Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1 

1st                    Almalad                                      Winona Costin 2nd                   Sports Edition                         Blake Shinn 3rd                    Ravenwitch                             Tim Clark

Sports Edition began best in the first and led up with Next Level moving up outside of it, which gave the favourite Almalad a nice sit in third spot.  More Than Frank who was in the market was in fourth spot along the fence.  Around the turn, they came off the fence a bit, and Almalad was brought out wide for its run.  Once they topped the rise, Almalad had built up its momentum and when asked to sprint he did so very nicely and came away to win by three or four lengths to Sports Edition who held the others off easily enough.  The winner was simply too smart for these.

Follow: Almalad

Race 2

1st                    Off The Rails                                 Christian Reith 2nd                   Elusive Runner                            Jason Collett 3rd                    Marvelous Ceramibo               Jeff Lloyd

2000m for the second event with TakewingEagle Shaman and Elusive Runnerall slow to begin.  On the top end, Rockabill worked its way over to the lead andMan Of Colours came over with it after being out wide.  Marvelous Ceramibo and Unique were getting good runs behind the speed as was the eventual winner Off The Rails.  Federica was caught three deep forever.  When they came around the turn, pretty much everything was being ridden along, except for Off The Rails who was being brought to the outside with its run.  It came at the leaders together with Unique and got the better of that runner inside the 100m mark and was set for victory.  The run of Elusive Runner had a big red flashing light on it, coming from last around the turn and running all the way through the line.

Follow: Elusive Runner

Race 3

1st                    Abbasso                                      Jason Collett 2nd                    Oxford Poet                            Taylor Marshall 3rd                    Sabino Speed                          Jay Ford

Katie’s Cover who was sent out a very short priced favourite missed the start a bit, together with Lofty AmbitionOxford Poet led them up with Sabino Speedoutside of it and Equator was back on the fence in third, with Rockford outside of it.  Miss Tenpins was caught wide back in midfield.  Around the turn and up the rise, Oxford Poet had a kick, and back in the field Katie’s Cove had been brought to the outside but wasn’t really winding up.  Inside the 100m mark, Katie’s Cove had gone backwards, and it was still Oxford Poet kicking on and trying to hold offAbasso and Sabino Speed on its outside and Longma who had made good ground and was threatening danger on the inside.  In the drive to the line it was Abasso that got the money in a blanket finish.  Longma was probably the run of the race here.  Who knows what happened to Katie’s Cove who was very disappointing.

Follow: None to follow

Race 4

1st                    Breakfast In Bed                    Christian Reith 2nd                   Beckon                                      Josh Parr 3rd                    Tralfaz                                       Damien Thornton

Beckon led them up in the fourth from Inside Job and Tralfaz.  The pace didn’t look strong, and Zin Zan Eddie was caught wide.  Just prior to the 600m markLiving On A Prayer was lucky to stay on its feet after clipping heels in front.  Into the straight, Breakfast In Bed and Tralfaz took the shortcut up the fence and worked their way to the front at the 200m mark with Breakfast In Bed doing best from Beckon who came again after looking beaten and Tralfaz took third.  The effort of Zin Zan Eddie was quite good here after being wide all the way.  You’ll Never tried to wind up down the outside but the slow pace was of no assistance, and I can’t believe punters continue to send Specific Choice out close to favourite, he just doesn’t put in!

Follow: You’ll Never, Zin Zan Eddie

Race 5

1st                    Avoid Lightning                     Tim Clark 2nd                   Recoinage                               James McDonald 3rd                    Hurrara                                    Claire Nutman

An 1100m dash for the fifth with Hurrara out quickly, but then Texan Ladmustered pace to go through and lead  from Hurrara, Recoinage and Avoid Lightning.  They strung out over plenty of ground indicating that the pace was good, and up to the 600m mark Texan Lad got away by about 5 lengths.  In the straight, Texan Lad came back to them and Avoid Lightning was pulled to the outside to come with its run together with Hurrara and Recoinage.  In the run to the line, class told and Avoid Lightning came right away from them in what was a pretty good win, set up by the pace that Texan Lad turned on.

