Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Starlight Children’s Foundation (1200m)

1st Black Vanquish – Patrick Moloney
2nd My Poppette – Chris Parnham
3rd Zarabeel – Stephen Baster

Black Vanquish assumed the lead in the middle of the track with My Poppette right behind him. On their inside were Beachley, Overstay and Miss Cooper with Little Bita Spunk staying on the fence. Modrich had a trail behind My Poppette and Badcoe settled about midfield. Black Vanquish had most of them off the bit by the 400m and wasn’t called for until My Poppette started to loom. Modrich came off their backs but was a bit flat chasing and wider Zarabeel started to run on. Those on the inside weren’t in the hunt headed by Badcoe and Invincible Knight making a bit of ground. Black Vanquish saw off the challenge of My Poppette and coasted to an easy win. Zarabeel continued her run into third in a nice debut while Modrich had every chance. Invincible Knight wasn’t bad at his first start either.

Follow: none really stood out but like to see Invincible Knight again.

Race 2: Denis Walter Afternoons Trophy (1600m)

1st Kansas Sunflower – Chris Symons
2nd Sea Spray – Patrick Moloney
3rd Bahamas – Jordan Childs

Violent Snow worked to the lead from Royal Ocean holding the fence and Hennessy Rock. A Lotta Love was trapped deep and pressed forward getting to second before Taylah’s Secret rushed around and took that spot. Bahamas also found herself wide with Kansas Sunflower and Sea Spray inside her. Violent Snow looked to travel a bit hard in front with Taylah’s Secret on her hammer. Royal Ocean had a nice run and A Lotta Love also came back well. Sea Spray was creeping along the rail. Royal Ocean came around the heels of the leaders at the 400m to run on and that allowed Sea Spray to travel up behind them looking for a gap which opened soon after. Bahamas made a dash out wider with Hennessy Rock while Kansas Sunflower got a split inside Royal Ocean who was battling. Sea Spray burst to the lead at the 200m but Kansas Sunflower was going with her and they came away to fight it out. Bahamas ran to third. Kansas Sunflower just finished the race off a little better in the last 50m to deny Sea Spray who had every chance. Big run from Bahamas into third and they were clear of Royal Ocean and Not A Happy Camper, who made some late ground. Disappointing run from The French House who didn’t ever make an impact.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 3: Union Road Community Hub (1200m)

1st Bel Show – Michelle Payne
2nd We’ve Got This – Chris Symons
3rd Usain Dane – Linda Meech

Bunched field in the centre of the track with Mihany, Veuvelicious and Jabali all handy. Shacarde and White Hunter raced further out while So You Drink tucked in behind the leaders. We’ve Got This and UsainDane were back behind White Hunter. Mihany gave a bit of a kick coming to the 300m as Jabali tried to go with him. White Hunter made a short dash then paddled and We’ve Got This came over his heels with a nice run. Shacarde struggled and Usain Dane was looming up with Bel Show the widest. Probably two lengths first to last at the 200m where We’ve Got This sprinted to the lead and momentarily looked the winner but Bel Show was also swooping down the outside and claimed We’ve Got This and raced clear to win like a 6/4 shot. A decent gap to Usain Dane who stuck on well but was no match for the first two while Jabali also battled on but remains a maiden. Shacarde got going again to be close up to him. White Hunter dropped out after seemingly having his chance.

Follow: We’ve Got This looked to have improvement in him.

Race 4: Tom Elliott Drive Trophy (1400m)

1st Actuariat – Chris Symons
2nd Vuelta – Stephen Baster
3rd Setinum – Jake Noonan

Liberation had little trouble in crossing to the front and led clearly from Berlutti and Red Casino just easing a bit. San Amaro and Vuelta made some ground while Malaguerra let them go and landed midfield in the clear. Setinum got up on the inside of him. Liberation had them trucking and coming to the turn Berlutti and San Amaro were being niggled at. Red Casino was also gone and Setinum pushed him out of the way to get clear. Vuelta had sat wide but was running on and Actuariat loomed up strongly wider out. Liberation was done for by the 200m and San Amaro claimed him on the inside but those out wider were descending. Sentinum chimed in with Vuelta and Actuariat further out and Malaguerra matched them to make a line of four driving to the post. Actuariat stuck the head out at the right time to deny a gallant Vuelta and Sentinum a narrow margin away. Malaguerra just died on his run while Fast Cash made late ground without ever looking a chance to run fifth ahead of San Amaro who was also game.

