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    Finding you a winner at Club Menangle Saturday night Finding you a winner at Club Menangle Saturday night


    RACE ONE: Following a comfortable all-the-way win a week ago, TEAGAN BANNER (3), courtesy of another good draw and a lift in fitness, again... Finding you a winner at Club Menangle Saturday night


    Following a comfortable all-the-way win a week ago, TEAGAN BANNER (3), courtesy of another good draw and a lift in fitness, again looks the one to beat. The 8yo was having his first run in six weeks when he led in defeating Ardens Ace and Emmas Boy, courtesy of an astute drive by Cam Hart. The Jason Grimson-trained son of Art Major has had five starts for the stable since making the switch from Queensland, with two wins and three placings, and although this will be a slightly harder test, Teagan Banner will have options due to gate two of either holding the pegs or taking a stalking role. Either way, the Grimson, Hart and Teagan Banner combination appear hard to beat once again. DOUBLE ACT (5), who accounted for Teagan Banner four starts back, looms as the main threat. The Harry Martin-trained 5yo, apart for a 14m 7th to the classy Cantfindabettorman two starts ago, has been in fine form in recent months. At Headquarters a week ago, the son of Heston Blue Chip drew the outside gate in posting a solid finishing 1.6m 2nd to Romanee. With the benefit of a far better draw, Double Act will have the chance to make his presence felt from the outset. PUMP THE BRAKES (6) also contested the race won by Romanee in producing a typical honest effort. From a three peg role the Sean Grayling trained and driven 9yo hit the line with intent, resulting in a 5.5m seventh. Expect another competitive effort, which makes Pump The Brakes a potential threat, but also an ideal exotic runner. Another consistent type is WOW HES A ROCK STAR (10), and although confronted by a tricky draw, the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven 5yo remains in the mix when it comes to the exotics. TUPPENCE (4) and CHEVRON ART (8) hit the line as one a week ago, and in this harder contest the pair should be included in multiple transactions, with consideration also given to MAJOR JELLIS (11) who is dropping back in grade following a 16m 8th to his star stablemate Expensive Ego. The Art Major 6yo has been unplaced since scoring here five starts ago, but a better showing wouldn’t come as a surprise, despite drawing the outside marble.

    TEAGAN BANNER 1, Double Act 2, Pump The Brakes 3, Wow Hes A Rock Star 4.


    Despite a slight setback, following his 8.2m 7th to Port Au Prince in the Renshaw Cup at Penrith a month ago, HEAVEN ON HIGH (5) is entitled to top billing. Following a run of three wins and eight placings, the David Thorn-trained son of Rock N Roll Heaven missed out last time, but his previous record for the astute Menangle mentor is hard to fault, with all three wins recorded on his home track. Gate five is a suitable starting position and with Jack Trainor jumping back into the sulky, Heaven On High will take a power of beating. HERECOMESSASSY (2) went around on Tuesday and had every chance in the lead role when a 1.9m 3rd to Freddy Singh and My Ultimate Chevron. Prior to that outing the mare posted wins at Penrith and Menangle, respectively, and with gate two a plus, the  daughter of Bettors Delight is certainly worthy of further consideration. EMMAS BOY (1) came from a four peg role a week ago in finishing a sound 7.5m 3rd to Teagan Banner. Ideally drawn in one, the Brad Hewitt trained and driven daughter of Terror To Love is again capable of playing a role in the finish. SMOOTH OVERARM (6) followed back-to-back Bathurst wins with a creditable 7m 4th to Saint Emilion at Blayney a couple  of weeks ago. Although the son of Changeover has just win to show for his 19 engagements at this venue, the 8yo is always a handy type to include in exotic combinations. ROCKET BOY (7) won in fine fashion three starts ago, and he is capable of again looming as a threat while ARDENS ACE (8) is racing consistently and also has claims in the multiples.

    HEAVEN ON HIGH 1, Herecomessassy 2, Emmas Boy 3, Smooth Overarm 4.


