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Timeform Recap - 2017 Dato Tan Chin Nam

Timeform Recap the 2017 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes won by the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval.

Timeform Recap - 2017 Dato Tan Chin Nam

Timeform Recap the 2017 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes won by the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman trained Bonneval.

Bonneval storms away at the Valley
Bonneval storms away at the Valley Picture:Bruno Cannatelli

It's been nine years since the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes produced the Cox Plate winner via Maldivian Horseform and that drought looks set to continue following the 2017 edition won by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman's Bonneval Horseform.

For a long while the Dato (then Feehan) had claims to being the strongest Group 2 in the land. Sunline, Northerly, El Segundo and Whobegotyou all produced Group 1 performances in what was widely recognised as the best lead-up to the Cox Plate.


For all that the 2017 Dato can be considered a weak edition, the same can't be said for the winner. In fact, weak race, strong winner could sum up both of Bonneval's Australian appearances to date.

Bonneval's ATC Oaks win saw her rated 119 - as good as any ATC Oaks winner since Mahaya in 1993.

As an Oaks-winning four-year-old mare Bonneval screams Caulfield Cup. Four-year-old mares have taken home three of the 16 Caulfield Cups run this century (or 18.75%) and they've done that with just 11% of the runners.

It's a small and volatile sample but it points to something logical. Four-year-olds have more physical upside than their older opponents and the mares allowance is a little bit too generous down here.

That helps the four-year-old mares that run well in Caulfield Cups convert those good runs into wins.

Of course, there will be plenty of four-year-old mares that don't win a Caulfield Cup this year, what really matters is how good the four-year-old mare is, and in the case of Bonneval the answer is very.

Bonneval's ATC Oaks win saw her rated 119 - as good as any ATC Oaks winner since Mahaya in 1993. Jameka, Southern Speed and Ethereal all went into the Caulfield Cup rated 118.

Unfortunately they don't all just win - if they did I would be writing this from my punting villa in the Maldives - but a quick look at the other four-year-old mares that have run in the Caulfield Cup rated 118 or better still makes for solid reading.

Lucia Valentina (ran 3rd), Dear Demi (3rd), Royal Descent (5th), Faint Perfume (heavy track 17th), Dariana (heavy track 18th), Serenade Rose (9th) and Republic Lass (3rd) complete the list. Ten mares rated 118 or better have run in eight of the sixteen Caulfield Cup's this century and won three of them.

Those ten mares equate to 7% of runners in those eight Cups, and they've won 37.5% of them. We're making the numbers sing the tune we want them to sing at this point but it still makes for something interesting to consider.

Away from the Dato the Moonee Valley card was highlighted by the Group 2 McEwan Stakes where Russian Revolution returned to post the highest-rated performance on the day, running to 120 to take down Heatherly and Houtzen.

Russian Revolution's rating of 120 is accompanied by an overall time that can be considered one of the best produced in Australia this season.

The two horses with comparable overall time ratings this season are Menari and Vega Magic with that trio all making their way towards a clash with Chautaqua and friends in the Everest. Punters are advised to reinforce all stopwatches for that one!

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