Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Nursery Plate (1100m)

1st Nostradamus – Glen Boss 2nd Jarklin – Chris Symons 3rd Hennessy Rock – Damien Oliver

Nostradamus was a little scratchy out of the gates but quickly recovered to lead on the fence. Turfane joined him to his outside and Hennessy Rock was three out just off them. Pelerin refused to settle in behind the leader, throwing his head around. Nostradamus looked comfortable coming onto the course proper at the 500m though momentarily it seemed Turfane, Hennessy Rock and Jarklin, who was joining in, might make things interesting. But Glen Boss was kidding top them and he pushed Nostradamus along at the 200m and he stretched out and put a few lengths on them with a bit in hand. Jarklin kept trying and moved away from Hennessy Rock. The winner, half brother to Blue Diamond winner Star Witness, was long odds on and won as expected. He’s smart though this wasn’t a real race so judge him on what he does when he gets to the Blue Diamond Prelude in a couple of weeks or whatever race the Hawkes stable targets. Follow: Obviously Nostradamus.

Race 2: Dover Handicap (1610m)

1st Flying Hostess – Harry Coffey 2nd Crucial – Patrick Moloney 3rd Five All – Dean Yendall

A fairly good line away with Acapela a shade slow from her outside alley. A line of five vying for the lead early with You’re Discreet finding the fence first from La VentaCrucial followed them across to settle third ahead of Bim Bom Bay and SpellrockerFlying Hostess was midfield three wide around Thorn Star and Nautical. La Venta eventually rolled to the front on her own midrace. You’re Discreet switched to her outside and Crucial slid up three wide, giving Flying Hostess some cover. La Venta was still travelling strongly at the 200m and beat off You’re Discreet but Crucial loomed quickly. Flying Hostess was warming up a couple of lengths back with Spellrocker trying to run on. Just as Crucial hit the lead Flying Hostess claimed here and forged clear. From the back Five All really found the line strongly, the only one to make up any ground. Couldn’t make any excuses for for the likes of Acapela, Gig or Nautical, the latter two might be at the end of their prep. Follow: there’s a city win in Five All.

Race 3: Birdcage Handicap (1000m)

1st Whistle Baby – Katelyn Mallyon 2nd Hotel Sierra – Harry Coffey 3rd Mrs Hadlee – Jackie Beriman

Moreau half reared out of the gates and was slow, the rest broke evenly. Hard to find an early leader with them stretched across the track. Leaps And Bounds showed out on the inside while The Bounty Queen had speed out wider. Lady Pippa raced handy with Not A Llama on the inside, Hotel Sierra and Return Journeywider. Diamond Glow went right back to last and Mrs Hadlee was just ahead of her towards the outside. Not A Llama and Hotel Sierra took the front about 200m out nearer the inside and that allowed Whistle Baby to get into the clear to chase. Out wide Mrs Hadlee started to hit the line and Diamond Glow tried to go with her. Whistle Baby showed a nice turn of foot to reel in Hotel Sierra in the last few strides. Mrs Hadlee claimed third ahead of Not A Llama and Diamond Glow finished right on their heels. A decent gap to the rest. Follow: Diamond Glow was favourite and coming off a year’s absence. Expect her to improve.

Race 4: Craftsman Handicap (1720m) 

1st Eraset – Oisin Murphy 2nd Prince Of Penzance – Michelle Payne 3rd He’s Your Man – Craig Newitt

No speed at all from Prince Of Penzance who tailed out a few lengths early. Oregon Spirit flopped out of the gates as well. Durnford hunted up from the inside alley to lead and was joined by EximiusHe’s Your Manslotted into third place in the clear ahead of Eraset and Auld Burns. Not a lot of change from the 1000m to the turn. He’s Your Man moved out three wide and looked to be cantering but when let down was very one paced and Eraset cruised past him to go out after Eximius who claimed the front at the 300m. Prince Of Penzance had tacked on and after being held up for a stride or two started to wind up but gave Eraset about four lengths. Eraset took over at the 100m and had a big enough lead to hold off Prince Of Penzance. He’s Your Man took the entire straight to get past Eximius in a ‘jury’s out’ performance. Eraset was in the right place at the right time, he’s unlikely to beat Prince Of Penzance again. Judge He’s Your Man on what he does at 2000m next time. Follow: Stick with Prince Of Penzance.

