Weekend Racing reviews – January 31st

Flemington review by Ray Hickson

Race 1: Pack A Picnic Plate (1100m)

1st Wawail – Michael Walker
2nd Clover Lane – Luke Nolen
3rd Tennessee Spirit – Nick Hall

Tycoon Peri had the speed to hold them out on the inside and led from Roll The Ignition with Wawail striding up a bit wider. See Me Flash was just in behind the leaders. Clover Lane was held up on the inside of horses coming to the 400m at the tail. Wawail had the leaders covered a fair way out and was asked to let down passing the 300m. Tennessee Spirit came off her back and loomed up to challenge and Clover Lane worked into the clear and chimed in further out. Wawail had a fight on her hands and she dug deep as Clover Lane looked very dangerous at the clock tower. Tennessee Spirit was a little crowded between them but couldn’t hold her ground. Wawail pulled out a bit too much late to maintain her unbeaten record. Clover Lane was left with a lot to do and her effort was enormous, particularly in the context of the day where not many made a lot of ground into the breeze. Tennessee Spirit boxed on and they beat the rest by a long way.

Follow: the winner is obviously smart and Clover Lane has a win in her.

Race 2: Flemington Rose Garden Handicap (1420m)

1st Lucky Liberty – Michelle Payne
2nd Siegestor – Steven King
3rd Best Suggestion – Damien Oliver

Convincible sprung out and crossed from the outside gate quickly. Best Suggestion just wanted to overdo it a bit in second. Gold Cufflinks and Lucky Liberty were out wider. Epic Saga and Corporate Takeover were in that bunch as well. Running Bull settled three back on the fence but closer to last than first. Almost a line of four on the home turn though Convincible found a length or so. Best Suggestion went out after him again and Lucky Liberty joined in down the centre with Firehouse Rock looming up as well. On the fence Siegester started to poke through from the tail while Running Bull was really battling. Lucky Liberty hit the front at the 200m and Firehouse Rock looked a danger for a few strides until it was left to Siegestor on the fence to make it interesting. Convincible and Best Suggestion stuck on. Lucky Liberty was a bit stronger between the 100m and the 50m and that was enough to give him a break and hold off Siegestor. Best Suggestion rallied for third just ahead of Convincible and Firehouse Rock who just flattened out late. Good performance by the winner.

Follow: Firehouse Rock might be in for a good preparation over a bit more ground.

Race 3: Summer Racing Handicap (1200m)

1st Tommy’s Pride – Jackie Beriman
2nd Pendles – Damien Oliver
3rd Bella Mollie – Craig Williams

Pendles was eased soon after jumping and crossed from the outside to closer to the inside. Paaratte Pat showed speed to lead from Bella Mollie outside him. Better Land was further out around Coriace and Kraftwerk. Paaratte Pat skipped away past the 400m and had a lot of them napping. Kraftwerk couldn’t sprint and Bella Mollie was staying on. Pendles got up on the fence and Better Land was going backwards. Tommy’s Pride came around his heels and started to close off well while Street Allure was further back getting to the outside. Pendles may have hit the front for a stride or two on the fence but Tommy’s Pride was able to sprint a bit better in the centre of the track. Pendles’ run was sound as he gave ground to be where he was in the run and Bella Mollie held on gamely for third. Street Allure left the run way too late but did close off okay and Kraftwerk seemed to have his chance but was close up. Better Land was beaten a long way out and he was pretty plain.Follow: happy to stick with Street Allure.

Race 4: Trackside Handicap (1420m)

1st Choose – Mark Zahra
2nd Winston Drive – Michelle Payne
3rd Sense And Reason – Damien Oliver

Elle Excite was tardy at the start as usual and Betsy went back early. Choose had little trouble in finding the lead ahead of Lady Trickster with Our Exchange easing to take the box seat. Winston Drive landed fourth. Choose was able to control the tempo as she liked and that caused a few at the back to start pulling. The eight of them bunched right up on the bend and Choose held more than a length by the 300m as Lady Trickster struggled and Our Exchange tried to get up on the inside but couldn’t go with the leader. Winston Drive was the one out of the pack to do the chasing and joined Choose and hit the front past the 200m. Sense And Reason was whacking away down the outside while Betsy also ran on but was outsprinted. Choose fought back to deny Winston Drive who had her chance. Sense And Reason just held third ahead of Betsy and Kiss Me Ketut, who made late ground.

Follow: Betsy wasn’t suited by the tempo and is worth another look.

