Blackbookers: Race 2 – ROTATOR
Race 1: Canonbury Stakes 2YO Colts and Geldings 1100m.
MCLAREN (1st) had trialed like a superstar prior to today’s debut, the Snowden trained colt jumped well and sat 2nd behind the obvious danger. He moved up alongside the leader and put it away in a few strides and gapped the field by 4 at the furlong. He got tired late and the runner-up took ground off him, but it was a professional debut win from a very smart type.
Notes: SPRING LOADED (2nd) ran on well late and got to within a length of the winner but never looked a winning chance in the run. EXCEED THE STARS (unplaced) was the clear second favourite, jumped well and led the winner but was no match when the colt accelerated at the top of het straight.
Race 2: Widden Stakes 2YO Fillies 1100m.
Notes: AMERCEMENT (1st) was brilliantly ridden by Avdulla to win here, she started ok but was unable to use the inside gate to her advantage and drifted back near last. She saved ground on the turn before Avdulla weaved his magic between runners, the last split between the leaders was minute, she hit it hard before holding off the late challenger. ROTATOR (2nd) was super on debut, she was back near last also before trying to get between runners. She was slightly held-up and had to change course a number of times before charging home late. Her first win is not far away. LUCICELLO (unplaced) started favourite but didn’t run on after having a soft run mid-field on the rails, GISELLE ANNE (unplaced) had her chance after leading and AVON RIVER (unplaced) was doing her best work late after getting well back. She looks to need further. BLAZING MISS (3rd) was well ridden and wasn’t far away but had the perfect run in transit and no excuse.
Race 3: Highway Class 3 Set Weights 1500m.
Notes: The highway of the day saw NICCONITA (unplaced) start favourite. EMBEZZLEMENT (1st) was perfectly ridden, behind the hot speed, she had the cold sit on the leaders before getting an inside run at the top of the straight and ran away. She was runner-up in a similar field last time but absolutely brained them here. The two that finished ahead and behind her last time were given no hope back in the field. A SNIP OF CANDY (unplaced) was last early and never got into the race, NICCONITA (unplaced) was also well back and got very wide, both were doing their best work late. TRUMBO (2nd) stuck on ok after setting the good tempo but was no match for the winner in the straight.
Race 4: 3YO BM72 Handicap 1400m.
Notes: There looked to be only three chances on paper in the small field and that’s how it played out, with the three of them running the trifecta 4 lengths clear of the fourth horse. VEGADAZE (1st) was going into this undefeated, he jumped straight to the front and Tim Clark showed what a great front-running jockey he is, when he looked under pressure he lifted the gelding and got him over the line to make it 4/4. ADANA (2nd) was a scratching from earlier in the week and gave the other two horses in the market a start in the run, but he was clearly the one finishing best and got to within 0.3 lengths at the finish. LJUNBERG (3rd) had every possible chance but was a big drifter in the betting before firming late, he sat behind the leader, ambled off the fence and up next to the winner, but after looming large he dropped of late. No excuse for him. The first two across the line were clearly the better runs.
Race 5: BM78 Handicap 1400m.
JMac with the cool ride aboard the favourite THY KINGDOM COME (1st) in what was a very open race on paper. He sat in behind the speed and railed well into the straight where there was a mile of room as the leader wanted no part of the fence. He dashed through and never really looked like being beaten, he didn’t gap hem like he could have given the soft run, but it was never in doubt.
Notes: MAPMAKER (2nd) set up the solid tempo up front and was brave in defeat, he was well clear throughout and the winner only got the run as he didn’t want to be anywhere near the fence at the top of the straight. NICOCHET (3rd) was ok for third, nothing made ground from the back which was surprising as the tempo looked solid enough. Not sure what to make of this race as a form reference going forward, happy to let them all go around next time without mine on.
Race 6: Expressway Stakes WFA 1200m.
The feature race of the day and TRAPEZE ARTIST (unplaced) was backed as if there was no settling. He sat outside the leader DOTHRAKI (3rd), the speed looked only fair with LE ROMAIN (2nd) on the leaders back. The unwanted early favourite ALIZEE (1st) was last, when they straightened Shinn pulled him to the outside under a grip and he ambled past them to bolt away for an impressive first-up win.
Notes: TRAPEZE ARTIST (unplaced) never looked likely after getting to the spot outside the leader in a slowly run race and controlling the tempo. Wait for the steward’s report but the way he was backed pre-race, the run was too bad to be true. LE ROMAIN (2nd) was honest again to run second, DOTHRAKI (3rd) stuck on well after leading being the roughie of the small field and HARTNELL (unplaced) officially ran last but made steady ground and was always going to find these too sharp for his old legs. The winner was very, very impressive.
Race 7: BM88 Handicap 1500m.
Notes: GIRL TUESDAY (unplaced) was resuming undefeated today, she jumped only fairly and was shuffled back to 2nd last in the run. She was only just in black figures and was expected to win by many, she tracked three-wide but was under pressure a long way from home. Getting to the outside, she never let down and was most disappointing. The second favourite in the race was SEAWAY (1st), a stablemate to the unbeaten mare, he was returning as a gelding today. He had the cold sit on the leaders before McDonald angled wider and he ran on too hard for a soft win. SMARTEDGE (2nd) and HALLELUJAH BOY (3rd) raced together mid-field, they ran on well enough but had every chance. LOVE SHACK BABY (unplaced) worked to find the front with SWEET DEAL (unplaced) camped on its outside, they both kicked strongly into the straight but weakened over the last furlong.
Race 8: BM78 Handicap 2000m.
Notes: The pace was hot early with a couple of hundred-to-one chances leading them up and rolling along at a solid clip. When they started to tire, the big field really bunched approaching the straight and there was a good chance there was going to be a hard-luck story or two. Well it all went pear-shaped for the favourite ASTERIUS (unplaced), the Waller gelding was well backed, ran up behind them when they bunched, could not get clear and was eventually shuffled out to last at the top of the straight. JMac could not go anywhere, he was bolting, he basically sat up before getting to the inside when about 10 lengths back at the 200m mark. It was all over but he attacked the line nicely, as you would expect. Don’t sack him! NAHUEL (2nd) loomed up to win after running on well but was no match for CYBER INTERVENTION (1st) who went straight by late. He also had a chequered passage but rocketed home when in the clear. NOBU (unplaced) was an eye-catcher late running on but had very little room the last 50m. BOTTI (3rd) was running on well but tired late but may have peaked late.
Race 9: BM88 Handicap 1200m.
Notes: ALL OVER BOSANOVA (3rd) was specked at double-figure odds, she led them up and I loved the ride from Marquand. He ran them along with her and when he got to the corner, as they had been doing all day, he veered about 5 horses off the fence and really went for home. He kicked three lengths clear with the winner chasing, she got tired the last 50 and they swamped her late, but it was a smart ride where he tried to catch them napping. ALL TOO ROYAL (1st) had the soft run but had to chase hard as the leader got away on the turn, the man of hte moment Robbie Dolan didn’t want to go the inside and it took him the whole straight to level up and get the nose in front late. The back-markers never looked like winning, until the last 50m when the leader sat down. MAXIMUS (2nd) ran on hard and dived late along the inside to just miss, the other two well in the market PERFORMER (unplaced) and PARET (unplaced) were a mile back throughout, but really picked up late and were strong through the line.