Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m)

1st Afleet Esprit – Damien Oliver 2nd Lumosty – Craig Williams 3rd Sabatini – Nick Hall

Top Dolly took up the running about six horses off the fence ahead of Traveston Girl and Abesha to her inside. They held over a length to Pienkna and Sunset Rock. The rest we in a bunch led by White House Lady, Avanti was widest on the track. Top Dolly was under pressure just inside the 400m and the stablemates Traveston Girl and Pienkna were first to go out after her. Sabatini started to close and was hampered a bit by Pienkna running out, in turnLumosty had to work to hold her place between Sabatini and Afleet Esprit, who was starting her run down the outside. More Radiant couldn’t sprint with them and went back inside Pienkna. The race changed complexion quickly with Afleet Esprit and Lumosty sweeping up to head Sabatini and the weakening Top Dolly. Traveston Girl was boxing on fairly and Avanti, who was also checked just before the 200m, charged home late ahead of a slightly disappointing More Radiant. Afleet Esprit and Lumosty cleared right out and perhaps race fitness was the difference between the two. Sabatini was comfortably held by the first two but showed her Quezette win was no fluke.

Follow: Lumosty was excellent first-up and a win isn’t far off, Avanti had no luck.

Race 2: Girls’ Day Out Handicap (2000m)

1st Who Shot Thebarman – Glen Boss 2nd Jacquinot Bay – Nick Hall 3rd Prizum – Katelyn Mallyon

Marksmanship was first out and had a bit of company for the early lead with Goldoni holding his place on the fence, Masked Marvel out three wide and Lord Durante even wider. Livery and Who Shot Thebarman worked in behind that quartet followed by Jacquinot Bay outside of Trade Commissioner. Eventually Marksmanship crossed to the fence and Lord Durante sat outside but both had dome some work passing the 1400m. They didn’t get much of a breather up front as Masked Marvel made a move about 800m out and strode up to join them nearing the turn. This gave Who Shot Thebarman a trail into the race and Jacquinot Bay got onto his back. Goldoni was gone on the turn and Livery was tapped up to stay with them. Trade Commissioner went back to the inside but was very one paced. Who Shot Thebarman chimed in about 300m out and went straight past Lord Durante and Marksmanship who were going up and down in the one spot. Jacquinot Bay peeled off his back but couldn’t go with him and Prizum and Zabeelionaire were running on behind them. Who Shot Thebarman asserted his class late and stretched a couple clear. Even effort from Jacquinot Bay and Prizum ran on well as he usually does but the winner was dominant with 60kg.

Follow: Who Shot Thebarman appreciated a better track and the 2000m and is a cut above this class, whether he’s a Cups horse remains to be seen.

Race 3: Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m)

1st Brambles – Chad Schofield 2nd Big Memory – Glyn Schofield 3rd Signoff – Ben Melham

Longeron headed straight to the lead after jumping clearly in front. Big Memory was prominent from the inside gate and Brambles strode up to sit a clear second, ahead of Beyond Thankful. Signoff landed midfield outsideOminous and Prince Of Penzance had his stablemate’e back with Bass Strait next. Longeron strode a few lengths clear midrace leaving Brambles to do the chasing and he moved up to join the leader on the turn. Beyond Thankful was first under pressure and Big Memory waited behind Longeron for a run. Signoff eased out to run on and was a little flat footed. Brambles didn’t get past Longeron until the 200m and by that stage Big Memory had come across his heels to loom up. Beyond Thankful was sticking on gamely and Signoff started to warm up. Nothing else made ground from behind him with Bass Strait and Prince Of Penzance just whacking away. Brambles was a sitting shot but kept fighting on and just had enough in hand to deny Big Memory, perhaps race fitness being the difference again but a well deserved. Signoff just nabbed Beyond Thankful for third and Longeron just missed out as well in a game effort. Disappointed with Prince Of Penzance but give him one more look. Follow: Big Memory is a consistent middle distance performer and he’ll win races. Signoff improved second-up.