Follow: None to follow

Race 6

1st                    La Amistad                               James McDonald 2nd                   Destiny’s Kiss                        Josh Parr 3rd                    Secessio                                   Christian Reith

The Mckell Cup was race 6, and Secessio missed the start about a length after playing up before they jumped.  Order Of The Sun took them out of the straight in front but Madam Nash had other ideas and took off in front.  Into the back straight, she led them by about four lengths and then there was about eight lengths back toAlzora, with Permit moving up into fourth around the outside.  At the 600m mark,Destiny’s Kiss and La Amistad who were the big guns in betting were picking their way through the field along the fence.  They both left the fence coming to the turn, and it looked a race in two a long way from home.  Up the rise, La Amistad sprinted best and got away from Destiny’s Kiss with Secessio working its way into third.  In the run to the line, La Amistad stretched out very nicely for an impressive win over Destiny’s Kiss who held second in front of Secessio and then there was a break back to Wazn who found the line ok even though beaten a long way.  The winner looked impressive and being related to Makybe Diva they will no doubt no start to talk Spring Cups.  Who knows, she did the job pretty nicely here, but not against any solid opposition.

Follow: La Amistad

Race 7

1st                     Sense And Reason                 Jason Collett 2nd                   Amazon                                    Tim Clark 3rd                    Charzed                                    Jay Ford

I’m In The Money worked its way across from out wide to lead the seventh event.  Oasis Rose was in second and Zuccherina was working out three wide up to about third outside of Centrepet and Medusa’s Miss.  I’m In The Money led up the rise from Medusa’s Miss who was getting up along the fence.  I’m In The Money repelled the challenge from Medusa’s Miss but there was a cavalry coming down the outside and it was Sense And Reason who finished best to beat Amazon, who was a good effort after not beginning all that well and Charzed found its way into third.  Overall, many will probably talk about the run of Amazon and question whether it was unlucky, but I think all credit needs to go to the winner who came from behind Amazon in the straight and went past it.

Follow: Sense And Reason

Race 8

1st                    Eigelstein                                Jim Cassidy 2nd                    Excess Knowledge                 Blake Shinn 3rd                    Generalife                               James McDonald

1400m to finish the card off with Taxmeifyoucan and Ernest Earnest both slow to begin. Loot ‘n’ Run led from Excess Knowledge and Generalife who was throwing its head about which may have been the result of getting cramped for room.  Loot ‘n’ Run railed well around the turn and kicked as they topped the rise.  Excess Knowledge raised another effort and Generalife was coming through in the centre.  Whilst this was going on, Eiglestein was mounting a challenge down the outside.  Initially when he came with his run he wanted to duck in, so Cassidy had to straighten him up and then launch with another run.  He came very quickly in the last bit and got past them in the shadows of the post.  If he had not run in initially he would have won a lot easier, so that should be taken into account when assessing him next start.  Taxmeifyoucan made good ground along the inside from well back and Disciple warmed up very late down the outside from near last.

Follow: Taxmeifyoucan, Disciple

Specials from the meeting: Elusive Runner, Sense And Reason

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Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Victorian Carbine Club Plate (1000m)

1st Forgive And Forget – Dwayne Dunn 2nd Husson Eagle – Michelle Payne 3rd Hi World – Chad Schofield

The six runners broke fairly and Francesca Belle crossed to the fence in the lead. A line of three outside her with Forgive And ForgetTurfane and Agent For Change close up. Husson Eagle found himself boxed away behind the leader andHi World was last but only a couple of lengths off them. Francesca Belle was gone at the 300m and Forgive And Forget stuck his baldy face in front. Turfane tried to go with him and Agent For Change was also under pressure. Husson Eagle couldn’t get a crack at them and Hi World was beginning to win up out wider. Husson Eagle got out in plenty of time to chase but Forgive And Forget was going strongly and held him off with Hi World just dying on his run late. Turfane boxed on and the other two were beaten a long way and were very disappointing.

Follow: nothing of note here.

