March 24, 2023 Michael Court
Star local trainer-driver Nathan Turnbull will be looking to begin this meeting on a winning note, and, later on, add one of the ‘majors’ to his list of credits. ON DEADLINE (3) has collected seven wins and two placings from his 10 assignments, with the former Kiwi growing in stature since crossing the Tasman. Following a well-beaten 8th to Alta Meteor in a heat of the NSW Derby, the Sportswriter colt headed back home for a heat of the Honouree, with the 3yo posting a comfortable all-the-way win. From gate two, which is less the reserve, On Deadline should arrive on time for his legion of supporters. Looming as a definite threat is the Dean and Kerry McDowell-trained 5yo, PRINCE OF PEACE (4). Ending his previous term of racing on a winning note at Menangle, Prince Of Peace resumed with a win, albeit, in the Steward’s room when narrowly beaten by Always Thunder. Fitter and, also ideally drawn next to On Deadline, the son of Bettors Delight will again make his presence felt. ANNA LOVE (11) has a tricky back row draw to overcome, however, the former Kiwi mare has won two of her three starts for Brad Hewitt. The daughter of Terror To Love led in her heat, which resulted in an effortless win. Luck in running and the 4yo mare will make things interesting for On Deadline and Prince Of Peace. When it comes to the multiples, Amanda Turnbull has two chances to fill a roll in that regard, with R K FINN (6) and NGAROMA (5) coming off sound efforts when contesting their first assignments for the stable in heats of this series.
ON DEADLINE 1, Prince Of Peace 2, Anna Love 3, R K Finn 4.
The Gold Tiara Gold consolation is a tough and open race, but with gate three next to her name, EYE BELIEVE (3) is bound to give a big sight. The Nathan Jack trained and driven daughter of Captaintreacherous recorded a pleasing, but costly, 1.3m 2nd to Destiny Stride in her heat outing, and no doubt, the youngster will be better for the run. VIVACIOUS STRIDE (4) was also having her first outing when a closing 2m 3rd behind the short-priced Perpetuity. The David Miles trained and driven daughter of Art Major should be given plenty of respect. SARA TA SLOY (9) didn’t have a great deal go her way when a gritty 6.5m 3rd to Cant Hear You. Following some trouble, then posted without cover, the daughter of My General Lee battled on stoutly, and although drawn on the inside of the back row, the Michael Doltoff-trained filly should be given more than a passing thought. LUVARESCHS (10) will also have to overcome a back row draw, but the filly has been placed in three of her four starts so don’t leave her out of exotic investments. Others to consider in that regard include PENCIL ME IN (1), MINI ME (5), LIL MISS CROCKER (6) and DREAM MELODY (11).
EYE BELIEVE 1, Vivacious Stride 2, Sara Ta Sloy 3, Luvareschs 4.
Despite coming up with the outside draw, LETTUCE NIPYA (8) is entitled to a high rating after an unlucky heat appearance. Sent around to the start as favourite, the 2yo son of Tintin In America broke after the start before working home stoutly in recording a 6.4m 3rd to Bob Sloy and Maurlen Boy. After debuting with an easy win at Wagga, the Brad Hewitt trained and driven youngster had little luck when a 22.5m 4th to Soho Spectre in the G3 Sapling Stakes at Menangle. If, Lettuce Nipya does everything right from the outset, then this is his race for the taking. SAM BY THE SEASIDE (7) has finished runner-up in each of his past two engagements, the latter when beaten 1.6m by Misterfourthousand in what was a pleasing heat display. AMERICAN SPIRIT (6) has been consistent in three runs, being placed each time, the latest when a 21.8m 3rd to Timmy Tictor. A wider draw will await the colt, but he remains in the mix. KOZACZYNSKI (4) is coming off an improved 16.2m 3rd to Tomahawk Bart when he started from the inside of the back row. Growing in confidence and with a better draw, the son of American Ideal is capable of a competitive showing. JOHNNYS BLUE (2), BARRY LIMBO (5) and IRON BARK ROAD (12) should be linked to exotic investments.
LETTUCE NIPYA 1, Sam By The Seaside 2, American Spirit 3, Kozaczynski 4.
