By RAY HICKSON

Race 1: Carol Kelly Plate (2000m)

1st Khutulun – Beau Mertens
2nd Walloon Region – Ben Allen
3rd Magic Consol – Ben Thompson

Northern Journey had to do a bit of work to cross to the lead ahead of Straight Jacket holding the fence and ReticentGrand Allowance raced between Turbo Street, improving after a slow start, and Initiator trapped wide. Khutulun drifted back aroundWalloon Region and Magic Consol was snagged out to last. Initiator pressed on to avoid a wide run and went up outside Reticent who headed Northern Journey to take over midrace. Straight Jacket came off the fence in the shuffle up. Magic Consol took off from the back past the 800m and moved around them to fifth coming to the turn. Initiator was the first horse beaten and Straight Jacket took over from Reticent at the 300m with Magic Consol looming. Khutulun tracked into it under a big hold while in behind them Walloon Region was being badly held up. Khutulun sprinted right away when let go and won easily over an unlucky Walloon Region getting home when it was all over. Magic Consol wasn’t disgraced after making a long run and they were clear of the rest. Turbo Street did very little and was most disappointing.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 2: VOBIS Gold Stayers (2400m)

1st O’Lonera – Nick Hall
2nd Oncidium Ruler – Brad Rawiller
3rd Scherzoso – Ben Allen

Bondeiger was slowly out but recovered quickly to be in the second half. O’Lonera was first to the fence then went looking for a leader and Danehill Downs obliged while Honey Steel’s Gold strode up outside them. Jimivag landed in a good spot aroundDon’t Be Shy and Oncidium Ruler was in the clear behind them. Bondeiger and Scherzoso were the next pair. O’Lonera found himself still in front up the back straight with Danehill Downs on his outside. Honey Steel’s Gold was pulling so he was sooled around the two leaders to take over 1000m out. Bondeiger was stoked up at the same time and made ground through the field but was under pressure chasing as O’Lonera made a move to get away from the inside and was travelling by far the better. O’Lonera was in front again on the turn and went for home. Bondeiger tried to chase him down but couldn’t get within a length and Oncidium Ruler was starting to run on 300m out clear of Jimivag and Scherzoso. O’Lonera broke away late and simply outstayed them. Oncidium Ruler was a bit one paced but held onto second from Scherzoso closing in late and Jimivag not far away. Bondeiger weakened and it might be best to sack him.

Follow: none, though the winner is a promising staying type.

Race 3: Brian Reckas Handicap (1000m)

1st Derryn – Regan Bayliss
2nd Sword Of Light – Damian Lane
3rd Nasdex – Luke Currie

Nasdex showed good speed to clear them and Kentucky Miss pressed on to sit up on his outside. Crafty Cop began fairly but booted through and held the box seat from Claro El Banco and an easing RampageSprung Dancing was three back on the fence from Sword Of Light. Nasdex turned a clear leader while Crafty Cop was having a bumping duel with Kentucky Miss behind him. Claro El Banco was looming up with Sword Of Light and Gatlinburg getting through from well back while the widest was Derryn starting to wind up. Nasdex gave them plenty to catch and Kentucky Miss was having all sorts of trouble picking him up. Crafty Cop gave up the fight about 100m out after not getting a run earlier in the straight. Sword Of Light and Derryn continued to run on wider out and it was Derryn that finished off the best edging away late. Sword Of Light ran a nice race first-up while Nasdex had his chance in front. Gatlinburg caught the eye getting home nicely ahead of Kentucky Miss. Crafty Cop was disappointing despite not getting a lot of luck.

Follow: Gatlinburg is worth another look.

