Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Talindert Stakes (1100m)

1st Pasadena Girl – Vlad Duric
2nd Stay With Me – Michael Walker
3rd Take Pride – Mark Zahra

Pasadena Girl and Take Pride bumped as they left the gates and Take Pride headed to the lead a few horses off the fence Ragazzo Del Corsa held the rail with Jameka behind him and Parallel Lines out wider. Pasadena Girl and Peppermint Grey were following that bunch. Brooklyn, Stay With Me and Vicious were the last few. Take Pride travelled best past the 400m as Parallel Lines was put under pressure. Ragazzo Del Corsa couldn’t match the leader but Pasadena Girl got out and started to chase. Stay With Me wound up with Brooklyn down the outside and Vicious was a length or so behind them. Jameka looked to be struggling. Pasadena Girl hit the lead near the 100m and after having a bit of a think about it edged away. Stay With Me just grabbed Take Pride, who did a pretty good job in front, for second and they got clear of the field. Jameka picked up late while Brooklyn had his chance and Vicious just ran on without threatening. Winner ran up to her good jump out and trial but somehow started 60/1!

Follow: Stay With Me gave away a big start and ran home well.

Race 2: Hilton Nicholas Handicap (2000m)

1st Sir John Hawkwood – Ben Melham
2nd Turnitaround – Jye McNeil
3rd Tooleybuc Kid – Jordan Childs

There was a bit of competition early on until Woakwine took control to lead Aragonese, Anfitriona and Turnitaround out wider. Further out Use The Lot improved to second around Anfitriona who kept throwing the head up and that gave Aragonese and Turnitaround good trails. Zimbali landed in a good spot in the clear with Only A Pleasure and Sir John Hawkwood next. Tooleybuc Kid was first to pull out from the back and make ground, before the turn. Woakwine and Use The Lot were being worked on at the bend and Anfitriona was the first beaten. Aragonese ran up behind the leaders and Turnitaround started to close in. Off his back came Sir John Hawkwood and Zimbali with Tooleybuc Kid the widest running on. Woakwine was swallowed up at the 200m by Turnitaround but Sir John Hawkwood went straight past him soon after. Tooleybuc Kid ran to third from a battling Aragonese but in a massive improvement on his other five Australian starts Sir John Hawkwood scored easily. Not a bad run from Tooleybuc Kid but he’s costly and Turnitaround ran his usual honest race. Given Only A Pleasure ran fourth, in another big improvement, the form out of this might be tricky.

Follow: none.

Race 3: The Vanity (1400m)

1st Sweet And Speedy – Craig Newitt
2nd Set Square – Michelle Payne
3rd Wawail – Michael Walker

Maastricht and Indulge were first out and Wawail was sent forward to challenge and eventually take up the running, but did a fair bit of work in the process. Fenway landed in a perfect spot next outside Clover Laneand Set Square, who jumped well continued to ease back. Once Wawail found the fence Indulge moved alongside to keep her busy. Clover Lane moved into the box seat with Maastricht enjoying a perfect run. Set Square eased out before the turn three wide and was being followed by Sweet And Speedy. Wawail was put under pressure from the 400m and gave a good kick, getting away from Maastricht and Clover Lane with Fenway getting through between them. They were closing on Wawail again at the 100m and Sweet And Speedy swept down the outside with Set Square to grab her with Sweet And Speedy a bit strong late. Wawail did a huge job to hold third, and definitely give her another chance, from Fenway and Maastricht had every possible chance.

Follow: the Oaks winner Set Square has come back very well.

Race 4: Indian Summer Handicap (1000m)

1st Chloe In Paris – Damien Oliver
2nd Runway Star – Chad Schofield
3rd Sweet Emily – Craig Williams

Secret Toy Bizness and Nicamorae had no speed and dropped to last while Sweet Emily burned over from the outside to lead about six horses off the fence. Chloe In Paris and Tawteen settled a couple of lengths away and Antarctic Missile was behind them. Sweet Emily kept rolling back towards the fence and Chloe In Paris had her covered at the 200m. Tawteen was first under pressure and couldn’t go on with it. Day After Tomorrow went past her on the inside and Antarctic Missile chimed in down the centre. A couple of lengths back Runway Star was winding up but Chloe In Paris was home and hosed a long way out and went on to win well. Runway Star took a heap of ground off her late in another nice performance and Sweet Emily held on third over Antarctic Missile, who settled much further back than her last couple. Tawteen disappointed.