Race 2: Henry Bolte Handicap (1700m)

1st Tax Evader – Chad Schofield 2nd Aurum Spirit – Jye McNeil 3rd Hero Master – Luke Currie

Plenty of competition for the early lead and Kerthos eventually took it up withWhite Universe Friday Hussy slotted into third behind them and Tax Evaderhad the run of the race. Me Hungi made an early forward move and found up next and midfield were Hero Master inside  Correggio. Only about seven lengths first to last coming to the turn and Kerthos found a little early in the straight and that let Tax Evader out to chase him. Aurum Spirit ran up along the rails behind them and Hero Master tried to follow Tax Evader. White Universe was starting to weaken and  Friday Hussy and Harveys True Heart were running on. Tax Evader took full advantage of the run he had to sprint from the 300m and put the race beyond doubt. Very strong win, but did have things made to order. Nice run from Aurum Spirit who tried hard and Hero Master ran an honest race but didn’t sprint like he’d shown at his previous start. Behind them Kerthos was solid and Bachelor Royale made some ground from last without threatening. Keep an eye on him next time.

Follow: Tax Evader is flying at the moment, Aurum Spirit just down a grade or two.

Race 3: Trevor Clarke Handicap (1200m)

1st Hot Mama – Jye McNeil 2nd Scarlet Billows – Michelle Payne 3rd I’m Fearsome – Jackie Beriman

Belle Couture jumped a lot better this time but looked to get squeezed up a little soon after. Hard to find an early leader with the field stretched across the track.Nicamorae and Scarlet Billows were prominent from Leia  and It’s One. Wider out Young Tigers Jeuney was up there and Scatcat the widest runner. Amorettoand  Hot Mama were behind the leaders towards the inside. About 300m out I’m Fearsome was pulled to the outside but spotted the leader, which was Scarlet Billows by then, a decent margin. Hot Mama came across heels to chime in and took over inside the 200m though Scarlet Billows wasn’t giving up. Scatcat and I’m Fearsome came down the outside. Young Tigers Jeuney just battled and Mokoro  made a short dash. Leia boxed on and Good Music made some good late ground. But Hot Mama finished best and lived up to her even effort at the same course from her previous start. I’m Fearsome wants 1400m and/or a corner now. Belle Couture dropped out again and if she doesn’t go to the paddock now she is one to avoid next time.

Follow: I’m Fearsome (not down the straight), Good Music.

Race 4: Banjo Paterson Series (2000m)

1st Zuma Roc – Dwayne Dunn 2nd Backstedt – Steven King 3rd Garud – Craig Newitt

Flying Hussler jumped straight to the lead and was wasting no time early.Lightenuff moved up into second and they engaged in a bit of a duel. Voila Icidropped in for a nice trial and Backstedt  wasn’t far off. Next were Tuscan Fire andZuma Roc enjoying cosy runs. The favourite Tooleybuc Kid  only had a couple behind him early on. The two leaders broke the field right up midrace and Voila Ici was struggling to keep in touch 1000m out. The gap closed pretty quickly coming to the turn and Backstedt pulled out to slide up three wide on turning and Zuma Roc had his back. Tuscan Fire went looking for a run inside the tiring Flying Hussler.Wish Come True was further out and Tooleybuc Kid pulled to the middle of the track but had his work cut out as Backstedt went for home at the 200m. Zuma Roc went with him and finished the better to score well, a marked improvement on his effort the previous week (though we did say to stick with him).  Garud came from behind Tooleybuc Kid to grab third who was ridden way too far back and can be forgiven.

Follow: these horses take turns so be wary.

Race 5: Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m)

1st Unchain My Heart – Craig Newitt 2nd Vatuvei – Linda Meech 3rd Gotta Take Care – Brad Rawiller

I’m Jake crossed to lead easily at the post the first time and strode along ahead ofMcNulty and WellsOminous found a good spot on the fence,  Gotta Take Carewas outside him and Vatuvei and Shoreham  were midfield. Little to no change in the running other than Wells moving to second midrace. Ominous worked off the fence coming to the turn and pushed Shoreham three wide as he tracked Gotta Take Care into the race. I’m Jake shook Wells off at the 400m and had Gotta Take Care looming up. Ominous presented at the right time and Vatuvei was creeping up along the fence. Shoreham, anchored a bit by the 60kg, ran on and Unchain My Heart  unwound down the extreme outside. Vatuvei hit the lead at the 200m but was quickly picked up by Unchain My Heart and she raced away to record back-to-back wins in this race, likely to be her last. Vatuvei held off Gotta Take Care who came again late and Shoreham was game under his big weight. Have to say Ominous didn’t run the 3200m out, he had every chance even though he raced a little keenly early on.

