by Mark Haywood

Race 1 – TAB.COM.AU HANDICAP (1100m)

1st LEGERITY – Brenton Avdulla
2nd BALTIC WHISPER – Tye Angland
3rd ARCHIVES – Adam Hyeronimus

The small field settled in three pairs – Legerity inside Aviator at the front, Archives inside Baltic Whisper next, and Lavender Hill inside Hammoon Dream at the back. Legerity held sway by half a length into the side of the course with Hammoon Dream looking a bit busy and unsettled at the back as she moved forward, whilst Archives put in a few stutter steps before somewhat regaining rhythm.

They hit the straight with Legerity still in control and Aviator just on the flank, whilst Baltic Whisper wider was the first chaser. Avdulla remained still as they Aviator dropped off whilst Baltic Whisper continued the pursuit. Archives flowed flashes of good speed in the straight to run on for third, but never seemed to settle into a rhythm and was accelerating in fits and spurts. Avdulla gave the leader the required couple of tickles to get home by half a length.

Watch: none.

Race 2 – TAB REWARDS HANDICAP (1200m)

1st PAINTE – Jay Ford
2nd DISGRACEFUL – Brenton Avdulla
3rd CAPED CRUSADER – Adam Hyeronimus

Conarchie got out well from a good gate and led early, however was quickly claimed by Caped Crusader who was caught wide and forced forward into the lead. Painte settled third on the inside, followed by Turbulent Jet and Sonic Swish, with a gap then to Like Xena, Fiftyshadesofgrey up the inside, Grunderzeit caught three wide and pushing up, then Well Hardley Ever and Disgraceful at the back.

Conarchie reclaimed the lead as Hyeronimus slowed Caped Crusader a touch, whilt the movers amongst the backmarkers were Grunderzeit and Disgraceful, both having a long trip out wide. Caped Crusader was called upon into the straight as a few wound up behind, Grunderzeit and Disgraceful having a crack whilst trailer Well Hardley Ever came out wide for a look. Painte had a nice spot just off Caped Crusader and went to him as the pace took off, Conarchie unable to keep up. The other contender was Disgraceful with a nice run on the outside, but Painte was the stronger to hold them off.

Watch: none.

Race 3 – TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP (1200m)

1st ROYAL ENGINEER – Tye Angland
2nd FLASH IN THE DARK – Winona Costin (a)
3rd DESERT MARSHAL – Taylor Marshall (a2)

Flash In The Dark was out best and led early outside of Lipread and Lemming. Pure Choice was next on the fence and Desert Marshal was out wide, whilst Circle Game was next but had a slight tangle and had to pull up, losing a couple of lengths. Royal Engineer and Dylan’s Dynasty took advantage to move past, Circle Game now back inside of De La Hoya, then a gap to Correspondent and Alone With You, a further gap to Axion, then King’s Officer, Didyahearme, and Supreme Lad last after being taken straight across and back at the jump.

Fairly orderly once they settled with Supreme Lad making some effort around the side to make up ground, and at the final corner it was Royal Engineer widest with a clear run. Flash In The Dark held the lead as Desert Marshal and Royal Engineer laid down the challenge from outside, whilst Lemming found passage to the inside and gave that route a look. Royal Engineer was called upon and responded to finish the best whilst further back King’s Officer hit the line impressively.

Watch: King’s Officer

Race 4 – MORE THAN READY HANDICAP (1900m)

1st ENCOSTA LINE – Rory Hutchings (a)
2nd CHANDANA – Brenton Avdulla
3rd ROMANTIC MAID – Michael Rodd

Power Of Patch was booted forward from wide to take up the lead on settling, across in front of Precocious and Romantic Maid, whilst Encosta Line had followed the leader across to settle in third. Rodrico was fifth from Seltzer on the fence, then Mr Darcy, Chandana, Assertive Star and Tatoosh.

Reith switched the speed right off around the back which was largely accepted by the field, with Mr Darcy well back seemingly travelling slowest out wide and losing position somewhat. Nobody seemed keen to pull the trigger, but by the home turn Encosta Line had moved up to second, well place just outside Power Of Patch. Encosta Line soon claimed him, whilst behind Angland was right into Rodrico with some response, and Romantic Maid and Chandana out wide for a run. It was all Encosta Line in the straight, pulling like a train to put a bigger and bigger gap on the rest the further they went, eventually running out by four lengths. Little in the minors between Chandana, Romantic Maid and Rodrico.

Watch: Encosta Line.

Race 5 – MCGRATH ESTATE AGENTS HANDICAP (1200m)

1st SIR BACCHUS – Rory Hutchings (a)
2nd LUCKY FISH – James Innes Jr (a)
3rd REINCARNATE – Andrew Adkins (a)

Fast even start at the 1200m and a real battle for the lead, Lucky Fish pulling up the inside to claim it from Roguish, with a gap then to Zara Bay and Surfin’ Safari whilst Reincarnate had been caught deep, and Adkins would keep willing him forward, eventually all the way to the front. Sampeah was next on the rails from Multizone, favourite Sir Bacchus settling well back, then Maraam and More Than Fabulous.

Two rows of three led them around the side and the final turn – Lucky Fish, Roguish and Reincarnate followed by Sampeah, Zara Bay and Surfin’ Safari – with the favourite caught behind them all as they spread across the track. Innes kept the hammer down on the leader and took a length on the rest in an attempt to finish them, but Sir Bacchus, still well back, had ominously found a path and started coming with abandon. It looked for a moment like it may be too late but the turn of foot was something special, Hutchigns timing it nicely to go to and pull clear of Lucky Fish just in time.

Watch: Lucky Fish.

Race 6 – SCHWEPPES HANDICAP (1350m)

1st RELIGIFY – Brenton Avdulla
2nd ROCKOLICIOUS – Taylor Marshall (a)
3rd GRANDE PUNTO – Andrew Adkins (a)

Good even start with Religify settling at the front from Foreign Prince, a gap then to Lunar Rise, Rockolicious and Candelara, a further gap to Grande Punto coming up the inside of Song And Laughter and Kaypers, with God’s In Him and favourite Start Wondering brought to the back of the field.

Lunar Rise and Song And Laughter were caught wide most of the run as backmarkers Gods In Him and Start Wondering moved out for a run. They fanned right out around the home turn, with the leader Religify holding sway on the rails. Avdulla set for home as Marshall stepped Rockolicious out from his wake to make a bid, and Grande Punto looking the best of the challengers. Religify would just hold out Rockolicious at the line.

Watch: Religify.

Race 7 – LORD MAYORS CUP (2000m)

1st ECUADOR – Adam Hyeronimus
2nd LADY LE FAY – Greg Ryan
3rd HAVANA COOLER – Brenton Avdulla

Bit of a sluggish start as the rain fell, Ecuador settled at the front but had Shoreham coming across from out wide for company. Disclaimer was third the fence with Weary outside caught a fraction wide, then Just As Cosmic inside Sense Of Occasion, Tremec on the outside of Index Linked and Hawkspur. A length then to favourite Lady Le Fay, caught outside Ghost Protocol and Beyond Thankful, and Blendwell and Havana Cooler at the rear as they made their way along the back of the course.

Ecuador held steady with Disclaimer moving to second and Tremec a length third outside Sense of Occasion and Just As Cosmic. They bunched right up down the side as if to prepare an attack on Ecuador, Hyeronimus moving well off then fence which allowed Blendwell and Hawkspur a look up the inside, and the remainder spread across the track – Tremec falling away, Sense Of Occasion, Disclaimer and Lady Le Fay widest, in space hot pursuit. Lady Le Fay made a nice late charge but it was all too late, Ecuador sealing a comfortable win. Further back, Blendwell ran on reasonably.

Watch: Lady Le Fay

Race 8 – PRO-RIDE HANDICAP (1100m)

1st DAYSEE DOOM – Sam Clipperton
2nd PIONEERING – Brenton Avdulla
3rd WAY TOO GOOD – Michael Rodd

Freeze The Charges got out in front with Way Too Good for company and Minnesota next on the fence, Daysee Doom was caught a little deep outside Pioneering on the fence and Bonete next. A gap then to Our Renaissance caught outside Zelda and Andsoitiswritten, and Butterboom and Kokomo at the back.

Freeze The Charges and Way Too Good had them into the straight with the latter seizing the initiative to go to the front, as Daysee Doom and Pioneering got into a bit of a tussle behind them. It would be the pair of them stepping out to run down Way Too Good, and Bonete from wider still also making an effort but not having the tank. Bob of the head at the finish with Daysee Doom just getting up.

Watch: Daysee Doom, Pioneering.

Race 9 – HYLAND RACE COLOURS HANDICAP (1500m)

1st MOHER – Andrew Atkins (a)
2nd GAMBLER’S BLUES – Yusuke Ichikawa
3rd TENDER – Deanna Panya

A great start by Moher from the far outside, Adkins able to get him across to lead on the fence upon settling. Tender settled next from Gambler’s Blues inside of SIgnposted, then Santa Rocks from So Willie, Francesco on the fence, Montiro, Montauk sliding forward from wider, Bolord, Hunter Jack, Liberty Island, Excited Prince, Amazon and Zabillions caught deep, Falco on the fence and Zatopaz back last.

Moher led all around the side and into the straight and looked right up for it, the pursuers spread right out with Gambler’s Blues and Tender leading them and So Willie and Signposted the widest runners with Liberty Island also stepping out. Francesco punched along up the inside and Santa Rocks and Montauk did likewise from wider, but Moher had broken their hearts and ran away with it with ease.

Watch: Moher.

Horses to follow: Encosta Line, Lucky Fish, Lady Le Fay, Moher.