Moonee Valley Review by Ray Hickson Race 1: Melbourne Signage Concepts (1000m)
1st Let’s Rock’n’roll – Brad Rawiller 2nd Morant – Jackie Beriman 3rd Fab Fevola – Darren Gauci
Grand Emperor had trouble at the start and dropped out to last. Let’s Rock’n’roll sprung out but he couldn’t cross Fab Fevola so elected to take a sit.Kuaima settled third on the fence inside Prettyhappyaboutit. Future Solutionwas stuck three wide around Play Master and Morant . Fab Fevola ran them along as he likes to do with Let’s Rock’n’roll stalking. The other chasers were under some pressure nearing the turn and Morant railed through to third with Grand Emperor trying to go with him. Play Master lugged off the track on the bend but knuckled down again late. Let’s Rock’n’roll stuck his head in front 100m out and held them off. Morant ducked up on the fence to deny Fab Fevola second place. Play Master was reeling them in late. Grand Emperor was gone as soon as the gates opened.
Follow: Play Master over further than 1000m.
Race 2: Slickpix Sprint (1200m)
1st Nicoscene – Mark Zahra 2nd What A Hoot – Michael Walker 3rd Turfane – Chris Symons
Sebring Lane showed good early pace from a wide gate but had to work very hard as a few held their spots inside. Toothless ran to the lead with Sebring Lane getting over by the 800m. Nicoscene had the gun run behind them outside What A Hoot and All Day Baby and Turfane were next. Club Star raced in the clear behind them and there was a big gap to the rest. Sebring Lane really softened Toothless up and they were joined quickly on the turn by Nicoscene who sailed right on by. What A Hoot was held up for a run at that stage and had to wait. Got to the outside in plenty of time but Nicoscene was away. There’s upside to him. Turfane weaved through in behind them and All Day Baby battled on well. Winner was in the right place at the right time and entitled to win. Nothing really made any significant ground and the two leaders knocked right up. Turfane has been thereabouts and deserved his placing. Time wasn’t flash.
Follow: What A Hoot made a promising debut.
Race 3: Anne Marie Classic Handicap (1600m)
1st King Of Manners – Steven King 2nd Kingdom Of Dreams – Damian Lane 3rd Self Sense – Steven Arnold
Leventi and Kiwi Dragon were a little casual out of the gates. A few disputed the lead before Gold Cufflinks crossed and raced clear. Barkly Boy moved to second and Turnitaround held the fence in the box seat. Self Senseworked into a nice spot. Refulgent was a few lengths away in thee clear until Believe Me ran around him and put him in a pocket. Kingdom Of Dreams got onto Believe Me’s back. Gold Cufflinks kept them running and was a few lengths clear at the 600m. But the field bunched up fairly quickly soon after and runs came from Self Sense, Believe Me and Kingdom Of Dreams around the outside, Turnitaround and Refulgent became badly hemmed away and King Of Manners followed Kingdom Of Dreams home. Self Sense and Kingdom Of Dreams took over at the 200m from the tiring leaders, who caused all sorts of trouble for Turnitaround. King Of Manners continued his run and Refulgent got into the clear inside them. King Of Manners had the better run and he drew clear. Kingdom Of Dreams ran a much better race here and Self Sense had every chance. Refulgent was a little unlucky but couldn’t say he should have won. Note he pulled up sore. Turnitaround was much more unfortunate and best to forget he went around.
Follow: Turnitaround is the way to go.
Race 4: Dominant Handicap (1600m)
1st Mossmoney – Chris Symons 2nd Bet You She Rocks – Jye McNeil 3rd Noble Star – Jackie Beriman
Dare I Ask was the best to begin and went looking for the lead early. She found the fence then a few came across from out wide. Moreau was set alight to get over and she raced clear early on. Serene Tanie and Dare I Ask were next. Loma Diamonds moved into the one-one from Warwarick and Friday Hussy. Passing the 600m Noble Star took off from the second half as they started to pack. Mossmoney followed her for a trail home and Bet You She Rocks went with her on her inside. Race changed complexion quickly as the leaders fainted and Noble Star swept to the lead before the 200m. Bet You She Rocks continued to run on inside and Mossmoney hooked off Noble Star’s back. While this happened Dare I Ask lost all momentum behind the tiring leaders and nothing else really ran on. Noble Star’s run ended in the straight and Mossmoney and Bet You She Rocks went head and head to the line and Mossmoney’s nose went down on the line and that was good enough. Nice effort from Noble Star first-up and Dare I Ask had no luck at all.
