May 28, 2021 National Trotguide
Although without a win since last September, SMOOTH BAHT (11) has the chance to give trainer Steve Turnbull and his daughter Amanda a reason to smile after what has been a tough and sad week for the family. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has been responsible for a quartet of pleasing efforts since a spell, all at Headquarters, the past two indicating he was close to greeting the judge. Two starts ago Smooth Baht drew wide and worked from the outset in posting a gritty 8.5m 3rd behind Send It, hit the line with intent from a four-peg role in recording a 7.6m 4th to Red Reactor, despite being baulked for a suitable run at a vital stage. The 4yo has drawn the outside gate and while that is a concern, that will be slightly off-set by the race is open and that Amanda is driving in great form, which will play a big role in the success of Smooth Baht. Despite being unplaced in his past three trips to the races, ALWAYS ROCKIN (5) makes plenty of appeal as a major contender. One of a number of chances on the card from the in-form Jason Grimson team, Always Rockin started favourite when runner-up to Check In and Loorrim Lake, respectively, prior to finishing just behind the placegetters in back-to-back races won by Bundoran. Then, just a week ago, the 7yo worked when a useful 7.6m 5th to Arden Messi. Handily drawn in five, Always Rockin should be in the mix from the outset and with Cam Hart returning from a stint on the sideline, the G1 winning reinsman will be keen to strike early. MAKE MINE MEMPHIS (8) is also coming off a couple of safely held, unplaced efforts, the latter when he had little luck in finishing a 12.3m 7th to Red Reactor a week ago, when he competed from a five-peg role. The 5yo had been racing with plenty of confidence prior to those runs and is more than capable of greeting the judge. When it comes to forming exotic investments JIMMY LOCKE (4) should be included, along with THE GENERAL (2) and last-start winner OUR MONEY ROCKS (1), which has drawn ideally in gate one, following his confidence-boosting win last week.
SMOOTH BAHT 1, Always Rockin 2, Make Mine Memphis 3, Jimmy Locke 4.
Jason Grimson and Cam Hart will again combine with a new addition to the stable in CHUBBY CHECKER (1) and with Jack Trainor heading to Melton on Saturday night to take the reins behind the brilliant David Thorn-trained filly Anntonia, the unbeaten 4yo will have a new partner. The former Kiwi has made a big impression since crossing the Tasman to join Trainor, with his undefeated record on this side of the ‘ditch’ about to be put to the test in this tougher assignment. Rested after his latest trip to the winner’s circle in the space of a month, Chubby Checker has drawn ideally in gate one and he certainly has the gate speed to hold the peg running, but over the 2300m, the will be a couple of opponents which are likely to apply pressure. However, it is hard to go past the exciting 4yo, with a Queensland winter carnival on the agenda at this stage. Drawn next to Chubby Checker is one of his main rivals in ROCKIN MARTY (2) which is bound to leave the machine with intent, either to make a play for the lead or race without cover. The latter was the case for the David Hewitt-trained 5yo two weeks ago when he fought on stoutly in recording a 3.3m 2nd to Arden Messi. On the subject of ARDEN MESSI (7), the Kevin Pizzuto-trained son of Bettors Delight went close to opening his latest term of racing with a hat-trick of wins, only to be thwarted by Red Reactor last week. Despite drawing the outside gate, Josh Gallagher managed to find the pegs with Arden Messi, and although a clever front-running drive followed, Arden Messi was unable to fend of the late surge of the winner. Arden Messi will appreciate drawing a few spots closer to the markers and that will give him the opportunity to make his presence felt from the outset. Outside of the main players, exotic investors should include MAXIMUS RED (3) and ELROY JETSON (5).
CHUBBY CHECKER 1, Rockin Marty 2, Arden Messi 3, Elroy Jetson 4.
