April 24, 2021 National Trotguide
Formerly with the powerful Emma Stewart team, where he enjoyed plenty of success, and now with the astute Kevin Pizzuto, LOORRIM LAKE (8) will be hoping his first venture to Menangle is far more productive than his trip to Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. After ending his career in Victoria on a sour note, courtesy of striking trouble soon after the start of the running of the Breeders Crown 3YO C&G’s Final at Melton last November, which resulted in a well-beaten last behind Zeuss Bromac, Loorrim Lake finished at the tail of the field once again for Pizzuto. Galloping out and losing all chance, the well-supported 4yo finished the length of the straight away, and more, in the race won by Golden Year. With the bad luck now out of the way, hopefully, the son of Roll With Joe will looking to show his true worth, and if that is the case, then Loorrim Lake is certainly capable of making a bold play for the top spot. The booking of Josh Gallagher is an important plus, and although a wide gate awaits the pair, the quote on offer should be appealing. Drawing even wider is the main threat in CHECK IN (10), which did exactly that in landing the money last week after three previous attempts to justify the support. Courtesy of a clever drive by trainer-driver Darren Hancock, who changed the flight plan of the son of Mach Three, compared to his previous trio of trips, Check In powered home via a four-peg role in defeating Always Rockin and Fear Cruisin. With Check In hitting the line with plenty of confidence, Hancock may again abort the start and drift back, allowing the same route to come into play once again. JIMMY LOCKE (7) will be confronted by a harder test, compared to a hat-trick of solid efforts at Penrith, which culminated in a tough win over Rockn And Rolln. However, Peter Russo has the 6yo racing well enough to suggest he could find his way into the money. GOLDEN YEAR (4) may well hold the key after the Joe Conolly-trained front-runner drew suitably. Following his gritty all-the-way win at Newcastle two starts ago, the son of Art Major drew the inside of the 2nd line for his next assignment over the Newcastle mile, only to break in the score-up and lose all chance when a 29m 8th to Birdy Mach. Detective Senior Constable Conolly has booked Amanda Turnbull to take the reins and if the classy Bathurst driver can arrest the lead away from her rivals, she will then attempt to steal the race with a dashing front-running drive. Exotic players should consider SOLE AMBITION (3), ALWAYS ROCKIN (5), BETTOR VISION (6) and VANDANTA (9) when forming investments.
LOORRIM LAKE 1, Check In 2, Jimmy Locke 3, Golden Year 4.
Despite a difficult draw and a rise in grade, the Belinda McCarthy-conditioned KINGMAKER (11) should continue to reign over his rivals. Since arriving from New Zealand, the son of Mach Three has contested three races at Headquarters, and on each occasion, Kingmaker has headed back to Cobbitty with a win next to his name. And, on each occasion, the 5yo has managed to greet the judge from three different roles in running. So, he is certainly no ‘one trick pony’. After leading to win, then working in running, Kingmaker then produced a determined effort in coming from a midfield role in defeating Mighty Flying Art and Top The Ace. Kingmaker gives the impression he still has plenty to offer so don’t ignore him as a major player. There will be no shortage of threats, including the consistent David Thorn-trained RED REACTOR (4), which doesn’t know how to run a bad race. The chestnut son of Auckland Reactor has been runner-up in each of his past two outings, the latter a week ago when he posted a 4.5m effort behind Bundoran. As per usual, Red Reactor will make his presence felt. The Jacqueline Graham-trained GIMMEFIVEMINUTESMORE (3) has been ticking over nicely since a win here four starts ago, albeit in easier company. However, the Christian Cullen 6yo is coming off an eye-catching effort in defeat and the booking of the in-form Leonard Cain should suit the bay. After going off stride when hitting the first turn, Gimmefiveminutesmore was left exposed three deep, and working, from that point onwards, and although covering more ground than the early explorers, he still managed to record a determined 7.4m 5th to The Golden Cross. Gimmefiveminutesmore is worthy of more than just the time of day. On the verge of Anzac Day and TRIPLE VC (1) is the omen tip on the card, but also because he has the talent to make his presence felt from the pole position. Resuming from a spell with a solid win at Penrith, the son Washington VC was never a threat from a back row draw in posting a 22m 7th to Jimmy Locke at the same venue on April 15. The prospect of a suitable trip should assist Triple VC in posting a vastly improved effort. ZIGGY ROCKS (9) is on the verge of a winning effort and remains in contention while MAJOR BOB (6) and OUR MADIBA (8), the latter being a recent addition to the Jack Trainor team, should come in for exotic consideration.
