By RAY HICKSON
Race 1 : Rangedale Plate (2500m)
1st Refectory – Craig Newitt
2nd Black Tomahawk – Craig Williams
3rd Bayanova – Michael Wallker
Au Revoir had little trouble in rolling to the lead and Jimivag strode up into second around Black Tomahawk. Celestial Skyhad the favourite’s back while Refectory was conservatively ridden early ahead of Bayanova back last as usual. As Au Revoir backed off the tempo past the 1600m Refectory was sent forward and ran to the lead. Au Revoir came off the fence and matched strides with him. Black Tomahawk had a nice run behind them with Jimivag settling a bit better. Bayanova ran past Celestian Sky midrace. About 600m out Black Tomahawk forced his way off the inside to move up three wide and travelled better than Au Revoir while Refectory was hard ridden. Jimivag and Bayanova were left flat footed. Black Tomahawk looked all over a winner as they neared the turn but Refectory wasn’t done with. They were well clear of Bayanova getting to third. Refectory kicked back and seemed to want it more than Black Tomahawk, who had no excuses, and Refectory outstayed him. Big gap to Bayanova third. Au Revoir dropped out.
Race 2: SKM Recycling (1600m)
1st Grand Dreamer – Dwayne Dunn
2nd The Thug – Damian Lane
3rd Distant Rock – Beau Mertens
The Thug and Lahqa made a beeline for the fence from wide gates and Miss Denni held her place on the fence. Caprese was stuck three wide and Archean kept him out there. A couple to Distant Rock and Steggler with Grand Dreamer tracking tracking them. Caprese put some pace into it as he was sent to the front and Lahqa moved to sit on his outside, giving The Thug a nice trail. Miss Denni pushed Archean out to get away from the fence so he eased a bit looking for cover. Grand Dreamer whipped up around them to get to midfield with cover as the field bunched up. Lahqa got the better of Caprese, who dropped out before the turn, but Miss Denni and Grand Dreamer swept past her. The Thug was getting around Lahqa’s heels while Archean was held up but battling and Distant Rock followed them home. Grand Dreamer opened up past the 100m and broke away from Miss Denni, who couldn’t do any better. The Thug got up on the inside to grab second with Distant Rock running on down the outside into another placing. Miss Denni had her chance while Archean was a bit plan and Steggler not too bad first-up alongside him.
Follow: like to see Steggler again.
Race 3: Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m)
1st Catch A Fire – Damian Lane
2nd Foreign Affair – Chris Symons
3rd Vibrant Rouge – Beau Mertens
Refuse To Lose was straight on the lead as usual with Prussian Vixen up handy. A group of them were next with Rockoliciousinside Celeritas and Not A Happy Camper caught three wide. Another line followed including Foreign Affair around Vibrant Rouge and French Emotion, who wasn’t the best away. Catch A Fire settled well back. Prussian Vixen and Not A Happy Camper put it to Refuse To Lose a fair way out and as that was going on Catch A Fire made a fast move up to be on the back of that trio. Foreign Affair forced here wider while Rockolicious was waiting on the fence. Celeritas started to struggle and French Emotion gave up waiting for an inside run and was pulled out wider to get into the clear but was hampered between Celeritas and Vibrant Rouge. Catch A Fire swooped on Foreign Affair and Not A Happy Camper at the 200m, Rockolicious eventually got through inside them but was one paced. Down the outside came Vibrant Rouge with French Emotion and Celeritas getting a second wind. Catch A Fire edged away late and held a clear margin on Foreign Affair while Vibrant Rouge made her customary late bit to snatch third. French Emotion was close up with Not A Happy Camper and fair to say Rockolicious had her chance but the Valley may not be her track.
Follow: French Emotion ran well enough fresh to suggest she can improve.
Race 4: Cleanaway Plate (1200m)
1st Sweet Sherry – Steven Arnold
2nd Tan Tata Beauty -Craig Williams
3rd Motown Lil – Nick Hall
Good speed from Monkey Magic to lead but Zamzam was right up on her outside and Dezuri three out. Sweet Sherry landed behind them on the fence and Plenty To Like was with her while Tan Tat Beauty strode up three deep with cover in midfield. Zamzam was giving Monkey Magic no peace up front and Dezuri had to work hard wide out to stay with them. About 400m or so out Monkey Magic shifted off the inside and Sweet Sherry said ‘thank you’ and started to improve to join the leading trio as they turned. Dezuri was the first of them to drop off and Tan Tat Beauty made her move around them. Zamzam hit the lead momentarily but was under pressure and Sweet Sherry got to her quickly before being asked for the effort. Tan Tat Beauty was looming while Princess Of Queens and Mowtown Lil launched down the outside from well back. Sweet Sherry found a bit in the last 100m as Tan Tat Beauty started to get close and she held on to win well first-up. Mowtown Lil hit the line nicely into third, which she can do, and Zamzam wasn’t disgraced ridden upside down.
Follow: Sweet Sherry has improvement, Tan Tat Beauty was the run of the race.
Race 5: McKenzie Stakes (1200m)
1st Ken’s Dream – Dean Yendall
2nd Dam Ready – Luke Currie
3rd Throssell – Nick Hall
Ken’s Dream jumped best and was sent straight to the lead and Dam Ready came over with him. Deal Master found the box seat from gate one and Throssell was handy while Verstappen sat up three wide. Baffert wasn’t settling in behind them andWimborne trailed. Ken’s Dream wasn’t overly pressured in the lead but ran along a little. Dam Ready was staying with him in the middle stages but Deal Master and Verstappen, who ran to third, were under some pressure. Dam Ready tried to put the pressure on Ken’s Dream around the turn but the leader found a half a length or so. Deal Master was battling while Throssell started to work into his gear after being left a bit flat. Ken’s Dream edged away from Dam Ready in the last 100m and ran out a strong winner. Throssell kept coming in a handy first-up performance as he drew away from Deal Master and Verstappen who were safely held. Winner was too good.
