By: Mark Haywood
Race 1 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1400m)
1st AWOKE – Brenton Avdulla
2nd FOXPLAY – Blake Shinn
3rd COGLIERE – Andrew Adkins (a)
Octavian Augustus shot to the front from wide, joined by Moohariba from the inside and hot favourite Foxplay. Ready For Success was a length back with Cogliere on the outside, High Mist and then Sweet chestnut at the rear.
The field bunched heading to the side of the course with Moohariba going forward on the rails, however Angland pushed Octavian Augustus ahead again in the final turn, with Foxplay continuing to loom comfortably. Awoke stepped out in fourth to be outside them all, and quickly went Foxplay, the pair leaving the field behind. Awoke went the better than the hot favourite to take the win, Cogliere running on well for third.
Race 2 – SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1900m)
1st PINDAN PEARL – Tye Angland
2nd SONG AND LAUGHTER – Jason Collett
3rd DESTINATION TUSCON – Tim Clark
Kontiki Dane went forward to lead with Pindan Pearl for company, My Fair Lady was third the rails but looking far too keen as Reith battled to keep her in check. Shelley’s Girl joined outside them, a gap then to Princess Aria on the inside of Destination Tuscon, then Piamimi and Song and Laughter bringing up the rear.
Reith soon conceded to his charge and let her go, My Fair Lady rushing up to the front along the back as the three leaders established a clear break on the rest. A few moves on the side of the course, Destination Turcon revved up to improve outside and joined by Shelley’s Girl. Kontiki Dane took a backseat as My Fair Lady and Pindan Pearl headed them around the turn, with the former quickly falling away to leave it to Pindal Pearl. Song and Laughter was wide and made a good-looking run at the leader without reeling her in.
Watch: Song and Laughter.
Race 3 – TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1100m)
1st EL SASSO – Blake Shinn
2nd GLENBAWN DAME – Andrew Adkins (a)
3rd HURRARA – Koby Jennings (a)
Freeze The Charges had the best start overall to settle in front from Glenbawn Dame and Aroused, with a slight gap back to Hurrara on the fence and El Sasso, with a further gap to the backmarkers Felines, Termele and Got The Goss.
Aroused was caught deep for much of the trip with Collett pushing forward to hold second, whilst Glenbawn Dame relaxed into third and was soon joined by El Sasso looming up. The leader was moved out upon straightening and held them off, with El Sasso and Felines wider again and looming as the dangers, whilst Glenbawn Dame and Hurrara had the inside running. Freeze The Charges fwll right off and it would be El Sasso running away to take the race easily in an impressive first-up showing.
Watch: El Sasso.
Race 4 – ATC WINTER CUP (2400m)
1st TUCANCHOO – Christian Reith
2nd JUNOOB – Blake Shinn
3rd FOREIGN PRINCE – Jason Collett
Dead slow start to the race with nobody wanting the lead, with favourite Tucanchoo almost falling into it by default and Foreign Prince caught outside without cover. Loophole was third the fence with First Bloom outside and Junoob caught wide, and Jiayiguan and Swift Lady brought up the rear.
Shinn pushed Junoob forward and took the lead as they approached the back of the course, the rest continuing to be restrained and travelling at a snail’s pace. Avdulla was the first to lose patience, and let Swift Lady go from the rear to round the field and end up some four lengths in front as the rest continued walking. The chasers finally lifted the intensity in the final turn, the favourite Tucanchoo leading the charge and barely getting out of second gear to cruise past the tiring Swift Lady with Junoob and Foreign Prince in tow, but never challenging.
Race 5 – TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1800m)
1st ERIKA – Blake Shinn
2nd ROSARUBY – Shaun Guymer
3rd JUST GOOD – Andrew Adkins (a)
Fairly slow start with Premier’s Gift going to the front from Macmissile, Balametallica in third with Just Good on the inside and Rosaruby next. A gap then to Calaway Cruizer on the outside of Pericio and Chaos, then a further gap to favourite Erika, Agrionius and Subway Surfer.
