November 23, 2023 Michael Court
BROOKLYN BRIDGE (4) did the right thing by punters a week ago, and, with another suitable assignment awaiting the Jarrod Alchin-trained son of Sweet Lou, he again warrants top billing. Stepping out for his first assignment for the stable, Brooklyn Bridge enjoyed the run of the race, one-one, courtesy of Will Rixon, who then timed his run to perfection in guiding Brooklyn Bridge to a comfortable 7.2m win over Im In Trouble and Captain Ritchie. This engagement will be slightly harder, but the 4yo has always shown above-average ability and the ninth win of his career should be recorded. UNFAZED (8) has a win and three placings to show for his four encounters since resuming from a spell under the care of Paul Fitzpatrick. The son of Auckland Reactor competed from outside of the leader when a gritty 6.5m 3rd behind Missed The Truth and One For The Rodi, with the latter scoring at his next assignment. The consistent 6yo is bound to again make his presence felt, despite the wide gate. DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (6) continues to perform consistently and with his 234th start looming, the Harry Martin-trained veteran is bound to be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. Defeating Western Style and Little Bliss two starts ago, the 9yo then raced without cover when a creditable 9.4m 2nd to One For The Rodi a week ago. The son of Village Jasper will again be driven by Sofia Arvidsson, who will again have Double Encounter in the mix from the outset. STINGRAY TARA (7) put behind him eight unplaced displays since his previous win when he powered home in defeating Jay OK and Longfellow last week. Driven by Greg Sugars the Blake Fitzpatrick-trained 7yo again showed his liking in coming from back in the pack in being saved for one shot at the prize. On that effort the son of Bettors Delight looms as a serious player once again. RICKOSHAY (2) is coming off a gritty effort in scoring when having his third run back. Behind the leader for the first half of the race before sitting without cover for the trip home, the 5yo battled on stoutly in the straight when left vulnerable. En route to defeating Sheffield Sparky and Constantina. Suitably drawn in two, Rickoshay is at least a handy player to involve in the exotics, as he tackles a tougher contest. WESTERN STYLE (3) and PUMP THE BRAKES (9), along with LAST TANGO IN HEAVEN (5), which has had the benefit of two trials, also warrant attention as worthy multiple players.
BROOKLYN BRIDGE 1, Unfazed 2, Double Encounter 3, Stingray Tara 4.
In an open race the draw has given BIG BLACK DIAMOND (1) the chance to sparkle as he looks to record his first Menangle win following 24 previous attempts to greet the judge. Consistent on the provincial circuit, the son of Shadow Play has been doing the bulk of his racing at Newcastle and Penrith, with a creditable 11.3m 4th to Rakadan at this venue included in the mix. With the prospect of receiving a suitable run close to the action, Big Black Diamond will no doubt be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. Rickie Alchin has two definite contenders for the top spot, with GO AWAY AGAIN (2) gaining the verdict over CEE OH DEE (10), due to the vastly better draw. The lightly-raced son of Captaintreacherous has won three of his seven encounters, with a further three placings boosting his solid start to his career. A recent run of three placings were posted, prior to an easy Newcastle win, and although a harder task awaits the 3yo colt, expect another bold display. CEE OH DEE (10) followed a couple of sound Penrith placings with two gritty wins at Newcastle and Penrith, respectively, both the result of Ash Delosa presenting the mare with a kind run behind the leader. The draw has certainly added to the degree of difficulty, however, Cee Oh Dee is capable of being a threat. VINKIE B (3) has posted a win and four placings since leaving NZ and coming under the care of Trevor Munday. From a wide gate here on Tuesday, the son of Vincent recorded a 6.3m 3rd behind Kenny Said and Mitsi Gaynor, and although a harder task awaits, the consistent 3yo remains in the mix as an exotic contender and a possible threat from his good draw. When it comes to forming multiple transactions BOLZANO (5) is worthy of attention as the son of Sunshine beach is better than his latest run would suggest. Midfield for most of the contest, Bolzano was never a factor in recording a 20.7m 9th to The Fortunate Son after heading around to the start as favourite. Prior to that outing the Amanda Turnbull-trained 6yo had been consistent and a better run should be forthcoming this time around. DELILAHS GIRL (8), CHASING THE WIND (9) and TWENTYEIGHTBLACK (4) remain in the mix as exotic players.
BIG BLACK DIAMOND 1, Go Away Again 2, Cee Oh Dee 3, Vinkie B 4.
