1st Miracle To Me – Chris Symons
2nd Bulbula – Chad Schofield
3rd Mezeray Miss – Damian Lane
A fairly even start though Go Again probably got the worst of it. Swing Vote, who had played up in the gates and underwent a vet test, and Ruud Awakening pounced on the lead from their inside gates and Metastasio was immediately to their outside. Mezeray Miss always travelled well in the centre of the track while Casquets and Annenberg were prominent. Swing Vote was struggling before the 400m and Metastasio hit the front soon after that. She was soon challenged by Mezeray Miss and the swoopers Bulbula and Miracle To Me. Bulbula looked the winner 100m out but was outgunned by the stronger finish of Miracle To Me. Mezeray Miss did a great job fighting on for third while Metastasio just battled and had her chance. Behind them Go Again made some late ground and could be an improver. Casquets was a bit one paced and it is worth forgiving Annenberg who pulled up with atrial fibrillation.
Follow: Miracle To Me could be under-rated, Mezeray Miss in something a little easier.
Race 2: Henry Bucks Best Dressed (1400m).
1st Long John – Steven Arnold
2nd Weinholt – Ben Melham
3rd San Diego – Vlad Duric
I Am Titanium and Rockford were the fastest to begin and led early before Cauthen kicked up from his outside alley and worked to sit outside the lead. Lady Lakshmi landed in a perfect spot while Shamus Award wanted to over race badly in the early stages. Resistant raced three wide outside Long John who found a great spot just behind them and was always in control of the outcome. He moved into the race early in the straight, hit the lead at the 200m and cleared out for a dominant win. Weinholt had his back on the turn and ran on well though no match. San Diego, stablemate to the winner, settled well back on the fence but worked his way through the field for an eye-catching third. He has Derby prospect written all over him. Late Charge was responsible for a super run from the back while Resitant and Rockford, who was held up a little in the straight, battled on. Excuses for Shamus Award though he’ll need to learn to settle. Monkstone was never in the race and disappointed. Cauthen dropped right out and was found to have the thumps. That’s a genuine excuse but he’ll need to bounce back quickly next time.
Follow: San Diego, Late Charge, forgive Shamus Award but he needs to win one soon.
Race 3: Sofitel Girls’ Day Out (2000m)
1st Desert Jeuney – James Winks
2nd Anagold – Glen Boss
3rd Keep Cool – Craig Williams
Aside from Bells Of Troy being a shade slow out it was a good line and Condahussler went straight to the lead as usual. Keep Cool was immediately outside him and Thought Worthy pressed on three wide and eventually landed on the speed. Desert Jeuney took advantage of his inside alley and enjoyed the box seat run with Anagold racing in the clear a couple of lengths away. Not a lot changed until about 600m out when Brigantin eased three wide to improve and that flushed Anagold out and he was ridden along to get moving. Keep Cool hit the lead around 300m from home but was attacked on both sides with Desert Jeuney gaining an inside run and Anagold sticking on. Desert Jeuney kicked about a length in front and just held on to win by a narrow margin over a gallant Anagold with Keep Cool not far away. Why Not showed significant improvement to run home from last and be right behind the placegetters andBachelor Royal, jumping 600m from his last win, wasn’t disgraced behind him. Of the others Brigantin will improve and you won’t need to worry about the imported Thought Worthy after another inglorious effort.
Follow: be a little wary of the form here, especially with Why Not being the late closer Desert Jeuney keeps winning and is on the up.
Race 4: The Sofitel (1400m)
1st Shoreham – Chris Symons
2nd Dany The Fox – Glen Boss
3rd Garud – Ryan Maloney
Niblick was fastest to begin and led fairly easily, Dany The Fox also broke well and had his tail. Pago Rock held his ground from barrier one and the stayer Garud found himself fourth with cover. Shoreham went forward from an awkward gate and was three deep outside him with Hvasstan on his back. Dany The Fox drove to the lead at the 300m but couldn’t establish a break and he had a wall chasing him. Despite racing wide Shoreham kept coming on and stuck his head in front with one stride to go. Garud battled on nicely to hold third and there was a bunch of them breathing down his neck – this could be a strong form race. Hvasstan had a slightly easier run than the winner but wasn’t disgraced, Cosmic Causeway made a promising return and outside the winner the run of the race came from Mutual Trust, who ran his best race since coming to Australia and had no luck at all. He was going sideways trying to get out until the 200m and he could be ready to show his best. Pago Rock and Niblick seemed to have their chance while Ranked, who was in the market, did nothing at all.
