Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st       Hallowed Crown               Christian Reith 2nd     Washington Heights      Brenton Avdulla 3rd      Klammer                            Josh Parr

Heavy 9 to kick things off on day one of The Championships. The most experienced runner in this field was I Am Snippety who began well from the outside barrier and took up the lead from Klammer. The leader broke down as they straightened while Hallowed Crown, who had settled 3rd last, came through the field and easily made it 2 wins from 2 starts. Washington Heights had trialled well and was very good here on debut. Finished very strongly and looks to be well worth following. The Waterhouse runner Donelle was well backed but knuckled over on jumping and could only manage 4th. Echo Gal was a forgive run (cardiac arrythmia).

Follow: Washington Heights definitely, Echo Gal if she trials well.

Race 2

1st        Gypsy Diamond          James McDonald 2nd      Casino Dancer             Glyn Schofield 3rd       Rock Sturdy                Hugh Bowman

The favourite Gypsy Diamond drifted late in betting and missed the kick but James McDonald didn’t panic, settling at the rear with the second favourite Rock SturdyO’Reillys Revenge took up the running from Liberty’s Choice. Gypsy Diamond picked up some ground in the run and then at the turn McDonald had her making good ground without needing an effort. When she found some galloping room and the best part of the track she was dominant. Gave the boys a start, weight and a beating. Casino Dancer had been specked at big prices and ran well. Rock Sturdy was up in grade and finished well without ever being a winning chance. Horses on the inside really struggled and it was already very clear that the best spot was off the speed and definitely off the rail.

Follow: hard to go past the obvious in Gypsy Diamond.

Race 3

1st       Politeness                             Craig Williams 2nd     Cosmic Endeavour           Tommy Berry 3rd      Miniature                              Kerrin McEvoy

Master ride from Craig Williams. She was well back even at the turn but wide in the straight was easily the best place to be and Williams produced her in the right lane and at just the right time. Politeness had been hard in the market at all six starts since her last win but put it all together at her first start outside of Victoria despite talk that she wasn’t fully wound up for this. Miniature was unfancied first up and should be a lot fitter for the run. Calming Influence cut the corner to hit the front a long way out but was towards the inside and first up from a spell she tired badly. Another first upper Miss Tenpins ran really well and is worth following over further. Scatcat also ran well.

Follow: Miniature definitely and (to a lesser extent) Miss Tenpins and Calming Influence.

Race 4

1st          The Offer                  Tommy Berry 2nd        Tremec                      Christian Reith 3rd         Hippopus                  Tim Clark

Fairly even start and Retort Courteous set a slow speed from Hippopus and Tremec. Despite the lack of pace there were no real moves til the 800m when Cassidy got going on Opinion. It was already clear the fence was off and all hoops avoided the inside. Once again the widest horse won and no-one would begrudge Tommy Berry the win. Hippopus and Tremec were 2nd and 3rd in the run and then reversed those positions at the finish. Sertorius is racing well below his best.

FollowThe Offer will be very hard to beat in the Sydney Cup day and it’s no surprise that Gai thinks he’ll bolt in.

Race 5

1st          Peggy Jean                        Nash Rawiller 2nd        Scratch Me Lucky          Blake Shinn 3rd         Cornrow                            Jim Cassidy

Believe Yourself, Time For War and Peggy Jean (until late) were all well backed while Kumaon was a concerning drifter. Time For War took up the running. Another great ride won the race this time from Nash Rawiller. Peggy Jean hit the line well and always looked to have the race in her keeping to continue the domination of the fillies this season. There was a huge gap to 3rd so hard to make a case for any other runners. Avdulla reported that Believe Yourself was never comfortable in the going.

Follow: Scratch Me Lucky was gallant on the inside.

