Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: TBV Stakes (1200m)

1st Clifton Red – Stephen Baster 2nd Ygritte – Vlad Duric 3rd Thalia – Damien Oliver

Muscovado was one of the fastest out from the outside and was joined in front by Bella RomaYgritte had plenty of cover behind them. Thalia  was further out in the clear and on the inside Top Sight was poking through. About 500m out Tahni Dancer strode into the race out wide and looked a chance. Ygritte swept to the lead a long way out and went for home. Thalia was trying hard to match her and Clifton Red  was making ground in behind them. Ygritte looked to be holding them at the 200m as Tahni Dancer’s run ended and Thalia had flattened out as well but Clifton Red continued to run on along the inside. Really stuck the neck out late and finished too well. Thalia held on for third and those just behind her like Domino Vitale and Singularity worked home without ever looking likely.

Follow: Thalia has some upside but like to see some of these again.

Race 2 – MSS Security Stakes (1100m)

1st Anatina – Craig Williams 2nd Gregers – Michael Rodd 3rd Tango’s Daughter – Tim Clark

If anything I Am Titanium was squeezed out at the start but otherwise a good break. Son Senoras showed plenty of pace to lead clearly and headed toward the rail. Anatina  tucked in behind the leader and Thermal Current was outside them, further out Montsegur and Shades Of Bella wasn’t far away. Gregers  settled well back out wide with Hard Stride the widest. Son Senoras was gone inside the 400m and Anatina got up on her inside to challenge and take over. Thermal Current tried hard but wasn’t making any ground. Tango’s Daughter  began to work home well after getting through the pack and Gregers seemed to take an eternity to wind up. Anatina sprinted away and held more than a length on Gregers who worked home well but may have been anchored with 58kg and Tango’s Daughter ran very well first-up. Nice runs from Hard Stride and I Am Titanium. Politeness was never really in the call but worked home okay late to be not too far away.

Follow: Gregers still has upside, Hard Stride was excellent.

Race 3: Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)

1st Zululand – Stephen Baster 2nd Awesome Rock – Michael Rodd 3rd Marcado – Steven King

Marcado wasn’t well served at the start and had to be hunted forward. Zululand missed it by about half a length. Boomwaa and Malaguerra  were the early leaders before Marcado worked to take up the running. Hawking was a couple of lengths back between The Spitfire and Glenrowan PrinceAwesome Rock  tracked the latter horse. Marcado still led on the turn but there was a line of five outside him. He beat most of the challengers off except Awesome Rock who loomed ominously at the 300m. A few lengths back Zululand was getting into the clear. Marcado fought back to regain the lead at the 100m with Awesome Rock trying to counter but Zululand swallowed them up and raced away. Valuable win for a $1.5m buy. Huge efforts by the placegetters, notably Marcado who had no peace and was only worried out of second in the last couple of hops. Boomwaa held on well for fourth ahead of the maiden The Spitfire who ran well again.

Follow: Marcado was enormous and he looks a seriously promising horse.

Race 4: Schweppervescene Trophy (1600m)

1st Bonaria – Michael Rodd 2nd Text’n Hurley – Chad Schofield 3rd Bippo No Bungus – Damien Oliver

Bonaria was one of the best out and went looking for cover as Angelic Lass pushed on to lead and Keep De Rose moved up on her outside. Bonaria found the trail behind them with Are There Any  in the box seat. The next pair wereBippo No Bungus outside Text’n Hurley . Angelic Lass rolled along a bit in front and broke the field up. Keep De Rose tried to stick with her and gave Bonaria a perfect tag into the race. Are There Any was pocketed and behind her Text’n Hurley was being hard ridden. Bonaria had the two leaders covered at the 300m and just sat there keeping Are There Any tucked away. Went for home passing the 200m and kicked well clear. Are There Any got out but couldn’t sprint and Bippo No Bungus got the better of her. Text’n Hurley looked gone early in the straight but charged home when it was all over, giving away too much start. Godspiel ran on without threatening.

Follow: most of these are well exposed, perhaps Godspiel back to midweek grade.

Race 5: Kewney Stakes (1400m)

1st Solicit – Damian Lane 2nd Marianne – Craig Williams 3rd Suavito – Damien Oliver

Reasonable line out and Miss Rose De Lago headed to the front, joined by Solicit and they paired off in front. Marianne enjoyed a nice run outside of  Critical Angel. A few lengths back were Suavito on the fence and Patricia DawnGirl In Flight had a wide run midfield around  Holy Cow. Solicit ranged alongside Miss Rose De Lago at the 400m and Marianne tried to go with her. Solicit established a length or so coming past the 300m but did look vulnerable as Marianne, Suavito and Girl In Flight set out after her. Miss Rose De Lago was boxing on along the rail. Solicit kept going and held that break to the line in a strong, and more impressive, second-up win. The three chasers hit the line almost locked together and Marianne gained yet another second. Miss Rose De Lago was a little disappointing back in fifth. Not a bad run from the maiden Holy Cow. She’s done that before but watch out for her when she gets up in dictance.