Follow: Shoreham, Mutual Trust, Cosmic Causeway.
Race 5: Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m)
1st Charlie Boy – Michael Rodd
2nd Kiss A Rose – Vlad Duric
3rd Eclair Big Bang – Dominic Tourneur
A pretty clean start and Safeguard was right up on the pace staying about six horses off the fence. Whiskey Allround was prominent to his inside with The Bowler, Longma just behind them also on the inside and Charlie Boythree back on the inside. To the outside Scandiva and Eclair Big Bang weren’t far away, Gregers and Kiss A Rose took trails. A group of four broke off closer to the grandstand rail – Romantic Touch, Churchill Dancer, Hill Spyand Il Cavallo. Longma hit the front momentarily around 300m out but Safeguard reeled him in again just as Charlie Boy burst through underneath them and established about a length. Kiss A Rose and Gregers ran home strongly from the back with Kiss A Rose grabbing second and Gregers just missing out. Eclair Big Bang nailed Safeguard for third on the line. Of those out wide only Romantic Touch made any ground and the staying prospect Polanski wasn’t disgraced first-up. There were several disappointing performances, most notably Scandiva and Il Cavallo. Charlie Boy had a lot off convictions as a two-year-old and perhaps he’s come back better, next start will tell, the first six home all ran very well.
Follow: Romantic Touch did a pretty good job and he’s the big improver.
Race 6: Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
1st Foreteller – Craig Newitt
2nd Puissance de Lune – Glen Boss
3rd Moudre – Mark Zahra
Sea Moon stumbled badly soon after jumping and was a clear last on settling. December Draw was a surprise early leader before Bit Of Hell declared him on and assumed control. Waldpark showed some early pace to be just off the speed and Mr Moet came across from his wide gate to be handy. Ethiopia sat three wide not far off with Let’s Make A Deal and Tuscan Fire next. Puissance De Lune settled in the second half of the field with Foreteller on his back. Glen Boss made his move on Puissance de Lune before the turn and Craig Newitt on Foreteller followed him everywhere. December Draw reclaimed the lead at the 300m and Let’s Make A Deal loomed up, as Bit Of Hell dropped out he caused some issues for those behind him, particularly Waldpark, Mr Moet and Tuscan Fire. Just as Puissance de Lune looked to take control Foreteller pounced on him and just outsprinted him in the last 50m. Several lengths away Moudre hit the line hard from the back for an eye-catching third. There was a bunch of six just behind Moudre, of them Manighar and Mourayan worked home fairly to be in that pack. The winner was excellent but Puissance de Lune should lose no admirers. Sea Moon was heavily backed but was never in the race after going down on his nose early. Much has been said about his sectionals so he’s entitled to be forgiven.
Follow: from a Cups point of view Puissance de Lune is the only one you want out of this race.
Race 7: Group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)
1st Speediness – Craig Williams
2nd Temple Of Boom – James McDonald
3rd Albrecht – Dwayne Dunn
The speedy Adamantium won the start and established a couple of lengths lead. Chosen To Fly followed him and the rest of the field were a fair way off that pair and stretched right across the track. Rebel Dane never really settled once he was crossed by the leader and he was under pressure as far as 600m out. The likes of Adebisi, Broken and British General were in the first half of the field early on as well. Adamantium was gone at the 400m and Adebisi claimed him with Rebel Dane between horses. Temple Of Boom put in his sprint and looked a winning chance but just as he did Speediness went two to his one and edged away for a strong first-up win. Rebel Dane fought on strongly but his early effort when not settling told a bit. Temple Of Boom grabbed him for second and Albrecht charged home from the back and into a place. A host of great runs in this event – Sertorius was under pressure a fair way out but responded and hit the line hard, he’ll be better over a bit more ground and Whisper Downs also caught the eye and he’s another who will excel as the distances lift. Forgive Rebel Dane, suspect he didn’t appreciate the straight racing.
