Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Maribyrnong Trial Stakes (1000m)

1st Risen From Doubt – Nicholas Hall
2nd Jabali – Glen Boss
3rd Boomwaa – Dwayne Dunn

Unraced two-year-olds down the straight and there was a line of about six up front until Harcourt Street showed out to lead briefly outside of Beau Rada, Say My Name and Boomwaa. Dragons Eye was handy on the inside andJabali loped along out wide. Risen From Doubt settled in behind them but quickly worked his way through the gaps to stride to the front at the 300m and broke right away. Jabali ran his race in patches but stretched out very nicely late and looks an improver. Boomwaa stuck on the best of those on the pace early on. Every chance Dragons Eye and a pass mark for Guajeo who finished best of those behind the placings without really catching the eye. The first eight beat the rest by a long way.

Follow: Remember Risen From Doubt come the new year, Jabali has improvement.

Race 2: UCI Stakes (1800m)

1st Polanski – Dean Yendall
2nd Epic Saga – Chris Symons
3rd Famechon – Dwayne Dunn

Rockford showed his early pace this time and assumed the lead quickly with Lannister following him across. Orion landed in the box seat with Polanski securing a soft run to his outside. A couple of lengths back in the clear were Cafe Scientific and Epic Saga. The field strung out a bit there with a big margin between first and last. Rockford controlled things until the 400m where Polanski made his move and took the lead and kicked away. He was there to be beaten and Epic Saga, who had his back, peeled out to give chase. He didn’t really sprint but kept coming. Famechon had raced three wide throughout and he produced the run of the race to still be strong at the finish and closing in. Orion had every chance and proved disappointing and the same can be said for Rockford. Behind the placings Pinstripe Lane and Surging Wave hit the line well without threatening and it’d be worth giving Tupac Amaru another chance – he was charging home the last 100m but was too far back to make an impact. He wants more ground.

Follow: Famechon needs a kill but could be a Derby horse.

Race 3: Yellowglen Vintage Stakes (1410m)

1st Paximadia – Nash Rawiller
2nd I Am Titanium – Nicholas Hall
3rd Champollion – Steven Arnold

Essential Element was squeezed out at the start and was a clear last early. Paximadia sprung out and, somewhat surprisingly, crossed to find the fence in front. Olivier worked forward to sit second with his stablemate Churchill Dancer on his back and Baker Boy back on the fence. Murtle Turtle was stuck three wide up on the pace and Kingdom Of Dreams wider. Olivier poured the pressure on Paximadia who responded and beat that challenge off by the 100m. They were lining up to chase behind him but Paximadia held over a length to the line. Super win. I Am Titanium finished off strongly to grab second but never looked like challenging. Champollionand Miracle To Me worked home from the back with the former showing something like his best form for the first time this prep. Le Mans didn’t settle in the run but he wasn’t disgraced finishing just behind the placings.
Follow: Paximadia is a very good horse, and even better ridden with cover.

Race 4: Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1000m)

1st Anatina – Craig Williams
2nd Chloe In Paris – Glen Boss
3rd Romancingthestone – Chad Schofield

Chloe In Paris was best out and took up the lead on the fence. Menage A Charge pulled her way up in the centre of the straight to join her on the pace. Anatina scrambled out a little and bumped with Melrose Place before settling in behind them. Calcatta was under pressure a long way out after showing some early speed. Just behind the pace were Melancolia, Romancingthestone and Holy Cow. Chloe In Paris regained the lead at the 300m and Anatina was given full boar to chase. She gradually wore down the leader to win. Holy Cow was going to run a clear third but was tightened up on the heels of the first two home and Romancingthestone kicked back to claim third. Nothing of note behind them.

Follow: Holy Cow has most scope for improvement but not a strong race.

Race 5: Headquarters Tavern Stakes (1410m)

1st Molto Bene – Dominic Tourneur
2nd British General – Luke Currie
3rd Goldslick – Luke Nolen

Clean start and British General rolled forward to get a soft lead early. Launay found himself second without covber and Langridge Street strode up three wide as the pace slowed midrace. Just Discreet found the leader’s back with Don’t Get Excited to her outside and Goldslick behind her. Sheer Talent was dragged back to last from his wide alley as was Molto Bene. British General and Launay were battling it out down to the 200m and British General shook him off. Just Discreet was badly held up behind them. Sheer Talent made a short sprint down the middle but that run didn’t last long and Glodslick burst through late. While all that was happening Molto Bene had to come across the heels of the entire field to get to the outside and was given a decent bump by Beltonic, before launching down the outside and swallowing up the entire field in 100m or so and had almost a length to spare. Amazing win and left the others, with the possible exception of Just Discreet, with no excuses.

Follow: Molto Bene was outstanding. Wouldn’t sack Sheer Talent.

