Race 1: Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)
1st Comin’ Through – Michael Walker
2nd Morton’s Fork – Craig Williams
3rd Bezel – James McDonald
Acatour was quite slow out and Hey Doc made a beeline for the front from the outside gate. Bezel had to be ridden up early but improved to second clear of Nikitas around So You Too. Morton’s Fork was midfield outside Violate while Comin’ Throughand High Mist were behind that pair. Hey Doc seemed to travel okay coming to the turn while Bezel was pushed up to stay with him. So You Too pushed Nikitas out of the way to get into the clear and Morton’s Fork came across their heels. Comin’ Through had worked onto his back on the bend while Violate was held up. Mount Panorama made some ground from the back to be behind the leaders early in the straight. Bezel was having all sorts of trouble getting past Hey Doc while wider out Morton’s Fork and Comin’ Through were winding up, the latter sprinting a bit the better at the 300m. Bezel eventually got the better of Hey Doc, who was weakening, but no sooner did he hit the lead Comin’ Through and Morton’s Fork grabbed him and the three went to the line battling it out. Comin’ Through just had the momentum and while Morton’s Fork fought back he held on. Bezel went down fighting and the trio broke away from the rest. Hey Doc might have overdone it in front but held fourth from Mount Panorama and Acatour.
Follow: Comin’ Through is a smart type in the making.
Race 2: Wakeful Stakes (2000m)
1st Tiamo Grace – Damian Lane
2nd Sebring Dream – James McDonald
3rd Missrock – Hugh Bowman
Almalita wanted the lead and Alliterate let her go. Missrock went forward and found a nice spot outside Toffee Nose while wider out Sebring Dream and Florida Keys were looking for positions. Waterloo Sunset was in that group and Tiamo Gracewas wide around Outback Rain and Whyouask. Pretty Punk also found herself wide outside Bettyrae Ruby, the latter copping a check midrace and losing ground. Runs started to come as they approached the turn as Almalita led but it was a line of six with Alliterate, Florida Keys, Sebring Dream pulling out and Tiamo Grace coming off her back while Pretty Punk was the widest on the bend. Waterloo Sunset and Missrock were waiting behind that wall. Sebring Dream chimed in past the 400m and Missrock got through to try and go with her. Tiamo Grace was stalking and she made her move soon after to Jin Sebring Dream at the 200m. Missrock was still there and getting some on the inside was Toffee Nose ahead of Alliterate and Pretty Punk running on out wide. Tiamo Grace had the better run and pulled away a length late over Sebring Dream who was game and Missrock just held an eye-catching Toffee Nose for third. Pretty Punk was next and couldn’t find too many excuses for anything behind them.
Follow: it’s going to be a strong Oaks this year but the first two have to be chances.
Race 3: Sensis Stakes (1100m)
1st Sheidel – Joao Moreira
2nd Wild Rain – Damian Lane
3rd Private Secretary – Chad Schofield
The field split into two divisions with Sheidel leading the outside group from Wild Rain and Aegean Sea. Also out there were Rule The River, Palazzo Pubblico, Private Secretary, Viddora and I Love It with Zara Bay against the outside fence. On the inside Aunty Mo showed her usual speed to be up there from Take Pride, Chloe In Paris and Echo Gal with Super Cash right up there closest to the inside rail. The inside were in front to about the 300m where Super Cash dashed to the lead. Chloe In Paris couldn’t match her while Almighty Girl was running on. Out wide Sheidel was being tackled by Private Secretary, Wild Rain was coming between them and I Love It and Aegean Sea were still trying hard. Palazzo Pubblicco dropped out quickly. The outside group gained the ascendancy late and Sheidel fought back after looking headed by Private Secretary to win. Wild Rain made a late dive to grab second. Over on the fence Super Cash was easily the first home and brave in defeat. Not much between Aegean Sea, Viddora, I Love It and Almighty Girl across the track behind the placings. The likes of Estaminet and Alucinariwere never in the hunt.
Follow: Super Cash did a great job and is racing well.
