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    Bondi Lockdown a highlight of 10 races at Club Menangle Bondi Lockdown a highlight of 10 races at Club Menangle

    BACK IN ACTION ON SATURDAY NIGHT: Bondi Lockdown.

    RACE ONE: Despite the presence of a wide draw, ROMANEE (9) makes strong appeal on the back of a solid display at Headquarters a... Bondi Lockdown a highlight of 10 races at Club Menangle

    RACE ONE:

    Despite the presence of a wide draw, ROMANEE (9) makes strong appeal on the back of a solid display at Headquarters a week ago. Prepared by Jarrod Alchin and to be driven by Cam Hart, the five-year-old scored at this venue four runs ago, with his subsequent three runs all resulting in fine performances. Placed in races won by King Tiger and Three Rivers, respectively, Romanee hit the line nicely from a four peg role, with Jackson Painting searching for a suitable passage. The end result was a closing 5.2m 4th to Tin Tin Jo. The son of Bettors Delight has drawn deeper for this assignment, but if Cam can have him entering the straight in clear air, then Romanee will take a power of beating. JUST AS WELL (7) led in the above-mentioned race and was only nabbed in the final stride by Tin Tin Jo. The Belinda McCarthy-trained daughter of Well Said will again be in the mix from the outset and is more than capable of going one better. ROCKET BOY (4) launched a strong finish in scoring here two starts ago, then drew the outside gate in coming from a rearward role when a creditable 8.5m 8th to behind in Tin Tin Jo. Returning to a far more comfortable launching pad, the Joe Conolly-conditioned son of Art Major is capable of producing another competitive display. ARDENS ACE (6) was always prominent when a 5.9m 6th to Tin Tin Jo last week so include the 5yo to again be in the mix from the outset in making a play for a role in the multiples. BOYZHAVTIME (5), AALESUND (8) and HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (11) should be linked to the multiples.

    ROMANEE 1, Just As Well 2, Rocket Boy 3, Ardens Ace 4.

    RACE TWO:

    Peaking in condition and a member of the powerful Jason Grimson team, HERECOMESSASSY (6) will be looking to open her Menangle experience on a winning note. Formerly prepared in Victoria, the daughter of Bettors Delight has contested both her races to date on this side of the border at Penrith, with a gritty 2nd to Shanlou, followed by a game and comfortable win over Shades Of Heaven and Rip Jackson coming her way a week ago. The mare will be facing a stronger race, compared to those two encounters, however, during her opening two years on the track,  Herecomessassy matched strides with a number of high-profile fillies so this challenge is well within her reach. And, as per usual, Cam Hart will ensure that the mare receives every chance to succeed. COVER GIRL (7) has also had two runs from a break, with the Belinda McCarthy-trained mare, who is also a daughter of Bettors Delight, facing the starter for her initial, official, Menangle encounter. Spelled after a gritty 8.2m 6th to Just Hope in a heat of the Victoria Oaks back on October 1, Cover Girl resumed with a last-stride defeat behind Im Presi Belle and Goulburn, prior to coming from a midfield role in scoring at Newcastle on April 14. Drawing one spot wider than Herecomessassy, the mare should be competitive. Ideally drawn in one is the John Wheeler-conditioned PAINTMEAREASON (1), an honest mare who will have the opportunity to secure a comfortable role, close to the action and in a peg role. The daughter of For A Reason was able to lead and win at Penrith, with Will Rixon in the sulky, before posting a 3m 3rd to Im Presi Belle and Rickoshay, again at Penrith, when regular driver Hannah Rixon had the reins. Although unplaced in each of her three starts at this venue, Paintmeareason looks suitably placed in this field. BRIDWOOD BELLA (11) has drawn the outside gate, which is a concern, however, the Jack Trainor-prepared daughter of Auckland Reactor is bound to make her presence felt. Jack Brown has the reins this time around after Jack (Trainor) produced a masterly drive in guiding the mare to victory over Elektra and Total Diva. The younger Jack is capable of doing the same. When forming exotic investments COMMON COURTESY (10), despite four unplaced runs for Darren Binskin since coming from Victoria, is worthy of consideration, along with SHES A CARIBBEAN (8), who posted a solid 3.9m 3rd to Tin Tin Jo here last week. The mare has since joined the Jarrod Alchin stable and Cam Hart will take the reins. Both SWELL TIME (5) and KOWHAI BLAZE (4) also warrant attention when it comes to the exotics.

