December 3, 2021 Michael Court
The Belinda McCarthy training establishment will be strongly represented with three runners, but it is hard to go past MUSCLE FACTORY (4) as the major player for the team following impressive back-to-back wins, in particular the latter.
After overcoming the outside gate and a tough run, Muscle Factory produced a determined effort in defeating Rocknlachlan and Nota Replica. However, the 5yo still had something special to offer when he stepped out a few weeks ago. Drawing ideally in gate two, the son of Roll With Joe comfortably crossed to the pegs in an opening quarter of 26.4. From that point onwards Muscle Factory kept his rivals chasing, resulting in a blistering time of 1:49.5, with Art Tutor and Master Catch battling on stoutly to fill the minors. Suitably drawn in gate four, Muscle Factory will again be ‘flexing his muscles’ from the outset, and once again, the lead role will be on offer and then the winning post. Stablemate MIGHTY LOOEE (2) has had his recent encounters suitably spaced with his latest outing being a solid 2nd behind Petes Said So. That was his first outing in six weeks and it would be safe to assume that the son of Sweet Lou will strip fitter. Also, a better draw awaits and from gate two the 4yo will have the opportunity to be prominently placed from the outset. With the pole position available the Lisa Fitzpatrick-prepared RICKOSHAY (1) appeals as a potential threat, but a definite player when it comes to the exotics. Following consecutive wins at Headquarters, the latter defeating Nota Replica and Ronaldo, the Bettors Delight colt then drew the outside gate in coming from a rearward role in posting a solid 1.5m 3rd to Ardens Ace and Better Eclipse in a heat of the Carousel a week ago. A far kinder run will be on offer, which will enhance his claims. The third member of the Belinda McCarthy, three-pronged attack, is the consistent 6yo, THE CROUPIER (3) and like Muscle Factory the gelding is a son of Roll With Joe. Following a hat-trick of Menangle wins, The Croupier has posted consecutive unplaced efforts, the latter when he had every chance in recording a 2.5m 4th to Petes Said So a week ago. Suitably drawn in three, The Croupier should at least be linked to exotic investments. Continuing the exotic theme and MASTER CATCH (10), which continues to race consistently but has a deep draw to overcome, SWAGGIE SHANNON (5), SUMMIT SPECIAL (6), and ZIGGY ROCKS (8) all have a solid case for inclusion.
MUSCLE FACTORY 1, Mighty Looee 2, Rickoshay 3, The Croupier 4.
Following a stylish return to racing in the G3 Nick Robin Memorial on Nov 13, the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained JAY OK (7) is more than capable of recording another ‘number one’ hit. After heading to the spelling paddock, following a 13m 3rd to Loorrim Lake in the G2 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown in mid-June, the classy son of A Rocknroll Dance stepped out at Headquarters on Nov 13, and courtesy of a superb drive by Blake Fitzpatrick, who was filling in for his injured brother Gav, Jay OK powered to the line from a rearward role in defeating Pocket Of Terror and Boncel Benjamin, two Inter Dominion hopefuls. Fitter for the outing, but drawing slightly wider, which should be an issue, Jay OK is entitled to top billing. The one to run down is CASH N FLOW (10), which also strips fitter following one run back from a spell. Contesting his first assignment since early August when a disappointing 14.7m last to Rocknroll Angel in the G3 Les Chant FFA, Cash N Flow displayed his usual gate speed in crossing from nine and finding his favoured role as dictator. Out in 26.8 and home in 26.2, the son of Mach Three was unable to repel the challenge of Pay Me Sam, but the 8yo wasn’t disgraced by his 4m defeat. With a higher level of fitness, Cash N Flow will prove hard to pass this time around. PAY ME SAM (8) had been off the scene of nearly a year when he scored first-up at Newcastle on Oct 29, prior to posting an 8.4m 5th to Jay OK at this venue. The 7yo son of Pay Me Christian had the advantage of race fitness when he defeated a similar field on Nov 20. With the in-form Sean Grayling again holding the reins, Pay Me Christian gives the Fitzpatrick stable bright prospects of providing the winner of this race. The Brent Lilley-trained SICARIO (1) managed to pay a visit to the winner’s circle at Menangle on Tuesday, nearly a year since his previous successful assignment at Melton. Dictating the terms, but kept busy in the process by Golden Year, the former star fought on bravely in defeating Scoob Operator and a gritty, Golden Year. This will be a tougher task for the Inter Dominion reserve, but with gate one a big plus, Sicario is likely to secure a suitable peg run, en route to making his presence known in the run home. EGODAN (9) has yet another home and will contest this race under the care of Jason Grimson. The 9yo son of Sportswriter has been off the scene since finishing last in the Mildura Pacing Cup on Apr 10, but a recent Menangle trial win has him prepared for a bold showing, despite the presence of a wide gate. Both JENDEN STRIKE (4) and DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (6) strip fitter and have claims when forming multiple transactions.