    On joining the Jason Grimson team, SWAYZEE (3) made an immediate impact, following six unplaced efforts to open his latest term of racing while under the care of Tim Butt in Queensland. Finishing a well-beaten last to Our Action Man at Redcliffe on April 6, Swayzee stepped out at Bathurst on May 10 and had little trouble accounting for his rivals. Dictating the terms, Swayzee had a margin of 28.7m to spare over Ballerini and One Two Many, the 5yo appeared to have something in hand if Cam Hart wanted to extend the margin. This will be a tougher test for Swayzee, but he will strip fitter and the draw is also ideal. Also, when previously prepared here, the gelding won two of his three assignments while filling a minor place. SEND IT (6) is on the verge of a winning display following three placings and an unlucky fourth from his past four starts. The Brad Hewitt trained and driven son of Western Terror worked home stoutly when a 3m 3rd to Wow Hes a Rock Star a couple of week ago and this assignment isn’t out of his reach. SOHO SINATRA (4) has had two runs since a spell, both for new conditioner Joe Conolly, had he has performed stoutly on each occasion. Resuming with a gritty 2.6m 3rd to Pump The Brakes and Tinder Surprise at Penrith, the son of Betterthancheddar enjoyed a kind run behind the leader when a 5.3m 6th to Romanee a week ago. Handily drawn, Soho Sinatra will again be in the mix from the outset. Spelled back in November/2021, the James Rattray trained and driven, lightly-raced 7yo, has now had the benefit of four runs back, and is capable of running a cheeky race. When forming exotic transaction and, despite drawing the outside gate, DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (10) should be included as the 210-start veteran continues to be thereabouts on a regular basis, which was the case a week ago when he worked in recording a creditable 6.8m 6th to Tuppence and Chevron Art. Both DOUBTLESS BAY (9) and ALWAYS ROCKIN (2) also warrant more than a passing thought.

    SWAYZEE 1, Send It 2, Soho Sinatra 3, Double Encounter 4.


    The Brian Portelli trained and driven SMALTESE (7) has been competitive since resuming from a lengthy spell, but has greeted the judge since scoring a Newcastle this time last year. And that was his only win when last in training. The 4yo son of Sweet Lou has had his issues, but recent efforts would suggest that a winning display was just around the corner. There has been merit in his past three runs, and with six outings since his lay-off, Smaltese strikes a suitable contest in what looks to be an open race. Runner-up to the classy Ripp in a heat of the APG Gold Bullion, then a 20.2m 4th to My Ultimate Ronnie in the Final, Smaltese then recorded a creditable 11.7m 4th to Muscle Bart. That form should be good enough to see Smaltese play a pro-active role in the finish. The outside gate will await SUGAR FOR MY HONEY (12), one of three runners trainer Rickie Alchin has in the race, the other two being FREDDY SINGH (8) and COME SAY HI (5), the pair also being in the mix. SUGAR FOR MY HONEY a productive 3yo career, but commenced her latest term with a safely-held last to Bridwood Bella on April 22. Sent out favourite for a heat of this consolation event a couple of weeks ago, the Roll With Joe mare led and had every chance when a fading 9.4m 4th to Parked In Heaven. Extra fitness will be a bonus and that will assist in off-setting the draw, and there is no doubting her talent, so a better showing is on the cards. UNCLE JAY (6) is coming off a slid 7m 3rd to Im Presi Belle and Tin Tin Jo in the Canberra Cup last Sunday. The 11yo did strike some trouble nearing the home turn, and the veteran did hit the line well when balanced by Sofia Arvidsson. The son of Art Major has been racing consistently of late and he is in this with a definite winning chance. POPS BOY (10) hasn’t greeted the judge since last August, but a recent run of creditable displays keeps him in the mix. To launch his claim from the back row, which applies in this series, the 5yo is coming off a 15m 5th to Gordons Bay in his heat when he was always prominent. Trainer Alistair Copps has again booked Cam Hart and, that is always a plus. Exotic investors should also include PRINCE OF PEACE (1), THE POOBAH (2), JALANEEL (3) and FREDDY SINGH (8).

    SMALTESE 1, Sugar For My Honey 2, Uncle Jay 3, Pops Boy 4.


