Race 1: Christmas Season Plate (1100m)
French Skyline (5th): settled last and was outsprinted in the middle stages before working home pretty well against the outside fence. Like to see her again, perhaps 1200m around a bend.
Notes – strong win by King’s Authority who sat back off the speed then made his run down the centre. Aspen Angel and American Genius, who was a notable drifter, filled the placings.
Race 2: Beachside Handicap (1400m)
La Speciale (2nd): seemed to appreciate a bit of speed on though was held up for a few strides in the straight. Hit the lead and looked like rallying back when challenged, still a good job second-up from a long spell. Just about ready now.
Notes – the winner Hijack Hussy hadn’t won since November 2014 and almost turned it up before she stuck the head out late. Suited by the strong tempo but she’s hard to follow. Lady Selkirk in third ran an improved race.
Race 3: ISCA Handicap (1100m)
Miss Wonderland (1st): led all the way with a half length to spare but the win was a lot better than it looked. She carried 60kg, did all the work into the breeze and toughed it right out off a six week break. She’s heading north and can only be fitter for harder races ahead.
Race 4: Planet Ruler Handicap (1400m)
Snitzson (4th): ridden negatively from the outside gate then decided to go forward and sit three deep about fifth. Entitled to drop out but he stayed on and was only narrowly denied a place. No luck at all, stick with him.
Notes – Widgee Turf gained an inside run after tracking the leader Styleman throughout and he finished off a bit too well. Every chance the runner-up while What A Shock ran on for third ahead of Snitzson and Atlantic Express who was held up for a fair way down the straight.
Race 5: Skipton Handicap (2500m)
Notes – Boom Time outstayed his rivals in a strong effort. He worked early before taking a trail, when the pressure went on around the turn he lifted and fended off all challengers. Lord Van Percy had his chance in second and Four Carat did what he often does and ran on at the end. Some excuses for Puccini who pulled very hard throughout and was a spent force 400m out.
Race 6: Fiesta Star Handicap (1100m)
Notes – hard luck stories galore down the straight, won by Decision Time (his first win in 16 months) who stayed out of trouble in the centre of the track.
Zupacharged (3rd): took a while to wind up but when he did he motored down the outside fence. Was in good form this time last year in the sprint features and has come back well.
Beau Rada (5th): found himself held up at vital stages and should have finished closer, though doubt he’s quite up to this class.
General Truce (10th): at no stage did this veteran get a crack at them and he went to the line full of running. Hard to say where he might have finished but it should have been closer to first than last.
Odyssey Moon (last): something must have been very amiss with him, enjoyed a great run after a couple of early bumps but was the first beaten.
Race 7: Tauto Handicap (2000m)
Gallic Chieftain (2nd): very promising import who simply gave away far too much start. Spotted the winner about eight lengths at the 400m and ran him to a half. Next time in he’s going to be pretty smart, Warrnambool Cup type perhaps.
Notes – The winner Flying Light did a good job sitting outside the leader and nothing looked like getting near him in the run home, aside from Gallic Chieftain.
Race 8: Chanteclair Handicap (1600m)
Notes – racing can be a strange game. Two weeks ago Kenjorwood couldn’t get near Mihany at Pakenham. This time he was able to sit closer and apply a little pressure and he kept going to win. Artie’s Shore ran an improved race and Mihany weakened late but held third. Nothing else of note out of this race.
Race 9: Scamanda Handicap (1100m)
Notes – the bolter My Survivor had everyone scratching their heads. Beaten in a BM58 at Sale last start, wins a Flemington BM78. Albeit a narrow win he left them with no excuses after being held up to the 300m. Bon Rocket was always up there in second and Domesday Warrior ran home along the outside fence into third.