Weekend racing reviews – Saturday 25th February

Caulfield review compiled by Rick Williams
Race 1.     2000M    Premier Signs Handicap  ROCK OF AGES     LUKE NOLEN              1st     $2.70F SPIRIT SONG         BRAD RAWILLER         2nd    $2.80 PLACEMENT          KATELYN MALLYON     3rd    $10 Speed map was upside down here as most expected Spirit Song to be the one taking up the running. It was Our Serena that led them throughout with the winner Rock Of Ages who had the sit on her. Once they turned into the straight the leader dropped off and Rock Of Ages kicked away well with Spirit Song chasing and doing her best but she just wasn’t good enough. Worth noting:  Rock Of Ages and Spirit song clearly best Race 2.     1200M    The Champagne Pommery Plate   HOT SPIN             CRAIG WILLIAMS      1st     $3.20F GRASKOP            KERRIN MCEVOY     2nd    $6.50 THE NEW BOY     JAMIE MOTT             3rd     $17 It Is Written jumped well and had enough early speed to keep them at bay. Whilst doing so the drifting favourite Hot Spin found himself in an awkward spot back and on the fence. By the 100m it was pretty clear that It Is Written wasn’t going to see out the 1200m and then the gaps started appearing for Craig Williams on Hot Spin as they seem to do so often. Graskop was coming late also but she was no match for Hot Spin. Worth noting: Funny race, not sure how the form here will stack up. Race 3.     1800M    BMW Caulfield Autumn Classic UPBEAT                BLAKE SHINN      1st     $13 FLASHY FELLA     LISA CROPP        2nd     $101 ETHIOPIA              RHYS MCLEOD    3rd     $26 Upbeat was given a gem of a ride by Blake Shinn and he was just too good for them here. He jumped well and with his fitness he fought the race right out and they were unable to catch him. He is an under rated horse and I under rated him again here. Most of these had a big query at the distance and most of them failed to see it out. Hoylonny worked to the line pretty well as did long shot Flashy Fella and Ethiopia. Worth noting: Forgive the others and follow back in distance. Race 4.     1400M    D’Urban Angus Armanasco Stakes   SHOPAHOLIC    GLEN BOSS        1st     $8 SOFT SAND      DAMIEN OLIVER  2nd    $2.80F CUTE EMILY     CRAIG NEWITT     3rd     $31 Soft Sand was caught wide early and pushed forward working hard around them. Thought that her run was excellent as the rest of the field was entitled to beat her after she did all of the work but they didn’t and she managed to kick away only to be nailed by the winner who enjoyed a gun run. It was Shopaholic’s third win this campaign and she has really come back in excellent form. Twilighting just got too far back from the gate and worked home well also and she is worth keeping an eye on. Worth noting: Hard to miss Soft Sand, Shopaholic, Cute Emily and Twilighting Race 5.     1400M    Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes   KING MUFHASA     NASH RAWILLER    1st     $2.60F PINKER PINKER    CRAIG WILLIAMS     2nd    $3.60 ADAMANTIUM        GLEN BOSS            3rd     $10 With the scratching of Danzylum the race really played into the hands of King Mufhasa. He was able to get himself into a good position and had no pressure at all through the race and was able to kick when he was in the straight and he won well. Pinker Pinker was ridden closer than most probably thought and she battled on well along the fence, she will improve. Adamantium did well to hold on for third and Playing God is looking for further. Worth noting: Pinker Pinker looks to be back in great order Race 6.     1100M    Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate 
WOORIM           DAMIAN BROWNE     1st     $21 ELITE FALLS     CRAIG NEWITT           2nd    $51 FACILE TIGRE   DANNY NIKOLIC         3rd     $26We ended up with a big blanket finish here and two horses flying from last to take out first and second. It was a big effort from Woorim. I wasn’t sure that this was his race but he proved me wrong and did so with a massive finish. The horse looks to be in great order and he is in for a big campaign. Elite Falls was a good 2yo and just didn’t last prep, the O’Shea stable is firing though and she is back. Facile Tigre looked the winner at one stage but he just hit the front too soon and the swoopers nailed him with First Command running into fourth. Plenty of hard luck stories but talking about them here won’t change the result. Worth noting: This race needs lots of reviewing, plenty going on. Race 7.     1200M    Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes SAMAREADY                CRAIG NEWITT       1st     $2.20 NO LOOKING BACK       NASH RAWILLER   2nd    $6.50 ARMED FOR ACTION     CRAIG WILLIAMS   3rd     $26 She looked a class above them in the lead up and she was certainly a class above them again here today Samaready. Everything went to plan with her, she landed in the right spot, got the run at the right time and she was able to show that really good turn of foot to put them away. No Looking Back put in and tried really hard but she was just no match for Samaready nor was Armed for Action who raced super and held on for third at big odds. Not sure any of the rest are much good, some will really improve and some will still be no good over time. Worth noting: Winner is favourite for Golden Slipper, don’t get sucked in and bet early, long way to go. Race 8.     1800M    Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes   LUCAS CRANACH     NASH RAWILLER      1st     $7.50 ILLO                          KERRIN MCEVOY     2nd    $11 MANIGHAR                LUKE NOLEN           3rd     $6 They came for Southern Speed and she started really quite short and her backers lost their money as she battled to the line. The winner was super Lucas Cranach. He was allowed to relax out the back throughout before balancing up in the straight and really letting down well to win. You can’t knock anything that he did and he will only get better as he gets fitter and over further. Manighar fought on well after being caught wide early and the Cummings trained Illo did really well to get home for second. Though it was also a good return from Glass Harmonium who held in well for fourth. Worth noting: Follow the winner, all class. Race 9.     1400M    TBV Mannerism Stakes  HI BELLE                  CRAIG WILLIAMS    1st     $4.80 I’M DISCREET           KERRIN MCEVOY   2nd    $7 SLOW THE FLOW     DAMIEN OLIVER     3rd     $6 Follonica jumped well and was allowed to roll along well in front. When she got to the turn it looked like she may be able to pinch the race but she just found these ones a little too good for her at the 1400m and she ran 4th. Hi Belle enjoyed the good run in behind them and it was pretty clear by the 250m that she was travelling big time and when Williams let her go she put paid to them. She is a very nice mare and can keep progressing. Slow The Flow worked home really well for third, I think this mare is much better on wet ground so if she strikes a wet track any time soon load up. Worth noting: Follow Hi Belle and Slow The Flow (wet)