The outstanding, recent, winning strike rate being enjoyed by Jason Grimson and Cam hart looks set to continue in the Mayors Cup. The ‘dynamic duo’ will combine with the in-form SICARIO (9), who will head around to the start as the winner of three of his past four. After accounting for Jilliby Kung Fu and Port Au Prince at Menangle, the former star headed to Young and, despite drawing the 2nd line, the 8yo had little trouble accounting for Mighty Joe and Romanee. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has drawn trickly on the inside of the back row, but with Cam driving with plenty of flare and confidence, that won’t be a concern. BUNDORAN (11) has also drawn the back row, with the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven 6yo coming off some mixed displays at Menangle, although he has been racing in elite company on most occasions. After finishing fifth to B D Joe and Bondi Lockdown, respectively, the son of Lincoln Royal led in defeating Huli Nien and Fire Fox, prior to posting another couple of unplaced efforts behind Jimmy Locke and Stingray Tara, respectively. Despite this being a home game for Bundoran, the 6yo has only contested five races on this circuit, for a win and two placings. FAIRY TINKABELL (10) has been freshened since a gallant 8.2m 3rd to Braeview Kelly in the G1 Queen Elizabeth 11 Mile at Menangle on Feb 25. The 7yo daughter of Big Jim has been mixing her form in recent months, however, on her night the mare is capable of making her presence felt in a big way. AUNTY BELLA (80 strips fitter for an 11.5m 7th to Tay Tay at Menangle a week ago, so include the mare in exotic discussions, along with EAGLE COMMANDER (1), OLD LUKE (7), MIGHTY JOE (5) and MYMATEPOG (6), with the quartet capable of adding value to the dividends.
SICARIO 1, Bundoran 2, Fairy Tinkabell 3, Aunty Bella 4.
The Gold Bracelet Final will highlight the card, with an abundance of exciting array of 3yo Fillies set to face the starter. As per usual, the powerful Emma Stewart stable will be a major force, with MAJOR DELIGHT (8) and TEMPTING TIGRESS (11) headlining the star attractions. Less the reserves and MAJOR DELIGHT (8) will leave from gate six while TEMPTING TIGRESS (11) will be required to overcome a back row draw. After commencing her exciting career with nine-consecutive wins, which included a number of feature titles, Major Delight was unable to make it a perfect ‘10’ when she was run down in the final couple of strides by NSW Oaks winner, Windy Hill Tara, in her heat appearance on Monday. The daughter of Bettors Delight will derive a great deal from the outing, as that was her first assignment since winning the G1 2YO Fillies Crown Final at Melton last November. That next level of fitness should be enough to see Major Delight going one better. TEMPTING TIGRESS finished a close 2nd to Major Delight in the Crown Final at Melton, as she was also having her first engagement since that outing when a brave, heat winner on Monday in finishing a shade too well for Jewel Melody. Boasting five wins from just six starts, Tempting Tigress, who is also a daughter of Bettors Delight, will prove hard to hold out, despite the draw. Another Victorian in SOHO SERAPHINE (7) will also be in the mix for a long way. Trained and driven by Michael Stanley, the Betting Line filly led in taking out her heat, with that run coming on the back of a determined 5.2m 2nd to Windy Hill Tara in the NSW Oaks. Unplaced once in 18 starts, which includes six wins, Soho Seraphine has a useful draw and that will enable Stanley to have her in the mix from the outset. The draw has paved the way for the Ash Grives trained and driven SAVEEON (1) to go about her business in a comfortable fashion, saving as much energy as possible for the final 400m. Fourth in the NSW Oaks when second-up from a spell, the Warrawee Needy filly led when a gritty 2.2m 2nd to Tin Tin Jo in her heat on Monday. The prospect of stalking the pace this time, and boasting a higher level of fitness, could easily see Saveeon cause a minor upset. WINDY HILL TARA (10) has drawn the back row, but with the prospect of a keenly contested race from the moment the green light is activated, should the NSW Oaks winner in overcoming that hurdle. TIN TIN JO (12) also has a second line draw to overcome, however, the filly was impressive in her heat win, and this is the Jason Grimson-Hart factor and that must always be respected. JEWEL MELODY (6) was game in defeat when a close 2nd to Tempting Tigress and she will give the locals plenty to cheer about once again. EVE CROCKER (3) has drawn ideally and that will certainly assist her claims when it comes to forming exotic investments.
MAJOR DELIGHT 1, Tempting Tigress 2, Soho Seraphine 3, Saveeon 4.
