Bendigo review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Daiquiri King Handicap (1100m)

1st Splash Of Moet – Luke Nolen 2nd Schumacher – Damian Lane 3rd Rich Jack – Darren Gauci

Magnus Reign jumped a shade slowly and Tried And Tired wasn’t brilliantly away either. Borsay was first out but handed up to Rich Jack soon after and Schumacher, a lot closer than normal, strode up three wide. Splash Of Moetjumped well then eased right back to second last. Umgeton wound up in the box seat, Tried And Tired improved quickly to midfield and Chosen Moment sat three wide with cover. Rich Jack led a line of three on the turn and did look under pressure a long way from home. Schumacher loomed up to his at the 300m as Borsay dropped off. Just as Rich Jack fleetingly looked to be coming back Splash Of Moet swept down the outside and finished off too well. Schumacher eventually got the better of Rich Jack to grab second. Nice runs from the fourth and fifth horses, Tried And Tired and Magnus Reign. No excuses for anything else.

Follow: likely to be a good form race, Splash Of Moet is a nice horse and if she’s back to her best then a good prep is ahead.

Race 2: Jayco Handicap (1300m)

1st Laohu – Patrick Moloney 2nd Lightenuff – Luke Currie 3rd Hosting – Chris Symons

Laohu was fast to break the line and lead with Lightenuff to his outside. Hosting landed in the box seat inside of FreereturnPin Your Hopes was trapped three wide in midfield and Digitalism was wider until being eased back to last. Not a lot of change coming up to the 600m. Laohu turned just under a length in front of Lightenuff and Freereturn was trying to go with them three deep. Hosting tried for a run between the leaders which didn’t open and had to wait for something to open up. The leaders went stride for stride to the line with Laohu holding on narrowly. Lightenuff gave a lot of cheek first-up at big odds. Hosting got out far too late, on face value possibly should have won. Pin Your Hopes was flat footed early in the straight and hit the line nicely first-up after a wide run. Of the others Digitalism finished on okay in a handy return by him.

Follow: Hosting was unlucky, very good return by Pin Your Hopes.

Race 3: Woodside Park Handicap (1000m)

1st Lucky Symbol – Dominic Tourneur 2nd Menage A Charge – Damian Lane 3rd Smart Dart – Chad Schofield

Reasonable line away. Neat Feat had plenty of early pace to cross them and lead easily. Esceebee sat up second though wanted to hang a bit and Lucky Symbol mustered through on his inside. He’s Commanding was a couple of lengths away and niggled at a long way out, Smart Dart punched up on the fence. Neat Feat kept running and kicked a couple in front on the turn but Lucky Symbol, under the whip, picked him up around the 200m. Smart Dart found some room to try and chase and was a little one paced. From the back Olivier was the widest and Menage A Charge began to run on. The last 100m from Menage A Charge was particularly eye-catching and she got very close to Lucky Symbol on the line. Smart Dart held third and Olivier whacked away with He’s Commanding behind the pace.

Follow: Lucky Symbol was very good first-up, stay with him, Menage A Charge is close to a win but as a backmarker needs races run to suit.

Race 4: Gold Rush (1000m)

1st Eloping – Damian Lane 2nd Jarklin – Chris Symons 3rd Lady Trickster – Michael Walker

Eloping was one of the best to begin from the inside barrier and she worked through to lead. Lady Trickster was ridden hard out to try and cross but had to be content with sitting second. Wilderness strode up three wide without cover on the pace. Advertencia followed Eloping and Real Warrior enjoyed a good run next. Eloping was held together on the bend and railed very well whereas Lady Trickster wobbled around the turn and Wilderness a few horses wider with her. They held a good break on the remainder at the 200m where Jarklin got into the clear and started to run on. Eloping waved them goodbye soon after and put a decent margin on them. Jarklin finished very well to nab Lady Trickster for second place. Disappointing debut from $2.4m colt Wilderness who, while racing wide, was very ordinary in the run home. Need to see him again.

Follow: none.

Race 5: Stayers Challenge (2400m)

1st Signoff – Brad Rawiller 2nd Beliveu – Chad Schofield 3rd Mariner – Damian Lane

Coming to the post the first time Beauty Perception took up the running with Who Says I’m Ready coming across to second. Sunset Magic raced handy with Signoff finding himself in the perfect spot. Malabar ManPurrsistencyPays and Bunchloch were the next group. Not a lot changed until about the 1400m where Mariner took off from midfield and moved into second place. On the bend Beauty Perception was challenged by Mariner but you could see a couple of lengths back that Signoff was bolting as he came to the outside. Signoff put them away by the 200m and extended the margin with every stride to the finish. Mariner battled away well and was touched out for second byBeliveu, who came from last, but they were in a group of about six fighting out third. The winner was a class above them.