JAY OK 1, Cash N Flow 2, Pay Me Sam 3, Sicario 4.
Talented Victorian 3yo, BETTER ECLIPSE (9) will be confronted by a trick assignment when he tackles a further heat of the Carousel, however, the Jess Tubbs-trained gelding is capable of going one better after a pleasing effort at Headquarters a week ago. Contesting the opening round of heats, Better Eclipse worked three deep in finding the role outside of the leader, prior to showing plenty of fight in posting a 1.2m 2nd to Ardens Ace. The son of Betterthancheddar has drawn a couple of gates wider, but with the Menangle experience being a plus, Better Eclipse is bound to play a pro-active role in the finish. OUR COWGIRLS N LACE (5) burst onto the scene with a hat-trick of solid wins for Brad Hewitt, the latest at this venue, prior to the former Kiwi-based mare being presented with three harder assignments. The middle challenge resulted in a respectable 10.3m 4th to Fairy Tinkabell while her effort in finishing a 4.6m 5th to Ardens Ace a week ago was pleasing. The daughter of Bettors Delight is bound to be prominently placed from her usual draw so expect another bold showing. Expect another competitive showing from BLACK HAWK JOE (7) after his creditable 8.7m 4th to Viva Las Vegas last week. Following a solid all-the-way win at Goulburn, the Rickie Alchin trained and driven 4yo has been unplaced in three Menangle encounters, but the son of Roll With Joe hasn’t been far away when the judge has called a halt. Black Hawk Joe is more than capable of greeting the judge, without surprising.
VINCENT VAN GONE (6) is coming off a gritty 2nd to Viva Las Vegas a week ago, and although he has been mixing his form since a spell, the 3yo remains in contention for a role in the multiples. TINKA TERROR (3) has drawn well and although this will be a tougher test, the booking of Luke McCarthy keeps the mare in the mix when it comes to exotic transactions. Mattie Craven has OCTOBER REIGN (1) engaged and with the draw being favourable, the Victorian remains in the mix as a value exotic contender. Despite being first-up and without an official trial, the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned JUSTA LITTE BIT (4) should be kept safe. The 3yo son of Cammibest performed at a consistent level during a Qld campaign, and with a handy draw and Cam Hart in the sulky, the colt can’t be taken lightly.
BETTER ECLIPSE 1, Our Cowgirls N Lace 2, Black Hawk Joe 3, Vincent Van Gone 4.
Since resuming his training career, Tony Bertwistle has been enjoying plenty of success over the past month or so, and HANDS ON (4) has played his part as the son of Bettors Delight (4) has won his past two in fine fashion. After leading throughout in defeating Everybodylovedray and Bertie Jones, the 3yo produced a ‘carbon copy’ performance in easily accounting for Itzamajor Surprise and Twentyeightblack here on Tuesday, with Darren Binskin again coming up with a perfect front-running drive. Handily drawn in four, Hands On will have every opportunity to progress to the final of the Carousel as ‘DJ’ will again be looking to set the tempo. BOMB SUIT (8) is coming off an explosive win at Newcastle a week ago, courtesy of a superb drive by Jack Callaghan. Despite drawing the second line, the son of Art Major found himself contesting the 1609m assignment from behind the leader after Callaghan ‘ducked and dived’ in the opening stages in securing a kind run for the talented 4yo. Gaining a saloon passage along the pegs in the run home, Bomb Suit proved too good for Rocknroll Max and Experia, with the drive making all the difference. A tough starting position and stronger company will confront Bomb Suit; however, he remains high on the list of contenders. MANLY MACH (1) has drawn ideally in gate one and that will ensure that Josh Gallagher presents the Troy Williams-trained 7yo with every chance. Racing in the best form of his career, Manly Mach led in defeating Canonlybeonesir and Whatta Conk, prior to again setting the pace when he found Double Act too good here on Tuesday. The son of Mach Three wasn’t disgraced as the Harry Martin-trained winner has more than his share of ability. STORMY RAIDER (9) hasn’t had a great deal go his way in three runs back, with the Dean Cernovskis trained and driven 8yo drawing gate 10 in each of his past two starts. The son of Village Jasper has improved his starting position by one for this challenge. Although safely held when a 24.6m 7th to Bettor Call Me a week ago, Stormy Raider posted a couple of handy efforts to open his latest term of racing and with a higher level of fitness, the gelding remains in exotic contention. DELIGHTFUL DUDE (3), like his stablemate in the previous event (Justa Little Bit), enters the fray without the benefit of a trial. The handy 3yo is also having his first run since a Qld campaign, with his latest run resulting in an 11.5m 6th to American dealer in the Qld Derby. Suitably drawn, expect a bold showing from the son of Bettors Delight.
