Flemington review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Better Beyond Plate (1000m)

1st Ragazzo Del Corsa – James Winks
2nd Helsingor – Glen Boss
3rd Make Her Own Whey – Jye McNeil

Landmarks took a sharp left hand turn at the start and bumped heavily with Helsingor, who was forced to drop back early. Ibtisima jumped well on the inside was up there early with Certain Ellie until Landmarks recovered and ran to the lead. Ragazzo Del Corsa travelled well on his outside. Emperor Maximilian tracked the speed with cover behind the leading quartet. Landmarks was joined by Ragazzo Del Corsa nearing the 300m and was no match as Ragazzo Del Corsa went straight past him. Make Her Own Whey was running on nicely and out wider Helsingor managed to get clear and start to make up plenty of ground. Ragazzo Del Corsa showed no signs of stopping and got right away for an easy win from the eye-catching Helsingor. Make Her Own Whey boxed on to hold third and Landmarks also battled fairly in fourth. Race experienced counted here with the winner but he’s a professional type.
Follow: Helsingor’s debut showed she’s a filly of promise.

Race 2: Jezabeel Handicap (1600m)

1st Arena Rock – Jacob Rule
2nd Every Faith – Nick Hall
3rd Shadow Of The Mist – Chris Parnham

Mezulla was ridden for the lead and found it with Shadow Of The Mist sitting up in second. Chiquada settled a couple of lengths back. Arena Rock enjoyed a nice run with Every Faith on the fence, recovering from an ordinary start. Mezulla pulled up in front in the middle stages but was being niggled at when they cornered to pick up. Shadow Of The Mist loomed up at the 300m to tackle and Every Faith came off her back to get a split and run on as Chiquada weakened. Arena Rock made her run out wider and chimed in with a bit to give. Shadow Of The Mist hit the front momentarily but Arena Rock sprinted quickly to grab her with Every Faith trying to go with her. Far too good Arena Rock, Every Faith had her chance and Shadow Of The Mist just held on for third ahead of Bec Said No Credit who hit the line strongly late from last. Winner is racing in top form.
Follow: Bec Said No Credit is ready to win over a bit more ground.

Race 3: Rain Lover Handicap (2500m)
1st You Think So – Jake Bayliss
2nd Tanby – Jamie Mott
3rd Tuscan Fire – Patrick Moloney

Field sorted themselves out pretty quickly with Dominant Manner leading up from Mujadale on his outside. Tanby found the box seat and You Think So landed in the perfect spot. Tuscan Fire improved from a slow spot to be next on the fence and Emceediamond raced midfield. Not much action for a fair while as Dominant Manner controlled the race and they didn’t look to be going overly fast. Dominant Manner was first under pressure, though, coming to the turn as Mujadale tackled. You Think So swept up quickly to make a line of three and hit the front about 400m out. Tanby got out off his back in plenty of time and he did the chasing, behind him Tuscan Fire was angling out to run on as well. You Think So established a good lead in the straight but Tanby did look a threat at one stage but could only get within three quarters of a length. Tuscan Fire got up for third over Mujadale. A few others were never sighted the way the race was run.
Follow: none.

Race 4: Nouvelle Star Handicap (1400m)

1st Boundary – Brad Rawiller
2nd Wedding – Craig Williams
3rd Mossbeat – Jamie Mott

Jinx mustered pace to dart through and lead with Iamhere moving up outside to sit second and Risque Business easing to take a trail. Wedding jumped okay and raced with Peppermint Lane as Boundary whipped up to sit in the one-one. Relaunch found herself three wide and sliding forward. Wedding got off the fence about 800m out and got onto Boundary’s back. Iamhere put the pressure on Jinx on the turn and hit the lead but Boundary made her run three wide. Written Dash stuck to the fence to make ground and momentarily looked a chance while Risque Business got through between the tiring leaders to run on. Out wider Mossbeat got through the field and inside Wedding to chase the leader and Relaunch kept coming down the outside. Boundary was there to be beaten but Boundary managed to grip on and beat Wedding and Mossbeat, with not much between that pair. Sagacious Miss made good late ground to finish just behind them but was never a contender. Deserved win to Boundary who was able to settle a bit closer.
Follow: bit of a bunched finish but Relaunch had no luck.

