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Caulfield – Saturday 27 November 2021

Ebhaar (Race 1)

This was the race which Anamoe (Caulfield Guineas winner and Cox Plate runner up) broke his maiden in last year.  It remains to be seen whether the winner Ebhaar will reach those lofty heights but she certainly looks to have some quality about her.  Off the back of a good trial she sat outside lead in the run.  When the Maher & Eustace horse Boldinho loomed up to her at the 150m she was really able to find strongly and was very soft on the line to win by ¾ of a length with a big gap back to third.  It wouldn’t surprise if we were talking about her as a leading contender in the Group 1 Blue Diamond come next February!

Sinawann (Race 9)

Ex European galloper Sinawann improved sharply on Saturday at his second Australian start to win the Group 3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes over 1400m.  He beat some quality race fit horses here in I Am Superman and the dual Group 1 winner Streets Of Avalon and will no doubt be even better once he gets to the mile.  They ran strong time and it wouldn’t shock to see him come back in the Autumn and be extremely competitive in some Group 1 Mile races.

Ballarat – Saturday 20 November 2021

Way To Go Paula (Race 4)

Way To Go Paula is a four year old mare trained by Phillip Stokes.  She was a big improver here second up after striking a wet track at Moe at her first run back from the spelling paddock.  Staying at 1200m on Saturday she settled a clear last but went onto let down really strongly in the straight – charging home into second place behind race favourite Duchess Of Dorset which had the perfect run one out and one back.  She is placed at listed level over 1400m and looks ready to tackle a race over that distance third up.

Kissinger (Race 7)

Like the way this talented son of Tavistock has returned.  He has hit the line hard in all three of his runs back.  On Saturday he was held up at a key stage but was starting to build the revs through the line which was the best part of his race.  Is out to his right trip now and ready to run a peak rating fourth up – should be very hard to beat if placed right.

Flemington Carnival – Saturday 30 October 2021 to Saturday 6 November

Fifth Position (Race 4 – Oaks Day)

Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr galloper who showed some good signs through the winter in his first Australian preparation.  Looks to have come back an even better horse this time in and was desperately unlucky in the benchmark 90 on Oaks Day.  Should be very hard to beat in the right race third up at 2000m next start.

Lunatic Fringe (Race 3 – Stakes Day)

Lunatic Fringe is a five year old staying mare trained by Tom Dabernig at Warrnambool.  She resumed off a short break with a narrow win on her home track, then chased home the talented Alcyone strongly into second over 2000m on the final day of the carnival.  This is likely to be good form race moving forward with solid closing splits and a good gap back to the third placed horse.

Horses to follow for the Autumn…

Hitotsu (Race 6 – Derby Day)

The VRC Derby hasn’t always proven to be the strongest form race in recent memory, but I think we can follow this years winner with confidence.  The performance to come from last on the turn and win running away was outstanding, even more so considering he was jumping from 1600m to 2500m.  Races such as the Australian Guineas, Rosehill Guineas, Randwick Guineas and ATC Derby are all likely to be on the radar for him in the Autumn.

Espiona (Race 5 – Oaks Day)

No prizes for finding this galloper but she simply must be added to the Black Book.  Her six length win on Oaks day was absolutely superb to the eye and equally impressive on the clock!  Suspect they head to the paddock with her now but she is capable of winning anything she runs in when she returns in the Autumn!

Moonee Valley – Saturday 23 October 2021

Starry Legend (Race 2)

Coming off an impressive 1.25 length victory at Mornington most if not all would have had this son of Zoustar finding the front pretty easily in the 1000m scamper on Saturday.  Instead he half missed the start and then had to dig up and became part of a four way speed dual.  Still he offered a big kick for home on the bend as the others dropped off around him but was left a sitting shot over the concluding stages as Dexelation and Mossman Gorge who had, had much softer runs in transit reeled him in.  Thought the effort had plenty of merit and I think if he can jump cleanly and find the front next time out should be very hard to beat in a similar event.

Floating Artist (Race 8)

I think connections of Floating Artist can consider themselves pretty unlucky not to have collected a first prize cheque in at least one of his last two starts.  Two back they opted to go way to slow on him in front which is not his go – he is a one pacer who needs to build his revs from a long way out.  On Saturday, he was badly held up on the inside of runners and after getting in a bumping dual on the turn was forced back to the inside, then charged to the line to just miss.  He is absolutely airborne and is going to mighty hard to beat where ever they opt to head with him next.

Caulfield – Saturday 16 October 2021

Prince Alexander (Race 3)

Prince Alexander is a three year old son of Animal Kingdom trained by Archie Alexander and he dropped back from 1600m to 1400m to run in the Gothic Stakes on Saturday.  He settled last of nine in a fast run race and charged to the line to narrowly miss Extreme Flight with a sizeable gap of six lengths back to the third placed horse Sandy Prince.  Think he is ready to peak now fourth up and could be suited in a race like the Carbine Club Stakes which is run on Derby Day.

Never Talk (Race 8)

Despite the better going being away from the fence it was very hard for backmarkers to make ground especially late in the day which I think gives this mares performance plenty of merit.  She was near enough to last as they turned for home, then peeled off the fastest last 200m, 400m & 600m sectionals of the day to finish third coming off a five week break.  This is a great platform for her to run really well next start but the key to her is rain affected going.  Keen to back her if they can find a wet track over 1100m next time out!

Caulfield – Saturday 9 October 2021

Nudge (Race 7)

The runner up in this years Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara resumed over 1200m in the Northwood Plume Stakes.  As we are a custom to seeing with her, she drifted back at the start and ended up settling towards the rear of the field in a slowly run race.  She was left a little flat footed as the leader, La Mexicana, started to build the revs at the 600m but once balanced peeled off some slick sectionals to finish a close up third.  This looks a lovely platform for her to tackle some of the big mares races towards the back end of the spring.