Morisset mentor Mark Callaghan has HIDDEN DELIGHT (2) racing in the ‘peak of her powers’ following wins in three of her past four starts and providing the first reserve isn’t required, the mare will also face the starter from the prized pole position. Each of the mare’s four wins have been recorded back home, the latest when she came from a three-peg role in defeating Brydon Earl and Our Girl Harlow, courtesy of Jack Callaghan, threading the needle over the final 100m. Sandwiched in between those wins was a solid 6.5m 4th to La Bella Vita at Headquarters when, from a deep peg role, the 5yo worked to the line nicely. Hidden Delight has greeted the judge from various role of late, and is more than capable of dictating, but the role as a stalker is likely to be the plan, which will allow the long Menangle straight to assist Hidden Delight in greeting the judge. ROCKABELLA STARZ (7) has been mixing her form since leaving Victoria and joining the KerryAnn Morris team at Lucky Lodge. The 8yo managed to enjoy success when she scored at Penrith, but she had little luck at her most recent start at Newcastle. Striking trouble from her 2nd row draw, Rockabella Starz quickly made up the lost ground before Robert Morris elected to press on and find the lead. The mare was unable to maintain the effort in finishing a fading 10.7m 7th to Hidden Delight, however, with a return to a front row draw and her new adopted home track, Rockabella Starz is bound to play a far more active role in the finish. FAIRY TINKABELL (8) had been gradually on the improve since returning from a long spell, and joining Belinda McCarthy, when she scored here a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of a fine drive by Ashley Hart. The mare accounted for her far more fancied stable mate in Shadow Minister, and although this will be a slightly harder test, the daughter of Big Jim can’t be taken lightly, with Luke McCarthy taking over the driving duties. VINCENZINA (10) has been a notch or two below her best since a spell, collecting just two minor placings from her six starts. Another wide gate awaits the Ross Adams-trained mare but with her racing pattern of dropping out early and working home, the draw isn’t a major issue. With Ross on the sidelines, courtesy of the Stewards, Jake Bates will be handed the reins. When it comes to forming multiple transactions, MYRA DAWN (11) is worthy of attention, despite drawing the outside gate, while YOHA (5), VOODOO LOU (3) and CORBAUX (4) are all capable of being involved in the finish.
HIDDEN DELIGHT 1, Rockabella Starz 2, Fairy Delight 3, Vincenzina 4.
Noted ‘Menangle Miler’ CASH N FLOW (8) will be looking to wrap-up a hat-trick of wins over this course and distance and while the classy son of Mach Three is poised to achieve such a result, the gelding will be confronted by an intriguing assignment. Stepping out for his first engagement following a 14.5m 9th to King Of Swing in the G1 Schweppes Sprint, a qualifying race for the Miracle Mile, Cash N Flow accounted for Escalera and Mach Da Vinci, courtesy of enjoying the one-one. The 8yo then occupied his favourite role, that of dictator when he overcame the outside draw in taking out the Bill Green Bulli Cup over Rays Choice and Mister Brazil. As per usual, Cash N Flow was able to enjoy a few weeks off before being presented with his next challenge and with gate eight being a handy starting role, the role of pacemaker will again be prominent on Luke McCarthy’s ‘to do’ list. However, in gates six and seven, there is speed in THUNDER DANCE (6) and RAYS CHOICE (7) and that will make the opening 200m or so, interesting. RAYS CHOICE (7) has been a vastly improved performer in recent months, with a first-up win for Jason Grimson, followed by three solid placings, which includes a closing 2nd to Cash N Flow. The 8yo didn’t have a great deal go his way a week ago when a 9.7m 5th to Bundoran, despite enjoying a kind run behind the leader. Rays Choice and Thunder Dance have been successful in leading throughout or taking cover, so it will be interesting to see who ‘blinks first’. First to the pegs may be keen to take a sit on Cash N Flow. The prospect of a sizzling opening to the race will certainly play into the hands of the Jason Grimson-trained mare RUBIES FOR TASH (9), which has been in outstanding form since joining the team. Scoring first-up for the stable, Rubies For Tash has since finished runner-up to Miracle Mile runners in Alta Orlando and Ignatius, respectively, each time powering to the line from a rearward role. Going one better this time around isn’t out of her reach. ELLMERS IMAGE (3) hasn’t had a great deal of luck in each of his past three unplaced runs in similar events, the latest when he worked outside of the leader in recording a 13.8m 6th to Pocket Of Terror. The Renshaw Cup winner will appreciate the move into gate three and with the prospect of a kinder trip, Ellmers Image is capable of being involved in the finish. LOORRIM LAKE (10) is racing in superb form, and although a wide gate and a rise in grade awaits the talented 4yo, a role in the exotics isn’t beyond him. RAYS CHOICE (7) and MAKE MINE HEAVEN (2) also remain in the multiple mix.
CASH N FLOW 1, Rubies For Tash 2, Ellmers Image 3, Loorrim Lake 4.
Although confronted by a wide gate, RAGING SEA (10) is capable of breaking through for a deserving win after recording three-consecutive solid performances at this venue. The 4yo son of Western Terror commenced his recent run of sound efforts with a 10.8m 4th to Muscle Factory, when he drew wide and had little luck from a three pegs role. Raging Sea did have every chance when next produced, courtesy of dictating the terms in finishing a 4.7m 3rd to Ilikemebettor and Far Out Bro.
