September 28, 2023 Michael Court
Returning to a suitable assignment, following his disappointing appearance in the $2m Eureka at Menangle on September 2, RIPP (8) is worthy of another chance. Prepared by Bernie Hewitt and to be driven by his son Doug, the classy son of Somebeachsomewhere was trapped wide through the opening stages of the 2400m challenge, prior to dropping back to a rearward role. When the judge called a halt to the world’s richest harness racing event, Ripp finished at the rear of the field, beaten 39.9m by Encipher. However, before that failure the 4yo had been performing soundly, tracking nicely towards the Eureka. Freshened, Ripp has drawn deep but will at least come in a slot if the reserve isn’t required. That should be enough to see Doug placing Ripp in a forward role, ready to make his presence felt when the tension builds. Looming as the one to beat is LIGHTNING DAN (3) which will be having his first outing since a 15.2m 5th behind Heaven On High at Menangle on June 3. The talented Jason Grimson-trained 4yo son of Captaintreacherous had earlier finished runner-up to My Ultimate Ronnie in both a heat and Final of the 4YO Bullion E&G’s series back in April. With the benefit of a goo draw and two trials, Lightning Dan should be ready to strike. ANNA LOVE (1) strips fitter for a pleasing return to racing, which resulted in a 6m 5th to Theresa Love at Headquarters a couple of weeks ago. Ideally drawn and boasting the talent to be a threat, the Brad Hewitt-trained 4yo daughter of Terror To Love should be kept safe. Whether Brad drives the mare is questionable at this stage after he was involved in fall at Eugowra on Sunday. STINGRAY TARA (11) has drawn the outside gate and while that is a hurdle, the 7yo has been coming from rearward roles on a regular basis. Last time out the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained son of Bettors Delight worked home soundly posting a 9.2m 6th to Dangerzone. Jack Brown, who has had successful with Stingray Tara, will occupy the driver’s seat. JOE NIEN (7) has been competitive of late and another bold showing from the Leon Jurd-prepared 8yo is a distinct possibility while BUBBA SCRUB (9), SURFERS DELIGHT (5) and DEFIANT (2), despite being below his best recently, warrant exotic consideration.
RIPP 1, Lightning Dan 2, Anna Love 3, Stingray Tara 4.
Comeback mentor Mark Rolfe enjoyed his first metropolitan success for some time when DON LOU (10) greeted the judge at Menangle last week. The pair, along with driver Chris Geary, who timed his run to perfection, warrant further attention, despite the presence of the outside gate. Contesting his second race since joining Mark, and February 26 when successful at Horsham when still und the care of Emma Stewart, the talented 4yo son of Sweet Lou hit the line with intent, narrowly accounting for Saginaw, which flashed a long the pegs late, and Bollinger in a thrilling three-way finish. Don Lou will strip fitter for two runs and he will certainly take confidence out of that run. JANARTY (2) was shooting for a hat-trick of wins when a brave half-head 2nd to Our Cosmic Major in the Carousel Final last week. With Cam Hart dictating the terms to perfection, the 7yo Art Major gelding was beaten in the last stride when the winner burst through a gap over the final stages. Back to the mile trip, Janarty will again be seen to advantage from the outset in proving hard to beat. SAGINAW (8) drew two last week when he powered home from a four peg role in failing by a narrow margin to secure a win over Don Lou. The Seaton Grima trained and driven son of Well Said has drawn deeper for this assignment, however, his recent form is hard to fault so don’t ignore his prospects of going one better. LOCHIEL (5) recorded a deserving win when he finished strongly in defeating Hezashadowplaya and Im In Trouble last week, and although a slightly harder task awaits, the Leon Jurd-conditioned 6yo is capable of again being active in the finish. When forming multiple transactions, ALTA BILLY (6) is worthy of including as the 5yo continues to be in the mix while VULUNTEER (1) had been racing well before his 17.7m 9th to Our Cosmic Major, with gate one set to assist Jack Trainor in giving the 4yo a kind run from the outset. RYANS GANGSTER (7) and MICKEY OH (9) are capable of far better efforts, compared to finishing at the rear of the field in their respective events a week ago.
DON LOU 1, Janarty 2, Saginaw 3, Lochiel 4.
