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    Finding all the winners for Menangle Saturday night Finding all the winners for Menangle Saturday night

    LOOKS A WINNER: Zeuss Bromac and Gavin Fitzpatrick.

    RACE ONE: With his level of fitness going up a further notch, FOCUS STRIDE (10) is entitled to top billing, despite the presence of... Finding all the winners for Menangle Saturday night


    With his level of fitness going up a further notch, FOCUS STRIDE (10) is entitled to top billing, despite the presence of a wide gate. Less the reserve and the classy son of Art Major will be called on to gate nine, and although that is a concern, the Darren Binskin trained and driven entire will take a power of beating. After being off the scene for 26 months, Focus Stride resumed with a gallant all-the-way win a few weeks ago when he accounted for Gliding Away and Hez Dusty. Attempting to keep the winning sequence rolling, Focus Stride was narrowly beaten by Hes Chiming a week later, but was brave in defeat after racing without cover from the outset. Despite his tricky starting position, Binskin is likely to go in search of a favourable, forward role with the sparingly-raced 5yo in the hope of being well within striking distance from the outset. PUMP THE BRAKES (4) is due for a change of luck after finishing ‘second best’ in each of his past three encounters, the latest behind Jimmy Locke, which then won the G3 Golden Mile before posting a gallant 2nd to Zeuss Bromac a week ago. That form must be respected, along with his good draw. The consistent JUSTA LITTLE BIT (7) is coming off a gritty 8m 5th to Hes Chiming and is bound to be competitive, as per usual. YIANNI (6) has been placed in four of his past five starts and while consistent, the son of Changeover has been costly and frustrating along the way. However, it is hard to leave him out the main bracket of contenders as at some stage he will be in the mix and being a big chance once again. Exotic combinations should also include SWAGGIE SHANNON (2), MAJOR OBAHMA (9), JAZZY STAR (5) and BACK IN TWENTY (1) if the latest addition to the Belinda McCarthy teak comes off the reserve bench. The 6yo son of Sportwriter posted a more than useful 6m 7th to Alpine Stride last week, the outing his first since mid-April so his level of fitness is heading in the right direction.

    FOCUS STRIDE 1, Pump The Brakes 2, Justa Little Bit 3, Yianni 4.


    It is hard to go past the ultra-consistent GLIDING AWAY (1) after the son of Betterthancheddar drew ideally in gate one. From 14 starts this season the Kerry and Dean McDowell-trained gelding has collected four wins and 10 placings, making him one of the most reliable performers in work. Since making it back-to-back wins in May, Gliding Away has been placed in his subsequent three starts at Headquarters, the latest when he raced without cover, en route to a gritty 4.7m 3rd behind Always Rockin and Lets Get Rockin. The in-form Lleyton Green will present Gliding Away with a care-free run from the outset and that will go a long way towards the pair greeting the judge. The Jack Trainor prepared duo of THE IDEAL DANCER (6) and SURF ACE (4) will provide Gliding Away with strong opposition. Jack’s decision on which one he will drive must be respected, but regardless, THE IDEAL DANCER appeals as the one most likely to give this race a big shake. Either side of a luckless 12.4m 9th to Focus Stride, The Ideal Dancer has been placed, the latter when a closing 8.6m 2nd behind Rockin With Elvis at this venue a couple of weeks ago. The 6yo son is more than capable of going one better. SURF ACE managed to record back-to-back wins at Penrith, courtesy of two fine drives by Jack Brown, prior to two unplaced, but solid efforts at this venue, the latter a pleasing 9.3m 4th to Rossini last week when he worked home nicely from a four peg role. Suitably drawn, which will be a plus, the 4yo is capable of another bold showing. KINGMAKER (9) returns after a disappointing end to his previous campaign. The Belinda McCarthy-trained 6yo trialled well in finishing second to his classy stablemate Fairy Tinkabell, which scored impressively here last week. The son of Mach Three has drawn deep but has the gate speed to be in the mix from the outset. SMOOTH OVERARM (10) has the outside gate to overcome but is racing consistently and must be treated with respect while UNCLE CHAN (5), SO MUCH BETTOR (8) and UNCLE JAY (3) are in the mix as exotic players.

    GLIDING AWAY 1, The Ideal Dancer 2, Surf Ace 3, Kingmaker 4.


