Flemington Review from Ray Hickson

Race 1: Flemington Family (1200m)

1st Jalan Jalan – Damien Oliver
2nd Gold Symphony – Chad Schofield
3rd Portman – Craig Williams

Closest to the inside, Smooth Edge had the lead while Vicious and Star Planet were about five horses further out. Just inside that pairDemonstrate travelled okay and Jalan Jalan sat behind him. Gold Symphony tracked Star Planet and outside him was Free Speechand Abu Dhabi. Demonstrate and Vicious claimed the leader inside the 400m but neither had a sprint and Star Planet joined in with them. Jalan Jalan ducked back to the inside and started to finish off strongly. Soon after he raced past the leading trio and dashed away. Gold Symphony was running on nicely and Portman was closing in behind him. Jalan Jalan stretched out like a nice horse and held a dominant margin on the line. Nice run from Gold Symphony and even nicer debut effort by Portman, who settled last and kept coming. Every chance Demonstrate and Vicious and they disappointed.
Follow: the winner’s smart, Portman has plenty of upside.

Race 2: Golden View Pavilion (1200m)

1st Mio Dio – Chris Parnham
2nd Benchi Pegasus – Jess Payne
3rd Lord Da Vinci – Craig Newitt

The field split into two divisions early on and Bishops Castle led the outside brigade with Written Up following. Underneath him wereHandsome Tycoon and La Venta. On the inside Grand Gallop split Windjammer and Benchi Pegasus. Following them were Arena Rock and Go De Orpen. By the 400m the two groups were coming together and Grand Gallop emerged as the overall leader with Benchi Pegasus challenging. Mio Dio swung in from the back of the outside pack and started to run on but Handsome Tycoon couldn’t go with him. Bishops Castle and Written Up dropped off while Lord Da Vinci started his usual late charge. Mio Dio got to Benchi Pegasus by the 100m and was going home the better. Note Benchi Pegasus bled. A decent gap to Lord Da Vinci battling on into another minor while Handsome Tycoon stuck on fairly, not sure he runs a strong 1200m. Bishops Castle battled back late but was disappointing on the whole.
Follow: none here.

Race 3: Wilson Medic One Rising Stars (1800m)

1st Lilly Dazzler – Jordan Childs
2nd Iteration – Michael Dee
3rd Kept Woman – Jake Bayliss

Distant Dreams jumped clearly in front and crossed over to lead from Special Miss coming across with her. Iteration landed in the box seat with To Be Honest on her outside and they kept Bonne Nuit three wide. No Excuses Bec settled three back on the fence.Melaleuca looked to over a race a little while Every Faith had a three wide trail. They were fairly bunched behind Distant Dreams coming to the turn and she quickly had Special Miss under pressure. Iteration was pushing into the clear between them and To Be Honest came to the outside as Bonne Nuit dropped off. No Excuses Bec ran up behind them and Lilly Dazzler was weaving through, keeping No Excuses Bec in traffic. Iteration got to Distant Dreams at the 200m and took over. Lilly Dazzler started to fly late with Kept Woman coming on down the outside and Special Miss staying on. Lilly Dazzler had a bit more sting in her finish and ran down Iteration pretty comfortably. Kept Woman was also closing fast and they got away from the rest. Every Faith had her chance and Distant Dreams stuck on pretty well, possibly the 1800m a bit far.

Follow: there’s a race in Iteration while Kept Woman has come back well.

Race 4: VRC Recognition Handicap (1000m)

1st Il Cavallo – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Tansy – Craig Williams
3rd Our Nkwazi – Jake Bayliss

Il Cavallo bounded out and started to edge across the field while Kaiser Sun was going very hard wide out. Closer to the inside Mr Make Believe and It’s Poet’s Day were handy and Tansy and Living On A Prayer were a couple behind Il Cavallo. Kaiser Sun was the first horse beaten and dropped out sharply leaving Il Cavallo in front about five horses off the fence. Our Nkwazi took the rails run and made a dash as Mr Make Believe and It’s Poet’s Day started to paddle. Tansy got into the clear with a run to Il Cavallo’s inside and set out after him. Il Cavallo’s turn of foot between the 200m and 100m saw him get a length clear and he was able to hold Tansy, who took half that margin off him, on the line. They put a margin on Our Nkwazi who scrambled into third ahead of El Prado Gold running on when it was all over. Of the others, King Buddy was spotted charging home very late, finding the 1000m too short first-up. Winner was well placed and proved too good.