With the entire field showing ‘shyness’ when it comes to having their photo taken with the judge, MAJOR JELLIS (7) is the one worthy of an investment, due to dropping back to a suitable assignment. Recently, the Belinda McCarthy-trained son of Art Major has been involved in races won by Mach Da Vinci (twice), Hi Manameisjeff and Kanena Provlima, respectively, and he hasn’t been disgraced on most occasions. The 6yo worked home stoutly when beaten 7.5m into fourth placing behind Kanena Provlima, and a similar showing in this field would surely result in Major Jellis playing a major role in the finish. There are numerous contender for the top spot, with the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned ROMANEE (3) being one of them. The son of Bettors Delight has been mixing his form of late, but his recent effort was a pleasing effort in finishing a 3.5m 4th to Star Major a week ago. The 5yo has again drawn well and that should result in a suitable role coming his way. That being the case, Romanee should be a definite contender for the top spot. PITCH PERFECT (2) has been thereabouts on a number of occasions of late, including his latest effort a week ago at this venue. Dictating the terms, the 7yo was run down in the final bound by Black Onyx, which managed to stalk him the entire trip. With another good being a plus, Pitch Perfect will again be in the mix from the outset. Veteran performer DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (6) is coming off a solid 2.3m 3rd behind Star Major a week ago, and he is more than capable of again being in the mix when the race comes to an end. CHEVRON ART (8) came from a six peg role when a 1.5m 4th in the race won by Black Onyx, with the son of Art Major worthy of consideration. Recent efforts have been sound enough to be a threat, with the 5yo at least a suitable exotic runner. Others to consider are IZAHA (9) and TOTAL DIVA (10), both looking to overcome wide draws if they are to be in the finish.
MAJOR JELLIS 1, Romanee 2, Pitch Perfect 3, Double Encounter 4.
Former Kiwi DOUBLE DOWN (1) will create plenty of interest as she steps out for her first assignment since crossing the Tasman. Now under the care of Jason Grimson, the Art Major mare has contested eight races, resulting in two wins and four placings. Double Down left NZ with a win at Addington next to her name on September 1, overcoming a back row draw in defeating Judgement Day and Prima Donna. In fact, Double Down has been a regular fixture when it comes to drawing the second line so the move to gate one will be a strange situation for the mare. Jack Trainor will launch a strong three-pronged attack on the race, with STELLAR ARDEN (6), ARDENS DELIGHT (8) and THERESA LOVE (9) facing the starter. Jack has elected to take the reins behind THERESA LOVE (9) and that should be a good guide to her prospects. The daughter of Terror To Love has won three of her past four and she will be looking to complete a hat-trick of wins, following strong displays, the latter when she raced without cover in defeating Stellar Arden and Whats Your Secret at this venue two weeks ago. ARDENS DELIGHT (8), who will be driven by Jack Brown, will also be looking to stretch her winning sequence to three. The 5yo Bettors Delight mare had the same gate when she worked in proving too good for Polka Delight and Baker Creek at Newcastle a week ago, which came on the back of a clever front-running drive by Brown when the pair were successful at Penrith. James Locke has been booked to drive STELLAR ARDEN (6) which has been competing at a consistent level for some time. From her past eight starts the mare has collected four wins and three placings, with a gritty 8.2m 4th to Little Bliss also included in the mix. All three of Jack’s runners will be making things difficult for Double Down. NO WIN NO WORRIES (7) arrived from Victoria with solid form, but performed moderately when having her first run for Sofia Arvidsson. Drawing wide and competing from a rearward role, the 5yo daughter of A Rocknroll Dance posted a disappointing 46.4m last behind Uncle Jay. There is no doubt that No Win No Worries is capable of being in the mix on her form south of the border so don’t dismiss her when it comes to forming multiple transactions.
DOUBLE DOWN 1, Theresa Love 2, Ardens Delight 3, Stellar Arden 4.