Race 4: Living Legends Stakes (1400m)

1st Merion – Steven Arnold 2nd Chivalry – Glen Boss 3rd Zebulon – Stephen Baster

Zebulon was a shade slow and was dragged back to a clear last. About half a dozen vying for the early lead with Forgive And Forget trying to cross from out wide but Turfane kicked up to hold the fence and Zululand split them.Moonovermanhattan dropped back for a trail and Merion landed in the clear next. Fast Cash settled a lot closer this time and Divan found himself stuck three wide. Chivalry settled with two behind him. Turfane led into the straight and Zululand got to him but was under pressure. Moonovermanhattan took a gap between them. Out wider Forgive And Forget was feeling the hard run and Merion and Chivalry started to chime in. They got to Moonovermanhattan at the 100m with Zebulon closing from last. Merion had about a head advantage at the 50m and just clung on to win from Chivalry and Zebulon was swamping them out wider getting within three quarters of a length. Moonovermanhattan battled on. They were a couple of lengths clear of Silent Whisper running on without threatening and Zululand and Fast Cash were next. Divan was a big flop even though he raced wide, though post race was found to have some mucous.

Follow: Zebulon was outstanding first-up for two months.

Race 5: Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m)

1st Commanding Jewel – Damien Oliver 2nd Dear Demi – Jim Cassidy 3rd Nautical – Mark Zahra

Nautical wasn’t the best out, as she can be, and unsurprisingly Solicit and Gregers paired off in front. Dear Demi was up very close and was third and fourth with Lorna May. Commanding Jewel was trapped three wide in midfield as Viadana eased and Nautical improved. The pace wasn’t hectic so Commanding Jewel strode up to join Solicit and Gregers three wide coming to the turn. Bonaria followed her up and Gig jumped onto her back for a cart home. Dear Demi was suddenly in some traffic. Solicit was the first beaten at the 300m and Gregers momentarily hit the front before Commanding Jewel claimed her and still had a kick. Dear Demi saw some space and she started to hit the line and Nautical got through the pack to loom as a threat. Commanding Jewel was all out at the 50m after the tough run but she held on to score back-to-back wins in this race over a gallant Dear Demi. Bonaria and Gig tried hard to get to Nautical but just failed. Gregers seemingly had every chance but perhaps doesn’t get a strong 1400m and have to mark Solicit down as disappointing. Perhaps she went too slow in front! All honours to the winner who gave them all weight and had a hard run but still won.

Follow: Dear Demi is coming along nicely.

Race 6: Danehill Stakes (1200m)

1st Rich Enuff – Michael Rodd 2nd Looks Like The Cat – Damian Browne 3rd Ghibellines – Steven Arnold

Ghibellines jumped awkwardly and came off second best in a bump with Awesome Rock drawn alongside. Wandjina took up the early running with Brazen Beau not far away on his inside. Galaxy Pegasus settled third, racing with his head very high, and he split Get The Nod and Rich Enuff. Stingray had cover behind them and Looks Like The Cat followed Rich Enuff. Wider out was Moonlight Hussler and Ghibellines and Go Indy Go were near the tail. Brazen Beau got the better of Wandjina but was immediately under pressure as Galaxy Pegasus and Rich Enuff loomed up. Looks Like The Cat got to the outside and Stingray battled away next. Awesome Rock and Ghibellines were running on fairly. The grey Onerous couldn’t be missed as he hung in badly but made sharp ground late. Rich Enuff hit the front 200m out with Looks Like The Cat in pursuit and they kicked away from Ghibellines who ran into third ahead of Brazen Beau and Awesome Rock. Rich Enuff just lasted to beat Looks Like The Cat who was closing steadily. A bunch of five within a length of each other headed by Ghibellines were about four lengths back, highlighted by the run of Onerous and it was another big gap to the rest. Big disappointment was Go Indy Go who was tailed off with the rider saying she felt amiss. Suggest the first two home are a class above the rest at least up to 1400m.