Follow: Noble Star and Dare I Ask.
Race 5: Dominant Handicap (1200m)
1st Vain Queen – Kayla Nisbet 2nd Nautical – Steven King 3rd Jolie Blonde – Harry Coffey
Nautical didn’t put much effort into the start otherwise a reasonable line out. Natural Disaster was ridden out to lead Octavia who came over from out wide. You Can Dance split them early and that left Vain Queen three wide. To Be Honest held the rail and Angelic Lass wasn’t settling well outside Vibrant Rouge . Natural Disaster was kept busy in the lead by Octavia and Vain Queen strode forward three deep to join them before the turn. Angelic Lass tried to run on and Jolie Blonde worked into it out wide from the back with Nautical following. Nadhima was looking for runs through the field. Vain Queen raced to the lead 200m out and kept going this time for a strong win and a return to form. Nautical sustained the run to grab second from Jolie Blonde and the weakening Octavia. Very nice run from Nadhima who was right on their hammer. A good gap to Vibrant Rouge who did nothing though she tends not to like a wet track.
Follow: Nautical is honest and has improvement and Nadhima can win in restricted company.
Race 6: Boscastle Handicap (2040m)
1st Wish Come True – Brad Rawiller 2nd Voila Ici – Kayla Nisbet 3rd Lightenuff – Jackie Beriman
Voila Ici headed straight to the front and got running out of the straight. Backstedt and Lightenuff were handy and Freshwater Storm had a nice spot just off them. Wish Come True sat outside him and Zuma Roc and Bec Said No Credit were next. Voila Ici opened them up midrace and by the 800m was five or six lengths clear of Lightenuff. A few more lengths to Backstedt and Freshwater Storm. The chasers were put under pressure to make up ground and runs came from Bec Said No Credit and Cornell from the back but they were fairly short lived. By the turn Voila Ici had come back to them but still had a kick. Lightenuff loomed up but couldn’t get there and Wish Come True dove through between them inside the 100m and finished a little too well for a gallant Voila Ici. Bec Said No Credit and Zuma Roc ran on without threatening and Backstedt was disappointing but we all know he goes best at Flemington.
Race 7: Adapt Australia Handicap (1200m)
1st Kievann – Mark Pegus 2nd Hard Stride – Katelyn Mallyon 3rd Baker Boy – Nicholas Hall
Baker Boy and Hard Stride were fast out and wasted no time crossing to the front with Merrick’s Beauty and Red Samurai out wider. Kievann sat just in behind them with Longchamp Belle on the fence and Baligari not far away. The well backed Allez Eagle settled in the last few. Hard Stride poured the pressure on Baker Boy and took the lead inside the 600m putting that horse off the bit. Kievann tracked through and that trio got a break on the turn. Out wider Red Samurai, Weinholt and Allez Eagle tried to get into the race. Baker Boy came back at Hard Stride in the straight but Kievann descended on them in the last bit and the easier run just told. Hard Stride is flying at the moment and was brave as was Baker Boy. Allez Eagle ran on fairly behind them and Weinholt and Baligari finished close up but each had their chance.
Follow: you can do worse than stick with Hard Stride.
Race 8: Benchmark 84 Handicap (1500m)
1st Fast And Free – Jackie Beriman 2nd Akavoroun – Michelle Payne 3rd Shadow Ninja – Kayla Nisbet
Fast And Free broke well from the inside and held the fence but allowed Royal Rapture and Shadow Ninja to cross him. New York had the one-one and Akavoroun was content to sit three wide without cover. Luckyi’mbarefootand African Heat kept him out there. The New B oy settled midfield, much further back than is usual. Pace didn’t look to be too quick and Royal Rapture and Shadow Ninja drifted off the fence allowing Fast And Free to boot through. Akavoroun strode closer coming to the turn and everything behind him looked under pressure. Fast And Free really took advantage of the inside run to hit the lead, Akavoroun was still fourth at the 150m and not really sprinting like we’ve seen before and just ground home to grab second from Shadow Ninja and Royal Rapture stuck on. Luckyi’mbarefoot battled on fairly and a nice run from the back from Excuseable making up good ground. Akavoroun didn’t have a great run but was a bit one-paced.
Follow: Excuseable still has improvement.
Specials from the meeting: Turnitaround, Dare I Ask, Excuseable.
———————————————— Randwick Review by Todd Burmester
Race 1: Golden Rose Noms 10/6 Plate (1200m)
1st Inz’n’Out Brenton Avdulla 2nd Bayrock Adam Hyeronimus 3rd Coolcraft Tim Clark
Bayrock sprung the gates, and on the other hand Megadoro had no speed at all. Bayrock slowed them up in front after its good beginning, and led easily from Inz’n’Out, with Sun Force on the outside in third and Statton back on the fence in fourth. Coolcraft who found betting support ended up second last in the run, and Megadoro tacked on. Around the turn, Bayrock, Inz’n’Out and Sun Force made a line of three. Bayrock kicked up the rise, and looked like he may get the job done, but Inz’n’Out got into its work late and wore down Bayrock for a narrow win. The race was dominated by these two being on pace and going slow, Coolcraft was a distant third but may be worth another shot.
Race 2: TAB Rewards Hcp (2000m)
1st Saigon Tea Jim Cassidy 2nd Casino Dancer Winona Costin 3rd Street Spirit Kathy O’Hara
Saigon Tea was sent out a short priced favourite, and Cassidy had no interest in going forward early, letting the horse find its feet back at the rear of the field. Street Spirit took it up and led fromCasino Dancer and Sail. The field strung out a bit, with Saigon Tea about eight lengths off the lead in last. Past the half way mark, Street Spirit started to click up in front and had about a four length margin over Casino Dancer. From the 600m mark, Cassidy started to take inside runs on Saigon Tea and then moved her to the outside as they approach the turn. Up the rise, Street Spirit was still a clear leader, but Cassidy had a lap full of horse on Saigon Tea and she started to wind up, and realistically the race basically looked over at the 300m mark. Cassidy checked out the rest of the field, and then gave Saigon Tea the queue to put the leader to the sword, and she went away from them very easily to win by about four. You can’t say a lot about the opposition here, they were simply outclassed by a smart one.
Follow: Saigon Tea
Race 3: Schwepps Hcp (1400m)
1st Rugged Cross Jason Collett 2nd Commission Taylor Marshall 3rd Said Com John Kissick
Nobody really looked like they wanted to lead early in the third, but Commission eventually obliged due to the slow pace. Court Connection was in second, with Said Com in third. The favourite,Rugged Cross got back to last. Mark Sheehan commented that someone on crutches would go faster, and I’d say he was just about right mid race. Into the straight and up the rise, Commission still had it and kicked for home, looking a big chance to hold them off. Rugged Cross was pulled widest and started to wind up. His last 200m was very nice given the slow pace, and its another race where you cannot make excuses for the beaten brigade, the winner was simply too good on the day.
Follow: None to follow
Race 4: Cellabrations 3yo Hcp (1400m)
1st In A Knot Linda Meech 2nd Choice Larga Kathy O’Hara 3rd Dowdstown Charlie Jeff Lloyd
Dowdstown Charlie was a little slow to begin and went back to last early. Pitcrew went through to lead from Vashka with Skarsgard taking the sit in third and Abasso was on its outside in fourth, but was pushed wider as Skarsgard came off the fence. This seemed to make Abbasso race a bit ungenerously. With those two going wider, In A Knot took the run up the fence from about the 600m mark onwards. When they came to the turn, there was a enough room on the fence to drive a truck through, and In A Knot took advantage of it to have a share of the lead as they turned. Abasso tried to come with a run as they topped the rise, but the easier run In A Knot had in transit meant he was able to kick clear of them. Choice Larger did the chasing but couldn’t catch In A Knot. Skarsgard and Dowdstown Charlie were the two who didn’t find much luck in the straight so their runs were good given that, and the margin was probably unfair to both, in particular Dowdstown Charlie.