    HERECOMESSASSY 1, Cover Girl 2, Paintmeareason 3, Bridwood Bella 4.

    RACE THREE:

    Ideally drawn in gate two and coming off back-to-back wins, HAS THE COURAGE (2) appears ideally placed to greet the judge. Stepping out for the first time since coming under the care of David Kennedy, the son of Courage Under Fire worked home stoutly in scoring at Shepparton, then proved too good for his new stablemates in Scared Stiff and Fire And Sword at Wagga last week. Leading out before taking a sit, the 8yo hit the line with intent and with another ideal starting position, Has The Courage is capable of an encore performance. It will be a case of ‘girl power’ combining when trainer Lily Hosking and driver Grace Panella look to guide the consistent CAPTAIN DORIAN (8) to his first win at this venue. Placed in three of his five assignments at Headquarters, the 5yo son of Captain Treacherous looked a shade unlucky at Newcastle last week, with a closing 2.9m 3rd to Zoes Rainbow coming his way. Another wide gate awaits Captain Treacherous, but with Grace driving in superb form, the East Maitland visitor is capable of being a serious contender. SCARED STIFF (6) has been mixing his for, but the son of Terror To Love caught the eye when a solid-finishing 2nd to Has The Courage. David Kennedy has booked Nathan Jack for the 6yo and with a reasonable starting role, compared to the inside of the back row at Wagga, Scared Stiff is worthy of attention. ALWAYS THUNDER (5) has led in scoring at Goulburn and  Bathurst, respectively, and although this is a slightly harder challenge, the Bernie Hewitt trained and driven son of Courage Under Fire is capable of giving plenty of cheek. Exotic players should consider ARAMA REACTOR (3), LUVERBOY (9) and ABSTRACT ART (12). If, FIRE AND SWORD (4) comes off the bench then respect his claims as the 6yo rarely runs a bad race and he does look to be on the verge of another winning effort.

    HAS THE COURAGE 1, Captain Dorian 2, Scared Stiff 3, Always Thunder 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    Classy four-year-old CANTFINDABETTORMAN (7) should open his latest term of racing with back-to-back wins, with the son of Sweet Lou poised to head around to the start as the ‘best bet’ on the card. After ending his previous campaign with a gallant 9.5m third to Catch A Wave and Captain Ravishing in the prestigious G1 Chariots of Fire, the Belinda McCarthy-trained gelding resumed with a stylish all-the-way win over the 2300m of the Menangle track, comfortably accounting for Port Au Prince and Firestorm Red. Boasting a higher level of fitness, Cantfindabettorman, while clearly appearing to be the one to beat, will be kept honest by PORT AU PRINCE (3) and Victorian visitor ARGGGHHH (4). PORT AU PRINCE  was game in defeat when beaten by Cantfindabettorman, with the Lucky Lodge five-year-old being the first to break the line in finding the pegs, prior to taking a sit. The son of Somebeachsomewhere was again responsible for a fine effort in defeat a week ago, this time in recording a 3.4m 5th to the classy Queenslander, Speak The Truth. Robert ‘Morris will again be looking to be the first to find the pegs in readiness for Cantfindabettorman making his presence known. However, David Miles will also be interested in having ARGGGHHH (4) in the mix from his suitable draw. The seven-year-old has returned from a lengthy spell with two determined wins, the former when he led in accounting for Platinum Stride and Cobber, two talented types, the latter when left facing the breeze in proving a shade too tough for Pull The Other Leg and Montana Storm at Melton a week ago. Outside of the top trio, DOUBLE ACT (10) should be included in the multiples as the Harry Martin-trained five-year-old is back to his best, courtesy of three wins and a second from his past four trips to the races. The wide draw is a hurdle for the son of Heston Blue Chip when it comes to competing against the above-mentioned trio. ELEKTRA (5) is racing consistently and is deserving of being included in combinations while a fitter STAR MAJOR (1) could also add value after drawing the pole.