Follow: Looks Like The Cat produced a nice return, Onerous can win something a little easier.

Race 7: Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m)

1st Dissident – Ben Melham 2nd Fawkner – Nick Hall 3rd Puissance De Lune – Brad Rawiller

Spillway was eased back to last early and Green Moon joined him. Fawkner showed plenty of early pace to be handy early until Messene pushed on out wide to find the lead. Dissident moved up to second and the roughie Don Doremo had the fence. Puissance De Lune and Sertorius were the next pair and Boban wasn’t settling and was checked, losing a length or two after about 300m. He wound up inside Super Cool. Messene ran them along and was a couple in front of Dissident midrace and there was about six lengths to Don Doremo and Fawkner. Sertorius eased out three wide a long way from home and Super Cool latched onto his back. Dissident moved alongside Messene on the turn and their break was cut back to a length or so with Fawkner stalking Dissident. Puissance De Lune followed him and Boban made ground inside that bunch and he was on Dissident’s back at the 400m. Dissident went for home at the 300m and was immediately challenged by Fawkner. Boban appeared a threat behind them but when the gap came it was going faster than he was. Puissance De Lune was out in plenty of time and Spillway started to wind up down the outside. Dissident refused to give in as Fawkner tried hard to get his head in front and had his chance but Dissident held on for a massive win. Puissance De Lune was honest in third and Spillway hit the line well. Boban had every chance in the straight and Green Moon and Sertorius were fair. Super Cool is a worry and you wouldn’t be backing him in anything on his run. All honours to Dissident, especially when you consider where Messene finished.

Follow: Spillway is coming along nicely, look for him back in a handicap.

Race 8: Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)

1st Chautauqua – Dwayne Dunn 2nd Temple Of Boom – Tegan Harrison 3rd In Cahoots – Damian Lane

Sistine Demon led in the centre of the track in a very bunched field with Flamberge on his inside. Alma’s Fury and Sea Lord were just in behind them, out wider was British General and Charlie Boy followed, Temple Of Boomwas widest tracked by You’re So Good and closer to the inside were Mister Milton and Tango’s Daughter. Flamberge challenged Sistine Demon at the 400m and Alma’s Fury tried to go with him. Temple Of Boom was travelling well and In Cahoots came off his heels. Chautauqua peeled out as well and he stormed into it quickly. Akavoroun went back towards the middle to make some ground but couldn’t sprint with those out wider. Temple Of Boom may have hit the lead at the clock tower but In Cahoots and Chautauqua were chiming in and Chautauqua showed a great turn of foot and swept past them. Temple Of Boom was brave as always in fighting off In Cahoots and Speediness was motoring home late. Sistine Demon was far from disgraced and he battled on gamely next, look for him at 1400m, and Akavoroun did make ground too. Alma’s Fury gets a pass mark and couldn’t make an excuse for the rest aside from Charlie Boy who pulled up with an issue.

Follow: Chautauqua might be handy, happy to follow the first six home.

Race 9: The Sofitel (1400m)

1st Late Charge – Vlad Duric 2nd Under The Louvre – Nick Hall 3rd Extra Zero – Michael Walker

Great Lane was a clear last out and Thunderbird One eased back from the outside gate. Lord Wimble took up the running with Under The Louvre pressing on to second and Our Hand Of Faith in the box seat. Scapolo over-raced next and Rhythm To Spare enjoyed a good run. Late Charge was stranded three wide around Extra Zero and By The Grace. Lord Wimble led on the turn from Our Hand Of Faith, who got off the inside and put Under The Louvre three wide. Extra Zero and Late Charge were moving up wider and Rhythm To Spare waited for a gap to come behind the leaders. It was almost like a straight race at the 400m with Our Hand Of Faith taking over from Lord Wimble and Under The Louvre challenging with Scapolo on the inside and Extra Zero, Late Charge and Desert Jeuney out very wide running on. Escado also got around their heels to wind up. Under The Louvre hit the front inside the 200m and the only challenger was Late Charge who arrived in the second last stride to score. Extra Zero just tipped out Rhythm To Spare and the fast-finishing Escado for third and Desert Jeuney was close up. Shoreham ran on fairly well from the back and By The Grace and Our Hand Of Faith were a bit ordinary.