Race 5: Seascay Handicap (1410m)

1st Corporate Takeover – Mark Zahra 2nd Jade’s Boy – Patrick Moloney 3rd Candabra – Katelyn Mallyon

Good line away. Bon Rocket probably jumped a head or so in front but went back from the outside alley.Pandyan and Jade’s Boy disputed the early lead. Brotherly Secret landed third ahead of Pindan Pearl andCandabra out three wide. Magnus Opus sat midfield in the clear from Corporate Takeover. Bon Rocket refused to settle when restrained and was being pushed along a fair way out. Pandyan led around the turn and skipped a couple of lengths clear by the 300m before starting to paddle. Jade’s Boy and Canbrada raced past him soon after but Corporate Takeover came off their backs and chimed in quickly. He edged clear in the last 100m for a solid win. Jade’s Boy held off Canbrada and Pindan Pearl battled on to their inside. Bon Rocket hit the line okay considering he obviously didn’t want to be there and beaten about five lengths he wasn’t disgraced. Follow: Remember Bon Rocket for next preparation.

Race 6: Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m)

1st General Truce – Andrew Mallyon 2nd Pocket Rockets – Damien Oliver 3rd Kaiser Sun – Chris Symons

First Command jumped awkwardly and was squeezed up between horses. Fab Fevola was fast out and and headed towards the outside rail. Most of the field followed him over there bar General Truce and Don’t Get Excited who stayed toward the middle of the track. She’s Ellie joined the leader and First Command recovered to settle just in behind with Pocket Rockets and Kaiser Sun to his outside. By the 400m the two groups came together and Don’t Get Excited took over as Fab Fevola caved in. General Truce ducked back inside him and Loveyamadly tried to make ground towards the centre of the track. Pocket Rockets went looking for runs and had to change course a couple of times. Kaiser Sun had to bustle through between the weakening Fab Fevola and She’s Ellie to run on. General Truce hit the lead about 150m out and was there to be run down but held off Pocket Rockets and Kaiser Sun for yet another win down the straight. Follow: Pocket Rockets (who protested unsuccessfully) was unlucky and look for him in a similar race.

Race 7: Piping Lane Handicap (2000m)

1st Index Linked – Glen Boss 2nd The Cleaner – Anthony Darmanin 3rd Epingle – Craig Williams

The Cleaner sprung out as usual and ran clear. Maules Creek worked across to eventually find second with Initiator taking the trail and Lordoftheparrots next. Above Average raced in the clear as the began to string right out. Index Linked sat three wide worse than midfield. The Cleaner opened up a big lead by the 800m and went for home well before the turn under the whip. Initiator was forced to chase him as Maules Creek struggled. Index Linked made up quick ground to move into third by the 400m. The Cleaner was still two or three lengths in front past the 200m but Index Linked was starting to look dangerous as he went past Initiator. Behind them Epingle was beginning to run on. Index Linked sailed past The Cleaner and wound up holding a two length margin on the line. The Cleaner held on to run a brave second and Epingle nailed Initiator on the line to grab third. Not many 2000m races are run like this, thanks to the free running The Cleaner, so a lot of them were out of their comfort zone a long way out. Follow: Stay with the winner but be forgiving of Initiator who did all the chasing and probably doesn’t quite het a strong 2000m.

Race 8: Leonard Handicap (1410m)

1st Decircles – Oisin Murphy 2nd Mandla – Jamie Kah 3rd Finishing Card – Patrick Moloney

Decircles and Mandla were easily the best out and they set the pace ahead of Infinite Energy and Pillar Of CreationSnow Cover landed three back on the fence with Under The Hat midfield. Decircles had full control coming to the turn and was unpressured. Mandla moved closer as they turned and Pillar Of Creation came out three wide but couldn’t sprint with the leaders. Decircles and Mandla sprinted away down to the 300m before Decircles saw that challenge off and broke away for an easy win. Infinite Energy was trying hard behind him but couldn’t get past Mandla, who was boxing on, and Finishing Card was the only one coming out of the pack and he ran into third. Pillar Of Creation disappointed, Under The Hat ran his usual teasing first-up effort and Final Jest ran on without threatening. Follow: None in particular but don’t sack Mandla who was up sharply in class.

Specials from the meeting: Five All, Diamond Glow, Prince Of Penzance.

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Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st         Breakfast In Bed                 Jay Ford 2nd       Pillow Talk                            Nathan Berry 3rd       Jacinta                                    Christian Reith

Berrimilla missed the kick and went back to a clear last early, before Pillow Talk was snagged back to take that position.  Our Cellardoor found the front, with the jockey looking around and the horse throwing its head about.  Breakfast In Bed was on its outside and Jacinta was behind it on the fence.  Our Cellardoor fought the rider right up to the turn where it was joined by Breakfast In Bed and Such A Princess was trying to move up three wide.  When they turned, Pillow Talk was pulled to the extreme outside but had ground to make up.  Breakfast In Bed struck the front at the 200m and kept fighting to hold of Pillow Talk which ran out a bit in the straight and Jancinta who finished off only fairly into third.

Follow: Pillow Talk

Race 2

1st           Woodbine                          James McDonald 2nd         Dream Forward              Christian Reith 3rd         Watabout                           Nash Rawiller

Atmospherical wasn’t the best to begin but quickly mustered speed on the inside to take up the running from Dream Forward to its outside and Woodbine which settled third on the fence.  Watabout got the one out one back trail.  Back in second last, Ike’s Legacy looked to be pulling its head off.  Around the turn and up the rise, he still hadn’t gone for Atmospherical, but soon after, Dream Forward threw down a big challenge and went to the front.  Behind them, Woodbine had worked clear of the fence and started to come with its run.  In the last 100m, Woodbine stretched out very nicely and got there a couple of strides from the post in what was a pretty impressive win.  Watabout held onto third from a very disappointing Atmospherical.

Follow: Woodbine

Race 3

1st           Red Excitement               Kerrin McEvoy 2nd         Tromso                                Josh Parr 3rd         My Destiny                         Yusuke Ichikawa

A pretty good start in the third with Tromso kicking through to take up the running from Master Harry andUnder The Sun.  After a couple of hundred, Skip Town was caught three wide and worked forward but was still wide until he eventually worked up outside the leader.  The pace didn’t look very strong.  As they turned and topped the rise, Tromso gave a good kick and then it was up to My Destiny and Red Excitement down the outside to come after him.  Mercir from back near last was not finding much galloping room.  McEvoy on Red Excitement held Mercir in the pocket and once he worked past him, he came strongly to the line to pick up Tromso in the shadows of the post.  Forgive Mercir today, and although Skip Town had a tough run, he has probably had too many chances now to be considered a punting proposition.

Follow: Mercir

Race 4

1st          Peggy Jean                Kerrin McEvoy 2nd        Boomwa                      Hugh Bowman 3rd         Unequivocal             P Beggy

Vinnie Eagle and Boomwa paired off in front early, but Boomwa took off on Bowman and at the 700m mark had about a three length break over Vinnie Eagle who was seen as his main danger in betting.  Up to and around the turn it was a question of whether Boomwa could keep going as he still had a handy break up the rise.  Vinnie Eagle was quickly beaten with Peggy Jean the one that was finishing off nicely and coming after the leader.  Boomwa did well to try and fight on and it was only in the last little bit that the nice looking Peggy Jean got there.  There was a big gap back to third which was filled by Unequivocal.  Vinnie Eagle has to be considered a flop here.

Follow: Boomwa

Race 5

1st            Laidback Larry               Adam Hyeronimus 2nd          Hunter Jack                     Christian Reith 3rd          Longshoreman                Nash Rawiller

Diamond Jim and Princess Sophia were the slowest to begin and went back to the end of the field along with Longshoreman.  Kukri led them up early from Black Jag.  The short priced favourite, Laidback Larrywas caught wide early and eased to try and get closer to the fence.  That plan didn’t work so then he was let slide forward and found the front at about the 1300m mark.  Once he got there he put a big of a gap on them and looked to travel nicely up to the 600m mark with about a 5 or 6 length lead.  Around the turn, Hunter Jackwas the one doing the chasing, but the leader was still traveling well and when Hyeronimus gunned him he extended again and went to the line by 4 lengths or so from Hunter Jack with Longshoreman again finishing his race off nicely for third.  The winner was simply better than these and may have a future in better races.

Follow: Laidback Larry

Race 6

1st          Almighty Charge              Nash Rawiller 2nd        Specific Choice                  Hugh Bowman 3rd         You’ll Never                       Glyn Schofield

New Divide was well out as was Almighty Charge who went through along the inside to lead them up.  Red Dynamite was poking through in the middle in a line of three early.  By the time they reached the 900m, New Divide had crossed from out wide and led them up with Red Dynamite being restrained and throwing its head around a bit still three wide.  Specific Choice looked to have the perfect drop on the leading trio.  Around the turn, Specific Choice looked to make use of the nice run it had in transit and moved up four wide and he went up and joined Almighty Charge which had headed off New Divide.  In the run to the line, Almighty Charge had plenty in the locker and fought back too strongly for Specific Choice who I have mentioned previously is not a ‘winner’, but punters keep sending him out short odds.  You’ll Never found its way into third but was a good few lengths behind the first two.  New Divide dropped out of it.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7

1st           Jacquinot Bay              Kerrin McEvoy 2nd         Smart Moochi              Jay Ford 3rd         Longeron                        James McDonald

Longeron wasn’t great to begin and Smart Moochi went straight back to the rear of the field.  There was a bit of a tussle for the lead early with Wild And Proud leading Jacquinot Bay and Rowie.  Reflectance was then let stride around the outside and took up the running.  Longeron which ran favourite had found its way to midfield.  Boogie Shoes was trapped three wide forever as the pace slowed in the middle stages.  Around the turn, Sacred Flyer and Panko realised they had to get on their bikes and took off four and five wide with Smart Moochi also trying to get going from last.  In the straight for a few strides it looked like Panko would maintain its long run but then it started to drop off and Jacquinot Bay was still kicking.  It managed to hold off Smart Moochi which flew down the outside and Longeron which made ground on the inside late in the piece for third.  Some may claim Longeron to have been unlucky here, but to my eye he always had enough room and just wasn’t good enough.

Follow: Smart Moochi (but he does need the pace on and to get the breaks)

Race 8

1st            Party Dress                      Christian Reith 2nd          Hurrara                             C Nutman 3rd           Wordly Impact              Nathan Berry

HurraraMount Nebo and Turf Hero showed the best pace here with Hurrara putting its foot down and going to the front as it often does.  The favourite here was Charge Account who went back to third last early on.  Ying La and Sari were pretty wide out.  Around the turn and into the straight Mount Nebo joined Hurrara, but then you could see the swoopers coming, and none were coming quicker than Party Dress who finished off nicely first up from a spell for a win at big odds.  It was a blanket finish for the minor placings.  The photo went the way of Hurrara for second and Wordly Impact for third.  Although Charge Account was beaten out of a place at short odds, he did enough here not to be sacked but may need to race further forward next time out.

Follow: Charge Account

Specials from the meeting: Pillow Talk, Boomwa, Laidback Larry