Race 2 – MR SONGMAN
Race 3 – NOBLE BOY
Race 1: 2YO Handicap 1100m.
Notes: ATHERI (1st) was having her first start for the Godolphin yard, she was drawn out but Schofield got her back in behind them with cover, she exploded through the gap between the leaders when it appeared for a very soft, impressive win. ACCESSION (2nd) over-raced through the middle stages and ranged up to win early in the straight before the winner came through underneath. It was a nice debut and he won’t be far off his maiden win, just needs to settle better. KRAMERIC (unplaced) started favourite, not one of Hughie’s best rides, he jumped well but was stuck three-wide, eased, came four-wide no cover to the turn and failed to run on after the wide trip. Forgive him that run second-up, he had no luck and his debut was impressive. Stick with him. STRONGER (3rd) stuck on ok and was the best of the on-pacers after sitting outside the leader.
Race 2: BM78 Handicap 3&4YO 1100m.
Loved the run of former Tasmanian MR SONGMAN (2nd) even though he was run over late. There looked to be plenty of speed on paper and that’s the way it panned out, MR SONGMAN (2nd) was not able to cross WOOSHKA (unplaced) who held the rail and there was a line of 3 early. That became a line of 4 up front well before the turn and they went a long way from home. MR SONGMAN (2nd) shook off the others but was a sitting shot for the swoopers, the winner was the only one that got there very late, a mighty tough performance from the runner-up after doing all the work.
Notes: KAPAJACK (1st) was the one that arrived late after sitting back in the field, getting the three-wide cart into it and running on hard at big odds out wide to get up in the last few strides. EASY EDDIE (3rd) was the one stuck three-wide on the speed and also did well to stick on, the two Godolphin runners REGIMEN (unplaced) and GONGS (unplaced) were entitled to run on better than they did.
Race 3: Highway Handicap Class 2 1200m.
What a win, NOBLE BOY (1st) was backed as if there was no settling, he had won both his starts at Goulburn and Albury and sat back near last early. JMac stoked him up coming to the turn but he was very wide and still near last, but it became clear once he balanced up, he was the one. He quickly raced up to them and ran away, what was even more impressive was the leader ran second showing that the win’s merit was unquestionable.
Notes: COUP DE MAIN (2nd) was that leader, had to work hard from the outside but had its chance. Not much use going any further back, the winner had laps on them, stays undefeated and no doubt will be seen in the city again soon, not in one of these Highway races though! He looks well above average.
Race 4: ATC Cup Quality 2000m.
Notes: With the two scratching’s (Smart As You Think went around in Melbourne, maybe a better option here in hindsight), there were only five left to contest the Listed feature. EXOTERIC (1st) had the soft run and was beautifully ridden by JMac, getting the split (albeit a large one) in the straight and ran on too well. OUR CENTURY (2nd) stuck on well after pressuring the leader to the bend, RED EXCITEMENT (3rd) tired late after leading. The big talking point was the failure of the even money favourite, SAVACOOL (unplaced). When the pace quickened approaching the turn, she was immediately under pressure and McEvoy elected to pull the horse up. Well she finished the race officially but the margin was 100+ lengths. No doubt the vet report will be of interest in regards to her.
Race 5: BM78 Handicap 2400m.
Notes: MAZAZ (1st) got in one off the fence mid-field, Clark had to stoke the Waller gelding up well before the straight but he responded well. He hooked to the outside, and although he didn’t show a brilliant tur-of-foot, he kept grinding away and was strong through the line out wide. HEARTLET (2nd) had the run of the race in behind the leader, the SP favourite THE BANDIT (unplaced) was last in the run and never looked likely, although he was doing his best work late.
Race 6: Festival Stakes Quality 1500m.
Notes: MY NORDIC HERO (1st) was suited by the tempo second-up, sat back near last when the speed was on up front before getting home strong. He didn’t show great acceleration, it was more of a grinding effort and it took him the whole straight to pick up the leaders. He will get out in trip to the 2000m and possibly further so that style of racing is not surprising. GOODFELLA (2nd) was clearly the run of the race, drawn the widest, Rachel King sent him forward and was stuck off the track, three-wide in the breeze throughout. He stuck on remarkably, got the better of the two inside horses and kept kicking, eventually swallowed up by the winner who sat back and was suited by the three of them going at it up front. CHAMOIS ROAD (3rd) was two wide up there on the speed, stuck on ok but the second horse clearly worked harder. PECANS (unplaced) was only fair after having the right run.
Race 7: Starlight Stakes Quality 1100m.
What a cracking win by INCINCIBLE STAR (1st)!!! She looked the leader and found that spot, the speed was good and early in the straight she probably traded at triple figures. The challengers were coming left right and centre, most people were looking everywhere but the leader which kept finding and fought on for a strong win. The speed looked genuine, will have to check the sectionals but what tough win and Tim Clark certainly got the most out of her!
Notes: Really no excuses for those in the beaten brigade. BADAJOZ (2nd) had a perfect run in transit off the speed, ran on well but had every chance, MY FAVOURITE (3rd) was outsid ethat runner throughout but had cover, DEPLOY (unplaced) got the rails run up underneath the leader/winner and was there to strike and MARSUPIAL (unplaced) was only fair out in the middle of the track after being well back. The winner was actually going as good as anything late.
Race 8: BM88 Handicap 1300m.
Notes: The first two in the run were the first two across the line, MAPMAKER (1st) initially had enough speed to lead CATESBY (2nd) who was carving across from outside, but elected to let that horse roll to the front and come off its back and sit parked. The speed was ok but they got away on the field into the straight, MAPMAKER (1st) taking the length of it to get there by a short half head. DRACHENFELS (3rd) was super and very brave in defeat, he was wide throughout and wanted to lay-out badly in the straight. Tim Clark did well to keep him going straight, he may have won had he had his head down and on the job. That was the second horse today form the Bjorn Baker stable to not shirk the task and be huge in defeat after sitting wide. BEAU GESTE (unplaced) was very plain after having the soft sit on the leaders and angling around them in the straight, failing to run on at all.
Race 9: BM88 Handicap 1500m.
Like the penultimate race, the first two in the run were the first two across the line. ARRAIGNMENT (1st) led with GAULOIS (2nd) sitting outside him. They ran an even tempo and when they straightened, the outside horse was being cuddled by Bowman and looked to have the better of the leader. But carrying 8.5 kgs less than the runner-up, ARRAIGNMENT (1st) rallied along the rails in the last furlong and was clearly doing the best on the line. TIP TOP (3rd) had the perfect sit behind the leaders, when the in-form Tim Clark eased him around the heels he looked a real threat but peaked late. SEXY EYES (unplaced) was heavily backed favourite late, JMac was unable to slot and was posted three-wide the trip. She loomed up early in the straight but the two leader’s responded well and she was beaten 3.3 lengths in the end and tiring all the time.