Moonee Valley review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Simpson Construction Plate (1200m)

1st Afleet Esprit – Damien Oliver
2nd Avanti – Daniel Moor
3rd Tahni Dancer – Glen Boss

Tahni Dancer jumped poorly and settled last. Occitan was ridden hard to try and cross from a wide gate and found the fence at about the 800m. Hostile Witness and Cool Hero made her work a bit before easing back. Avanti andAfleet Esprit took trails and Super Wildwood raced near the tail. Pace slackened midrace then Occitan took off again coming to the turn putting Hostile Witness under pressure. Cool Hero tried to get out from behind the leader and Avanti slid up three wide looking ominous. Occitan was in trouble at the 200m and Avanti swept up looking the likely winner but behind her Afleet Esprit came off her heels, bumping with Tanhi Dancer, to run on. Afleet Esprit finished the race off just a little better to win narrowly , but strongly, from Avanti and Tahni Dancer was a few lengths back in third. Occitan weakened, Cool Hero pulled up lame and even though running last Super Wildwood wasn’t disgraced after not appreciating the stop-start tempo.

Follow: Tahni Dancer caught the eye, but she needs to do everything right.

Race 2: SAJ Fruit Supply Handicap (2040m)

1st Count Encosta – Damian Lane
2nd Bachelor Royal – Craig Newitt
3rd Vintage Lad – Vlad Duric

Even line out and Voila Ici was stoked up to hold the lead on the fence from Tycoon RobWrotham Heath held the box seat from Vintage LadPrizum settled midfield and Count Encosta four back on the fence. Voila Ici took off and led by three or so midrace but came back to the field nearing the 600m. Tycoon Rob held Wrotham Heath in a pocket and Vintage Lad was tracking up nicely. Prizum stayed on his back and Count Encosta was still held up asBachelor Royal started a run from last. Vintage Lad loomed up about 400m out to tackle Voila Ici and between them Tycoon Rob was battling Bachelor Royal continued his run and Wrotham Heath was desperately looking for a gap. Count Encosta worked off the fence and found himself on the back of Bachelor Royal with a cart home. Wrotham Heath was shunted back to last behind the tiring Voila Ici and Bachelor Royal hit the front on the turn from Vintage Lad. Count Encosta had the last crack at them and he picked them up with about 50m to go. Improved run from Bachelor Royal and another honest effort from Vintage Lad. Prizum boxed on without looking likely and Wrotham Heath should have won easily, he flew home late to run fourth.

Follow: Wrotham Heath had no luck, give another chance.

Race 3: Jeep Don’t Hold Back (1200m)

1st Trust In A Gust – Brad Rawiller
2nd Solsay – Jackie Beriman
3rd Under The Louvre – Nick Hall

Under The Louvre was first out but taken hold of back to midfield. Laohu pounced on the front from Solsay and Trust In A Gust went forward as well but had to sit three wide. Our Hand Of Faith settled handy on the fence insideHenwood and the easing Under The Louvre was next. Laohu and Solsay were head and head coming to the turn and Trust In A Gust just sat there outside them. Solsay took over soon after but Trust In A Gust was right there to challenge. Henwood came off his heels and Under The Louvre peeled wider. Our Hand Of Faith was looking for runs before one came inside Solsay and Academy Jack was running on. Trust In A Gust took the whole straight to get to Solsay but he arrived in time for a tough first-up win. Under The Louvre wasn’t far away and also close up were Our Hand Of Faith, Academy Jack and Henwood. Laohu was very disappointing after leading. The winner is just that, a winner, and he might develop into a stakes horse this time in.

Follow: the Weir runners Trust In A Gust and Our Hand Of Faith but should be a good form race.

Race 4: Chandler McLeod Handicap (1600m)

1st Relentless – Patrick Moloney
2nd Aliyana – Brad Rawiller
3rd Devonshire Duke – Damien Thornton

A fair bit of competition for the lead with Master’s Degree and Kinselmac Manner handing up to Relentless and Devonshire Duke who crossed from out wide. Rose Of Texas and Warwarick were just off them and Aliyana found herself three wide. Pyrrolic was next in the clear and Royal Mephisto was in the last few. Relentless slowed them up in front and Aliyana whipped around to be up three deep outside him and Devonshire Duke. Pyrrolic continued to follow Aliyana forward and had plenty of cover. Relentless upped the tempo a little a the second half of the field were left flat footed. Devonshire Duke went with him and they broke away momentarily from Aliyana and Kinselmac Manner. Rose Of Texas got up on his inside on the turn and Pyrrolic was a bit one paced but battling on. A line of three on the turn as Aliyana moved alongside Devonshire Duke and Relentless and they got away from Kinselmac Manner, who stuck on, and Pyrrolic. Relentless refused to give in and he had about a head or so to spare from Aliyana and Devonshire Duke. Pyrrolic made a late bit to just miss a place. Still think he is a wet tracker. Nothing else ran on.