Follow: Setinum is likely to back up next week and should be hard to beat.

Race 5: 3AW Community Raceday (1000m)

1st Hard Romp – Michael Dee
2nd Ball Of Muscle – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Couldn’t Agreemore – Patrick Moloney

As usual, Fab Fevola burned them off early on the lead out wide. Ball Of Muscle, who jumped a bit scratchily, was straight onto his back and Hard Romp was handy on his own around the middle of the track. Couldn’t Agreemore followed Ball Of Muscle. Play Master and Henwood were the next pair. Fab Fevola looked in trouble as far out as the 400m and Ball Of Muscle went inside him to challenge with Hard Romp and by the 300m were in front. Couldn’t Agreemore was under pressure to chase the new leaders as Fab Fevola started to stick on again. Hard Romp held a narrow lead over Ball Of Muscle at the clock tower and they were edging clear of the pack headed by Couldn’t Agreemore. Hard Romp just clung on for a narrow win probably thanks to a 9kg weight difference over Ball Of Muscle who ran yet another honest race. Couldn’t Agreemore just lasted for third over a plucky Fab Fevola. Of the others Danger Close made some ground to be next.

Follow: Ball Of Muscle will win more races.

Race 6: Nightline Handicap (2000m)

1st Second Bullet – James Winks
2nd Whistle Stop – Michelle Payne
3rd Kareeming – Rhys McLeod

Golden Mane blew the start but improved past a few crossing to the fence. Nobody really wanted the lead until The Wingman took over after 400m. Settlers Way moved to sit outside him with Special Miss holding the box seat with Kareeming handy. Soviet Courage was a lot closer outside Captain Teemo with Rodway caught wide just off them. Second Bullet had his back around Martian and Cleansing Ale. The Wingman edged off the fence around the turn and was giving a sight but Settlers Way and Kareeming reeled him in 300m out. They were sitting shots, though, as the runs came in the better part of the track from Second Bullet andWhistle Stop from the back who swept by and cleared out to dispute the result. Kareeming was sticking on as was Rodway and Aurum Spirit made some ground late, as he usually does. Second Bullet dug in for the fight and saw off Whistle Stop’s challenge to score. Kareeming held on for third just ahead of Aurum Spirit and Rodway. Soviet Courage was disappointing as were Martian and Special Miss.

Follow: Rodway was second-up and he had no luck but ran very well.

Race 7: Galilee Series Final (2500m)

1st Manapine – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Oncidium Ruler – Brad Rawiller
3rd All I Survey – Rhys McLeod

All I Survey leaped in the air as the gates opened and was out the back early. A bit of competition for the lead with Berserk taking up the running from Montpellier and Beltum working around them out wide. Barely A Grin tucked in behind them from General James. Not a lot of change for a while, once Beltum got across into second place, until Danehill Downs started a forward move from the 1200m and made it up to third. They started to bunch up coming to the turn with Berserk fighting on well as Beltum and Danehill Downs started to struggle. Manapine was winding up out wide with Oncidium Ruler trying to go with him. All I Survey cut the corner and got up inside Berserk at the 300m. Oncidium Ruler looked to stick his head in front briefly but Manapine kicked back and just did enough to hold on and win. All I Survey didn’t do a bad job to run third and they beat the rest by a mile with General James the best of them.

Follow: none, this was not a strong race.

