Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes (1200m)

1st Pasadena Girl – Vlad Duric 2nd Air Apparent – Michael Walker 3rd Pursuits – James Doyle

Results led a fairly bunched field with Pursuits underneath. Pasadena Girl was buried behind the leaders inside Eclat and Andrioli. Air Apparent was further out without cover. Andrioli was the first to tackle Results about 400m out with Air Apparent moving closer. Pursuits wound up behind the tiring leader and Eclat was held up for a run. Pasadena Girl lost some ground to get into the clear and she started to hit the line hard late. Air Apparent took over with a furlong to go and momentarily looked to be holding them. Pursuits picked up on her inside but the big threat was outside as Pasadena Girl chimed in and finished the race off a little better than Air Apparent and they got away from Pursuits. Andrioli stayed ok okay while Magnette made a bit of late ground. Winner proved too good after conceding a couple of lengths, while Air Apparent had every chance. Follow: Pasadena Girl might be well above average, remember her later in the year.

Race 2: MSS Security Stakes (1100m)

1st Pittsburgh Flyer – Joao Moriera 2nd Earthquake – James Doyle 3rd Ready To Fight – Michael Dee

Zeletto showed speed to lead and was joined by Tudor in front. Earthquake parked behind them with Vain Kingdom for company as Pittsburgh Flyer eased to their inside. Royal Snitzel was wider out andNostradamus and Sistonic were among the widest. Zeletto and Tudor put the pressure on each other and they kicked a few lengths clear in the middle stages but Earthquake looked to have them covered quite easily. She took over at the 300m while behind her Pittsburgh Flyer eased into the clear to give some chase. Royal Snitzel and Nostradamus couldn’t go with them while Sistonic was struggling further back. Pittsburgh Flyer tackled Earthquake with about 100m to run and she just edged a neck or so clear and that was good enough to win. A couple of lengths back to Ready To Fight and Setinum who both hit the line very nicely from the second half, getting by Royal Snitzel and Nostradamus. Sistonic pulled up with an issue and her prep would be over you’d think. Earthquake ran a much improved race but she’s still a shadow of the filly of 12 months ago. Follow: both Ready To Fight and Setinum if they come back in class.

Race 3: VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)

1st Jameka – Nick Hall 2nd Lazumba – Steven King 3rd Sampeah – James Doyle

Sampeah was only fairly out but was dug up to get up near the speed. Jameka crossed from a wide gate and landed outside Well Sighted as Sampeah came back a bit to get cover. Band On The Run was on his outside while Iceflow held the box seat. Mr Optimistic found himself trapped four wide as they looked to pull up a bit in front. The field bunched and Band On The Run made a dash up to join Jameka and Well Sighted and Mr Optimistic who also moved forward. Sampeah was held up behind them on the turn and when a gap opened took a while to get going. Jameka kicked away by the 300m and the only one giving chase was Lazumbafrom the back as she stormed home late. Sampeah got through the gap but couldn’t sprint with them and Jameka wouldn’t let Lazumba get any closer than a length in the last bit as she scored a deserved win. Sampeah just held on for third ahead of Gredington and Queen Of Wands who worked home without threatening. Manhattan Blues was never a factor and finished next. The winner was too good and will be a better horse next preparation. Follow: Lazumba did a good job at her second start.

Race 4: Blamey Stakes (1600m)

1st Suavito – Damien Oliver 2nd Sertorius – Ryan Maloney 3rd Kourkam – Nick Hall

Suavito and Shoreham were a bit slow out. Nobody seemed to want the front as Jacquinot Bay kicked forward to join Sertorius and Guest Of Honour up there. Suavito rushed around the field from the back and she ran to the lead about 1100m out. Jacquinot Bay sat up on her outside with Sertorius in the box seat. They still were still at snail’s pace and Smokin’ Joey pulled his way up three wide around Guest Of Honour well before the turn. Shoreham tried to get onto his back and bumped with Escado in the process. Kourkam found himself second last with all the shuffling. Suavito was let down at the 400m and looked a little vulnerable. Smokin’ Joey made a short dash and Kourkam got up on the inside as Jacquinot Bay started to battle. Sertorius was still there and started to make some late ground but Suavito kept going and had more than a length to spare over him. Kourkam did a good job for third. Smokin’ Joey didn’t have an easy run and boxed on and Escado ran home yet again. No excuses for anything behind the winner though Sertorius ran his usual honest race fresh. Follow: he’s a tease but there’s a win in Escado somewhere this prep.

