Race 1: Maribyrnong Plate (1000m)
1st Aspect – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Cao Cao – Mark Zahra
3rd Wait For No One – Stephen Baster
Institution had good early speed and led Wait For No One. A few were over racing in behind the leaders including Azazel, Tarima and Resin while further out were Fill Fill and Crystal Wings. Kobayashi was in that group too. Towards the tail wereAspect and Cao Cao, who both had issues at the start. Wait For No One seemed to travel well to the 400m and pressured Institution. Azazel was trying to get up on their inside and was battling with Tarima. Resin was under pressure and Aspect improved inside her. Cao Cao was running up onto heels closer in and had to change course a couple of times. Wait For No One looked to be holding those on his inside. Azazel and Tarima couldn’t match him but Aspect and Cao Cao were warming up at the 100m and they swamped the leaders with Aspect drawing away late. Cao Cao didn’t have a lot of luck and probably should have made it interesting. Wait For No One was game on the pace while Tarima and Azazel were fair but didn’t run up to their debuts. Institution battled on while there was a big gap to the rest of the field.
Follow: Cao Cao was big odds but an outstanding debut.
Race 2: Starlight Foundation (2000m)
1st Little White Cloud – Katelyn Mallyon
2nd Nozomi – James McDonald
3rd Hipparchus – Hugh Bowman
Lord Durante ran to the lead comfortably from Kilmacurragh striding over from out wide. Sadaqa and Nozomi let them go. Little White Cloud settled up handy around Master Zephyr. Shamkiyr settled midfield with Curragh three deep around him. Hipparchus wound up at the tail midrace. Lord Durante seemed to do it well coming to the turn but a few moves came and he was quickly under pressure. Kilmacurragh outside him also found little as Nozomi and Little White Cloud swept up to take over at the top of the straight. Curragh started to run on further out while Sadaqa was shuffled back. Nozomi and Little White Cloud went a long way from home but they were clear at the 300m. Curragh couldn’t peg back the margin and there was a wall chasing with Shamkiyr, Hipparchus and Master Zephyr getting through with Sadaqa. Little White Cloud started to get the upper hand late and edged away from Nozomi with Hipparchus leaving it too late getting home into third. Curragh was only fair next withThunder Teddington running on from last. The leaders compounded to be well beaten. Winner was first-up for over three years, amazing effort and either he’s very good or the opposition is limited.
Follow: none in particular.
Race 3: Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m)
1st Francis Of Assisi – William Buick
2nd Vengeur Masque – Patrick Moloney
3rd Tom Melbourne – Dwayne Dunn
No surprises early as Tom Melbourne ran to a clear lead from Francis Of Assisi. Vengeur Masque came across with the leader before settling third around Howard Be Thy Name. Second Bullet was another couple away from Angel’s Touch. Tom Melbourne had them strung out as he usually does and led midrace by four over Francis Of Assisi and a similar gap top Vengeur Masque, with another decent gap to Howard Be Thy Name. The field eventually bunched a little bit nearing the home turn though Tom Melbourne still led by a couple. Francis Of Assisi had his back and travelled well while Vengeur Masque was getting closer. Second Bullet made it through to fourth around the bend but those in the second half of the field were under a heap of pressure. Francis Of Assisi went straight past Tom Melbourne at the 300m and sprinted away. Vengeur Masque was a clear third and making ground on the second horse and the others were in a race of their own. Francis Of Assisi got further in front as the race went on and he put 10 lengths on Vengeur Masque who picked up Tom Melbourne. A battle for fourth with De Little Engine just getting there from Second Bullet and Howard Be Thy Name though none were ever a winning hope.
Follow: obviously Francis Of Assisi will be one to remember for next spring.
