Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Talindert Stakes (1100m)

1st Marcado – Steven King 2nd Orujo – Nash Rawiller 3rd Lady Sharapova – Glen Boss

Inevitability went straight to the inside fence while the rest of the field stayed towards the middle. Betchershowed pace with Marcado and Statue Of Warriors not far away. Coram and Ducal Castle were further out. The well backed Lady Sharapova in behind the speed on the inside and Orujo next. Marcado took control about 400m and rolled onto the fence as the field crept back inside. Ducal Castle made a burst but it flattened out pretty quickly. Orujo burst through to chase the leader and got within about half a length but was being held. Lady Sharapova poked up inside to grab third without ever looking likely. Ducal Castle was weak late in the race and stablemate Red Letter Day caught the eye with a big finish after looking under pressure a long way out.

Follow: Orujo showed a lot more than his debut run, Red Letter Day was only warming up at the finish.

Race 2: Hilton Nicholas Handicap (2000m)

1st Akzar – Damien Oliver 2nd Extra Zero – Craig Newitt 3rd Val Mondo – Glen Boss

Small field jumped okay and Auld Burns took up the running from Prairie Star. A couple of lengths back toExtra Zero inside Try Pickle who was caught wide momentarily before pushing forward. Val Mondo andZabeelzebub were a few lengths back with Akzar trailing. Not much action to the 600m. Auld Burns lugged off the fence on the turn and Extra Zero gained a dream run to hit the lead. Prairie Star struggled and Val Mondo was warming up. Akzar came tot the extreme outside and unleashed a big sprint. Extra Zero burst away about 300m out but was quickly reeled in by Akzar and they paired off but Akzar just got the better of Extra Zero late and they put about six lengths on Val Mondo getting into third. Auld Burns just battled and Prairie Star has been a huge disappointment since being imported.

Follow: Stick with the winner, third horse Val Mondo is going well for longer races.

Race 3: Indian Summer Handicap (1400m)

1st Sino Eagle – Luke Nolen 2nd Five All – Brad Rawiller 3rd Whitten’s Delight – Michael Rodd

First Print and Sacred Dream were a length or so slow. Up front Emmooki’s Star rushed along the inside to hold out Taat Sensation for the lead with Sino Eagle, who jumped fast, easing. Means A Lot found herself three wide and Five All worked into the box seat. Whitten’s Delight was a couple of lengths back in the clear. Emmooki’s Star opened up a big lead before the turn and Taat Sensation was under pressure chasing. Five All got an inside run to challenge and Sino Eagle was looking for a run behind them, Whitten’s Delight and First Print rushed down the outside. Sino Eagle sprinted best late to grab Five All and held about a neck to the line with Whitten’s Delight doing a similar thing holding off First Print whose start might have been a bit costly.

Follow: these mares take turns.

Race 4: Lawn Handicap (1200m)

1st Mandla – Dale Smith 2nd Tackleberry – Katelyn Mallyon 3rd Tigerland – Damian Lane

Tigerland seemed to get squeezed out at the start but otherwise an even line. Big Buddie found himself in front around the middle of the track with Fuddle Dee Duddle right behind him and Mandla coasting up on the outside. About Square was closest to the inside fence and Cavallo Nero and Prince Pedro prominent.Tackleberry is virtually on his own widest on the course and Windswept was on his back. Tigerland improved to be midfield. Mandla took the lead nearing the 300m and appeared to be travelling strongly. Tackleberry tried his heart out down the outside and was gradually wearing Mandla down but ran out of ground. Another solid effort from him though, Tigerland kept coming to run an encouraging third after getting barrelled at the start from Cavallo Nero and Windswept close up. The rest were safely held.

Follow: Tackleberry has come back in top form, Tigerland was unlucky.

Race 5: Mittys Vanity (1400m)

1st Solicit – Damian Lane 2nd Critical Angel – Chad Schofield 3rd Girl In Flight – Ryan Maloney

Solicit landed in front from her inside alley and was gifted control when Critical Angel sat on her back. A few lengths back to Quayside and Girl In Flight and a similar gap to Spirit Of Heaven and RezoneScratchy Bottom jumped with them this time but still settled well back. Solicit rolled along in front and Critical Angel moved to her outside to try and go with her. They broke about five lengths clear coming to the turn. Girl In Flight was tapped up to chase and she got the better of Quayside but made no impact on the first two. Spirit Of Heaven made some ground and Scratchy Bottom was unsighted until the around the 100m where she rushed home to get into fourth. Solicit was never going to be beaten and she absolutely destroyed them. The 1400m races at Flemington can be processions in smallish fields and Solicit took advantage. Girl In Flight gets a pass mark first-up and up in class and Scratchy Bottom will be harder to beat at a mile.

Follow: Solicit, Scratchy Bottom.

Race 6: CS Hayes Stakes (1400m)

1st Hucklebuck – Dominic Tourneur 2nd Prince Harada – Craig Williams 3rd The Quarterback – Matthew Allen

Kushadasi copped an early check and was spat out the back at the start. Worth A Ransom began quickly from his outside alley and Prince Harada was sent forward to get up on the speed. Surge Ahead held the fence behind them with Monkstone and Hucklebuck sat handy in fifth place. San Diego was a couple of lengths away with The Quarterback a little closer this time and Criterion trailed him. No moves until the home turn when Monkstone came out three wide to tackle the leaders. Off the pace Hucklebuck and San Diego had a big bumping duel, which Hucklebuck won as he got off the inside. Worth A Ransom was grabbed by Prince Harada at the 200m but in turn he was reeled in by Hucklebuck who swept on by. The Quarterback ran on well to grab third with Criterion and Teronado also closing off their races well. Forgive Kushadasi, he worked home okay along the inside but his chances were gone at the start. Prince Harada might be best ridden forward but he was still no match.

Follow: Guineas point of view, can’t see anything other than Hucklebuck as the best run. Criterion was excellent from a staying perspective.

Race 7: Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m)

1st Snitzerland – Brenton Avdulla 2nd Shamexpress – Damien Oliver 3rd Samaready – Craig Newitt

Boomwaa scrambled as the gates opened and he missed the jump as did Esprit De Bullet. When trying to recover Boomwaa skittled Samaready and put her out the back as well. African Pulse led early beforeBernabeu and Snitzerland took over. Out wide Brilliant Bisc showed some speed. Boomwaa made his way up to fourth ahead of Aeronautical and ShamexpressBugatty settled well off the pace out wide and Samaready had two behind her at the 400m. Snitzerland raced past Bernabeu soon after and dashed clear. Shamexpress was right on her back and looked a danger until he wanted to run in behind her. Samaready caught the eye getting home from a long way back. But Snitzerland had enough in hand to hold off the wayward Shamexpress for a deserved Group 1 win and the closing Samaready. Pago Rock ran on well with her. Unpretentious made plenty of ground through the field from the back as well and his fifth was a super effort. The two-year-olds: Boomwaa had no hope after he bungled the start and Bugatty was never in it.

Follow: Shamexpress will be harder to beat under handicap conditions in the Newmarket. No knock on Samaready.

Race 8: Elms Handicap (1700m)

1st Are There Any – Vlad Duric 2nd Great Lane – Damien Oliver 3rd The Big Steel – Patrick Moloney

The import Nevis had no early speed and was last out and Rawnaq was eased out the back as well. The Big Steel pounced on the lead fairly easily. Backstedt came across from his wide gate to sit up second ahead ofXavi and Are There Any who got into a perfect trail. Bunchloch raced on her inside. Not much pressure was applied to The Big Steel and he controlled the race. Backstedt sat a length or so off the leader and Xavi, who over-raced in the mid stages, came out three wide on the turn. Are There Any peeled off his back and moved into the race well with Nevis who loomed up outside her. The Big Steel put paid to Backstedt and Xavi early in the straight and it was left to Are There Any to chase. Great Lane worked through the field to run into third. Are There Any forged clear late and looked the winner a long way from home. Great Lane was very good getting up for second just ahead of The Big Steel. Xavi wasn’t disgraced as he went up sharply in distance. Nevis did nothing after making that short dash.

Follow: nothing of note here.

Race 9: tab.com.au Trophy (1400m)

1st Foundry – Craig Williams 2nd Our Hand Of Faith – Damien Oliver 3rd Decircles – Oisin Murphy

Decircles broke the line first and headed to the front, followed over by Club CommandFree Of Doubt held his place on the fence and Desert Jeuney showed up early. Our Hand Of Faith settled a lot closer in fifth after getting across easily from out wide. Next were Vizhaka and Foundry and a decent gap to the rest. Club Command was under pressure on the home turn and Decircles kicked away from him. Desert Jeuney came out three wide but couldn’t sprint and Our Hand of Faith went straight past him. A couple of lengths back Foundry started to wind up with Goldslick. Decircles refused to give in and Our Hand Of Faith had all sorts of trouble getting to him. Foundry really picked up the last 200m and he swamped them in the closing stages and arrived on the line to win, just as Our Hand Of Faith stuck his head in front of Decircles. Disappointing first-up runs from the likes of Hvasstan and Sabrage.

Follow: The imported Foundry is a stayer in the making, like to see him again before the spring though.

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Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st           Forever Loved               James McDonald 2nd         All Cerise                          Hugh Bowman 3rd         Casino Dancer                 Tommy Berry

Aspen and Martilago came out well but Forever Loved used the inside to kick through and lead from Aspen who settled outside of it.  Canossa was caught three deep, whilst the favourite, All Cerise got a nice run on the fence in behind them.  Mid race, Forever Loved was getting a nice run in front, and there was no hope of Canossa getting in, Define was also three wide.  At the 600m mark, Canossa was dropping out sharply, pushing Define four wide around it to try and make ground.  In the straight, Forever Love sprinted well, with All Cerise coming off its heals and it was a race in two.  Forever Loved was erratic in the striaght, twice bumping All Cerise significantly, but in the run to the line held it by about two lengths, which meant there was no protest, although I think All Cerise may have been some chance without the interference.  Casino Dancer again made ground from the back but may have a habit of doing that without winning.

Follow: All Cerise (if it stays in this grade)

Race 2

1st          Ecuador                Tommy Berry 2nd        Kaypers                Christian Reith 3rd         Weary                    Hugh Bowman

Opinion was slow out, and Weary wasn’t all that quick to begin.  Ecuador, as expected began well, and worked his way to the lead without really being in too much of a hurry to get there.  Fireball moved up outside the leader, which gave Forget Maybe and Dana’s Best the gun runs behind the speed.  There was nothing to report mid race as Ecuador was rated nicely in front, just slowly upping the pace.  As they turned for home he went for a sprint, and half way down the running looked to have the race safely in his keeping.  Kaypers ran an honest race to come into second, and Weary made ground down the outside for third in a race that didn’t really suit and is probably the one to follow.

Follow: Weary

Race 3

1st          Mossfun              Tommy Berry 2nd       Ygritte                  Jay Ford 3rd        Twirl                      James McDonald

Mossfun began very nicely from the inside, but didn’t want to lead.  Kwinana and Twirl obliged by going to the front and the Alpha Miss came across from the outside to take it up.  Around the turn, Alpha Miss still had it clearly, but had worked early to get to the lead.  In the straight, Twirl was having a job getting to Alpha Miss, and whilst this was going on, Mossfun took the inside run and put the race beyond doubt.  Ygritte also came through along the inside in what was a pretty good effort to come through from last.  Twirl eventually got its way into third, in what was a disappointing run for those who took the shorts.  The winner looked pretty smart here and will be a force in the bigger races.

Follow: Mossfun, Ygritte

Race 4

1st              Fighting Sun              Tommy Berry 2nd            Mr Cha Cha                Adam Hyeronimus 3rd           Ghibellines                  Jason Collett

A pretty good line out initially, and then Delectation and Lord Beckworth dropped back to the rear.  Mr Cha Cha was ridden early to cross from the outside and came across to lead clearly from the short priced favourite Fighting Sun who sat up on his outside.  Ghibellines and Bachman got the good runs behind the speed.  Behind them was Delctation who just was not in a racing mood today as he threw his head about and fought the jockey.  Around the turn, the race looked in the control of Fighting Sun who strode up outside the leader without being asked for anything and at the 250m mark when he was asked for it, he quickly put his mind on the job and gapped them in the run to the line.  He looked to me like a horse that still has improvement in him, and will get a bit more distance.  A good a quality win and simply too good for this lot.

Follow: Fighting Sun

Race 5

1st           El Roca                                   Hugh Bowman 2nd         Dissident                               Jim Cassidy 3rd         Romantic Touch                 Tommy Berry

Pirandello was specked in betting and went straight to the front as expected.  Aussies Love Sport used the inside to go up and join the leader, which gave El Roca a beautiful trail in third.  Dissident trailed El Roca.  Realistically, El Roca looked to have the race won a long way from home, and when he worked to the lead half way up the straight it was evident that nothing was going to run him down.  Dissident tried hard, but had been pushed along from about the 600m mark, however to run second was still a pretty good effort. Romantic Touch who was back at the rear throughout the race made some ground into third.  Aussies Love Sport was particularly disappointing dropping out to run last.

Follow: Romantic Touch

Race 6

1st          Catkins                             Hugh Bowman 2nd        Steps In Time               Jim Cassidy 3rd         White Sage                    James McDonald

Catkins pinged out nicely along the inside.  Steps In Time also came out well along with Driefontein.  Steps In Time, who was expected to lead was allowed to work across the face of the field to do so, but did take a while to get across, which seemed to be by design.  She set up a length or so break from Catkins and Driefontein, with White Sage and Streama the next pair.  Around the turn, Bowman came off the fence on Catkins in what looked like a very confident move.  In the straight, Catkins came after Steps In Time, who was fighting on nicely, but it was noticeably that Bowman hadn’t gone for the whip on Catkins.  In the end it was a narrow victory to Catkins over Steps in time, but it felt as if she was always going to get there.  White Sage tried pretty hard in third, and beat the rest pretty easily, but was never going to trouble the first two.  She may want more ground.

Follow: White Sage

Race 7

1st             Junoob                          James McDonald 2nd           Jacquinot Bay            Christian Reith 3rd            Vaquera                       Tommy Berry

Vaquera was slow to begin and went back to last.  Honourable Aussie found the front straight away as it likes to do, with Charing Cross moving up into second and Jacquinot Bay settling third.  It was a bit of a ‘cup of tea race’, as nothing happened up to the 600m mark, where Jacquinot Bay started to make its move three wide, with Junoob getting onto its back.  Around the turn, Jacquinot Bay looked to travel alright as it went up and had a look at the lead, but Junoob wound up and made it a one act affair, backing up its good win last start, and is obviously a bit better than this grade, but I’m not sure he is a top liner, it is a long way from here to the Spring.  Chris Waller knows more about that than me, so trust him to place the horse well, he has certainly got him flying at the moment.

Follow: None to follow

Race 8

1st          Dream Choice                  Tim Clark 2nd        Earnest Ernest                 Jason Collett 3rd         Express Power                Hugh Bowman

A big field in the last with Earnest Ernest and Monbazzilac missing it and going back to the rear.  Mr Jackman, backing up within seven days was ridden hard to find the front and crossed Hurarra Fort Sumpter got across to the position outside the leader, with Hurarra in third and Dee’n’Gee in fourth.  The eventual winner, Dream Choice was scraping the Dulux back in sixth spot with Skip Town on its outside.  Around the turn, the leaders left the fence, and Dream Choice thought it was Christmas as it basically had the race presented to it.  Inside the 200m, he was nicely clear, with Earnest Ernest also coming along the fence to try and give chace, but was no chance of catching the winner.  The rest tried, but made no impression.  That’s two in a row for Dream Choice, and although he had all the favours today, there is no reason he hasn’t got more wins in him.

Follow: Dream Choice

Specials from the meeting: Weary, Mossfun