Follow: Vatuvei is ready to make his jumps debut and Gotta Take Care is ticking over nicely for the big hurdle races coming up.

Race 6: The Straight Six (1200m)

1st Lonhspresso – Michelle Payne 2nd Le Bonsir – Dwayne Dunn 3rd Essay Raider – Chad Schofield

A fairly clean break and eventually Pampelonne emerged in front. Octavia raced handy and down the middle of the track Le Bonsir and Callanish  showed some pace. Essay Raider followed the leader with Pago Rock on his outside. General Peekay had clear running and in a bunched field Lonhspresso was a clear last but no more than four lengths off the lead. Closer to the rails Pampelonne skipped away about 400m out and looked to have most of them under pressure. Essay Raider ran on along the fence and Le Bonsir out wider. Pago Rock and Octavia were gone and General Peekay couldn’t go with them. Lonhspresso was still a few lengths from the lead and winding up. Pampelonne was still in front coming to the 50m but was swallowed up by Essay Raider first on his inside then Le Bonsir and Lonhspresso finished over the top of all of them to win, making up for her defeat against a similar bunch two weeks earlier. Written Intent  finished off okay behind them and you’d have to say General Peekay, who beat them all last start, disappointed.

Follow: stick with Lonhspresso who was only second-up. Pampelonne is close to a win if he can repeat that run.

Race 7: Winter Championship Heat (1400m)

1st Limes – Steven Arnold 2nd The Cleaner – Anthony Darmanin 3rd Gig – Dwayne Dunn

Limes fired out from his outside gate but was never going to cross them withDecircles and The Cleaner kicking up so he eased and got in one off the fence. Tried And Tired  held the box seat from the grey Alpha Proxima and Lord Durante , who also overcame an awkward gate well. The Cleaner was being hard ridden before the turn to go with Decircles. Tried And Tired got a dream run between them early in the straight and Limes pulled out to run on, though was taken wider by The Cleaner who raced all over the place under pressure. They broke away from the field 400m out. Limes got to the front a long way from home and he’s the type that has a think in that situation. The Cleaner fought back and Decircles and Tried And Tired started to weaken. That quartet were still well clear but hitting the wall inside the 200m. Minnie Downs and Gig were the two principal chasers but Limes kept going and just denied a gallant The Cleaner. Super ride by Steven Arnold on the winner. Gig got up for third ahead of Minnie Downs. Nice run in behind them from Brambles who was second-up from a long break and Road Warrior wasn’t disgraced just ahead of him after racing three and four wide.

Follow: The Cleaner races best when allowed to run along and he was game, Brambles is ready for further.

Race 8: K A Morrison Handicap (1600m)

1st By The Grace – Michelle Payne 2nd Turnitaround – Dean Yendall 3rd Jade’s Boy – Chad Schofield

Kirani jumped well and found the early lead but had a bit of company withBoombuster, Jade’s Boy and Pippingarra all right up there. Turnitaroundsettled three back on the fence inside By The Grace. Great Esteem settled off the speed this time and Self Sense midfield. Jade’s Boy moved up to join Kirani and Pippingarra in the lead before the home turn and By The Grace moved three wide to get onto his back. Great Esteem followed him in turn and Native Land  came to the outside to try and run on. Jade’s Boy hit the lead 300m out and held a length over By The Grace who was trying hard under his big weight. Kirani stuck on gamely and Turnitaround ducked back inside the leader. Nothing else was running on with Boombuster next. By The Grace really stuck the neck out in the last 100m and he finished too well to down Turnitaround and Jade’s Boy just weakened after taking off a long way out. With Boombuster holding fourth you couldn’t get keen on anything else behind them.

Follow: stay with By The Grace, don’t be afraid of a class rise as he won with 60kg here.

Specials from the meeting: Pampelonne, Brambles, Vatuvei (jumps)