Follow: stay with the winner.

Race 6: Gold Bracelet (1400m) 

1st Hazard – Stephen Baster 2nd Spirit Song – Brad Rawiller 3rd Hai Lil – Michael Rodd

Notice Received walked out and gave them a length or so start. Spirit Song jumped well and headed straight to the lead with little trouble. Hazard slid up into second with Sino Eagle behind the leader. Means A Lot had the one-one trail. Notice Received moved through on the fence to fifth as the pace slowed. Spirit Song found a few lengths at the 400m and looked like taking plenty of catching. Hazard wasn’t asked to go at that start while Sino Eagle was being niggled at. They broke away from the rest though Hai Lil did get into the clear about the 200m and began to run on. Spirit Song still held a couple of lengths inside the 100m but Hazard charged late and picked her up right on the line. Hai Lil rushed home when it was all over to snatch third from Means A Lot who was boxing on. Sino Eagle was very disappointing after tracking the leader and she had no excuses.

Follow: super first-up run from Spirit Song for the new stable. She has a high rating so will have to go back to stakes company.

Race 7: Golden Mile (1600m)

1st Fat Al – Luke Nolen 2nd Bel Thor – Chris Symons 3rd Bass Strait – Stephen Baster

Storms between races 6 and 7 pushed the track from good 3 to a slow 7. Tigerland and Bass Strait were only fair to begin from their inside alley. London Stripe rolled forward to lead from Our Hand Of Faith and Fat Al worked forward three wide and eventually sat up second. Eraset was just off the pace, behind him a line of three with Freshwater Storm around Bel Thor and Tigerland, who had improved along the fence. They were three or four horses off the fence on the turn and Fat Al put the pressure on London Stripe tok hit the lead. Bass Strait cut the corner and loomed on their inside. Tigerland struggled in the ground and Bel Thor started to wind up out wide. Fat Al just proved a little too strong in the last 50m and he had almost a length to spare for his first win since the 2012 Epsom. Bel Thor did a good job to run second and he might be back on track. Bass Strait was okay and London Stripe ran another honest race. Of the three imports, Spillway worked home well from a fair way back in a promising effort and Ancient King gets a pass. Mourinho should lose no admirers for his even effort and Tigerland can be forgiven.

Follow: Bel Thor might be close to a win.

Race 8: Bendigo Guineas (1400m)

1st Written Up – Jamie Mott 2nd Gracious Prospect – Michael Rodd 3rd Mahican – Luke Nolen

The track was further downgraded to a heavy 8 prior to this race. A good line away and The Bowler made his intentions clear early and went looking for the lead but was held out by Bobcat on the inside and Gracious Prospect was also handy. Worth A Ransom settled just behind them along with Epic SagaWritten Up improved inside him going past Trust In A Gust while Mahican and Resistant were wider. Again they were well off the fence and by the turn Written Up had joined The Bowler and Gracious Prospect, Bobcat was gone and Worth A Ransom battled as well. Trust In A Gust momentarily looked a threat as he followed Written Up through but he found it tough the last 100m or so, perhaps not happy in the ground. Written Up kept fighting them off and he held on for a deserved win. They lined up for the placings with Gracious Prospect also sticking on well ahead of Mahican, Resistant and Red Spyder who flashed home underneath them all. Trust In A Gust wasn’t beaten far and definitely a forgive run from Consorting who worked home down the outside late.

Follow: stick with Consorting.

Race 9: TROA Handicap (1600m)

1st Belgietto – Harry Coffey 2nd General Groove – Michael Rodd 3rd Daybreak – Josh Cartwright

Daybreak was the best to begin out wide but was never going to lead and Santiago and Jamaican Warrior kicked through. Caillebotte settled just off the pace outside Slade De CerisyCrookhaven and General Groove were next. Jamaican Warrior broke a few lengths clear before the turn but the field bunched as they got well away from the fence. Daybreak made a run to get into the hunt and probably hit the lead at the 300m. General Groove was looming on his outside and Belgietto worked his way through from well back to put himself in a threatening position. Slade De Cerisy was under pressure and Caillebotte dropped off. Belgietto took over with about 150m to go and held on well to down General Groove and Daybreak, who ran another consistent race. It was Belgietto’s first win since late 2010. Santiago held on okay for fourth. A few of them didn’t handle the track.

Follow: with due respect, leave this race alone.Specials for the meeting: Spirit Song, Bel Thor, Consorting, Pin Your Hopes.