Victorian Derby hopefuls

Last week we identified three horses you can follow heading towards the Melbourne Cup.  This week there’s two we can follow out of a high rating Caulfield Guineas who I think have claims to be first and second pick in the Victorian Derby.

Hitotsu (Race 8)

Hitotsu took a huge step up in class from winning Donald maiden and I thought he was terrific finishing fifth in a fast run race at just his second start of the preparation.  We saw what the Maher & Eustace stable did winning three Derby’s with Explosive Jack earlier in the year and I think they have a terrific chance to win another here with this son of Maurice.

Forgot You (Race 8)

Forgot You who wears the same colours as Hitotsu ran home well into sixth having his third consecutive start the mile (he won his two prior).  Gives every indication that he is looking for a staying trip now.  I don’t think there is much between him and Hitotsu.

Flemington – Saturday 2 October 2021

Mystic Journey (Race 6)

Mystic Journey showed signs first up she could be getting back to somewhere near her Group 1 winning best, and those signs were confirmed on Saturday.  She spotted the leaders – who ran a long at a genuine tempo – a big margin on the turn, then rattled off the fastest last 600/400/200m of the entire meeting to close into third beaten less than a length on the line.   Her performance really stood out, because outside of her the race pretty much held its formation.  She is ready to peak third up in the Group 1 Empire Rose on Derby Day!

Stalking (Race 3)

Race three was a 1610m Group 2 for the three year old fillies and the horse I want to take out of it is Stalking.  She was trying the mile for the first time coming off an eight week let up, and after settling worse than midfield really charged to the line to run fourth.  She looks a real staying type of filly that could be on her way to an Oaks.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she had another start in a race like the Wakeful before then where she will be very competitive at 2000m with fitness under her belt.

Melbourne Cup hopefuls

I also wanted to highlight three horses who could be potential betting options (either in futures markets or on the day) heading towards a Melbourne Cup.  Two ran in the Turnbull and one in The Bart Cummings.

Young Werther (Race 7)

We mentioned him after a good first up run over 1700m on September 11, but he went to a whole new level in the Turnbull.  After settling in a great spot in midfield he loomed like the winner, before the super star Incentivise appeared to see him coming and found another gear to hold him off.  He goes to the Caulfield Cup now where he will be a live each way chance but I think he may have even more of a chance in a Melbourne Cup.

Explosive Jack (Race 7)

The horse that won three Derby’s earlier in the year has returned super.  He hit the line very strongly first up over the mile and again on Saturday at the mile and a quarter.  Great signs for a horse that is a genuine 2400m+ animal and we know how good the Maher & Eustace stable are once they get their runners out over a trip!

Realm Of Flowers (Race 8)

Has already secured her place in the Melbourne Cup by winning the Andrew Ramsden here earlier in the year.  After finishing towards the rear of the field first and second up she improved big time out to the 2520m.  She was a real eye catcher closing strongly from the back to finish sixth.  She is right on target for the first Tuesday in November.

Moonee Valley – Friday 24 September 2021

Curran (Race 5)

Is a progressive four year old son of Night Of Thunder who made his debut earlier this year.  He has been quick to build a strong record with four wins and three seconds and the market wanted to be with him first up over the 955m on Friday night.  He was tardy away but quickly mustered early in his race to settle in fifth.  From there he travelled beautifully for Matthew Cartwright and when he produced him at the top of the straight, the gelding lengthened very strongly peeling off a 11.21 final 200m to reel in Yulong Command.  I think he can win a Group 2/3 over 1000m-1200m before the spring is over.

Only Words (Race 8)

Chris Waller mare who won the Group 2 The Roses at Doomben on May 22.  She was second up here after a luckless resuming run at Flemington in The Let’s Elope.  The market really latched onto her in this.  Better than $8 bet during the week – she jumped $4.6.  Again badly held up after finding a good spot forward of midfield.  She absolutely rocked to the line once clear over the concluding stages.  Beaten 1.7 lengths but she was a length in front 50m past the post.  She is bursting to win a race third up.

Caulfield – Saturday 18 September 2021

Just Folk (Race 1)

Five year old gelding who has four wins and two placings from twelve starts.  He returned from a short break in the opening race on Saturday.  After settling back in the field he had a very checkered passage all the way up the home running.  Despite this and the fact he was racing over an unsuitable distance he closed strongly to finish within a length of the winner.  A cracking return.  He will be a force to reckoned with at 1400m next time.

Ocean Beyond (Race 2)

Began his career with a bang, winning impressively at Geelong on debut before going onto win at listed level at start two.  Things did not go to plan last preparation finishing unplaced in both Autumn runs.  On Saturday, he was badly held up until the concluding stages but when the gap finally opened late he shot through into fourth in an eye catching performance.  A race around Moonee Valley second up could be perfect for him.

Tralee Rose (Race 7)

Simon Wildes staying mare Tralee Rose was heavily backed again on Saturday.  She settled in a similar position to first up, behind lead and was building nicely on the turn but as Craig Williams attempted to push out from under Knights Order the small gap which had appeared closed and he was pushed back onto the fence and forced to make his run up the inside.  This was clearly the inferior ground later on in the day and therefor I think her effort to grab third is full of merit.  Think they are likely to head to a Bart Cummings with her now (winner gain entry into the Melbourne Cup). 

Flemington – Saturday 11 September 2021

Explosive Jack & Colette (Race 8)

There were a number of good runs in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes and I think it’s a race we can follow with some confidence moving forward.  Outside of the obvious – the winner Incentivise who will be hard to beat anywhere he goes – I am keen to follow:

Explosive Jack – four year old gelding who won the Tasmanian, Australian and South Australian Derby earlier in the year.  He settled back in the field, then continued to hug the rail as they fanned turning from home.  Like the winner, the further they went the stronger he got.  A terrific first up effort from an out and out stayer resuming at 1600m.  Will be a force to reckon with in the big staying races this spring.