Race 5: Kewney Stakes (1400m)

1st Wawail – Michael Walker 2nd Sabatini – Nick Hall 3rd Vezalay – Damien Oliver

Clover Lane missed the start while Zambezi Diamond sprung out but handed up the lead to Vezalay and Bottle Of Smoke. London Lolly was behind them and Wawail found plenty of cover this time as CristalinaLago went around them and Exclusive Lass followed. Sabatini went right back to second last from her outside gate. Vezalay snuck away rounding the turn and Bottle Of Smoke was under pressure to go with her. Zambezi Diamond got the inside run and Wawail went looking between horses for a gap. Cristalina Lago and Exclusive Lass were battling on and caused problems for Peggy Jean who was trying to come between them. She was cut out near the 200m and lost any chance. Wawail got the gap about the same time and set after Vezalay, Exclusive Lass ran to third momentarily as Sabatini sailed down the extreme outside. Wawail forged clear of Vezalay from the 100m and had enough in hand to beat Sabatini. She was beaten by the barrier. Vezalay a nice third while Bayoonah stormed home late to grab fourth from a luckless Peggy Jean and Sea Spraywas close up but seemed to have her chance. Follow: be forgiving with Peggy Jean and follow Bayoonah wherever she goes.

Race 6: Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m)

1st Brazen Beau – Joao Moriera 2nd Chautauqua – Dwayne Dunn 3rd Terravista – Hugh Bowman

Lord Of The Sky took up the running and Brazen Beau was right alongside him early on. Terravista was behind the leader as Driefontein slid forward with Lankan Rupee over racing on her outside. Chautauqua was right behind Brazen Beau but in an awkward spot. Lord Of The Sky got moving a bit in the mid stages and Brazen Beau dropped in behind him for the cart. Driefontein was being niggled at and Lankan Rupee was in trouble as he couldn’t get to her by the 400m. Terravista and Chautauqua were behind those looking for runs and while that was happening Brazen Beau darted underneath Lord Of The Sky and went for home. Lankan Rupee and Terravista had a bump about 300m out and that put paid to the defending champion. Chautauqua was still a length or so behind them and a minute off Brazen Beau who stole a march on them and romped in. Chautauqua got going to run second over Terravista who was just even. Lord Of The Sky held on for fourth while Aeronautical snatched fifth from Lankan Rupee. All honours with the winner, aided by a clever ride. Follow: none, big question mark over this race. The runner-up missed the boat while Lankan Rupee wasn’t himself.

Race 7: Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m)

1st Spillway – Michael Walker 2nd Extra Zero – Damian Lane 3rd Happy Trails – Damien Oliver

Entirely Platinum was best to begin and held the lead for the first 400m from The Cleaner. Sonntag, Greatwood and Lidari were handy while Au Revoir, Foreteller and Mourinho were the next bunch. The Cleaner eventually took up the running and the field strung right out. Entirely Platinum stuck with him and Greatwood got in for a nice trail. Au Revoir fouind himself wide and was being followed by Red Cadeaux. The Cleaner went for home on the turn and while he was under the whip Entirely Platinum looked to be cruising but couldn’t shake him off. Spillway emerged from the second half of the field with a dazzling sprint to chase them 300m out. Foreteller worked clear but couldn’t run on while Red Cadeaux was staying on strongly. Extra Zero and Happy Trails made their runs together with Akzar a couple of lengths off them. Spillway hit the lead 100m out but was paddling and Extra Zero, who actually settled last, charged at him to miss by a narrow margin to cause a massive boilover. Happy Trails stuck on for third while The Cleaner fought back for fourth. Red Cadeaux’s run was enormous and he was still coming on the line as Entirely Platinum weakened. A couple of lengths behind that pack was Protectionist. He just didn’t have a turn of foot and only worked home evenly. Not all Melbourne Cup winners transition to WFA and he is finding these races too short. Follow: Red Cadeaux has the Sydney Cup at his mercy on his performance.

Race 8: Schweppervecence Trophy (1600m)

1st Noble Protector – Craig Williams 2nd Marianne – Mark Zahra 3rd Set Square – Hugh Bowman

Choose took advantage of the inside gate to lead them early and Noble Protector landed on her outside. Street Allure rushed up deep around Refer. Bonaria settled behind them outside Bippo No Bungus as Street Allure pressed on to lead. Noble Protector moved alongside Street Allure on the turn, putting Choose in a pocket, while Refer and Precious Gem moved up wider out. Bonaria became held up but Noble Protector waved them goodbye inside the 400m and broke well clear. Precious Gem got to second but was battling, wider out Marianne and Set Square were running on but they were in a different race. Noble Protector didn’t look to be fully tested in winning by a big space. Marianne’s effort was an improved one and Set Square ran evenly second-up. Assess her on her next start. Behind them Fenway rocketed home to run fourth over Precious Gem. Bonaria was a bit plain this time. Follow: Noble Protector was awesome first-up and all the form around Contributer is looking pretty strong.