    Following a return to form a week ago, the classy mare B K SWY (9) looms as one of the ‘better bets’ on the card. After five unplaced efforts, the daughter of Big Jim indicated that she had put behind her some minor health issues when she hit the line strongly in recording a metre 2nd to Fairy Tinkabell a week ago in the G3 Stylish Memphis, a race named in honour of her stablemate. Although the mare will head to an outside gate when the starter calls the field into line, the drop in class will help offset that hurdle. Everything being equal and B K Swy will be first past the post for the 11th time in her career. Troy Williams has LITTLE BLISS (5) racing in the peak of her powers and it is hard to ignore the daughter of Art Major as a threat if B K Swy doesn’t bring her ‘A game’. The 5yo has won two of her past three starts at Headquarters, the latest when she enjoyed a kind run behind the leader before accounting for Heaven Island and Infinity Beach. Robert Morris will again look to secure a cosy trip for Little Bliss, prior to emerging as a threat over the final 200m. The consistent KABIBI (1) has the chance to make her presence felt after the James Rattray trained and driven mare drew the pole position. Kabibi is coming off a 16.8m 3rd to Orchid Stride and although safely held on that occasion, the daughter of Bettors Delight did draw wide so the number one saddlecloth is a bonus. SHANLOU (3) will find this engagement more to her liking after a 12m 9th to Fairy Tinkabell a week ago. The Sweet Lou mare had been racing consistently prior and with a suitable draw next to her name, the 4yo is worthy of further attention, particularly when it comes to the multiples. Exotic investors should include MUSTANG MILLY (2), along with the JD Stephens-prepared SCOTTS RAIN (4), NEWSY (6) and TOTAL DIVA (10).

    B K SWY 1, Little Bliss 2, Kabibi 3, Shanlou 4.


    As per usual, another open Club Menangle Country Series Final, with the draw assisting the Darren Elder-trained DOLLARSIGN (3), which will be driven by his in-form son, Brad. Runner-up here three runs back, when beaten 1.6m by Western Ways, Dollarsign then had little luck from a back row draw when an 11.6m 7th to Rockin In Chelsea at Tamworth. Better luck went his way at Newcastle a week later when he proved too good for Paratrooper and Mammals Riddle in a heat of this series. Elder will have the chance to secure a role close to the action and that will be a big plus in such a competitive field. Courtesy of drawing the prized-pole position, Amanda Turnbull will be able to squeeze every bit of energy out of a fitter MISS LEMON (1).

    Resuming from a lengthy spell at Cowra a couple of weeks ago, the mare was always prominent from gate two, resulting in a 6m 2nd behind Jimmyjoe. With the benefit of that outing, Miss Lemon has the chance to leave a sour taste in the mouth of her rivals. With five-consecutive wins next to her name, ROCKIN IN CHELSEA (6) is bound to attack this contest with a high degree of confidence. Four of those wins have been posted on the Tamworth track, the other at Newcastle, with her only run at this venue resulting in an unplaced display. The Andrew Ison-trained daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven is bound to be prominently placed from the outset, which has been the case during her recent winning run. However, the bigger run home will keep her honest. The ‘watch’ runner is PARATROOPER (4), which has the chance to ‘drop’ late on his rivals, which he attempted to do at Newcastle when he finished strongly from a three peg role in claiming third spot behind Dollarsign. Trained and driven by Jamie Donovan the 4yo son of Art Major is racing well and the better draw will enhance his claims of greeting the judge. DRIVE TO THE BEACH (5), FIRE AND SWORD (11) and ALWAYS BOPPING (8) are all capable of being seen in the winner’s circle, without surprising.

    DOLLARSIGN 1, Miss Lemon 2, Rockin In Chelsea 3, Paratrooper 4.