Colette – classy middle distance mare from the Godolphin operation.  She backed up a good first up sixth in the Memsie Stakes with another good run here.  Peeling off the fastest last 200m sectional of the race.  She is ready to peak third up and will be extremely hard to beat if they can find a rain affected track for her to run on.

Defibrillate & Young Werther (Race 9)

The last race on the card was a 1700m open handicap and it too produced several good runs.  I’m keen to follow two horses in particular:

Defibrillate – is typically a big improver second up and that’s exactly what transpired on Saturday.  He was positioned three pairs back along the fence in the run and Billy Egan just had to bide his time and wait for the gaps to open.  Once they did, he lengthened strongly to grab second.  Is now ready to win third up at 2000m.

Young Werther – highly talented gelding who started a warm favourite in last years Victorian Derby.  Like Defibrillate, he had a chequered passage for most of his resuming run but got going late – a nice spring pipe opener.  Look for him once he stretches out to 2000m & beyond.

Moonee Valley – Saturday 4 September 2021

Barade (Race 4)

We made this seven year old gelding trained by Archie Alexander a black booker after a cracking first up run over the mile.  Despite being unwanted in the betting on Saturday he again was strong to line behind Degraves in a high rating open handicap.  He is going really really well and is ready to win third up at 2400m.

Mac ‘N’ Cheese (Race 6)

Mac ‘N’ Cheese returned from a seven week let up in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes.  Her trainer Tony McEvoy suggested leading in that Moonee Valley and 1200m were perhaps not her go and that’s how it turned out.  She has a big stride on her and needs to wind up and she just ended up in an awful spot back in the ruck on the turn.  I thought her last 200m, once she was balanced, was very strong and she will be suited stepping to 1400m at Flemington/Caulfield second up.

Djukon (Race 9)

There was a sneaky go at big odds for this Chris Waller stayer resuming in the last.  He settled three back the fence in the run on the back of the eventual winner Don’t Doubt Dory.  Upon turning for home Damian Thornton opted to pop off the fence in an attempt to get his galloper – who was travelling very strongly – into clear air.  Unfortunately for Djukon backers the lift doors shut and he went to the line virtually untested.  An unlucky but very promising return.  Look for him up in trip next start.

Caulfield – Saturday 28 August 2021

Annavisto (Race 3)

This four year old daughter of Reliable Man was presented first up in the 1400m mares race.   She settled in a lovely position and worked to the line strongly behind an informed Turaath.  There is an argument to be made she may have won the race if she didn’t lay in over the concluding stages but regardless I think connections will have been very pleased with her return.  It gives her a lovely platform to tackle some of the black type mares races during the spring.

Atorius (Race 4)

If you backed Artorius on Saturday I think you can count yourself pretty stiff not to collect.  Race shape and track bias gave him a herculean task on the bend and yet another stride or two and he wins the race.   He looks every bit a Caulfield Guineas horse and if he gets there in one piece they are going to have a tough time beating him.

Beau Rossa (Race 8)

Full credit to Brett Prebble for his ride on Behemoth which won the race but the horse I want to take out of the event is the four-year-old Beau Rossa.   After settling in the box seat he was held up on the turn which gave Prebble and Behemoth the chance to catch a race winning break on him.  Once he was able to get clear he lengthened powerfully and was taking strong ground off Behemoth over the last 100m – another stride or two and he wins the race.  This looks the perfect lead up run for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clark Stakes in three weeks time where he will drop considerably in the weights.  If he can reproduce that run will take a power of beating.

Moonee Valley – Saturday 21 August 2021

Shot Of Irish (Race 9)

All three of Shot Of Irish’s runs this time in have been excellent.  He tagged a really strong speed on Saturday and after being restrained for the first part of the race appeared to be going backwards on the turn, however somewhat amazingly was able to pick up again to run third.  A win is right around the corner, especially if the stable can find him a slow or heavy track, he excels in wet conditions!

Caulfield – Saturday 14 August 2021

Barade (Race 2)

Stayer resuming from the Archie Alexander yard and probably the horse I’m most keenest to follow out of the meeting.  He jumped out well leading in to what I thought was a terrific first up run.  He was back last on the turn and made up very good ground along the inside to finish second which was a great effort for a horse who does his best racing over 2000m+. And if you watch him 50m past the post he’s more than a length in front which is always a good sign.  He has a nice race in him this prep.

Elephant (Race 5)

 Former Kiwi galloper who kept his unbeaten record alive first up in the benchmark 84 over 1400m.  I loved the way he accelerated away when Damian Lane produced him at the top of the straight and he looked to win with something in hand.  Destined for bigger and better things!

Nonconformist (Race 8)

Talented five year old who had absolutely no luck in the feature.  If you were on him I think you knew your fate a long way from home.  He was always travelling but was badly strung up in between horses and never got a clear crack at them.  Despite this he has still reeled off strong late splits and can make his presence felt up in trip next start.

Flemington – Saturday 7 August 2021

Killourney (Race 1)

Ex European galloper who was stepping sharply in trip from 1600m to 2500m second up.  He was able to make up significant ground along the rail in a race suited to the on pacers. An outstanding run especially considering parade watchers suggested he paraded well below his best.  Looks a coming winner.

Oxley Road (Race 5)

This lightly raced entire trained by Peter Moodie at Pakenham resumed in the benchmark 84 over 1100m.  He bowled along out in front and looked the winner for a long way before Miss Albania with the fitness edge reeled him in late.  A lovely first up run and I expect we will see him back in the winners stall soon.

