Race reviews: Flemington, August 12th
Race 1: VRC MEMBER RAYMOND ALI HANDICAP 1400m.
SHEER MADNESS (1st) did all the work in the race. He sat three wide the entirety around the long bend and although he took a while to wind-up and was a little wayward in the straight, he was still strong through the line after doing the hard yards.
Notes: The rest seemed to have their chances. The pace was moderate and it is unlikely that anything out of this will go on to any great heights this spring. Hard to follow anything but the winner.
Race 2: VRC MEMBER BEVERLEY HOGAN HCP 2530m.
Notes: Don’t think that any of these will be featuring in any of the feature staying races over the Spring. KILIMANJARO (2nd) led them up, ran a decent tempo and kicked for home around the bend. Jock had to get him rolling as he is a little one paced, as was shown when MASTER ZEPHYR (1st) outsprinted him in the straight after a perfect three wide cart into it. They beat the rest by a space, 3rd was CRAFTY CRUISER showing that we certainly don’t want to be looking any further back.
Race 3: VRC MEMBER GRAEME MCENAMIN HCP 1400m.
SOVEREIGN NATION (1st) was absolutely dominant here. They ran along at a solid tempo and with a three-wide cart into it he unleashed an unbelievable turn of foot from the top of the straight, the race was well and truly over past the furlong. He came out of the strong Winter Championship final here at his previous run which looks to be a good form reference.
Notes: TALLY (2nd) was well ridden under the big weight but simply had no match for the speed of the winner in the straight. He will benefit from that fresh run and looks in for a good campaign when getting out over further. He is better than 50/1 for both the major Cups later in the Spring, may be worth a dabble?
Race 4: VRC MEMBER WILLIAM O’GRADY HCP 1700m
Notes: Bunched finish in which four of them were across the track, the consistent JAMINZAH (1st) ran on best from the back after a perfect 3 wide trail into it. That had been the pattern of the day to this point, PORTION CONTROL (2nd) came with the winner in the straight but didn’t sprint as well from the furlong. Kept coming but certainly no excuses. DUKE OF ELLINGTON (3rd) had a month off racing and he raced a little fresh and probably wasn’t suited when found in front.
Race 5: VRC MEMBER HCP MARK YOUNG HCP 1400m
The betting told the story here with SAMOVARE (2nd) as she was stuck 3&4 wide for the majority, was there to strike early in the straight but just found the winner too sharp when they sprinted up from the 300m. Taking nothing away from the winner SWAMPLAND (1st) who was super when asked for the effort in the straight, don’t sack SAMOVARE on the back of that second-up run. She will get out to the mile and go on to win a race in the spring no doubt.
Notes: NIMINYPIMINY (3rd) stuck on well after facing the breeze on the speed, can win a mares race going forward over this trip. PHOENIX PARK (6th) bled from both nostrils for the first time but connections advised that she would be retired.
Race 6: VRC MEMBER JOAN WATSON HCP 1400m
WAYANKA (1st) showed a great turn of foot for Benchmark 70 grade from the 400-200 where he was the second quickest sectional of the day of the 3 1400m races. He went from near last to first in that period, and continued to run away over the last furlong, jockey sat up late. Had been close up behind Jaminzah at his last start who had earlier stepped up to win in 84 grade. He looks to be able to go on to bigger and better things this campaign out to a mile.
Notes: The race was run truly and INVICTUM DOMINA (3rd) did an ok job to stick on as well as it did. MR OPTIMISTIC (2nd) was a mile back but ran on well out wide to snare second. The winner was clearly the eye catcher though with his brilliant turn of foot.
Race 7: AURIE’S STAR HCP 1200m
First of the straight races for the day, last season’s Australian Guineas winner HEY DOC (1st) resumed brilliantly over what is probably an unsuitable six furlongs. He was on the outside fence throughout on the speed, wasn’t let down until the 250m mark. He had challengers left right and centre but lifted over the last 50m and was actually doing best on the line again. Looks set for a great Spring, next stop the Memsie in a fortnight?
Notes: CANNYESCENT (2nd) had the cold sit on the winner, travelled well and exploded through the gaps in the last 300m. He loomed to win at the 100m but may have just peaked late after having 6 weeks off. Still showed a great turn of foot and will win again soon.
Race 8: VRC MEMBER DORIS THEUMA HCP 2000m
Hard to go past the winner ALWARD (1st) who gave Waller a treble on the card. The European import was ultra impressive, ridden quietly before easing around heels in the straight. At the furlong he exploded and gapped them in a few strides. Showed an amazing turn of foot at the back end of the 2000m. He ran an unbelievable 11.29 for the last 200m, if ridden quietly and being able to unleash that kind of finish, he looks destined for bigger things. He looks the horse to follow out of the card.
Notes: All the hype pre-race was about Lloyd Williams runner CROCODILE ROCK (3rd) on a Cups campaign. It was notified that he would race further forward in the run, settled 4th and had the perfect run in transit. Eased around leaders into the straight but showed no dash when they quickened. He went from travelling well to gone in a stride. He showed that he needs further, actually came again over the last furlong and looks a real dour stayer.
Race 9: VRC MEMBER CHARLES WHITE HCP 1000m
Once again all the placegetters came down the outside fence, with a packed finish in a race which I don’t expect the form to hold-up. SO SI BON (2nd) looks the horse to follow out of the race. He wasn’t suited resuming here over the 1000m, was still near last at the furlong, absolutely flashed late. He usually sprints well fresh, still may be one run short next time but wait for him to get to the mile or beyond. Looks to have a profitable Spring ahead if that run was anything to go by,
Notes: SUNDAY ESCAPE (1st) led them up and travelled well, did well to stick on but was all out at the finish. SEARCH SQUAD (5th) made good ground late back towards the inside of runners away from the fast lane on the outside rail.
***BLACK BOOKERS: ALWARD: European import that showed a devastating sprint at the back end of the 2000m. If ridden quietly in truly run staying races, who knows where this Waller runner can get to.