Race 6

1st      Criterion                    Hugh Bowman 2nd    Tupac Amaru           Kerrin McEvoy 3rd     Hooked                      Blake Shinn

Singing Flame missed the kick and Teronado was taken back as usual. Hugh Bowman is almost always very patient and in this race he just wanted the favourite Criterion to be positioned wherever he was comfortable. He was desperate not to get caught on the inside and rode a masterful race. Criterion backed up a dominant Rosehill Guineas victory to win a real dogfight with Tupac Amaru who doesn’t have a turn of foot but just wouln’t go away. Despite being bred to be a sprinter Criterion is clearly the best staying 3yo in Australia. Gallatin had market support but isn’t up to this class and two other disappointments were Thunder Fantasy and Puccini who is a far better horse than what we’ve seen so far in Australia.

Follow: Hugh Bowman in Derbies.

Race 7

1st          Lankan Rupee         Craig Newitt 2nd        Rebel Dane               Glen Boss 3rd         Buffering                   Damian Browne

Outstanding field but Lankan Rupee made them look like second raters. Extraordinary win, just a demolition job. Newitt used the horse’s tactical speed to take up the running and from there it was never in doubt. He keeps winning at good prices but we probably won’t see decent odds about him for a while now. No other sprinter in Australia comes close and he has good claims to be the best in the world. Rebel Dane loves the wet and was excellent here first up. Buffering is forever honest. See The World looks set for a good campaign in Brisbane.

Follow: gelded horses!

Race 8

1st         Sacred Falls             Zac Purton 2nd       Royal Descent        Nash Rawiller 3rd        Weary                       Tommy Berry

Another superb field and an amazing training performance by Chris Waller to train the first four. That’s a feat that may never be repeated. Zac Purton was both brave and clever in riding Sacred Falls to back-to-back wins. Noted mudlark Royal Descent hit the front just over 200m out and looked like she was going to bolt in. But Sacred Falls had a kick left and was strong late. In just his 4th Australian run Weary was very good despite being galloped on.Hawkspur finished off OK. Messene didn’t handle the bog track at all.

Follow: Royal Descent when the rain comes and both Messene and Weary in the big mile races next season.

Race 9

1st         Arabian Gold               Blake Shinn 2nd       Missvonn                      Craig Newitt 3rd       Lady Cumquat             Nash Rawiller

Tommy Berry led on the Waterhouse runner Amanpour. The favourite Lady Cumquat didn’t begin or settle well. The topweight Arabian Gold found the front under a hold at the 300m and relished the wet ground. She’d been competitive in good grade this campaign and Blake Shinn found the right lane at the right time to bring up his 1000th career win in style. It was a dominant win especially considering how much weight she conceded to her rivals.

Follow: Lady Cumquat on better ground.

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Caulfield review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Open Handicap (2400m)

1st Westsouthwest – Jackie Beriman 2nd Beliveau – Harry Coffey 3rd Beauty Perception – Jake Noonan

Basically a jumper’s, or prospective jumper’s, flat race and Montgomery was slowest out of the six. Sneak A Peek cruised across to find the lead though he would over race a bit in the middle stages. Only A Pleasure held the fence behind the leader and Westsouthwest sat up on his outside. They broke away a few lengths clear of Beliveau and Beauty Perception. Aside from bunching up a little there wasn’t much change until inside the 800m. Westsouthwest moved up to put pressure on Sneak A Peek and went straight past him. Beauty Perception ran to third as Only A Pleasure threw in the towel meekly before the turn. Beliveau didn’t get going quite as early but moved to fourth on the bend leaving Montgomery trailing. Westsouthwest went for home and held a comfortable margin before easing up in the last 50m. Beliveau finished off well ahead of Beauty Perception. Montgomery got up to beat the very disappointing imports Sneak A Peek and Only A Pleasure who you wouldn’t even back in a jumps race on their efforts.

Follow: Westsouthwest continued his build up to his return to jumping and he’s set to continue as one of our better hurdlers at present.