KINGMAKER 1, Red Reactor 2, Gimmefiveminutesmore 3, Triple VC 4.
Since joining the Belinda McCarthy team from New Zealand, LA BELLA VITA (7) has contested six races for four wins and two solid placings, with the daughter Changeover showing her competitive spirit in winning her only two trials as well. That ‘will to win’ makes the mare the one to beat once again. Two starts ago La Bella Vita was handed a G3 assignment, and after dictating the terms she battled on gamely in recording a 3.2m 3rd behind the classy duo of Bad To The Bone and Iolanta. Two weeks later and La Bella Vita was again back in the winner’s circle, this time leading throughout in defeating Iolanta and Michelle Lee Mac. The scratching of Semi Sensation allows La Bella Vita to move one spot closer to the pegs and no doubt Luke McCarthy will be looking to set the tempo once again. That being the likely scenario, and La Bella Vita will be well on her way to greeting the judge. The threat should come from ROCKABELLA STARZ (3), with the former Victorian mare stepping out for her second challenge under the care of KerryAnn Morris. Leaving Victoria with a 28.8m 6th to subsequent G1 winner Techys Angel, the mare then posted a creditable 3.6m 2nd to Azur Express at Newcastle after having a kind trip behind the leader. Suitably drawn, Rockabella Starz is bound to again secure a suitable run and that will assist in a bold showing. OUR LADY LARA (2) has been thereabouts of late and from gate two the Brad Hewitt trained and driven mare is worthy of attention, particularly when it comes to forming multiple transactions. Now that she has had the benefit of three runs back, and has only seven rivals, VINCENZINA (9) is capable of being a threat. Last week the Ross Adams trained and driven 4yo worked home steadily from a rearward role, which is her racing pattern, in finishing an 11.3m 4th to Rubies For Tash. The mare is building towards playing an active role in the finish. When it comes to the exotics, MYRA DAWN (8), BRONSKI BELLE (6) and VOLANDO DENARIO (5) are there to assist in that regard.
LA BELLA VITA 1, Rockabella Starz, Our Lady Lara 3, Vincenzina 4.
The first of two G1 events on the card, the running of the APG 2YO Fillies Gold Bullion Final, and the winner should be the Russell Jack-trained CAPTAINS QUEEN (4). The daughter of Captaintreacherous has had an exciting start to her career, posting three wins and a second from her four engagements to date. The only defeat was a gallant display in finishing a 16.2m behind her outstanding stablemate Just Hope in the G1 Bathurst Gold Tiara when she made up many metres after competing from a four-peg role. Captains Queen qualified for this assignment with a solid all-the-way win over this course and distance, accounting for Miss Ex and Africana. If the first reserve isn’t required, then Amanda Turnbull will take Captains Queen up to gate three, and that will further enhance the opportunity to stamp their authority on this race from the outset. Such a role will ensure that Captains Queen is clearly the one to run down. Despite drawing at the opposite end of the mobile arm, MISS EX (11) must be treated with plenty of respect as the David Thorn-trained youngster has an abundance of natural talent. The filly opened her career with a stylish win, coming from a three-peg role in finishing strongly to defeat My Ultimate Levi and Rocknpenny. However, it was her next outing which stamped her as a potential, outstanding prospect. Settling in a midfield role in her heat, Miss Ex was sent forward, due to the tempo being relaxed by Amanda Turnbull with Captains Queen, resulting in the role outside of the leader coming her way. Over the final 200m, despite a 27.7 final quarter, Miss Ex stuck with the winner in finishing a mere 1.2m away. In defeat, the run was pleasing. Jimmy Douglass and Thorn have enjoyed plenty of success in the past when it comes to feature races and the daughter of Well Said can have a big say in the finish. The Steve Turnbull-trained SMOOTH BON BON (5) has gone about her business in fine fashion, having won on debut before posting a couple of solid placings. Handily drawn, Smooth Bon Bon will give a good account once again while EYE CAN FLY (6) has recorded solid wins, either side of a respectable 19.2m 4th in the G1 Gold Tiara. Prepared locally by KerryAnn Morris, Eye Can Fly is certainly capable of playing a role in the finish. AFRICANA (7) is coming off a hat-trick of gritty placings and claims as an exotic runner can’t be taken lightly while LETS PARTY BABY (2), courtesy of drawing ideally, is also a value chance in that regard.
