Caulfield review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Grand Hotel Frankston Handicap (1400m)

1st Affirmation – Mark Zahra
2nd Club Star – Linda Meech
3rd Our Kaboom – Jye McNeil

Our Kaboom was clearly best out while Lucques stepped slowly. Berlutti hurried across to join Our Kaboom in the lead with Club Star landing third. Get Ya Kicks was held working four wide by Domino VitaleRed Letter Day andShazaconi while Affirmation settled a couple of lengths away. The pace dropped right off coming to the 800m and the field bunched quickly, Club Star didn’t appear to like it and he threw the head around. Our Kaboom slowed them right down and Berlutti looked to be pulling while Red Letter Day strode up three wide. Club Star was in all sorts of trouble between horses while Affirmation crept closer just to his outside. Affirmation was the first under pressure when the sprint went on then Get Ya Kicks dropped off. Berlutti looked as though he’d go straight past Our Kaboom at the 300m but found nothing. Club Star finally got some clear running and set out after them, Red Letter Day struggled (later found to have bled) and Affirmation started to warm up. Club Star hit the lead soon after but Affirmation claimed him and put three lengths on him before easing up for a soft win. Nice horse. Our Kaboom held out Berlutti but they were safely held. Slowing up so suddenly probably didn’t help them in hindsight. Cameo Kiss made a little late ground but she’s not up to this grade.

Follow: Affirmation is very promising and Club Star wasn’t disgraced. 

Race 2: Myrtle Lineham Centenary Plate (1400m)

1st Baron Archer – Ben Melham
2nd Running Bull – Stephen Baster
3rd Yesterday’s Songs – Glen Boss

Copernicus showed good early speed to lead Running Bull who worked up to his outside. Baron Archer held the fence inside Red Samurai before Magnus Lad strode around them wider. Pyrrolic was next pushing Tommy’s Pride out of the way and Amovatio was on their back. Yesterday’s Songs settled in the last few. Copernicus kept them moving but Running Bull stayed right with him as Magnus Lad started to struggle. Baron Archer eased off their back coming to the turn and got into the clear. Tommy’s Pride tried to improve and Yesterday’s Songs got onto his back while Pyrrolic stayed closer to the inside. Running Bull went for home about 200m out and Baron Archer slowly closed in. Yesterday’s Songs wanted to lay in badly when making up ground which caused problems for Tommy’s Pride while Pyrrolic whacked away to their inside. Baron Archer stretched his big neck out in the last few strides to remain unbeaten. Running Bull was game and Yesterday’s Songs kept running on, missing that run a few weeks back might have been costly. Pyrrolic was just fair and Amovatio made a little ground but was never a threat. Tommy’s Pride wasn’t disgraced.

Follow: could be a good form race – Yesterday’s Songs has scope for improvement.

Race 3: mypunter Handicap (2400m)

1st Self Sense – Noel Callow
2nd Wanna Dance – Dean Yendall
3rd Pharrell – Steven King

Pharrell was left in front at the post the first time from Heavenly Spell, who threw itself down in the gates and was vetted but allowed to start, with Wanna Dance and They Call Me Lisa handy. Henning raced in the clear next.Welcome Invader was a couple of lengths back and Self Sense settled midfield. Pharrell had his own way in front racing more than a length clear and the order didn’t change for a long way as he stacked them up. Two Hats was the first to make a move before the 800m and that flushed Henning out and They Call Me Lisa. The move gave Self Sense a cart into the race and he put himself up four deep at the 600m. Wanna Dance was held up on the fence behind them. Pharrell sprinted around the turn and They Call Me Lisa went with him. Self Sense was a bit flat footed at that point as Heavenly Spell and Henning started to weaken. Wanna Dance railed up and ran on well. Pharrell saw off they Call Me Lisa at the 100m but Self Sense and Wanna Dance were coming strongly. Self Sense arrived in time and Wanna Dance got up for second ahead of Pharrell, who you’d have to say doesn’t run 2400m after getting a picnic in front. They Call Me Lisa battled on for fourth and they got a fair way ahead of the rest.

Follow: none, but merit in the winner with 60kg.

