Also see our Queensland Blackbookers
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.