    In a race overflowing with chances, BREVITY (4) is worthy of another chance after posting another gritty effort when beaten a 1.2m by Lucky Beach Boy at Penrith recently. The Jason Grimson-trained son of Bettors Delight managed to dictate the terms, courtesy of James McPherson, however, he was unable to maintain the effort when nabbed over the final stages. Peaking in condition following four runs since a spell and his new stable, Brevity finished a pleasing 9.6m last, if there is such a thing when finishing at the rear of the field, behind Gliding Away at his only Menangle experience. With the benefit of that run the 6yo is capable of another productive showing, with gate four a suitable starting point. ROCK OF DELIGHT (3) is coming off an unlucky 8.6m second behind Rockin With Elvis a couple of weeks ago, with the Michael Doltoff-trained 6yo settling five pegs, which resulted in the Son Of Art being held up for a clear run until late. Nicely drawn, Rock Of Delight will make his presence felt. SURFERS DELIGHT (2) has been placed in his past two Menangle assignments, the latter when a closing 3.5m 3rd to Spirit Of Anzac when a four peg role left him searching for a suitable run over the final stages. The 4yo is bound to receive a cosy run and that will assist in him being involved in the finish. GLENAVRIL KING (5) did a good job when a solid-finishing 10.9m 3rd to One Two Many, then was again doing his best work late when a 12.2m 5th to Spirit Of Anzac last week. The Trevor Munday-trained son of Courage Under Fire is racing well enough to be a threat. For those playing the multiples ARDENS ACE (6) should be included in the mix while LOUIS LITT (1), courtesy of drawing one, has a good case to argue when it comes to him being considered for the exotics as the draw will suit.

    BREVITY 1, Rock Of Delight 2, Surfers Delight 3, Glenavril King 4.


    Following a tough and determined win here last week, the classy Paul Fitzpatrick-trained ZEUSS BROMAC (10) will again head around to the start as the one to beat. Contesting a 1609m event, which will be extended to 2300m this time around, the son of Bettors Delight managed to arrive in the final few strides in robbing Jimmy Locke of back-to-back wins at Headquarters, following his career highlight victory in the G3 Golden Mile a week earlier. Zeuss Bromac ended his previous term of racing with a stylish display in taking out the Ainsworth 2400m FFA on Miracle Mile night, and with four solid displays since that effort, Zeuss Bromac has returned in fine style. The draw, once again, hasn’t been kind, but the 5yo entire will have options of progressing early or look for a suitable midfield role, which was the case last week. Either way, over the longer trip, Zeuss Bromac will prove hard to hold out. ALTA ORLANDO (9) has been placed in three of his four runs since returning from his NZ adventure, with the veteran having little luck in each of those encounters, plus, his 6.8m 8th to Loorrim Lake in the JD Watts Memorial. Left facing the breeze in the G3 Golden Mile, Alta Orlando battled on bravely when a 5.4m second behind Jimmy Locke. With regular driver Jack Callaghan heading to Albion Park on Saturday night to handle Spirit Of St Louis in the Wondais Mate, two-time Miracle Mile winning trainer-driver John McCarthy will jump into the sulky. Peaking in condition following three runs back, ELLMERS IMAGE (6) can’t be ignored as a major player. Last time out the 8yo did a fine job in hitting the line with intent, which resulted in a 3.8m second to Loorrim Lake in the G2 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown on June 13. The son of Falcon Seelster has a good record at this venue and this challenge is well within his reach. HES CHIMING (8) should be included when exotic transactions are formed while ARDEN MESSI (5), which gave a gritty display in the Treuer in finishing fifth, prior to his second behind The Croupier a week ago, is also in the mix when it comes to the multiples.

    ZEUSS BROMAC 1, Alta Orlando 2, Ellmers Image 3, Hes Chiming 4.


    The final four races are dedicated to the trotting ranks, with three G1 trophies up for grabs, the first being for the 4&5 Year Old age bracket. From the powerful Anton Golino stable and to be driven by Nathan Jack, MEYDAN (4) has the chance to secure the top spot after coming up with gate three, which is less the reserve. The son of Andover will be looking to make it back-to-back wins after the 5yo accounted for Constantinople at Melton a couple of weeks ago. Racing three wide, then outside the leader, the talented entire will be looking to stamp his authority on this event from the outset. ARAIGNEE FLAIR (7) is coming off a gritty photo second to Dance Secret, the second time in three runs the mare has finished in that role. The mare will loom as a contender when the events enters its final stages. WATTS UP SUNSHINE (11) will need to overcome the outside gate as he attempts to show a return to winning form after a mixed Queensland campaign, which culminated in a 7.7m 4th to Wee Man Trouble. Boasting seven wins from 11 starts on his home track, Watts Up Sunshine will enjoy playing a home game once again. ON ADVICE (10) is a consistent 4yo from the astute Blake Fitzpatrick barn and claims as an exotic player should be respected. DANCE SECRET (8) has been a ‘problem child’ of late due his lack of manners, but if he decides to remain focused from the time he steps onto the track, then he certainly has the ability to give the main players something to think about.

