September 9, 2021 National Trotguide
Despite four ‘patchy’ efforts since joining the Jason Grimson team, METAL ROCK (3) appeals as the one to beat after the son of Pet Rock came up with his best draw since making the move. Following a pleasing, first-up 1.6m 3rd to Petes Said So, Metal Rock was then unplaced and costly in each of his next two assignments. However, his latest on August 28 was a determined display after drawing the outside gate and working from start to finish. Contesting the G3 August Gift, the 5yo was exposed outside of the leader, en route to posting a gritty 4m 6th to the short-priced elect, Spirit Of Anzac. Cam Hart jumps back into the sulky for this challenge and from gate three he will be looking to present Metal Rock with a kinder trip. That being the case, Metal Rock has the talent to play a pro-active role in the finish and give the Grimson-Hart pairing, one of a number of chances have their have on the card. Darren Binskin has certainly turned back the clock in recent months with a host of fine drives, which has resulted in a large number of winners. ARDENS ACE (9) is just one of his recent success stories with the Art Major 3yo racing in the best form of his career. A wide gate awaits the pair, which were successful a week ago when Ardens Ace, courtesy of a soft run behind the leader, powered past Cloud Nine in greeting the judge. Although the draw is a concern, Ardens Ace has managed to be involved in the outcome from similar starting roles so don’t dismiss him as a contender. The outside gate will be occupied by the former Kiwi MIGHTY LOOEE (11) which has had two starts for Belinda McCarthy since crossing the Tasman. The son of Sweet Lou posted a pleasing 7m 6th to Petes Said So, prior to again being well-supported in recording a 6.3m 3rd to Soho Tsunami when he was baulked for a suitable run after contesting the race from behind the leader and eventual winner. Fitter, the 4yo is again capable of making his presence felt. EVERYBODYLOVEDRAY (2) has drawn well and faces the starter, fresh from a couple of months off the scene. The 6yo hasn’t been to the trials, but he has performed well ‘fresh’ in the past and he is worthy of more than a passing thought in this field. The consistent HELD TO RANSOM (5), along with PROSECUTION WITNESS (8) and BETTOR TO BE TRICKY (4) remain in the mix as exotic players.
METAL ROCK 1, Ardens Ace 2, Mighty Looee 3, Everybodylovedray 4.
It is hard to go past MAJOR BOB (10) following his impressive win here last week when contesting his first race under the care of former multiple Harold Park winning premiership mentor David Aiken. Following four-consecutive wins while under the care of Clayton Harmey, the quality son of Art Major stretched his winning sequence when he powered past his rivals over the final 100m in comfortably defeating Never Been Said and Mighty Flying Art. Apart from the wide gate, Major Bob will also be confronted by a harder challenge, but he is ‘flying’ at present and is entitled to top billing. SWAGGIE SHANNON (3) was never a factor behind Major Bob last week, with the Cameron Ross-trained veteran posting a useful 11.8m 7th just the same. Drawing deep and racing in a rearward role didn’t help his cause so the move to a favourable starting role, gate three is plus while Luke McCarthy will also take over the driving duties. Prior to his latest assignment, the 9yo had been racing consistently and he is capable of being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. RED REACTOR (5) has been off the scene since July 3 when he recorded a creditable 8.4m 4th to The Stunning Nun, the fourth time in five starts he finished in that role, the other resulting in a win. Rarely far from the action, the David Thorn-prepared son of Auckland Reactor can’t be taken lightly after drawing suitably. ZIGGY ROCKS (70 didn’t have a great deal go his way when a 9m 6th to Petes Said So last time out, with the outside gate playing a role in his downfall. A slightly better draw awaits and with his form, prior to that run, being more than acceptable for a race of this nature, the 5yo is worthy of another chance. When it comes to multiple combinations, ALWAYS ROCKIN (4) is capable of a bold showing, along with the Joe Conolly-trained pair of GOLDEN YEAR (9) and ART TUTOR (2). If the reserve SUMMIT SPECIAL (6) gains a spot, then include the talented son of Mr Feelgood as he returns, fresh from a spell and with a handy draw.