HANDS ON 1, Bomb Suit 2, Manly Mach 3, Stormy Raider 4.
Despite the presence of a wide gate, DIAMOND PARTY (9) again looks hard to beat on the back of two impressive displays since leaving Victoria and joining the Jason Grimson team. A reliable performer back home, Diamond Party commenced her career on this side of the border with an impressive effort in defeating Ananais and Bertie Jones, with the mare coming with a well-timed run from a rearward role. Contesting the G3 Sue Kelly Stakes at her next assignment, Diamond Party had every chance in the one-one, en route to recording a respectable 9m 2nd behind the ultra-consistent Fairy Tinkabell. While the draw is a hurdle, the daughter of Art Major will again be poised to power home. And, once again, the mare may take a power of holding out. THE WOLF (2), which is a stablemate to Diamond Party, looms as the main threat after drawing ideally in two. Contesting five races since coming under the care of Grimson, the filly has recorded a win and four placings, two either side of her trip to the winner’s circle when she defeated Shanlou and Bella Clare. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven, while consistent, has also been costly. Following a 4m 3rd to Cherishthememories and Bella Clare, The Wolf drew deep for her next encounter, resulting in a rearward role coming her way. Hitting the line with intent, The Wolf then finished a 3m 2nd to Girl From Oz. A vastly better draw will assist The Wolf in pouncing on a suitable role close to the action and that will again result in a bold showing. Victorian trainer-driver Mattie Craven will be represented by the consistent mare ITZAMAJOR SURPRISE (5), which went around here on Tuesday in the race won by Hands On. The daughter of Art Major worked to the line soundly over the final stages but was no match for the winner. Craven will replace 17yo Declan Murphy for this assignment after the youngster gave the mare every chance to succeed. B K SWY (8) has been mixing her form since back-to-back wins here. Just one placing from four starts has come the way of the Jack Trainer trained and driven daughter of Big Jim, with her latest effort being a 15.5m 6th to Fairy Tinkabell in a G3 encounter. The mare is capable of better and a return to form would result in a competitive showing. SMOOTH DEBATE (1) will appreciate gate one and that will certainly assist her exotic prospects while SHANLOU (3) is also a contender for a role in the multiples on her form prior to Tuesday’s outing when she broke gear in finishing a 7.3m 7th to Hands On. OUR ROAD TO MECCA (10) strips fitter for three runs back from a lengthy spell, the latest resulting in an improved 1.8m 3rd behind Final Peace at Melton last week. The daughter of Art Major races well at this venue and can’t be taken lightly. BETTOR ROBYN (11) disappointed when an 18.6m 7th to Fairy Tinkabell but the mare is capable of a far better display so don’t rule her out of the multiples.
DIAMOND PARTY 1, The Wolf 2, Itzamajor Surprise 3, B K Swy 4.
This appears to be a suitable first-up assignment for THE RACONTEUR (3) and, as a result, the consistent son of Art Major should return on a winning note. Under the care of Jason Grimson for his past four starts, The Raconteur has recorded a couple of comfortable wins while finishing runner-up on the other two occasions. The 3yo has been off the scene since recording a respectable 3m 2nd to the talented Titian Raider at Headquarters on Sept 25, and although he hasn’t contested an official trial, he is bound to be ready to contest this heat of the Carousel in fine fettle. OLD LUKE (8) is a tough and consistent 8yo, and although confronted by another wide gate, he must be rated among the better chances. Driven with aggression by Isobel Ross two starts ago, the Amanda Turnbull-conditioned son of Bettors Delight held on bravely in scoring after looking under severe pressure half-way down the running. When the winning post came into play, Old Luke had drawn clear to comfortably defeat Rockin With Elvis and Oaxacan Dream. Old Luke again showed plenty of fight in a heat of the Carousel last week, but this time around the best he could do was to finish a 16m 3rd to Bettor Call Me and Nota Replica. Isobel will no doubt look to have Old Luke making his presence felt from the outset. Victorian LA PUDDIE (7) didn’t enjoy his first Menangle experience when he struck trouble in recording a 40.8m 9th to fellow Victorian, Better Call Me. Prepared by Jess Tubbs, who has booked Luke McCarthy to replace Greg Sugars who will be driving at Melton, La Puddie doesn’t win out of turn but is more than capable of playing a role in the finish. FAR OUT BRO (4) is usually around the mark and stays under notice, particularly when forming multiple transactions. ROLL ALONG STYX (5) was having his first outing for Cameron Ross when a useful 13m 5th to Hands On at this venue on Nov 23. With creditable Victorian form prior to that run, the 6yo stays under notice as an exotic runner, along with last-start winner OUR MONEY ROCKS (6), which also strips fitter following that outing.