Race 4: Hilton Stakes (1400m)
1st Souchez – James McDonald
2nd Inside Agent – Hugh Bowman
3rd Man From Uncle – Damien Oliver
A charge for the early lead and it was Valliano who was dug right up to take it up from Sword Of Light and Tessera on the fence. Gratwick and Benz were in that bunch as well as Verstappen off the track. Enigman had cover behind them around Dam Ready. Niccolance was well off the speed in a bit of a surprise with Simply Invincible. Still a line in front as Valliano split Benz and Sword Of Light before the turn. Verstappen loomed up four out while Niccolance and Magnarock also started their runs. Back to the inside Sword Of Light took over momentarily at the 300m, Dam Ready was hard up against the fence and Tessera couldn’t go with them. Right out wide Man From Uncle started to run on, Inside Agent was the widest and Souchez, who was checked early in the straight, was still looking for runs. Dam Ready hit the front for a few strides but those out wide started to swamp and once Souchez found a gap he sprinted very sharply through, Inside Agent tried to match him with Man From Uncle as they drew away from the field. Souchez just managed to hold off a game Inside Agent to win second-up while Man From Uncle was between them and not beaten far. A gap to Sword Of Light, Benz and Enigman who was held up for a while and finished off okay. Big disappointment was Niccolance who wasn’t the same horse he was in Sydney.
Follow: away from the first three Enigman’s run was promising at just his second start.
Race 5: Antler Luggage Handicap (1600m)
1st Boom Time – Craig Williams
2nd Mabeel – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Petrology – Cory Parish
Coronation Shallan was straight on the lead and opened up a couple of lengths until Mabeel gathered pace into second. Survived and Loyalty Man were up handy enough and Carlo Bugatti was three wide next around Hell On Earth and Last Bullet pushing up on the fence. Streetwise Savoire and Flow Meter were next. Coronation Shallan ran them along and strung the field out with Mabeel staying with her. Loyalty Man seemed to be going okay a couple of lengths back and Last Bullet improved along the fence to join Survived. Carlo Bugatti was under pressure well before the turn. Things got a bit messy early in the straight as the leaders came away from the inside. Mabeel got to Coronation Shallan with Last Bullet sticking to the inside, Loyalty Man found himself held up as Survived made a dash. Wider out starting their runs were Streetwise Savoire and Lucky Paddy while Boom Time switched across his heels at the 250m and was warming up with Petrology from last right down the outside. Mabeel and Survived were battling it out with Loyalty Man switching back to their inside. Boom Time and Petrology were charging home further out and it was Boom Time that finished off the best, albeit a bit green, to beat a gallant Mabeel and Petrology whose run ended. Loyalty Man and Survived stuck on well to be behind them.
Follow: Mabeel is just about ready to win.
Race 6: Matriarch Stakes (2000m)
1st Jessy Belle – Craig Williams
2nd Sort After – Stephen Baster
3rd Happy Hannah – Kerrin McEvoy
Rocket Commander was ridden with purpose to lead from a wide gate and Kaniana also came across to be on the speed. Sort After and Replique were handy with Lady Le Fay on the fence. Powderworks was inside a line of three including Rising Romance and Zanbagh. Alaskan Rose was buried back on the inside of Denmagic and Manageress while Amarela made a midrace move around them wide out to be in the first four. Sort After moved to second outside Rocket Commander and Lady Le Fay was third by the 1000m. Replique and Amarela were next while Zanbagh and Manageress started to stride forward in a very bunched field with no pace at all on. Denmagic started to track up behind them with Rising Romance and Cinnamon Carter on their outside. She was tracked by Happy Hannah and Jessy Belle while Powderworks was shuffled right out the back. Sort After went for home at the 400m with Kaniana trying match her. Amarela was starting to paddle and Manageress and Denmagic were running on. Wider out Jessy Belle had worked into the clear but Alaskan Rose was badly held up. Lady Le Fay was one batting but sticking on. Sort After had a good break down to the 100m but Jessy Belle sprinted hard after her with Denmagic and Happy Hannah unleashing late. Jessy Belle arrived in time to beat Sort After and Happy Hannah wouldn’t have needed much further to pick them up. Denmagic had her chance, may lack that killer instinct, and Alaskan Rose was luckless next. Messy race, worth noting Powderworks did a good job to finish midfield.
Follow: Happy Hannah should pick up a race soon.