MAJOR BOB 1, Swaggie Shannon 2, Red Reactor 3, Ziggy Rocks 4.
The recent efforts of OUR MADIBA (4) have been a lot better than they appear on paper, with his past five trips to Headquarters all resulting in unplaced displays. The 7yo has drawn gate nine on three occasions and that has been a hurdle, which has led to the son of Bettors Delight having little luck in running on the odd occasion. Apart from striking a suitable assignment, the 7yo has also drawn handily in four and that will be a big plus. After being thereabouts in his previous four runs, Our Madiba was never a factor when a 14.8m 6th to Ardens Ace a week ago. The prospect of a kinder run should be enough to see Our Madiba making a bold play for the top spot. BRACKEN KNIGHT (1) is yet to greet the judge in nine trips to this venue, but with gate one assisting his claims the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained 5yo has the chance to place a ‘tick’ in the win column. The son of Always A Virgin doesn’t win out of turn, with his last trip to the winner’s circle coming back in late January when successful at Penrith. Fitter for three unplaced efforts at Penrith, Bracken Knight should receive a kind run from the pole and that will assist his claims of a productive display. THE GOLDEN CROSS (6) has had a number of homes throughout his 136 starts with Peter Russo now adding his name to that list of mentors. The 8yo has been off the scene since an 18.6m 6th to his new stablemate Beau Cisholm, but a recent pleasing trial display has the son of Bettors Delight ready to make his presence felt. The past couple of runs by LANI KAI BEACH (8) have been handy enough to suggest that the son of Camlach has exotic claims. The Ian Wilson-trained 8yo worked home nicely when a 9.5m 4th to Prosecution Witness a week. The wider gate is a concern but Jimmy Douglass is bound to take him back at the start in search of a ‘stalking’ role back in the pack, which will allow Lani Kai Beach the opportunity to hit the line with sufficient energy. CHRISTMAS TOYBOY (2) is coming off his best effort in sometime and with gate two being an added bonus, the 7yo is worthy of exotic attention, along with MASONS DELIGHT (3) and BENALONG VALLEY (9).
OUR MADIBA 1, Bracken Knight 2, The Golden Cross 3, Lani Kai Beach 4.
ITZ MY GENERATION (7) returns to racing under the care of Jason Grimson, following a short career with both Craig Cross and Belinda McCarthy, and although the son of Bettors Delight hasn’t been to the trials, he is worth the gamble in this field. The 7yo last faced the starter on April 10, with the short-priced elect posting a 13.2m 5th to Laceys Lad when he contested the race from a midfield peg role. Itz My Generation strikes a suitable challenge and with a handy draw next to his name, the entire is capable of giving Grimson further success. Jack Callaghan will take the reins and, as per usual, the rising star is bound to make an appearance or two in the winner’s circle before the night is over. Also resuming from a break is the David Thorn-trained SUMMIT SPECIAL (3) which has been off the scene since a solid 6.3m 4th behind Hidden Courage two months ago. Placed in four of his past nine starts since scoring here on January 26, the Mr Feelgood 6yo hasn’t been to the trials, Thorn electing to keep him fresh for his first challenge, and with a good draw next to his name, Summit Special looks poised to make a bold play for the top spot. Following a run of consistent efforts, the Peter Russo-trained BEAU CISHOLM (4) recorded a strong win here a week ago when he accounted for Master Catch and Ranger Bomb. The 10yo son of Elsu has again drawn well and with the Russo stable enjoying plenty of success in recent months, Beau Cisholm is capable of chalking up another win. HIDDEN COURAGE (8) will appreciate the drop in grade which will off-set the outside gate. The son of Courage Under Fire enjoyed a kind run behind the leader when a gritty 3.2m 3rd to Majestic Cruiser a week ago. The Grimson-Hart combination will again create a great deal of interest with Hidden Courage accounting for a similar field just over two months ago. Exotic players should also include HICKSTEAD (6) in their investments.
ITZ MY GENERATION 1, Summit Special 2, Beau Cisholm 3, Hidden Courage 4.