Follow: none in particular.

Race 5: Chicquita Handicap (1400m)

1st Herstory – Dwayne Dunn
2nd Champagne Cocktail – Darren Gauci
3rd Domino Vitale – Regan Bayliss

After a little battle early All About Rhythm assumed control and Herstory sat up on the outside. Champagne Cocktail was happy to let them go and But Perfect was with her. Our Harmony worked up to a spot just behind that pair and She Can Shazam and Domino Vitaleraced with Lirabird out three wide with cover. Herstory was absolutely bolting outside All About Rhythm into the straight and cantered to the lead at the 300m. Champagne Cocktail was pushing off the fence as But Perfect started to battle. Lirabird tried to run on out wider, Our Harmony couldn’t go with them and Domino Vitale snuck along the rail. But they were all racing for second place as Herstory roared away for a dominant win. A wall chased her to line and Champagne Cocktail just held on for second over Domino Vitale, whose run probably ended, and Lirabird wasn’t disgraced. Second to ninth or so were very bunched. Of the others Little Hottie did absolutely nothing from the back.

Follow: nothing outside the winner.

Race 6: Dalray Handicap (1100m)

1st Supido – Craig Williams
2nd I Am The General – Craig Newitt
3rd Rough Justice – Katelyn Mallyon

They split into three groups in this straight race. Valiant Warrior probably led in the middle of the track with Viking Ransom andMossara Lad close up and Lord Esprit tracking him. Ionlythinkofyou and What A Hoot were further out and merging with the middle group. On the inside Rough Justice led Diamond Baroness and Bian Hard closer to the fence. Supido was right behind that group. By the 300m Rough Justice was the overall leader though Valiant Warrior was trying hard to go with him. Lord Esprit came through between them and Supido pushed between Rough Justice and Diamond Baroness to make his claim and he sprinted very quickly. As Supido dashed away down the outside What A Hoot and I Am The General started to make some good ground. Supido was far too good and he’s a promising type. I Am The General got up for second while Rough Justice ran his usual honest race and stuck on for third. Close up What A Hoot and Valiant Warrior while Lord Esprit had his chance.

Follow: Supido looks a handy one.

Race 7: Bruce Gadsden Handicap (1400m)

1st Charmed Harmony – Katelyn Mallyon
2nd Pago Rock – Chad Schofield
3rd Vizhaka – Dean Yendall

Charmed Harmony took his time working over but found the fence without a lot of trouble as Club Command let him to go to take the box seat. Vizhaka improved into second place and Pago Rock was happy to take a trail. Khutulun landed behind them in the clear.Streets Away and Instrumentalist, up handy first-up for well over a year, were the next pair and Royal Island was trapped wide. Charmed Harmony didn’t break away as he did last time but travelled well within himself. Vizhaka was sticking with him but not challenging while Pago Rock had Vizhaka’s back into the straight. Khutulun pulled around Pago Rock’s heels at the 400m but was under the pump to pick him up and Instrumentalist was sticking on along the inside. Charmed Harmony waved them goodbye at the 300m and opened up a big break, cruising to the line an easy winner. Pago Rock tried his heart out to chase him but was never a threat and Vizhaka stuck on in a very on pace dominated race. Khutulun had every chance and wasn’t up to it while Streets Away ran a cheeky race first-up to finish alongside her. Winner far too good.

Follow: none.

Race 8: Flemington Event Staff (1600m)

1st Abbasso – Damien Oliver
2nd Majestic Duke – Steven Arnold
3rd Henwood – Regan Bayliss

Majestic Duke made it across to the fence pretty well but he had a bit of company once there and Henwood and, particularly, Yenhaabputting some pressure on. Count Of Limonade pulled out of that battle while Stratigraphy was a couple of lengths further back. Behind him were River’s Lane inside Abbasso. Majestic Duke took control again in the middle stages as the others backed off and he slid away coming to the turn. Henwood quickly went around Yenhaab, who was suddenly under pressure and Count Of Limonade also battling. Stratigraphy was further out and Abbasso started to hit the line strongly outside him in the straight. Majestic Duke was a sitting shot in the last 200m and Abbasso had the last shot at him, which proved the difference as he swept past in the closing stages. Henwood stayed on fairly well for third. At First Sight took significant ground off Henwood in the last 200m in a much improved second-up effort while River’s Lane was never a winning chance but kept coming.

Follow: perhaps At First Sight is getting close to something at 2000m or above.

Race 9: Briseis Handicap (2000m)

1st Bagman – Damien Oliver
2nd Black Tomahawk – Jake Bayliss
3rd Venture On – Jarrod Fry

Venture On tried to cross Lightenuff early but was held out. They ran a couple clear of Freshwater Storm inside Black Tomahawkgetting one off the fence. Shikarpour followed him while Bagman settled a lot closer this time in midfield on the fence ahead of Crafty Cruiser. They strung out in the middle stages as Lightenuff got running and Venture On was happy to let him go. As the pace started to come off they bunched approaching the turn and that flushed a few out with Black Tomahawk, Shikarpour and Crafty Cruiser all starting to improve. Freshwater Storm and Bagman waited behind the leaders. Venture On moved alongside Lightenuff at the 400m and that allowed Bagman clear running while the grey Freshwater Storm was still held up. Black Tomahawk and Shikarpour further out were tying to run on. Bagman hit the front a long way from home and past the 200m couldn’t shake off Venture On while Black Tomahawk was closing. Bagman’s class shone through as he held on for a narrow win, but wouldn’t have wanted it much further as Black Tomahawk got very close. Venture On was game on the speed and Crafty Cruiser found it too short. Clemo was never really in the hunt and his run was puzzling.

Follow: none.

Specials from the meeting: Portman, Iteration, Supido.

Rosehill Review from Todd Burmester

Race 1

1st Soviet Courage – Glyn Schofield
2nd Space – Sam Clipperton
3rd Der Meister – Thomas Huet

A mile and a half for race one and Space led them easily when they went to the post the first time and the pace wasn’t strong at all. Cabalistic settled in second with a break back to Soviet Courage in third. They made their way around the whole course and up around the home turn before there was any change in the order. Cabalistic went up and challenged Space early in the straight and Soviet Courage looked to run on also. Soviet Courage found the front just inside the furlong mark but all four runners were still within about a length of each other. In the final 100m, Soviet Courage asserted its superiority and went on to win it a bit over a length, with the others all finishing with a half length or so of each other. Nothing to follow out of this draught horse derby.

Follow: None to follow

Race 2

1st Alegria James – McDonald
2nd Elle Lou – Tommy Berry
3rd Duccio – Thomas Huet

Elle Lou was quickest to begin in the second and ran to the front from Francesco before Duccio moved up outside of the leader into second. Alegria got a lovely run behind the pace and a lot closer today. Before the turn, Fifty Eight Facets got going from the back to be a bit closer as they straightened. In the straight Elle Lou left the fence and there was plenty of room for Alegria to come through and at about the 300m mark it struck the front. From there on, McDonald rode hard, and Elle Lou fought hard. They went to the line with not a great deal between them, but Alegria always looked to have the upper hand and saluted by a narrow but certain margin. There was a gap to the next three with Duccio landing third prizemoney. The winner was tipped a special to follow in this column last start, so hopefully you were on.

Follow: The first two can both win more races

Race 3

1st Japonisme – Rory Hutchings
2nd King’s Troop – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Tatoosh – Hugh Bowman

King’s Troop was sent out a short priced favourite and came out well from the inside, but Carriages was ridden with urgency to lead. When they settled, King’s Troop had kicked through along the inside to join and head Carriages. Smoking its pipe in third was Japonisme with Zoutenant getting an equally nice run in fourth. King’s Troop had it up to the 300m mark and looked to travel ok with Japonisme getting a nice run on the inside to throw down the challenge. At the furlong they had a good break over the rest of the field and were fighting it out head and head. In the final stages, Japonisme was finishing too well on the inside and drew away to beat King’s Troop whom the early work may have told on. Tatoosh closed off ok in the final stages for third.