Race 4: Chris Flavelle Handicap (1200m)

1st Sino Eagle – Linda Meech
2nd Aces And Angels – Craig Newitt
3rd Forgeress – Kayla Nisbet

Headless and Dashing Shadow disputed the early lead with Sino Eagle dropping in for a trail. Aces And Angels railed up behind the leaders but over raced and Johannapine and Delta Whiskey were next. The rest of the field were in a bunch and among them Kristy Lee ended up second last. Dashing Shadow won the battle for the lead and Headless stayed with her. Sino Eagle stalked them and eased out three wide on the turn. Aces And Angels was badly held up for a run and had to wait until Sino Eagle sprinted away before getting into the clear. Johannapine battled and Forgeress sailed down the outside into a placing in a good effort after striking early trouble. Headless held on okay behind them from Winta Chiller who didn’t have the best time in the race. Kristy Lee beat one home and she was never travelling at all. Best to overlook that if she goes straight back to Sydney and be wary if she stays in Melbourne.

Follow: stay with Sino Eagle.

Race 5: Bletchingly Stakes (1200m)

1st Thiamandi – Michael Rodd
2nd Gig – Vlad Duric
3rd Nearest To Pin – Nick Hall

Lord Of The Sky jumped well and led early but didn’t make an attempt to cross to the fence. Thiamandi kicked up to keep him wide and Le Bonsir was ridden hard early to rail up underneath them. Nearest To Pin settled just off them with Ready To Rip. Lord Of The Sky was kept working until the 800m when Thiamandi eased to trail them. Le Bonsir held him out and led narrowly coming to the turn. Thiamandi was bolting behind them and Nearest To Pin moved by the struggling Rain Fast. Ready To Rip looked to have something to give and Gig was being stoked up at the tail. Lord Of The Sky put the pressure on Le Bonsir rounding the turn but no sooner did he poke his head in front when Thiamandi sprinted past him like he was tied to the fence. Ready To Rip momentarily got past Nearest To Pin but his run was short lived and Gig hit the line strongly out wide. Thiamandi was already home and hosed and hats off to Michael Rodd for a clever ride. Gig ran on well as she always does and Nearest To Pin ran his usual honest race. Lord Of The Sky ran fourth and on face value you’d have to say he had every chance and no excuses. Can’t work out why his pace wasn’t used to burn them off early. Le Bonsir may have had enough this prep.

Follow: none.

Race 6: Champagne Pommery Masters (1200m)

1st Jemerica – Damian Thornton
2nd Paddy’s Gem – Jess Payne
3rd Hot Mama – Jye McNeil

Street Allure reared in the gates before the jump and when they did she leapt in the air and almost threw Harry Coffey. Lost all chance. Jemerica flew out from the outside alley and went straight to the fence and led easily. Hot Mamaand Paddy’s Gem settled handy and Copper got a trail behind them. Niminypiminy raced around her and Whistle Baby on the fence. So Hasty and Just Too Hard were in that bunch as well. Street Allure made it to second last on the turn. Niminypiminy rushed up to second before the bend and that shuffled Paddy’s Gem back a pair. Jemerica was still a couple in front at the 300m and showed no signs of stopping. Hot Mama tried hard and Paddy’s Gem ran home strongly, Copper tried to go with her but wasn’t up to it. Nothing else really hit the line with any gusto, Just Too Hard was fair late. So Hasty was held up a bit in the straight so assess her next time. Jemerica was just too fast. Obviously forgive Street Allure, though she has been up a while now.

Follow: Paddy’s Gem looks close to a win.

Race 7: Vobis Gold Heath (1800m)

1st Anfitriona – Glen Boss
2nd The Terricks – Mark Zahra
3rd Word Of Mouth – Michael Rodd

Written and Turnitaround were the best two out and Written took up the lead fairly easily. Frim And Frome worked across to be on the pace with Cuban Lass and LannisterBelieve Me was checked in the early jostling and went back a length or so joined by Word Of Mouth on the fence, Bolshoi Bandit and Anfitriona out wider up the hill. Written still led comfortably at the 800m from Frim And Frome and Turnitaround. Anfitriona kept creeping around them and by the turn was looming up four and five wide. Word Of Mouth was on her back with a trail home. Lannister took over briefly on the turn as Written caved in but Anfitriona had him covered quickly. Word Of Mouth was a couple of lengths away and laying in as he ran on. Cuban Lass plugged home and The Terricks emerged out wider with a late finish. But Anfitriona kept going and The Terricks was never going to get past. Word Of Mouth every chance in third and the rest were well beaten. No excuses for anything as Anfitriona sat wide throughout and worked hard.

Follow: none.

Race 8: Catanach’s Jewellers Handicap (1800m)

1st Lord Durante – Steven King
2nd Rugged Cross – Glen Boss
3rd Bagman – Craig Newitt

A line of three early for the lead until Lord Durante took it up from Morant and ThumbtacksDarlimurla Star worked to get into fourth with cover from Midnight Glory and Rugged Cross midfield. Lord Durante raced a bit greenly up the hill and inconvenienced Thumbtacks for a few strides before finding the fence and settling better. Morant had the run of the race. They bunched up a bit midrace and Bagman was shuffled out to last when a couple took off from the back. Lord Durante was under a heap of pressure on the turn as Darlimurla Star, Rugged Cross and Kindergarten Kid made runs with Thumbtacks sticking on. Surpass got to the outside with a trail home and Morant was still behind the leader on the turn. Lord Durante showed plenty of fight in the straight in kicking away. Rugged Cross made a dash at him and got very close but couldn’t reel him in and Lord Durante deserved the win after responding to pressure. Rugged Cross seems to race better in Melbourne and Bagman ran on without threatening to grab Morant for third. Surpass just battled home and considering the light weight he was disappointing. Though he does want a slow or heavy track.

Follow: Rugged Cross in Melbourne.

Specials from the meeting: Affirmation, Sino Eagle, Yesterday’s Songs, Paddy’s Gem.

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Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1 – 2yo Hcp

1st Inkling –  Josh Parr 2nd Sheer – Style Tim Clark 3rd Tudor – Sam Clipperton

They raced on the Kensington this week and got under way with an 1150m event for the two-year-olds in which Inkling was sent out an odds on favourite. Sheer Style was first to begin, with Inkling taking up a commanding position in second place. Mid race Sheery Style was let stride and put up about a two length break, but Inkling always traveled well. Sir Barb settled third and Tudor fourth. Around the turn and up to the 200m mark Sheer Style had a bit of a kick but when Inkling was asked for the effort he got it done in tradesman like fashion, taking the win by about a length on the line from Sheer Style. Tudor ran resonably well in third place.

Follow: Sheer Style

Race 2 – 2yo Hcp

1st Blademeister – Josh Parr 2nd Testashadow – Lester Grace 3rd Statton Glyn – Schofield

They took about 200m for Russet to go over and lead the second event from Marple Miss up on the outside and Statton back along the inside. Testashadow who was well in betting commission found itself three back on the fence, and Blademeister who was also favoured was last. Around the turn, Testashadow pushed out and brushed with Step Lightly and Blademeister was pulled widest. Testashadow and Blademeister quickly had the others covered and after a brief tussle for victory it was Blademeister who proved superior, in what was a pretty good win given he came with a long wide run from the back.

Follow: The first two can win more races

Race 3 – BM 85 Hcp

1st Oriental Lady – Brenton Avdulla 2nd Saigon Tea – Tommy Berry 3rd Tohunga Tim – Clark

The mile and a half cup of tea race was the third event. Jarilee had it on the first occasion past the judge, without much pace on. Phrases was in second and Tohunga back on the fence in third. The short priced favourite Saigon Tea was back last. Up the back straight Brenton Avdulla took some initiative and went to the front on Oriental Lady but the pace still didn’t look much quicker. Before the turn, the jockey on Saigon Tea was getting nervous and starting to look to make ground. In the straight, Tohunga went to Oriental Lady with Saigon Tea making its run down the outside. Saigon Tea went to Oriental Lady at the 100m mark and you thought she was narrowly going to scrape home but to the credit of Oriental Lady she fought her way off the canvas and got the bob in on the line. Saigon Tea will win another race but probably wants to come backto 2000m and see some pace on.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4 – BM92 Hcp

1st Reigning James – McDonald 2nd Black Jag – Rory Hutchings 3rd Laidback Larry – Adam Hyeronimus

1800m for the fourth event with Black Jag pinging out as expected and running to the front. Laidback Larry also showed pace but Black Jag held the front. Keep Cool took the trail in third place. Black Jag pretty much got it its own way throughout, and as they came to the turn was still traveling well. Early in the straight Laidback Larry tried to throw down the test but was quickly beaten and it was Reigning up along the inside that looked the danger to Black Jag. These two came away to fight it out and it was Reigning who was superior in the run to the line, but the effort of Black Jag to keep coming and make a race of it was very good. Laidback Larry held third, but was a little disappointing on face value.

Follow: Black Jag

Race 5 – 3yo BM 75 Hcp

1st Foreign Prince – Winona Costin 2nd Coolring – Glyn Schofield 3rd Maddhal – Sam Clipperton

Foreign Prince jumped well off the inside and was always going to lead from there, despite a number of them queueing up out wide to be close to the speed. Zaba Zaba Doo was outside the leader, Poetic Debate was three wide and Maddhal was caught four wide initially. Several others looked to be wide also, including Coolring, although it did have cover. Around the turn and up to the 300m mark, Foreign Prince kicked and the decision to hold the lead looked like paying dividends. In the run to the line, nothing really looked like beaten Foreign Prince despite Cool Ring running on nicely and Maddhal not giving up after its wide run. They ran second and third, and the other notable run was from Royal Jackpot who kept finding the line down the outside.

Follow: Maddhal, Royal Jackpot

Race 6 – The July Sprint

1st Hurrara – Claire Nutman 2nd Adebisi – Taylor Marshall 3rd Earnest Ernest – Winona Costin

The July Sprint was race 6 with Adebesi running the gate as you expect from him. He found the front by over a length to Hurrara with Tahitian Black third on the fence and Casual Choice out a bit wide in fourth. Adebesi had it at the 250m mark but Hurrara is a horse that just never gives up and he was then making a race of it inside the final furlong. Adebesi got the 100m mark in front but Hurrara wore him down in the last bit to get the victory, with Earnest Ernest running its usual race in third. Casual Choice did nothing in what was a very disappointing effort.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7 – F&M BM 84 Hcp

1st Gold Epona – Brenton Avdulla 2nd I’m In The Money – James McDonald 3rd I’ve Got The Looks – Glyn Schofield

Lady Of Harrods clearly had intention to lead in this race and did so after 100m or so from Rose Of Falvelon and Patinage, with Catseye Surprise out wide also up near the speed. I’m In The Money was even wider on the track. Catseye Surprise found the front at the 150m mark but you didn’t really know where to look as they challenged left, right and centre. I’ve Got The Looks found a run out wide after coming from well back and briefly looked the winner, but Gold Epona was the one finishing best over near the fence along with I’m In The Money who still came at them late despite its wide run. Gold Epona held on in the end to beat I’m In The Money and I’ve Got The Looks who perhaps just peaked on its run a bit.

Follow: I’m In The Money

Race 8 – BM 85 Hcp

1st Paederos – Winona Costin 2nd Society Man – Ty Angland 3rd Corryvreckan – Christian Reith

Prince Of Sophia missed it badly and was about 4 lengths behind them early. Society Man led them early until Paederos took it on and ran to the front. Corryvreckan settled in third from Taxmeifyoucan in fourth. As they came to the turn, Burbero and You’ll Never who have been in good form of late were a fair way off them. Paederos and Society man came to the 200m mark locked in battle and Corryvreckan coming at the pair. It looked like Society Man may get the better of them but Paederos under strong hands and heals riding found plenty to hold them off. You’ll Never is as honest as the day is long and made up some good ground into fourth. Burbero was just a pass mark back in fifth.

Follow: You’ll Never

Specials from the meeting: Maddhal, I’m In The Money