The G3 Ladyship Stakes highlights the card and once again, Jason Grimson and Cam Hart will be the centre of attention as they combine with the outstanding mare ROCKNROLL ANGEL (8). Following a win over Burnham Boy and The Black Prince on August 7, the classy daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven then produced a tough display in brilliantly winning the G3 Garrards Ladyship a week later, accounting for Never Been Said and Uroc Skinny Jeans, two of her main rivals once again. The outside gate in the field of eight won’t be a concern as the mare has the speed to cross and take up the running. If that scenario plays out, then Rocknroll Angel will be well on her way to chalking up a hat-trick of wins. But, if left posted, the mare will still prove a shade too classy for her rivals. Grimson will also provide the main threat to his star mare, with THE STUNNING NUN (7) also racing in the ‘peak of her powers’. After posting five wins from her previous seven starts, the 5yo daughter of Bettors Delight headed to AP on July 17 to contest the G1 Garrards Golden Girl. Drawing the inside of the back row, which resulted in a three-peg role, The Stunning Nun was safely held in posting a creditable 7.8m 5th to Jeradas Delight. Boasting five wins and a second from just six Menangle appearances, The Stunning Nun will give her stablemate plenty to think about, with Grimson booking master reinsman Luke McCarthy to handle the daughter of Bettors Delight. The reliable NEVER BEEN SAID (6) is coming off another solid effort when a 4.5m 2nd to Major Bob last week. The daughter of Well Said recorded a respectable 6.7m 2nd to Rocknroll Angel three starts ago, and while another competitive showing will be forthcoming, it is hard to see her turning the tables. Apart from Never Been Said, Jack Trainor will also have PLATINUM REVOLUTION (3) facing the starter. The Changeover mare will be confronted by a harder task, compared to recent encounters, but the good draw will at least give the 5yo the opportunity to stake a claim for role in the exotics. UROC SKINNY JEANS (4) appeared to have every chance last week when a gritty 8.2m 5th behind Major Bob. Prior to that unplaced effort the Mach Three 4yo had been involved in a top three role on eight-straight occasions, five of them as a winner. When forming multiple combinations Uroc Skinny Jeans must be included.
ROCKNROLL ANGEL 1, The Stunning Nun 2, Platinum Revolution 3, Uroc Skinny Jeans 4.
MAJESTIC CRUISER (9) continues to thrive under the care of Jason Grimson, with the former Victorian looking to stretch his winning sequence to four, and five wins from just six starts since making the move north of the border. The son of Art Major has posted his past two wins in G3 events, the first accounting for Pocket Of Terror and Golden Year, prior to again defeating Pocket Of Terror while stablemate Hidden Courage claimed third spot on this occasion. The outside gate awaits the 6yo, but that won’t be a major issue as Majestic Cruiser has been settling back in the back before launching his claim once heads are turned for home. With only eight rivals, the wide-open spaces of the Menangle straight will again see Majestic Cruiser finish brilliantly. Cam Hart will again partner Majestic Cruiser, with the pair looking to looking to maintain their unblemished record after combining for a hat-trick of winning displays. As per usual, POCKET OF TERROR (8) may have to play ‘second fiddle’ to Majestic Cruiser. Prepared by Jack Trainor the 6yo son of Western Terror hasn’t shirked his task in each of his past two displays, the latter when beaten by the head margin. Pocket Of Terror has been in the mix in each of his past five starts since accounting for Ignatius and Max Delight two months ago so expect another strong showing. MALCOMS RHYTHM (7) has finished fourth to Majestic Cruiser on two occasions, with a gallant 2nd to stablemate Max Delight sandwiched between those two runs. The Art Major entire did a power of work outside of the leader last week when beaten 3.5m by Majestic Cruiser. Although it is hard to see him turning the tables, Malcolms Rhythm will again be in the mix from the outset as he makes a bold play for a role in the top three placings. An interesting new face to the local scene is BONCEL BENJAMIN (4), with the Victorian drawing handily in four for his maiden voyage around the Menangle circuit. Prepared by Steven Duffy, the 6yo son of Grimfromeartoear has been mixing his recent form back home, with his latest effort being a tiring 20.5m last to Western Sonador at Geelong last week. Left facing the breeze and racing keenly in that role, Boncel Benjamin was under pressure on the home turn. Handily drawn, Boncel Benjamin is capable of giving plenty of cheek, especially if he finds the top. Expect a better effort from BRIGHT ENERGY (6) following a disappointing 12m 9th to Majestic Cruiser last week. That was his first run returning from a mixed Queensland campaign, which culminated in an unlucky 2.2m 4th to Alta Orlando at AP on July 31.