Follow: Throssell will be better for the run and a bit more ground.
Race 6: Mayoral Charity Community Handicap (2040m)
1st Bold Sniper – Cory Parish
2nd Pin Your Hopes – Ben Thompson
3rd Yulong Baby – Jye McNeil
Rhythm To Spare was ridden with some purpose to lead from Pin Your Hopes and Lucques while Bold Sniper and Cooldiniwere in that group. A couple back to Wish Come True and Yulong Baby. Rhythm To Spare wasn’t able to cross as Pin Your Hopes kept kicking up to hold the lead, they put the foot down out of the straight. Bold Sniper was settling as well as he has lately with the good pace and Lucques went down to the fence. After jumping well Cooldini found himself midfield and wide. Pin Your Hopes was just shoved along a bit past the 600m as Rhythm To Spare poured the pressure on. Bold Sniper was enjoying a nice trail and Cooldini made a move wide out around Lucques. Golden Mane came around him from the back while Yulong Baby waited for a run back on the fence. Pin Your Hopes fought off the challenge of Rhythm To Spare and found a length. Lucques was back to the fence as Bold Sniper loomed up with Yulong Baby who got around heels in plenty of time. Bold Sniper finished the race off strongly after an easier run and beat a game Pin Your Hopes while Yulong Baby had her chance but battled on pretty well. Lucques and Rhythm To Spare weren’t far away behind the placings while a big gap to the rest headed byTooleybuc Kid who was never in the race.
Follow: none in particular.
Race 7: Westar Trucks Isuzu Handicap (1500m)
1st Royal Rapture – Jordan Childs
2nd Pilote D’Essai- Dwayne Dunn
3rd Master Zephyr – Dean Yendall
Majestic Duke made use of his early toe to get across from a wide gate easily. Nevis was sent up into second while Royal Rapture let them go and Onpicalo held the fence. Pemberley landed midfield in the clear from Master Zephyr up handy andPilote D’Essai stranded off the track. Majestic Duke and Nevis ran them along and strung the field out by a few from Royal Rapture who seemed to enjoy the pace. Onpicalo was off the bit chasing before the turn and Pilote D’Essai had to make a move to get into the race. Nevis was first to crack on the bend and Royal Rapture strode past Majestic Duke. Pilote D’Essai had to do some chasing but Royal Rapture was off and gone and continued his outstanding recent form with an easy win. Pilote D’Essai kept coming into second while Master Zephyr was right on his hammer in a nice first-up effort. Onpicalo took the whole straight to get past Majestic Duke but the winner was far too strong. Pilote D’Essai proved a shade disappointing given his short price but he did have a tough run so can be forgiven a little.
Follow: perhaps not next start but Master Zephyr has come back well for the good staying races.
Race 8: Carlyon Stakes (1000m)
1st Heatherly – Damian Lane
2nd Viddora – Joe Bowditch
3rd O’Malley – Craig Newitt
Passing Shot gathered speed to lead and Heatherly jumped with them before moving into second and they did it quite easily.Pretty Possum was happy to sit third with General Truce also easing. Viddora was caught four and five deep around a bunch including Atmospherical, Shiraz and Well Sprung on the fence. Heatherly couldn’t be held back and she pulled her way to the lead well before the turn and Passing Shot couldn’t go with her. General Truce, Pretty Possum and Viddora were chasing, particularly the latter, while around them came Iconic and O’Malley from the back of the field. Shiraz was shuffled out to last. Heatherly had a couple of lengths to spare past the 100m as she started to tire but she had enough in hand to hold on for a nice first-up win. Viddora didn’t have much luck tracking wide but hit the line hard and O’Malley produced an encouraging first-up run off a long break. General Truce had his chance next while Shiraz probably had an excuse or two but wouldn’t have gone near winning.
Follow: Heatherly is very smart and can go on, O’Malley has come back well.
Race 9: Benchmark 90 Handicap (1200m)
1st Just Magical – Michael Walker
2nd Fast Cash – Damien Oliver
3rd Sebring Sun – Dean Yendall
Sebring Sun was on the back foot as the gates opened while Hard Romp flew out. He had company though as Runsati drove through to head him, Shaf, Rich Jack and Sistine Demon also showed some speed. Just Magical settled midfield betweenRough Justice and Magicus three wide. Le Bonsir was out in no man’s land around Sebring Sun improving between horses on settling. The field packed up considerably getting to the business end behind Runsati and Hard Romp, Sistine Demon, Magicus and Le Bonsir made a line of of five nearing the turn. Just Magical and Sebring Sun were getting on the back of that group while Shaf was held up behind them. Rich Jack gained a run to go out after Runsati at the 200m, Magicus was there while Le Bonsir started to battle. Sebring Sun made a dash to hit the lead soon after but there was a wall chasing him as Just Magical and Fast Cash from last charged. Sebring Sun was in front until about two strides from the post but Just Magical and Fast Cash grabbed him with the former winning narrowly. Sebring Sun ran an encouraging race for third, though had his chance after a slow start, and Rich Jack just missed out in that close finish. Magicus was just behind them and proved a shade disappointing. Somewhat bunched finish is always a small concern.
Follow: if you’re game Sebring Sun might be on the way back.
Specials from the meeting: Throssell, Tan Tat Beauty, French Emotion, O’Malley.