Race 5: Straight Draw Handicap (1700m)

1st Turnitaround – Jye McNeil
2nd Churchill’s Wit – Jordan Childs
3rd Houdini The Great – Chris Parnham

A bit of competition for the lead early with Von Classic Hero trying to hold the fence ahead of Turnitaround and Scherzoso until Churchill’s Wit sped across and worked to a clear lead. Native Land worked into fifth while Pharrellwas stranded three deep outside her. Churchill’s Wit was running them along in front and had a few of them under a bit of pressure to keep up. Von Classic Hero stuck with him and Turnitaround loomed up early in the straight. Tips And Beers snuck up behind the leader but his run was short lived. Native Land was looking for a run and had to wait until Turnitaround went past to get clear. Churchill’s Wit kept kicking when challenged and managed to hold Von Classic Hero at bay but Turnitaround just stuck the head in front inside the 50m and scored a long overdue win. Down the outside Houdini The Great sprouted wings from near last and probably wins in a couple more strides. Native Land was close up. That quintet were well clear of the rest and of the others Crime Fighter was ordinary and doesn’t look to have come up.
Follow: blanket finish but nice effort Churchill’s Wit and he can win one in town.

Race 6:January Handicap (1400m)

1st Specter – Thomas Sadler
2nd Gracious Prospect – Nick Hall
3rd Live For Today – Brad Rawiller

Leveraction punched through along the inside to assume the front and he was kept busy by Charles In Charge who landed second. Gracious Prospect tracked them and Lampedusa enjoyed a good trail inside Such Hope, whileStereosonic and Last Sight were the next pair. Mr Andre raced near midfield and Specter was with him. Gracious Prospect came out before the turn to stride up alongside the leaders and he hit the front 400m out, leaving him a sitting shot. The leaders weakened and Last Sight was trying hard. Stereosonic couldn’t match them and Specter was winding up down the outside. Live For Today, who was a length behind Specter midrace, had to go back to the fence to get runs through. Gracioious Prospect was holding on but Specter got to him at the 100m and this time he found the post for his first win in about three years. Gracious Prospect held second from Live For Today who hit the line hard on the inside late. Anfitriona and Cross Of Gold were the best closers from the back and Reddamour also made some ground. Could have been a ‘birthday’ win for Specter, Gracious Prospect was huge after chasing a decent pace.
Follow: Live For Today ran a much better race this time and might be back on track.

Race 7: Comedy King Handicap (1600m)

1st Jacquinot Bay – Craig Williams
2nd Akzar – Jordan Childs
3rd Mighty Like – Dean Yendall

Hippopus found the lead early on by a couple of lengths with Jacquinot Bay moving up outside Mighty Like into second. Tax Evader, who began a bit slowly, improved to be three back on the fence and inside Aeratus. Only A Pleasure was three wide around Akzar and Shamardashing but got in one off the fence soon after. Hippopus ran them along to the turn where Jacquinot Bay crept closer and was going byh far the better. Mighty Like and Aeratus pulled out to make their runs while Tax Evader couldn’t match them. Akzar made good ground through the field and was hitting the line well. Jacquinot Bay kicked well clear to the 200m and Mighty Like couldn’t match him. Akzar ran into second place and took a couple of lengths off the winner. Mighty Like had every chance in third while Aeratus was making ground again late after being flat early in the straight. Shamardashing ran on without threatening and Hippopus held on to be next, leaving everything else with no excuse. Jacquinot Bay is really flying at the moment.
Follow: Akzar might be ready to win now but be wary of a short price.

Race 8: Kensington Stakes (1000m

1st The Quarterback – Matthew Allen
2nd Sumakaray – Regan Bayliss
3rd Hard Stride – Damian Lane

Klishina went down on her knees at the start and was last away. Hard Stride jumped well but Sandhill Flash took up the running down the middle and was joined by Kaiser Sun. Further out was Orujo with The Quarterbacktracking him and Hard Stride tucked in behind the leaders. Sumakaray was closest to the inside. Sandhill Flash was gone at the 300m and Orujo loomed up past Kaiser Sun while on the inside Sumakaray and Hard Stride were finishing off well. The Quarterback spotted them about three lengths and was starting to wind up. Orujo’s run peaked about 100m out and Sumakaray hit the front with Hard Stride trying to match her. The Quarterback closed in quickly and he sprinted too well again in the last bit to win narrowly but convincingly. Sumakaray was a much improved run and Hard Stride was enormous first-up with 59kg. Behind them a fair run from Beach Front who just found the class a bit tough and Klishina charged home from the back. Watch for them at Moonee Valley in coming weeks.
Follow: Hard Stride isn’t a 1000m horse and he will improve from his super first-up run.

Race 9: Tauto Handicap (1200m)

1st Convincible – Craig Williams
2nd Samartested – Daniel Moor
3rd Search Squad – Patrick Moloney

Scarlet Billows was slowly out and settled a clear last. A bunch up front for the lead with Swing With Me, Oh So Assertive, Kraftwerk and The Monstar all handy. Whistle Baby was closest to the inside and was under pressure at the 400m. Out wider Magnus Lad started to run on with Scarlet Billows making up plenty of ground. Kraftwerk was left in front at the 200m as the other leaders dropped off. Samartested got a run to his inside and chimed in withConvincible and The Monstar while out wide Scarlet Billows loomed and Search Squad got a split inside Magnus Lad. Convincible sprinted best in the last bit to score from Samartested who may have just peaked first-up. Search Squad hit the line with Scarlet Billows while Magnus Lad and Kraftwerk were close up. Quite a bunched finish and there were a couple of forgive runs, those being Scarlet Billows and Kraftwerk.
Follow: Samartested was only first-up and is open to improvement.

Specials from the meeting: Helsingor, Hard Stride, Bec Said No Credit.

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Randwick review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st She’s Clean – Blake Shinn
2nd Boomwa – Sam Clipperton
3rd Pythagorean – Kerrin McEvoy

A small field to begin the day with Boomwa easing from favouritism, as there was a question mark over him at the 1400m. He jumped straight to the front and led by a couple of lengths settling down as expected. Pythagorean moved into second and Testarythm settled third on the fence.She’s Clean, who started favourite, got back to last. Up around the turn, Pythagorean was going up on the outside to join Boomwa who had a kick as they topped the rise, but She’s Clean had been pulled to the outside and quickly made up the necessary ground to race away for an easy and impressive victory. Boomwa ran well in second to beat the rest easily enough, but realistically it was a one act affair. Pythagorean held third.

Follow: She’s Clean

Race 2

1st Flamboyant Lass – Paul King
2nd Counterattack – Ty Angland
3rd Stravigo – Kerrin McEvoy

Flamboyant Lass was sent out a short priced favourite in the second and beat them out of the gates to run straight to the early lead, as many of them do from the Waterhouse stable. A couple wanted to take it on in front, include Stravigo which was planted three wide until Right Adviceeased and took the trail in third, with Counterattack getting up on its inside. Something happened with Tay Tay Taylor before the turn, and it dropped out of the race. Flamboyant Lass was asked for the effort up the rise, and didn’t immediately shoot away, but continually built momentum and never looked in danger as it put three to four lengths on them in the run to the line. Counterattack and Stravigo fought out the minors but weren’t in the same league as the winner.

Follow: Flamboyant Lass

Race 3

1st Kaepernick – Blake Shinn
2nd Meursalt – Sam Clipperton
3rd Inz’n’Out – Taylor Marshall

Inz’n’Out was the favourite in the third event, and like Flamboyant Lass in the previous, it jumped straight to the front. Settling down, Myboyguywas in second on the fence and Meursalt was outside of it in third. Kaepernick jumped well but was unable to find a spot so was allowed to drift back towards th rear and was still wide, until it went right back to last to get in. Inz’n’Out looked to travel ok around the bend but wasn’t getting away from Mersault who also looked to be going ok. Inz’n’Out was being nursed up to the furlong pole, but soon things had to get urgent as Meursault threatened danger, and Kapernick came with a booming run down the outside to join Meursualt in the lead and come home with too much momentum. Meursault fought on well whereas Inz’n’Out was a bit disappointing in third. The win of Kaepernick shows that you should forgive them one bad run, as it was very average last start, but a different horse today.  I hope it does not form a habit of being on one day and off the next, which is why I am suggesting to follow Meursalt, who did well to keep fighting on.

Follow: Meursalt

Race 4

1st Timeless Prince – Samantha Clenton
2nd Smart Moochi – Jason Collett
3rd Chestnut Road – Ty Angland

Perfect Weapon began best, but Queenian was ridden to lead and scooted through on the inside and did so. Tarangower was caught wide outside of Perfect Weapon and Smart Moochi couldn’t keep up three or four lengths off the back of the field. They slowed in front, which meant Tarangower was able to slot in outside of the leader, and Perfect Weapon eased for the one out and one back trail. Up to the turn, Perfect Weapon was off from that spot to come into it three wide, with Smart Moochie and Timeless Prince looking to trail up. Early in the straight, Chestnut Roadlooked to move Tarangower out of the way to come after the leader and did so together with Perfect Weapon. With 100m to go, five of the six horses in the race were in line, but it was Timeless Prince that was finishing best and he held off Smart Moochi who came with a strong run, and they moved away from Chestnut Road who found its way into third. A competitive race, but I am not sure it will be a great formline.

Follow: None to follow

Race 5

1st Il Mio Destino – Taylor Marshall
2nd Oh My Papa – Kathy O’Hara
3rd Miss Ready – Ty Angland

Hoybell had no early speed and went back to last in the fifth event. Caprossa led when they settled from Il Mio Destino on its outside. Frill Seeking looked to be in a bit of strife out three wide and pulling outside of Medusa’s Miss and Miello. Caprossa led them around the bend, and traveled ok up the rise. Soon after it was joined by Il Mio Destino and Medusa’s Miss made a line of three. Miss Ready was putting in a run down the outside, whilst Holy Delusions was having trouble getting through closer to the inside. In a blanket finish, Il Mio Destino put its head in front at the right time and got the money from Oh My Papa who finished off nicely down the outside, and Miss Ready who came into third. Holy Delusions went to the line hard held and can be marked down as the unlucky runner of the race.

Follow: Holy Delusions

Race 6

1st Diametric – Blake Shinn
2nd The Alfonso – Ty Angland
3rd Sense Of Occasion – Brodie Loy

Drago and Gosh were both slow to begin in race six, although Drago used an inside gate to pick up ground and land behind the leaders. Those leaders were Kurtley on the inside of Laidback Larry. The Alfonso, which was a very short priced favourite was in the one out and one back trail.Diametric was getting a nice run, three back along the fence. When they turned for home, The Alfonso was out three wide to come with its run, but did seem to be taking a little while to wind up. Diametric was going better on the inside but ran out of galloping room and had to be steadied. In the run to the line, The Alfonso managed to hold off Diametric and Sense Of Occasion who came with a run down the outside. There would be more to follow however, with a protest lodged by the rider of the second horse, and it was subsequently upheld to give Diametric the race. There will always be split opinions on protest decisions, but one thing I do know is that Diametric is in for a good campaign now that it has settled into Australian racing. Keep following it. My personal view on the protest is that the stewards got it right, which probably isn’t a popular view among favourite punters.

Follow: Diametric (long term in better races)

Race 7

1st Inside Job – Brodie Loy
2nd Nuclear Class – Samantha Clenton
3rd Thermal Current – Kerrin McEvoy

Agent was up in the air at the start and soon after went back to last. Quell began like a bomb out wide and came across to lead easily fromNuclear Class and Inside Job. Quell was up to the home turn before you knew it in this event, but the question mark was always going to be whether it could keep going or not. Back third last in the field was the well commissioned Thermal Current who was under the persuader as they straightened. As they came up the rise, Quell still had about three lengths to spare over Nuclear Class who was coming after it, and Inside Job was trying to wind up. Nuclear Class hit the front at the furlong pole, but Inside Job was putting its mind on the job, and wore it down in the shadows of the post to get the money. This backed up its good run last start where it was caught wide all the way and mentioned as one to follow. Thermal Current made up good ground into third but was always going to have too big of a task from back where it was. Agent also zipped to the line nicely from the rear, but probably was entitled to, given that the leader went like last weeks pay.

Follow: Nuclear Class

Race 8

1st Great Esteem – Koby Jennings
2nd Unique – Samantha Clenton
3rd Sasenkile – Serg Lisnyy

1800m for the last event of the day and Great Esteem wanted the front and found it, Barge And Charge lobbed into second, and was followed byEmerald City and Unique that got nice runs behind the speed. Nadacheva was caught three wide. Through the middle stages, Great Esteem looked to get its own way in front, which meant that there were some runs coming before the turn, the main one being from Deliberate that was up four and five wide. Up the rise, Great Esteem had company but traveled ok and was kicking when asked for the effort. Unique came with its run, and gave Barge And Charge a short back and sides in doing so. Great Esteem just kept finding in the run to the line, and the win was the result of a nicely judged ride in front from Koby Jennings. Unique grabbed second over Sasenkile which made ground on the fence. Diamondsinthenightmade good ground. Nadacheva finished closer to the back than the rear, but given it was wide its run was ok.

Follow: Sasenkile, Nadacheva

Specials from the meeting: Diametric, Meursalt