Race 7: Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m)
1st Awesome Rock – Stephen Baster
2nd Hauraki – James McDonald & Seaburge – Dean Yendall
Vadamos was slowly out as he was in the Cox Plate then rushed through to lead. Endless Drama was up handy and Awesome Rock was wide early but worked into second. Vanbrugh landed in a good spot around Hauraki and Good Standing withSeaburge were the next pair. Palentino settled in the clear while The United States found himself in an awkward spot inside Happy Trails. Vadamos was pulling hard as he ran a few lengths clear of Awesome Rock. Vanbrugh and Endless Drama were tracked up by Hauraki and Good Standing as the leader strung them out a bit. They were well away from the fence before the turn and Vadamos still had a clear lead into the straight with Awesome Rock right on his back. Endless Drama was a shot duck while Vanbrugh and Good Standing pulled out wider. Palentino was further out and The United States strung up behind them. Hauraki and Seaburge were being called on at the 400m. Awesome Rock moved alongside Vadamos at that point as Vanbrugh and Good Standing were trying to join in. Hauraki was looking for a run between the two leaders that opened up for him and Seaburge was also getting through a gap. A couple of lengths to The United States having all sorts of trouble winding up with Palentino laying over him. Awesome Rock took over at the 100m and while Hauraki and Seaburge were chasing him they never looked like catching him and he held on to win. That pair dead heated for second while The United States only got warm when it was all over and flashed home to be with Vanbrugh and Vadamos in a blanket for fourth. Endless Drama proved a big disappointment dropping out.
Follow: none in particular.
Race 8: Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m)
1st Malaguerra – Ben Melham
2nd Spieth – Brad Rawiller
3rd Fell Swoop – Hugh Bowman
Holler was on his own out wide and led them early from Sheidel and Fell Swoop closer to the middle of the track. Malaguerrawas always handy and in behind them were Keen Array and Lankan Rupee. English was closest to the inside and The Quarterback followed her. Our Boy Malachi was at that back of that bunch. Spieth settled near the tail and closer to the outside section inside Turn Me Loose and Japonisme. Holler was the first one felt for and he was in trouble well before the 400m. Sheidel and Fell Swoop assumed control with Malaguerra about a length off them. Lankan Rupee was still on their backs and The Quarterback was weaving into the clear, though closer to the inside. Turn Me Loose out wider was also under pressure while Spieth was looking for runs and not finding any. He had to change course and go back towards the middle to get a run. Fell Swoop had the better of Sheidel getting towards the business end, Lankan Rupee looked a threat on his inside and Malaguerra was still a length away. The Quarterback went to the inside as well and Spieth still wasn’t in the clear. Malaguerra made his move inside the 200m and went to Fell Swoop with Lankan Rupee on their inside. Spieth was charging two to their one after finally getting through. Malaguerra had just enough on the line to hold off the luckless Spieth and the ever game Fell Swoop held on for another placing. Lankan Rupee battled on but isn’t the same horse he was. Sheidel and The Quarterback were a couple back. Holler and Japonsime were very poor and Our Boy Malachi bled and has been retired.
Follow: Spieth is a horse of the future.
Race 9: Emirates Airline Handicap (1400m)
1st Lord Aspen – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Rough Justice – Katelyn Mallyon
3rd Lucky Liberty – Chris Parnham
Rough Justice pounced on the lead from Entirely Platinum getting over and Ulmann on the fence. Lord Aspen was three wide around Lucky Liberty and Demonstrate had Akavoroun on his outside. Well off the fence Rough Justice led comfortably with Entirely Platinum held together as well. Ulmann went to the inside on the turn. Lord Aspen was hanging out a little and causing Demonstrate issues as Akavoroun was trying to keep him in a pocket. They succeeded and Demonstrate was spat right out the back and lost all chance. Rough Justic was still fighting on and Entirely Platinum dropped off. Lucky Liberty started to make quick ground on the inside and Lord Aspen chimed in down the centre. Lord Aspen started to assert some authority late and despite the wide run forged away from Rough Justice who was game and Lucky Liberty an even third. Akavoroun ran on without threatening and Ulmann was never in the right spot. Entirely Platinum is not racing well and while Demonstrate was badly checked he gave up the ghost and finished last.
Specials from the meeting: Mabeel, Enigman, Happy Hannah, Spieth.