September 21, 2023 Michael Court
Runner-up in three of his past four starts, following a gritty win at this venue, the James Rattray-trained STAR MAJOR (9) is deserving of another visit to the winner’s circle. The 7yo has been left facing the breeze in each of his past five assignments, with South Coast Arden, Mach Da Vinci and more recently, Spirit Of St Louis narrowly keeping Star Major from greeting the judge. Throw in a 2.3m 4th to Spirit Of St Louis in the Kevin Newman FFA and the son of Art Major has been a determined character in his quest for success. Another wide gate awaits the Exeter visitor, with the in-form Taylah Osmond taking over the driving duties as James will partner another consistent type in BOOM (8). No doubt Star Major, who has made the role outside the leader his own, will in all likelihood be eyeing off that role again. Regardless, Star Major will again make his presence felt. In a race where any number of runners are capable of being first past he post, ROMANEE (2) rates highly after drawing the pole, providing the reserve fails to gain a run. The 5yo has been mixing his form of late, however, the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned 5yo has been drawing wide in the process. From the middle of the line last week, the son of Bettors Delight found himself settling six back along the pegs, in an ‘indian file’ situation, which has become a familiar sight when it comes to 2300m events. Working to the line over the final stages, Romanee posted a handy 11m 7th behind Dangerzone, which dictated the terms to perfection. With the prospect of a kind run, close to the action, Romanee is more than capable of being involved in the finish. JIMARTEE (6) scored a solid win at Penrith, following a number of promising efforts at Headquarters, prior to working home stoutly in posting a 12.9m 6th to Bubba Scrub at couple of weeks ago. The Noel Hatcher-trained son of Sportswriter drew wide and drifted back to a rearward peg role before being three back in the running line approaching the home turn. The slightly better draw will be a plus for the consistent gelding. Game mare LITTLE BLISS (10) has a win and four placings to show for her past five engagements, the latest a week ago when she hit the line strongly in recording a 2.3m 3rd behind Dangerzone. The Troy Williams-trained daughter of Art Major has drawn deep but it is hard to leave her out of the mix as she is racing in such a ‘purple patch’ of form. The list of chances don’t stop there as DANHERZONE (11) can’t be ignored due to drawing the outside gate. The 4yo drew well last week and that enabled Luke McCarthy to dictate the terms in defeating Boom and Little Bliss. The son of Gotta Go Cullect is capable of making his presence felt, even if it means coming from back in the pack. BOOM (8) has been competitive in each of his three runs for James since coming over from Tasmania and it is hard to rule him out while FEAR CRUISIN (4) and JOE NEN (5) are racing well and are deserving of exotic attention.
STAR MAJOR 1, Romanee 2, Jimartee 3, Little Bliss 4.
With the benefit of one run since scoring at Horsham back in late February, former Victorian DON LOU (4) is worthy of further attention. Also drawing well, compared to gate nine a week ago, the mark Rolfe-trained son of Sweet Lou was responsible for a pleasing display for the comeback mentor. Drifting back at the start, which resulted in a rearward role, Don Lou worked home soundly, without threatening, in recording a closing 7m 6th to Crime Dont Pay. Stripping fitter and with the prospect of settling closer to the action, Don Lou is capable of playing a far more active role in the finish. And that make the 4yo a worthwhile investment. ZAMBIA (10) has gone from the pole to the outside gate in the space of a week, however, the Dean Atkinson-trained 6yo remains in contention for the top spot. Resuming from a lengthy spell with a stylish won, the son of Bettors Delight then finished runner-up to Don Hugo and Bubba Scrub, respectively, before coming from a four peg role in finishing a solid 6.9m 4th to Dangerzone last week. Despite the tricky draw, Zambia in capable of being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. The Dean Braun-trained BOLLINGER (7) is the intriguing ‘x-factor’ as the former Kiwi looks to improve on his two unplaced efforts since joining the Victorian mentor. On each occasion the 4yo son of Bettors Delight has been in the market, despite drawing the back row at Melton. Resuming from a spell with an 8.4m 8th to Knights Templar back in early June, Bollinger was again back in the paddock before stepping out on August 19, which resulted in a 15.9m 6th to Major Collect. Bollinger has trialled well before those assignments and recently, so respect his claims, especially as Luke McCarthy will be taking the reins. Tasmanian MICKEY OH (9) has been responsible for two pleasing efforts since coming over to the mainland, with a 23.2m 8th to Captain Hammerhead in The Singo, before a gritty 4m 3rd behind Heavenly Holly in the JC Caffyn Plate. Trainer-driver Matthew Howett would have been delighted with the son of Racing Hill, and while this will be another tough test, the 4yo is capable of making his presence felt. When it comes to forming exotic investments, BERTIE JONES (1), ROCKET BOY (3), SIR RICHARD LEE (6) and NEXT TO ME (8) will provide value in that regard.
DON LOU 1, Zambia 2, Bollinger 3, Mickey Oh 4.
Everyone knows his name now, following two impressive Menangle wins, so HI MANAMEISJEFF (9) will have plenty of friends when he tackles a race overflowing with definite threats. First-up for Jason Grimson and the former Victorian covered the Menangle 1609m in a blistering 1:48.9, leading throughout in defeating Little Bliss and Mahomes. A couple of weeks later and over the 2300m, the 6yo son of Art Major was again untroubled leading from start in comfortably accounting for Taipo and Our Money Rocks, the latter a subsequent winner at Goulburn on Monday. Hi Manameisjeff has drawn wide for this assignment, however, Cam Hart is likely to was little time in stamping his authority over his rivals. KANENA PROVLIMA (8) recorded a deserving win last week when he powered home to defeat Zeuss Bromac and Abouttime. Rarely far away, the Elizabeth Heath-trained 7yo has again drawn wide but the prospect of a solid tempo from the outset will allow the son of A Rocknroll Dance to produce a ‘carbon copy’ display in sitting back in the field before unleashing his run from the top of the straight. NERANO (10), as was the case last week, has drawn the car park, however, the son of Tintin In America can’t be taken lightly. Resuming with a win, then placed in his next six assignments, always against quality opposition, the latest when a 2.3m 3rd to Rock N Roll Doo in the G1 Len Smith Mile, the 6yo is coming off a gritty 5.5m 7th behind Spirit Of St Louis a week ago in the Sutton McMillan FFA. If, Will Rixon can provide Nerano with another kind run, as he did a week ago, then the pair will be right in the mix when the winning post comes into play. MACH DA VINCI (7) contested the same race won by Spirit Of St Louis and his closing 5m 6th was also a solid display. The winner of his previous two in fine fashion, the Peter Hanson-trained son of Art Major is racing with plenty of zest so don’t ignore him as a serious threat. A fitter JAY OK (6) came from back in the pack, and from a peg role, when a pleasing 6m 9th in the above-mentioned race. The Paul Fitzpatrick-trained 6yo has a slightly better draw to go with his extra level of condition so include him in exotic transactions. ABOUTTIME (5) went hard in the opening quarter (25.2) before taking a sit, then battling on gamely when a brave 4.6m 3rd to Kanena Provlima. The 7yo son of Art Major remains in contention when it comes to the multiples. OUR MONEY ROCKS (3) worked and still proved too good for his rivals when successful at Goulburn on Monday. That deserving win came on the back of three solid displays at this venue in similar assignments to this so include the David Thorn-trained 6yo in multiple transactions. PETES SAID SO (2) has drawn favourably in two, and although without a win in recent months, his form is creditable and he is a value chance for the multiples.
HI MANAMEISJEFF 1, Kanena Provlima 2, Nerano 3, Mach Da Vinci 4.