Follow: Aliyana is racing very well.

Race 5: Dr Sheahan Plate (1200m)

1st Girl Guide – Craig Williams
2nd Jacinta – Vlad Duric
3rd Esprit Rossa – Damien Oliver

Jacinta was one of the first out but there were a few keen to get up on the pace. Grand Gallop crossed from the outside to find the fence and Girl Guide and Snippetee Bee were handy. Esprit Rossa and Splash Of Moet settled a couple of lengths back and Gold Heist was trapped wide. Benenden went back and found herself four deep without cover near the tail. Grand Gallop ran along a bit in front but when Girl Guide was asked to improve she moved alongside very quickly near the turn. Jacinta got off her back and into the clear and Gold Heist loomed up out wider. Girl Guide took over at the 200m and broke right away looking to have a bit in hand as well. Jacinta boxed on nicely for second, just bumped into a smart one, and there was a wall of them for third with Esprit Rossa getting through late to grab that spot. Grand Gallop and Snippetee Bee weren’t far away and Mezeray Miss made some late ground out wide. 

Follow: Girl Guide is a very promising mare and she’ll be winning better races.

Race 6: McKenzie Stakes (1200m)

1st Rich Enuff – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Fast Cash – Daniel Moor
3rd Turfane – Damian Lane

Caveka was on the back foot at the start but recovered to be in midfield. Merion showed no pace from the outside and Coram was a bit casual as well. Rich Enuff held the fence and the lead early on but had some company withPetrologySovereign Duke and Tudor all having a crack for the front. Orujo was trapped wide around them and Caveka was three back on the fence. Fast Cash was relegated to last midrace. Rich Enuff stacked them up and had Petrology’s measure before the turn. Orujo loomed out wider and Merion made fast ground in the mid section to be up in fourth. Tudor and Sovereign Duke battled and Fast Cash pulled widest on the bend. Rich Enuff booted away early in the straight and everything else was battling until Fast Cash stormed down the outside into second in an eye-catching effort and Turfane weaved through to run on for third. Merion hit a flat spot around the bend but his last 50m was solid and Orujo weakened though he had a tough run. Coram was disappointing and the others seemed to have their chance. Interesting win by Rich Enuff, he trialled only fairly on the Tuesday but was a different horse on race day. We’ll see how good he is next time.

Follow: Fast Cash and Merion are looking for bigger tracks.

Race 7: Adapt Australia Handicap (2500m)

1st Crafty Cruiser – Cory Parish
2nd Zabeelionaire – Michael Walker
3rd Mulaqen – Damien Oliver

Hippopus didn’t have much trouble in finding the lead though De Fine Lago did race him a bit early on. Unique Assassin trailed on the fence from Mulaqen and Crafty Cruiser out three wide at the post the first time. Zabeelionaireand Compound were next. Hippopus ran along in front as he tends to do. Little change to the order for quite a distance until they started to bunch around the 800m. Mulaqen worked out three wide to avoid a pocket as Crafty Cruiser improved around him. Hippopus was stoked up soon after and De Fine Lago stuck with him. Crafty Cruiser continued to move forward and Zabeelionaire got onto his back. Mulaqen was flat footed when they sprinted. Kindergarten Kidmade a dash around them from last to get up to midfield and the rest were beaten off a long way from home. Crafty Cruiser hit the lead on the turn from Hippopus who tried to kick back. De Fine Lago struggled. Zabeelionaire and Mulaqen ran on out wider, particularly Zabeelionaire but Crafty Cruiser held them at bay. Hard to make an excuse for anything there, the winner sat three wide for the whole 2500m.

Follow: none in particular, though Zabeelionaire is ready to win a hurdle race and Hippopus is better on a wet track.

