By: Mark Haywood
Race 1 – TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1350m)
1st FOXPLAY – Hugh Bowman
2nd COGLIERE – Andrew Adkins (a)
3rd MOOHARIBA – Christian Reith
Field eventually settled in a tight bunch as McDougall put the foot down to take up the lead from the hot favourite Foxplay and Moohariba on the fence. Cogliere was on the move deep around them, Typhoon Tess was snagged back next, and Hanover Square and Smart Venture brought up the rear.
Cogliere settled in third down the side and was covering a fair bit of ground, Dynamic Dynasty holding them on the inside as Bowman sat comfortable on the favorite between them as they turned. The leaders shifted out a touch upon straightening which gave Moohariba and Smart Venture a look up the inside, but it’d be Foxplay and Cogliere running away to make it a race in two, and then a race in one as Foxplay streeted away to justify the short price with a three length win.
Race 2 – KENSEI HANDICAP (2000m)
1st FOEREIGN PRINCE – Deanne Panya (a)
2nd SEBRINA – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd LOOPHOLE – Tye Angland
Just the five runners here and the very tight, even start had a wall of three across the track in front – Sebrina on the rails, Beyond Thankful riding shotgun and Foreign Prince widest. As they cornered however Panya pushed Foreign Prince ahead to take the lead from Sebrina and a relaxed Beyond Thankful, Jiayuguan next and Loophole last but only a few lengths off the leader.
Pretty orderly going with McEvoy on Sebrina slowing a touch along the back, Beyond Thankful going past and the backmarkers keeping up in a still tight field. Panya put the foot down somewhat down the side, as McEvoy got into Sebrina and kept up and Beyond Thankful and Loophole went wide in the turn. Panya kept the leader hard against the fence in the straight, Sebrina and Loophole quickly emerging as they only likely challengers. They would punch on but neither made an impression on Foreign Prince, running on for an impressive three length win.
Watch: Foreign Prince.
Race 3 – TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1500m)
1st KING’S OFFICER – Koby Jennings (a)
2nd EXPLOSIVE SCENE – Andrew Adkins (a)
3rd ERIKA – Blake Shinn
Auckland Beauty shot straight to the front early, keeping the speed up and opening up a few lengths on They Call Me Rose, Pure Choice third the fence and Eurella Flight right there in fourth. A gap then to She’s Invincible, caught wide outside Calaway Cruizer and Le Cavalier, whilst favourite King’s Officer was moving outside them all and caught extremely deep. Explosive Scene was next, followed Emerald Ice on the rails, having made up a lot of ground after badly missing the start by 5 – 6 lengths. Erika and Stratum’s Siren brought up the rear.
Bowman kept a lead down the side but just slowed things slightly, the main movers from the back being King’s Officer and She’s Invincible, both covering a fair bit of ground outside whilst improving, whilst Shinn got Erika out and trailed them in. They’d well and truly caught the leader as they straightened, Pure Choice getting a really good look up the inside along with Le Cavalier, whilst the rest were spread right across the track – They Call Me Rose, She’s Invincible, King’s Officer and Erika. King’s Officer was definitely the strongest down the straight, but Explosive Scene punched right through to make a race of it. The favourite had the goods to salute by half a length.
Watch: King’s Officer, Explosive Scene.
Race 4 – SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1200m)
1st BUTTERBOOM – Tim Clark
2nd MAGIC OF DREAMS – Hugh Bowman
3rd FLAMBOYANT LASS – Koby Jennings (a)
Flamboyant Lass went through on the inside to lead early with Butterboom right there outside her and Miss Tenpins being wrestled up the outside by Panya to sit third. Frill Seeking was next the rails with Bonete for company, whilst Magic Of Dreams was improving quickly outside them. Alart was next on the fence, having been mustered up after rearing at the jump, with Thud right there too, then Don’t Doubt Marley and Wine Tales at the back.
Really bunched and competitive journey into the straight, Flamboyant Lass and Butterboom staying relatively narrow with perhaps just a small gap to the fence for Alart to look into. Butterboom put her head in front and had Miss Tenpins briefly looking to go with her, but the main challenge came from wider in Magic Of Dreams and Bonete skipping around for a run. Butterboom held them all our for a tough win, whilst further back Thud carved through the field nicely to finish well.
Race 5 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1350m)
1st DINGHU MOUNTAIN – Hugh Bowman
2nd LANCIATO – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd CLASSIC UNIFORM – Tim Clark
Bit of speed on at the start with Nudierudie pushed forward and allowed to build a decent lead, Classic Uniform going with her with a couple of lengths then to Vanderkemp and Swift Reply, and a couple more to Lanciato. Last Witness was next on the rails, then So Willie caught deep outside Dark Steel, and the favourite Dinghu Mountain a long last.