Race 4: Lexus Stakes (2500m)
1st Oceanographer – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Tom Melbourne – Glen Boss
3rd Tally – James McDonald
Tom Melbourne assumed the lead as expected from Black Tomahawk and Hippopus. Up handy was Pentathlon, much handier than the previous week, while Rose Of Virginia improved after a tardy start to be next on the fence. Junoob was caught wide around Real Love while Tally was also deep from De Little Engine and The Bandit. Oceanographer settled well back. Tom Melbourne ran them along in the middle stages and opened up about a four length break. He seemed to travel okay and took a breather 1000m out. Junoob improved around them into second from Black Tomahawk and Pentathlon went with him. Tally got onto his back while Rose Of Virginia came off the inside. Oceanographer was relegated to last on the turn. Junoob was the first under pressure and Tom Melbourne slipped away from him. Pentathlon and Tally were trying to run on and Black Tomahawk stayed on the leader’s back. Real Love lost her spot and Oceanographer started his run from the 400m. Tom Melbourne had a good kick and shook off the bulk of the field with Black Tomahawk getting off his back. Pentathlon and Tally just battled while De Little Engine made a bit of ground. Oceanographer was still winding up but you could see him lengthening. At the 200m Tom Melbourne was still well clear as Oceanographer started to loom as a threat and probably a combination of the leader stopping and the chaser really charging saw Oceanographer arrive in time to beat Tom Melbourne. They streeted Tally who held third from De Little Engine and another big gap to Black Tomahawk and Real Love.
Follow: Oceanographer has to be some chance in the Melbourne Cup.
Race 5: Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m)
1st Flying Artie – Hugh Bowman
2nd Astern – James McDonald
3rd Star Turn – Dwayne Dunn
Russian Revolution went straight to the outside fence to lead and Astern tucked in behind him after the rider had a think about going inside. In the centre of the track Star Turn led the rest of the field from Saracino and Extreme Choice in behind. Derrynwas following that trio and Manolo Blahniq switched outside them. Flying Artie settled last but pretty much behind Extreme Choice. The race changed complexion a bit at the 400m with the field almost spreading across the track. Star Turn still had the lead and Extreme Choice ducked back to the inside of him. Saracino was there and Flying Artie found himself on Star Turn’s back all of a sudden. Derryn went to the outside division to join Astern who had got past Russian Revolution. Stat Turn still had the lead at the 200m and Astern was looming up but just as he looked a danger Flying Artie sprinted hard between them. Extreme Choice wasn’t far away on the inside but wasn’t threatening while Russian Revolution tried to kick back. Flying Artie had the better turn of foot and he broke away to beat Astern and Star Turn who hit the line together. Extreme Choice and Russian Revolution were another length away with the latter bobbing for fourth. Winner too good, no excuses for anything beaten.
Follow: none in particular, the first three are all very smart.
Race 6: Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m)
1st I Am A Star – Dean Yendall
2nd French Emotion – Hugh Bowman
3rd Denmagic – Tommy Berry
Whispering Brook comfortably ran to the lead and I Am A Star moved up alongside early. Denmagic landed next outside First Seal and there was a bunch of them looking for spots wider out including Pearls, Euro Angel and Rising Romance. Dixie Blossoms tucked in behind them from French Emotion and Zanbagh three deep with cover. Euro Angel pulled her way up outside the leaders and Whispering Brook had to be niggled at. I Am A Star let it happen dropping back half a length while First Seal continued to enjoy plenty of cover. Pearls pulled out four deep on the turn while Denmagic became strung up. Dixie Blossoms worked into the clear and French Emotion stole some ground on the inside before looking for runs through. Euro Angel dropped off near the 300m and I Am A Star made her move to tackle Whispering Brook while First Seal went for a run between them. French Emotion found the gap she was looking for while Pearls was boxing on and Danish Twist ran up behind her trying to weave through. Further out Dixie Blossoms and Denmagic were there with Zanbagh winding up. There was a wall of them chasing I Am A Star in the last 100m but the filly held them all at bay to down French Emotion and Denmagic hitting the line late. Barely a length between Dixie Blossoms, the fast finishing Pure Pride, Pearls, Zanbagh and First Seal (no excuses).
Follow: Zanbagh is looking for a wet track.