Follow: Solicit is very smart, stick with her. Follow Holy Cow if she heads towards Adelaide.

Race 6: Group 1 Newmarket Handicap

1st Lankan Rupee – Chad Schofield 2nd Spirit Of Boom – Michael Rodd 3rd Knoydart – Tim Clark

The line broke pretty cleanly and if anything Mister Milton and Albrecht were a shade slow. Hard to find an early leader with them spread across the track. Bernabeu  looked in front towards the inside with Shamexpress on his back and Fontelina crossing to the rail. Out towards the middle was Flamberge who had  Lankan Rupee on his outside and Moment Of Change just inside him. Knoydart was bailed away behind Shamexpress and Samaready was in plenty of traffic.  Spirit Of Boom  raced to her inside. At the 400m Flamberge took over narrowly but he had Lankan Rupee right on his hammer and Samaready worked into the clear behind him. Shamexpress looked a threat as he got a split inside the weakening Bernabeu and Knoydart was still strung up for a run. When given a slap down the shoulder Lankan Rupee exploded away and had the race won at the 200m. Spirit Of Boom got through the ruck to chase. Shamexpress made it up to third then Knoydart finally saw some daylight and charged along the fence to grab a placing. He was unlucky – wouldn’t have won you’d think though. Interesting that the Oakleigh Plate trifecta was repeated here. Flamberge stuck on well ahead of a disappointing Samaready and Mister Milton ran out of his skin to finish so close to her. A few other let downs,  Pago Rock and Unpretentious are not Group 1 sprinters at this level and Moment Of Change must have come to the end of his, very good, preparation.

Follow: They are pretty well exposed, Lankan Rupee has to step up to the TJ Smith next, Knoydart would be a great horse for a Galaxy or a Goodwood.

Race 7: Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m)

1st Fiorente – Damien Oliver 2nd Green Moon – Chad Schofield 3rd Foreteller – Craig Newitt

It was an even line and Shamus Award showed out first as expected with little trouble. Green Moon slid up to second and was made to work a little by Star Rolling before he settled on the fence.  Mourayan found the one-one outside Voleuse De CoeursFiorente was eased back to last off his wide gate and passed one by the 1200m. Shamus Award seemingly had everything made to order for him in the lead though Green Moon probably sat close enough to just pester him a bit. Mourayan tracked his stablemate and coming to the turn  Thunder Fantasy was the first to peel out and start a run. Fiorente had crept up behind him. Star Rolling and Voleuse De Coeurs were held up behind in the packing field. Foreteller  was trying to follow Fiorente but was dictated to on his inside. Shamus Award led to the 300m but looked in trouble and Fiorente was looming large out wide. Green Moon, possibly a shade flat footed, boxed on and Foreteller finally got off Fiorente’s back. Fiorente struck the front at the 100m and his fellow Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon tried to go with him. But he was no match and Fiorente stamped his dominance with a very strong win. Foreteller did his usual thing and ran on well for third. Mourayan was an eye-catcher late. They outsprinted him at the top of the straight but he came again to grab Voleuse De Coeurs for fourth. Shamus Award struggled the last bit.

Follow: Don’t dare oppose Fiorente in anything. Mourayan put in a super Sydney Cup trial.

Race 8: Blamey Stakes (1600m)

1st Lidari – Luke Nolen 2nd Foundry – Craig Williams 3rd Sertorius – Ryan Maloney

Hvasstan sprung out of the gates and was a clear leader early but didn;t want to be there and Lidari and Foundry kicked up to take over. Desert Jeuney  was next on the fence. Sertorius jumped with them this time and landed fifth followed by Stipulate and Sea MoonSweet As Bro  settled last. Lidari took control and hacked along in the front whereas Foundry tended to race a bit hard outside him. On the turn Hvasstan and Desert Jeuney were under pressure as the easy runs the leading pair had took effect when they lifted the tempo. Sertorius was also flat footed and Sea Moon and Sweet As Bro swept up out wider. Lidari pinched a length on Foundry at the 300m and pretty much held that margin to the line, try as he might Foundry couldn’t get to him. Sweet As Bro went past Sertorius at the 200m before Sertorius finally picked the bit up again and regained third. He’ll be better for that. Sea Moon ran last but he was clearly only there to break up the time between spring carnivals and Stipulate was disappointing after having his chance.

Follow: Foundry still has upside and Sertorius lost no admirers.