CAPTAINS QUEEN 1, Miss Ex 2, Smooth Bon Bon 3, Eye Can Fly 4.
From the rising stars to an established star and it is hard to go past CASH N FLOW (10) as the one to beat as the speedster looks to record his 22nd win on the Menangle circuit. The son of Mach Three was never a threat in the G1 Schweppes Sprint, which was brilliantly won by King Of Swing, on his way to making it back-to-back Miracle Mile wins, however, Cash N Flow managed to bounce back strongly when next produced by Belinda McCarthy. With the pace a ‘cracker’ from the moment the green light was activated, Luke McCarthy elected to stay out of the speed battle with Cash N Flow, resulting in the pair settling one-one, and thoroughly enjoying the 25.9 opening battle for supremacy. The action did settle down, with a 30.6 second sectional, however, the relaxed state of affairs didn’t last long as a 27.4 quarter was then followed a 27.5 in wrapping up proceedings. It was a hard-fought victory, but Cash N Flow managed to prevail in defeating a gallant Escalera while Mach Da Vinci was equally brave in finishing a close third. McCarthy will again allow the 8yo to have a good look early and if the speed is hectic. the option of taking cover will again be an option. Much will depend on noted speedster THUNDER DANCE (6). The expected power will assist DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (4) in finding a suitable hiding spot, probably on the pegs and if that does play out, then the Harry Martin-trained 7yo can grab an exotic role. The son of Village Jasper is coming off a couple of gritty runs after a couple of safely held efforts in races of this nature. ESCALERA (9) is bound to play an important role in the outcome, despite the tricky wide gate. The Jarrod Alchin-conditioned son of Bettors Delight is coming off a rare failure, and although a wide draw awaits the talented 5yo, he will make his presence felt. Left facing the breeze last week, Escalera did too much work in recording a 22.6m last to Star Galleria. A kinder role this time around will be a major factor in allowing the gelding to be productive. MAKOA (2) is drawn to stake a claim for a role in the multiples while SHANNONSTHEMAN (5), which is back from a handy Qld campaign, and HIDDEN COURAGE (7) are also in the mix when it comes to value exotic players.
CASH N FLOW 1, Double Encounter 2, Escalera 3, Makoa 4.
This time the boys have the chance to secure G1 glory when the youngsters face the starter for the running of the APG Gold Bullion. In looks a ‘match in two’, although courtesy of drawing just one spot better, the exciting Jarrod Alchin-trained MY ULTIMATE BYRON (6) appears hard to beat. The 2yo son of Somebeachsomewhere opened his career against older horses at Newcastle on April 9, but it made no difference as the youngster greeted the judge with a stylish all-the-way win. Next stop was a heat of this series, and back to his own age, My Ultimate Byron produced a dashing display after covering the opening quarter in sizzling 26.9. With that out of the way, Cam Hart was able to dictate the terms to perfection, resulting in the pair greeting the judge by a dominant margin of 22.8m. It could have been more had Cam so desired. The lead role will again be theirs for the taking, and it will take a big performance to prevent My Ultimate Byron from claiming victory. Prepared by Peter Russo and to be driven by G1 winning reinsman Jack Trainor, MAHOMES (7) has done everything asked of him, with the TinTin In America youngster also undefeated in both his assignments. Named after the Kansas City Super Bowl winner quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, the youngster opened his career with an effortless display, prior to leading and fighting hard to protect his unblemished record in defeating My Ultimate Cobber and Allstarzzz Frankie in a heat of this serious. Trainor will be keen to keep My Ultimate Byron well within reach, and he will be in for the fight as he goes in search of another ‘touchdown’. Alchin also has bright prospects of claiming another spot in the finish as MY ULTIMATE COBBER (2) has shown promising talent as well. Ideally drawn in two, the American Ideal 2yo tried hard in finishing a close 2nd to Mahomes and with the prospect of another cosy run, he is bound to give a bold showing. ROCKNPENNY (4) has been placed behind Miss Ex and My Ultimate Byron, respectively, after opening his career with a win at this venue, and although he needs to make up a lot of ground on My Ultimate Byron on their last meeting, his claims as an exotic role should be respected. The balance of the field will need to do something ‘above and beyond’ what they have shown to be involved in the finish.