Race 8: Ross Stevenson Trophy (1600m)

1st Silverball – Ben Melham
2nd Atlantis Dream – Chris Parnham
3rd The Bowler – Patrick Moloney

Spacecraft landed in the lead as he often does with Longeron on the speed. Signoff held the fence behind them with The Bowler and Chile Express in that bunch. Swacadelic improved after a fair start to be next on the fence with Campanology and Atlantis Dream behind him. The field strung out a fair bit in the middle stages as Spacecraft wasn’t wasting any time. Longeron stayed with him and The Bowler was being niggled at to hold his ground three deep. Atlantis Dream found his back as the field started to bunch nearing the turn. Spacecraft stayed on the rail and that was the end of him, Signoff tried to come on and The Bowler was still there but out wider Atlantis Dream and Silverball were making their runs. Spacecraft wobbled to the centre of the track hampering Signoff but Silverball raced by them inside the 200m and edged clear of Atlantis Dream for a strong win. The Bowler did a great job to hold on for third and Pinstripe Lane found the line very nicely late for fourth. Behind them were the likes of Campanology, Longeron, Signoff and Girl In Flight. The winner is a promising horse.

Follow: stick with Silverball.

Race 9: Darren James Trophy (2500m)

1st Crafty Cruiser – Ben Melham
2nd Rawnaq – Dwayne Dunn
3rd Martinvast – Patrick Moloney

Sammy The Snake had to work to cross to the lead and got there eventually over Gotta Take Care and Martinvast. Rawnaq and Arch Fire were the next pair ahead of High Design and Crafty Cruiser. Four Caratwas back near the tail. Sammy The Snake ran them along and Martinvast was right on his back. A few lengths back were Gotta Take Care and Arch Fire. A midrace move came from Waltzing To Win from last getting up to join the leaders and suddenly there wasn’t any more than six lengths between first and last. Gotta Take Care and Martinvast kept Waltzing To Win off the track and that horse’s run was short lived. Arch Fire stayed on the rail while Crafty Cruiser eased out to the centre. Martinvast and Arch Fire took the lead 300m out, Rawnaq was getting through and Crafty Cruiser kept coming down the outside. Four Carat couldn’t go with them and Crafty Cruiser finished off the best to narrowly beat Rawnaq and Martinvast with High Design sneaking up on their inside. Four Carat was very disappointing and the jumper Gotta Take Care ran an improved race and is ready for Warrnambool.

Follow: none.

Specials from the meeting: Setinum, Ball Of Muscle, Silverball

==================================

Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st The Barrister Hugh Bowman
2nd Chachapoyas James McDonald
3rd Reckless Russell Jay Ford

The second day of The Championships got under way on a track rated a heavy 8 with the two-year-olds out to the 1600m mark in The Fernhill Handicap. When they settled, The Barrister led clearly from Clash Of Clans.Celtic Diamond settled third on the outside and back behind them on the fence Chachapoyas was getting a nice run. As they came around the home turn, Celtic Diamond had moved up three wide and Chachapoyas had plenty of room to make ground on the inside, however The Barrister looked to travel as well as anything and had a break in front. In the run to the line, they never looked like getting anywhere near The Barrister and it was the first of the day chalked up to Hugh Bowman. No excuses for the beaten horses here.

Follow: None to follow

Race 2

1st Federal James McDonald
2nd Snake Charmer Craig Williams
3rd Ygritte Tim Clark

Ygritte was initially best out in race two, but Snake Charmer kicked through along the inside to take it up, which put Sadler’s Lake out three wide and it had to stay there. Federal popping behind them for a lovely run. The field was well packed in the middle stages, and they stayed in this order up to the home turn. Ygritte and Sadler’s Lake tried to lay it down to Snake Charmer early in the straight, but neither of them really pinged, and Federal came out from behind them and the race was over pretty quickly. At the furlong, McDonald asked him for the big effort and he found plenty and sprinted clear to beat Snake Charmer which was a good run in second ahead of both Ygritte and Sadler’s Lake who were both dropped off in the run to the line. Sadler’s Lake was wide and a bit keen in the run so may improve next time out.