Race 2: Mindy Green Plate (1200m)

1st Pressing – Daniel Moor 2nd Armada – Jason Benbow 3rd Petrology – Jake Noonan

Bullpit wasted no time in offsetting his wide gate and crossed to find the lead. He had a little company though as Petrology kicked up to race handy forcing Red Casino and Selvatico to race wide. Red Casino made a bid for the front but was held out and Selvatico eased pout of the battle. Armada settled up fifth on the fence with Kodinhi outside him. Pressing was being niggled at back in the field at the 600m. Petrology loomed up on the turn and tackled Bullpit as Red Casino dropped off. Armada pulled into the clear to run on but took his time getting going. Kodinhi was wider and Pressing made some ground towards the fence. Just as it looked like Petrology was going to pull away, Pressing went into another gear and picked him up easily for a most impressive victory. Armada did his best work late for third. Bullpit showed a lot of fight and no knock on Kodinhi was was close up. The rest were well beaten.

Follow: Pressing looks a nice horse. Armada and Kodhini have some upside.

Race 3: echucamoama Handicap (1400m)

1st Tried And Tired – Mark Zahra 2nd Rugged Cross – Michael Walker 3rd Jakcorijim – Harry Coffey

Tried And Tired was first to break the line but with a few heading forward he took a trail. The New Boy worked to the front with Lord Durante handy and Laohu trapped wide and working overtime. Jakcorijim held the fence behind those and Cyclone Andy was next. A line of three behind them with Campanology on the fence, Harvey’s True Heart and White Universe. The New Boy led clearly at the 600m with Laohu under pressure after doing a power of work. Tried And Tired was bolting behind him and at the top of the straight was let go and he raced clear. Jakcorijim hd his back on the turn but couldn’t sprint with him. Campanology loomed up fleetingly and out wider Rugged Crosswas winding up from the back. On the inside Boys On Tour had a checkered massage but worked through the field. Tried And Tired had too big a break for Rugged Cross, who just gave away too much start, and Jakcorijim kept going for third. Very nice runs behind the placings from Boys On Tour and Zuma Roc, having his first run for Peter Moody.

Follow: Rugged Cross is ready to win, keep an eye on Zuma Roc next time.

Race 4: Story Landscaping Handicap (1400m)

1st Lucky Striker – Darren Gauci 2nd Self Sense – Jamie Mott 3rd I Am Titanium – Steven King

I Am Titanium had no early pace after jumping okay and tailed out a few lengths last. Lucky Striker won the early battle for the lead from Wildebeast and Self Sense who pressed on out wider and eventually took up the running.Senor Juez held fourth from Paradou and Washington Square in a strung out field. Self Sense was let run midrace and opened up a four or five length lead and forced Lucky Striker to chase a long way from home. Wildebeast looked to travel okay coming to the turn with Reldas racing greenly and the rest appeared to struggle. At the 200m Lucky Striker tackled Self Sense and they settled down to fight it out before Lucky Striker broke right away. They lined up for third with I Am Titanium flashing home from last to grab it from Resistant, who raced well off the pace, and Wildebeast. Tikitour was a nice run making up good late ground first-up and Saguaro had restricted room in the last 100m and wasn’t beaten far.

Follow: tricky form race. Best run I Am Titanium but he’s done that more than once before.

Race 5: Galilee Series Final (2400m)

1st Bring Something – Mark Zahra 2nd De Little Engine – James Winks 3rd Honey’s Steel Gold – Jake Noonan

Fairly even line out before Accord was held back and crossed to the rail behind the field from his wide gate. Bring Something also restrained to the tail. Coup Badger and Loncava came over to lead at the post the first time withDancing May slotting in third inside Family PrideCalendar Lad pushed up on the inside to be handy and Honey’s Steel Gold enjoyed a nice trail midfield. The Terricks was stranded three wide without cover and went back but couldn’t find a spot. Bring Something got onto his back 1000m out. Coup Badger had an uncontested lead from Loncava and he had them stacked up coming to the 600m. The Terricks crept around them and went up to third with Bring Something still tagging him. This saw Family Pride held up for a run and Dancing May also became crowded for room. Loncava and The Terricks claimed the lead on the turn with Bring Something still stalking. De Little Engine moved onto Bring Something’s tail and switched out to run on with Falamonte widest. Bring Something hit the lead at the 300m and looked to hit a flat spot before he dug in and beat them off. De Little Engine had his chance and Honey’s Steel Gold got up for third. 10 out of 10 ride from Mark Zahra.

