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Racing was at FLEMINGTON on Saturday for a huge Makybe Diva Stks Day. Track was GOOD. Rail was TRUE. Those away from the inside rail had the advantage, in straight races, those up middle of the track and beyond dominated!
Our runners-up this week are LATE CHARGE and LOOKS LIKE THE CAT but the major prize goes to CHAUTAUQUA who produced an outstanding finale to win the Bobbie Lewis, he looked like he was in a sling-shot that last 100m and that sort of finishing speed is reserved for only exceptional horses!
His last 600m was covered in 32.39 (wow!), the breakdown was 10.45/ 10.54/ 11.30 (that last 200m was 2nd-fastest all-day), no shock then his overall time was a brilliant 1-8.11 (just .95 outside the course record) and he ran that time off an early split of 35.22 (so they hardly went mad up front, in fact, the 3yo race won by Rich Enuff (almost identical overall time) was run a bit under 5L faster that first 600m). TEMPLE OF BOOM sat deep (right spot) and was terrific given he gave said winner 5.5kg (although he has case of windburn to get over!). IN CAHOOTS was near Temple Of Boom midway then got left a bit, he wound up strongly and ran to his trials. SPEEDINESS was last (behind winner) and did charge late, his 11.50 last 200m was not far off the winner’s late split, his last 600m was 32.58, note, he too had the 59.5kg to cart. SISTINE DEMON was excellent for mine holding onto 5th in a fast race dominated by swooper’s wider out. AKAVOROUN (3rd-fastest last 400/200m) went nicely too.
To the G1 and DISSIDENT showed great fight here, he sat up second and quickly took over, he was left there a bit as MESSENE caved and FAWKNER (who is no slouch and loves a fight himself) joined him (and may have headed him) yet the 4yo was shade too strong! Nice return from FAWKNER given winner had the run under the belt and PUISSANCE DE LUNE kept closing for 3rd, he was on runner-up’s back and only went down .8L or so. SPILLWAY was the best of the closers, look, he was entitled to run a slick late split given the cold ride and modest tempo (we will get to that) but if you are recording 45.2 seconds for your last 800m you are going well, his 11.41 last 200m was race-fastest, DISSIDENT was 11.43 (only 2/100ths slower and sat up 2nd) and FAWKNER 11.44 so…? GREEN MOON did more than enough too, he was hardly hammered to the line! That early split was 50.04 1st-800m and they slowed before turn too, the 1000m-to-600m split was 24.92 seconds. Overall time: 1-36.29.
Back to Race 9 and what a win from LATE CHARGE, sat deep no cover, headed out to the middle (best ground) then pinned the ears back and nailed UNDER THE LOUVRE (who had cosy run, and can run a freak late sectional himself) on the wire, speaking of sectionals, the winner’s last 200m was 11.27 the fastest of any runner all day, great stuff! EXTRA ZERO made a sound return but he has not won since Roman times. ESCADO was the only runner to break 22-secs his last 400m (21.97) and his 11.31 last 200m was one of the better splits all day, nice return him. RHYTHM TO SPARE was sound fresh, same for DESERT JEUNEY (2nd-up) and SHOREHAM ran home well (22.11 last 400m). BY THE GRACE you can have… Time was good: 1-22.69 off a modest 49.02 1st-800m.
The Danehill was won brilliantly by RICH ENUFF who sat deep no cover just off that strong 34.35 1st-600m speed, he travelled strongly, then broke clear and kept going too well for LOOKS LIKE THE CAT who was under pressure 500m out but kept coming, he can win a big race this prep this guy, he is not 1200m horse! Winner smashed the clock, 1-8.13 (so .97 off track record) coming off his MV win at start two when .88 off the course record, this is rarefied air for any horse, let alone one having starts two, and three. The quinella ran away from 3rd, GHIBELLINES (restrained/ ran home well here fresh – do think cold rides are key) and 4th, AWESOME ROCK (worked home well with blinkers on). ONEROUS was very new but closed well, he was 3rd-fastest last 200m split in 12.12. Sectional star was LOOKS LIKE A CAT though, his 11.82 was clearly race-fastest last 200m.
The Let’s Elope was Race 5 and COMMANDING JEWEL was too strong, despite sitting 3-wide no cover, and being 2nd-up off that long spell, yes the slow speed (and rail a little ”off”) helped, leaders ran a slo-o-ow 50.46 1st-800m here, but there was plenty of merit in the win. DEAR DEMI had limited room at times and was strong late 2nd-up, like the way she went through the line and her 11.45 last 200m was race-fastest. NAUTICAL measured up well, she had gap between runs into this too. BONARIA followed the winner, did not quicken but on/over the line was trong (home 11.51) and GIG kept her great form hitting the wire in 11.46, there was only .7L between these five on the line. Not sure SOLICIT here, perhaps she is best let run…? Overall time was not great, 1-23.61 but note that early split.
Race 4 saw MERION have a much softer run than the one he endured at MV (behind Rich Enuff – on strong speed) and he just lasted beating a good one in CHIVALRY who did have a series of misadventures at the start remember, third was ZEBULON who was slow into stride then ran home hard, his 11.85 was race-fastest last 200m and he had the gap between runs. MOONOVERMANHATTAN was the best on-pacer here and ran well. The early speed was strong, 47.2 1st-800m off standing start set up smart overall time of 1-22.38.
MORE RADIANT (needed more room), MARKSMANSHIP (worked/ pressured/ sore post-race), LIVERY (internal bleed), TURFANE (ridden too close?), FORGIVE AND FORGET (wide no cover), DIVAN (mucous detected), WINTA CHILLER (went well for easier/ wetter off slow speed), BRAZEN BEAU (lame/ wrong spot!), CORNROW (internal bleed), GO INDY GO (too bad to be true), BOBAN (keen/ held-up/ went inside rail and inferior ground), SERTORIUS (covered ground/ stuck well), TANGO’S DAUGHTER (too close inside), CHARLIE BOY (internal bleed), MISTER MILTON (wrong spot!), OUR HAND OF FAITH (ended up inside rail, race 9, wrong spot), THUNDERBIRD ONE (tardy/ pattern no help) and GREAT LANE (blew the start).
In Sydney it was ROSEHILL on DEAD-5 track and rail was TRUE. None of the eight winners were anywhere near the inside rail this day!
Two spots on the podium go to JETSET LAD and CLUSTER but winner has to be SCISSOR KICK, yes the fence was ”off” but he sat 4-wide no cover, made a move before the turn and still made winner stretch to beat him, that winner had the perfect drop on him!
…The winner was HALLOWED CROWN and whilst the runner-up was enormous, this guy is a ripper too, unbeaten, wet or dry, still has real upside! He ran 1-24-flat in the Golden Rose off a 48.34 1st-800m so the race ”rated” very well relative to older horses…I’ll go deeper than that… In the last race Reflectance ran indentical time (1-24-flat) but he ran it off a stronger 47.64 1st-800m, it’s rare for older horses to run slower/same time as 3yo’s off significantly slower speed, yes Reflectance was in a restriced race but he had just run very well behind Cluster! Anyway, back to the Golden Rose, SHOOTING TO WIN (sound finale/ followed winner/ 4/100ths sec slower last 200m); ALMALAD (sat behind speed/ solid/ better!); NOSTRADAMUS (sound/ cloeer to inside lanes) and SARAJEVO (kept closing) were noteworthy.
To finish off Race 8 then, REFLECTANCE (great ride!) held off MAXIMILIAN who did charge home, they had a little break on the in-form BLACK REVOLVER (third/ sound) and MASTERSTROLE (wide/ good) was 4th… Gap to the rest…
Race 6 saw the class of CATKINS shine through, she had a sweet run, but did not need it to beat them with 58kg. MY SABEEL was baulked 300m out yet still ran home well for 2nd, she is going super. NEENA ROCK off the back off a great trial flashed home for 3rd at $31-in, she was the only runner to break 23-seconds her last 400m. MAYSOON was sound ridden colder, note that. ESTONIAN PRINCESS kept closing and is fitter now. They ran 1-10.24 for 1200m off a strong speed, 34.88 1st-600m.
Race 4 saw CLUSTER storm over them from a clear last on the turn, yes the tempo was there (47.82 1st-800m) and he had match fitness on BULL POINT who seemed to really dig in once he saw CLUSTER, two quality 4yo’s, they ran 1-23.34 here and ran by a handy one in NINTH LEGION who, as expected, improved lengths drier, liked the run of JETSET LAD here in fourth, wide no trail then quinella sailed by, he was coming back at them on the wire and is proven over further. ZEPHYRON did enough.
Race 5 and HE’S YOUR MAN onto drier ground (tick), ridden colder (tick, tick) was strong! Loved the run of KINGDOMS from the back here (best closing splits) and a couple of roughies, DEANE MARTIN and LUCKY CHAPPY were bound sound in 3rd, 4th. LA AMISTAD the disappointment, she was ridden close, and 2nd-up, not sacking yet. CEMTIC PRINCE is going well for touch easier…
BRITALIA KATE (wide), WORLD WIDE (early check/ still prefer wetter), LUCKY LUCKY LUCKY (should have finished closer), AL AHMAR (covered ground), ALL CERISE (railed/ worst ground/ then copped check!), LIBERTY’S CHOICE (back and wide), WEINHOLT (also back/ wide and had 58kg), KIRRAMOSA (went inside rail), LAIDBACK LARRY (cardiac arrythmia), MISS PROMISCUITY (stayed on rail), SHAMALIA (back/wide), BRING ME THE MAID (no luck key stage!) and BETTER LAND (wide/ worked).
NOTE: G1 subscribers – Full tips for MORNINGTON races Wednesday will be emailed separately.

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