Race 9: My Kitchen Rules Stakes (1400m)

1st Amorino – Craig Williams 2nd Saint Or Sinner – Damien Oliver 3rd Gracious Prospect – Michael Walker

Hosting blew the start and crossed them to last. Gracious Prospect jumped well and let Laohu and Sistine Demon battle it out for the lead. Saint Or Sinner found a good spot. Natuzzi was over-racing badly midfield inside Amorino. Laohu held out Sistine Demon but they put a few lengths on the rest well before the turn. Saint Or Sinner moved closer and pocketed Gracious Prospect. Amorino had his back going forward while Natuzzi looked to have run his race already. Sistine Demon hit the front fleetingly but Saint Or Sinner had him covered and behind them Gracious Prospect was still held up. Amorino eased to the outside and chimed in, hitting the lead 100m out and finishing the race off too well again. He’s well and truly back in form. Saint Or Sinner had every chance and held second from the luckless Gracious Prospect, who might have been a shade stiff, and Sistine Demon battled on fairly well after the early speed battle. Follow: Natuzzi got going again late and he could be an improver.

Specials from the meeting: Noble Protector, Bayoonah, Red Cadeaux, Lazumba.

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Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1
1st Himalaya Dream – Tommy Berry
2nd Silverball – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Zin Zan Eddie – Koby Jennings
Singing Flame was slow out, but probably more concerning for a lot of punters was to see the favourite Silverball miss the kick clearly and settle last. Zin Zan Eddie initially had the lead before Himalaya Dream was let stride out wide and went to the front. These two settled ahead of Copy who was basically in the middle of a line of three that also contained Montero on the fence and Devonshire Duke out three wide. Himalaya Dream still had the front around the turn, with Zin Zan Eddie looking to challenge and Copy moving up three wide. Silverball was trying to track up behind them, and making some headway. At the furlong mark however, Himalaya Dream kicked and it was apparent it was set for victory. Silverball ran on well enough to suggest it can win races this campaign, and Zin Zan Eddie stuck on well enough in third. Copy was well in the market and was very disappointing here.
Follow: Silverball
Race 2
1st Target In Sight – James McDonald
2nd Deep Field – Tommy Berry
3rd Tahitian Black – Christian Reith
Kencella was one of the best to begin, but I’m All The Talk was drawn inside of it and kicked up to lead. When they settled down, Kencella pretty much declared was on I’m All The Talk and those two put up about three lengths on Deep Field who was sent out deep in the red. The race caller declared that Deep Field couldn’t have asked for a better run, but the way I saw it, he was doing the chasing work behind the leaders that had gone far too hard. Up to the 300m mark, Deep Field looked to be working into the race well within itself and had the leaders covered, but back to the inside, Target In Sight was also working home very strongly. With 200m to go, Deep Field may have briefly hit the front, but soon after it was apparent Target In Sight was going slightly better and he held a margin in the run to the line to cause the minor boil over. I think the run of the first two was pretty good here, and you would be foolish to write Deep Field off as a very good racehorse. Tahitian Black remains in good form, with a solid run for third.
Follow: The first three all went well and can win more races
Race 3
1st Tarquin – William Buick
2nd Rageese – Tommy Berry
3rd Odyssey Moon – Tye Angland
When they settled down in the third, Raphael’s Cat had the lead from Odyssey Moon who was well supported in betting. Inner Circle got a nice run third on the fence with Arsonist outside of it. Paceman had no luck, out three wide forever. Around the turn, Odyssey Moon was going after the leader and Inner Circle was coming out to chase the pair of them. The three in front didn’t really quicken as required at the furlong and that allowed Tarquin and Rageese to quickly make ground from the back. Those two swept to the front in the concluding stages and it was Tarquin who finished too well. I thought Rageese was the equal of the winner as he came from behind it, had to hook across heels and wasn’t in the clearest of running for a few strides.
Follow: Rageese
Race 4
1st Speak Fondly – Tommy Berry
2nd Perignon – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Italy – James McDonald
Italy again showed poor barrier manners to come out a clear last. Speak Fondly came out well and looked to lead but was initially held out by Thorsborne and Carriages. Eventually Carriages pulled out of that battle and the other two paired off in front. Around the turn, Speak Fondly and Thorsborne still had it, but it was apparent that Speak Fondly was traveling the better. At the 300m mark she was asked to extend and did so.Perignon and Igraine looked the apparent dangers on the outside and Italy and stolen runs along the fence throughout the race after its bad start to be a thread on the inside. In the run to the line, it was a pretty gutsy effort by Speak Fondly to hold them off. Perignon ran second with Italy winding up in third. Down the outside Serenade flashed home, and Look To The Stars also put in a nice finish after having to switch across heals.
Follow: Look To The Stars
Race 5
1st Mahican – Linda Meech
2nd Commission – Blake Shinn
3rd Any Day Will Do – Kathy O’Hara