Boasting a higher level of fitness and a couple of solid performances since resuming, REMY BROWN (4) appeals as the one to beat, with a handy draw being an added bonus. Prepared by Aaron Goadsby and to be driven by Robert Morris, who continues to edge towards 2000 winners, the daughter of Vincent resumed from a spell and a creditable Queensland campaign during August, with a determined win at Newcastle before battling on gamely when beaten a head by the talented Theresa Love here two weeks ago when always prominent. The 3yo filly will again be in the mix from the outset, and with a suitable assignment on the table, Remy Brown should go better this time. SPLASH OF CRIMSON (11) has drawn badly, however, the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven mare is racing well and is deserving of a high rating. Following three placings and a last-start win at Bathurst, the mare headed to Headquarters for her latest challenge two weeks ago. Contesting the same race won by Theresa Love, the 4yo came from a midfield role in recording a solid 1.3m third. Splash Of Crimson is definitely the main threat to Remy Brown. BEAUTY PLAY (10) is usually around the mark when the judge calls a halt and that will again be the likely scenario. Safely held when a 15.6m 6th to Captains Queen in the NSWBC 4YO Mares final, the Peter Rixon-trained daughter of Sweet Lou then recorded a 6.5m 5th to Hands On at Penrith. The awkward draw is a hurdle, but Beauty Play has the talent to be a contender. The Scott Hewitt-prepared SAILOR GIRL (6) has been close-up in three runs since a spell, despite being unplaced each time. The mare had little luck when a 3.7m 4th to Tisbury Rocks then a 4.8m 5th behind Chap daddy, respectively, prior to a 4.6m 4th to Theresa Love. Scott has booked brother Brad to handle the driving duties and it will come as no surprise if the daughter of Sportswriter is involved in the finish. DRAGON TATTOO (5) is also in the mix when looking for contenders as the Dean Atkinson-trained daughter of Art Major has been in the best form of her career in recent months. Boasting four wins and four placings from nine starts since a spell, Dragon Tattoo has won her past two at Goulburn and Wagga, respectively, and this assignment is only marginally harder. JUNGLE BABY (2) has been consistent of late and so include the 4yo mare in exotic discussions while CHARLIES ACE (7) and NELLY BIGTIME (8) also have claims in that regard.
REMY BROWN 1, Splash Of Crimson 2, Beauty Play 3, Sailors Girl 4.
Former Victorian-based MAJOR MAJOR (1) appeals as a major player as the son of Art Major steps out for his first assignment since joining Jason Grimson. Usually, that means immediate success and with gate one next to his name the 4yo will be in the mix from the outset. Major Major has been off the scene since finishing a 9m 6th to Terry at Melton on September 23, with a solid win coming his way at Bendigo a week earlier. In a recent Menangle trial, Major Major finished 4th to Neptune, however, at no stage did Mitch Ford release his grip on the reins as the pair went to the line on the back of another runner, hard held in the process. Cam Hart will jump in the cart and Major Major should continue the outstanding run of success being enjoyed by both trainer and driver. IM IN TROUBLE (7) is on the verge of a winning display so he must be respected as his race fitness will be a plus over the 2300m, although the first half of races conducted over this trip are usually run at a comfortable tempo. Placed in three of his past four, the past two as runner-up behind Unfazed and Brooklyn Bandit, respectively, the Joe Conolly-prepared 4yo is likely to be in the mix from the outset in making his presence felt when the judge calls a halt. ALLSTARZZZ FRANKIE (8) finished runner-up behind My Ultimate Ronnie in both a semi-final and Final of the NSWBC 4YO E&G’s series, prior to heading to Cowra where he posted a deserving win over Chap daddy and Saint Veran. The son of Four Starzzz Shark has drawn wide but his form warrants more than a passing thought. SIR RICHARD LEE (1) has also been consistent this season having contested 39 races for six wins and a dozen placings. The 5yo son of Heston Blue Chip is coming off a sound 8.7m 4th to Brooklyn Bandit a week ago. Chloe Formosa will take over the drive from Robert Morris, and with her recent form in the sulky being impressive, Sir Richard Lee will be given every chance to be involved in the finish. TERRYRAMA (6) remains a contender for a role in the exotics while ROCKET BOY (9) is open to improvement so don’t write him off. JAMES CAGNEY (4) has been safely held in both runs since a spell, but he is capable of better and he could bring some ‘white heat’ to the finish.
MAJOR MAJOR 1, Im In Trouble 2, Allstarzzz Frankie 3, Sir Richard Lee 4.