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Royal Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st                     Valentia                                   Tommy Berry 2 nd                     Mr Bogart                               Damien Oliver 3 rd                    Modoc                                     Blake Shinn

Race 1 was the Skyline Stakes and, Zizumba missed the start, together with Gold Force, although Gold Force recovered quickly to go up along the fence into second or third early.  Guilani led, off the fence, from Gold Force, with Valentia who jumped well settling in third.  When they came to the turn, Guilani and Gold Force were level pegging in front, with Valenita camped on them ready to strike in third.  When they turned for home and then topped the rise, Valentia had claimed the two leaders.  Gold Force was immediately beaten, and it was up to Modoc down the outside to chase Valentia.  Valentia safely held them in the run to the line with Mr Bogart turning in a good effort, getting past Modoc into second place in the concluding stages.

Follow: Mr Bogart

Race 2

1 st                     Believe Yourself                      Jason Collett 2 nd                    Twirl                                      Nash Rawiller 3 rd                     Tetsuko                                 Brenton Avdulla

The Sweet Embrace was race 2 on the card and it was a pretty good start with Stratical coming across from out wide to lead, and bringing Twirl across with it who sat second about a length and a half off the leader.  Tetsuko got a nice run in fourth.  Puzzle got up along the fence which put Occitan out three wide.  Miss Interiors was moving up around them even wider.  Topping the rise there was a line of horses, with Twil looking like she was sprinting the best and she found the front soon after.  Believe Yourself, Press Report and Tetsuko were the chasers, with Believe Yourself doing the best of those and nailing Twirl with about three strides to go.  Tetsuko held off Press Report for third, and Miss Interiors ran a credible race after taking off wide before the turn and running even wider around the turn.

Follow: Miss Interiors

Race 3

1 st                     Junoob                                   James McDonald 2 nd                    Opinion                                  Jim Cassidy 3 rd                     The Offer                                Adam Hyeronimus

The stayers went around in race 3 with Margins coming out a bit slowly and going back to last. On the other hand, Tremec was ridden to lead and did so, with Junoob ridden a lot closer today, settling second. Vaquera was getting a nice run third on the fence, and then there was a break to OpinionThe Offer took off three wide mid race to get closer to the action, but ended up having to stay wide.  Around the turn, Tremec still had it, but Junoob was threatening big danger, and those behind the two leaders were all ridden along. In the straight it was a complete one act affair with Junoob coming away to win by about 5 lengths.  It was a three way go for second and third with Opinion just getting there over The Offer and Bayrir.

Follow: Junoob is a class above these

Race 4

1 st                     Diamond Drille                       Tim Clark 2 nd                    Mahara                                 Glen Boss 3 rd                     Danesiri                                Jason Collett

Danesiri missed the kick in the fourth and Mahara was not all that good to begin either, along with Express PowerPorcellanus came across from out wide to lead them up from Capital Commander in the early piece.  Any Day Will Do was back on the fence, and Forever Loved was caught out wide so she went up outside the leader to get in closer to the fence.  After its average beginning, Mahara was still caught out wide and well back.  At the 600m mark, the runs started to come with Capital Commander out three wide and Intimate Moment four wide. Behind those, Mahara had commenced a move about four wide and Danesiri came around it from the back.  Intimate Moment struck the front topping the rise, but had Mahara coming it and it Danesiri looking some chance down the outside. Mahara forged clear, but the fresh horse on the scene that didn’t take off early was Diamond Drille and she got over the top of them at the end to score.  Full credit to the second and third horses here for brave efforts, but Tim Clark simply out rode them on the winner.

Follow: Mahara

Race 5

1 st                     Villa Verde                              James McDonald 2 nd                    Snitzerland                             Brenton Avdulla 3 rd                     Famous Seamus                    Tim Clark

The Challenge Stakes was race five, and it brought together a good field, which included the return to racing of Buffering.  He was definitely ready to race, and he drove through along the inside to lead, after initially being beaten out of the gates by Whittington.  Those two paired off to lead from Snitzerland who looked ot be trapped out three wide, with Tiger Tees back on the fence in fourth.  They were in the straight before you knew it, and it was Whittington and Buffering being claimed by Snitzerland, but just as she looked the winner, you could see Villa Verde getting into the clear and finished best to outgun a game Snitzerland. It was a line up for third, with Famous Seamus taking it on the line.  I would expect both Buffering and Sessions to improve from their runs here, and Snitzerland lost no admirers.  The winner has always had potential and it was good to see her deliver it here.