Race 4: John Skewes Handicap (1200m)

1st Blithe Belle – Chris Symons
2nd Conspicuous Maid – Ben Melham
3rd Dream Food – Dwayne Dunn

Good speed early and Sky Dazzle drove through to lead Yasnat. A line of four next as Anatola railed up inside Dream Food,Carterista and Russian Empress planted wide. Giddyup found a nice spot three back on the fence from Payday Princess andDeconi while Try Pink was right off the track trying to improve midrace. Yasnat put it to Sky Dazzle before the turn and Carterista was right there to challenge as well. Anatola struck trouble and bumped with Dream Food, losing momentum and checking. Wide out Russian Empress and Deconi were running on early in the straight, Blithe Belle was looking for runs behind that pair while Conspicuous Maid unleashed right down the outside looking a big threat 200m out. Carterista burst clear at that point with Dream Food setting out after her. Yasnat was beaten and Anatola still found trouble back in the ruck. Just as Conspicuous Maid appeared the winner Blithe Belle burst through a gap and sprinted to the front in the closing stages to beat her. Dream Food got the better of Carterista to be third while Sound Works caught the eye late steaming home when it was all over. A bunch of them there behind the placings included Anatola and Mamzelle Tess, who missed the start but worked home when it was all over.

Follow: Sound Works, Mamzelle Tess.

Race 5: Helen Egan Handicap (2000m)

1st Hursley – Craig Williams
2nd Perfect Lifeline – Regan Bayliss
3rd Palace Tycoon – Ben Thompson

It’s Humphrey held the lead early but there was pressure from out wide with Birkdale and Mr Million looking to get across.Chilean Wonder and No Love were handy and Palace Tycoon eased in for a trail. Alamonteel was letting all that happen.Zafiki got into a good spot midfield outside Hursley. It’s Humphrey and Birkdale made sure there was no loafing and strung the field out up the hill, racing away from Mr Million, with about 15 lengths first to last. They backed off the speed at the 800m and the field bunched right up very quickly and It’s Humphrey was beaten off before the turn. Alamonteel swept to the lead a long way out with Albion Road tracking her, Birkdale and No Love were battling while Palace Tycoon still had something to offer. Hursley navigated a passage closer to the inside around tiring horses and Bring A Rose had his back but was under pressure. Alamonteel had a couple of lengths on them into the straight with Palace Tycoon in pursuit and Hursley saved ground on the fence. They were clear of the pack headed by Perfect Lifeline starting to wind up from well back. The early move proved costly for Alamonteel and Hursley ran to the lead on the inside 200m out with Palace Tycoon trying to go with him. Perfect Lifeline was still closing. Hursley had the better of Palace Tycoon late and just held off the fast finishing Perfect Lifeline. Alamonteel knocked up late and there was a big space to the rest.

Follow: Perfect Lifeline looks close to a win.

Race 6: Debra Coombs Handicap (1200m)

1st Andrassy – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Butterboom – Craig Williams
3rd Vibrant Rouge – Beau Mertens

Vibrant Rouge was right up on the pace, which is not usual for her, keeping Butterboom three wide as Andrassy gathered speed along the fence. Forgeress had plenty of cover behind that trio between Gold Bar and Celeritas with Northroza right off the track. Andrassy assumed control midrace from Vibrant Rouge while Butterboom came back a length but was still caught three deep. Northroza started to stride up towards the lead giving Rockolicious a cart into it and Choice was creeping through on the inside. Andrassy slipped away from Vibrant Rouge on the turn and Butterboom was under riding to go with them. Plenty of room for Gold Bar to come through, as well as Forgeress, while Choice kept sneaking home on the rail. Butterboom dug in for the fight and made a dash at Andrassy but the hard run started to tell inside the 100m and Andrassy kicked back to worry her out of it.Vibrant Rouge also stuck on in an on-pace dominated race with Forgeress close up and Celeritas, Choice and Rockolicious all in that group.

Follow: like to see Choice and Rockolicious again.

Race 7: Bletchingly Stakes (1200m)

1st Lord Of The Sky – Damien Oliver
2nd Fast ‘N’ Rocking – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Mahuta – Brad Rawiller

Lord Of The Sky jumped well and had little trouble running to the lead. Charmed Harmony didn’t try to pressure him. Thermal Current was handy with Taddei Tondo on the fence and Odyssey Moon in that bunch while Mahuta eased as he was caught four deep. Fast ‘N’ Rocking had one behind him on settling. Lord Of The Sky rolled along at his leisure a length clear of Charmed Harmony who found himself three wide as Thermal Current and Taddei Tondo pushed up inside him. Mahuta trailed that quartet while Runway Star was being pushed along. Odyssey Moon went missing in the middle stages drooping back near the tail. With Charmed Harmony out wide and not having his speed used to advantage it allowed Lord Of The Sky to break away on the turn. Taddei Tondo was doing the chasing while Thermal Current was battling. Mahuta eased out to run on and Fast ‘N’ Rocking was coming off his back to chime in too. But Lord Of The Sky had a big lead at the 200m and was only really asked to go from that point and he was never going to be beaten. Fast ‘N’ Rocking pulled ground off him late in a good effort and Mahuta should lose no friends for his first-up effort. Taddei Tondo ran out of his skin for fourth.

Follow: Mahuta will improve sharply.

Race 8: Three-year-old Handicap (1400m)

1st Divine Mr Artie – Craig Williams
2nd Prince Of Brooklyn – Ben Allen
3rd Kinshachi – Ben Thompson

Thelburg and Little Bita Spunk had a short battle for the lead before Thelburg ran clear. Twisting Typhoon showed some pace and Kinshachi found a good spot around Moss ‘N’ DaleSpearhead and Jose Wales were midfield while the favourite Wall Street Wolf followed them. Makatiti settled well back from Divine Mr Artie. Thelburg ran them along and most were off the bit chasing coming to the turn. Moss ‘N’ Dale was pushed along while Kinshachi strode up ominously around Little Bita Spunk. Wall Street Wolf was very one paced back in the pack while Divine Mr Artie worked to the outside as Prince Of Brooklyn tried to latch onto his back but was still held up. Kinshachi ran past Thelburg inside the 200m with Moss ‘N’ Dale trying to rally. Divine Mr Artie was hitting top gear a couple of lengths away and Prince Of Brooklyn also started to sprint once into the clear. No sooner did Kinshachi look the winner did Divine Mr Artie pounce on her and went straight on by, relishing the tempo and a clear run, easily holding off Prince Of Brooklyn running another honest race. Kinshachi ran a solid third and they were well clear of the rest headed by Moss ‘N’ Dale. Wall Street Wolf didn’t do an awful lot.

Follow: Prince Of Brooklyn deserves a change of luck.

Race 9: Champagne Pommery Masters (1400m)

1st Marwood – Damian Lane
2nd Magicus – Craig Williams
3rd Caprese – Damien Oliver

Magicus was the best out but didn’t want the lead and I’m Ablaze took it up from Don’t Get Excited. Some scrimmaging early saw Anyaas spear off the track before recovering to be three deep on the pace. Fast Approaching tracked them with So Does He while Magicus was three back on the fence inside Marwood while Proud Wolf and Hokkaido were in that group. Archeansettled just off midfield. I’m Ablaze was able to shake off Don’t Get Excited and dash for home on the turn. Fast Approaching came off his back and So Does He and Marwood were quickly into the clear. Magicus was held up as Marwood sprinted out after I’m Ablaze inside the 300m. Fast Approaching was still there and there was a wall of them trying to pick up a place with Benchi Pegasus right down the outside, Caprese getting out and Archean boxing on. Marwood had all the momentum up and raced away for an easy win over a very unlucky Magicus who charged home when finally out and Caprese just outgunned Archean to grab third clear of I’m Ablaze. Winner obviously too good but Magicus should have gone close.

Follow: Archean ran a pleasing race first-up and will improve over more ground.

Specials from the meeting: Gatlinburg, Perfect Lifeline, Mahuta, Archean.