Race 8: Carlyon Stakes (1000m)

1st Iconic – Nick Hall
2nd Angels Beach – Glen Boss
3rd Angelic Light – Ryan Moloney

Angelic Light blew the start by a couple of lengths. African Pulse was ridden hard to try and cross but was no chance with Minaj and Kencella kicking up on his inside. Just A Bullet wasn’t far away and Angels Beach improved along the fence behind the leaders. Iconic landed in the clear next and Angelic Light picked up ground after her slow start. Shamal Wind wound up near last and on the fence. Kencella held out Minaj and led but was under pressure coming to the turn. Minaj moved alongside but was also under riding and African Pulse tried to come on. Angels Beach sweated on a run behind them Iconic was the one pulling out to run on off the speed. Iconic swept up to Minaj at the 100m and finished too strongly. Angels Beach eventually got out but losing momentum proved costly and she went down narrowly. Nice run Angelic Light who followed the fence home just ahead of Shamal Wind, she got too far back and had a checkered run home. Of the others Villa Verde made some ground but never looked likely. Kencella was a shadow of the horse he was in Sydney and like to see a better showing next time.

Follow: Angels Beach looks to have come back in great order.

Race 9: Sportingbet Handicap (1500m)

1st Mourinho – Craig Newitt
2nd Hvasstan – Patrick Moloney
3rd The United States – Nick Hall

Took a little while to sort themselves out and Fast And Free eventually won out to lead from Shanghai Warrior and Mourinho who took a trail. Streets Away improved out wider and Blackie was tucked away between horses.HvasstanRugged Cross and Jacquinot Bay were midfield. Zanbagh and The United States next and surprisingly Foundry was last. A rather bunched field midrace with Fast And Free lobbing along in front. Mobaco was trapped off the track and started to give ground at the 600m. Shanghai Warrior tried to go with the leader who kicked away near the turn and let Mourinho out of a pocket. Blackie was under pressure to go with them and Hvasstan crept up behind the leader. Out wider Rugged Cross and The United States ran on and St Jean tried to weave through as well. Mourinho hit the front at the 50m and held off his stablemate Hvasstan and The United States arrived in time to grab third. Fast And Free and Blackie were close up and loved the run of St Jean who was a close sixth. Zanbagh was just fair first-up but assess her later and Foundry did absolutely nothing and no post race excuses found. Couldn’t back him next start. Mourinho loves the Valley so keep in mind in any handicaps.

Follow: St Jean was outstanding and he’s a nice stayer on the up.

Specials from the meeting: Fast Cash, Angels Beach, St Jean.

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Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1stRock Sturdy – Hugh Bowman 2ndForeign Prince – Jeff Lloyd 3rdWhisperossa – Taylor Marshall

Any Day Will Do led early with Foreign Prince kicking up inside of it initially, and then Any Day Will Do strode clear. Foreign Prince settled second and I’m In The Money third, then there was a break to Rock Sturdy. Around the turn, Any Day Will Do still had it from Foreign Prince, with Rock Sturdy moving up three wide, being tracked up by You’ll Never. Rock Sturdy hit the front inside the 200m mark and was always going to win from there. Foreign Prince ran another good race in second with Whisperossa getting home ok for third after looking to be struggling a long way out.

Follow: Foreign Prince

Race 2

1stSurpass – Brodie Loy 2ndJo Jo Girl – Kerrin McEvoy 3rdSelf Sense – Brenton Avdulla

2000m for race 2 with Laidback Larry beginning best and when they started to settle down he led from Mahatma who was out wide, High Aims in the middle and Done Nothin’ Wrong back on the fence. Just inside the 600m mark the runs started to come from High Aims and Self Sense, with Jo Jo Girl trailing them up. Self Sense found itself in front at the top of the straight, but it was always going to be a question mark as to whether it could maintain such a long run on the heavy track. Self Sense still had it inside the 200m mark, but by the time they got to the 100m she was wobbling about and being claimed by Surpass on the inside and Jo Jo Girl on the outside. It was Surpass who narrowly got the decision, but the run of Jo Jo girl was very good coming from back and wide from before the 600m mark. Back behind them in fourth, Pentometre ran a good race from the back.

