By: Mark Haywood
Race 1 – HAPPY 70TH BIRTHDAY MARTIN KING HANDICAP (1200m)
1st TANGO RAIN – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd THRONUM – Tommy Berry
3rd HAIR TRIGGER – Sam Clipperton
Tango Rain won the start ahead of Vienna Waltz and Tickling, while favourite Thronum recovered to sit fourth after marginally missing the start, with Decorated Soldier moving up outside. Maybe Sailing and Seventhchic were next from Walk Right In, then Cudabeen and Hair Trigger bringing up the rear.
Collett continued to push Vienna Waltz along to challenge the leader, but was caught wide as they approached the side of the course and suffered as a result. Cornering wider still was Decorated Soldier, with Hair Trigger and Walk Right In from well back, as they all gave Tango Rain and Tickling a decent lead in the straight. Thronum finally woke up and made up lengths quickly, Hair Trigger and Decorated Soldier doing likewise, but it was too late to catch the leader.
Watch: Thronum, Hair Trigger.
Race 2 – TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1250 METRES)
1st LASSZOU – Robert Thompson
2nd ATTAINMENT – Brenton Avdulla
3rd DYLAN’S DYNASTY – Kathy O’Hara
Decent battle for the start with Cheeky winning it from Raised A Legend as Dylan’s Dynasty joined them, the three putting a handy early gap on the rest led by Destined To Win and Attainment. A further gap then to Ocean Grand outside of Lasszou, then Striking Lago, Loyal Toast and Rubymay at the back.
The field bunched into the side of the track, Ocean Grand the notable mover, Jennings going four wide outside them and making up ground. Dylan’s Dynasty worked to the front of a packed field as they straightened, with the leading chases coming from Attainment, Ocean Grand and Lasszou widest. The latter extended the best by far, striding out to edge the rest for a solid win.
Watch: Lasszou, Rubymay.
Race 3 – SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1250m)
1st PIONEERING – Hugh Bowman
2nd DEE NINE ELLE – Tim Clark
3rd ART NOUVEAU – Andrew Adkins (a)
Helensburgh Ham jumped best from out wide to take up the early lead from Salerno and Ocean Tempest, with favourite Dee Nine Elle in fourth after an average start. A gap then to Pioneering, Courtly and Art Nouveau last.
The field was a bit strung out in the run as the leader kept the speed up, but Berry looked to have used a lot of petrol and was already labouring approaching the final turn. The chasers were led by Dee Nine Elle as they straightened, the favourite looking ominous as it moved up and took the leader, but a late charge on the outside from Pioneering and Art Nouveau had them lunging at the line, the former taking the win in a photo.
Watch: Pioneering, Art Nouveau.
Race 4 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1900m)
1st SONG AND LAUGHTER – Jason Collett
2nd SINGING – Koby Jennings (a)
3rd LOOPHOLE – Hugh Bowman
No great rush early as wide runners Tradtri and Black Jag rolled forward to take up the lead, with Pindan Pearl held up in third and Singing in fourth. Sprinbok Flyer was next in an orderly queue followed by Get On The Grange, Loophole, Ghost Protocol and Song And Laughter.
Extremely settled journey throughout with all happy with the pace, O’Hara sitting relatively calm on Tradtri all the way to the final turn as Black Jag came under real pressure. Singing emerged from the turn challenging and then taking Tradtri, Jennings also having barely moved, whilst Song And Laughter had got a look up the inside and was travelling well. A great two-way tussle between the two down the straight with Song And Laughter responding to drive through for the win. Loophole ran on reasonably for third.
Watch: Song And Laughter.
Race 5 – #THERACES HANDICAP (1550m)
1st KING’S OFFICER – Tommy Berry
2nd MCCREERY – Brenton Avdulla
3rd GOT UNDERS – Lester Grace (a)
Got Unders emerged as the early leader from a slightly keen Magical Stance, the pair putting a slight gap on McCreery in third outside of Lanciato. King’s Officer and Gambler’s Blues were next, then Thunder Down Under and Slow Pace, and longshot Can Dominate last of all.
King’s Officer looked fairly keen into the side of the course, improving slightly and on the bridle through the middle of the field. The front three cornered in a line with it nicely set up for King’s Officer in the next lane, Berry asking for an effort and getting one, storming on for the win from a gallant McCreery.
Watch: King’s Officer, McCreery.
Race 6 – TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1100m)
1st LAST WITNESS – Tim Clark
2nd RAIDO – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd EVER SO NATURAL – Brenton Avdulla
Good battle for the lead with Raido coming across to take it from Happy Galaxy, Burradoo in third and Encostanati outside in fourth. A gap then to Isorich from Ever So Natural revving up the inside, then Cosmic Cameo, Last Witness and Bayview Emperor a long last.
Tight bunch out of the turn with Raido, Happy Galaxy and Encostanati having a good run, whilst Ever So Natural and Last Witness looked for passage further back in the mob. Last Witness got out widest for a good look, which as all that was needed as he moved up to Raido and went on to take the win.
Watch: Last Witness.
Race 7 – JULY SPRINT (1100m)
1st REDZEL – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd WOULDN’T IT BE NICE – Christian Reith
3rd FORGET – Tim Clark
Favourite Redzel burst out of the gates to take a big early lead from Decision Time and Felines, with another sizeable margin to Forget and Hurrara. The rest of the field was led by Gold Symphony from Agent, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Mount Nebo and Shamalia.
McEvoy kept up the pace all the way into the straight as the chasers came, Forget travelling reasonably up the inside as Felines fell away. There was a hard late charge from Wouldn’t It Be Nice to cut into the leader’s margin, but it was too late as McEvoy’s tactics paid off.
Watch: Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
Race 8 – TAB MORE THAN JUST WINNING HANDICAP (1250m)
1st SLOTS – Lester Grace (a)
2nd POWERLINE – Koby Jennings (a)
3rd ALLEZ CHIVAL – Jess Taylor
Good even start as Allez Chival went forward from Fortune Patch and Typhoon Jolie inside of Dylan’s Rojo. Favourite Avonaco was next with Ultima Chance, with Powerline and Slots at the back.
Little movement right into the straight, Fortune Patch coming for Allez Chival and Typhoon Jolie looking ominous momentarily. The widest runners were Powerline and Slots, getting out from the rear, both powering home with little to separate them. Ultima Chance also ran on well for fourth.
Watch: Slots, Powerline, Ultima Chance.
Race 9 – MYBOYCHARLIE @ VINERY HANDICAP (1100m)
1st AWASITA – Brenton Avdulla
2nd GLENBAWN DAME – Andrew Adkins (a)
3rd MAD ABOUT YOU – Christian Reith
Glenbawn Dame from out wide started best to settle in front from Thorsborne and favourite Shahrazad held back in third. Awasita was next from Mad About You railing through, then Sense And Reason, and a gap to Princess Command, Rose Of Man and Lot Three Four One.
Mad About You kept moving up and joined Shahrazad, taking a clear third as the favourite continued to be held by Schofield. Out of the turn and the leader kicked nicely to put a little space on the rest, of which Awasita looked the best of those with clear running. Mad About You inside and Shahrazad ran on reasonably as Awasita went to Glenbawn Dame and passed in a well-timed run.
Horses to follow: Lasszou, Pioneering, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Slots, Powerline