Very orderly journey to the final turn where Balametallica and Rosaruby peeling off wide. The leader Premier’s Gift came out just a touch to give Just Good a look up the inside, which had favourite Erika caught in behind. As the leader fell away Rosaruby looked the strongest, until a shift by Just Good gave Shinn the view he needed, Erika moving up the inside to just pip Rosaruby in the nick of time.
Race 6 – CLUB MARCONI HANDICAP (1500m)
1st SUBORIC – Mitchell Bell
2nd DUBAIINSTYLE – Tye Angland
3rd CLASSIC UNIFORM – Tim Clark
Favourite Classic Uniform went to the front from Vanderkemp, Magicaz and Rosettas Whey, slight gap then to So Willie on the inside of Dubaiinstyle, then Suboric, Lanciato and Surfin’ Safari last of all.
Lanciato was the first to make a move down the side of the course, coming out wide and improving, a wall forming as they straightened – Classic Uniform on the fence, Magicaz jumping out from behind, Vanderkemp, Rosettas Whey, Lanciato, and Dubaiiinstyle and Suboric widest but with ground to make up. A brilliant finish as they all hit the finish in a line, Classic Uniform looking good unbtil right at the end when the wide runners Suboric and Dubaiinstyle just grabbed it.
Watch: Suboric, Dubaiinstyle.
Race 7 – CIVIC STAKES (1350m)
1st NINTH LEGION – Sam Clipperton
2nd BETTER NOT BLUE – Taylor Marshall (a)
3rd VERGARA – Jason Collett
Not much speed on here as favourite Oxford Poet went to the front from Ninth Legion and Vergara third the rails, Marenostro next without cover and looking a bit keen from Better Not Blue, with Snippets Land running through and Office Bearer next. A gap then to the backmarkers in Murvate and Wouldn’t It Be Nice.
Pretty narrow final turn with Marenstro still deep and keeping them all in, Better Not Blue stepping out behind. It was still Ninth Legion and Oxford Poet in the straight with Snippets Land having a crack, and it would Ninth Legion fighting them all off despite a very late charge and great finish from Better Not Blue.
Watch: Better Not Blue, Ninth Legion.
Race 8 – HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP (1200m)
1st PIONEERING – James Innes Jr (a)
2nd THUD – Blake Shinn
3rd BUTTERBOOM – Tim Clark
Crowded start at the 1200m with Butterboom going forward to lead from Flamboyant Lass, Awasita in third and Bonete caught wide outside them and pushing on. Thud was next on the fence inside of Invienna, then the favourite Piooneering, Sense of Reason inside of In A Wink, Magic Of Dreams, and a gap to Fiftyshadesofgrey, Mandalong Kiss and Wine Tales.
Bonete stayed deep without cover, cornering outside of Butterboom and Flamboyant Lass, with Awasite and Thud tucked in right behind, the latter clearly blocked for a run. The moved as a pack with favourite Pioneering able to pull off the back of them into clear air and run on for the win – just in front of Thud who finally found a path through and monstered the line just late.
Watch: Pioneering, Thud.
Race 9 – TAB MORE THAN JUST WINNING HANDICAP (1500m)
1st WINE ‘N’ DINE – Jay Ford
2nd FINAL DECISION – Brenton Avdulla
3rd AVONACO – Koby Jennings (a)
Pretty good speed as Vite Loni was the one to go through and take the lead from Gambler’s Blues sitting in second, the field string out with Avonaco in third, Kanji in fourth and Thurston in fifth. Wine ‘N’ Dine was next inside of Brewery, then a gap to Nadachieva, Colour Of Money and Bold Circle. Next was Embley, Consign, Obsidian and Final Decision last of all.
They bunched into the final turn with the leaders sticking to the fence as the mob came led by Avonaco amnd Wine ‘N’ Dine finding its way through. Big late runs down the outside by Obsidian and Embley, but Wine ‘N’ Dine would hold them off to take the choclates.
Watch: Obsidian, Embley.
Horses to follow: El Sasso, Suboric, Better Not Blue, Thud, Obsidian.