Race 6: The Bart Cummings (2500m)

1st Araldo – Glen Boss
2nd Sea Moon – Brett Prebble
3rd Gotta Take Care – Luke Nolen

Polish Knight blew the start by five or six lengths and lost all chance there. Tanby jumped well and held his place on the fence forcing Supremacy and Keep Cool to do a bit of work before leading. Tremec enjoyed a nice run just off the pace. Gotta Take Care settled midfield with Moudre on his back. Araldo was forced to race three wide for the entire trip and Sea Moon had his back the whole way. Little changed until about 800m to go where the field began to bunch. Araldo flushed Gotta Take Care out as the loomed up wide on the track on the turn. Sea Moon hooked widest. Gotta Take Care was still in front at the 100m, Araldo and Sea Moon just got the better of Gotta Take Care in the last few strides as things became very tight between the trio with Sea Moon gaining the win. However, the stewards saw it differently and upheld a protest from Glen Boss, awarding the race to Araldo. And Araldo did race three wide all the way so it was a tough win. Gotta Take Care was brave in defeat and they were well clear of Crafty Cruiser who worked through the field to run fourth. Another big gap to the likes of Why Not, who had every chance, a disappointing Moudre and Talent Show. Polish Knight didn’t do a bad job to beat a few home. Sea Moon may have had 60kg and be heralded as ‘one of the best stayers in the world’ but Gotta Take Care is a hurdler and as good as he is going you have to say the form here is suspect.

Follow: these are the B-graders. No Melbourne Cup hopes here.

Race 7: Edward Manifold Stakes (1610m)

1st Se Saveur – Damian Lane
2nd Star Fashion – Chad Schofield
3rd Solicit – Brett Prebble

Nobody really keen to lead early on before Godiva Rock and Metaphorical crossed from their wide alleys. Romantic Moon and Lady Lakshmi held their positions just behind the speed and that forced Politeness to sit three wide without cover. Se Saveur was outside her before taking hold and getting a trail on Politeness’ back.Star Fashion had plenty of cover back in the pack and Solicit wound up last. Godiva Rock was under pressure as soon as they turned. Politeness tried to chime in but got a stitch about 200m out where there was a line of about eight fillies in contention. Out wide Star Fashion, who had trouble getting around the heels of Politeness, and Se Saveur chimed in and raced clear to fight it out. Se Saveur got the stride in right on the line to win narrowly. Solicit hit the line nicely from well back and the same can be said for Fantome Gris. Wordplay was a little one paced when the run came for her but worked home okay and may be looking for further.

Follow: Solicit and Wordplay over 2000m. No knock on the winner either.

Race 8: Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m)

1st Happy Trails – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Puissance de Lune – Glen Boss
3rd Fawkner – Nicholas Hall

Puissance de Lune was first to show out but there was a line of six up front until Glencadam Gold mustered to cross the field and Quintessential was sooled up to sit second. Sangster and Mr O’Ceirin were next with Royal Descent, Fawkner and Manighar handy. Fiorente was a bit lazy at the start and settled at the back with Hawkspur who crossed behind them from the outside. A bit of tightening at the first turn saw Puissance de Lune and Royal Descent lose a length or so. Jet Away sat three deep in the second half outside Super Cool and Happy Trails. Glencadam Gold had them running before the turn and broke the field up momentarily but he was quickly reeled in by the 400m where Puissance de Lune burst up along the fence to grab the lead a fair way out with Dear Demi trying to follow him. Fawkner made a dash about the same time to challenge and Jet Away went with him while Quintessential and Mr O’Ceirin were boxing on. Plenty of interference around that point with Hawkspur running into dead ends along the fence, Royal Descent flattened and Fiorente was badly held up inside struggling horses near the tail. Happy Trails gained some dream runs through the field while others were having hard luck stories and set out after Puissance de Lune and Fawkner, who was peaking on his run. He arrived just in time. Hawkspur caught the eye along the inside and Fiorente sprouted wings out wide with both missing a place narrowly. Jet Away was tightened near the line and Silent Achiever worked home well though couldn’t match Fiorente’s sprint. Forgive Royal Descent and Super Cool. So much happened in this race and probably 11 of the 16 runners get pass marks or better.

Follow: Fiorente should have won, he’s a star. Hawkspur was excellent as was Jet Away. No knock on Puissance de Lune who was a sitting shot.

Race 9: Gilgai Stakes (1200m)

1st Platelet – Michelle Payne
2nd Spirit Of Boom – Nicholas Hall
3rd Steps In Time – Michael Rodd

Griffon stumbled badly shortly after jumping and Galah was a little slow. Steps In Time rolled to the front in the centre of the track. Sessions was over racing to her inside with Albrecht closer to the fence just off the speed.Platelet had the leader’s back and Spirit Of Boom tucked in about midfield. Aeronautical settled well back in the field. Platelet claimed Steps In Time about 200m out and Spirit Of Boom made his run to challenge and had every chance to run the winner down. Steps In Time looked gone when they raced past but she rallied to regain third place from Sessions and Albrecht with about a length and a half separating the first five. Galah and Mister Milton were about a length off those and the rest were in another race. Aeronautical did nothing at all and beat only the stragglers home.