Follow: Federal

Race 3

1st Sure And Fast Jason Collett
2nd Electric Power Damien Oliver
3rd Oxford Poet Blake Shinn

The Provincial Championship Final was race three and Powerline was slow to go and went back to the rear. Plenty of them wanted to dispute the lead early on, but it was eventually Oxford Poet that took it up fromMagic Of Dreams. Next in the run was Slots, with Harmonic out wide around it and Sure And Fast getting a nice run on the fence. Around the turn, Oxford Poet had a kick up the rise. For a while, nothing was really getting there, but in the last part Sure And Fast built momentum on the inside and went through and claimed the lead and was set for victory. Electric Power cut the margin back in the run to the line and got second ahead of the weakening Oxford Poet. Jimmy Says Yes was a nice run here after not being in the clearest of ground and Darci Magic also finished its race off nicely towards the inside and from a long way back.

Follow: Jimmy Says Yes

Race 4

1st Ottoman Sam Clipperton
2nd Calaverite James McDonald
3rd Lake Geneva Tommy Berry

The Two-year-old fillies went around in race four and it was Calaverite that led them up initially from Serenade, but that runner kicked through on the fence then to lead. Sempre Libera took the sit behind them withOttoman booting through on the inside after a slow start. Lake Geneva was caught out three wide. Around the turn, Calaverite strode up to Serenade with Lake Geneva doing the same out three wide and holding Sempre Libera in a pocket. Inside the final furlong, Calverite was holding a margin over Lake Geneva with Ottoman making ground on the fence and Sempre Libera now into the clear to wind up on the outside. It was a great race to the line and Ottoman was the one who did best over on the inside to get the money. Sempre Libera wound up in fourth, but was the unlucky runner here and should be followed.

Follow: Sempre Libera

Race 5

1st Delectation Hugh Bowman
2nd Bring Me The Maid Chad Schofield
3rd Rekindled Power Craig Williams

Kuro was sent out favourite in race five, and was one of the first to begin from a wide gate, but couldn’t go the speed to get across and was trapped deep. Nostradamus led in the middle with Mossfun out three wide andSoldi Domani towards the fence but Rubick was kicking up to hold the rail. Up towards the 600m mark, Rekindled Power at the tail of the field clipped heels and may have been lucky to avoid coming down. Around the turn, Mossfun was striding up to go to the lead over Rubick, who was fighting on. Soon after, Delectation came with a strong run to go to the front and Bring Me The Maid was coming down the far outside. In the final part, Delectation held the lead and Hugh Bowman had a double. Bring Me The Maid was good in second, and Rekindled Power was exceptional, finishing off for third after the incident at the 600m mark. Of the beaten horses, Mossfun and Rubick were there about, with Mossfun the better of those two after being wide. Kuro was disappointing, but also was wide throughout.

Follow: Bring Me The Maid, Rekindled Power

Race 6

1st Gust Of Wind Tye Angland
2nd Winx Joao Moreira
3rd Candelara Hugh Bowman

The Australian Oaks was race six on the card and was the first of the Group 1’s for the day. Gust Of Wind came out last and took up that position. Candelara on the other hand came out first and went straight to the lead. On the way out of the straight Rustic Melody was out very wide as Thunder Lady pushed through to take up a handy spot. Winx settled a lot handier today, back on the fence, and things got a bit tight going out of the straight. The pace looked pretty genuine throughout the middle stages as Candelara strode freely. Gust Of Wind who was last early on took inside runs and ended up about fourth on the fence, whereas Winx on the other hand who was not far off the pace initially, got shuffled back on the fence to be third last. On the turn, Gust Of Wind found yet another inside run to go to the lead as they were straightening. From that point onwards, Tye Angland was riding hard and she had the measure of Candelara. Winx was emerging with a strong finish, but try as she may, Gust Of Wind had all the answers and held a healthy margin in the run to the line. A ten out of ten ride here and a good staying effort by the winner.

