Race 1 – THE COVE HOTEL HANDICAP (1100m)
1st MERRIEST – James Winks
2nd PHOENIX RISING – Mark Zahra
3rd VINTAGE QUARTZ – Nicholas Hall
Good fast start to begin the day with Merriest settling at the front from Special Diva and Dimoshot, a gap back to Phoenix Rising on the inside with Flying Comet caught on her outside, then Call Me Tess with Fille Champagne placed reasonably back on the rails, then Rowdy Rousey, I Am A Star, and a gap back to Fromparis With Love and Vintage Quartz at the rear.
Merriest held the lead into the straight as Dimoshot hung right out and I Am A Star, also well out, was given a solid hip and shoulder by Call Me Tess to be knocked right out as they straightened. Winks kept Merriest on the rail (which was out 12 metres) the whole trip and ran away with it, saluting by two and half lengths under a tight hold. Phoenix Rising, Call Me Tess and Vintage Quartz ran on well from wide.
Watch: Merriest, Call Me Tess, Vintage Quartz.
Race 2 – THE GRAND HOTEL FRANKSTON HANDICAP (1000m)
1st BELLA CAPRI – Damien Oliver
2nd MAGNAGEM – Ben Thompson (a3)
3rd GREY STREET – Ben Melham
They largely settled in three rows with Uninque Storm, Magnagem and Petite’s Reward at the front, Solar Duchess, Grey Street, Refuse To Lose and Matilda Bird next, and Lady Concord, Bella Capri and Hotel Sierra behind. Bringing up the rear were Pilly’s Wish, Sea Spray and a gap to Bermuda Blu.
Magnagem lead them into the straight as further back Melham shifted Grey Street out for a run, and Unique Storm fell away on the rail. The challengers came from the outside once the sorted themselves, Bella Capri, Refuse To Lose and Hotel Sierra all following Grey Street in. Bella Capri manged to swallow them all up to claim a very narrow victory from a gallant Magnagem and the hard finishing Grey Street.
Watch: Bella Capri.
Race 3 – SELANGOR TURF CLUB HANDICAP (1800m)
1st RAW IMPULSE – Brad Rawiller
2nd BANTRY BAY – Michelle Payne
3rd KAPSET – Luke Nolen
Volontiers and Orient Line settled at the front along with Kapset who came across from very deep to join them. Next was Temps Voleur also caught deep outside Bantry Bay, a length back to Morning Mix, a further length back to the favourite Raw Impulse outside of Iteration, then Slivovitz likewise outside Houdini The Great.
First to move was Temps Voleur, not liking the going as Childs stepped it up to go around the outside and sit second but well deep, Orient Line doing likewise but staying a little closer in to the leader Volontiers. Temps Voleur and Volontiers kept up the pace down the side of the course to string the field out, most electing to hold fire, aside from Bantry Bay and Morning Mix who stepped out in midfield and looked to improve. Bantry Bay caught them before the final turn to be widest and leading, hanging right out in the turn before pointing in the right direction in the straight and bolting for home. But Rawiller had the favourite ominously clear after also going wide to find space and barely had to ask a question in the straight, running on to take Bantry Bay for an easy victory. Kapset and Orient line boxed on reasonably.
Watch: Raw Impulse.
Race 4 – WELLINGTON RC HANDICAP (1440m)
1st THE NEW BOY – Jordan Childs (a2)
2nd HERE TO THERE – Ben Thompson (a3)
3rd HARBOUR GREY – James Winks
Here To There was pushed forward from wide to settle at the front from Beluga Caviar and The New Boy, with a length to Harbour Grey on the outside of Distant Rock. King’s Dance was next caught wide, then Time To Test outside Star Fortune, the favourite Armada well back and deep, then Tonopah and Running Bull last of all.
Good tempo and orderly running along the side of the course, little movement with Winks on Harbour Grey moving out and improving slightly into the final turn. The New Boy had held a dream run throughout, one back on the rail, and upon straightening jumped out a little to have Here To There’s outside and lay down the challenge. He moved to the leader and took him with little fuss, Harbour Grey boxing on as well but never looking as confident as The New Boy. Distant Rock took fourth with an attractive Run.
Race 5 – HYDERABAD RC HANDICAP (1440m)
1st MEFNOODA – Craig Newitt
2nd KANSAS SUNFLOWER – Damien Oliver
3rd INISHOWEN – Patrick Moloney
Distant Dreams got a great start to lead them out from the well-tried Kansas Sunflower and Telopea pushing forward, the favourite Mefnooda settled nicely back on the fence with Boundary and Inishowen moving up on her outside. A length then to Fair and Equitable, Lady Cumquat and Imperial Lass taken to the back by Nolen.
Distant Dreams and Telopea bounded along the side of the course at a reasonable speed as Mefnooda remained in the box seat in third on the fence, as Oliver moved Kansas Sunflower forward into the turn and looked to take Telopea. She did so in the straight as Mefnooda got a little caught up, Newitt inching across progressively off their heels to find a run. He eventually did outside Kansas Sunflower and was too strong to the line, while Inishowen further out ran on well.
Watch: Mefnooda, Inishowen.
Race 6 – JRA HANDICAP (1440m)
1st ABBEY MARIE – Luke Nolen
2nd LYUBA – Ben Allen (a3)
3rd FRANCAIS – Brad Rawiller
Zafiki won the start and settled in first from Magna Rossa on the rail, with Indarra from deeper and the favourite Lyuba pushing forward to join them. Pearl Star was next and not far away, from Francais on the fence, Tiz My View, Jocasta, Backstreet Lover, Dulverton and Abbey Marie last.
Lyuba was right on Zafiki into the side of the course and perhaps over-racing a little as the speed dropped out and the field bunched. Indarra was outside them caught three-deep for much of the journey, whilst into the turn the mover was Abbey Marie in last, Nolen pulling her well wide for a run in the straight. At the front Lyuba has worked her way to the lead and was running on reasonably, but it was all Abbey Marie down the outside as she swallowed up the field to claim an impressive win, with Francais and Indarra also finishing well.
Watch: Abbey Marie.
Race 7 – SANDOWN PARK (UK) HANDICAP (1100m)
1st NUDIERUDIE – Dwayne Dunn
2nd ABILITY – Mark Zahra
3rd SAINT VALOREM – Brian Higgins
Prussian Vixen was first to the lead with Nudierudie right on her hammer along with Our Vidia wider, a gap then to Invincible Heart claiming the rail from Just Got Lucky and Atlantic City, Tango Rock caught a little deep, and Stoker on the inside. Divine Mr Artie was next with Ability caught outside him very deep, then Saint Valorem and Well Sprung back last.
They bunched up into the turn with a mob of horse going wide from the back, among them Atlantic City, Ability caught widest, Tango Rock and Saint Valorem. Prussian Vixen continued to lead into he straight with Nudierudie keeping the pressure on and taking her fairly quickly. Invicible Heart split them and Our Vidia kept punching on the outside of Nudierudie, but it was Ability from wide posing the biggest threat. Nudierudie hung tough to claim a narrow win from fast finishing Ability and Saint Valorem.
Watch: Ability, Saint Valorem.
Race 8 – SHEEN GROUP BEL ESPRIT STAKES (1100m)
1st SHEIDEL – Damien Oliver
2nd GIRL GUIDE – Dean Yendall
3rd UNDER THE LOUVRE – Mark Zahra
Fast and fairly even start with Boss shoving Bullpit forward to take the lead from Hellova Street coming across from deep, the favourite Sheidel also starting well to slot in third from It Is Written and That’s A Good Idea and Unanimously a little deep. A gap then to Pittsburgh Flyer inside of Beau Rada and Girl Guide, then Husson Eagle, Under The Louvre, with Java, Mirage and Our Nkwazi at the rear.
Bullpit went out a little wide at the home turn, taking the field with him, as Sheidel and Unanimously went wide for a run. Sheidel looked very strong down the straight, building well to claim the lead and hang tough from fast finishers in Girl Guide and Under The Louvre.
Watch: Girl Guide, Under The Louvre, Sheidel.
Race 9 – BECK PROPERTY GROUP PLATE (2000m)
1st DOCTOR CARE – Dean Yendall
2nd REAL LOVE – Ben Allen (a3)
3rd GOLDEN MANE – Damian Lane
Slow start at the 2000m with few keen to lead, Tristram’s Sun and Doctor Care eventually coming across to take it up from Kareeming on the fence, Good Value and Black Tomahawk pushing up the outside to move to third. Next was Disclaimer from De Little Engine, Real Love caught deep, Golden Mane, Fieldmaster and No Song No Supper.
Tristram’s Sun continued to lead from Black Tomahawk who had eventually settled in second, whilst behind Doctor Care, Kareeming and De Little Engine had good runs on the rails, although the latter would soon be shuffled too far back. The first major movers were Golden Mane and No Song No Supper from the back, heading out very wide for a run. They fanned right out around the turn, Tristram’s Sun closest from a cruising Doctor Care, Black Tomahawk, Real Love and Golden Mane widest. They’d go to the line with Doctor Care claiming the narrowest of wins, with Golden Mane and Good Value running on well.
Horses to follow: Merriest, Vintage Quartz, Bella Carpi, Raw Impulse, Abbey Marie.