Follow: None in particular though the first five all ran well.

Race 10: Blazer Stakes (1410m)

1st Fire Up Fifi – Damian Browne
2nd Peron – Nash Rawiller
3rd Catkins – Craig Newitt

Zurella was slow by a length and Lake Sententia was eased back to last from her wide gate. Red Fez found herself in front and was made to work by Maybe Discreet and Catkins to cross to the fence. Peron went forward looking for a spot but was stuck three wide without cover as Flying Snitzel and Epingle kicked up inside her. Balaclava Lady raced four and five wide throughout and Fire Up Fifi got onto her back coming to the turn. Red Fez kicked away early in the straight and let Catkins out to chase her. Peron chimed in at the 300m and edged clear. Just as she looked the winner Fire Up Fifi produced a big sprint and stuck her nose in front with a few strides to go. Catkins had the best run in the race and had her chance, another honest run though. Super run by Lake Sententia coming from last to run into fourth while Girl Gone Rockin got through the ruck in a pleasing first-up run to be close up. Balaclava Lady had no luck at all.
Follow: Lake Sententia is coming along well and is close to a win now.

Specials from the meeting: Fiorente, Paximadia, Famechon, Lake Sententia.


Randwick review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st         Alpha Miss                Jason Collett
2nd       Tetsuko                      Brenton Avdulla
3rd         Lucky Raquie         Glyn Schofield

The first two year old race of the season on a Sydney Metro track was the Gimcrack stakes, and it was a pretty fair line out, with Tetsuko showing enough pace to lead, from Alpha Miss on its outside and Dateable getting a nice run third on the fence.  Lucky Raqui was also getting a nice run, one out and one back.  Around the turn and topping the rise, Tetsuko was being challeneged by Alpha Miss, with Lucky Raqui also chiming in strongly.  In the run to the line, they dropped of Lucky Raqui, and it looked like Tetsuko may hold on, but Alpha Miss dug deep to win well.

Follow: Alpha Miss (2yo’s often keep winning early)

Race 2

1st            Law                          Tim Clark
2nd          Mohave                 Christian Reith
3rd          Bold Circle            Jason Collett

The Breeders Plate, again for the two-year-olds was race 2, and it was another pretty reasonable line out, withLaw using its inside gate to go through and lead.  Ghibellines went to second, and the favourite Wandjina was caught three deep on the speed.  Running up to the turn, there was a fair bit of interference, and its worth having a look at the replay to see if your runner was impacted.  The main one that copped the worst of it appeared to be Lord Beckworth.  Over the rise, Law still had the lead, with Mohave coming out from behind to to try and run it down, but Law had pretty much done everything right, and held on to beat Mohave.  The effort of Bold Circle to be wide all the way and still run third was good.  Wandjina didn’t live up to its million dollar price tag.  The effort of Alkadabra was quite good as it also got in some trouble before the turn.

Follow: Bold Circle

Race 3

1st          Honorius                      James McDonald
2nd       Masked Marvel           Hugh Bowman
3rd        Vaquera                        Blake Shinn

Hippopus led up from Winning Glory, with Cantonese taking the sit in third, and Honorius getting a nice run, one out, one back.  Masked Marvell and Kelinmi went back to second last and last.  There was no change in the order up to the turn, and when they came into the straight, Honorius looked the obvious challenger to the leaders, and Masked Marvell had come around it to also start its challenge.  Kelinni was back last still and its chances didn’t look good.  Topping the rise, it was a two horse race, with Honorius and Masked Marvell settling down to fight it out.  Honorius dug in for the fight, and Masked Marvell, although he tried, couldn’t get to him in the run to the line.  Kelinni ran last in another very disappointing effort.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1st            Guelph                              Kerrin McEvoy
2nd          Sensibility                        Brad Rawiller
3rd          Bound For Earth            James McDonald

The Flight Stakes was race 4, and Sensibility missed it a bit and went back to last.  Arabian Gold was out well, but She’s Bella wanted the lead and got it clearly.  She led from Arabian Gold and Refer, with the short favouriteGuelph trapped three wide.  There really is not a lot you can say about this race other than the fact that Guelph was simply in another class.  She sat three deep all the way and ran away from them in the straight.  Sensibility was a great run into second after missing the start and having to come wide.  Bound For Earth gets a pass mark for running another placing, whilst Arabian Gold didn’t do much.