Race 5: Doriemus Handicap (2000m)

1st Averau – Linda Meech
2nd Extra Zero – Regan Bayliss
3rd Tooleybuc Kid – Harry Coffey

Scelto broke the best and headed for the front with Averau coming over from the outside to land second pretty cheaply. Crafty Cruiser and Fulgur trailed the leaders with Tooleybuc Kid three back on the fence. They didn’t look to go overly fast in front again with Scelto cruising along unchallenged. Averau was happy to sit a length or so off him and Fulgur was the first to be revved up to try and chase them coming to the turn. Tooleybuc Kid tracked him into the race at the expense of Heez Notorious while Akzar behind them was under heavy pressure. Averau went straight past Scelto at the 300m with Tooleybuc Kid trying to make ground between them, Fulgur was battling on while Crafty Cruiser on the fence couldn’t match them. Extra Zero weaved his way through the field from well back and did a huge job to get within half a length of Averau who proved a little too good the way the race was run. Tooleybuc Kid held third and seemed to have his chance from Fulgur and Akzar kept coming but was never a threat.

Follow: Averau will be hard to beat heading towards the Adelaide Cup, and you could do worse than stick with Extra Zero.

Race 6: Elms Handicap (2000m)

1st Inishowen – Patrick Moloney
2nd Sure You Can – James Winks
3rd Spanish Love – Craig Williams

Turning Tables was able to cross comfortably to lead Spanish Love early. Suspicious Minds over raced badly as Shadow Of The Mist improved into second place. Inishowen settled well in behind them. Sure You Can andSpecial Miss were just worse than midfield. Shadow Of The Mist had to work a bit to get up to second and that gave Spanish Love a perfect trail and Inishowen kicked up inside her. The field bunched on the turn and Shadow Of The Mist and Spanish Love joined Turning Tables with Inishowen going back to the inside. Sure You Can was looking for a run behind that line of four and Suspicious Minds peeled out wider. Inishowen hit the lead nearing the 200m from Turning Tables who was starting to struggle. Spanish Love hit her flat spot at a poor time and Sure You Can got a run inside her. It was all in vain though as Inishowen broke away from them. Sure You Can just held second as Spanish Love got going again. Pretty handy effort from Turning Tables to run fourth but everything had their chance.

Follow: none in particular

Race 7: Patrobas Handicap (1720m)

1st River’s Lane – Damien Oliver
2nd Turnitaround – Jye McNeil
3rd Harveys True Heart – Dale Smith

Every Faith and Harveys True Heart were among the slowest to begin. Quick Snitzel held the fence early until Grand Sai Wan worked around to the lead and Turnitaround settled up handy. River’s Lane and Prince Of Caperswere the next pair getting nice runs. Around midfield Bunchloch raced wide and was being tracked by Tonopah. The leaders had most of those back in the field struggling on the turn. Turnitaround moved alongside Grand Sai Wan at the 400m while Quick Snitzel went back to the inside. River’s Lane joined it four out and the others were making heavy weather of it headed by Prince Of Capers and Harveys True Heart who had snuck through the field. River’s Lane hit the lead 200m out and he and Turnitaround settled down to fight it out with River’s Lane getting his head down on the line for an upset win. Turnitaround had his chance while Harveys True Heart just tipped out Grand Sai Wan for third. Prince Of Capers just battled and Tonopah made some late ground but was never a chance and Every Faith was never a factor.

Follow: messy race, forgive Tonopah.

Race 8: Isca Handicap (1200m)

1st Magnus Reign – Damian Lane
2nd Tycoon Tara – Craig Williams
3rd Floatmyboat – Damien Oliver

Bishops Castle and Weinholt shared the lead with Jimando on their outside and Tycoon Tara further out. Play Master was behind the leader with Infinite Energy. Kumaon settled well back and was under heavy pressure before the 500m. Jimando was the first of the leading bunch to struggle and had a bump with Tycoon Tara who was going better. The Thief tried to wind up right down the outside past the 300m where Tycoon Tara hit the lead. Bishops Castle gave nothing and The Thief ran to second momentarily before Magnus Reign started to hit the line inside him and General Offer. Floatmyboat was the widest and made a late bid. Tycoon Tara had more than a length at the 100m but was swallowed up right on the line by Magnus Reign who did a good job to win. Floatmyboat kept coming for a close third and they beat the rest by more than a length. Of those Jimando and Play Master battled on okay closer to the inside. Kumaon pulled up with an irregular heart rhythm and a throat abnormality which probably explains his flop. Would still be wary if he resurfaces again.