Follow: Villa Verde might put it all together now

Race 6

1 st                     A Time For Julia                     Blake Shinn 2 nd                    Lilluburlero                             Nash Rawiller 3 rd                     Recoinage                             Jason Collett

Race 6 was a tribute to Roy Higgins, and A Time For Julia was sent out the punters elect, and didn’t let them down.  She came out well along with Melioraand Recoinage.  It was Meliora who showed the most toe to lead early with Lilliburlero going up along her inside.  This gave Angel Bee and Pentasia gun runs behind the speed in third and fourth.  A Time For Julia had now snagged back into the second half of the field.  Up the rise, Rawiller was off on Lilliburlero and soon after looked set for victory.  A Time For Julia had other ideas though and she wound up with a very strong run down the outside and went on to win.  Lilliburlero did well in second and upon reflection, the jockey may have gone a touch too soon.  Recoinage ran another good race in third, with Single Style finding the line nicely down the outside also.  Avoid Lightning was one of the runs of the race, not finding much clear running, and may have in fact tested the first two home with more luck.

Follow: A Time For Julia, Avoid Lightning

Race 7

1 st                     Dissident                                 Jim Cassidy 2 nd                    El Roca                                   Hugh Bowman 3 rd                     Eurozone                                Glen Boss

The Randwick Guineas was a cracking line up of three-year-olds, with Show The World coming out of the stalls badly, and Teronado also jibbing a bit and going back near last in the early part.  Romantic Touch came across from the deep to lead Dissident with El Roca settling third.  Atlante got a nice trail in fourth a few lengths behind the leading three. Mid race, Dissident kicked up along the inside of Romantic Touch to assume control, which then gave El Roca a lovely trail in fourth.  Coming past the 600m mark, Eurozone was off around them three wide with a run, with Savvy Nature tracking him up, and Criterion and Bull Point were pulled widest around the turn to try and comg into it. Topping the rise, Dissident had it, with El Roca threatening big danger on the outside and Eurozone trying to get the pair.  Hooked was also doing his best on the inside but couldn’t quite get there.  At about the 100m mark, El Roca looked to hit the front, but ran in on Dissident and came off second best, with Dissident digging in to hold a margin on the line.  Eurozone was ok in third given it took off wide, and Teronado ate up the ground late into fourth.  Savvy Nature and Criterion will be better horses over further, so based on that they ground away ok in the straight after also being very wide on the turn.  The one who didn’t seem to make the grade here was Koroibete who had a nice run midfield but finished well back.

Follow: Teronado

Race 8

1 st                     Appearance                           Kerrin McEvoy 2 nd                    Not Listenin’tome                   James McDonald 3 rd                     Red Tracer                            Nash Rawiller

The second Group 1 of the day was The Canterbury Stakes and Rain Affair showed his blistering pace to go straight to the lead.  Red Tracer didn’t begin all that well and went back into the field.  Rain Affair was let go by the time they came to the 800m mark and he had about a 5 length break from Not Listenin’tome, with Zoustar on his inside over racing. Up the rise and down to the 200m mark Rain Affair still had it, but he ran in sharply towards the fence, indicating that he had had enough, and you could see both Appearance and Red Tracing coming with big runs down the outside, along with Not Listenin’tome who was also putting in.  The run that Appearance came with was the biggest of the three and she came on for yet another impressive Group 1 victory.  She has to be considered one of the best horses racing in Australia.  The run of Notlistenin’tome was full of merit and he can definitely be considered a Group 1 contender, and Red Tracer tried her heart out as she always does but was not good enough today.  In regards to her however it is fair to say that her slower start wasn’t ideal.  Sacred Falls ran well in fourth after saving ground on the inside.  Zoustar never looked comfortable today, but has been so impressive previously that you would be foolish to sack him yet, I do note however that he was reported to have pulled up sore.

Follow: Not Listenin’tome will win a Group 1

Race 9 1 st                     Shamalia                                  Glyn Schofield 2 nd                    Sidestep                                  Kerrin McEvoy 3 rd                     Boss Lane                               Sam Clipperton

Open Book pinged from an outside gate and got across to lead clearly, although the jockey was clearly not wanting to come all the way across to the fence which meant Glenbawn Dame and Cosmic Endeavour kicked up along its inside and it was basically then a line of three heading towards the home turn.  Around the turn and into the straight, Open Book had it from Boss Lane, and in behind those you could see Shamalia desperate for a run.  Diamond Oasis and Sidestep were winding up down the outside as they topped the rise.  Boss Lane hit the front, but Shamalia found the run and burst through to claim the lead with Sidestep trying to pick it up.  Shamalia dug in for the fight and managed to hold off Sidestep. Boss Lane held third from the fast finishing Flight Academy who didn’t have the clearest running in the straight and would have run third if not closer with more luck.

Follow: Flight Academy

Specials from the meeting: Mahara, Avoid Lightning, Flight Academy