Then, just a week ago in the G1 TAB Regional Metropolitan Final, Raging Sea worked to the line in fine fashion, which resulted in a 7.8m 5th to Eye Can Run. A repeat of that body of work in this field would definitely result in Raging Sea playing a major role in the finish. KASH US BACK (1) has just three minor placings to show for 13 trips to Headquarters but gate one awaits the Gemma Hewitt-trained son of Changeover and that will be a big plus in this field. The 5yo is coming off a game 7.7m 3rd to his stablemate Keayang Kreuzer in the G1 Western Final of this series, and with options on the table from this draw, Kash Us Back is more than capable of giving Gemma further success. In the above-mentioned contest, CHASING THE WIND (3) was left exposed outside of the leader, which resulted in a fading 30.2m ninth. Prior to that outing the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven son of Fly Like An Eagle had been racing well and from his good draw, another bold showing can be expected. SMOOTH CASH (8) struck trouble and was never a factor when a 26m 8th to Keayang Kreuzer, but he remains in the multiple mix on the strength of his previous form while HARRY OVENS (2), BLACK HAWK JOE (6) and FAR OUT BRO (11) are all racing well enough to be included in exotic discussions.
RAGING SEA 1, Kash Us Back 2, Chasing The Wind 3, Smooth Cash 4.
This time last week, the Brad Hewitt trained and driven SEND IT (3) went within an ‘ace’ of taking out the G1 TAB Regional Metropolitan Championship, only to fall victim to a brilliant drive by KerryAnn Morris, which resulted in Eye Can Run leaving the track with the title. This time around, with the benefit of the draw giving him the edge, Send It is more than capable of reversing the result and giving part-owner Jarrod Crocker, Canberra Raiders star centre and co-captain, something to smile about. From his past 10 starts, Send It has been a model of consistency, finishing further back than fourth on just one occasion. The 4yo son of Western Terror started the month of May with back-to-back Menangle wins, the latter when he accounted for Nota Replica and Smooth Baht. Despite drawing gate two for his shot at G1 glory last week, Send It was caught wide which resulted in Brad parking the gelding outside of the leader. Half-way down the lengthy Menangle straight, and despite working, Send It appeared on the verge of victory, but KerryAnn ‘threaded the needle’, with Eye Can Run and the black and orange silks appeared from nowhere in snatching the trophy way from the Goulburn representative. There is speed drawn inside but both runners are also known for taking a sit. If, Send It finds the top it will go a long way towards redemption. EYE CAN RUN (9) is the main threat, despite leaving gate one and facing the starter from eight, which is less one, depending on what happens with the reserves. The mare enjoyed a kind, three peg role last week, prior to KerryAnn weaving her magic, and although this will prove to be a tougher test, due to the draw, Eye Can Run is racing in the form required to again greet the judge. ILIKEMEBETTOR (2) went from being behind the leader and into the one-one on the home turn, and he certainly had every chance presented to him by Jack Callaghan in posting a solid 4.2m 3rd to Eye Can Run. Despite his finishing position the 4yo was a shade disappointing as he did have every possible chance to secure the top spot. Ideally drawn again, Ilikemebettor is bound to make his presence felt. KEAYANG KREUZER (1) gave Gemma Hewitt her first taste of G1 success and with gate one awaiting the son of Somebeachsomewhere, the 4yo can add to his win in the TAB Regional Western Championship. Amanda Turnbull will take over the reins from Luke McCarthy and following the passing of her Hall of Farm grandfather, the great A.D. Turnbull, a win in a group one race would a wonderful way to pay tribute to his memory, just a day after he was laid to rest. When forming multiple investments, value runners such as FOREVER YIN (4), FATHER BOB (6), which gave Will Rixon his first visit to a G1 presentation when the pair combined to win the TAB Regional Riverina Championship, MAJOR BOB (7) and CRAZY SHIPPO (12). Will would also like nothing better than to honour his legendary grandfather with another G1 winning drive.
SEND IT 1, Eye Can Run 2, Ilikemebettor 3, Keayang Kreuzer 4.