Follow: Jo Jo Girl

Race 3

1stScissor Kick – Ty Angland 2ndPanzer Division – Kathy O’Hara 3rdValentia – Tommy Berry

The Up And Coming was race 3, and Better LandLiberation and Valentia were best to begin with Liberation taking up the running as most would have expected. Valentia sat outside the speed giving Better Land and Panzer Division good runs in behind them. Mersault was caught deep and easing back. The story of this race all happened up the straight where Liberation again had poor racing manners and veered out sharply at the 300m mark collecting Valentia who in turn moved out on top of Better Land and Mersault. It didn’t end there, because again at the 150m mark Liberation started running out badly, again interfering with Better Land who had recovered from the first knock and was running on to likely win the race. Whilst all that went on, Panzer Division and Scissor Kick went through along the inside away from the trouble, and in a deceptive finish, Scissor Kick got the nod. There were protests all over the place with Liberation eventually being relegated back to fifth. I’d say if you were on Better Land you were stiff here. Mersault was also a good run given it was wide and copped interference also.

Follow: Better Land

Race 4

1stBring Me The Maid – Luke Nolen 2ndMemorial – James McDonald 3rdClover Lane – Sam Clipperton

The Silver Shadow for the girls was the fourth, with Press Report leading from Alpha Miss and Clover Lane. The favourite, Bring Me The Maid got back to second last, although not far off the lead and she came widest on the turn and looked to travel into it very well. Early in the straight Memorial also made a nice dash at them, but Bring Me The Maid was being held together and when asked for the effort she stretched out nicely and came away for an impressive win. This is a horse that will win more races and I think will go better on top of the ground, follow her in whatever she runs in. The rest were just not good enough here.

Follow: Bring Me The Maid

Race 5

1stTerravista – Hugh Bowman 2ndIn Cahoots – Brenton Avdulla 3rdBull Point – Glyn Schofield

Onto the fifth which was the Show County Quality, run in driving rain. Oakfield Commands led them up from Ninth Legion and In Cahoots with Terravista settling just off the speed. Around the turn, Terravista basically mirrored Bring Me The Maid in the sense that it was brought with a wide run and looked to be traveling well at the top of the straight. At the top of the rise Terravista was asked to sprint and did exactly that. In the run to the line he did it pretty easily, putting a couple of lengths on In Cahoots. Similar to the previous winner, this one was a class above his opposition and looks to have more wins in store.

Follow: Terravista

Race 6

1stTiger Tees – Glyn Schofield 2ndRoyal Descent – Kerrin McEvoy 3rdCriterion – Hugh Bowman

Tiger Tees jumped best and took up the lead here from Sacred Falls and Royal Descent. The pace looked very slow for this quality of horse early on. Royal Descent held the fence but Tiger Tees held the lead. In the straight there was a line up of horses trying to get past Tiger Tees which included Royal Descent on the inside, Sacred Falls down the outside together with Hawkspur who also was putting in a dash and Criterion was trying to come through between runners. They all tried but Tiger Tees just kept kicking. He is in good form at the moment and a nice ride in front saw him home again today. Four of them pretty much finished in a line for the minor placings. Weary was the disappointing run of the race, however the slow pace possibly did not help.

Follow: Criterion

Race 7

1stMy Sabeel – Glyn Schofield 2ndBennetta – Jeff Lloyd 3rdAngel Bee – Taylor Marshall

Thump came out running here along with Angel Bee who was on the inside. When they settled down, Thump took it up from Angel Bee and My SabeelSuch A Princess was next and Bennettawas back about midfield. At the 650m mark they were using plenty of the track with My Sabeel brought out three wide to be ready to strike and Bennetta was trailing it up. Angel Bee had the front as they topped the rise with My Sabeel trying to run on after it. Just before the 200m mark My Sabeel struck the front and from there on simply raced away from them. This horse has been very consistent of late, and clearly enjoys the wet, and that proved a good combination here as she went away to win by about four lengths. Bennetta stuck to its guns and worked into second from Angel Bee and those two spaced the rest by about as far as the winner spaced them.

Follow: Bennetta

Race 8

1stDiamons Oasis – Hugh Bowman 2ndGreen Beret – Josh Parr 3rdMount Nebo – Taylor Marshall

It’s Poets Day led in the last from Straturbo. Those two looked to deliberately stay off the fence and by the time they ran up towards the turn Green Beret and Everage had railed through. In the straight and up the rise, Green Beret found the front and had a little break with Straturbo trying to go with it and Mount Nebo trying to make ground along the inside. Whilst this was going onDiamond Oasis found a run through in the middle and looked the winner. To the credit of Green Beret it was in for the fight and they went down to the line with not much between them. It was Diamond Oasis who got the bob in for a narrow victory. Miss Alibi ran home well with Wouldn’t It Be Nice but they both left their runs too late to get anywhere near the winner.

Follow: Green Beret

Specials from the meeting: Bring Me The Maid, Terravista