MAJESTIC CRUISER 1, Pocket Of Terror 2, Malcolms Rhythm 3, Boncel Benjamin 4.
Former Kiwi ONE MAJIC KENNY (8) steps out for his first assignment since joining the astute Blake Fitzpatrick stable. Boasting a fine record back home, One Majic Kenny will be confronted by a 20m hcp, however, the talented 4yo has a collected five of his seven wins from behind the tapes, with a further four minors also coming his way from 19 assignments. The Majestic Son gelding has been off the scene since scoring a Cambridge on June 6, but a recent 52m trial win at Headquarters has him ready to open his account for Blake on a winning note. To be fair he did have just the one rival in that trial, but his work was spot-on and this looks an ideal challenge. CHAMPAGNE PRINCE (7) was a surprise stand winner three starts when he charged home in defeating Major Thomas and Monaro Mia. The 8yo has been well-beaten in each of his past two mobile starts, but the return to the tapes could assist Champagne Prince in producing a far more competitive showing. INDEFENSIBLE (3) strikes a harder task, compared to recent encounters, the latest resulting in a solid 2nd to Lord Lohki on Tuesday. A consistent type under these conditions, Indefensible will enjoy the move to the front line, compared to the 10m hcp he accounted during the week. LORD LOHKI (4) did everything right from the moment the tapes were released in finding both the lead and the winning post. The Troy Williams-trained 8yo, like Indefensible, will appreciate the front line in this stronger event. AGENT MAORI (2) and KYVALLEY BOOMERANG (1) are seasoned performers when it comes to the stand so include the pair when it comes to forming multiple transactions. SEKKIE MONKEY (5) has been ‘hit and miss’ in most of her recent outings, but the mare’s best efforts have been when the tapes come into play. If, Sekkie Monkey is ‘switched-on’ from the outset, then she is capable of filling an exotic role.
ONE MAJIC KENNY 1, Champagne Prince 2, Indefensible 3, Lord Lohki 4.
SHANLOU (4) will be looking to make it back-to-back Menangle wins in the space of five days and with a suitable challenge on the table, the former Kiwi filly looks primed to achieve such a result. A member of the in-form Darren Binskin team, the daughter of Sweet Lou has won two of her three starts on this side of the Tasman, with a solid 9m 3rd to The Raconteur splitting those two displays. Enjoying a kind three peg role on Tuesday, Shanlou finished strongly in defeating Hy Voltage and Just Dessy. DJ will again be keen to secure a suitable ‘stalking’ role with Shanlou, which will then allow the filly to power past her rivals over the final stages. The Cameron Ross stable has also been enjoying a good run of late and it will come as no surprise if CHERISHTHEMEMORIES (3) adds her name to the growing list of winners from that particular mentor. The Sportswriter filly worked home stoutly in recording a gritty 2.6m 2nd to Zanadu last time out and with gate three being a suitable starting position, the 3yo looks certain to secure a suitable run from the outset. With only six rivals drawn to her inside, DIVINE DIVA (7) won’t find the outside to be a major issue. Runner-up to Uroc Skinny Jeans two starts ago, the mare was never a serious player in finishing a 9.2m 6th behind Zanadu. The chance to face in a more forward role will assist Divine Diva so don’t ignore her as a threat. Expect a better showing from MUSTANG MILLY (5) after the mare posted a tiring 9th to Miss Mach a week ago while stablemates YUKO (6) and OH DADDY (2) remain in the multiple mix.
SHANLOU 1, Cherishthememories 2, Divine Diva 3, Oh Daddy 4.
- MICK KO’CASS