Race 1: Sofitel Girl’s Day Out Handicap (2500m)

1st Lucques – Damian Lane
2nd Black Tomahawk – Craig Williams
3rd Refectory – Craig Newitt

Authoritarian surprised nobody by running to the lead and Lucques was up on his outside. O’Lonera dropped into the box seat early with Try Four alongside and Manalapan caught wider and going forward. Spur On Gold and Black Tomahawk settled in midfield. Manalapan continued his run forward to get up into second as the field started to string out down the back straight. Lucques took a trail with that move. Refectory settled back but he made a midrace move and got up into third place quite easily. There was no loafing as Authoritarian had the foot down and put Manalapan off the bit chasing quite early. It didn’t bother Refectory so much as he started to edge forward again from the 800m. Lucques followed him up and O’Lonera was also tracking quite nicely. A couple of lengths back Try Four was hard at it and Black Tomahawk crept into it strongly. Refectory took over on the turn with Authoritarian and Manalapan beaten horses. Lucques was still going okay but O’Lonera wasn’t going well and Black Tomahawk got by him. Lucques headed Refectory just inside the 300m and Black Tomahawk hadn’t been let down as he loomed and they settled down to fight it out over the last bit. Lucques managed to hold off Black Tomahawk, who is honest but not the bravest, to score narrowly. Decent gap to Refectory running another good race ahead of Try Four, probably not quite up to the class, and Riyadh the best of those from the back. O’Lonera was ordinary and might be at the end of his prep.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 2: Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m)

1st Kentucky Miss – Damien Oliver
2nd Beyond The Dream – Yusuki Ichikawa
3rd My Country -Dwayne Dunn

The early speed came from the inside division and Super Too took it up from Happy Event and between them So Serene. Also in that group were Vienna WaltzSocial Status and Missrock. Wider on the track were My CountryAngasi and Getemhelwhile Kentucky Miss was closer to the outside and Beyond The Dream the widest. Super Too and Happy Event skipped away by the 400m from those on the inside with the latter seemingly travelling better. Missrock looked to be about to move into the race while Kentucky Miss was hitting top gear right down the outside. My Country couldn’t quite match her and Beyond The Dream was still coming. Happy Event couldn’t get past Super Too who had a good kick at the 100m but the outside group were finishing over the top and Kentucky Miss claimed the lead late and held off Beyond The Dream, a massive debut effort at huge odds, while My Country battled away nicely into the minor money. Super Too was easily the best of those on the inside while Happy Event weakened and Missrock just whacked away. The eye-catcher late was Conscious getting home when the race was all over.

Follow: Conscious might be worth another look over a little more ground.

Race 3: Starlight Express Room Stakes (1400m)

1st Detective – Chris Parnham
2nd Tessera – Craig Williams
3rd Throssell – Luke Nolen

Zunbaqa had the speed to lead them from Tessera who took a trail as Detective came across from wide out. Urban Rulerlanded in a good spot on the fence but not so Jackson who was three deep. Captain Duffy had a three wide trail aroundSeaburge and Yu Long Sheng Hui with a couple to Throssell. Zunbaqa backed it right off for a couple of sections coming to the home turn and the field bunched as a result. Detective still travelled okay and Tessera eased out three wide from Jackson under pressure. A run opened up for Urban Ruler on the fence while Revolving Door looked to be cantering as he ran on out wide with Throssell while Seaburge was held up for a run behind them. Detective took over about 250m out from Zunbaqa trying to fight back. Tessera was still coming and Throssell also closing in but Detective staved them all off for a tough on pace win. Tessera worried Throssell out of second, Zunbaqa wasn’t disgraced next while Revolving Door didn’t let down like it looked he would and a very nice run from Awake In Grinzing charging home from well back late. Seaburge didn’t get a lot of room midway down the straight but was also tested a bit late. Winner was too good, though.

Follow: stick with Throssell, and Awake In Grinzing is shaping up well for longer races.

Race 4: The Sofitel (1400m)

1st Bon Aurum – Craig Williams
2nd Ulmann – Damien Oliver
3rd Hi World – Dwayne Dunn

Prince Of Brooklyn jumped in front but didn’t want to be there and Tashbeeh headed him with Just Magical going forward from wider out. Riziz eased out of the leading group. Marwood and Ulmann were close by, the latter wide out. As they pulled up in front Bon Aurum strode up to get into the three wide line around NozomiHi World and Honorius. Tashbeeh had the mouth wide open in the lead, off the fence, from Just Magical and Ulmann striding up three deep. Prince Of Brooklyn had clear running on the rail. Bon Aurum travelled up very strongly coming to the turn around Riziz and Marwood. Prince Of Brooklyn tried to join Tashbeeh early in the straight but was finding it tough, though Tashbeeh wasn’t getting away from them either. Bon Aurum chimed in quickly to put paid to the leaders at the 200m and kicked away. Ulmann tried to go with him as Tashbeeh just battled on and was swamped for third by Hi World who got out a bit too late to make an impact but ran a much improved race. Prince Of Brooklyn didn’t do much and Nozomi and Marwood stuck on okay. No excuses for anything, though, as even though better ground might be wider out the winner tracked four deep all the way.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 5: Danehill Stakes (1200m)

1st Saracino – Damien Oliver
2nd Archives – Craig Williams
3rd Samara Dancer – Dominic Tourneur

The field headed towards the grandstand side and Saracino held the lead clearly from Valliano on his back. Dam Ready andArchives settled handy and Dreams Aplenty the widest. Defcon was left in no man’s land closest to the inside. A group of them behind the leaders included HardhamHighland Beat and Samara Dancer from Wazzenme. Saracino looked comfortable past the 400m while Defcon lost ground, Dam Ready and Archives were still there. Valliano and Highland Beat battled and Samara Dancer worked to the outside to start her run. Saracino had a kick when asked as Archives and Dam Ready tried hard to bridge the gap, with Archives the one closing in with each stride, and Samara Dancer was also warming up. Saracino had enough in hand on the line to hold Archives and Samara Dancer for a strong all the way win. Wazzenme ran on well without threatening from Dam Ready. Defcon wasn’t ever in the hunt and it might pay to forgive his effort.