Rosehill review
By guest reviewer Todd Burmester


Race 1 1st    Dear Demi                  Peter Robl 2nd   Ashokan                     Jim Cassidy 3rd    The Broken Shore       Tom Berry Emperor Of Rome has plenty of pace and led these but has trouble going on with it in the straight and will need a much softer lead than this to be competitive. The Broken Shore sat outside the lead and fought on ok in the straight. The winner, Dear Demi got back out of the speed battle and was ridden well to look for runs up the fence where as Tatra lost its compass on the home turn and came very wide, it was a good run under the circumstances. Ashokan which had missed the start ran on well enough for second. Follow: Tatra Race 2 1st    Laser Hawk             Jim Cassidy 2nd   Said Com                Glyn Schofield 3rd    Merlin Mustang        Brenton Avdulla This was a classic example of where tactical speed makes the difference. Laser Hawk got a fairly easy time of it in front where as Said Com the other favourite in the race was back last. Laser Hawk also had the services of Jim Cassidy and it was evident on the home turn that everything behind him was in trouble. Said Com ran on well but was never going to get there whilst Merlin Mustang whacked away for third and can win a race like this. Nothing else made ground. Follow: Merlin Mustang Race 3 1st    My Vegas        Andrew Stead 2nd   Potions            Joao Moreira 3rd    La Remlap       Chad Schofield Battle Ready missed the kick a few lengths which it has done previously – horses with bad barrier manners are never a good bet. Mighty Obvious came out running and led this race. Somewhat surprisingly La Remlap got back to midfield today after going a thousand miles an hour last start. Shamus sat outside the lead ensuring there was a decent pace which set it up nicely for the eventual winner My Vegas, who was ridden very patiently. My Vegas doesn’t win out of turn but probably has more ability than this field and that showed in the end. Potions looked in trouble finding a run early in the straight but snuck through along the fence late to just be beaten, she was probably the unlucky runner if any. La Remlap ran well but I prefer it to be in front. Shamus was the disappointing runner for mine. Follow: Potions, La Remlap Race 4 1st    Single              Nathan Berry 2nd   Maules Creek   Joao Moreira 3rd    Permit             Andrew Stead Single got an easy run in about sixth on the fence and was clearly superior here. I liked the way it took the run and accelerated in the straight. Its possibly capable of winning a bigger race. Fill the Page led from Thumbtacks until about the 300m when Maules Creek briefly looked the winner but once Single was through the run it was all over. Permit ran well coming from last at the 600m to run third. Merchandise was working to the line ok under its own steam and continues to be a horse to follow. Follow: Single, Permit, Merchandise Race 5 1st    No Evidence Needed    Joao Moreira 2nd   Neeson                       Peter Robl 3rd    Secret Admirer            Brenton Avdulla Neeson got its own way in front here with the eventual winner, No Evidence Needed getting a cushy run in the fence behind it. Secret Admirer got well back as expected. In the straight No Evidence Needed made good use of the easy run it had and sprinted well along the fence for a good win, she could be in for a good campaign. Secret Admirer finished off her race well without looking like winning but will certainly improve for the run. Latin News found plenty of support in the betting ring and got a nice run one out one back but was not up to the task in the straight. He’s becoming costly and goes into the sack book. Follow: Secret Admirer Race 6 1st    Rain Affair        Corey Brown 2nd   Shoot Out        Hugh Bowman 3rd    Danleigh          Jim Cassidy Rain Affair was rated very well by Corey Brown. He used his gate speed to again find the front but didn’t get out with a big lead today with the only question mark being how he would run out the 1400m. That question was answered at the 300m mark when he sprinted well clear. Shoot Out and Danleigh ran very well to run into second and third but were never a threat to the winner, while Herculian Prince ran a cracker first up at massive odds. Follow: Shoot Out, Herculian Prince (later on) Race 7 1st    Dystopia             Glyn Schofield 2nd   Alberton Park      Corey Brown 3rd    Ofcourseican       Hugh Bowman As a number of winners did on the day, Dystopia took advantage of an easy run on the fence behind the leader. She hit the front early in the straight and looked set to win easily enough. Late in the race however she walked to the line and Alberton Park and Ofcourseican got very close. These three gapped the rest including Cabernet who was disappointing today. Follow: Alberton Park, Ofcourseican Race 8 1st    Fontelina       Peter Robl 2nd   Romanus       Sam Clipperton 3rd    Zedlion          Kathy O’Hara Mr Bolinger led this race at a fairly good speed but he gave up in the straight. Olinoor was also on the speed and fought on better than Mr Bolinger but it was those coming from back in the field that were the ones there at the business end of things. The winner, Fontelina came with a very good sprint which he maintained to the line although chased by Romanus late. Romanus seems to be always running on and you have to be good to catch it on its day for a win. Zedlion made up the placings, also running on fairly well. Back in the pack, Delago Star could be seen making pretty good ground at its first run back from a spell. I had expected more from Think Mink after its impressive win last start, and now I am unsure what to make of it. Follow: Fontelina