Innes switched the speed straight off a touch whilst maintaining a handy lead with Classic Uniform, whilst Lanciato made a move around Vanderkemp as they turned, Dinghu Mountain still well back in last. The leaders stepped off the rails in the straight as Classic Uniform put it to Nudierudie and Lanciato kept improving. Behind it however was Dinghu Mountain leaping into stride and making up ground, stepping outside a brave Lanciato to finish superbly and claim the win from last. Reasonable finish too by Vanderkemp.
Watch: Dinghu Mountain, Lanciato.
Race 6 – RANVET HANDICAP (1350m)
1st AVONACO – Hugh Bowman
2nd GAMBLER’S BLUES – Tye Angland
3rd BOLD CIRCLE – Jason Collett
Nite Rocker pushed forward to lead initially but it wasn’t long before Adkins on Grande Punto, having settled almost last, decided to boot his charge around the field all the way to the front and dictate terms. Avonaco slipped in third with Gambler’s Blues next on the fence and Conarchie right there. Better Not Blue and Satirical Magic were on the move deep around them, Disgraceful next the rails from Well Hardley Ever and Ziggy Willie caught deep, then Embley and Bold Circle, and Resurrect last of all.
Around the side and the turn and Better Not Blue and Satirical Magic and covered a lot of ground and kept pushing wide, whilst a tiring Grande Punto was being hounded by Nite Rocker and Avonaco. Gambler’s Blues was also pushing through but Avonaco ran on very strongly to hold them off, with quality finishes also from Better Not Blue and Bold Circle, the latter from well back.
Watch: Avonaco, Bold Circle.
Race 7 – MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS HANDICAP (1500m)
1st HIMALAYA DREAM – Christian Reith
2nd AMMIRATA – Sam Clipperton
3rd KELLYVILLE FLYER – Koby Jennings
Very even start with Magical Stance going forward along the rail for the lead along with Ammirata and Ryker caught three wide, a length then to Kellyville Flyer inside of the favourite Invinzabeel, with Metallic Crown lowing up three wide. A further length back then to Zayam, Surfin’ Safari, Himalaya Dream and Springbok Flyer.
Ryker stayed caught wide as Ammirata pushed for the lead and Invinzabeel improved somewhat in the run. Clipperton kept Ammirata at the front and got right her in the turn, with Kellyville Flyer joining Ryker and Metallic Crown from wider to give chase, and Invinzabeel had a crack up the inside before ultimately failing to produce. It was the raiders down the outside, firstly Surfin’ Safari and then from nowhere, the great punters’ pest Himalaya Dream – coming effectively from last to slice down the straight, round up the lot and take a fantastic upset win at big odds. Reasonable finishes from Metallic Crown and Springbok Flyer.
Watch: Himalaya Dream.
Race 8 – HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP (1800m)
1st VASSAL – Rory Hutchings
2nd OLYMPIC ACADEMY – Hugh Bowman
3rd SCHERZOSO – Deanne Panya
Plenty of speed at the start with Collaboration and Sapphire of Patch going forward from wide out to set the pace and run away together, leaving a gap to Kontiki Dane and then another length or so to Scherazoso and Santa Rocks. Another couple of lengths then to Consign, then Wine’n’Dine and Vassal with First Bloom caught wide outside them, Olympic Academy also a little deep, Just As Cosmic, Piamimi, Thurston, and Randiki last.
The leaders eyeballed each other all the way around the back and into the side of the course, Kontiki Dane in third being pushed up and wide in the turn to join them. The three kept well away from the rails as they straightened, Scherzoso and Wine’n’Dine moving up the rail, while Santa Rocks bobbed and weaved for a run and Consign and Olympic Academy look to raid from wide. Vassal slammed through the middle to take Scherzoso on the rail as the leaders dropped off, before Olympic Academy flew from the middle of the course and looked set to take it. Vassal would hodl on however for a very tough win, with Thurston also finishing well for fourth.
Watch: Vassal, Olympic Academy, Thurston.
Race 9 – TAB MORE THAN JUST WINNING HANDICAP (1100m)
1st ELEMENOHPEE – Christian Reith
2nd POWERLINE– Hugh Bowman
3rd PAINTE – Jay Ford
Good even start with Freeze The Charges winning it to lead early from Prince Famous, whilst Italian Son moved around wide. Termele was fourth back the on the fence with Grand Condor next, as Aroused looked to pass them both from deep. Powerline was next in midfield from Prince Mayted on the fence and Crooked Blaze, whilst favourite Elemenohpee was right off the course and looked to push forward from deep. Painte was also wide along with Wonderbolt and Lord Leofric was last.
Freeze The Charges led into the straight in front of a wall of horses, the likely challengers wide in the form of Powerline, Italian Son and Elemenohpee, the favourite finishing strongly as Painte threw in a last big effort down the centre of the track, just to be denied. Good finishes from all three placegetters.
Watch: Painte, Elemenopee, Powerline.
Horses to follow: Foxplay, Foreign Prince, Thud, Dinghu Mountain, Bold Circle, Himalaya Dream, Olympic Academy, Thurston, Painte.