Follow: none

Race 5: Lawn Handicap (1400m)

1st Gracious Prospect – Michael Walker
2nd Swift Shadow – Jye McNeil
3rd Amorino – Lucy Warwick

Laohu jumped well and held the fence early from Gracious Prospect and Saluter pressing on out wider. Infinite Energy and Swift Shadow found good spots next while Oregon Spirit and Chile Express were also well placed early. Saluter served it up to Laohu and ran past coming to the turn. Gracious Prospect moved alongside quickly and was tracked by Swift Shadow. Saluter stayed on the fence while Laohu moved about four horses deep and Gracious Prospect made his run seven wide from the top of the straight. Dany The Fox started to make ground on the inside and Oregon Spirit battled away, Whistle Baby made some ground between horses. Gracious Prospect hit the lead at the 300m and established a big enough break to hold on from Swift Shadow. Whistle Baby and Amorino, who ran on well down the outside, hit the line together. Laohu stuck on pretty well next with Dany The Fox who was just fair. Saluter overdid it in front while Refulgent did absolutely nothing, settling back and staying there towards the inside. Might be worth forgiving.

Follow: none, these are well exposed.

Race 6: CS Hayes Stakes (1400m)

1st Wandjina – Damien Oliver
2nd Disposition – Craig Williams
3rd Stratum Star – Brad Rawiller

Even line out then Lucky Liberty wanted to buck and he dropped out to a clear last. Wandjina pounced on the early lead and was joined by San Nicasio coming across from a wide gate. Disposition andTestashadow took the trail behind them. Bascule and Stratum Star settled in the clear and Merion was midfield as they slowed in front and the field bunched. Wandjina was off the fence on the turn and Disposition took the inside run to join him and San Nicasio. Bascule was under riding before they turned while Testashadow and Stratum Star were poised. Wandjina and Disposition settled down to fight it out from the 300m as Stratum Star loomed a length or so away. Wandjina held about a head margin on Disposition for basically the last 200m or so and held on. Stratum Star had every chance third but ran his usual honest race. Merion and Chivalryran on from the back without ever threatening and Testashadow had his chance. Lucky Liberty managed to beat one home and obviously his performance should be overlooked.

Follow: the first two look the main Guineas hopes out of this race.

Race 7: Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m)

1st Lankan Rupee – Craig Newitt
2nd Brazen Beau – Craig Williams
3rd Deep Field – James Winks

Fab Fevola flew out as expected and went to the lead but closer to the outside rail. Brazen Beau headed down the centre and Deep Field followed him over with Lankan Rupee a length or so off them. Watermans Baysettled another length or so back and The Quarterback trailed. Fab Fevola probably led by three at the 400m but out on his own. Deep Field took up the running down the centre and Lankan Rupee was right on his back. Brazen Beau was first to be shaken up and they beat the other two off a long way out. At the 200m Fab Fevola was getting the staggers and Lankan Rupee went straight past Deep Field and he hit the front inside the 100m. Brazen Beau was only warming up late and he ran into second with Deep Field not good enough but a solid third. Lankan Rupee was a class above them and romped in. Brazen Beau’s return was an excellent one first time against open class sprinters, can’t make an excuse for Deep Field. He might well win Group 1s but he’s not quite up to the topliners just yet.

Follow: outside the winner Brazen Beau did a great job.

Race 8: tab.com.au Trophy (1200m)

1st Hard Stride – Katelyn Mallyon
2nd Magnus Reign – Damian Lane
3rd Mandla – Michelle Payne

Hard Stride jumped very quickly and wanted the front, coming to the middle of the track without any trouble from gate two. Mandla jumped okay with him. Single Days and Floatmyboat tracked them and Decircles was to their outside and didn’t challenge for the lead this time. General Offer was on his back while Magnus Reign followed Floatmyboat. Hard Stride just cruised along untroubled in front and skipped away inside the 400m while the others were under pressure chasing. Mandla stuck with him for a while as Magnus Reign switched towards the inside. Decircles was one paced and Akavoroun started to weave through from the second half. Hard Stride never looked in danger and he edged away again late for a dominant win. Magnus Reign snatched second from Mandla close to the line while Akavoroun probably should have run a place but for being baulked a couple of times in the last 200m. Decircles was close up with Floatmyboat while nice first-up run from Dig A Pony running on late. Hosting was always well back and didn’t come into it at all.