Follow: Gust Of Wind

Race 7

1st Amanpour Kerrin McEvoy
2nd Cakins Joao Moreira
3rd Noble Protector Craig Williams

The Group 1 action kept coming with The Queen Of The Turf being race seven. Gypsy Diamond was a clear last to begin, and First Seal was also slow to go. Catkins pinged out and led initially, but looked for a trail asAmanpour slid through on the fence and Diademe moving up out wide. Those two paired off in front giving Catkins a lovely run in third, with Sports Illustrated in its outside. Back about mid field, Noble Protector was caught three wide. Around the turn, as others had done on the day, Amanpour kicked up the rise and stuck close to the fence. Catkins was trying very hard to come after her. Intimate Moment over on the inside and Noble Protector on the outside were the only others that looked to be challenging. In the run to the line, nothing really got near Amanpour. Catkins was brave as ever, and Noble Protector will be everyone’s black book horse, and deserves to be after the effort to sit wide and run third. First Seal was either disappointing or has just had enough for now.

Follow: Noble Protector

Race 8

1st Grand Mashall Jim Cassidy
2nd Who Shot Thebarman Blake Shinn
3rd Like A Carousel Chad Schofield

3200m for The Sydney Cup was race eight, and the first surprise to me was that Hartnell, the short priced favourite took up the running. Don Doremo raced in second outside the leader and Au Revoir was restrained in third. Protectionist who was looking to regain his form got back about midfield on the fence with Who Shot Thebarman behind him. Up the back, Hartnell seemed to have it all his own way in front, and although leading was a surprise, favourite punters were still on pretty good terms with themselves reaching the half way mark. The pace picked up with 800m to go and Don Doremo was the first to crack as Au Revoir went around it to go up and have a look at Hartnell, but his run was short lived. Hartnell was asked to go around the turn, but didn’t have a great deal in the tank. Dominant strode up to him, and then Who Shot Thebarman got through on the rails to hit the front and be hailed the likely winner. Jimmy Cassidy had other ideas on Grand Marshall, who it seemed would run a gallant second, but finished off very nicely in the run to the line and wore down Who Shot Thebarman to arrive just in time for victory. They absolutely gapped the rest with Like A Carousel getting past Hartnell for third. You could only assume Hartnell didn’t see out the 3200m based on its effort here.

Follow: None to follow

Race 9

1st Criterion Craig Williams
2nd Red Cadeaux Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Royal Descent Joao Moreira

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the richest race over The Championships and it didn’t disappoint despite the scratching of the pre-post favourite Contributor. Fiveandahalfstar and Aomen were the best to begin and they paired off in front with Criterion taking the sit behind them. Fiveandahalfstar got across to the fence and cleared out to lead by two to three lengths in the middle stages. Tosen Stardom was caught out three wide in about fourth spot. Up to and around the turn, Criterion strode up to the lead and looked to be under a strangle hold. Up the rise, Craig Williams was sitting pretty on him, and then asked him for the effort and he skipped away and the race was all but over. In the run to the line, Red Cadaux showed again how much he loves Australia but running into second, but couldn’t get anywhere near Criterion. This was a win from a horse who has serious ability and deserved the victory based on his ever consistent form. Royal Descent ran her usual great race in third. Tosen Stardom gets a pass mark. Adelaide was never a factor today but did run home well in the last furlong, whereas To The World was a big flop, but looked sore.

Follow: Criterion

Race 10

1st Avoid Lightning Tim Clark
2nd Griante Steven Arnold
3rd Fine Bubbles Zac Purton

To the last and it was a good line out with Chloe In Paris jumping very well, but Avoid Lightning and Fine Mist kicked up on her inside to hold her wide. Fine Mist led with Avoid Lightning on her outside and Chloe In Paris three deep. Griante got a nice run behind the speed. Around the turn, Avoid Lightning was threatening danger to the leader but wasn’t getting away from them once she hit the front. Griante was through on the fence and Atmospherical was putting in a run down the outside. In the run to the line it looked like Griante was the likely winner but Avoid Lightning is a very good Mare and she wore down Griante to grab victory in the shadows of the post. Fine Bubbles was very good in third. Shamalia didn’t show up today after a good win last start.

Follow: Fine Bubbles

Specials from the meeting: Sempre Libera, Rekindled Power