    CANTFINDABETTORMAN 1, Port Au Prince 2, Arggghhh 3, Double Act 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    The running of the Schweppes NSW G1 NSW Trotters Oaks has attracted a classy and competitive line-up, with the Victorian’s arriving in force to capture the title. Leading the list of candidates is the David Miles trained and driven daughter of Aldebaran Eagle, ROCKINWITHATTITUDE (9) and, while the draw is a concern, the filly has the talent to overcome such a setback. Boasting nine wins and three placings from her 14 starts, Rockinwithattitude has been off the scene since taking out the 2YO Fillies Vicbred Super Series at Melton on December 31, accounting for Valerie Lane and Aldebaran Miley, leading from start to finish from gate three. With the benefit of two trials, the latter resulting in a solid effort at Melton last Wednesday, David appears to have his star youngster primed for a winning display. Another ‘south of the border’ contestant is SHESAWISH (4), who has just the five starts with three resulting in wins while a minor placing also appears next to her name. Prepared by Neville Pangrazio and to be driven by Nathan Jack, the daughter of Wishing Stone ended her 2yo career on a winning note at Melton last December before resuming with an all-the-way win at Bendigo on March 15. Ten days later, and Shesawish justified her odds-on quite with another stylish win at Melton, again dictating the terms. The filly has been kept up to the mark, courtesy of a solid trial effort at Kilmore recently and she will be a factor from the outset, courtesy of the good draw. Another Victorian contender is SATIN STRIDE (2), who is a member of the astute Chris Lang team, and with the benefit of gate two, the Muscle Hill fill is bound to give a good account. Chris has two runners, the other being GLAMOUR STRIDE (3), also a daughter of Muscle Hill. Chris has elected to drive the latter, resulting in Blake Fitzpatrick being booked for Satin Stride. Resuming from a spell, Satin Stride led when a 4.5m 2nd behind Aldebaran Miley. Consistent in five runs to date, Satin Stride should secure a handy role in her quest for the trophy. OUR MARVELLA (6) scored back-to-back wins before a disappointing 34m 4th to Gotfeelingsyouknow at Melton on Feb 25. Back to the trials and Brent Lilley-conditioned daughter of Love You is capable of making her presence felt once again. Making the trip from across the ‘ditch’ is the Michelle Wallis-trained daughter of Orlando Vici, MELSADELE (1), the winner of one of her nine engagements with a further four placings also boosting her stats. From the pole Melsadele should be kept, at least when it comes to the multiples. KYVALLEY AMANDA (10), another from the Brent Lilley stable, and ALDEBARAN MILEY (8), who is under the care of Chris Svanosio, can’t be taken lightly in what looks to be a competitive event.

    ROCKNWITHATTITUDE 1, Shesawish 2, Satin Stride 3, Our Marvella 4.

    RACE SIX:

    With the coronation of King Charles scheduled for Saturday night, our time, the club will host the inaugural running of the Coronation Cup. The topical tip would be KINGMAKER (8), one of five runners stepping out under the banner of the Belinda and Luke McCarthy stable. However, topical tips rarely do the job and while Kingmaker is in fine form, boasting a hat-trick of wins, his classy stablemate BONDI LOCKDOWN (11) looks the one to beat. After narrowly missing out on a spot in the Miracle Mile, when a 7.9m 3rd to Spirit Of St Louis and Hurricane Harley in the Schweppes Sprint, the son of Somebeachsomewhere won the G2 FFA on Miracle Mile night, overcoming a wide gate in defeating B D Joe and Triple Eight at the end of the 2400m assignment. In readiness for his return, Bondi Lockdown has had the benefit of a trial, which resulted in a 3m 3rd to the classy Kiwi, South Coast Arden, which has joined the Paul Fitzpatrick team. Three deep on entering the straight, Bondi Lockdown was allowed to complete the assignment, virtually under his own steam as Luke kept a firm grip on the reins. The final 400m being closed off in 26.6. The outside gate will welcome Bondi Lockdown, so that will present the master reinsman with an interesting, early decision. The Jason Grimson-trained FIRE FOX (7) will be looking to make a nuisance of himself in upsetting the McCarthy dominance. And, with Cam Hart in the sulky, such a result could unfold. Following a stylish win at Headquarters on March 24, the 6yo son of Sweet Lou was restrained from a wide gate in settling into a midfield in the race won by stablemate Betterzippit, who went on to win the $1m Nullarbor at Gloucester Park recently. Fire Fox was never a threat in finishing 16.3m away in finishing 5th, however, he is capable of mixing it with this field so  respect his claims. JAY OK (4) hasn’t had a great deal go his way of late, but the 6yo has still performed well in recording a win and three placings. Last time out Jay OK worked home stoutly in posting a 4.6m 3rd behind Kingmaker and with the benefit of an improved draw, the son of A Rocknroll Dance is capable of being involved in the finish.  Always the professional, ALTA ORLANDO (3), who will be driven by Amanda Turnbull, finished runner-up behind Betterzippit and Mach Shard, respectively, before again battling on stoutly when a 5.2m 4th to Kingmaker couple of weeks ago. Suitably drawn the 11yo will again be in the mix from the outset and, if he salutes, it won’t come as a  surprise. Exotic players should also CASH N FLOW (9), with the 10yo back in action following his win in the Oberon Cup at Bathurst back on Jan 20. His recent trial effort was solid, and although he may be below brilliant best these days, the veteran son of Mach Three should be kept safe when it comes to the multiples.

    BONDI LOCKDOWN 1, Fire Fox 2, Jay OK 3, Alta Orlando 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    The G1 Trotters Mile has attracted strong inter-state interest, as well as a Kiwi. It is hard to go past the Brent Lilley-trained QUEEN ELIDA (10), despite the presence of a wide gate. Contesting 38 races to date, the daughter of Love You has greeted the judge on 21 occasions, with 12 placings included in her marvellous career. The 5yo mare arrives with a hat-trick of stylish wins next to her name, the latest when she finished powerfully from a five peg role in defeating Ultimate Stride and Credit Master at Melton back on April 15. The margin was dominant and it will take a big effort to end her winning streak. Queen Elida also has a G1 title to her credit at this venue, having won the La Coocaracha 11 months ago. Sofia Arvidsson has ALDEBARAN TESS (8) racing with plenty of confidence and this assignment remains well within her reach, despite the presence of stronger opposition. Dictating the terms of her latest challenge, the 6yo daughter of Muscle Hill proved too good for Phoebe Onyx and Funky Monkey. Versatile in her racing pattern, Aldebaran Tess will make her presence known. IM READY JET (11) doesn’t know how to run a bad race, with the Anton Golino-conditioned mare recording a win and six placings from eight starts this season, follow five wins and four placings in the previous year of racing. Im Ready Jet hasn’t raced since a gallant 1.8m 2nd to Queen Elida at Melton back on March 25, and with a recent sound trial assisting her fitness, the daughter of Quaker Jet must be respected, despite drawing out deep. Co-trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan have sent ESCAPE THE PACE (7) across the Tasman with the 4yo mare coming off a respectable 4.5m 2nd to Thats What we Do and Alexandria Park a few weeks ago. The daughter of A Rocknroll Dance has eight wins and four placings to show for her 26 encounters. Rickie Alchin has been engaged to handle the driving duties. FUNKY MONKEY (9) peaks in condition following three runs back, and although a 27m 5th to Van Sank a week ago, when a short-priced elect, the mare is worthy of including in exotic investments, along with MAJESTIC TRIO (6), which has gone from strength-to-strength for Brad Hewitt, and although this will be her toughest test, the Majestic Son mare will be a value runner.