Follow: nice first-up efforts from Mandla, Akavoroun and Dig A Pony.

Race 9: #Flemington Handicap (1600m)

1st Winston Drive – Michelle Payne
2nd Marli Magic – Tom Sadler
3rd Inishowen – Patrick Moloney

Marli Magic led and slowed them up so Quicksilver Lass pressed on to take over with Zazparella handy and Pindan Pearl out wider. Winston Drive found a nice trial inside Good Music and It’s One also slid forward with the slow pace. Inishowen latched onto her back midfield for a run home. Quicksilver Lass did some work but had the front coming to the turn with Pindan Pearl outside her. They left the fence again and Marli Magic took the inside run. Winston Lass followed and Pindan Pearl, It’s One and Inishowen wider all loomed up. Winston Drive joined Marli Magic inside the 300m and hit the lead soon after. Inishowen was ducking in and proving hard to ride out but kept coming while Sense And Reason saved a lot of ground getting up near the fence. Winston Drive got about a neck clear of Marli Magic and held that margin to the line. Inishowen was close up but didn’t help herself and there was a wall behind her with Sense And Reason, It’s One, Pindan Pearl and High Design running on late.

Follow: none.

Specials from the meeting: Set Square, Mandla, Akavoroun.

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Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st Just A Girl – James McDonald
2nd Tahitian Black – Hugh Bowman
3rd Earnest Ernest – Winona Costin

Kencella was sent out favourite in the first, and you were in trouble at the start if you backed him as he came out last. After a couple of hundred he had been pushed around them and went to the front, but you would have suspected the damage had been done. Hurrara raced in second spot, with Inside Job and Just A Girl rounding out the top four in running. Up to, and around the turn, Kencella had its foot flat to the floor and had about a four length break upon straightening. Up to the 200m mark, Kencella gave in pretty meekly, and Just A Girl struck the front and maintained a big enough break to take the victory. Tahitian Black finished its race off well for second as did Earnest Ernest in third. Kencella stopped badly in the run to the line.

Follow: Tahitian Black

Race 2

1st Fine Mist – Jason Collett
2nd Bullpit – Brodie Loy
3rd Washington Heights – Brenton Avdulla

Washington Heights was the one that was slow to begin in the second and went srtraight back othe rear of the field. When they sorted themselves out in front it was Bullpit that had the most pace and it led from Fine Mist and Wild ‘n’ Famous. Orujo looked to be trapped three wide. Early in the straight Bullpit had about a length and a half break from Fine Mist who was doing the chasing. Those two had a tussle from about the 300m mark all the way down to the line, with Fine Mist doing the better and taking victory. Bullpit was a good run, fighting all the way to the line, and Washington Heights finished off nicely after its bad start to run third.

Follow: Washington Heights

Race 3

1st Catkins – Hugh Bowman
2nd Plucky Belle – Linda Meech
3rd Avoid Lightning – Tim Clark

Plucky Belle made it three races and three horses to miss the start in race 3. Mardi led them up from Lilliburlero with Breakfast In Bed in third spot. Catkins, who was sent out a short priced favourite got back to third last but always looked to travel kindly. Avoid Lightning was just up ahead of her on the fence. Around the turn and into the straight, Avoid Lightning was pulled three wide and looked to be coming into it with a strong run. Catkins was pulled widest and was also winding up. Avoid Lightning had the front at the 200m mark, with Catkins coming after it, and Plucky Belle getting through along the fence to make a race of it. In the run to the line, class prevailed with Catkins getting to the front ahead of Plucky Belle who ran very well and Avoid Lightning whose run peaked inside the 100m mark. Lilliburlero and Mardi weren’t up to this class.

Follow: Avoid Lightning

Race 4

1st San Diego – James McDonald
2nd Mahican – Linda Meech
3rd Oxford Poet – Brenton Avdulla

Tails Of Grimm missed the kick again. Oxford Poet went straight to the front and led Mahican. Woodbine was getting a nice run in behind them, Extra Noble was caught out three wide and Nothing Like Luca was four deep. Early in the straight, Oxford Poet still had it, with Mahican trying to come after it and Woodbine trying to join the pair. With just over 100m to go, Mahican struck the front and looked the likely winner, but somehow San Diego came from what looked like an impossible position early in the straight to get there right on the line. You have to believe what you saw, and San Diego was very impressive in winning this race today, and might have more in store. Woodbine was not beaten far but has to be listed as disappointing given the nice run it had in transit.