Secret Blaze (Race 8)

His two runs back over 1200m have been excellent for a horse that does his best racing over further.  He flashed home from the back in the Bletchingly first up at Caulfield then was as strong as any horse through the line in the feature on Saturday when staying at 1200m.  Look for him rising in distance third and fourth up.

Moonee Valley – Saturday 31 July 2021

La Rocque (Race 2)

 A great return to the races from this previously unbeaten filly trained by John McCardle.  She made up substantial ground from the back to finish less than two lengths from the winner which wasn’t something that was easy to do on the day.  Interesting to note that Jamie Mott who would of likely had the pick of the rides on the stable mates chose to ride the other one (Tycoon Humma).  Perhaps an indication that the camp thought 1000m was too short for La Rocque.  Keen to follow out to 1200m next start!

Tuvalu (Race 5)

 Tuvalu stays in the black book after a terrific second up effort.  Once again he finished second to I’m Thunderstruck but he was able to reduce the margin from four lengths first up, to just half a length on Saturday with the extra fitness on his side and there was a massive gap back to third which is always a good sign.  They’ve busted the clock here and if he can find a race without I’m Thunderstruck third up he should be able to notch up win number three.

Rock In The Park (Race 9)

 Rock In The Park reeled off some big late splits to win first up at Sandown.  He ran well again on Saturday but had a few things against.  He was ridden up at the start to find a spot and may have been flat staying at the 1200m.  Think he is capable of winning again out to 1400m next start especially if he finds a heavy track.

Caulfield – Saturday 24 July 2021

Pounding (Race 3)

Pounding is still a maiden but I doubt he will be for much longer.  He hit the line well first up at Sale over 1100m, then sat outside a fast lead speed on Saturday and kept battling to finish fourth, beaten less than two lengths.  A great effort considering it was imperative horses found cover (from the howling Northerly wind) in the run at Caulfield on Saturday.  I suspect he will be even better over a mile and now has a great platform to win a race over that distance third up.

The Garden (Race 7)

Craig Williams had no luck on The Garden who was heavily backed following a high rating first up maiden win at Geelong.  He was stuck out three and four wide on a limb and to make matters worse he was inclined to over race in the run.  He kept fighting to finish third – all things considered a great effort at only start number three.  It won’t shock to see him in the winners stall again in the not too distant future.

Diamonds Inthe Sky (Race 9)

Diamonds Inthe Sky jumped a $26 chance in the final race on the card.  Craig Newitt ran them along out in front and like Pounding I thought this daughter of Zoustar did a great job to stick on into fifth.  The talented Zou Dancer, who had jumped out very well leading in had the dream run on her back and was only able to just get past her in the straight which gives further merit to the performance.  Keen to back her against her own age group around Caulfield or Moonee Valley in the coming weeks.

Flemington – Saturday 17 July 2021

Tuvalu (Race 2)

The talented Tuvalu resumed in race two.  He was no match for the winner – I’m Thunderstruck – who is destined for group racing (maybe Group 1) however this was a good first up effort.  He settled behind the leader and after being held up for the early part of the straight kept coming to finish second.  The market drift suggested he may have needed the run first up which gives additional merit to his performance.  In for a good prep!

Changing Tracks (Race 3)

Changing Tracks has found herself a long long way back in both runs this campaign and on both occasions has hit the line very strongly.  She finished seventh on Saturday but her best work was through the line and had the race been another 50m she may have finished in the top four.  She is eligible for easier races and if she can settle a pair or two closer in the run should be very hard to beat third up.

The Awesome Son (Race 9)

Trainer Julius Sandhu thought enough of this three year old gelding to bring him to town after a strong third in a Bendigo maiden on debut.  He found the right section of the track but I loved the way he worked home to be beaten less than two lengths in a very competitive three year old handicap.  He won’t be a maiden for much longer.

Ballarat – Sunday 11 July 2021

Italian Poet (Race 1)

Lightly raced two year old gelding trained by Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra at Flemington.  He worked home well first up at Geelong over 1100m, then was badly held up on Sunday before flying home to finish fourth. Look for him to win a maiden third up.

Stripped Back (Race 6)

Three year old gelding who was an impressive debut winner at Ararat back in January.  He resumed in a Class 1 on Sunday where he was heavily fancied in the betting and kicked strongly before being collared late by the talented and race fit Douceur.  This looks strong form moving forward and he will be very hard to beat in similar grade next time.

Caulfield – Saturday 10 July 2021

Tan Check (Race 7)

This six year old gelding has finished in the top four at all four starts this preparation.  He hit the front with 100m to go on Saturday and looked the winner in the strong benchmark 84 over 1700m – only to be collared late by the inform Scottish Dancer.  He is a very honest customer and is ready to win another race

Flemington – Saturday 3 July 2021

Lowanna Magic (Race 8)

Lowanna Magic’s last two runs have been full of merit.  She was a good second in a strong benchmark 78 at Swan Hill during their carnival, then rose sharply in grade to listed level on Saturday and kept coming to finish fourth in the All Victorian Sprint Series Final.  She is absolutely flying – and is ready to win.

Lindhout (Race 9)

Lindhout is a lightly raced filly with plenty of talent.  She spotted the leader Galgani – who offered a good kick off the turn – a big start in the final race on the card but was able to use her big turn of foot to real that horse in and win running away by two lengths.  She was home in the fastest last 400m and 200m of the day and I think she can reach Stakes level in time.

Flemington – Saturday 19 June 2021

Galgani  (Race 4)

Galgani has gone to a new level this preparation.  She won a strong benchmark 64 at Sandown first up, then on Saturday sat three wide on a hot speed and boxed on really strongly to finish third in a race which favoured the swoopers.  She should still have some improvement to come and looks capable of notching up another win this preparation.