Race 9: Super Saturday Stakes (1400m)

1st Sistine Demon – Damien Oliver 2nd Koonoomoo – Tim Clark 3rd Coronation Shallan – Daniel Stackhouse

Plenty of early competition for the lead before Sistine Demon took up his usual front running role. Koonoomoo slid up alongside him into second. Coronation Shallan eased to get a trail outside  The United StatesShoreham was next in the clear with Finishing Card poking up on his inside and Rhythm To Spare  got back to worse than midfield. Sistine Demon rolled them along like he always does and stayed a couple of horses off the fence. Koonoomoo stayed right on his back and they got away from The United States. Early in the straight Rhythm To Spare loomed as a likely challenger but when he was asked to go there was nothing there. Shoreham boxed away and Coronation Shallan started to pick up again. Koonoomoo threw everything at Sistine Demon in the closing stages but couldn’t reel him in. Coronation Shallan just lasted for third ahead of The United States and Banca Mo , who was unsighted early, rattled home to be hot on their heels in the run of the race. Rhythm To Spare disappointed greatly.

Follow: Banca Mo has come back well and keep close watch on him through to Warrnambool.

Specials from the meeting: Marcado, Mourayan, Banca Mo

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Warwick Farm review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st                       Lucky Liason                          Glyn Schofield 2nd                    Pentometer                              Tommy Berry 3rd                     Ultimate Gaze                         Blake Shinn

Ultimate Gaze from the inside wasn’t the best to begin in the first.  Dormello on the other hand came out quickly and went straight to the front.  By the time they reached the winning post on the first occasion, they had settled down well with Dormello leading Bathurstian and The HotzLucky Liason settled well in fourth, and the field was quite strung out.  The short priced favourite, Pentometer, settled a clear last, a good 12 lenghts or so off the lead.  Between the 800m and 700m, Farm Boy took off, which also flushed out Lucky Liason, and Pentometer took the opportunity to get on their backs for a trail into it, but was out very wide.  Around the turn, Lucky Liason had sprinted quickly and led clealry with plenty trying to chase but they were all under pressure.  Pentometer tried to chase down the Lucky Liason, but realistically the race always looked in the keeping of Lucky Liason and he held more than a 2 length margin to the line.  Ultimate Gaze found its way into third just behind Pentometer.

Follow: No reason Lucky Liason can’t win again

Race 2

1 st                     Alpha Miss                              Jason Collett 2 nd                    Memorial                                 Kerrin McEvoy 3 rd                     Aerobar                                   Brenton Avdulla

Wandjina wasn’t flash out on the inside, but was ridden hard, to go up inside of Brazen Beau and those two found the front by the 800m mark, which put Donelle three deep outside the speed.  Aerobar and Alpha Miss got nice runs along the fence behind the pace.  Wigginout was also caught wide.  Brazen Beau looked to travel well outside Wandjina as they turned, but then didn’t go on with it, and it was Alpha Miss getting through on the inside that sprinted best.  Memorial tried to go with it after switching back to the fence but could only manage second.  Aerobar came into third after a good run in transit.  Brazen Beau was the particularly disappointing runnr here.  Wandjina had to work hard to lead after missing the kick so could be forgiven.

Follow: Memorial

Race 3

1 st                     Territory                                  Nash Rawiller 2 nd                    See The World                        Jason Collett 3 rd                     That’s A Good Idea                 Jim Cassidy

That’s A Good Idea didn’t begin brilliantly but used its good pace to go through inside Oh George to lead after a couple of hundred metres.  Barbed who was heavily supported in betting got a good trail behind them, along with Hurrara.  That’s A Good Idea kicked on the turn and had close to a three length break soon after.  Inside the 200m mark, he looked a good chance of holding on, but started to paddle inside the 100m mark, and it was Territory finishing brilliantly on the outside to record his second win on the trot.  See The World also finished nicely down the outside, but not as well as the winner, and That’s A Good Idea managed to hold third.  All credit to the winner for a big finish.  Barbed was pretty disappointing, particularly if you were one of his supporters.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1 st                     Catkins                                    Hugh Bowman 2 nd                    Sharnee Rose                          Brenton Avdulla 3 rd                     Dear Demi                               James McDonald

A pretty good line out with Catkins putting its nose in front early before Any Day Will Do moved up along the inside and She’s A Girl moving out on the outside to give Catkins a pretty good sit in third.  One of the other big chances in betting, Fire Up Fifi was a length or so behind Catkins in the run.  Throughout the run, the race basically looked at the mercy of Catkins and when they turned, she went up and challenged for the lead.  Soon after, she sprinted away from those who were chasing, of which Dear Demi was doing best.  In the last 100m, Sharnee Rose came quickly to get past Dear Demi, but was never going to catch Catkins, who won it by a couple of lengths on the line.  Scorpio Queen made a long wide run from the back and wasn’t beaten far under the circumstances.