Follow: Sensibility

Race 5

1st            Zoustar                  Jim Cassidy
2nd         Barbed                    Kerrin McEvoy
3rd         Open Book             Christian Reith

If we thought The Flight was a one act affair, that was nothing in comparison to the Roman Consul.  It was a bit of a patchy start, but Little Miss Smiley came out well and led from Va Pensiero which was outside of it, and Mr Jackman was caught three deep on the speed.  Open Book and Barbed got nice runs just behind the speed, and Zoustar stalked them and was about 5 lenghts off the lead.  After such an impressive win last start, I wasn’t sure if Zoustar could repeat the dose, but when they turned for home and he was brought out wide and cantered up to them, it was apparent that it was all over.  Such was the impressive nature of this win that I have no doubt this horse can win a Group 1 race in open company, and may in fact be “the next big thing”.  The beaten brigade were just that.    Mr Jackman stuck on pretty well and might win something easier.

Follow: Zoustar, Mr Jackman

Race 6

1st           Rock Hero                         Glyn Schofield
2nd         Liberty’s Choice              Tim Clark
3rd          Equator                              Tom Berry

Rock Hero seemed to go up with the gates and went back to last in the early part.  Liberty’s Choice got the front from Equator.  Thunder Fantasy was caught three wide on the speed.  Star Wars was in the middle and The Special Two was back along the fence getting a nice run.  Rock Hero railed up to midfield.  Before the turn, Liberty’s Choice was let slide a little bit and had a break as they turned and topped the rise.  Equator was quickly on the scene to tackle, but Liberty’s Choice fought off that challenge, and then it was Rock Hero, who was ridden a treat after its bad beginning, that got the runs on the inside and picked up a tiring Liberty’s Choice right near the line.  Saintly Lad ran strongly to the line and should be followed

Follow: Liberty’s Choice, Saintly Lad

Race 7

1st          Boban                 Glyn Schofield
2nd        Streama             Hugh Bowman
3rd        Toydini              Blake Shinn

The big Randwick mile races have to be one of the best spectacles to watch from a racing enthusiast point of view, and this years edition of The Epsom didn’t let us down.  It was a great line out, with the lightly weighted Ecuador being ridden with intent to lead and did so.  Once he crossed, Ashokan came across to sit behind the lead, which gave Streama and Spurtonic nice runs behind the speed, and Malavio moved up outside the leader.  They strung out a fair bit, which meant nothing was trapped overly wide.  At about the 600m, Boban, which was well back, checked off a runner ahead of it and ended up coming around the turn in second last place.  As they topped the rise, Ecuador still led clearly, but the classy pair, Streama and Toydini were chiming in strongly down the outside, and then Boban launched a brilliant run from the tail of the field.  On the post, Boban got a narrow victory over Streama, with Toydini in third.  It was an outstanding effort from the winner, a-la Super Impose from near last!  Malavio went fairly nicely in this as did Ecuador.  Sincero is not the horse he previously was.

Follow: Malavio, Ecuador

Race 8

1st         Arinosa                                Brenton Avdulla
2nd       Dystopia                              Hugh Bowman
3rd        Famous Seamus               Tim Clark

Mic Mac was slowest to begin and went back to last, whereas Tiger Tees showed its usual speed and led them up.  Tiger Tees was held up a bit in front and allowed Hidden Warrior and Hay List to stride past him and go to the front.  Neeson ended up three wide.  Topping the rise, Hay List, Hidden Warrior, Tiger Tees and Knight Examplar were fighting it out, with Dystopia also getting through to challenge.  Arinosa appeared to be in a hopeless position around the turn, but she can unwind a very big finish, and that is exactly what happened here.  She came together with Famous Seamus, and She’s Clean also finished well along the inside.  On the line, Arinosa got a lost stride victory.  It’s a real shame to see Hay List still going around as a shadow of his former self, and surely after today they will retire him.  Manawanui was an improved effort today.

Follow: She’s Clean, Dystopia

Race 9

1st          Seville                          Hugh Bowman
2nd        Julienas                       Tommy Berry
3rd         Sneak A Peek            Josh Parr

To the last, and it was Julienas that was ridden with intent to lead and did so from Mourayan on its outside andSeville was third along the fence.  I’m Imposing was gettting a nice run in fourth.  Sneak A Peek was caught a bit wide.  At about the 1000m mark, Lucripetous unfortunately broke down.  Around the turn, Julienas left the fence which gave the run to Seville which came through to challenge, and those two fought it out the whole way down the straight.  Sneak A Peek was still trying hard on the outside despite being wide all the way and Prince Cheri was held up for a run behind them, but once in the clear didn’t really ping to the line.  Seville got the victory narrowly, but Sneak A Peek was the run of the race for mine.  Ironstein and Moriarty came to the line fairly well.

Follow: Sneak A Peek

 Specials from the meeting: Bold Circle, Sensibility, Zoustar, Sneak A Peek