The consistent Michael Doltoff-trained LETS GET ROCKIN (5) appears to have the ideal opportunity to experience his first win at Menangle when he steps out for his eighth assignment at Headquarters. Placed in four of those of encounters, Lets Get Rockin opened his latest term of racing with a second and back-to-back wins at Penrith, prior to running a bold race when a 9.4m 3rd to Tasty Delight in a heat of the APG series for his age and sex. The son of Mach Three then contested a further heat, this time posting a 20m 4th behind Captain Crusader. As far as, the draw is concerned and gate five is acceptable and certainly a drop in grade will apply so the task becomes just that much easier. And, with Jack Callaghan driving in fine fashion, the case for Lets Get Rockin becomes even stronger. TREACHEROUS ROCK (6) appears to be the main threat as the Rickie Alchin-trained colt will also find this challenge more to his liking. Following a couple of sound wins and two solid placings, the son of Captaintreacherous was never a factor in finishing an 18.9m 5th to Tasty Delight. Cam Hart will take over the driving duties as Rick will be attending the Melton meeting with Captain Crusader. TAMANISHA TERROR (8) has been racing well of late and the Steve Turnbull-trained son of Western Terror looks to be on the verge of another trip to the winner’s circle so don’t ignore his claims. Following a sound 8m 5th to He Aint Fakin at this venue, the Bathurst visitor then caught the eye with a 15.7m 3rd to Captain Crusader and He Aint Fakin, with his work over the final 200m more than pleasing. When forming exotic transactions WILL I AM (9), WATCHMEDAZZLE (7), MACH DADDY (4) and IBBIN NADIA (3), which was placed in a Bathurst trial on Monday, could add value to the dividend.
LETS GET ROCKIN 1, Treacherous Rock 2, Tamanisha Terror 3, Will I Am 4.
Deserving of a trip to the winner’s circle, the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned ELEKTRA (5) is the one to beat and one of the better ‘best bets’ on the card if there is any justice. The 3yo daughter of Four Starzzz Shark has contested eight races, two resulting in wins while the remaining six, have all seen Elektra fill the role as runner-up. Two starts ago in a heat of the APG, Elektra tried hard but was no match for Anntonia. But then again few are. The filly contested a further heat on May 18, and this time around she hit the line strongly but found another one a shade too good in Heaven Island. Handily drawn in the middle of the line, Elektra will find this to be a suitable challenge and with any luck in running, win number three will be well within her reach. Another consistent filly, this time from the Blake Fitzpatrick stable, is the pole marker, SLICK SOPHIE (1), which will be driven by Will Rixon. Boasting three wins and four placings from 10 starts, Slick Sophie was far from disgraced in recording a 16.4m 3rd to Anntonia last time out. The draw will ensure that a kind run comes the way of Slick Sophie which will be looking to post her first win as a three-year-old. MARMITTA (6) has been around the mark on a regular basis of late and the filly can play an active role in the finish so don’t dismiss her a threat. BETA JEWEL (7) stays under notice when it comes to forming exotic transactions while SIOUX RAINBOW (4) and BREIVKA (8) also fall into that category.
ELEKTRA 1, Slick Sophie 2, Marmitta 3, Beta Jewel 4.
Stand-start conditions apply to the trot and that certainly throws the race wide open. SOBOMBA (4) has contested 13 races from behind the tapes for three wins and a minor placing. A useful enough record, especially in this field. A winner under these conditions four starts ago, the ‘Team Rando’ trained 5yo hasn’t done a great deal in his past two starts from behind the tapes, the latter when he broke in running, resulting in a 54m 13th to Riteur a couple of weeks ago. The front line is a plus and if he steps and occupies a favourable, forward role, then Sobomba can go all-the-way. MAJOR THOMAS (5) strips fitter for one run back from a spell, and that was a week ago when he finished a 4.2m 4th, also in the race won by Riteur. The last time Major Thomas paid a visit to the winner’s circle was August 2020 and that was a stand event. Boasting five wins and six placings from 15 starts of this nature, a fitter Major Thomas must be respected. Another runner for Joe and Mary Rando is DO BALL (8), with the 6yo contesting seven races under these conditions for a ‘duck egg’ across the board. However, the 6yo is racing well and his 5m 7th to Riteur in a recent stand, was handy enough to suggest he could give this a shake. MORE SHADES OF GOLD (9) is the lone 10m player, but don’t write him off as the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained 6yo is a proven stand performer, as three wins and seven placings have been posted from just 11 tape engagements. His two runs since a spell have both resulted in safely held efforts, but he strips fitter and faces the starter in a far more suitable contest. PUMA ROAD (6), ROYAL GLENFERRIE (1) and ALL CASHED UP (3) remain in the multiple mix.
SOBOMBA 1, Major Thomas 2, Do Ball 3, More Shades Of Gold 4.