Follow: Dear Demi will be fitter next time

Race 5

1 st                     Boban                                    Glyn Schofield 2 nd                    It’s A Dundeel                         James McDonald 3 rd                     Hawkspur                              Jim Cassidy

Monton and Moriarty had the best of the start and led early, before Glencadam Gold and Order Of The Sun also went up towards the front.  When they settled down it was Order Of The Sun leading from Glencadam Gold, giving Monton a nice run on the fence. Boban and It’s A Dundeel raced side by side in midfield coming to the 1000m mark.  Before the turn, Moriarty got through between the two leaders to hit the front.  It’s A Dundeel was also taking off, and the jockey on Boban had patiently waited to follow him into the race.  Around the turn, It’s A Dundeel struck the front, but Boban looked to have him covered.  Inside the 200m mark, Boban threw it down to It’s A Dundeel and fitness told the story in the run to the line with Boban running away for a good win.  Hawkspur finished off nicely enough in third to show that he is on track for another competitive campaign.  If you took the shorts about It’s A Dundeel, don’t sack him, Boban had to beat him today on the score of fitness and getting to its pet distance.

Follow: It’s A Dundeel will improve as will Hawkspur

Race 6

1 st                     Terravista                                Jason Collett 2 nd                    El Roca                                  Christian Reith 3 rd                     Ninth Leigon                           Hugh Bowman

Terravista began very quickly from out wide, but had Howmuchdoyouloveme and El Roca kicking up along his inside which planted him three wide, and even when he eased he was still out there as My Destiny kicked up on the inside and El Roca eased back.  White Sage which was well in betting contention gave them a pretty big start as they headed towards the turn.  Around the turn, Terravista had been wide and was let rip by the jockey and sprinted well to go up and pair off with El Roca in front.  At the 100m mark, Terravista looked the winner.  In the last bit, the wide trip started to tell on him and El Roca fought all the way to the line, but it was Terravista prevailing by a narrow margin.  The winner has a good turn of foot as we saw last start also, and he did a good job here to sit wide and hold on.  Take nothing away from El Roca for another nice effort, and the third and fourth horses, Ninth Legion and Pinwheel found the line well enough for a pass mark.  The jury is out on White Sage who did very little today, but to my eye, could be best suited over further, which I have said previously.

Follow: None

Race 7

1 st                     Thump                                   Jim Cassidy 2 nd                    Real Surreal                           James McDonald 3 rd                     Lucia Valentina                       Hugh Bowman

A pretty fair start, with the caller noting that Guelph may have been a little slow to begin.  Champagne Cath ran to the front together with Sweet IdeaArabian Gold got a nice run behind the speed.  The eventual winner, Thump was caught three wide, as was Guelph back in the field, but she did seem to have cover.  Real Surreal was getting a nice run just behind the speed.  As they turned for home, Sweet Idea made her bid for victory, with Thump also coming, and Real Surreal getting into the clear between the two.  Guelph was still giving away a start and looking to wind up, but making heavy weather of it.  In the run to the line, Thump kept going in what was a pretty good win after being wide.  The second horse, Real Surreal was entitled to beat her but simply was not good enough. Gypsie Diamond and Zanbagh found the line nicely down the outside.  Guelph and Sweet Idea were big flops today.  Sweet Idea is a winner and probably deserves another chance, Guelph on the other hand appears to be no where near her previous best form as indicated by Zanbagh running past her in the straight.

Follow: Zanbagh, Gypsie Diamond

Race 8

1 st                     Entirely Platinum                    James McDonald 2 nd                    Canny Ballad                          Blake Shinn 3 rd                     Too Hi Tek                              Sam Clipperton

Lucky Lucky Lucky missed the start clearly in the last.  Our Desert Warrior was ridden pretty hard to go to the front and did so from Transonic and Entirely PlatinumCharing Cross got a nice run behind the speed in fourth. The pace looked alright, which mean there was no change in the order until the 600m mark, where Transonic decided to get after the leader, which in turn meant that Entirely Platinum started to creep up, but was still under a hold.  Canny Ballad was also moving up around the outside.  Those who had the lead clearly as they came to the 200m mark, with Entirely Platinum digging in and finding about a half a length.  In the run to the line Canny Ballad kept coming and got the margin to about a head on the line, but I do wonder whether he is a “winner” or not.  Too Hi Tek did the best of the rest coming into third.  I liked the way the winner fought for it, and he may win again.  Lucky Lucky Lucky and Ghost Protocol were also ok from the back.

Follow: Lucky Lucky Lucky, Ghost Protocol

Specials from the meeting: Lucky Liason, Zanbagh, Dear Demi