Blackbookers: Race 3 – HUSSY’S GLOW.
Race 1: Rivette Series Final 1600m.
MINTHA (1st) looked one of the better bets on the cars with Williams going on, she settled 4th one-out one-back, only having to ease three-wide at the top of the straight. She dashed brilliantly when Williams asked her, cleared out by three or four at the furlong and was eased down for a dominant win by officially 1.75 lengths. A dominant win.
Notes: All honours to the winner but clearly the best of the back markers was CASA DE LAGO (2nd), who was the only one taking ground off the winner. She came from last at the 400m mark to show good closing speed running past all but the winner. ELLE GAGNE (unplaced) was disappointing after leading, she was gone at the top of the straight. Nothing behind the winner and the runner-up look worth following on that performance.
Race 2: VRC-CRV Cup Tour Trophy 2000m.
This looked an identical ride from Williams to the first race, getting cover behind the leaders on SIXTIES GROOVE (1st), over-racing a little before travelling well into the straight and only easing wider at the top of the lane. The former import cruised up to them and ran away, he could have won by more in recording his much deserved first Australian win.
Notes: BRIGADIER (3rd) and SECOND BULLET (2nd) were the two that set the pace, it was only even, and they had no match for the winner who had the cold sit on them. The runner-up was the better of the two after sitting off the fence. RIYADH (unplaced) was the best of the back markers running on ok from last, but nothing back in the field ever looked a chance.
Race 3: Leilani Series Final 1400m.
Notes: Willow on fire! Craig Williams notched up the first three winners with almost identical rides, as MISS GUNPOWDER (1st) cruised to victory in the final for the mares. Sitting fifth, he did not have to move on her until the 400 where he ambled up and dashed right by them. EVIL LIL (2nd) was good from the back after a wide trip, finally getting cover behind the winner nearing the home straight. She looks the goods out to a mile next time and was impressive here at a price. MOONLOVER (3rd) ambled up to them and would have traded at a short price in the run but had no match for the acceleration for the winner. MILES OF KRISHAN (unplaced) was disappointing on the speed, HUSSY’S GLOW (unplaced) was finishing hard and didn’t have much galloping room over the concluding stages. She was also held-up at the top of the straight, she looks the one to follow out of the race behind the impressive winner.
Race 4: Silver Bowl Series Final 1600m.
Notes: Although Williams didn’t ride this winner, it looked a carbon copy of the first two races. MR MONEY BAGS (1st) sat 3rd just camped off the leaders with a perfect trail into the race. Only having to pull three-wide early in the straight, he dashed up to the lead at the 200 and was too strong. Another brilliant ride. MOUNT KILCOY (2nd) was good from the back, GAULOIS (3rd) had to sit outside the leader, he got the better of it early in the straight but didn’t appear to run out the mile well enough. REMEMBER THE NAME (unplaced) was well in the market but didn’t make any ground in the straight, is It too hard to do that today?
Race 5: Taj Rossi Series Final 1600m.
Notes: It looked a solid enough tempo up front, a beautiful ride from Luke Nolen on GOOD ‘N’ FAST (1st) lifted him over the line. He travelled well into the straight and looked to go straight past them but was very one paced and kept coming at them without running away. He looks as if he will certainly get further in his 3YO year. Maybe taking some of the 50/1 about him to win the Caulfield Guineas in the Spring? SCOTTISH ROGUE (2nd) had every possible chance, he was one horse closer and had the perfect run, just wasn’t as strong through the line. There was a gap to 3rd but GOLDIFOX (3rd) was most unlucky, she settled alongside the winner but as he went wide, she looked for runs, lost all momentum when she ran up behind them and then switched around heels. When she balanced up she was really good through the line.
Race 6: Banjo Patterson Series Final 2600m.
Notes: It’s fair to say that these stayers are no champions, but every time they go around it is always entertaining. CHOYSA (unplaced) once again set a good tempo going more than ten lengths in front mid-race. The lead was huge at the 1000m mark, he was still 8 lengths in front approaching the straight but was walking! An exciting ride but gone at the 300m mark, FALAGO (1st), BIG HAMMER (2nd) came together from well back and it was probably the difference having Williams on the winner. The first two were strong through the line with the solid tempo, LYCURGUS (3rd) as has been the case recently had to do all the chasing and was brave in defeat after hitting the lead momentarily in the straight.
Race 7: A.R. Creswick Series Final 1200m.
Notes: All the talk was around NATURE STRIP (1st) here and what he would do, if the field was too weak to judge and had his times really shown the true story. He jumped well, led them up about 5 horses of the fence, the jockey sat quietly and at the 300m mark, he let him go and he never looked in danger. He took a few awkward strides over the last 100m and seemed to lose momentum, but he was clearly too classy for these. The verdict is till out on many of the questions we had going into this, but no doubt D.K. Weir has a star here. He had to sit into the strong wind and the jockey seemed to suggest he resisted it. ORDER OF COMMAND (2nd) and EGYPTIAN BULLET (3rd) were both sound running on well into placings. No use talking about those further back in the field until we can establish what level the winner is actually at!
Race 8: VRC-CRV Winter Champs Final 1600m.
Notes: MIHANY (unplaced) and OZI CHOICE (unplaced) set a cracking pace, the latter of the two dashed to the front three lengths clear at the top of the straight. The early burn hurt, and he didn’t run out the mile, not to say that he can’t but he will need to settle better and get a cheap lead on a smaller track. MAGIC CONSULE (1st) appreciate the solid tempo and ran on hard from mid-field. Very strong through the line, Williams notched up win number five. MOSS ‘N’ DALE (2nd) was well beaten but his run was full of merit. After coming back from a trip north, he had to sit three-wide no cover and chase the tearaway leaders, got to 3rd and kept grinding away. No match for the winner but he had to do a stack more work. GALAXY RAIDER (3rd) ran past them late, looked as though it is wanting further.
Race 9: Seppelt Wines Victorian Sprint Series Final 1200m.
This looked the most exciting race on the card, with any amount if winning chances. PRINCETON SPIRIT (unplaced) led with ABILITY (unplaced) to his inner. They seemed to find nothing over the latter stages, so the times may suggest that they went too hard, although live it didn’t look that way. Williams got his sixth winner of the day aboard CAMDUS (1st). he sat back off the speed before easing him out and holding off a late charge from JUST HIFALUTIN (2nd) who charged late after sitting behind the winner. The outside of the track looked the place to be, Tasmanian raider HELLOVA STREET (3rd) was ok and was a couple of horses closer to the inner, it may pay to forgive MAN FROM UNCLE (unplaced) and DIVINE QUALITY (unplaced) as they tried to make ground closest to the inside. Not sure what to make of it, the sectionals will tell us more especially with the disappointing effort of Princeton Spirit. Six winner s at a metro meet for Craig Williams, that’s some effort.