Follow: none in particular.

Specials from the meeting: Lumosty, Zebulon, Dear Demi, Onerous.

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Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st                    Villa Splendido                                     Ty Angland 2nd                   Wings                                                  Blake Shinn 3rd                    Sensualism                                          Jason Collett

Magnolia Lane was slow to go in the first and got back to a clear last.  On settling, Sherbet Bomb crossed from out wide to lead and brought Bring A Ring over with it who sat outside the leader. Saintly Pro and Diva Dee got good runs behind the speed.  Britalia Kate was caught wide, Sensualism was also wide but had cover.  Around the turn, the one on the move was Villa Splendido, and by the time the straightened, it was challenging the leaders and still traveling well.  Villa Splendido had the front with 200m to run, with Sensualism and Wings running on down the outside and Magnolia lane making ground along the fence.  Wings was the one who raised the best effort to try and chase Villa Splendido but failed to get there in time, going down by about a head or so. Sensualism ran well in third given its wide run, and More Beautiful closed off well into fourth.

Follow: Wings

Race 2

1st                    Cleansing Ale                                      James McDonald 2nd                   Martian                                                Kerrin McEvoy 3rd                    Nordic Duke                                        Jeff Lloyd

1800m for the second event with Nordic Duke missing the kick.  Specific Choice on the other hand began quickly and ran to the front.  He led them up from Flying Sebring, Ragtime Cowboy Joe and Flying Sebring.  Al Ahmar was caught three wide outside those.  Around the turn, Specific Choice still looked to be going ok, whereas Flying Sebring was being ridden hard to keep in touch.  Specific Choice led them to the 300m mark, but Cleansing Ale was coming with a strong run on the outside and Ragtime Cowboy Joe was trying to get up on the inside.  Flying Cocktailwas also whacking away.  In the run to the line Cleansing Ale kept bobbing and held off the challenge of Martian who raised a good effort in the straight, along with World Wide and Nordic Duke. Martian could be the one to follow out of this, it attacked the line well without completely clear running at times.

Follow: Martian

Race 3

1st                    Turquoise King                                   James McDonald 2nd                   Fare Well                                            Jason Collett 3rd                    Pitt Street                                            Ty Angland

Magic Dallas was slow to go in the third.  It was a good go for the front early with Two Blue crossing to lead from out wide.  Torquoise King got a nice trail in second with Oh So Adorable and Boss Lane occupying third and fourth.  The pace looked pretty good right up to the turn with Two Blue leading them up to the 300m mark and basically stayed there until the 100m where Turquoise King struck the front and held off the finish of Fare Well and Pitt StreetMurder Of Crows also ran on a fairly but was never a threat to the winner.  Weinholt was a bit disappointing in the run to the line as was Woodbine.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1st                    Cluster                                     Tim Clark 2nd                   Bull Point                                Corey Brown 3rd                    Ninth Legion                            James McDonald

The Theo Marks was race four, with Tougher Than Ever taking it up from Ninth Legion.  Laser Hawk missed the kick a bit and then looked to go forward around them and found itself three wide for a bit before Ninth Legion eased for the trail.  Mid way through the race Bull Point was back near the rear keeping Cluster company who was last and on the fence.  After they turned, Ninth Legion struck the front, with Bull Point winding up out wide.  Zephyron and Kirramosa were trying to make ground over near the fence.  At the 200m mark, Cluster started to put in the big strides and went from looking in trouble to looking the winner pretty quickly.  Bull Point tried to go with him but couldn’t.  Cluster looks a very smart horse, but his get back style will always be a bit of a worry for punters.  Jetset Lad did a pretty fair job here in fourth.