Think ‘n’ Fly (Race 5)

Consistent miler trained by the Lindsey Park operation.  He was good first up at Caulfield and very strong through the line on Saturday when second to the import Degreaves – looks a strong form race given the time and the gap back to the third.  He is unbeaten third up in two previous attempts and he looks primed to make it three from three over the mile in a similar race next time out.

Sandown Hillside – Saturday 12 June 2021

Barbies Fox (Race 4)

Barbies Fox resumed in race four – the mares benchmark 78 over 1300m – where she produced a huge turn of foot to come from last on the turn to finish third.  A super effort given there was a clear advantage to those horses racing up on speed on Saturday.  Keen to back her on rain affected ground again next start.

Bedford (Race 5)

This seven year old gelding is absolutely flying this prep.  He ran fifth first up at Warrnambool, then closed strongly at Caulfield when running third.  He stormed home again on Saturday to finish second.  Had the track of been fair I have no doubt he would of won comfortably.  Has the hoof on the till.

Flemington – Saturday 5 June 2021

Snickerdoodledandy (Race 2)

Really liked the win of Snickerdoodledandy who was third up with Jamie Kah in the saddle for the first time.  She settled at the rear of the field and has peeled off some excellent late splits to reel in Witchfulthinking, who was perfectly rated by Patrick Moloney out in front.   She looks to have something left in the tank, and given Peter Moody hinted pre race that her grand final was still to come I am expecting her to peak fourth up over the mile.

Argentia (Race 4)

The two year old race on the card looked a strong one leading in.  Black Caviars foal Invincible Caviar was having its first start plus a couple of horses had run well on debut at Geelong.  However it was another first starter – Argentina for the Freedmans – who stole the show.  She travelled beautifully in the run for Mark Zahra and once produced she let down like a really really nice horse.  The performance was backed up on the clock as she delivered the fastest last 200m split of the entire meeting.  The daughter of Frankel may head to the paddock now but look for her to come back and win a really nice three year-old race i.e. the Thousand Guineas in the spring.

Maserartie Bay (Race 9)

We made her a black booker after last start and she stays in the black book following her run on Saturday.  She sat three wide the trip and kept fighting to be beaten less than a length in a likely strong form race.  We know how good Maher and Eustace horses are when they reach 2000m + and with the platform she now has she looks a coming winner.  A senior jockey on next start will only add to her chances.

Caulfield – Saturday 29 May 2021

All About Eve (Race 1)

Two year old filly trained by Andrew Noblet at Ballarat.  She came from the rear to win strongly at Bendigo on debut.  On Saturday, she was able to settle closer in the run from an inside gate but was badly held up until well into the straight.  Once clear she flashed to run second – should of won!

Continuance (Race 2)

Continuance won well leading all the way at Warrnambool first up.  At her last two she has settled too far back but has still hit the line strongly indicating she is holding her form well.  If she can draw a gate next time, she can settle closer to the speed and give herself a better opportunity to notch up win number two of the campaign.

Adelaide Ace (Race 5)

Classy galloper who won the Group 2 Autumn Stakes as a three year old.  He had a throat operation leading into this preparation and it appears to have been a success.  He was left a little flat footed when they sprinted for home on Saturday before finishing his race off strongly to run second.  Ready for the mile third up.

Flemington – Saturday 22 May 2021

Heart Of Puissance (Race 4)

Heart Of Puissance made amends for a desperately unlucky run in the Warrnambool Cup with a dominant 3.25 length win on Saturday.  He lobbed in a lovely spot in the run, midfield, off a generous tempo and the race was virtually over on the turn as he cruised up to the leaders under a hold.  The stable has made no secrets the ability they think he has.  May be bound for the paddock now but look for him to win a really nice staying event in the spring.

Maserartie Bay & Zachaz (Race 9)

Both of these trained by Maher and Eustace and both were second up here in a fast run 1800m race.  Maserartie Bay finished second after getting a lovely cart into the race out wide on the track, another 50m and he would of won.  Zachaz was back to the inside, in the inferior section of the track and has got within a length of the winner which was a great effort.  Both are genuine 2000m + horses and they now have a great platform to tackle the mile and a quarter third up!

Flemington – Saturday 15 May 2021

Excelida  (Race 5)

Excelida doesn’t win out of turn but she appears to have returned in good order.  She settled last in a slowly run benchmark 84 and was able to hit the line strongly to finish third peeling off the equal fastest last 200m of the day.  She saves her best racing for second up (3-2-1-0) and can notch up her fourth win in the right race next time out.

Yulong January (Race 8)

Yulong January used two good fitness building runs at Caulfield and Sandown to sit outside a genuine speed and kick clear to win by 1.25 lengths in the 1400m open handicap.  His win rated well and I like that there were good margins back to second, third and fourth.  He has shown in the past that once he hits form he is capable of stringing more than one win together and with possibly some further improvement to come fourth up can win again.

Pearl Bandit (Race 9)

Adelaide visitor who has been unsuited by being cluttered up inside of horses at her last two starts.  On both occasions she has only seen clear air well into the home straight, which is not her go, she needs time to wind up.  She is going really well and looks a coming winner provided she gets the right set up.  A spacious track (Flemington or Morphettville) and drawn in the outside half of the field.

Caulfield – Saturday 8 May 2021

Generation (Race 1)

Generation, from the all-conquering Maher and Eustace barn notched up win number two on Saturday and remains unbeaten.  He settled outside the lead and showed an outstanding turn of foot to accelerate away from Spinning who had previously ran well behind the smart Gimme Par on debut.  Suspect they might put him away now and come back and target some of the big three year old races in the spring.

Tan Tat Harmony (Race 4)

Very good return from this progressive Phillip Stokes galloper who has won three of his seven starts.  He was cluttered up in midfield turning for home but reeled off some good late splits to finish second.  Most of the others had a fitness edge on him which adds further merit to his run.  He is in for a good campaign.