BETTER BE THE BEST (4) has been the best in 10 of his 14 engagements to date, with a further two placings underlining his ‘rising star’. Astutely trained and driven by Nathan Turnbull, the exciting son of Shoobees Place announced himself on the ‘big stage’ when he won the G1 NSWBC Blue by a commanding margin of 23m last November. Spelled after that dominant display, the colt resumed against older horses and treated them with contempt in scoring at this venue, prior to tackling a heat of the NSW Derby at Menangle. Despite having mixed luck in running, Better Be The Best worked home stoutly but was unable to peg back another classy type in Naturally Gifted. It was a far different story in the G1 NSW Derby when Better Be The Best turned the tables on Naturally Gifted. Qualify for this G2 challenge with a comfortable all-the-way win on Monday, Better Be The Best has come up with gate three, that is with the first reserve remaining benched, and that will ensure than Nathan sets his sights on again dictating from start to finish. NATURALLY GIFTED (6) will again look to give the local idol a ‘run for his money’ and with the Wayne Dimech-trained son of Sweet Lou drawing handily in five, that is a distinct possibility. The 3yo managed to lead throughout in his heat, fending off a late surge by sprint lane runner, Don Hugo. With Cam Hart in the sulky, Naturally Gifted will make his presence felt. CATALPA RESCUE (5) has won five of his seven starts this season , the latest when he raced without cover in proving a shade too strong for Chiseled. The Shane Sanderson-trained American Ideal colt keeps ‘flying under the radar’, but he has the talent to land a big title so don’t write him off. SWEETHEART BART (3) has drawn ideally and will be in the mix from the outset. Expect the colt to give a good account while OUR VINNIE (8), who was brave in defeat behind Better Be The Best on Monday, along with CHISELED (12) and DON HUGO (9) remain in the mix when multiple transactions are being formed.
BETTER THE BEST 1, Naturally Gifted 2, Catalpa Rescue 3, Sweetheart Bart 4.
Following a narrow but determined heat win, when on debut, last week, the Emma Stewart-trained PERPETUITY (4) will face the starter as the one to beat in the G1 Gold Tiara Final. Starting an odds-on favourite, the American Ideal filly worked across from gate six, only to be confronted with the role of leading the one wide lane into the fight. With Mark Pitt displaying all his class in the sulky, he managed to coax the youngster over the line, a mere half-head clear of Luvareschs, with Vivacious Stride in third spot. Perpetuity will start three spots closer to the pegs and will also take a great deal out of her first start, both in fitness and experience. As always, the Stewart-Pitt combination will take a power of beating. Clearly, the one to beat is the Rockie Alchin trained and driven daughter of Captaintreacherous, LUX AETERNA (10). Boasting an unblemished record following three trips to the races, including the G3 Pink Bonnet at Menangle, the filly demolished her rivals in her heat last week, greeting the judge with 23.2m to spare over Soho Honey Rider and Sweet Valeria. Rickie had little trouble dictating from gate four, and although a 2nd line draw awaits, there is little doubt that he will waste little time being back in the field. TOUGH SHAZ (9), another filly from the Emma Stewart stable, debuted with a gritty 6m 2nd to Aromet Girl in her heat, and although costly, the Somebeachsomewhere youngster was disgraced in working home with intent. Drawing the inside of the back row, Tough Shaz is worth keeping safe. SOHO HONEY RIDER (5) stays under notice as an exotic contender while AROMET GIRL (2), DESTINY STRIDE (11) and LA DERNIERE (3) also have claims in that regard.
PERPETUITY 1, Lux Aeterna 2, Tough Shaz 3, Soho Honey Rider 4.