Follow: Dowdstown Charlie
Race 5: Stayers Cup (3200m)
1st Destiny’s Kiss Josh Parr 2nd Astro Avalanche Taylor Mashall 3rd Vatuvei Linda Meech
What didn’t look all the exciting on paper, turned out to be exactly the opposite, with Astro Avalanche pinging the gates and setting up a 10 length lead within the twinkling of an eye. Around the turn the first time, I was a little concerned that Taylor Marshall didn’t realise there was a lap to go when they reached the post, but as it turned out, it was a masterful ride. In the run, Mark Sheehan mentioned Scotch’n’Dry and Pirate Bird, and its fair to say that Astro Avalanche was certainly doing his best impression of both, leading by about 40 lengths up the back straight. When he came to the turn, still leading them by about 15 lengths, you couldn’t help but want him to keep going. Back in the main body of the field, Destiny’s Kiss had worked its way through and was ready to come out after the leader. Up the rise, you presumed the leader would fold right up and it looked like the day for Destiny’s Kiss. In the run to the line, Destiny’s Kiss did get there, but the leader did an amazing job to go under by less than a length in the run to the line. I take my hat off to Taylor Marshall for having a red hot crack, and perhaps the horse can get away with a staying event soon. The actual sectionals of the race don’t indicate the horse went that quickly, perhaps it is just that he was the only hoop to show any form of initiative. For the record, Vatuvei was a number of lengths away in third.
Follow: None to follow
Race 6: June Stakes (1100m)
1st Avoid Lightning Tim Clark 2nd Zaratone Kathy O’Hara 3rd Kneeling Linda Meech
The June Stakes was race 6 and Zaratone led as expected from Hidden Warrior. They were at the home turn before you knew it, and Zaratone stayed right up against the paint whilstUnanimously and Hidden Warrior came wide. It was a bit like the parting of the seas for Avoid Lightning who was given her queue as they came up the rise. She is a Mare in great form and she sprinted very quickly at the 200m mark and put the issue beyond doubt very easily, much to the joy of punters as she was heavily supported. The runs of Kneeling and Territory down the outside get a pass mark, they simply got too far out of their ground in this. Zaratone and Hidden Warrior will be competitive back at Rosehill where their racing style is more suited.
Race 7: TAB Iphone App Hcp (1200m)
1st Commanding Wit Josh Parr 2nd Tralfaz Sam Clipperton 3rd Specific Choice Tim Clark
Tralfaz and Beckon went forward from wide gates with Heroic Action beginning well from the inside to position up third in the run. Yet again punters sent Specific Choice out as a popular pick and he got back to last. Bermuda Blue and Rastro had wide runs all the way. Around the turn, Tralfaz and Beckon were still going stride for stride. Tralfaz made short work of Beckon as they came up the rise, and kicked away looking all over a winner. Commanding Wit however is obviously a horse with ability and I really liked the way he knuckled down in the run to the line to overpower Tralfaz. Specific Choice made its way into third, and can someone please tell me whether the bookmakers have built a shrine to this horse yet?
Follow: Commanding Wit, Tralfaz
Race 8: Theraces Hcp (1600m)
1st Eigelstein Jim Cassidy 2nd Disciple Josh Parr 3rd Fulgur Serge Lisnyy
Eigelstein pinged out of the gates and probably surprised Jim Cassidy a bit. He took hold and let Loot’n’Run go to the front, with Fulgur moving up on its outside into second. The pace didn’t look strong, which was also indicated by Eigelstein and Fulgur settling so close to the speed. Disciple was in the one out one back trail. Frozen Rope who had its supporters was back last up to the 600m. Loot’n’Run was asked to go when they topped the rise but didn’t have anything in the tank. Disciple was coming with a strong run out wide, but right up against the Dulux Eigelstein had burst through, and backed up its good last start win, which should have been by a longer margin, with a another nice win here. The ride from Cassidy was a gem. The runs of Disciple and Fulgur were good given they would prefer more pace on, and the jury is out in regards to Frozen Rope due to the lack of pace that didn’t suit.
Specials from the meeting: Saigon Tea, Tralfaz