Blazejowski (Race 6)

The big grey Blazejowski resumed off a short break in the 1100m open handicap.  He was out the back and very unsuited by a slow tempo but was still able to charge through into third.  He had trialled up well at Cranbourne prior and looks ready to win second up.

Warrnambool – Wednesday 5 May 2021 (Day 2 of the Carnival)

McKeever (Race 5)

 McKeever is a really nice three year old in the making.  He ran second to the talented Continuance who with the advantage of the fence was able to kick again late after this gelding made up many lengths on her from the back.  Prior he was very good breaking his maiden when wide with no cover at Bendigo.  Not sure if they carry on now or put him away until the spring but he is one we can follow with confidence.

 Riding The Wave (Race 8)

 This five year old son of Malibu Moon never ever saw day light in the Wangoom Handicap.  Fresh from a let up Dean Yendall had a lap full of horse but no where to go and he has virtually gone to the line untested.  With the winners run he probably wins the race.  Assuming they press on with him now I think he can pick up an off season sprint race or two over the Melbourne winter carnival.

 Tadashi Hamada (Race 9)

 Lightly raced galloper trained by Shea Eden at Cranbourne.  He was an eye catcher first up at Geelong, then just got too far back in the benchmark 70 over 1400m on day two.  He was doing his best work late and is ready to win now.

Warrnambool – Tuesday 4 May 2021 (Day 1 of the Carnival)

Fifth Position (Race 8)

 This former import having his first run on Australian soil was heavily backed in the 1700m open handicap on day one.  His effort to finish third was very good considering he sat off the fence on a day where rails in run was a major advantage.  I really liked his last 50m – he will be suited up in trip next start.

 La Vina ( Race 9)

 This Lindsey Smith mare sat three wide the trip and sprinted away to win very softly on the line.  She was 86 days between runs and mounting yard watches were suggesting she did a few things wrong which gives even more merit to her performance.  Her win prior at Ballarat was also very impressive.  She looks a real talent.  Mare in form!

 Sacred Palace (Race 10)

 Another import, this time from the Lindsey Smith yard, who was heavily backed.  He settled in a really tricky spot back in the field and was badly held up until the final 200m.  Once the gap appeared he was able to burst through and finish fourth.  With even luck and a fair track he would of won easily.  One to follow.

Flemington – Sunday 25 April 2021

Zaydani (Race 2)

Loved the run from Zaydani in the benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares.  She settled well back on the rail and was completely unsuited by the slow tempo but still managed to finish third making strong ground closer to the rail.  Her last 200m was the equal fastest of the day.  She ran fourth in a South Australian Derby so has a touch of class and will be ideally suited in a 2000m race fourth up.

 Redwood Shadow (Race 8)

 This Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr has hit the line really strongly in his two runs back from a spell.  He finished second at Bendigo first up and then third at Flemington on Sunday.  Ready to peak next start – third up.

Caulfield – Saturday 24 April 2021

Spinning (Race 1)

A really nice debut from the daughter of Pierro.  She was making good ground late on the Peter Moody runner Gimme Par who I have plenty of time for and they have run two lengths inside standard time for the class which bodes well moving forward.  Furthermore her mother Dizzy Diva was placed over a mile so expect her to improve stepping out in trip next start.

 Maserartie Bay (Race 9)

 Great first up run over the mile.  He is another who found himself in a very tricky spot but was able to peel off strong late sectionals to run second.  He is a progressive stayer capable of going to a new level this time around and I suspect Ciaron Maher & David Eustace will look for a 2000m race second up with him.

Caulfield – Saturday 17 April 2021

Johandough (Race 1)

Race caller Matt Hill described Johandough as a tragedy beat in his call and he was probably right.  The Thomas Carberry trained gelding was under the whip on the turn but he is a horse that gets stronger the longer the race goes and was really starting to surge to the line before running into dead ends late.  He is in terrific form, having won his two previous starts, and now has a great platform to step up to 2400m and win an off season Saturday metropolitan race for his connections.

Approach Discreet (Race 2)

Approach Discreet was a model of consistency last preparation winning three times and finishing in the placings at three of his other four runs.  All of his wins came at 1800m + so his effort to finish fourth in the benchmark 78 over 1400m on Saturday was excellent.  He got a long long way back in a fast run race but weaved through the field with great purpose to be beaten less than two lengths in the end.   He has a strong second up record and is one we can be looking to back next start up in trip.

Rubisaki (Race 7)

Rubisaki had a near impeccable record entering last spring but two very poor runs would of left connections scratching their heads.  However, she returned to the races on Saturday off the back of an encouraging Cranbourne trial and after being held up for the early part of the straight hit the line really strongly against some race fit second tier sprinters.  It should also be noted that this was her first career run under 1200m which probably gives the performance even more merit.

Bendigo – Saturday 27 March 2021

Man From Uncle (Race 2)

Rising seven year old Man From Uncle made a nice return to the races.  He was unsuited by a slow pace but made solid ground late against fitter horses in a reasonably strong benchmark 90.  He had jumped out well prior and it looks like he is in for a good preparation.

Good And Proper (Race 5)

Good And Proper is absolutely air borne this preparation.  She has finished in the top two at her last four starts.  On Saturday, she produced a massive final 600 m burst to come from last and just miss in a photo off a very slow lead time.  She has another win in her this preparation.

Mozzie Monster (Race 7)

We made Mozzie Monster our best each way bet of the day on Saturday.   She was another horse who was unsuited getting a long way back in a very slowly run race.   Similarly to Good and Proper she has produced a very strong finish and will be perfectly suited third up and stepping up to 1600m at her next start.  One to follow!

Moonee Valley – Friday 19 March 2021

Rights Of Man (Race 2)

Rights Of Man is a lightly raced colt with plenty of talent and upside.  He was unsuited on Friday night by a slow tempo and a track favouring leaders but still came home with some strong closing splits against Stakes performed horses.  Stepping up to 1400m suits next start.