With the benefit of three runs since a spell, all under the care of new mentor Joe Conolly, LONGFELLOW (4) is ready to produce a winning display. Starting out in Tasmania with Todd Rattray before spending time with Emma Stewart, the 5yo then spent time with Aaron Bain in South Australia, prior to his latest switch of mentors. During his journey, the son of bettors Delight has always shown above-average talent and is the winner of 10 races from his 43 appearances, with a further 15 placings appearing on his stats sheet. Starting the next chapter of his career with a sound 4.7m 3rd to Sahara Sirocco at Headquarters on October 31, Longfellow then posted a respectable 12.9m 5th behind Hi Manameisjeff, who has been in outstanding form since joining Jason Grimson. Stepping out a Menangle a week ago, the son of Bettors Delight indicated that he was ready to greet the judge when he finished a solid 1.6m 3rd to Stingray Tara and Jay OK. With his level of fitness peaking and a suitable draw assisting his claims, it may well be a case of Neil Diamond and ‘Longfellow Serenade’. JOE NIEN (3) also contested the same race as Longfellow last week in recording a pleasing 3.8m fifth. The 8yo competed from a six-peg role and was hitting the line with intent over the concluding stages. A recent addition to the stables of Darren Binskin, the 8yo son of Shadow Play has been in the mix on a number of occasions of late, and although he doesn’t win out of turn, this assignment is well within his reach. BRAEDOS LAD (6) was having his second outing for Rickie Alchin when he overcame a back row, a three deep run in finding the role outside of the leader, before proving too good for far out Bro and Major Bob at Newcastle. This will be a harder race, compared to that outing, but the son of For A Reason had been racing well at this venue for Jack Trainor before making the move. All of the above may mean little if DENIS WILLIAM (5) is ready to ‘hit the track running’, which may well be the case, for new mentor Jason Grimson. The 6yo has been off the scene since being retired from the Preux Chevalier FFA at Cranbourne on July 9, with the race going the way of the quality performer Supreme Dominator, which defeated Max Delight and Bondi Lockdown in the process. Prior to that outing the son of Art Major had managed just one placing from his previous eight starts. However, similar horses have arrived with stats along this lines and have been successful. Denis William may add his name to that list. Watch and respect any positive market move in his direction. The 6yo hasn’t been to the trials and that could also be a factor. Saginaw (1) has drawn well and that will assist the consistent 7yo to be involved as a potential threat, but mainly as an exotic runner, while LITTLE BLISS (2) also has claims when it comes to forming multiple combinations.
LONGFELLOW 1, Joe Nien 2, Braedos Lad 3, Denis William 4.
The Tony Turnbull FFA is the highlight event on the card and HI MANAMEISJEFF (7) will face the starter as the dominant favourite, and rightfully so. Since leaving Victoria and joining the Jason Grimson stable, the 6yo has contested six races for five wins and a 10th, with that particular outing being in the Victoria Cup at Melton when he had little go right from a back row draw. Returning back to Menangle a few weeks later and Hi Manameisjeff wasted no time greeting the judge once again, this time in the Nick Robin FFA. Spearing straight to the front, the son of Art Major again turned the race into a ‘one act affair’ with Cam hart guiding him to a dominant winner by a margin of 5.2m over Mach Da Vinci and Tasty Delight. The distance this time around will be 2300m, but that hasn’t worried him in the past and it won’t worry him in the present. Hi Manameisjeff will lead, win and chalk up his 15th win from 28 starts with the minimum of fuss. MACH DA VINCI (6) is also racing in fine fashion of late and he has been equally impressive in running second to Hi Manameisjeff on two occasions. The Peter Hanson-trained 6yo was able to account for Our Money Rocks, which is in superb touch of late, four starts ago before heading to Cowra for the running of the Lachlan Valley Cup on November 12. Contesting the 2520m event from a deep peg role, which didn’t suit him, Mach Da Vinci was unable to be a serious threat in posting a 30.7m 3rd to Pas Guarantee , with Taipo splitting the pair. Mach Da Vinci will be competitive but it is hard to see him turning the tables on Jeff. As always, ALTA ORLANDO (8) must be included in the mix as the veteran doesn’t know how to run a bad race. The 11yo contested his 150th race a week ago in finishing a determined 2m 4th behind Stingray Tara. Although his wins are spaced these days, Alta Orlando is always in the mix and once again, the son of Courage Under Fire won’t be far away when the judge calls a halt. PORT AU PRINCE (3) returns to racing after a break. The 5yo finished a handy 4th to Cash N Flow in a recent trial, with Bondi Lockdown and My Ultimate Ronnie splitting the pair. The talented 5yo finished unplaced in his past two assignments in races won by South Coast Arden and Spirit Of St louis, respectively, but was from being disgraced in the process. Suitably drawn and a good beginner, Robert Morris will be hoping to secure a kind peg role for the son of Somebeachsomewhere, which will leave him with the energy required to produce a solid performance. TASTY DELIGHT (5) was never a factor last week when a well-beaten last to Petes Said So, but his previous three runs since a spell were good enough to recommend him when it comes to forming multiple investments. Classy 4yo RIPP (2) has been safely held in two similar faces at this venue, prior to a 41.9m 6th to Pas Guarantee at Cowra. Suitably drawn, Ripp is also worthy of a role in the exotics as he should be able to secure a suitable run behind the speed.
