2 MOUNT ZERO David Hayes Steven King $4.80
3 MIDNIGHT RULE Peter G Moody Craig Newitt $6
The moment the market opened for this even the money came for Safeguard and if you followed the plunge it was a painless collect. Safeguard jumped straight to the front, controlled the race and recorded a quick time. He will be winning better races. The filly Mount Zero out of Northern Meteor also ran well and should be winning next start. Midnight Rule and Weinholt ran respectable times.
Worth Noting: The Snowden camp consistently produces ready made 2 year olds. I also suggest following Northern Meteor bred 2 year olds.
Race 2 – 1:20PM Bitalli Handicap (2550 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 2:43.31 Last 600m: 0:33.90
1 YOU THINK SO Michael Kent Adam McCabe (a2) $3.80F
2 CRAFTY CRUISER Bryce Stanaway Ben Melham $8
3 APRES Clinton McDonald Nicholas Hall $5.50
You Think So found a new role leading the field in a very slow gallop. Waratone normally drops out the back but found himself sitting second early and over racing with his mouth wide open. Crafty Cruiser box seated on the fence and settled well. Adam McCabe did a great job in holding You Think So together until the 200m where he gave him a crack with the whip and he responded well. Crafty Cruiser tried hard and got within a long neck on the line. Apres and Module worked home well along the fence but were never a hope of catching the leaders in a sit and sprint.
Worth Noting: You Think So is racing well and heads to the Bagot Handicap on New Year’s Day.
Race 3 – 2:00PM Skipton Handicap (1630 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 1:36.81 Last 600m: 0:34.63
1 FAST AND FREE Mick Price Craig Newitt $3.80F
2 QUICK SHAKES Simon Morrish Brad Rawiller $7.50
3 SPECKIE David Hayes Steven King $4
Quick Shakes and Fast And Free ran the field along at a good tempo and were 5 lengths clear of the third horse around the turn. Although they had a big lead the sectionals suggest they were not going too hard. They were both held together until the 300m where Fast And Free took the lead and started to draw away. Quick Shakes fought on well to hold second from Speckie who ran on well but couldn’t bridge the gap. Oriental Ruby made steady ground from the back and ran slightly better sections than Speckie.
Worth Noting: Great ride by Craig Newitt who rode exactly to instructions.
Race 4 – 2:40PM Red Tempo Handicap (1000 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 0:57.14 Last 600m: 0:33.00
1 BELTROIS Robbie Griffiths Ryan Maloney $21
2 GO THE KNUCKLE Robert Smerdon Nicholas Hall $2.40F
3 HOTHAM HEIGHTS Luke Oliver Brad Rawiller $4.80
The Soldier ran them along and gave them something to catch with Winter King leading the chase. Go The Knuckle took a long time to wind up but was making ground out wide. Hotham Heights and Beltrois were both searching for runs along the inside and in a four way finish Beltrois dived through the pack to win, but jubilation quickly turned to despair for connections as he crashed to the turf having fractured his shoulder three steps after the line. Ryan Maloney was taken to hospital with a wrist injury and Beltrois was sadly euthanased as his injuries were too severe for him to be saved.
Worth Noting: A tragic end to a close race.
Race 5 – 3:20PM Spotless Handicap (1420 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 1:23.70 Last 600m: 0:34.18
1 BENENDEN Anthony Freedman Andrew Stead (a2) $4.80F
2 QUICKSILVER LASS Tony Noonan Jake Noonan (a1.5) $7
3 GRAVE Peter Snowden Nicholas Hall $10
Quicksilver Lass and Benenden were both caught three wide the trip but travelled well and looked like fighting out the finish as they straightened. A good ride by both apprentices as they didn’t panic and kept them sliding forward throughout, held them together until the 250m where Benenden got the upper hand to notch up another win. Grave was well supported late on track and found the line nicely for third. Baremin raced without much room in the straight and Danish Whiskey made good ground late.
Worth Noting: Benenden continues to race well and will keep winning against this grade.
Race 6 – 4:00PM Spotless Plate (1420 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 1:23.64 Last 600m: 0:34.11
1 FUTURE SOLUTION Kane Harris Daniel Stackhouse $8.50
2 LONE COMMAND M,W & J Hawkes Brad Rawiller $9
3 LORD OF BRAZIL Darren Weir Thomas Sadler (a3) $4.60F
Little Boy Blue was ridden out of the gates to take the lead and set up a good pace. Over Quota worked across to sit second which ensured the tempo remained steady. Under the Eiffel and Lord of Brazil got well back and were in traffic around the turn. Lone Command and Future Solution found the same spot in the three wide running line that 1st and 2nd came from in the previous race. They went on to fight it out in the straight with Future Solution recording a strong win. Lord of Brazil was in traffic until the 300m and missed the boat but wound up late to grab 3rd.
Worth Noting: You can find value in following horses running 3rd up that perform below their average 2nd up.
Race 7 – 4:40PM Comic Court Handicap (2000 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 1:59.28 Last 600m: 0:36.14
1 KEEP COOL Danny O’Brien Damian Lane (a1.5) $9.00
2 TUSCAN FIRE Dan O’Sullivan Damien Thornton (a3) $4.60
3 ELUSIVE KING Peter G Moody Brad Rawiller $6.00
Tuscan Fire won the start and went straight to the lead. King’s A Star did a stack of work early and eventually crossed to sit 2nd. Keep Cool box seated and had the run of the race. Tuscan Fire was under siege early in the straight as Keep Cool came off his back to issue a challenge. Elusive King saved ground along the fence to peel off their backs and put in his run. Tuscan Fire fought all the way to the line but couldn’t withhold Keep Cool after he enjoyed a softer run in transit. Elusive King gradually made ground all the way to the line.
