Runners to watch: Kensington, January 5th

Luke Krahe race reviews, blackbookers and race notes from Saturday's Sydney metro meeting at Kensington.

Blackbookers: Race 1 – PERALTA

Race 1: 2YO Handicap 1150m.

HIGHTAIL (1st) had the benefit of being to the races previously unlike many of his rivals, he sat back whilst the speed was on up front but turning for home, he always travelled like the winner. He shot past the tiring leader at the furlong pole and ran away for a dominant victory, eased down late.

Notes: UNDERWOOD (unplaced) was the one setting the pace, opening up a 3 or 4 length margin into the straight but she was gone early in the straight. AVON RIVER (2nd) had every chance, hit the line ok but after saving ground, was no match for the acceleration of the winner. The two that really hit the line well were TWENTYFOUR CARAT (3rd) and PERALTA (unplaced), both looking as though they need further and just couldn’t sprint with the winner.

Race 2: BM88 Handicap 1150m.

Notes: Things went as expected for most punters here with the very short priced favourite EASY EDDIE (1st) getting the cash, with the only other runner in the small field given a chance INTUITION (2nd) runner-up. Eddie led initially before taking the sit, eased around the leader at the top of the straight, went past them at the 200m mark and although the margin wasn’t huge, it was always comfortable. INTUITION (2nd) jumped well and followed the winner throughout but never threatened, EVER SO NATURAL (3rd) was wide early before working over to the top, he stuck on ok early in the straight before tiring over the last furlong. The other two had their chance…

Race 3: Highway Handicap Class 3 1300m.

Notes: LA SCOPA (1st) was a solidly backed favourite starting about even money with most corporates, after sitting back Avdulla got her to the outside, and although it took her a while to wind-up, the closing speed over the last furlong was most impressive. When she finally let down, she went past them like they were standing still for the easiest of victories, giving favourite backers the perfect start to the day. ELEGANT ELLEN (2nd) kicked through to lead and was clearly headed at the top of the straight but rallied again late, ZARDORO (3rd) saved every inch of ground on the turn, railed through to lead but didn’t run out the 1300m well tiring late.

Race 4: BM72 Handicap 1300m.

Notes: LJUNGBERG (1st) made it 4/4 for favourite backers after a peach of a ride from Bowman. He jumped well but let the speed go around him, eased three-wide approaching the turn and put them away in a few strides. ABOVE AND BEYOND (2nd) led but was no match after having to work a little early, COURU (unplaced) went forward also but was the first beaten. BOTTI (3rd) go back and was circling them nicely but struggled a little around the back end of the home turn. When he balanced up again, he hit the line well but had found himself too far back. SURE KNEE (unplaced) was well in the market but was three-wide without cover for the trip, forced even wider when the winner came out under her. Forget she even went around, she stuck on ok to beat half the field home.

Race 5: BM78 Handicap Fillies and Mares 1300m.

Notes: SWEET SCANDAL (1st) began well and was able to cruise over to the top, albeit at a solid tempo. She found he rail and was able to get a breather through the middle stages, she kicked hard into the straight and was never in danger. Sam Weatherley eased her down late to win by two lengths. Stablemates HARMATTAN (2nd) and GONGS (3rd) ran on well from the back, the runner-up didn’t have a lot of room early in the straight when trying to get a run between horses, at the same time the leader/winner was getting away. THE ART OF THE BAR (unplaced) started favourite and looked to have every chance, she loomed three-wide approaching the straight but was very one paced late.

Race 6: BM78 Handicap Colts, Geldings and Entires 1300m.

Notes: The track showed once again it was very hard to make up ground, the leader and winner SAMADOUBT (1st) looked gone early in the straight with at least three horses challenging. POETIC CHARMER (2nd) had the perfect sit behind the two leaders, eased three-wide but just wouldn’t run past the winner in the straight after he looked like doing so on numerous occasions. ASTORIA (3rd) had the same run but in on the rails, he didn’t look to have a lot of room for much of the straight but the rider looked urgent suggesting he wasn’t going good enough if the gaps were there. REGENT (unplaced) made the best ground from the back, but he made it up before the furlong where his run peaked. LET’S PARTY MARTY (unplaced) SP’d as favourite, he had to sit in the breeze but the way the track was playing that was certainly no disadvantage.

Race 7: Handicap 1550m.

Notes: GRESHAM (1st) started close to flip of the coin odds, he had the perfect run in behind the leader and took the whole inner Randwick track to run them down, getting up in the last few strides. SIR PLUSH (2nd) was that leader that got it all his own way, kicked hard into the straight and was only nabbed late. NEW UNIVERSE (3rd) had every chance to run them down, the disappointing runner was INVINZABEEL (unplaced) who was up on the speed where you needed to be, and found very little. SPECTROSCOPE (unplaced) was well in the market and never got into the race from the back, once again the on-pacers dominant.

Race 8: BM78 Handicap 1000m.

Notes: One-two in the run finish one-two again. HEART CONQUERED (1st) jumped well, sat outside the leader but was a few horses off the fence. SEI STELLA (2nd) was the leader and they paired off into the straight with a two-horse war. The fence had not seemed to be off earlier in the day with the last winner coming there, so all credit to HEART CONQUERED (1st) who sat wider and finally got the better of SEI STELLA (2nd). REBEL MISS (unplaced) was the other horse in the market, had the cold sit on the two leaders but didn’t come on in the straight, really feeling the pinch over the last 100m. TESSERA (3rd) may have been the run of the race with the big weight, finding the line well on a day when that was not the norm.

Race 9: BM78 Handicap 1550m.

Notes: MERCURIAL LAD (1st) led all the way from the wide gae with the light weight, he crossed easily and never really looked like getting beaten. TAHSIN (2nd) may have been the run of the race, settling well back, he got to the outside and gave the leader at least 5 lengths. He looked a little one-paced before really knuckling down late to go down by half a length. A nice effort on a day when back-markers certainly seemed to be disadvantaged. NICCI’S GOLD (3rd) came from even further back and looked like she would finish a lot closer, but was still solid through the line. SUPER STAR BOB (unplaced) wasn’t suited by the patern of the day but admittedly others did run on better.