Race 7: Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m)
1st Prized Icon – Glyn Schofield
2nd Sacred Elixir – Zac Purton
3rd Inference – Dwayne Dunn
Morvada went looking for the lead from Captain Duffy while Tumultuous went forward and eventually slotted in ahead ofHollywood Mo and Sacred Elixir holding his spot on the fence. Swear was caught wide around Prized Icon and Kent ahead of All Out Of Love and Beach Life. The field stretched out a bit behind Morvada and Captain Duffy came off the inside while Tumultuous found the fence. Swear worked into a spot with some cover by midrace while Sacred Elixir was looking to get away from the rail and fought the rider a bit as he pushed Hollywood Mo three deep. Prized Icon was following the favourite. Beach Life and All Out Of Love joined the leading bunch as the field started to split a bit and Inference made plenty of cheap ground along the rails from last. The runs came very early and Morvada was beaten, exacerbated by being shoved up against the rail, as Swear and Sacred Elixir took the lead a long way out. Hollywood Mo tried to go with them from Tumultuous. Prized Icon worked to the outside and he was travelling strongly at the 300m while Inference was still creeping home along the fence. Sacred Elixir was under siege as Prized Icon challenged and surged to the front. Inference ran into trouble and was checked by Swear while So Si Bon and Hollywood Mo were battling away with Rocketeer running on from the back. Prized Icon broke right away in the last 100m and scored easily from Sacred Elixir who seemed to have his chance. Inference probably should have run at least second after losing many lengths but picking up to run into third ahead of So Si Bon and Swear while Hollywood Mo wasn’t a bad effort after working pretty much the whole way.
Follow: going forward Inference is the one to remember.
Race 8: Group 1 Cantala Stakes (1600m)
1st Le Romain – Hugh Bowman
2nd McCreery – Craig Newitt
3rd Tivaci – Patrick Moloney
Took a long while to sort themselves out and Great Esteem eventually rolled to the lead from Thunder Fantasy as Stratum Star let them go. Mackintosh was wide around Seaburge and Good Project. Le Romain was wide with cover and Bon Aurumfurther out with Voodoo Lad getting onto his back. Hopfgarten and He’s Our Rokkii were back in the second half while The United States settled near the tail. Great Esteem opened up a couple of lengths on Thunder Fantasy before the turn but runs were already creeping up wider out. Mackintosh and Le Romain made their moves with Bon Aurum further out. Stratum Star was under pressure on the fence while Seaburge was looking for a way through. Le Romain drove to the front at the 300m with Mackintosh and there were plenty trying to chase. Hopfgarten got a run through while Seaburge didn’t pick up. Further out Voodoo Lad and He’s Our Rokkii were there and Tivaci was hitting the line okay one from the widest which was The United States giving away a big start. McCreery was badly held up at the back of that bunch. Le Romain gained the upper hand from Mackintosh at the 100m with Tivaci closing a length clear of The United States. Getting through closer in McCreery charged at them but Le Romain had too big a break and held McCreery, a touch unlucky, with Tivaci and a closing The United States next. Mackintosh just weakened a bit late. Fair effort Hopfgarten next while Seaburge and He’s Our Rokkii disappointed.
Follow: McCreery has a win in him while The United States wants 2000m.
Race 9: tab.com.au Stakes (1200m)
1st Illustrious Lad – Anthony Darmanin
2nd Counterattack – Hugh Bowman
3rd Southern Legend – Tim Clark
Keen Array had good speed and worked across towards the outside troop lead. Southern Legend, Illustrious Lad, Ball Of Muscle and Dibayani were all right up with him. Dothraki had cover in the next bunch with Generalife and Counterttack while We’ve Got This was closer to the inside after stepping away slowly yet again. Ball Of Muscle and Southern Legend were the first under pressure at the 400m where Illustrious Lad travelled very well to take the lead. Keen Array also seemed to be going okay wider out. Dibayani was under pressure and Counterattack was being held up for one run at them. Illustrious Lad had a bit of trouble getting away from Ball Of Muscle but at the clock tower he had that horse’s measure while Southern Legend was picking up and starting to make a bid. Counterattack switched to the inside of them while Keen Array couldn’t match that quartet. Illustrious Lad was stronger as the race went on and kicked away late to beat Counterattack and Southern Legend. Keen Array got going again late but it was too late from a weakening Ball Of Muscle.
Follow: if you’re game Counterattack may have a win in him before the carnival finishes.
Specials from the meeting: Super Cash, Counterattack, McCreery, The United States.