Flemington review from Michael Mitchel

Race 1: Ken Cox 2YO Handicap – 1410m

1st Lady Lakshmi – Daniel Stackhouse
2nd Resistant – Noel Callow
3rd Razzle Dazzle Rock – Nick Hall

It was a nice dispatch in the first with Badabingbadaboom a little slow to begin, with Theodora and Resistantalso dropping back in the early stages. The speed was on early and Lady Lakshmi, after beginning well, was on the speed but caught four wide. Bring BackCalender Lad and The Bowler were all inside of her, taking up the leading positions.

Bring Back took up the running in the middle stages, closely followed by Lady Lakshmi, The Bowler and The Yowie.

As they swung for home Bring Back was the first beaten, as Lady Lakshmi and The Bowler seamlessly went past. Fairly, along with the other back markers started to make their moves very wide. Stackhouse, who seemed to do a lot of work on Lady Lakshmi throughout, took initiative and was the first to pull away with 300m to go. The Bowler was laying in and then out and couldn’t steady up, while Razzle Dazzle Rock started to pick up some momentum. Traditional and Resistant, who got a really nice ride throughout, were the others that were chasing down a tiring Lady Lakshmi. It was too late though, as Lady Lakshmi showed a bit of class, doing a lot of work throughout and still producing an impressive kick as it turned for home. The Bowler and Resistant ran really well, as they were lugging a couple of extra kilos than most runners.

Follow: Lady Lakshmi and Resistant


Race 2: Banjo Patterson Series Heat 5 – 2520m

1st Cooldini – Chad Schofield
2nd Final Folly – Holly McKechnie
Dead Heat 3rd
 3rd Sahara Sun – Nick Hall
3rd Police Gazette – Ben Melham

It was a good line out, with Readings starting well and taking up its customary front running position in the early stages. Police GazetteSahara Sun and Final Folly (4 wide), were the others in the early speed battle as they turned for the first time.

The pace was faster than moderate as they go into stride, with Readings giving up the front running role to Final Folly. Outback Joe was near the rear with Pretty Adamant, who dropped to last after the Stewards got instructions it was going to be ridden forward.

After the initial fast pace, Holly McKechnie slowed things down on Final Folly about 1500m out, with Police Gazette, Readings and Sahara Sun still in toe. Cooldini was enjoying a quiet run about 4 lengths from the leaders outside of Vatuvei.

The pace again picked up at the 800m by Final Folly and the field followed, with the first mover being Pretty Adamant from the back of the field. Cooldini started to pick up the pace as they turned for home and was being inconvenienced by Pretty Adamant at during this stage.

As they bunched up entering the straight, Final Folly was narrowly in front, with no more than 3 lengths covering the field. They lined up across the track, with Cooldini being the widest. Final Folly was still holding on from Police Gazette and Sahara Sun. Cooldini started its move and looked the winner when it found clear running in the last 300m, but it wasn’t delivering the killer punch. As they past the 100m, the grind of Cooldini gathered some momentum and it went on to win convincingly, but not with as much zest as previous runs. A line of 5-6 fought out the minors with Final Folly getting in for 2nd and the OTI runners Sahara Sun and Police Gazette dead heating for 3rd.

Follow: Cooldini

Race 3: Bruce Gadsden 3YO Handicap – 1200m

1st Hai Lil – Michael Rodd
2nd North Atlantic Ice – Peter Mertens
3rd About Square – Jackie Beriman

Come By OftenAt The Tap and Scapolo took the lead up in the early stages, after an even dispatch, withWinta Chiller and Spending dropping back.

The pace was clearly on as the field was strung out 8-10 lengths at the 600m in a 1200m straight race. It was looking quite messy in the middle stages.

As they hit the 300m, the back markers all started to come through, as the field was lined up right across the track. Winta Chiller and Spending the only ones to be 1-2 lengths of the whole field. It was anyone’s race at the 300m, although the early speed runners started to fade.

As they passed the 200m more runners started to fade as CommittedAbout SquareNorth Atlantic Ice andPillar Of Creation all started to continue there strong runs and looked like they would battle it out. Then Hai Lilfrom nowhere, really started to motor home on the outside, with 60kgs to make it a very close finish. Hai Lil’s impressive burst got it home by a nose. North Atlantic Ice and About Square were also noteworthy runs finishing in the minors.

Follow: Hai Lil

Race 4: Brian Beattie 3YO Handicap – 2000m

1st Star Rolling – Reece Wheeler
2nd Spring Cheer – Linda Meech
3rd Underestimation – Michael Rodd

They broke in a good line, with Underestimation and Mendivil showing early speed. Use The Lot pressed forward, along with Avighna and Star Rolling, coming across from its wide gate. Space, the much talked about Williams horse was just worse than mid field.

Space was the first to make its move at the 1000m, in a steadily and uneventful middle stage to the race. Space went very wide and was visibly going quite hard a long way from home. As they started to turn for home Space was 5 wide as the field started to bunch.

Star Rolling was looking very comfortable as they hit the straight while most around it were already under a lot of pressure. Mendivil was still in the lead, with Space wider still on its long sustained run. Underestimation got into clear running and was looking strong, as was Magniloquent started to gather momentum on its run. At the 250m Reece Wheeler shook Star Rolling up and nothing was going to catch it. It was a very classy run and went on to win by 3 lengths to Spring Cheer and Underestimation, both noteworthy runs. Underestimation has been running really well and has always been disadvantaged this prep due to having to carry the top weight every time it steps out.

Follow: Star Rolling and Underestimation.


Race 5: Winter Championship Series Heat 6 – 1410m

1st Club Command – Daniel Stackhouse
2nd Another Prelate – Darren Gauci
3rd Under The Hat – Tom Sadler

Club Command and Triple Tee were the first to show speed in the 5thTestascana and Utah Saints went to join the lead. That pack broke away from the field, with the group of That’s The OneDash For VizRockpeckerand Another Prelate about 3 lengths away.

By The Way lacked any real speed from the wide gate and dropped back to last. As the field was strung out by over 12-15 lengths at the middle stages, it was going to be a massive effort for By The Way to win from this point.

As they turned for home, the front group of Club Command, Testascana and
Utah Saints were still prominent, with the second group of Dash For Viz, Under The Hat and That’s The One starting to close. The back markers were totally out of it at this stage.

With 250m to go Club Command hit the button and broke away 2 lengths, as Utah Saints was the first beaten. That’s The One then got going in chase and looked like the main threat. By the 100m Another Prelate grew another leg and along with Under The Hat, started jumping out of the ground in chase of Club Command. Another Prelate flew home, but was nosed out by a tiring Club Command. Under The Hat and That’s The Way, carrying weight, were gallant.

Follow: Another Prelate shouldn’t be far away.

Race 6: David Bourke Provincial Plate – 1610m

1st The Cleaner – Jason Maskiel
2nd Constant Force – Chad Schofeild
3rd Lord Durante – Darren Gauci

Lord Durante got away to a good start from the inside gate to go to the lead, as Diamonds At Noon was left flat footed in the barriers. The Cleaner showed some early speed, coming around from a wide gate to join Lord Durante, with Hawks Bay and First Course sitting in third and fourth.

The Cleaner was humming along, leading by 3 lengths throughout and had the field strung out over 12-15 lengths.

Maskiel had to go for the whip a little early on The Cleaner, but when they hit the straight it was 3 lengths in front of a weary looking bunch.

Nothing seemed to making any ground on The Cleaner and at the 300m, it looked as Lord Durante was the only one that may be able to challenge. The Cleaner had run them raggered as Lord Durante battled on, with Constant Force coming home well to fill the minors. Clanga’s Glory was ok for fourth on the quick back up.

Follow: The Cleaner

Race 7: All Victorian Sprint Series Heat 8 – 1100m

1st Pago Rock – Kayla Nisbet
2nd Zamorar – Jamie Mott
3rd Planet Voyage – Jason Benbow

It was a good start with Planet Voyage showing early speed and heading straight to the inside barrier, taking up the lead. Broken was also away well and showing speed, with Pago Rock showing speed in the middle of the track, going up to make a line of 3. Mr Griswold was in toe, as Serene Star went back and only had Nichols Court behind her.

As they hit the course proper, Broken was the first beaten as Planet Voyage and Pago Rock started drawing further in front. Zamorar started on its run, splitting the two that had broken away.

At the 200m it was a 3 horse race with Zamorar, Planet Voyage and Pago Rock ready to fight it out in the concluding stages. Serene Star and Jayconi were coming wide, but it was too late for them.

Planet Voyage dropped out and Pago Rock and Zamorara went to the line together, with Pago Rock sticking its nose out to win narrowly.

Follow: Zamorar

Race 8: Eugene Gorman Handicap – 1410m

1st Goldslick – Michael Rodd
2nd Spot On Maggie – Peter Mertens
3rd Endless Shadow – Nick Hall

Another lovely start, as Tranquera was eased back, with Belaruski going hard from a wide gate, withChampagne ruby, to take up and early lead. EuphorbiaSpot On Maggie and Ominous Quality sat behind them after good starts from the inside barriers. GoldslickSweet Ella and Girls On Film were all ridden a bit quieter, just worse than midfield.

As they turned on the bend, Girls On Film, Goldslick and Rememba Howe starting making their move wide.

Belaruski skipped a length clear as they hit the straight with Euphobia sticking on, as Champagne Ruby started to fade. The wider runners then started to show out with Spot On Maggie the first to mount the challenge. Goldslick then went to challenge Spot On Maggie and had too much momentum. Goldslick went past Spot On Maggie to win by a length to a blanket finish. Endless Shadow was worth noting for third and Rememba Howe, with a heavy weight, was again impressive.

Follow: Endless Shadow

Weekend Specials: Hai Lil, Zamorar