The running of the Club Menangle Celebrates 70 years of racing at Menangle has attracted an intriguing field. Classy 4yo MY ULTIMATE RONNIE (7) contested the inaugural running of the $2m Eureka at Menangle on September 2, and wasn’t disgraced by his 16.7m 6th to Encipher. The Jarrod Alchin stable star then faced the starter for the Sutton McMillan FFA a couple of weeks later and he caught the eye with a strong finishing 2m 3rd behind Spirit Of St Louis and Star Major, which has won since. Coming from a four peg role the son of Bettors Delight indicated that taking on the ‘big boys’ wasn’t going to be a hurdle and that will again be the case. Drawing one spot wider for this assignment, Cam Hart will likely look for a suitable midfield role, especially as there is speed drawn to his inside. LOYALIST (1) has drawn ideally for trainer Joe Conolly and driver Seaton Grima. The 6yo has been off the scene since a 2.8m 3rd to Mach Shard and Nerano over 2680m at AP on July 22. Four starts back and the son of Bettors Delight accounted for Betterzippit and Make Mine Memphis in the Redcliffe Gold Cup. With the benefit of a stylish trial win, Loyalist looks poised for a bold showing on his return. Also resuming is the Jason Grimson-conditioned FIRE FOX (4), which will be looking to bounce back strongly following just one placing from his past five starts. In fairness to the son of Sweet Lou, he was competing in quality fields, with the winners including Betterzippit, Bondi Lockdown, Expensive Ego and more recently, South Coast Arden. And the 6yo wasn’t disgraced in the process. With a solid trial behind him, Fire Fox is more than capable of making a bold bid for victory. Despite drawing the outside gate, ZEUSS BROMAC (10) can’t be overlooked as a threat. Runner-up in two of his five starts since a spell, the 6yo hasn’t had a great deal go his way in the process. Last time out the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned son of Bettors Delight worked in finding the role outside of the leader, prior to finishing a gritty 3.5m 2nd behind Kanena Provlima. Zeuss Bromac hasn’t greeted the judge since winning the Newcastle Cup back in early February, but rarely is the entire not competitive so don’t ignore his claims. KANENA PROVLIMA (5) was unable to make his presence felt when a 27.3m 8th to Himanameisjeff, but then again the same could be said for the balance of the field, as the winner gave nothing else a chance. Prior to that run and the 7yo had been racing in superb touch, recording a deserving win over Zeuss Bromac and Abouttime just two starts ago. CASH N FLOW (8) has been unplaced in his past three, but the veteran is always capable of giving plenty of cheek, while TAIPO (3) is bound to make his presence felt from his good draw. The Brad Hewitt-trained 6yo strips fitter following two runs from a Queensland campaign, the latter resulting in a closing 3.9m 4th to Spirit Of St Louis. Expect the Goulburn visitor to be a serious threat.
MY ULTIMATE RONNIE 1, Loyalist 2, Fire Fox 3, Zeuss Bromac 4.
Resuming from a break, the Jarrod Alchin-trained DOFF YOUR CAP (9) is poised to return on a winning note. Placed in his past four starts, the latest when a 4.6m 2nd behind Majestic Trio in theG1 Queensland Trotters Cup at AP on July 22, the classy son of Peak DNK has been primed for a strong showing, courtesy of two solid trial wins at Headquarters. The 7yo will take his place behind the 10m strand, and with a stand recording consisting of six wins and 10 placings from 45 attempts, Doff Your Cap will have little trouble making his presence felt. FUNKY MONKEY (12) will face the starter from behind the 20m tape, but with solid form under these conditions, the daughter of Monkey Bones will again command plenty of respect. From her past nine starts the mare is yet to miss a place, with five of those engagements resulting in a trip to the winners’ circle. The mare is coming off a 9.4m 2nd behind a special talent in London To A Brick a couple of weeks ago, with that race conducted under mobile conditions. MAJESTIC TRIO (11) will launch her claims from the 10m hcp, which shouldn’t be a major concern for this talented daughter of Majestic Son. After defeating Funky Monkey and Doff Your Cap in a mobile event at Menangle, Majestic Trio then headed to AP where she added the G1 Queensland Trotters Cup to her list of credits. Back home and first-up from a two month break, Majestic Trio worked to the line nicely in posting an 11m 3rd behind London To A Brick and Funky Monkey. With the benefit of that run the mare will be a serious threat. Trainer-driver Brad Hewitt suffered a concussion in a fall at Eugowra and will be required to past the necessary tests before taking the reins. The consistent REGAL ATTIRE (10), which is a stablemate of Doff Your Cap, is always capable of bobbing up, with the consistent son of Muscle Hill boasting solid stats under these conditions.
CONSTANTINOPLE (4) has won four from four since joining the Belinda McCarthy stable, but this will be his toughest test since leaving Victoria and heading north. However, he has a consistent stand record and must be treated with respect, especially from his front line draw. When sorting out exotic investments, ROYAL GLENFERRIE (7) is always a useful addition while HAVE NO FEAR (3) and TORO STRIDE (1) are also in the mix in that regard.