    Quality 4yo MUSCLE BART (9), despite drawing trickily on the inside of the back row, which applies for the Metropolitan Regional Championship Final, is entitled to be regarded as the one to beat. Prepared by Belinda McCarthy the son of Shadow Play hits peak fitness following three runs back, two resulting in wins. Sandwiched between those trips to the winners’ circle is a 16m 6th to Heza Son Of Agun in the G3 Paleface Adios on Feb 11, a qualifying race for the prestigious Chariots of Fire. Freshened following that challenging assignment, Muscle Bart led from start to finish in defeating Joe The Bookie and Gee Ef Cee. Although he wasn’t convincing in greeting the judge, as Luke rated him to perfection in the lead role, there is no doubt that Muscle Bart will derive benefit from the outing. Luke will be confronted by an interesting decision when the green light is activated, whether to pursue a peg role or ease and leave the pegs as soon as possible. The latter appears to be the most likely plan of attack. After becoming a father for the first time a couple of weeks ago, trainer-driver James Rattray will be looking to greet the judge in honour of his daughter by taking out the major share of the prizemoney with the talented GORDONS BAY (8). Always highly-regarded by the stable, Gordons Bay had little trouble dictating the terms of his heat win over Twentyeightblack and Dance And Deliver, with the son of Captaintreacherous having 9.5m to spare over his nearest rival. With one of the two reserves drawn to his inside, Gordons Bay will launch his claim from seven, and no doubt, James will be keen to set the tempo once again. Such a role will result in the Exeter duo proving hard to run down once again. The Alex Alchin-conditioned mare PATSY VALENTINE (4) returned to racing on a winning note, scoring at Newcastle by 12 metres. In five runs since the consistent American Ideal mare has finished runner-up in four of those outings, the latest when beaten in the last stride by the long-shot, Timely Sovereign in her heat. Drawing suitably, Patsy Valentine will have the chance to be in the mix from the outset. SOHO RHAPSODY (12) will need to be at her best after drawing the outside of the second line, but the mare does have the talent to make her presence felt. Placed in two of her three runs since a spell, the daughter of American Ideal was posted outside of the leader in her heat, which resulted in a gritty head 3rd to Timely Sovereign and Patsy Valentine. With luck in running, Soho Rhapsody is capable of waltzing home to victory. Exotic combinations should include the consistent ED MENDES (11), JOE THE BOOKIE (6), PARKED IN HEAVEN (1) and TWENTYEIGHTBLACK (7), which started a $151.00 chance in his heat, with a fast-finishing 9.5m 2nd to Gordons Bay coming his way.

    MUSCLE BART 1, Gordons Bay 2, Patsy Valentine 3, Soho Rhapsody 4.


    The clash of two of the ‘heavy-weights’ in EXPENSIVE GO (8) and MAJESTIC CRUISE (6) will highlight the card. With the benefit of one run since a break, the Belinda McCarthy-trained EXPENSIVE EGO has a slight edge on the Jason Grimson-prepared son of Art Major, however, two solid trials will have the 8yo ready for the 2300m challenge. Following a ‘luckless’ campaign, mainly south of the border, Expensive Ego contested the Miracle Mile back on March 4, as one of the outsiders, which is rare for this exciting son of Rock N Roll Heaven. Drawing wide and working, the best he could manage was a 15.6m 6th to Catch A Wave. Back in action last week, Expensive Ego had little trouble taking full advantage of his good draw, and as a result, the 6yo was able to post the 25th win of his career in boasting a 52% winning strike rate. The wider draw shouldn’t be a major concern as Luke is bound to set his sights on dictating the terms. It will be up to Cam Hart and Majestic Cruiser to apply the pressure as there doesn’t appear to be another combination who would be prepared to take up that role. Despite the longer trip, the prospect of a cheap quarter or two, will result in Expensive Ego proving hard to run. MAJESTIC CRUISER had been plagued by second row draws in all of his major assignments before heading to the paddock. All three heats of the Inter Dominion, which played a vital role in the son of Art Major missing the final, then in the Shepparton Cup and finally, the Ballarat Cup, the latter resulting in an 18m 9th to Copy That. Both his trials have been solid, winning the first before a comfortable 4th to the classy ex-Kiwi South Coast Arden, who is now under the care of Paul Fitzpatrick. And, both trials were completed in 1:52.8. The opportunity to leave the machine from gate six is a plus for Majestic Cruiser and with the Grimson-Hart combination winning races at will, this will be an intriguing clash between two smart horses and a couple of classy drivers. As per usual, ALTA ORLANDO (9) won’t be far away when the judge calls a halt to proceedings. Runner-up in four of his past five, the 11yo is deserving of a successful trip, but he may have to wait for another night. Prominent from the outset last week, Alta Orlando tried hard when a 4.4m 2nd to his star stablemate Expensive Ego. An ideal runner for the multiples, Alta Orlando, along with STINGRAY TARA (4), ONE TWO MANY (2) and MACH SHARD (7) will attempt to fill the remaining two roles on offer for the exotics.

    EXPENSIVE EGO 1, Majestic Cruiser 2, Alta Orlando 3, Stingray Tara 4.