Follow: Bring Something is just hitting his straps.

Race 6: 7 Eleven Pink Ribbon Cup (1200m)

1st Natuzzi – Chris Johnson 2nd Couldn’t Agreemore – Jordan Childs 3rd Nearest To Pin – Katelyn Mallyon

Plenty of competition for the early lead with Le Bonsir and Rich Jack held off the fence early by Nearest To Pin and Couldn’t Agreemore. That gave Ventic and Mandla nice trails. Le Bonsir eventually claimed the lead with Rich Jack still on his outside. Ventic kicked up on the inside of Couldn’t Agreemore and that left Nearest To Pin stranded without cover. Mandla was under pressure behind them and Natuzzi had crept up into midfield. Le Bonsir had a kick early in the straight but Couldn’t Agreemore grabbed him. Nearest To Pin was trying hard out wider and Natuzzi, who was held up around the 300m, got across heels and found room and the Kiwi finished off the race best to win quite impressively. Nearest To Pin had a tough run and battled on okay for third. Rich Jack came again to take fourth from Le Bonsir and the rest were in a different race.

Follow: Nearest To Pin had no luck, Rich Jack wants a dry track.

Race 7: Cath White Memorial (1100m)

1st Halle Rocks – Jamie Kah 2nd (dh) Elite Elle – Jackie Beriman 2nd (dh) Kneeling – Shaun Guymer

Elite Elle broke with them this time and looked for the lead with Just A Girl on her outside. It’s Poet’s Day was also up there from a wide gate. Awasita pushed up along the rail and Kneeling and Caprossa were in that bunch along with Lady Melksham and Legcut out very wide. Elite Elle slipped away on the turn about four horses off the fence. Just A Girl was doing all the chasing and Kneeling made ground back towards the inside. It’s Poet’s Day dropped off and Halle Rocks came to the centre at the 200m to run on. At the 100m Elite Elle was walking but still a couple clear. Halle Rocks stormed home to grab the lead about a stride from the line in a massive form reversal. Elite Elle had every possible chance in front and dead heated with Kneeling for second. Nice effort from Just A Girl, who came again after being outsprinted, at her first run for Chris Waller and has upside.

Follow: Just A Girl is the only one you want out of this race.

Race 8: Pavilion Plate (1700m)

1st Kitten On The Run – Jason Benbow 2nd Niblick – Billy Egan 3rd Crucial – Joseph Azzopardi

Backstedt rolled to the front as he usually does and Flying Hussler moved into second. There was a line of four right behind them with Taiyoo the widest and working hard up the hill round TwilightingCrucial and Niblick on the fence. Ruscello moved to midfield in the clear ahead of Dylanson. The field strung out before the turn when Flying Hussler pressured Backstedt. Taiyoo was gone after a tough run a long way out and Crucial loomed ominously after a gun run. Twilighting stuck on also under pressure and Niblick responded on the fence to hard riding. Most of the others appeared to be going backwards at that point. Crucial took over at the 300m but didn’t dash away and looked vulnerable. Backstedt battled back momentarily and Niblick started to run on with Dylanson before Kitten On The Run descended and finished too well. Messy race where several horses had hard runs and this could be a ‘birthday’ for Kitten On The Run who had been disappointing.

Follow: none, be wary of this form.

Specials from the meeting: Rugged Cross, Nearest To Pin, Just A Girl.