Worth Noting: It was a tough performance by Tuscan Fire who set the early tempo many lengths above the recent average for the track and distance. Great ride by Damian Lane who officially out rode his city claim.
Race 8 – 5:20PM Fiesta Star Handicap (1200 METRES)
Track Condition:Good 3 Time: 1:09.15 Last 600m: 0:34.07
1 GIG Peter Snowden Vlad Duric $8.00
2 AL ANEED Mick Price Craig Newitt $5.50F
3 TACKLEBERRY Allison Sheehan Daniel Moor $6.50
Mr Obvious and Motorised led the field down the straight for the last event. Gig sat behind them with cover and had Tackleberry on his outside. Al Aneed who was backed in from $9 to start the $5.50 favourite was buried at the back of the pack in the early stages. Gig took the lead at the 300m and Al Aneed got out in plenty of time to come with his run. Al Aneed looked likely to win at the clock tower but Gig was too quick for him over the 1200m and held him on the line to score by 3/4 of a length.
Worth Noting: The betting plunge on Al Aneed almost came off but Vlad Duric produced another gem of a ride down the straight to pinch the break on Gig.
2nd Harada Bay Hugh Bowman
3rd That’s A Good Idea Glyn Schofield
Follow: The winner is obviously pretty good
1st Babel Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Princess Layla James McDonald
3rd Mosse Diva Glyn Schofield
Leviosa, Sastruga and Choice Words all began well, with Choice Words taking up the lead from Princess Layla that moved to second. He tried to put the brakes on with Choice Words which crowded the field up a bit at the 800m. The eventual winner Babel got a lovely run on the fence just behind the speed and took a run in the straight big enough to drive a train through. The sprinting effort of Babel in the straight was good but it was entitled to do this after such an easy run. Princess Layla did her best to go with Babel but was not good enough and Mosse Diva and Berimilla performed ok in third and fourth. Choice Words should not start favourite again soon based on this effort.
1st Twilight Royale Brenton Avdulla
2nd Market Talk Tommy Berry
3rd Sweet Kiss Peter Robl
Sweet Kiss led briefly but Market Talk kicked up inside of it to lead. Around the turn, Sweet Kiss had again reclaimed the lead and showed some turn of foot to set up length or so break but Twilight Royale had been stalking the speed before the turn and did what the previous two winners did which was use an easier run in transit to claim victory in the straight. The debut run of Fuerza was excellent, not just because it made late ground, but it started its run forward from before the home turn and sustained it all the way to the line. This horse clearly will win races. Standard Bearer which was in the market was given a cold by Fuerza when it went past it, and Chasing Charlie got very tired in the straight.
1st River Of Salvation Sam Clipperton
2nd Baltra Peter Robl
3rd Bereft Josh Parr
Startreuss knuckled a bit at the start but was let run and went to a clear lead, from the odds on favourite Baltra. River Of Salvation got the same run on the fence that we saw Babel get in the previous. Around the turn, Startreuss left the fence which gave River Of Salvation the run, and as Mark Sheehan observed the favourite was in a bit of “froth and bubble”. To the credit of Baltra it did stick on quite well and ran second, and can win at this level in future. The two Snowden Runners Bereft and The Owl were the two making up ground in the run to the line, and in particular I think The Owl is worth following. The early leader Startreuss stopped badly and is a horse with problems I would say.
Follow: Baltra, The Owl
1st Angelus Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Court Connection Hugh Bowman
3rd Brightest Rod Quinn
Court Connection led them early but as they went to the back straight Lucripetous which had been wide was let stride to the front. Lucripetous is a horse that has not any luck of late and the early effort told here. Coming to the 400m he was still in front but being put under pressure as Court Connection went up on its outside. As they straightened, Angelus was also on the scene with its run and Lucripetous had run it race. Brightest tried to run on from the back as did Fortunefivehundred, with Brightest doing the best job of that to run third. A search party was sent out to look for Lucripetous and Fortunefivehundred who were both disappointing in the run home even allowing for the run Lucripetous had early.
Follow: None to follow
1st All Legal Glyn Schofield
2nd Alma’s Fury Blake Shinn
3rd Darci Be Good Nathan Berry
A big field in The Villers and Galah was not all that well served at the start and immediately was in a less than favourable position well back on the fence. Holy Moly which bled in the event led them up from Merlin Mustang, with Darci Be Good caught three wide. In the straight it was the outside brigade that moved up to claim the lead, with All Legal narrowly getting home from Alma’s Fury. The effort of Darci Be Good to be on the speed and wide the whole way and still be there to claim third was a very good effort. It’s the sort of race you are best to try and have a look at the replay of as there were no doubt some runners without a lot of room and some caught wide. I’m happy enough to say there was no better run of the beaten horses than Darci Be Good however. Monton certainly went well enough given the 59kgs.
Follow: Darci Be Good
1st Disciple Corey Brown
2nd San Zaim S Lisnyy
3rd Triple Six Hugh Bowman
At The Crease was the one that missed it here and Ferment, who found some support late in betting took up the early lead, from The Great Snowman and San Zaim getting a good run behind them. Disciple got the gun run of the race fourth on the fence and got the lovely split in the straight that we saw some earlier winners get. Despite a betting drift, Disciple sprinted well for a clear victory. Triple Six was about the only horse from back in the field to raise a run on effort in the straight. All credit with the winner here, albeit off a soft run in transit.
Follow: Triple Six
2nd Bound To Blush James McDonald
3rd Riva De Lago Corey Brown