THE RACONTEUR 1, Old Luke 2, La Puddie 3, Far Out Bro 4.
Following a respectable debut performance for the Jarrod Alchin yard, former Queenslander AQUA SANCTA (9), despite coming up with the outside gate, should be regarded as the one to beat. Drawing gate nine, which is again the case, Aqua Sancta settled in a midfield role before working home strongly for an eye-catching 7.5m 3rd behind Viva Las Vegas and Vincent Van Gone. Prior to leaving the sunshine state, the son of Bettors Delight had been a consistent performer and, with his fitness levels receiving a huge boost, courtesy of his first run since late May, Aqua Sancta should be ready to make a bold play for the top spot. Also, the experienced gained by his initial Menangle outing under official race conditions, the 4yo having had one trial, will be beneficial. Also stripping fitter for one run since a spell is ILIKEMEBETTOR (5), which was a shade disappointing when resuming from a two-month spell at Headquarters last week. After crossing and finding the pegs, Ilikemebettor enjoyed a comfortable trip, but the 26.9 final 400m resulted in the 4yo to fade out of contention in recording a 4.7m 6th to Ardens Ace. Expect a far better showing from the son of Bettors Delight as his form when last in training is hard to fault. ROCKIN WITH ELVIS (4) ran on stoutly from well-back in proceedings when a solid 3.3m 2nd behind Old Luke two weeks ago. The Brad Hewitt trained and driven 4yo has drawn a dew spots closer to the markers and that should assist him in being closer to the action from the outset. NOMORELYING (3) has been unplaced in both Menangle assignments, the former back in late May when a 20.3m last to Send It, the latter a week ago when the 7yo was having his first encounter since that outing. The Victorian didn’t have the best of luck from a four peg role, which resulted in a 9m 8th behind Ardens Ace. Fitter and handily drawn, Nomorelying is capable of a bold showing so don’t ignore him. LOCHIEL (6) should be included in exotic transactions while RAGNAAR (8) could be the ‘value’ player after having little go his way behind Ardens Ace last week. From a wide gate the 5yo drifted back at the start, resulting in a five peg role coming his way. The end result was a pleading 4.9m 7th, However, the son of Bettors Delight could have been far more active in the finish, had better luck prevailed.
AQUA SANCTA 1, Ilikemebettor 2, Rockin With Elvis 3, Nomorelying 4.
Talented trotter WATS UP MAJESTIC (3) looks poised to make it back-to-back wins at Headquarters after having little trouble of disposing of his rivals here on Tuesday. Dictating the terms to perfection, with his mentor Rickie Alchin in the bike, the 3yo Majestic Son gelding proved far too good for Dance Secret and Right Moves. That win came on the back of a creditable 10.2m 6th to Aldebaran Zeus in the final of the Crown 3YO C&G’s series at Melton 10 days earlier. Suitably drawn in gate three, Watts Up Majestic will again take a power of beating, as he again takes on older opponents. MAJOR THOMAS (7) lost his way in grabbing just one minor placing from his subsequent runs, following a win here back in July. However, the 7yo did post a better effort last time out in finishing a 6.9m 3rd to Sunny Gee. If, the son of Lawman could show a return to his true form, then he is capable of giving a race of this nature a big shake. CHATEAUBRIANT (1), one of the Grant Forrest runners, is worthy of further attention after win here on Tuesday, which completed a winning double for the Used To Me 5yo. The pole position will assist Chateaubriant in his quest for the hat-trick. MAJESTIC HURRICANE (5) may well hold the key to the race as the former Victorian faces the starter for the first time under the care of Lucky Lodge. The former Kiwi had seven starts for the powerful Andy Gath stable, the first resulting in a win while the balance contained just one minor placing. Last time out the 6yo contested a 2570m stand start, which resulted in a 253m 11th to Im Daddy Warbucks after he stood flat footed when the tapes released the field, which added greatly to his already 20m hcp. Back to a mobile and, what should be a suitable challenge, Majestic Hurricane should be kept safe. PRINCESS KENNY (6) scored here five starts and has been mixing her form since, but she remains in the multiple mix, along with AORANGI (2), which has the talent, but at times, his manners can’t be his own worst enemy.
WATTS UP MAJESTIC 1, Major Thomas 2, Chateaubriant 3, Majestic Hurricane 4.