Follow: Archives is lightly raced and has plenty of upside, Samara Dancer was encouraging fresh.

Race 6: Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)

1st Faatinah – Regan Bayliss
2nd Tivaci – Patrick Moloney
3rd We’ve Got This – Craig Newitt

We’ve Got This missed it by a length or so. The Monstar stayed right near the inside rail to lead early, in the middle of the track were Kinglike and Durendal while near the outside fence Faatinah wasn’t far away. Santa Ana Lane and Astro Castro were behind the pair in the centre while Xtravagant and Tivaci settled out on the grandstand side. Faatinah took over the lead about 400m out and looked strong, Durendal and Kinglike were under pressure. Xtravagant dropped right out, Tivaci was still there and Under The Louvre started to weave his way through the field from near the tail. Faatinah was left in front a long way out but they didn’t look like catching up and he probably extended his lead in the last 50m. Tivaci ran a nice race fresh while We’ve Got This and Under The Louvre worked home nicely very late. Winner might be a promising horse and the first four home all look like they’re in for good preparations.

Follow: stick with the top four.

Race 7: Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m)

1st Palentino – Mark Zahra
2nd Black Heart Bart – Damien Oliver
3rd He Or She – Craig Williams

Tarzino was only fairly out but Jacquinot Bay and Entirely Platinum broke well and the latter took up the running. Jacquinot Bay didn’t contest the front and Ayers Rock was sent forward into second with Rising Romance landing in the box seat.  Black Heart Bart found a good spot just off them from. Jacquinot Bay three out around He Or She and Tarzino improving on the fence. Our Ivanhowe was in the three wide line and Palentino was next with a break to Alpine Eagle. Entirely Platinum was able to back it off before the turn with Ayers Rock not pressuring. Rising Romance eased out three deep and Black Heart Bart also made a move to join in, Jacquinot Bay even wider and He Or She followed up that line and Palentino had his back. Tarzino stayed on the inside. Entirely Platinum led to the 350m then Black Heart Bart had him covered. No sooner did he look the winner did Palentino burst through to join him at the clock tower. He Or She also started to run on while Tarzino couldn’t pick up down on the fence. Palentino finished the race off much better than Black Heart Bart who had no excuses and they cleared out from He Or She. Of the others Tarzino was disappointing despite being in the slow lane, Prince Of Penzance attacked the line much better just behind them and Our Ivanhowe was only fair.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 8: Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m)

1st Don’t Doubt Mamma – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Thames Court – Ryan Maloney
3rd Manageress – Chris Parnham

Choose ran to the lead easily early from Thames Court who slid up into second, Catch A Fire had a nice sit in the box seat withFrench Emotion three deep around Jessy Belle and Don’t Doubt MammaChampagne Cocktail was caught wide whileManageress and Rockolicious were next. Badawiya settled midfield between horses. Choose was being niggled before the turn and Thames Court travelled better. French Emotion and Jessy Belle were easing out and Rockolicious strode up out wider. On the inside All Cerise made a dash and Don’t Doubt Mamma was held up for runs. Badawiya had made some ground but was under pressure and Catch A Fire had her chance. Choose was beaten at the 300m and Thames Court assumed control. French Emotion tried to stay with her while Catch A Fire and Don’t Doubt Mamma were getting up on the inside and Jessy Belle was still in the hunt. Don’t Doubt Mamma drove up along the rail to grab Thames Court in the last few strides and score. Jessy Belle and Manageress, hitting the line nicely late, hit the line together for third. Bunched finish all round though and not far away were French Emotion, Metaphorical finishing off hard late, Catch A Fire and Telopea, who was never in it but ran on without threatening.

Follow: Manageress has come back well.

Race 9: Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m)

1st Royal Rapture – Michael Dee
2nd Tally – Craig Williams
3rd Big Memory – Luke Currie

Prima found the fence first then handed up to Hans Holbein and Big Memory who cruised across. Royal Rapture landed behind them around Shimrano. In the next bunch were Tally wide out around Escado and Maurus just easing a bit. Gabellaand Pilote D’Essai were next, the latter caught wide yet again though with some cover. Hans Holbein was a shot duck on the turn despite having a fairly easy lead and Big Memory hit the front a long way out. Royal Rapture and Tally crept forward to threatening positions, Prima weaved through on the inside behind them and Pilote D’Essai had tracked Tally up and pulled to the outside. Royal Rapture took over at the 300m and was there to be run down as Tally tried to peg him back. Pilote D’Essai was there in plenty of time and Big Memory still battled on, behind them Gabella and Escado. Royal Rapture was holding Tally in the last furlong and refused to be beaten, winning his fourth on the trot. Tally ran an improved race after being wide and Big Memory also a nice first-up effort. Gabella found the line hard late while Pilote D’Essai  was very disappointing and might be worth letting go. They got away from the rest of the field.

Follow: Tally, Big Memory and Gabella are all heading the right way this prep.

Specials from the meeting:  Archives, Samara Dancer, Manageress, Gabella.