DOFF YOUR CAP 1, Funky Monkey 2, Majestic Trio 3, Regal Attire 4.
Formerly under the care of owner Charlie Pollicina, talented 6yo UNFAZED (5) will step out for his initial assignment since joining the stables of Paul Fitzpatrick. The son of Auckland Reactor has been off the scene since March 24, when he finished a 12.2m 7th behind Emmas Boy at Menangle. Following a run of consistent displays, which included six wins, Unfazed ended his previous campaign with eight unplaced efforts. Two solid trials, the latter resulting in a 3rd behind Loyalist and Fire Fox in a 1:52.7 hit-out, the final 400m in 26.6, has Unfazed ready to produce a far more competitive showing, making him a suitable investment in this field. Also trialling well is the Seaton Grima trained and driven SOHO SINATRA (1), which will be having his first run for the in-form Llandilo stable. Spelled after finishing a moderate 24.6m last to Jalaneel at this venue back in late July, the 6yo posted a solid win in the same trial as Unfazed. The pole position is a plus for Soho Sinatra so respect his claims. Ideal situation in backing one and saving on the other. Or stand both out in the multiples. IM IN TROUBLE (3) is also prepared by Seaton, but this fellow has been in trouble on a regular basis of late, sometime due to his own manners, or lack thereof. However, his latest run resulted in a pleasing 2m 3rd to Lochiel a week ago. Jack Trainor, who previously trained the 4yo son of Art Major, will take the reins and is quietly confident that Im In Trouble will give a good account. FREDDY SINGH (7) resumed from a spell with a solid finishing 1.8m 2nd to One For Rodi here last week. Fitter for that outing, the Rickie Alchin trained and driven 5yo son of Hes Watching is worth watching as a potential threat. ARDENS ACE (6) worked home stoutly in the same race as Freddy Singh, which resulted in a 3m fourth. The Art Major 5yo has performed well in each of his past two and another showing should be forthcoming. As always, RED REACTOR (9) is a suitable player when it comes to forming multiple investment while ALLSTARZZZ FRANKIE (10) has been around the mark on a regular basis, so despite the outside gate, keep the 4yo in the multiple mix.
UNFAZED 1, Soho Sinatra 2, Im In Trouble 3, Freddy Singh 4.
Talented mare IDEAL IN DREAMS (6) will resume from a spell, but his time under the astute care of David Thorn. Formerly with David Druitt, then Jack Trainor, who has won three from five when in the sulky, before Cam Ross enjoyed a wonderful run of success with the daughter of Warrawee Needy, prior to his departure to West Australia. Recently, Adam Ruggari was in charge of her training routine, with the combining for just a couple of placings from six starts. The mare has been off the scene since finishing an 18.5m 8th to Black Onyx at Headquarters back on June 17. However, two sound trials would appear to have the 4yo ready to give a good account. If, she was anywhere near her best, this would be an ideal assignment. At this stage, Ideal in Dreams is worth the gamble. SOHO RHAPSODY (9) has drawn wide but does have race fitness on her side. The talented Rickie Alchin-trained daughter of American Ideal contested heat and semi-final of the Vicbred series for 4YO Mares, finishing a metre 2nd to Major Grace before recording a 37.4m 9th to Amore Vita, respectively. The mare didn’t have much go her way when from a back row draw, she was out three wide for the trip home in finishing a creditable 10.9m 9th behind Nonparreil at Bendigo in the Silver consolation. Back home and with James Locke booked to handle the driving duties, Soho Rhapsody is bound to make her presence felt. WHATS YOUR SECRET (8) has hit the line well in each of her past two, the latter resulting in a 3.4m 5th to Lochiel a week ago. The mare has drawn wide, however, that will likely suit her style in being saved for one run. CONSTANTINA (7) has been consistent of late and while the daughter of Pet Rock hasn’t been able to greet the judge, the 6yo does play a role in the exotic on a regular basis. JUST AS WELL (5) has been mixing her form but stays in the mix as an exotic runners, with SWEET PARIS (1) and SPLASH OF CRIMSON (4) also capable of being in the mix when the judge calls a halt.
IDEAL IN DREAMS 1, Soho Rhapsody 2, What Your Secret 3, Constantina 4.