Follow: Speediness, Albrecht, Sertorius, Whisper Downs.
Race 8: Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m)
1st Commanding Jewel – Ben Melham
2nd Catkins – Craig Newitt
3rd A Time For Julia – Luke Nolen
Octavia was fast to begin as usual and assumed the lead with Catkins slotting in behind her and You’re So Good coming across to pester the leader. Stablemates Lucky Penny and Oasis Bloom enjoyed nice runs behind the speed and A Time For Julia settled in a perfect spot. Commanding Jewel was on her back while the likes of Dear Demi and Quintessential were right out the back. Octavia led down to the 200m but Catkins had her measure by then and out wider Commanding Jewel and A Time For Julia were sweeping home. Commanding Jewel travelled particularly strongly and her win second-up from almost a year off was dominant. Bonaria was exposed three wide most of the way but showed courage to run home hard into fourth. Quintessential was outstanding weaving through the field and charging home while Dear Demi also made late ground after being last on the turn. Octavia found 1400m too far, Oasis Bloom was very one paced, Lucky Penny dropped right out after having every chance.
Follow: Commanding Jewel, Bonaria, Quintessential, Dear Demi.
Specials from the meeting: San Diego, Mutual Trust, Puissance de Lune, Sertorius, Quintessential.
1st Spurtonic Blake Shinn
2nd Junoob John Kissick
3rd Acapela Brenton Avdulla
On paper, Spurtonic looked the goods in the first, following two previous wins, and Shinn came out with intent to lead and did so. There were a few from out wide trying to sort themselves out, and eventually Assertive Billyworked around the outside to sit outside the leader, but had worked pretty hard to do so. Planetarium, Junooband Praecido got nice runs behind the speed. It was a nicely judged ride by Shinn in front, who went fast enough to string them out a bit, but slow enough to keep something in the locker. By the 600m, he was still traveling well, and Assertive Billy was being pushed along to keep up. Around the turn and topping the rise, you were on good terms with yourself if you backed Spurtonic who made it a one act affair in the run to the line. Of the beaten brigade, Junoob was a nice run first up for Waller and will improve. Not much to be said about the rest.
1st Gangster’s Choice Lester Grace
2nd Photon Willie Glyn Schofield
3rd Canny Ballad Blake Shinn
Tom’s Rocket and Brayroan were not the best to begin in the second. Zakynthos Imprintz on the other hand was the best out and led from Masahiko. The Gallows was caught three wide before eventually slotting into the one out one back trail. Gangster’s Choice, who was a last start video watch horse after being wide, got a nice run behind the speed on the fence today. Tom’s Rocket made up the ground it lost at the start and settled fifth but was pushed early to be there and then ended up taking off three wide at the 750m to attack for the lead. In the straight, Lester Grace on Gangster’s Choice blew the whistle and went straight through on the fence in what was a lovely run, and set up a break for the win. Photon Willie trailed it through and briefly looked some threat but couldn’t or didn’t want to run the winner down. Canny Ballad did what it has developed a habit of doing, which is run on at the end. Not much else to note, the winner may win again.
Follow: Gangster’s Choice
1st Decision Time Blake Shinn
2nd Sessions Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Delago Bolt Hugh Bowman
I’m All The Talk had speed to burn in race three, and headed off Whittington andGolden Sunshine. Around the turn, he had a nice break on them, but you could see the eventual winner, Decision Time being pulled to the outside to come with its run, and the favourite in the race, Sessions was pulled widest to try and finish over the top of them. I’m All The Talk led to about the 150m, but was then swamped by Decision Time, who dug in for the fight and wouldn’t let Sessions go past it. Hay List didn’t have the clearest of running in the straight, but isn’t what he once was. Delago Bolt ran a great race here in what was a step up in grade for him.