    This race should be decided by the ‘brothers Alchin’ with Rickie appearing to have the edge over Jarrod, courtesy of ESCAPE THE PACE (4), although REGAL ATTIRE (3) is bound to keep him honest. Escape The Pace has had two assignments since crossing the Tasman, the former resulting in a well-beaten last the classy Queen Elida in the G1 Macarthur Mile on May 6, when the mare her chances away with a tardy beginner. However, back to her preferred stand-start conditions and the daughter of A Rocknroll Dance proved too good for   Rave On Hall and Regal Attire, with Rickie producing a stylish front-running drive. As was the case last week, Escape The Pace is now under his care, and although contesting a mobile event, Escape The Pace has drawn well and should be comfortable in her new surroundings. REGAL ATTIRE has two wins and a couple of placings to show for his past four trips to the races and with gate three a plus, the son of Muscle Hill is bound to be involved in the finish. Taking advantage of a clever drive by Cam Hart two starts ago, Regal Attire proved too good for his rivals, prior to coming off a 20m hcp last week when a gritty 7.9m 3rd to Escape The Pace.  Last week Regal Attire gave Escape The Pace a 20m head-start, but the pair meet on level terms this time around. Sofia Arvidsson has two runners, the classy mare ALDEBARAN TESS (6) and STRESS FACTOR (2), with the former being her drive while Amanda Turnbull will take the reins behind the latter. Aldebaran Tess won two-on-end in fine fashion before striking trouble when a well-beaten 9th to Queen Elida in the G1 Macarthur Mile a couple of weeks ago. The daughter of Muscle Hill is entitled to further attention, and it will come as no surprise to see the 6yo play a big role in the finish. The above-mentioned trip appear to be the major players. FUNKY MONKEY (9) has been safely held in her past couple, but the mare now strips in peak condition following four runs after a year off. The wide draw is a hurdle but don’t dismiss her as an exotic contender. STRESS FACTOR (2) has drawn well and also warrants involvement in multiple combinations. TRAVEL BUG (8) arrives from Victoria as the of two of his past three so don’t ignore the 7yo as an exotic chance while ON ADVICE (5) resumed with a last behind Regal Attire after breaking when coming into the contest. Fitter for that run, and a lot better than that run would suggest The 5yo also is capable of assisting exotic players.

    ESCAPE THE PACE 1, Regal Attire 2, Aldebaran Tess 3, Funky Monkey 4.


    An interesting mares’ race to end proceedings, and although first-up from a break and drawing wide, B K SWY (9) should prove hard to beat. The classy daughter of Big Jim has been off the scene since Feb 18 when a creditable 10.4m 6th to Tough tilly in the G3 Robin Dundee Stakes at Headquarters. Jack Trainor has decided to keep B K Swy fresh for her first assignment, with the mare going into the race without an official trial. However, that won’t be a major concern as the 6yo has performed strongly in the past when a similar pattern was adopted by Trainor. ANNA LOVE (3) will also be having her first start in seven weeks, but the Brad Hewitt trained and driven daughter of Terror To Love has had the benefit of a solid trial hit-out at Goulburn. The mare headed to the paddock following a solid win over Jo An Jo and Oh Daddy back on April 1. The draw is a big plus for Anna Love as she will be able to secure a suitable stalking role, if Brad decides to keep the lead role for another day. TOTAL DIVA (10) has again drawn out wide, but the Peter Hansen-trained 6yo, who is also a daughter of Terror To Love, won’t be far away when the race comes to an end. Placed in her previous three starts, prior to a grinding 7.6m 4th to Elektra a week ago, Total Diva is certainly due for a change of luck. Jack Trainor also has BRIDWOOD BELLA (4) engaged and the daughter of Auckland Reactor is his preferred drive. The 5yo scored here three runs back in fine style, courtesy of a skilful drive by Jack, prior to a 5.4m 6th to Herecomessassy, then a creditable 7.2m 3rd to Elektra last week. Drawing suitably, Bridwood Bella will again make her presence felt. When it comes to multiple investments, former Victorian POLLY PUT KETTLEON (8) can’t be ignored. The consistent daughter of Courage Under Fire is coming off a solid 1.2m 4th to Heavenly Charm at Melton back on April 1. Now under the care of Sofia Arvidsson, Polly Put Kettleon is capable of causing somewhat of a boilover result.

    B K SWY 1, Anna Love 2, Total Diva 3, Bridwood Bella 4.

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