Race reviews: Flemington, June 10th
Race 1: Eugene Gorman Handicap (1100m)
Note – blanket finish with a dead heat between Andaz and Royal Phoenix, the latter looking to have the race in his keeping until the last 20m when Andaz kicked back. Evil Cry and Prezado were driving at that pair but ran out of ground. Lone Eagle was a little unlucky from about the 500m-200m but was a little plain late.
Race 2: Trevor Clarke Handicap (1400m)
Samovare (2nd): ex-WA filly who just found giving away fitness and weight a little bit too much first-up but her effort suggests she’ll win races in the east. She was out in plenty of time but ran out of ground.
Note – Pedrena appreciated coming back to 1400m and, aided by a nice rails-hugging ride, took advantage of the 4kg weight pull she had on Samovare to just hold her off. Alma’s Rossa boxed on well into third though no match for the first two.
Race 3: Bruce Gadsden Handicap (1000m)
Rough Justice (2nd): honest effort first-up, he was with the speed all the way and just couldn’t sprint at a vital stage before he again hit the line late. He usually holds his form and should have a good preparation.
Note – Straight track specialist Lake Como bounced back from a G1 failure with a game win. She sat just inside the speed and sprinted best from the 200m, while Rough Justice closed the margin late she was too strong. Play Master ran on from the back for third.
Race 4: Young Members Handicap (2500m)
Note – Falago staged a decent form reversal, attacking the line with renewed enthusiasm after punching around country Cups with no purpose. He sprinted like an Oakleigh Plater in the last 200m to beat the (surprisingly) odds-on favourite Goathland who had every chance after hitting the front, and jumper Try Four ran into third.
Race 5: Ken Cox Handicap (1800m)
Kilimanjaro (3rd): import first-up for two years and probably a good thing beaten. Bailed up on the fence coming into the straight, eventually worked to the outside and was cutting them down in the last 100m. One to remember for the spring.
Note – Bullish Stock and Zourkhan settled down to fight out a tight finish in the last furlong with the former just prevailing. Both horses backed up nice first-up effort. Kilimanjaro produced the eye-catching finish for third.
Race 6: Henry Bolte Handicap (2000m)
Note – outstanding last to first performance from the lightly raced Royal Order who took a while to reel them in but at only his third start he’s a stayer of promise. Kawia tried to go with the winner in the last 200m and only just failed while the bolterMoshway led and boxed on amazingly considering his moderate form.
Race 7: Rod Johnson Handicap (1400m)
Loyalty Man (2nd): raced very fresh on the speed and when it looked like he might throw in the towel he knuckled down and finished his race off strongly. Yet to win first-up so this was a nice return and he’ll have upside.
Note – another explosive win from Tsahitsi who basically led all the way, he kicked right away from the 300m and cantered in.Loyalty Man kept coming for second and Royal Rapture showed some improvement getting home into third.
Race 8: Lachal Handicap (1000m)
Note – super impressive last to first win by Invincible Al, who has a sharp turn of foot when he lets go and he did that picking them up in the space of 200m to win running away. Sacred Sham arrived in time for second from Mistoffelees who was on the speed all the way.
Race 9: Comic Court Handicap (1400m)
Pattern (3rd): pleasing return from over a year off the scene. Raced about midfield on the fence and once he worked into the clear midway down the straight he found the line with purpose. Lightly raced and open to improvement.
Note – Urban Ruler looks to be back in business with a solid city win backing up a victory on synthetic ground. He showed a nice turn of foot when he squeezed through about 200m out and edged away from Nikitas, every chance, and Pattern running on.