MY ULTIMATE BYRON 1, Mahomes 2, My Ultimate Cobber 3, Rocknpenny 4.
This is the toughest race on the card, with the 2300m stand-start for trotters having several chances, and all off the 10m-to-20m range. One of three 20m players is REVY JAY (11), a member of the Joe and Mary team, which is certainly worthy of the gamble, despite coming off a well-beaten effort at this venue six weeks ago. Stepping out in a far tougher G1 challenge on Miracle Mile night, the mare recorded a 38.9m 7th to the classy Kiwi, Majestic Man, with the run best placed to one side when assessing the claims of the mare this time around. Prior to that assignment, Revy Jay had been racing in fine fashion in slightly tougher races, and with three wins from six strand starts, Revy Jay shouldn’t be overly concerned by the 20m. Standing next to her will be the Brian Portelli-trained mare, HOTJANE BLING (10), with Amanda Turnbull taking the reins. From 20 starts under these conditions, Hotjane Bling has been in the winner’s circle on four occasions with the same number of minor placings. The mare is coming off a gritty 3.6m 2nd to Arnold a week ago, and although his will be a tricky challenge, the daughter of Eilean Donon can greet the judge. Runner-up in his past four assignments, GIMONDI (8) is on the verge of a winning display, however, the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven son of Peak DNK has just the one minor placing to show for three starts from behind the tapes. In three of his recent defeats the 4yo has been runner-up to the exciting prospect Funky Monkey while also finishing ‘second best’ to Arnold, which has again won since. So, while the form is strong, the stand is the concern. There is no better trainer of the trotter in NSW, so if Blake can have Gimondi stepping away in a confident frame of mind, then a deserving win could be on the table. EMPIRE BAY (9) has solid stats under these conditions and is certainly not out of the mix while AGENT MAORI (1), KYVALLEY BOOMERANG (2) and VICTREE HILL (5), which has won his only stand start, have claims as exotic players.
REVY JAY 1, Hotjane Bling 2, Gimondi 3, Empire Bay 4
In recent months Jason Grimson has been enjoying outstanding, first-up success, with new runners joining his training establishment. This time around the horse in question is RAYS CHOICE (1), which hasn’t won since scoring here back in October/2019. In fact, his recent form shows five-consecutive unplaced efforts, all at Bathurst. However, gate one is appealing as the 127-start veteran does have gate speed, and there is also the Jack Trainor influence. So now we are starting to build a case for Rays Choice, despite the evidence being strongly against him on recent form. This will be a harder challenge, compared to recent encounters, but the risk is worth taking. THE TEXAS RANGER (5) has a run of seven unplaced efforts next to his name, however, the Brad Hewitt trained and driven 5yo has been competing in harder assignments and should enjoy this challenge. A week ago, the son of American Ideal recorded a creditable 11.5m 6th to Bundoran and while his form is acceptable, his recent manners are a concern. In each of his past two starts, The Texas Ranger has raced roughly soon after the start. No doubt Brad has been working on the manners of The Texas Ranger and, if he is on his best behaviour, then he can round up this field, en route to greeting the judge. FEAR CRUISIN (7) is coming off a couple of solid placings, the latter a week ago when he worked home stoutly in finishing a closing 4.5m 3rd to Check In. Expecting father Robert Morris is bound to have the son of Christian Cullen in a challenging role when it matters so don’t dismiss the pair as definite contenders. THE ANNOUNCER (8) has drawn the outside gate, but his past two runs would suggest he could have a say in matters while ALTA DOWNS (4) and I AM SERENGETI (3). HUEY LEWIS (2) will be hoping for better news on his recent effort at Maitland, with others making more appeal.
RAYS CHOICE 1, The Texas Ranger 2, Fear Cruisin 3, The Announcer 4.