Follow: King’s Troop, Tatoosh

Race 4

1st Berry Delicious – Winona Costin
2nd Sense And Reason – Glyn Schofield
3rd Breakfast In Bed – Blake Shinn

Breakfast In Bed bounced out quickest in race four and led easily enough from Transfers. There was a break to Commanding Wit and another gap back to Amazon. The favourite, Berry Delicious settled back last, which was probably not a great surprise. This order didn’t change until they were well into the straight. At about the 300m mark you could see Berry Delicious starting to warm up along the inside along with Sense And Reason. Those two went through at the 150m mark to fight it out and it was Berry Delicious who finished off best to make it three straight wins from Sense And Reason who was good, with a gap back to Breakfast In Bed who did a reasonable job under the topweight.

Follow: Sense And Reason

Race 5

1st Shiraz – Hugh Bowman
2nd Countryman – James McDonald
3rd Casual Choice – Thomas Huet

They came out beautifully in race 5, with the short priced favourite Shiraz up there contesting the lead from a wide gate early on. Bowman was restraining it however as plenty of runners kicked through along the inside.Countryman ran to the front, with Shiraz perching up outside of it in second. Fireball got a good run in third with Jacakaizane who was specked in betting in fourth spot. Up around the turn and into the straight and Shiraz looked to be going half pace as it claimed a share of the lead and from there on you had the best jockey in Australia riding a horse in very good form and it bolted away to win it by about four lengths. It is impossible to recommend anything that was beaten here given how impressive the winner was once again.

Follow: Shiraz

Race 6

1st Forget – Blake Shinn
2nd Dragon Flyer – Brenton Avdulla
3rd Radical Impact – Thomas Huet

Dragon Flyer anticipated the start and came out a half length in front in race six whereas Scratch Me Luckystood there and missed it about eight lengths. Footy Fan led them up when the settled from Fort Sumpter.Poltava got a nice run in third spot from Radical Impact who was one out and one back. Dragon Flyer after its good beginning landed three back the fence. Around the turn, Footy Fan found a kick and still had it inside the furlong but Forget and Radical Impact looked to be the two finishing best down the outside. Forget was the one who built up most moment and came on to win by a length or so despite running in a bit. Radical Impact and Dragon Flyer fought out a close finish for second. Scratch Me Lucky boomed home for fourth which was a top effort after missing the start so badly.

Follow: Scratch Me Lucky

Race 7

1st Rugged Cross – Brenton Avdulla
2nd Two Blue – Paul King
3rd Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Thomas Huet

Two Blue won the start and settled in front in race seven from Liberty’s Choice with Haussmann up in third spot and then second spot early on. You’ll Never and Rugged Cross were the next two in running. Around the turn, Two Blue still had it and looked to have the measure of Liberty’s Choice. Wouldn’t It Be Nice was coming with a good run down the outside and looking a winning chance before it peaked on the run and Rugged Cross came out from behind the leaders, poked through the middle and claimed Two Blue in the shadows of the post for victory. Wouldn’t It Be Nice wound up third from Liberty’s Choice who had every possible chance. Haussmann was very disappointing here finishing well back with no real excuse.

Follow: Rugged Cross

Race 8

1st Marenostro – James McDonald
2nd Richard The First – Sam Clipperton
3rd Scottish Border – Hugh Bowman

Marenostro put the writing on the wall last start and was sent out ‘yours for theirs’ in the last. Grande Puntoheaded them off with Marenostro running in second spot. Punctuate was in third spot and Richard The Firstwas one out and one back in fourth. The field packed before the turn with Richard The First coming three wide to be ready to strike early in the straight. In the straight, Marenostro struck the front with Richard The First threatening danger on the outside. Realistically those two were the only winning chances soon after and McDonald pushed hard on Marenostro and got it to find plenty in the run to the line and it came away to win it by nearly a length and a half from Richard The First who didn’t give up and gapped the rest. Scottish Border wasn’t too bad in third.

Follow: Richard The First

Specials From The Meeting: Scratch Me Lucky, Shiraz