Follow: Cluster, Jetset Lad

Race 5

1st                    He’s Your Man                       Hugh Bowman 2nd                   Kingdoms                                Larry Cassidy 3rd                    Deane Martin                          Brenton Avdulla

2000m for The Kingston Town was next and they took a while to sort out a leader.  Eventually Greatwood went clear in front and led from Laidback Larry, with Mr O’Ceirin in third.  La Amistadfound itself in fourth.  Before the turn Greatwood seemed to be going ok in front with Laidback Larry pushed along.  La Amistad was coming wider to be in a striking position on straightening.  He’s Your Man was also rolling into it out wider.  Greatwood kicked clear early in the straight but at the 300m mark it was evident that He’s Your Man was finishing best and looked the winner.  He ran clear, with Kingdoms looking the only challenger.  In the run to the line He’s Your Man had plenty up its sleeve to hold off Kingdoms.  Lucky Chappy and Deane Martin ran on well.  La Amistad was the flop here.  I can’t find an excuse for it after a pretty good run in transit.

Follow: Deane Martin

Race 6

1st                    Catkins                                    Hugh Bowman 2nd                   My Sabeel                               Luke Nolen 3rd                    Neena Rock                             Blake Shinn

Maroon Bay and Echo Gal were best to begin in race 6, with Maroon Bay soon running clear and Echo Gal going up outside of it.  This gave Catkins the gun run in third, and if you took the shorts you were on very good terms with yourself.  Shamalia who had support in betting found itself towards the rear and wide.  Stolen Kisses was having a horror run off the track outside of Catkins. When they turned for home and ran up to the 300m mark, Bowman hadn’t moved on Catkins.  Soon after when asked for an effort she hit top gear, ran clear and it was all over.  This was simply and example of class from the horse and class from the rider.  My Sabeel and Neena Rock both ran well in second and third, and were the best runs out of the beaten horses.

Follow: Catkins, Neena Rock

Race 7

1st                    Hallowed Crown                    Hugh Bowman 2nd                   Scissor Kick                            Ty Angland 3rd                    Shooting To Win                     Tim Clark

The Golden Rose was race 7.  Shooting To Win and Kumaon were the ones who were slow to go.  Ygritte led early from Sniper Fire and Nostradamus along the fence.  Better Land and Alma Lad were not far from the action, with Better Land a little bit wide.  Bring Me The Maid was back midfield and a bit deep.  Scissor Kick was also wide, with Hallowed Crown trailing it up.  In the straight, Scissor Kick, who covered more ground than the early exlorers had the audacity to run to the front.  Nostradamus and Alma Lad were trying hard back on the inside, but then Hallowed Crown was on the scene.  In the run to the line Scissor Kick fought as hard as it could, but the easier run in transit was the difference for Hallowed Crown to just get the job done.  You cannot speak highly enough of the run of Scissor Kick, but having said that I think the winner is also very smart.  Shooting To Win was the other good run.  Bring Me The Maid had its fair share of bad luck but was still a bit disappointing for mine.

Follow: The first 3 home should all win more races

Race 8

1st                    Reflectance                             Blake Shinn 2nd                   Maximilian                              Tim Clark 3rd                    Black Revolver                       Corey Brown

Engagement led them up in the last from Any Day Will Do and IdanceAlias and Reflectance were next.  Masterstroke was back in the field and three wide.  They they came into the straight, Engagement still had it from Any Day Will Do, but Reflectance had been brought out wide into the clear and was running on very well.  At the 200m mark Reflectance had the front and the jockey hadn’t gone for him.  Soon after he had to ask for the effort as Maximilian came with a big charge down the outside.  Reflectance to its credit dug in for the fight and held off Maximilian.  Black Revolver finished its race off pretty well and was about a length away in third.

Follow: Maximilian

Specials from the meeting: Cluster, Martian