Sniper Fire led initially, but by the time they settled down, Any Day Will Do had assumed control. Diamondrocker settled in third on the fence, with Mahican fourth, in the one out and one back trail. Youthful King was caught out three deep. Just before the turn, Mahican was produced three wide, which was an encouraging sign for his backers. Any Day Will do put up a pretty good fight, but up to the furlong pole Mahican looked to have it covered, and Commission appeared to be the biggest danger who was coming after it on the outside. In the run to the line however, Mahican held a pretty comfortable advantage from Commission who may have peaked on its run a bit in the very final stages. The winner had a good run in transit, and used that to its advantage here. Diamondrocker was pretty disappointing in this event.
Follow: Mahican
Race 6
1st Hartnell – James McDonald
2nd Opinion – Tye Angland
3rd Hawkspur – Jim Cassidy
After a very encouraging run last start, Hartnell was sent out a very short priced favourite in this event. When the settled down, Fiveandahalfstar had the front from Pajaro, which gave Hartnell a lovely run in third. Before the 600m mark, Phrases and Junoob were pulled wide from the back, probably knowing that if they were any chance of beating Hartnell they were going to need to get on their bikes. When they started to reach a challenging position, Hartnell came out three wide pushing Phrases four wide and any others coming wider didn’t appear much hope, including the second favourite Who Shot Thebarman. At the 250m mark, Hartnell had the front, and just kept stretching out in the run to the line, and as the race caller put it, it was men against boys. Realistically, he didn’t beat much, but you can only beat what is there, and he did it well. Not much can be said about the opposition, who would not turn the tables if the race was run another 10 times. Don’t give up if you are a Who Shot Thebarman fan, as he kept coming to the line after being pushed very wide.
Follow: Hartnell, Who Shot Thebarman
Race 7
1st Plucky Belle – Linda Meech
2nd First Seal – Blake Shinn
3rd Diamond Drille – James McDonald
Mahara and Abduction were slow to begin here. Tarloshan led them as they settled down with Thump on its outside. Amicus got the run behind them, but stayed away from the fence which kept Adrift three wide. Favourite punters would not have been all that happy as First Seal also found herself three wide, but did have some cover. Around the turn, First Seal was pushed even wider but did look to be winding up nicely with her run, and the jockey didn’t seem all that concerned. At the 300m mark, she was ranging up to them, and hit the front with 200m to go, and looked set for victory. Soon after, the tough run started to tell a bit, and her run looked to peak. As that was going on, Plucky Belle got through in the middle and hit the line very hard to nudge out First Seal in a close finish. Realistically, when they hit the line they were all over the place, and a look at the replay is one recommendation I can make, the other is that the run of Arabian Gold was pretty good from a future view point, as was Diamond Drille.
Follow: Arabian Gold, Diamond Drille
Race 8
1st Winx – Tommy Berry
2nd Hauraki – James McDonald
3rd Supara – Christian Reith
Diamond Valores was the one who missed the start in race 8. They took a little while to settled down, but when they did it was High Above that led from Hampton Court. After its slow beginning, Diamond Valores ended up finding a nice spot in third on the fence inside of Supara. Winx who was sent out favourite found its way to the back of the field mid race and was still there when they started to turn for home. High Above had a kick initially in the straight, but Diamond Valores had its measure. For a little while there were chances everywhere, but in the final 150m it was a case of dominance from Winx who went to them and then stretched out very nicely to come away and win by a couple of lengths. This was a case of the winner just having too much class for its opposition, so you couldn’t recommend anything to turn the tables, and realistically, Winx wouldn’t have been out of place running in the previous event.
Follow: Winx
Race 9
1st Burbero – Brodie Loy
2nd Ninth Legion – Tommy Berry
3rd San Diego – Tim Clark
So to the last on what was a top day of racing. Ninth Legion crossed and led them from Aomen and Red Excitement. San Diego found a nice spot on the fence, and Rudy was trapped out three wide. Inside the 600m mark, Rudy was pushed out four deep. Around the turn, Ninth Legion had a kick and put a couple of lengths on them, which meant that Burbero who had been pinching inside runs was able to rail right up behind him, and then look to come out and challenge. For a couple of strides, the jockey wasn’t sure whether to come inside or outside of the leader, but he settled on going back to the fence on Burbero. Ninth Legion and Burbero fought it out tooth and nail in the run to the line, and always looked the two most prominent despite the face that San Diego, Spy Decoder and to a lesser extent Pornichet were all there putting in their claims for victory. In what was a very close finish, Burbero got the bob right on the line. San Diego is a horse who takes a little while to wind up, and probably wasn’t as comfortable today as he was last start when he got right to the outside to chase, and I think another win is in store for him in the not too distant future. Pornichet looks an improver for next time.
Follow: San Diego, Pornichet
Specials from the meeting: Arabian Gold, Hartnell, San Diego