Follow: San Diego

Race 5

1st Headwater Blake Shinn
2nd Voilier Ty Angland
3rd Mishani Honcho Chris Whiteley

A pretty good line out in this one with Headwater breaking the line to go to the front. Paceman moved up into second spot but was pulling hard. Snitzel’s Goddess and Voilier were next. Ottoman was back in the field and three wide. Up around the turn, Headwater came away from the fence and looked to be traveling pretty well in front. Paceman was quickly beaten and Ottoman and Voilier were left to try and chase down Headwater. Try as they may, but up to the 200m mark, and Headwater was let go and strode away. It was a one act affair in the run to the line as Headwater went away to win by about three lengths. Voilier was a good run in second. Ottoman died on its run in the straight and Paceman ended up running last in a race that is likely to shape The Golden Slipper market.

Follow: Headwater

Race 6

1st Hallowed Crown – Hugh Bowman
2nd Sweynesse – James McDonald
3rd Kermadec – Brenton Avdulla

Race 6 was The Hobartville, and Preferment and Diamond Valores were both slow to go and went back to last. Shooting To Win and Meursalt took it up in front with Panzer Division racing outside of them. Delectation was not far off the pace but was pulling its head off. Hallowed Crown was getting a nice run just behind the speed. As they settled down, Meursault was in front with Panzer Division on its outside, and Delectation just refusing to settle up three wide. Around the turn, Meursault was off and running, which let Hallowed Crown off the fence momentarily, until Panzer Division put him back into a zip fastner. Into the straight, Meursault had come well off the fence giving Hallowed Crown plenty of room to come through if good enough. Whilst this was going on, Shooting To Win sprinted quickly and just about struck the front. The final 200m of this race was simply great to watch, with five or six high quality three-year-olds all fighting it out. Sweynesse came with a run down the outside and looked the winner, Kermadec was coming home nicely as well, but Hallowed Crown used the shortest way home to put its head out on the line and get the victory. The first 6 or 7 horses home in the race all have loads of ability, and you would be doing yourself a favour to have a look at the replay.

Follow: Take your pick of the first half dozen

Race 7

1st Greatwood – Tommy Berry
2nd Burbero – Hugh Bowman
3rd Diametric – Blake Shinn

Once they settled down in race seven it was Greatwood taking it up from Black Jag and Honorius. Diametric was getting a nice run on the fence about five lengths off the lead. The pace looked reasonable as the field strung out over about ten lengths in the middle stages and there was no change in the order until just before the turn when Permit started to get going three wide, and Burbero trailed him into it. Up to the 300m mark Greatwood still had it, but it looked like Diametric and Burbero had him on toast. Burbero clearly hit the front inside the 200m mark, but Greatwood would not be denied and fought back as Burbero died on his run, and Greatwood took the victory. Diametric was in third, and was an ok run, although he did not quite finish off as it appeared he was going to at about the 300m mark. Don’t sack him just yet, as I think his fitness will be at its right level next start.

Follow: Diametric

Race 8

1st Devonshire Duke – James McDonald
2nd Idance – Tommy Berry
3rd Zin Zan Eddie – Blake Shinn

Black Revolver was a bit slow out in the last. Paederos on the other hand came out well from an outside gate and worked across to the lead, bringing Spacecraft over with him. Spacecraft kept on with the job and ran to the top, but did work to get there. Paederos took the trail in second and Idance settled third. Up to, and around the turn, Spacecraft still had a nice break, which he maintained up to the 300m mark, but then was in trouble. Devonshire Duke came through in the middle to claim the front with Paederos on its outside trying to go with it, and Idance was wider out also running on. In the final stages, Devonshire Duke was trying to cling on, and was doing just that. Zin Zan Eddie made a late charge together with Idance, but the post came up in time for Devonshire Duke to hang on and win it. Define was a pretty nice run here, hugging the fence from back near last. Adorabeel was not beaten far, but really just ground home today without looking a hope.

Follow: Define

Specials from the meeting: Avoid Lightning, San Diego