    QUEEN ELIDA 1, Aldebaran Tess 2, Im Ready Jet 3, Escape The Pace 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    Following a positive start to his career, which resulted in a win at Newcastle, the Jarrod Alchin-trained MY ULTIMATE BUDDHA (4) wasn’t disgraced when he tackled a heat of the APG 2YO Gold Bullion series at Menangle a few weeks ago. Caught facing the breeze the son of former star, Lazarus, battled on stoutly in finishing a gritty 8.8m 3rd to Ravishing Sloy. Handily drawn in four, My Ultimate Buddha should be competitive from the outset. MEMPHIS FURY (2) was also obliged to race without cover when a useful 15.3m 4th to Soho Spectre, who has always shown talent from the outset. Prior to that effort the son of Million Dollar Cam posted back-to-back wins at Penrith, after opening his career with a 5.2m 3rd to Ravishing Sloy at this venue. From gate two the Martin Herbert-trained youngster should be in the fight for a long way. CABANA (1) has been placed in both starts to date, the latter when a 7.3m 3rd to Soho Spectre. Gate one is a plus so respect his claims while WINGMAN LOU (6) and THE BLACK FOX (7) remains in the multiple mix.

    MY ULTIMATE BUDDHA 1, Memphis Fury 2, Cabana 3, Wingman Lou 4.

    RACE NINE:

    Suitably drawn and coming off a respectable display in a heat of the APG Gold Bullion heat outing, EYE CAN TRY (2) is poised to break through for her maiden win. Third behind Fireproof in the Gold Tiara Silver consolation, the daughter of Sweet Lou was never a factor when a 30.3m sixth to Vite Monet at Headquarters on April 4, but showed vast improvement in working home stoutly in posting a 7m third to the promising Luvareschs. The draw should allow Robert Morris to position the filly into a favourable role, and that should go a long way towards Eye Can Try being involved in the finish. SARA TA SLOY (4), on face value, was both disappointing and costly in finishing a 13.7m fifth to Libby Lou in heat heat, but the $1.07 chance had excuses, according to driver Luke McCarthy, who dictated the terms last time out. In an interview for National Trotguide.online, Luke explained that the Michael Doltoff-trained daughter of My General Lee was in season and it will pay to forgive her for that run. The filly did win the Gold Tiara Gold consolation prior to that outing. DREAM MELODY (3) is a last-start Bathurst winner and while safely held in a few runs  prior, the American Ideal filly appears to be better placed here so expect another competitive showing. PLATINUM JEWEL (5) and MERRY JEWEL (1), like Dream Melody are all under the care of Bernie Hewitt, giving him a big shot at being involved in the finish.

    EYE CAN TRY 1, Sara Ta Sloy 2, Dream Melody 3, Platinum Jewel 4.

    RACE 10:

    Open event for the trotters to wrap-up the card. Handily drawn and racing with renewed confidence, RAVE ON HALL (6) is capable of greeting the judge for the second time in his past three starts. Following a few well-beaten performances, the James Rattray-trained and driven seven-year-old returned to form with a solid all-the-way win over Alluring Tyron and Aldebaran Tess, which has won twice since, prior to again dictating the terms when a creditable 7.2m 3rd to Majestic Trip and Gunner. From the middle of the line, James will again look to find the pegs and set the tempo and that will go a long way towards Rave On Hall enjoying further success. REGAL ATTIRE (10) has drawn the outside gate but that won’t be enough to prevent the son of Muscle Hill making his presence known. Following a gritty stand win when off  20m hcp, the five-year-old worked home stoutly in recording a 9.3m third behind two smart types in Van Sank and Credit Master a week ago. This will be a far more suitable challenge, despite the draw, so respect the claims of the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned son of Muscle Hill. ON ADVICE (9) will create a great deal of interest, despite being first-up since mid-February. The Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven son of Sebastian K has won a trial in fine fashion and is primed for a bold first-up showing. STRESS FACTOR (3) found the 20m hcp beyond him on Tuesday when a 19.2m fourth to Red Harbour, but from an ideal starting role, plus a higher level of fitness, the eight-year-old remains a threat. PHOEBE ONYX has been safely held in each of his past two, however, the 7yo is capable of playing an active role in the finish.

    RAVE ON HALL 1, Regal Attire 2, On Advice 3, Stress Factor 4.

      – FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS

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