Follow: Tycoon Tara was coming off a break and only failed narrowly.

Race 9: @FlemingtonVRC Handicap (1420m)

1st Gracious Prospect – Michael Walker
2nd Laohu – James Winks
3rd Chile Express – Mark Zahra

Mannopoly was first out but didn’t want the lead and handed up to Laohu who came across from out wide and Gracious Prospect. Post D’France settled behind them while Resistant improved out wider to be on the speed aroundAudino and Petrify was even wider in that bunch. About four off the fence Laohu led around the turn with Gracious Prospect right on his hammer. Petrify loomed up wider while on the inside Chile Express and Post D’France tried to make ground. Mannopoly dropped off and Resistant was battling on with Specter getting into the clear at the 300m. Laohu and Gracious Prospect got right away and they went stride for stride until Gracious Prospect stuck his head out on the line to win. Chile Express nosed out Post D’France for third and Resistant was close up in not a bad effort. Nothing else made any impact from the back yet again. Mannopoly pulled up lame.

Follow: Resistant might be able to be placed to win one soon.

Specials from the meeting (be wary that those who got back and didn’t run on could be big improvers): Clover Lane, Firehouse Rock, Tycoon Tara.

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Rosehill review by Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st                    Vancouver                               Tommy Berry
2nd                   Outreach                                 Kerrin McEvoy
3rd                    Chamarel                                James McDonald

Outreach was the quickest to begin with Chamarel going with it early on, but Outreach had too much pace and crossed to lead.  Mawahibb settled third with Ulster fourth.  Vancouver who went for a bath in betting settled second to last.  Into the straight and up to the 300m mark, Outreach was asked to go and put a length or so on them.  Coming to the furlong post, Vancouver was the one that was winding up, and went to Outreach inside the 100m mark, and despite running off the track a bit, went on for victory.  Outreach ran a clear second, with Chamarel a few lengths back taking third over Mawahibb.

Follow: Vancouver

Race 2

1st                    Coolring                                  James McDonald
2nd                   Timeless Prince                      Samantha Clenton
3rd                    Countryman                            Ty Angland

A pretty good line out in the second with Spacecraft kicking up along the fence to take it up, with Greatwood going around the outside to take second.  Coolring and Countryman eased into the trailing positions, and You’ll Never got back behind them.  Define was caught out wide and looking to move around them mid race, but that didn’t help it get in any closer.  At the 600m mark, You’ll Never was taking off even wider on the track, which left Countryman a bit cramped for room.  In the straight, Countryman was still held up until he switched around the heels of You’ll Never.  Whilst that was going on Coolring got a gap in the middle.  He sprinted and looked set for victory.  To the credit of Countryman, once it was clear it chased hard, as did Timeless Prince who got up along the inside.  In the end it was Coolring, aided by the best run and a little bit of luck that got the money.  You’ll Never peaked on its run, and has become a very expensive punting comodity, despite its consistency to always be there about.

Follow: Timeless Prince

Race 3

1st                    Mardi                                      Winona Costin
2nd                   Adorabeel                               Blake Shinn
3rd                    Holy Delusions                       Samantha Clenton

Mardi was sent out favourite and used its inside gate to hold out Palazzo PubblicoHoly Delusions was up third but caught out three wide.  Adorabeel got a nice run behind the speed, with Nisroc on its outside.  In the middle stages of the race, Mardi took it up and looked to have things on its own terms.  Mardi came off the fence as they turned and was being asked for the effort.  In the straight, Mardi had to find, and that is exactly what it did.  Palazzo Pubblic died on its run, and then it was left to Adorabeel to try and pick up Mardi, but it couldn’t do so.  Holy Delusions, although beaten clearly, hung on well for third after being wide.

Follow: Adorabeel

Race 4

1st                    Fireworks                                Brenton Avdulla
2nd                   Lake Geneva                           Dwayne Dunn
3rd                    Igraine                                     James McDonald

Guilietta would have been expected to lead by most and did so in the fourth.  Pierrette settled in second, with Igraine and Lake Geneva getting good runs behind the speed.  Fireworks began a lot better today and settled with two behind it. Rounding the turn, Guilietta still had it, with Pierrette looking to be in trouble to try and stay in touch.  Guilietta was tackled by Igraine inside the 300m mark and Lake Geneva was also putting in a bid for victory.  Wider on the track, Tempt Me Not and Fireworks were winding up.  They were all over the shop with 100m to go, and it was Fireworks, who despite not looking the winner right until the post, picked up best in the last 50m and got there over Lake Geneva.  Tempt Me Not looked an improver from this run where its condition just peaked towards the 100m, and Miccuci was a very good run from last, and should be followed.