HI MANAMEISJEFF 1, Mach Da Vinci 2, Alta Orlando 3, Port Au Prince 4.
This race is a raffle as many of the runners have forgotten how to win. Suitably drawn and posting a three handy efforts in four runs since a spell, MURPHYS REWARD (3) is worth the gamble. A member of the James Rattray team, Murphys Reward recorded two of those efforts at Wagga recently, the first when a 2.4m 4th to Son Of The Shark, prior to a 4.2m 4th behind Dragon Tattoo. Then a week ago the 5yo battled on stoutly in finishing a useful 10.8m 5th to Magic Matteo. That form is creditable and certainly stacks up well for a race of this nature. Without a trip to the winner’s circle since late February, Murphys Reward has the ideal chance to chalk up another win. The main threat should come from PERCY BAILEY (7), with the son of Art Major coming off an unlucky outing at Penrith recently when he failed to secure a clear run in posting a 10.2m 7th to Hands On. The sparingly-raced 6yo had been in the mix in each of his previous four starts and as a winner seven starts ago, Percy Bailey is more than capable of handling this challenge. Also in his favour is the fact that from just four appearances at Headquarters, Percy Bailey has two wins and a second to show for his efforts. The son of Art Major does appear to enjoy racing here. The outside gate will be the starting position for SOVIET STUNNER (10) but the Narelle McCarthy-prepared mare is worthy of keeping safe. Successful at Albion Park back in early August, the daughter of Mach three worked home stoutly in recording a 10.2m 2nd to Bologna last time out and while the draw adds to the degree of difficulty, Soviet Stunner should be monitored closely. SUGAR FOR MY HONEY (5) battled on stoutly in finishing a 1.3m 2nd to Big Black Diamond at Penrith last time out and has sufficient form to warrant attention as a winning contender. ZOOM PARTY (8) has been mixing his form of late and draws awkwardly but the 4yo remains in the multiple mix, with last-start Newcastle winner KISSMELVIS (6) also in the mix for trainer-driver Luke Whittaker.
MURPHYS REWARD 1, Percy Bailey 2, Soviet Stunner 3, Sugar For My Honey 4.
The Dean Atkinson-trained ZAMBIA (5) has been racing against slightly stronger opposition and that will enhance his prospects of chalking up another win. Resuming with a win, prior to two solid placings, both as runner-up, the 6yo has been placed just once in his past six starts, but on most occasions the son of Bettors Delight has been in the mix at some stage. Runner-up behind Skittle Bomb at Wagga two starts ago after striking some trouble, Zambia worked home well in the race won by Rickoshay a week ago, which resulted in a solid 4.8m fourth. Handily drawn, which is another plus, Zambia should find this challenge to his liking. SHEFFIELD SPARKY (7) will provide Zambia with stiff opposition as the Darren Binskin-trained 7yo has been consistent in three runs for his new mentor since arriving from Victoria. Runner-up to Defiant at his first Menangle assignment, Sheffield Sparky posted a 10m 4th to Talent Agent before again producing a solid showing when a 2.7m 2nd to Rickoshay last week. A wider gate awaits the son of Art Major but Grace Panella is bound to have Sheffield Sparky in a forward position. RED REACTOR (2) was again hitting the line when an 8.6m 2nd to Talent Agent a couple of weeks ago. The 8yo son of Auckland Reactor has come up with a suitable draw and this is the type of race which could see him power home so don’t ignore his claims. ARDENS ACE (8) is coming off a well-beaten 5th to Pas Guarantee in the Lachlan Valley Cup at Cowra on November 12. The Tony Bertwistle-trained 5yo had been racing well at this venue prior to that outing, and although the draw is tricky, the son of Art Major does appear better placed in this company than recent Menangle assignments. When it comes to forming exotic investments, CARLO GAMBINO (1) should be considered after drawing the pole, with RYANS GANGSTER (4) and SIGHT TO SEE (6) also in the mix.
ZAMBIA 1, Sheffield Sparky 2, Red Reactor 3, Ardens Ace 4.
– FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS