Moonee Valley review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Inglis Banner (1000m)

1st Silversands – Michael Walker
2nd Donelle – Brett Prebble
3rd Cornrow – Craig Newitt

Silent Whisper was noticeably slow and Good Prince was on the back foot at the start. Donelle jumped quickly from a wide gate and went forward but was held three wide by Cornrow, kicking up on the fence, andBeau Rada. Just off them were Boomwaa out wide and Howdee with Silversands on the fence, Japanese Slipper and Baio all in the pack. Beau Rada dropped off on the turn and Cornrow found a length to lead before Donelle challenged. Boomwaa stuck on out wide and Silversands gained a split between the leaders, finishing the best to win narrowly but decisively. A number ran on nicely behind the speed with Coram weaving through, Silent Whisper was excellent after missing the start and having to make a sharp turn at the 300m, Ulmann was strong late and Wallbanger also warmed up when it was all over. Good Prince proved disappointing finishing well back.
Follow: Donelle, Coram, Silent Whisper.

Race 2: Handicap (1000m)

1st Canali – Stephen Baster
2nd Vatican – Billy Egan
3rd The Minister – Luke Nolen

Esprit De Bullet missed it by two or three after laying on the gates when they opened. Oamaru Princess was fastest out and looked for the lead before Canali kicked up on the inside to hold the front as usual. Vaticanjumped well and sat up three wide on the pace with The Minister taking up a spot behind the leader and Waltzesclose up. Freereturn settled well three back on the fence. Not a lot of action until nearing the turn when Canali went for home and dropped Oamaru Princess. That allowed The Minister to get off the fence and chase and Vatican tried hard after a wide run but Canali proved too quick. Eight Bills closed off late from the back and was close up. Esprit De Bullet was beaten less than two lengths and it would have been interesting to see what happened had he jumped cleanly. Waltzes bled for the second time.
Follow: Esprit De Bullet

Race 3: City Jeep Handicap (1200m)

1st Vibrant Rouge – Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Nearest To Pin – Clare Lindop
3rd Go The Knuckle – Craig Williams

Rich Jack showed out early and crossed to lead with Nearest To Pin happy to take the trail behind him. Venticmoved up outside the leader with Smackdown caught wide around Such Hope and It Is Written three back on the fence. Henwood and Go The Knuckle drifted back. The Peak was checked on settling and was forced to race wide with Vibrant Rouge getting onto his back outside Richie’s Vibe. Rich Jack rolled away from the fence on the turn allowing Nearest To Pin a clear run and he hit the lead. Vibrant Rouge swept around them and was tracked by Go The Knuckle. Nearest To Pin was holding on and Vibrant Rouge made a dive right on the line and got the nod by a very small margin with Go The Knuckle a close third. Richie’s Vibe ran on without threatening behind them and had no excuses. Rich Jack battled on well handling a big class rise. Henwood basically had a barrier trial, he didn’t get a crack at them at any stage and wasn’t ridden out at all.
Follow: Henwood.

Race 4: Drummond Golf Handicap (2040m)

1st Hvasstan – Hugh Bowman
2nd Bel Thor – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Grand Sai Wan – Shirley Hunter

Favourite Opinion was clearly last out by a few lengths and Sea Galleon was a bit slow. Bianmick worked across to lead from a wide gate and Hvasstan followed him over to get a nice trail. Hioctdane enjoyed a nice run just behind them with Grand Sai WanPhantom Brew and Voila Ici just off the pace. Bianmick rolled them along midrace and broke the field up. The field bunched around the 800m as Whisper Downs made a move, tracked up by Bel Thor. Opinion tried to run into it but was under pressure. Hvasstan claimed the lead on the turn and broke clear with Grand Sai Wan trying to chase. Hioctdane couldn’t go with them when the gap cap for him and it was left to Bel Thor to make a late bid for victory. Hvasstan held him at bay and scored a deserved win. Rothera was tightened up marginally in the last 100m but it didn’t cost him a place and Opinion flashed home late in an eye-catching Australian debut.
Follow: Opinion.

Race 5: Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m)

1st Savvy Nature – James McDonald
2nd All Rigged Up – Chris Symons
3rd Pinstripe Lane – Jamie Mott

Drago walked out of the gates but was dug up to go forward. All Rigged Up and Mantener La Fe held the early lead before Drago pushed up between them and eventually rolled to the front. Savvy Nature went straight back to last. Tips And Beers and Storm Approach settled just off the speed but Great Esteem found himself trapped wide in the small field. He elected to go forward and eventually found a spot outside the lead. Around the 600m Drago skipped away and put a few of them under pressure. All Rigged Up got a nice run through to be the first to chase. Savvy Nature circled the field and after momentarily looking under pressure he swept up to join the lead and raced straight on by. Pinstripe Lane tried to follow him but couldn’t match his sprint in working home well for third as All Rigged Up battled on. Drago didn’t handle the tough run.
Follow: Savvy Nature is a live Derby chance.

Race 6: Telstra Stakes (1200m)

1st Thermal Current – Ben Melham
2nd Not Listenin’tome – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Selectify -Chad Schofield

Good line out and Ruud Awakening headed for the front from a wide alley and Va Pensiero slid across with her.Red Magnet and Thermal Current were in the leading brigade early. Selectify settled well in the clear a couple of lengths off them. Not Listenin’tome seemed to be burnt off early before improving along the inside to about midfield. Ruud Awakening and Va Pensiero eventually paired off as the pace steadied. Red Magnet tried to get something happening before the turn as Thermal Current became held up in a pocket. Not Listenin’tome worked away from the inside though was hampered by Selectify holding his line. Just as Not Listenin’tome swept up, Thermal Current got an inside split to burst through and snatch the win. Selectify couldn’t quite match the runner-up but hit the line well and that trio spaced the rest. Best of the finishers was Burnro, who was restrained early but made some ground along the fence from near last.
Follow: Not Listenin’tome was excellent up in class, ditto Selectify.

Race 7: Moonee Valley Cup (2500m)

1st Precedence – Craig Williams
2nd Shoreham – Chris Symons
3rd Gotta Take Care – Brad Rawiller

Mourinho wasted little time in assuming the lead with Shoreham and Mujadale up on the speed. Tanby was dragged back to last with Gotta Take Care just ahead of him. Sneak A Peak landed in the perfect spot fourth in the clear a couple of lengths ahead of Precedence and Raeburn. Not much action until inside the 800m when Mujadale applied some pressure to Mourinho and Sneak A Peek crept up three wide. Shoreham was bolting in behind them but held up for a run. Precedence moved up four wide coming to the turn and Tanby tried to follow as they bunched. Mourinho fought off Mujadale with Shoreham climbing over his back as Precedence continued his wide run. Shoreham had to wait until Precedence had gone by before he could get out to chase but by then the race was over. Gotta Take Care worked home along the fence and cut Mourinho out of third and the rest were well beaten. A timely return to form for Precedence and Shoreham has his hoof on the till. We already knew Tanby was struggling this prep and Sneak A Peek was very ordinary here too.
Follow: none

Race 8: Crystal Mile (1600m)

1st Toydini – Blake Shinn
2nd Speediness – Craig Williams
3rd Sacred Falls – Leith Innes

Sacred Falls was slow by about a length. Rain Drum was first out from the inside and Transporter was hard ridden out wide to try and cross but was stuck there for a few hundred metres. Second Effort took on Rain Drum for the lead and ran clear soon after. Speediness jumped well and landed in the box seat inside Transporter who eventually found cover. Malavio had no luck and was forced to race three wide throughout, pushing on to sit up third. Sacred Falls improved on the fence to midfield inside December Draw with Toydini settling behind those. Transporter was under pressure a long way out and Malavio struggled as the sprint went on and Sacred Falls became tangled up behind tiring horses. Rain Drum claimed Second Effort before the turn and Toydini made a lightning move to challenge on the turn just as Speediness got off the fence. Speediness took over from Rain Drum at the 200m and looked to be holding Toydini until the final two strides when Toydini stuck his head out to get the cash. This time, Speediness had every chance. Sacred Falls stormed home from the back after eventually getting clear. Most unlucky. Rain Drum battled on well second-up from a long break.
Follow: Sacred Falls might be ready to win one.

Race 9: Eliza Park Stakes (1600m)

1st Catkins – Craig Newitt
2nd Cameo – Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Lake Sententia – Michelle Payne

A good line and Cameo was first out before Porcellanus came across from the outside to roll clear. Cameo sat up second with Two Sugars behind them. Catkins slid across beautifully to settle fourth with Lucky Lago next in clear running. Epingle settled midfield. About 800m out Michelle Payne elected to make a move on Lake Sententia and she rushed up five wide as Sensational Report went with her. Lake Sententia might have hit the lead well before the turn with Cameo getting the better of Porcellanus closer to the fence. Catkins became held up in the bunching field. Cameo took over on the bend and that allowed Catkins to gain an inside run and she finished the best to win. Lake Sententia fought on well after making a long run and was simply asked to do too much. Epingle worked through the field without threatening and Dolly Dolly also ran on well but was never a winning chance.
Follow: Lake Sententia was brave and is set to peak next time.

Race 10: WS Cox Plate (2040m)

1st Shamus Award – Chad Schofield
2nd Happy Trails – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Fiorente – Blake Shinn

A clean start, if anything Side Glance took a stride or two to get going. Shamus Award jumped fast and was first to the rails. Puissance de Lune and Long John rushed forward and there was a line of three at the post the first time. Side Glance recovered to be behind them with Mull Of Killough and they kept It’s A Dundeel out three wide before easing to give that spot to Super Cool. But It’s A Dundeel still found himself trapped deep outside ofHappy Trails on the fence and Rekindled InterestFiorente was even wider on the turn out of the straight and he was then dug up to rush around them and eventually would sit up second. Foreteller was well back and the Lloyd Williams trio SevilleMasked Marvel and Green Moon trailed. At the 1200m Super Cool had worked into second outside Shamus Award as Fiorente crept closer and by the 1000m took that spot. Long John enjoyed a good run in the clear ahead of Puissance de Lune, who was pulling in the early stages. About 600m out Shamus Award and Fiorente broke away. Puissance de Lune was gone and Happy Trails had run past Long John. It’s A Dundeel and Seville tried to come on out wide but were struggling to sprint with them. Shamus Award found more than a length by the 150m from Fiorente and Happy Trails began to launch. Shamus Award gripped on and held off the fast finishing Happy Trails who just missed, Fiorente came again and was brave in third. Foreteller attacked the line as he usually does and wasn’t far off. Super Cool and Side Glance did battle on then the rest were well beaten. All honours to the winner, it’s not easy to lead throughout in a Cox Plate. Fiorente was massive, if it hasn’t flattened him he’s a huge chance in the Cup.
Follow: A lot of bubbles burst here but Fiorente was outstanding, again.

Specials from the meeting: Silent Whisper, Henwood, Opinion, Lake Sententia.


Rosehill review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st           Bold Circle                     Serg Lisnyy
2nd         Sheer Style                    Tommy Berry
3rd          Unencumbered           Chad Lever

Sheer Style began nicely on the inside, as did Unencumbered – This meant that Bold Circle, who didn’t have as much pace ended up getting a very nice sit on them in third.  Brazen Boss dropped into the one out one back position.  Around the turn, the order was still the same, and if you were a favourite backer, you may have been a bit concerned that Bold Circle was hemmed in on the fence.  He looked to be traveling well but stayed locked up until the 100m mark where he got out wide and finished off very well, to get there in the last few strides.  I think it is fair to say he has a bit on this field.

Follow: Bold Circle will win again

Race 2

1st         Chateau Lafaite              Glyn Schofield
2nd       Foreign Prince               Serg Lisnyy
3rd       Raunchy Rocker            Tommy Berry

Foreign Prince began best in the second, with Forget Maybe going up outside of it into second and the favourite Chateau Lafaite settling third on the fence.  They looked to slow up in the middle stages, but there was no change in the order.  As they came around the turn, it was still Foreign Prince in front and traveling fairly well.  In shades of the first race, Chateau Lafaite was in the same spot as Bold Circle, searching for a run on the inside.  The run came at the 200m, and she wore down Foreign Prince to score narrowly.  They gapped the others.  The run of Foreign Prince was good to not let the winner get away from him in the run to the line and he can win one soon.  The winner is well bred and is likely to have plenty of upside.

Follow: Foreign Prince

Race 3

1st          Quayside                        Brenton Avdulla
2nd        Best Of The Rest          Peter Robl
3rd        Star Wars                       Josh Adams

From the 1900m start in race 3, Abasso took up the early running from a good barrier, but Rutherglen from out wider worked around to the front and took it up from Super Villian and Abasso who settled third on the fence.  Back in the field, Star Wars was stuck three deep.  At the 1000m the pace didn’t look that strong, which didn’t help Star Wars to get in, and he started to move forward.  Before the 600m, Super Villian which was well in the market looked to be niggled along a bit.  In the straight, a run came for Quayside which had lurked in midfield and he sprinted well to go on for a pretty easy victory.  Best Of The Rest got home pretty well into second, and the run of Star Wars is the one to note here, who held on for third despite being wide.  Abasso had every chance and couldn’t sprint in the straight and Rutherglen dropped out dismally after leading.

Follow: Star Wars

Race 4

1st           Mulaqen                 Glyn Schofield
2nd         Wind Bender         Tommy Berry
3rd          Animoso                Christian Reith

Marden was a bit slow to begin as can often be the case for him.  There was a few across the track early, butMulaqen eventually worked its way over to lead.  Animoso sat behind the speed and Yulalona faced the breeze in third.  Wind Bender and Multilateral raced on their own in fourth and fifth respectively.  I have to say, I love a leader at Rosehill, and when they came to the 600m, and Mulaqen was just quickening up a bit, you knew he would be hard to beat.  Around the turn he had a full head of steam, and down the running, nothing really looked like getting near him.  Wind Bender did a good job to run past the rest into second, whilst the favourite, Multilateral, was disappointing to say the least.

Follow: None to follow

Race 5

1st           She’s A Girl               Lester Grace
2nd         Pendolin                    Peter Robl
3rd         Gold Eopna               Yusuke Ichikawa

Titbit wasn’t flash to begin here, whereas on the other hand Chatham House pinged out from the inside and led easily.  She’s A Girl didn’t begin as well initially, but was ridden hard to come across from the deep and led them up after a couple of hundred metres.  Gold Epona settled third, and Pendolin got a nice run on the fence in fourth.  When they came around the turn, She’s A Girl had gone for home, but Chatham House looked odds on to run past her at the 300m mark.  Behind them, Pendolin found itself struggling for clear racing room.  At the 150m mark, Chatham House started to peak on its run and She’s A Girl kicked on tenaciously to regain the lead.  She held on for the win in the run to the line from the unlucky Pendolin who I think would have won with clearer running sooner in the straight.  Chatham House, after looking the winner, stoppped and missed a place.

Follow: Pendolin

Race 6

1st            Zephyron                            Robert Thompson
2nd         Capital Commander         Kathy O’Hara
3rd          Generalife                            Christian Reith

Landing jibbed a bit at the start and came out about a neck or so behind them, and then rallied through along the fence to take up third spot.  Zephyron led them up from Capital Commander who sat on its outside.  Generalife who found good support in betting landed three wide early, before slotting into the one out one back trail.  When they straightened, Zephyron still had the front, with Capital Commander trying to get to it, and Generalife looking the likely winner coming at them three wide.  In the run to the line, the three of them fought out a good finish, with Zephyron continuing to find on the inside, and he made it three all the way leaders in a row to get the money.  The runs of Reunite and Choice Bro deserve a pass mark.  Landing didn’t do a lot, but still may be getting fitter and shouldn’t be sacked yet.

Follow: None to follow

Race 7

1st             Green Beret                Tim Clark
2nd          Tahitian Black             Peter Robl
3rd           California Storm        Sam Clipperton

Although it was a good start, Hand Liqour and Reflectance didn’t want to go the early pace and dropped right out the back.  Net Worth found the front, with Green Beret moving across from out wide to sit outside the leader.  Tahitian Black and Shelford got nice runs behind the speed, whereas California Storm was trapped three wide.  Half way up the straight, Green Beret had the front, and Tahitian Black had found an inside run to try and challenge.  Those two fought it out with Green Beret holding the upper hand on the line for the win.  California Storm did a great job in third after being wide.  Shelford didn’t have the clearest of running in the straight, but also finds it hard to win.  Angel Bee ran home pretty well into fourth.

Follow: California Storm, Tahitian Black, Angel Bee

Race 8

1st            That’s A Good Idea             Glyn Schofield
2nd           Heart Testa                           Jim Cassidy
3rd           Goldstone                              Tommy Berry

Heart Testa and That’s A Good Idea were clearly the two best into stride, with Heart Testa initially taking it up, but That’s A Good Idea has plenty of pace and went across to lead by the time they hit the first turn.  Kilwinning Option and Whisperossa settled down third and fourth.  They came around the turn, and the two favourites, That’s A Good Idea and Heart Testa were a couple of lengths clear and settled down to fight it out.  At times it looked as if Heart Testa would get past That’s A Good Idea, however, That’s A Good Idea is a very good horse and the way he dug in, in the last 100m was impressive, and he came away to win by nearly a length on the line.  Goldstone and Disciple were the closers down the outside but they were never going to get anywhere near the first two, who should both be followed.

Follow: That’s A Good Idea, Heart Testa

Specials from the meeting: Foreign Prince, Pendolin, California Storm