those behind him turn the tables in the likely next step of the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 18? On the evidence of this race you'd say not, whether he's a deserved odds-on favourite for the Randwick Guineas (1600m) two weeks later will be clearer then.

Behind Aft Cabin there were some very handy first-up performances.

Brosnan might be back in business after an ordinary spring campaign, he found the line with purpose running 33.35 for his last 600m and the race's fastest last 200m of 11.28.

The grey was Group 1 placed over a mile in the JJ Atkins at two so he has the class to be competitive at the top level over more ground. At the same time, you'd like to see him consolidate that nice first-up run when we see him next.

A length further back was Osipenko who ran 33.41 for his last 600m and 11.32 for the last 200m. A solid pass mark given only he and Brosnan made any significant ground and they couldn't make more of an impact given they were finishing at about the same speed at those in front of them.

So there's a case to forgive Sejardan as well with that in mind. He was back in the ruck and it was impossible for him to get into the race, he ran 33.86 for his last 600m and 11.67 for his final 200m so he could be a sharp improver second-up if he can get conditions to suit.

Group 1 Metropolitan winner No Compromise rightly found many black books after his slashing return in the Drinkwise Mile (1600m) won by Banju.

The Chris Waller stayer turned last and while he didn't go around a horse he rocketed to the line in 33.91, easily the race's best, for his last 600m and that included a 10.99 (400m-200m) and 11.46 last 200m.

He's yet to miss a place when second-up and obviously will improve over more ground so he has to be a live chance in the Group 2 $2m Sydney Cup (3200m) in April at this stage of proceedings.

Last time No Compromise met his stablemate Soulcombe it was a six length margin against him in a 2600m staying contest. Given the boom on the import he started $3.60 against No Compromise's $18 on Saturday despite having no proven 1600m form.

You'd struggle to give him a pass mark, he ran 34.71 for his last 600m. His 400m-200m was 11.32 and he ran a fair 11.91 for his last 200m. Clearly he is a staying talent so judgment should be reserved until he stretches out beyond 2000m.

All honours to Remarque for his first-up win under 62kg in the Yarraman Park Handicap (1000m) taking his record since being gelded to three from four.

He did land in a striking position and ran 32.35 for his last 600m so it was an impressive return. Interestingly, the entire field broke 33 seconds for the final 600m!

But, among those chasing him, Andermatt rushed into fourth place after settling back and tracking wide in 32.18 with the meeting's fastest last 200m of 10.98. He probably needs a win soon but this performance shows he's capable.

Should Key Largo have won the race? It's hard to say but seventh placing didn't do him justice and, as backmarkers can do, he had a hard luck story.

Yet he still ran 32.14 for the last 600m, the meeting's best, with splits including 10.66 (600m-400m), 10.37 (400m-200m) and 11.11 last 200m while being badly held up on a couple of occasions.

In other races, Super Extreme looked the goods once again and it's a shame he's not eligible for the Newhaven Park Country Championships but he's in top form posting his second TAB Highway win in his past three.

He ran 34.18 for his last 600m and 11.37 for his last 200m, both race best, and was soft on the line.

Fastest last 600m: Key Largo 32.14

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