Follow: Delago Bolt
1st Bound For Earth Nick Hall
2nd Guelph Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Thump Jim Cassidy
Greytfilly has bad barrier manners and came out a bit behind them here, but not as bad as she can do sometimes. Bound For Earth was also not flash to begin. Tulla Touch railed up inside Thump to go to the lead. Dream Forward was up three wide, with Shahad getting a nice run on the fence behind the speed. The short priced favourite Guelph got right back to second last and was still there when they turned for home. At the 200m you could see Guelph coming and she looked the winner for a few strides, but Bound For Earth came with Guelph and outgunned her in the run to the line. Credit to the winner, both her and Guelph look the two to follow from this.
Follow: Bound For Earth, Guelph
1st Aussies Love Sport Jim Cassidy
2nd Open Book Christian Reith
3rd Champagne Cath Jay Ford
Teronado was a clear last to begin in this. Aussies Love Sport, from the outside was the best to begin, butChampagne Cath and Open Book were keen to kick up inside him and Champagne Cath ran to the front with Aussies Love Sport outside of it. Kirov and Open Book got nice runs behind the speed. Topping the rise, it appeared to me that you wanted to be on Open Book as it strode up three wide, but to the credit of Aussies Love Sport, it dug in and ran away from the clearly in the run to the line, and looks a horse with a bright future that is now delivering upon the hype on it earlier on. Teronado was seen finishing off very well here, and is the other to follow along with the winner. Open Book was pretty disappointing in the run to the line compared to the winner. Champagne Cath may be reaching peak fitness now as she didn’t stop as badly today.
Follow: Aussies Love Sport, Teronado
1st Malavio Nathan Berry
2nd Bello Kerrin McEvoy
3rd Royal Descent Glyn Schofield
Shoot Out was slowest to begin from the inside, whereas up front there was a few disputing the lead, which included Tagus, Bello and Malavio. It was Bello that took the lead, with Malavio sitting up outside of it, and Tagus taking the sit behind them. Fast Clip was caught three wide. Faulkner was sent out a well supported favourite and got back to last and was still there as they turned for home. Topping the rise, Bello and Malavio were fighting it out and they kept doing so all the way to the line, with Malavio getting the bob in on the line for victory. Royal Descent came to the line very well and she’s still my Caulfield Cup horse at this stage. Sacred Falls also found the line nicely, and Faulkner wasn’t disgraced, but won’t want to be that far back in future to be competitive at this level. Forget that Shoot Out went around and expect improvement next time out.
Follow: Royal Descent
1st Hawkspur Jim Cassidy
2nd Beaten Up Hugh Bowman
3rd Lightinthenite Nick Hall
Veyron, who many expected to get the run of the race here didn’t begin well, and that changed the complexion of the race. The jockey tried to go forward into a position after the start but then got squeezed up and spat out the back. Beaten Up led from Lightinthenite when they settled down. Sneak A Peak was just behind them on the fence and Crafty Irna was trapped three wide, with Moriarty in the middle. Veyron eventually settled midfield on the fence. Up the rise, Beaten Up still looked to travel ok, but soon after Hawkspur which had come from well back on the fence and threaded its way through, joined in as if the rest were standing still, and went on for what was probably the most impressive win of the day. Whilst he didn’t beat anything great here, the way in which he showed a turn of foot and attacked the line was extremely impressive and he looks to have a good Spring ahead (he’s a big firmer in Caufield Cup betting, and it looked justified).
1st That’s A Good Idea Glyn Schofield
2nd Field Marshall Brenton Avdulla
3rd Heart Testa Jason Collett
To the last, and Destruction went fast from the outside to match it with That’s A Good Idea, with Ashokansettling in third. Up to, and around the turn, That’s A Good Idea railed through to lead Destruction. In what was a case of catch me if you can, That’s A Good Idea led up and over the rise, but looked a sitting shot for Field Marshall which was the one coming out of the pack and looked like it would go past That’s A Good Idea, but couldn’t quite get there. Many doubted That’s A Good Idea could back up its last start win, but you have to be very impressed with its sustained speed here, given that Destruction which went with it dropped out and ran last. Field Marhsall lost no admirers by running a clear second. Heart Testa will probably improve next time out.
Follow: Field Marshall
Specials from the meeting: Aussies Love Sport, Royal Descent, Hawkspur, Field Marshall
Note: I think this will be a very good form meeting, with a number of the winners likely to repeat the dose.