    MEYDAN 1, Araignee Flair 2, Watts Up Sunshine 3, On Advice 4.


    A little bit of ‘tough love’ doesn’t go astray at times and when it comes to the running of the G1 3YO Fillies Final, TOUGH LOVE (8) will be in demand. Prepared by Rickie Alchin, who will also take the reins, the daughter of Love You has converted 11 of her 18 starts into winning displays while collecting seven placings into the bargain. Following her success in the G1 NSW Oaks, Tough Love was game in defeat when she contested the G1 NSW Trotters Derby, taking on the boys in finishing a 1.7m second behind the classy Victorian, Harry Stamper. The filly has won her past two starts by big margins and she will take a power of beating, as per usual. EGRET (6) is another talented member of the Anton Golino team and with wins in each of her past two starts, Ballarat and Charlton, the daughter of Father Patrick will be looking to keep her unbeaten record since a spell in perfect order. Egret has led in each of those wins and is drawn to be in the firing line from the outset. HEIR APPARENT (5) is another promising Victorian, this time from the Ken Tippet stable. Lightly-raced, the son of Creatine was spelled after a neck second to Van Doren in the Bathurst Gold Coronet, then resumed with a narrow but gritty win at Bendigo. PARIS KAY (7) has been competitive throughout her 10-starts, the latest resulting in a comfortable win at Canberra . The filly will be in the mix for a long way and is an ideal exotic runner.

    TOUGH LOVE 1, Egret 2, Heir Apparent 3, Paris Kay 4.


    G1 glory awaits the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven VITELLIUS (4) as the colt looks to have a vice-like grip on the 2YO trophy. Boasting two wins from his five starts, the son of Andover Hall is the only runner to experience that ‘winning feeling’. The colt was untroubled in winning at this venue last time out and he will have to ‘throw it away’ to lose out on greeting the judge. DREAMBIGAIMHIGH (3) will be looking to do exactly that, but the KerryAnn Morris-trained youngster has been steady in posting four placings, three as runner-up, from his five starts. The What The Hill gelding looks the only possible threat. IM A GYPSY QUEEN (2), which is also from the Morris barns at Lucky Lodge, has four placings from six starts and the filly is capable of again being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. LONDON TO A BRICK (1) will have Ken Howard fans recalling his famous catch phrase when it came to a photo finish. Hopefully, although the son of Bettors Delight hasn’t done a great deal in the trials, is capable of giving a good account in memory of the of the great racecallers.

    VITELLIUS 1, Dreambigaimhigh 2, Im A Gypsy Queen 3, London To A Brick 4.

    RACE 10:

    After the emerging stars of tomorrow ‘strut’ their stuff, the established champion, TOUGH MONARCH (9) will make his return to racing in the final event. Boasting 34 wins from his 100 starts, 25 of them from his 52 starts at this venue, the 10yo will be having his first outing following a 19.5m 6th to Credit Master in the G1 Equine Mile at Menangle on Miracle Mile night, March 5. The Rickie Alchin trained and driven son of Monarchy has had the benefit of a strong, and easy trial win and he will end the night with another trip to the winner’s circle. RAVE ON HALL (7) may have to settle for another second after his previous four starts have resulted in the son of Andover Hall finishing ‘second best’. The James Rattray trained and driven 6yo is certainly deserving of a win, but he will have to wait for another opportunity. ROYAL GLENFERRIE (6) strips in peak condition following three runs back, the past two resulting in sound placings. The 6yo is an ideal exotic runner and that also applies to the Ken Tippet trained and driven PROSTHESIS (1), with the pole position assisting the Victorian in his quest for a pro-active role in the finish. Handy mare BACARDI BARMAID (4) has claims in that regard while a fitter MAJOR THOMAS (8) should also be in the mix when it comes to the multiples.

    TOUGH MONARCH 1, Rave On Hall 2, Royal Glenferrie 3, Prosthesis 4.

      – MICK KO’CASS

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