The3 G1 Gold Crown Final is next up and despite the presence of a back row draw, the unbeaten colt SOHO SPECTRE (12) looks the one to beat, thus, giving trainer-driver Rickie Alchin a ‘golden’ opportunity to head back to Menangle with the two major titles. A son of Art Major, Soho Spectre debuted with an effortless win at Newcastle, then had little trouble accounting for his rivals in the G3 Sapling Stakes at Menangle, further underlining his outstanding potential, and his claim of the ‘gold’ on offer at Bathurst. Once again, Soho Spectre was untroubled in his heat, bursting clear of his rivals in greeting the judge with a margin of 22.9m to spare, with Rickie having little need to change his grip on the reins at any stage. Joining Soho Spectre on the back row, but drawing trickily on the inside of the line is the Emma Stewart-prepared TIMMY RICTOR (9), also unbeaten, but after just one start. That was his heat win when he had little luck in running but still managed to defeat his nearest rival, Beachside by 20.8m. David Moran will again take the reins and with the benefit of his initial outing, Timmy Rictor is bound to be further improved by the experience. CHART TOPPER (1) debuted with a solid 2nd to Hammer Dan at Kilmore, prior to heading to Bathurst for his heat outing. Taking control of the race from the outset, the Nathan Jack trained and driven son of Captaintreacherous was untroubled in being first past the post, and with gate one a big plus, the colt is bound to be in the mix from the outset and for an extended period after that. RAVISHING SLOY (3) had little luck for various reasons in finishing a respectable 8m 2nd to Chart Topper and with gate three being a plus for the Michael Doltoff-trained youngster, a competitive showing is a distinct possibility. Jack Trainor, who guided Ravishing Sloy to victory when on debut Menangle, will again take the reins. TOMAHAWK BART (2) won his heat in fine fashion and will give a good account from two while BOB SLOY (6) will face the starter with a perfect record after two starts, so don’t dismiss the Art Major colt when forming exotic investments.
SOHO SPECTRE 1, Timmy Rictor 2, Chart Topper 3, Ravishing Sloy 4.
The Gold Bracelet consolation is a tough and open affair, but the draw has paved the way for the Darren McCall trained and driven MISS FROUFROU (1) the opportunity to play a major role in the finish. Prior to spelling and heading back to Queensland, the filly finished a superb 11m 3rd to Saveeon in the G1 NSWBC Blue Final, despite drawing deep and racing wide in finding the role outside of the leader. Resuming with a 2.4m 3rd to Soho Casablanca at Albion park on March 7, the daughter of Warrawee Needy then finished a well-beaten 3rd behind two class acts in Tempting Tigress and Jewel Melody in her Gold Bracelet heat. Fitter, drawing ideally and confronted by a far easier test, Miss Froufrou should prove hard to beat. BETTING JEWEL (5) opened her latest term of racing with two costly defeats, although far from being disgraced either time. The Bernie Hewitt trained and driven Betting Line filly then worked home stoutly, although never a threat, in finishing a 13.9m 4th to Windy Hill Tara in her heat. Suitably drawn, Betting Jewel will find this more to her liking. THREEBUSHELSOFOATS (8) has been consistent throughout her 18-starts to date, and with a creditable 13.9m 4th to Tin Tin Jo next to her name, the Art Major filly is more than capable of being actively involved in the finish. SAN MAREA (2) has been thereabouts in a number of recent starts, which includes two wins at Redcliffe. The Hunstville filly has drawn well and warrants attention when it comes to the multiples. MY STELLA ROSE (4), A LIL BIT OF LOVE (11) and BONUS BET (7) also have claims in that regard.
MISS FROUFROU 1, Betting Jewels 2, Threebushelsofoats 3, San Marea 4.
Following a brave effort behind the brilliant Better be The Best in a heat of the Gold Chalice, VIKING (2) has the ideal opportunity to some consolation by taking out the Consolation after drawing ideally I gate one, which will be the case if the second reserve isn’t required. The talented Victorian led out before taking cover behind Better Be The Best and battled on stoutly in recording a 9m 3rd to the Bathurst flyer. The David Moran trained and driven son of Rock N Roll Heaven has always shown immense talent, and opened his latest season of racing with two solid wins. MONTALBANO (4) is another quality type from the Rickie Alchin stable and with a good draw next to his name, the Menangle duo will definitely have bright prospects. Back from a spell with two placings, the first when a creditable 8.7m 3rd to Sure Thing Captain in the G3 Simpson Memorial at Headquarters, the Huntsville gelding wasn’t disgraced in working home nicely when a 9.6m 5th to Naturally Gifted in his heat. The winner should come from that particular pair, with OUR SUNSET DELIGHT (9) next in line after a handy 9m 4th to Naturally Gifted. When it comes to the multiples, EXCESS VITALITY (7), ZEN MASTER (3), SATELLITE SIMBA (5) and A REAL GENTLEMAN (11) should make a play for those roles.
VIKING 1, Montalbano 2, Our Sunset Delight 3, Excess Vitality 4.
– FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS