By: Mark Haywood
Race 1 – FRESH FOR KIDS PLATE (1000m)
1st CONCHITA – Thomas Huet
2nd STAR CROSSED – Kathy O’Hara
3rd INFRA DIG – Brenton Avdulla
Hard start for the two-year-olds with long favourite Conchita and Star Crossed driving forward to settle in front, with a gap then to Squared on the fence with Rafha’s Choice and Gibraltar Girl caught three wide. Vienna Waltz and Exaggerate were next after both rearing slightly at the gates, with Blazing Steel, El Sid and The Happy Lady right off the track next. Sweet Chestnut and Infra Dig brought up the rear.
It was a race in two for the win – the two leaders staging a tough and impressive blot to the line with Conchita just edging Star Crossed for the chocolates. Infra Dig in third hit the line very, very well, as did Sweet Chestnut, both coming from a long way back.
Watch: Conchita, Star Crossed, Infra Dig.
Race 2 – ERIC KIME HANDICAP (1400m)
1st RUSTIC MELODY – Brenton Avdulla
2nd HARLEM LADY – Kathy O’Hara
3rd ELLE LOU – Glyn Schofield
Ovahead went out fairly hard to win the start from Distraught and Lofiel with Seeking Asylum in fourth, as favourite Elle Lou went forward then back then forward again with Schofield eventually settling outside Seeking Asylum. Rustic Melody was next on the fence with Pioneering sitting one wide, followed by a gap to Eklands then a further gap to Harlem Lady and Electric Power settling at the back.
Kokotajlo strung them out on Ovahead, keeping the foot down, before the pursuers stepped out and looked to round them at the final turn. The leader stepped out a touch as they straightened, offering Rustic Melody a good look through on the fence, whilst Distraught and Lofiel had the leader’s immediate outside. Taylor has hustled Seeking Asylum through next, laying a good bump on the favourite Elle Lou in the process to interrupt her going. The extra lengths Rustic Melody stole around the turn started to tell as Avdulla dashed clear, looking threatened only by Harlem Lady, who had pushed forward well from well back, and Elle Lou who recovered well to put in a big run. Neither were catching the winner before the line however, with Electric Power in fourth also finishing well.
Watch: Harlem Lady, Elle Lou, Electric Power.
Race 3 – TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1000m)
1st THREE SHEETS – Rory Hutchings (a)
2nd RAISED A LEGEND – Jack Pracey-Holmes (a)
3rd BOWIE’S BABE – Blaike McDougall
Uneven start at the 1000m with Cliveden House from wide bolting forward to claim the lead with Classic Double and Bowie’s Babe running up next. Art’n’Ollie and Raised A Legend were next with favourite Portatorio caught three wide, Three Sheets back on the fence, and Charge Of Light and Mossman’s Gold last.
Cliveden House held the lead into the straight and stuck to the fence, frustrating Raised a Legend directly behind as Pracey-Holmes tried to sneak through. He’d eventually find his path as Bowie’s Babe loomed on the outside and took the lead, until wider again Three Sheets emerged from the pack to make ground quickly and shoot to the front. Nice finishes too from Charge Of Light, Portatorio and Mossman’s Gold.
Watch: Three Sheets.
Race 4 – YOUR LOCAL GREENGROCER HANDICAP (2000m)
1st EL NOVIO – Rory Hutchings (a)
2nd NOT A GYPSY – Jeff Penza
3rd STORM SYSTEM – James Innes Jr (a)
Colonel Custer came across to lead largely unchallenged, Cilla making a similar move to settle in second outside of Raitza with Sonorus deep and improving and Not A Gypsy and Storm System. A gap to favourite El Novio on the outside of Destination Tuscon, then Hursley, Spanish Stride and Pennsylvania Ave last.
Moves came down the side of the course with the favourite El Novio, faced by a wall of Cilla, Not A Gypsy and Storm System, going out very deep to round them before the straight. Storm System jumped in the wake and joined in with Not A Gypsy electing to stick to the fence before stepping out as all three went to Raitza in the straight, Colonel Custer having dropped off. El Novio, Not A Gypsy and Storm System would go to the line together, a head between all three in a super finish, with Hursley and Spanish Stride next and hitting the line in reasonable style.
Race 5 – SYDNEY MARKETS FOUNDATION HANDICAP (1100m)
1st YUMA DESERT – Andrew Adkins (a)
2nd SAMPEAH – Jeff Penza
3rd DARK EYES – Thomas Huet
Hard to split the field at the start, Yuma Desert the eye-catching leader but quickly caught by the mob led by Bitburg. Untamed Diamond was next from Way Too Good shooting up the inside, Wide Acclaim in the middle of the pack, Dark Eyes and Badajoz, then Kopite, Mocha and Sampeah last of all.