September Run (Race 7)

Outside of the winner – who was visually very impressive but also perhaps a little flattered by the bias – September Run’s effort in the William Reid was one of the runs of night.  Her connections would have been concerned after a disappointing run in the Newmarket but she has gone as well as she possibly could here given where she landed in the run and the pattern of the night.  She heads back to Sydney now and can make her presence felt up there.

Cielo D’oro (Race 8)

Cielo D’oro is air born this preparation.  She was no match for the very smart Marabi who ran the fastest last 400/200m splits of the entire meeting after controlling the race from the front but I love the way she moved into the race on the bend and was strong through the line to finish in a clear second.  Look for her in another benchmark race over 1200m in coming weeks.

Moonee Valley – Saturday 13 March 2021

Riddle Me That (Race 4)

Matt Laurie’s Riddle Me That has returned in excellent order.  He faced a strong field of listed sprinters in race four on the card and was able to work home against the pattern of the day into second place.  He has a strong 1400m record and he will be hard to beat stepping up to that distance next start.

Cherry Tortoni (Race 5)

On face value, the odds on favourite in the Alister Clarke Stakes – Cherry Tortoni – was disappointing but I’m inclined to be forgiving of him.  Billy Egan was forced to snag back to last to avoid being stuck three wide with out cover.  He attempted to make the big wide sweeping run which didn’t appear to be the right play on the day and while he tracked into the race well the wheels began to spin shortly after.  He heads to Sydney now to run in the Tulloch Stakes over 2000m, with a strong SP profile and I think he can bounce back.

Russian Camelot (Race 8)

There was plenty of money around to say Russian Camelot was ready to run a huge race first up in the All Star Mile and that is exactly what he did.  The Danny O’Brien trained entire settled well back on the fence and was able to truck through the field nicely courtesy of some Damian Oliver brilliance.  Mugatoo out slogged him late in the wet conditions but they have put a big space back to third and that horse had a fitness edge on him.  Russian Camelot now heads to Sydney and if he can find a track with some cut out will be mighty hard to beat at his next start.

Flemington – Saturday 6 March 2021

Annavisto (Race 2)

Not much went right for the favourite in race two.  After a tardy get away, Annavisto over raced badly back in the field and clearly did not appreciate the slow tempo.  However, she was still able to close her race off strongly.   She was only second up on Saturday so should still have some improvement to come and will be looking for a more genuine tempo next time.

Marboosha (Race 5)

Brilliant return win from team Snowden’s Marboosha.  The three year-old filly surged through a narrow gap at the 200m mark and went on to win the listed Moomba Stakes by 1.25 lengths.   Think she will be even more suited stepping up in distance next start – a very nice filly in the making.

Miami Bound (Race 8)

Thought the 2019 VRC Oaks winner was the run of the race in the Australian Cup.  She faced a near impossible task on the bend to win, given how far back she was, but was able to make up very good ground in the run to the line.  She is racing like a horse looking for 2400m now and some sting out of the track would also work in her favour.

Flemington – Saturday 27 February 2021

Platoon (Race 3)

A tough watch for those who backed WA galloper Platoon on Saturday.  His race was run at a very moderate tempo and he found himself in an awful spot back close to last and in between runners.  He was still giving the winner, Morvada – who controlled the speed – 5-6 lengths at the 200m so he has done really well to close late and run third beaten less than 2 lengths.  Keen to back him up in trip next start.

Beltoro (Race 7)

Beltoro is technically still in his first racing preparation so he has done a terrific job to progress from a Bendigo maiden on November 26 to running sixth in a Group 1 in late February.  He was suited by the strong tempo on Saturday but has still done a really good job to finish strongly after being held up for a stride or two.  He is a progressive colt.

Capriccio (Race 8)

Think there are two horses we can follow out of the Inglis Dash.

The first is the race winner Capriccio who resumed off a 180 day spell.  This lightly raced daughter of I Am Invincible charged home over the top of Group 2 placed filly, Bella Nipotina to score by .75 of a length.  A great first up run and at only start number 4 she will take a stack of improvement both from a race fitness and experience point of view.

Lord Olympus (Race 8)

The second is Lord Olympus.  Horses that were drawn towards the outside rail in the straight races had a significant advantage on Saturday.  The wider you got, the better the ground was, so Lord Olympus’ effort to charge home on the inside of runners here first up was full of merit.  Follow him.

Caulfield – Saturday 20 February 2021

San Huberto (Race 1)

A nice return from San Huberto in the Mornington Cup Prelude.  He had to lump 60kg on Saturday and was only beaten narrowly by the inform Defibrillate over a distance clearly short of his best.  He started $5 in the Prix Kergorlay in France on August 23.  That race often produces horses that run well in the Melbourne Cup which is a good indication that he has some real quality.  Look for him stepping up to 2400m next start.

Moonlight Maid (Race 4)

Loved the return of the 2020 Australasian Oaks runner up – Moonlight Maid – who we hadn’t seen at the races for over nine months.  Her last place finish in the Mannerism Stakes is much better than it reads.  Beaten for speed early she was finding the line strongly over the concluding stages reeling off the fastest last 200m of the race.  She will be suited up in trip next start.

Steele Prince (Race 9)

Steele Prince put together an outstanding spring campaign and he appears to have come back in similar, if not better, order.  He raced three wide with out cover in the Peter Young Stakes and was left flat footed when they quickened.  However he picked up again to be beaten less than a length.  A terrific pipe opener and another to look for up in distance next start.

Flemington – Saturday 13 February 2021

Gimmie Par (Race 2)

Gimmie Par is the daughter of Black Caviar’s full sister Naturalle and there was some money around to say that she was ready to run a race on debut.  From the outside barrier, Jye McNeil did a good job to find the back of race favourite Ingratiating, who is also one of the fancies for this weeks Blue Diamond Stakes.  That horse was able to establish a race winning break on her when they sprinted but once she got her mind on the job she was taking ground off him late to be only beaten half a length with a further 2.5 length gap back to third.  She looks to have a bright future ahead of her.

Zou Dancer (Race 5)

This daughter of Zoustar notched up her third career win at start number five.  She settled outside a strong speed – set by roughie Longduan – with some quality fillies, including VRC Oaks winner Personal getting more economical trips behind her.  Throw in the fact she was seven weeks between runs and it looked like she could be vulnerable at the top of the straight.  Instead she exploded -putting a 4.8 length gap in her rivals.  She’s an exciting filly and can test the boys in the Australian Guinea’s in two weeks time.

September Run (Race 8)

September Run was unbeaten at Flemington (3/3) heading into Saturday and whilst she failed to make it four wins from as many starts – she lost no admirers.  The Coolmore Stud Stakes winner was beaten for early speed but her last 100m of the race was outstanding.  She made up many lengths and was only beaten half a length in the end – a huge flashing light.  She is going to be mighty hard to beat over 1200m in the Newmarket in a few weeks time.

Zakat (Race 9)

Zakat – like so many before him – looked all at sea at his first attempt at racing down the Flemington straight.  He never went straight, and given this, I thought his effort to finish second to track specialist I’m Telling Ya was full of merit.  He had trialed up well prior and I think we can follow him next start back around a bend.

Caulfield – Saturday 6 February 2021

Sonaree (Race 1)

Sonaree is a winner of five races from 26 starts.  I thought his first up effort was terrific in the opening race on Saturday.  He sat outside a fast tempo and whilst he was no match for the inform Regardsmaree he fought on really strongly to finish in fourth position.  This is likely to be a good form race and with a run under his belt he will be hard to hold out next time we see him at the races.

Anamoe (Race 3)

We are less than two weeks away from the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes and the Godolphin colt Anamoe firmly announced that he is a major contender in the race.  Resuming off an impressive Sandown win, he settled midfield in the Blue Diamond Prelude (C&G) and was pushed along to pick on the turn.  He was still giving away multiple lengths with 200m to go but surged late to miss by a nose, a sensational return.  If there is a chink in the armor of the short priced Blue Diamond favourite Enthaar, Anamoe will be there to pounce.

Noncomformist (Race 6)

Greame Begg’s up and coming middle distance horse Nonconformist was another making his return to the races on Saturday.  He ended up in a very awkward position three pairs back on the fence in the Geoffrey Belmaine Stakes which was run at a very slow tempo.  However once he saw clear air he closed strongly over the concluding stages to finish in third position.  A perfect pipe opener.

Caulfield – Saturday 30 January 2021

Ginger Jones (Race 6)

It was an impressive return to the races for Ginger Jones who won the benchmark 78 by 1.5 lengths on Saturday. She didn’t come up last preparation, failing to run a place at five her of her six starts. However there was strong market support to say she had returned in good order and was ready to run well on Saturday and that’s what she did. She got a relatively easy time in front but showed a good kick on straightening to win comfortably in the end. This race rated well and there is no reason why she can’t win again especially a race run at her home track of Caulfield where she is two starts for two wins.

Rudimental (Race 7)

This former French stayer trained by Matthew Ellerton & Simon Zahra had his third Australian start on Saturday.  He had been safely held at Warrnambool and Flemington in his two starts prior over 1700 and 2000 metres.  Rudimental appeared to relish getting to the 2400m for the first time on Austalian soil hitting the line hard from back in the field to only be beaten a length.  He looks ready to peak at his next start having now had a run over 2400m.

Sound (Race 9)

Michael Moroney’s Sound was resuming off a terrific spring campaign.  A campaign that featured a victory in the Group 2 Sandown Classic and a narrow second in the Group 3 Hotham Handicap.  He had jumped out well in recent weeks at Flemington indicating that he had come back in good order and after finding himself a long way back in the run made very good ground in the home straight in limited room.  A lovely pipe opener to his autumn campaign with staying Group 1 races such as the BMW & Sydney Cup no doubt in mind.

Caulfield – Tuesday 26 January 2021

Three horses to follow from the Blue Diamond Preview Meeting at Caulfield.

Rainbiel (Race 1)

This lightly raced daughter of Toronado resumed in the benchmark 70 for fillies over 1100m.  She normally settles on speed in her races but after a tardy beginning was forced to race worse than midfield.   She appeared to have plenty to give upon straightening but Dean Holland had no where to go until finally getting to the outside at the 150m mark.  From here she rocketed home to be beaten a nose and was well in front 50m after the post.  She showed good talent last preparation and with a cleaner getaway next start will take plenty of beating.

Duke Of Plumpton (Race 2)

This former Kiwi was third up on Tuesday.  He sat three pairs back on the fence off a moderate speed.  He travelled sweetly in the run and once balanced closed intently to finish a length behind the winner, Takumi, who had a perfect run in the race.  The Duke looks ready to win now over a similar distance (2000m) and any give in the ground at his next start would only further enhance his chances.

Duchy Of Savoy (Race 4)

Team Hawkes unveiled debutant Duchy Of Savoy in the fillies edition of the Blue Diamond Preview and I thought her effort was close to the run of the day.  The daughter of Snitzel jumped as well as any horse in the race but soon after drifted back to settle last on the fence.  She was pulled to the centre of the track on straightening and was ultra impressive late in running fourth under hands and heels riding.  This was backed up on the clock.  Look for her to settle handier in the run next time out and with improvement she can be a factor in what is going to be a strong edition of the Blue Diamond Stakes to be run in a little under a months time.


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