Follow: Tempt Me Not, Miccuci

Race 5

1st                    Sarajevo                                  James McDonald
2nd                   Sworn To Silence                   Sam Clipperton
3rd                    Anyaas                                    Ty Angland

Sarajevo was a short priced favourite for the fifth and had no early pace when the gates opened, going back towards the rear.  Zestful used its inside gate to lead from Tetsuko who came across from out wide to sit parked outside the leader.  Eyreand Mr Bogart were the two who got the cushy runs behind the speed.  Up to the 600m mark, Sarajevo was still in the second half of the field, and the jockey looked to be feeling a bit for him, which was confirmed just before the turn, when it was given a crack with the whip.  In the straight, Sarajevo was brought to the outside, and despite the fact you were probably never on good terms with yourself in the run if you had taken the shorts, it was a case off too much class and a reasonably soft win in the end from a horse that I think can go places.  Sworn To Silence and Anyaas did good jobs in second and third and beat the rest of the field very easily.

Follow: Sarajevo, Anyaas

Race 6

1st                    Weary                                      Tommy Berry
2nd                   Driefontein                             Blake Shinn
3rd                    Territory                                 Sam Clipperton

Bagman and Boban were the two that were slow to begin.  When they settled, Dreifontein had the fence and led with Thermal Current and That’s A Good Idea up disputing the front, which meant That’s A Good Idea was planted three wide.  Malavioand Territory were getting the gun runs behind the pace.  Weary also had a nice run in transide, with Panzer Division to its outside but under pressure before the turn.  Into the straight, Driefontein looked to travel well, and that continued to be the case the whole way up the straight where she held a margin despite many chasing.  If you were on here, you were basically in the queue, but in the last 50m Weary had other ideas, and really attacked the line to get there in the nick of time.  This horse might be set for a very good campaign as it has always looked to have top ability.  Despite Panzer Division being under pressure before the turn, it didn’t give in and made the grade based on this effort for mine. Territory is a consistent horse and was not beaten far.  Boban was an effort that says he will be fitter next time.  That’s A Good Idea was very weak, although you do have to take into account the tough run it had, and Bagman put in its customary finishing burst.  Hawkspur was never really sighted.

Follow: Weary

Race 7

1st                    Sasenkile                                Serg Lisnyy
2nd                   Georgey Aeroplane                 Blake Shinn
3rd                    Dream Folk                             Kathy O’Hara

When they settled in middle distance event it was Orion Love who took it up from Choice Bro with Carrick and Georgy Aeroplane settling just behind them.  If you needed to duck off for your cuppa, this was the race to do it, as nothing changed until about the 600m mark, where the rider on Georgey Aeroplane moved out into the three wide line so that he was not pocketed when other runs came from the back.  Georgey Aeroplane had the leaders covered early in the straight, and for a moment you thought maybe today was his day.  He had a good lead inside the furlong, but Sasenkile, who ran very well last start, backed that up today with a strong grinding win, and ran away from Georgey Aeroplane in the last bit. A non event for me in terms of anything to follow, but there has to be a winner in every race, and it as a decent effort by this one who has found form.

Follow: None to follow

Race 8

1st                    Oxford Poet                            Blake Shinn
2nd                   Lorna May                              Tommy Berry
3rd                    Magic Dallas                          Ty Angland

And so to the last, where Oxford Poet anticipated the start and ran straight to the front.  It slowly crossed down to the fence to lead from Nothing Like Luca and Alias who too the sit behind them.  Aghamore was in the next pack but stuck three wide outside of Lorna May and Black Revolver.  Up around the home turn, Oxford Poet came away from the fence as many had done early and looked to travel ok.  There was a wall chasing, but inside the final furlong, Oxford Poet found some more and the race was over.  The winner was a good effort and a well judged ride.  Lorna May who was well in betting looks to be the one that will improve off this start and should be followed.  Aghamore was also not a bad run after being wide all the way. Alias has to be listed as disappointing.

Follow: Lorna May

Specials from the meeting: Miccuci, Sarajevo, Lorna May