Yuma Desert led the tightly bunched field into the straight, as the favourite Badajoz, Untamed Diamond and Dark Eyes cornered widest, with Sampeah still behind them. Bitburg and then Way Too Good were shoved along behind the leader, but Adkins had thrown all caution to the wind as he went straight for the line and opened up an insurmountable lead. It would prove so only just however, as Sampeah and Dark Eyes came rattling home down the outside, with the line coming just in the nick of time for Yuma Desert.
Watch: Yuma Desert, Sampeah, Dark Eyes.
Race 6 – TOYOTA MATERIAL HANDLING (AUSTRALIA) STAYERS CUP (3200m)
1st OPINION – Rory Hutchings (a)
2nd MURPHY’S DELIGHT – Brenton Avdulla
3rd ZATOPAZ – Greg Ryan
Bit of a raffle for the early lead with none really looking to take it, Tradtri eventually rolling into it with Refectory next on the fence and the favourite Zatopaz outside. Cher Cher Shark settled next outside of Tremec, then Victorious outside of Reiby The Red, with Tunes caught three wide outside them all. He’s Dreamin’ was next the fence with Murphy’s Delight and Opinion bringing up the rear.
Zatopaz pulled into a clear second in the straight for the first time, still not looking to challenge the nominal leader, as Cher Cher Shark improved but was caught without cover, and Tunes remained very wide further back with Huet pushing forward slightly throughout the trip, eventually settling in third along the back of the course yet still very deep.
Plenty of movement down the side with He’s Dreamin’ the first to get out wide and go forward, quickly followed by Murphy’s Delight and Opinion. Up front the favourite Zatopaz was pushed to the lead as Tradtri fell away, Ryan shifting up a notch as they took up the running. Ryan hugged the rail and went for home into the straight, Tunes under pressure as He’s Dreamin’ and Opinion sandwiched either side and Murphy’s Delight kept up the chase. It would be Opinion defying the huge weight impost to shoot to the front, every bit the winner and eased up at the line. Murphy’s Delight kept running for second.
Race 7 – COLIN GRAY HANDICAP (2000m)
1st TUCANCHOO – Koby Jennings (a)
2nd VASSAL – Brenton Avdulla
3rd ANTHONY’S BEST – Jeff Penza
Again, nobody really wanting the lead with Tucanchoo getting it but Jennings looking to immediately slow things. Egyptian Ruler was next, a little wide, Defrost My Heart third, Anthony’s Best and then the favourite Vassal. A gap then to Dream Folk, First Bloom improving and Dure last.
Very orderly going with nobody keen to show a hand too early, Defrost My Heart and Vassal eventually the first to get wide down the side and look for some clear air. It was Defrost My Heart taking the lead in the straight over a tightly bunched field, the favourite Vassal looming outside and Tucanchoo still punching on the inside. Defrost My Heart couldn’t keep it up as Tucanchoo found a big wind to go stride for stride with Vassal, completing a great recovery to snatch back the lead and take it out. Anthony’s Best and Dure hit the line pretty well.
Race 8 – SYDNEY MARKETS LIMITED JUNE STAKES (1100m)
1st DANISH TWIST – Koby Jennings (a)
2nd MOUNT NEBO – Thomas Huet
3rd OXFORD POET – Jay Ford
Big field and competitive for the lead with Oxford Poet driving through to take the lead from Decision Time on the fence with Kuro and Fine Mist outside, then Jungle Edge inside Hurrara and Le Cordon Bleu caught deep. A gap then to Miss Tenpins, followed by Mount Nebo the fence from Palazzo Pubblico, Danish Twist well back, then Wouldn’t It Be Nice, Brook Road and Hidden Warrior at the back.
Oxford Poet held the lead into the straight and continued to hold off a huge wall of pursuers. The challenges came from Mount Nebo and Wouldn’t It Be Nice up the inside – the latter slightly blocked for a run – until the form runner Danish Twist rattled down the outside to scoop up the lot and claim a very impressive win.
Watch: Danish Twist.
Race 9 – GLENN WHEELER HANDICAP (1200m)
1st SHADOW LORD – Jay Ford
2nd BURNING PASSION – Jeff Penza
3rd GRUNDERZEIT – Koby Jennings (a)
Selectify pushed forward on the fence along with Burning Passion, and Sweet Kiss caught three wide moving up. Next was All Summer Long on the inside of Grunderzeit and I Can Rock, followed by Shadow Lord outside Invitations, then Star Shaft and Avonaco, with Super Tycoon followed by Cosmopol and Celestial Sky at the rear.
They hit the straight in a tight bunch, Burning Passion breaking away as Sweet Kiss was swamped by All Summer Long and Grunderzeit pushing on, before Shadow Lord emerged down the centre of the track with Avonaco just behind. Shadow Lord went to Burning Passion at the line with only a bob of the head between them. Super Tycoon and Avonaco hit the line well.
Watch: Shadow Lord.
Horses to follow: Conchita, Star Crossed, Infra Dig, Harlem Lady, Elle Lou, Three Sheets, Sampeah, Dark Eyes, Opinion, Tucanchoo, Danish Twist.