With a hat-trick of wins next to his name since resuming from a spell, and since coming under the care of Belinda McCarthy, CONSTANTINOPLE (8) is the one to beat when the Carousel Trotters Final rolls around. The son of Trixton has justified his ‘favourite’ tag on each occasion, the most recent when he led for most of the trip in defeating Jungle Eyes and Tiger Tee. There is a lot more depth attached to this field, but the 6yo is the one to beat once again. Joe and Mary Rando have two definite threats, in particular TORO STRIDE (4) as he will also be looking to build on his hat-trick of wins. Back from a lengthy spell, the 4yo chestnut has been equally as impressive, with his latest win also the result as an all-the-way display in defeating Kyvalley Hotspur and Albizia. Reserve out and Toro Stride will leave the machine from gate three, an early and important advantage over Constantinople, which may well be vital at the completion of the 2300m challenge. ALBIZIA (7) contested the G1 Great Square (2138m) at Albion park on July 8, finishing a pleasing 11.3m 3rd behind the exciting London To A Brick. Back home and resuming from that outing on July 8, the Jarrod Alchin-trained mare was left facing the breeze when a 20.3m 3rd to Toro Stride in her heat on September 12. Fitter, the daughter of Creative will be in the mix, as per usual, as she has four wins and three placings to show for her seven starts. KYVALLEY HOTSPUR (9) scored a solid win at Geelong before heading north to contest a heat of the Carousel, which resulted in a solid 1.6m 2nd to Toro Stride. Prepared by Brent Lilley, the son of Muscle Hill has drawn wide but he can’t be ignored as a potential threat. LEAF STRIDE (12) has his share of talent, but has also had his issues in the score up and, or at the start. Such was the case when he worked home stoutly in finishing a 14.9m 3rd to Red White An Bloom. If, the son of Love You decides to put it altogether from the outset, then he could be involved in the finish. Former Victorian RED WHITE AN BLOOM 950 looked good in winning his heat, which was his first run for Elizabeth Heath. The 6yo son of Orlando Vici has been lightly-raced, but he looks to be a late bloomer so don’t ignore him as a threat. The consistent JUNGLE EYES (11) is entitled to be included when it come to the multiples.
CONSTANTINOPLE 1, Toro Stride 2, Albizia 3, Kyvalley Hotspur 4.
This is a race of many chances, due to the consistency, but lack of solid winning form. FIRE AND SWORD (4) certainly fits into the former category and he gets his chance to be pro-active when it comes to the winning post. Following a Wagga win five starts ago, the 6yo then posted two unplaced efforts at that same venue before being transferred to the stables of Elizabeth Heath. Both runs have been pleasing, the first resulting in a 4.5m 3rd to Kadar while the latter was a solid 5.4m 5th behind Crime Dont Pay a week ago. The added plus here is the better draw, with gate four his starting point. The son of A Rocknroll Dance will have the opportunity to go in search of a run close to the action and that should be a plus. Robert Morris, who is driving Fire And Sword, is performing with a high degree of confidence of late, and that is also a bonus. RED REACTOR (9) is also racing consistently, and although a wide draw awaits the Leon Jurd-trained son of Auckland Reactor, his claims must be respected. Runner-up to Kadar three runs ago, Red Reactor has finished fourth in each of his past two engagements, the latter when he posted a gritty 5.8m display to Janarty a week ago. Red Reactor doesn’t win out of turn, but then again, his rivals also have the same game plan. JUST AS WELL (1) has been mixing her form, however, gate one is a big plus, ensuring that the daughter of Well Said has the chance to have a say in the outcome. Last time out, which was a week ago, Just As Well posted a handy 9m 8th to Theresa Love when favourite to take out the contest. Runner-up to the talented My Sweet Sabrina two back, Just As Well should give a good sight from a role close to the action, if not in front. LOCHIEL (3) strikes, what should be a suitable assignment, compared to his latest bracket of work. Following a number of handy efforts at this venue, the Lincoln Royal 6yo struck trouble on the home turn when a 29.5m 6th to Our Money Rocks at Goulburn on Monday. Forget he went around when assessing his claims. Gate three is also a plus for the 6y, who gives Leon Jurd two bright chances. CONSTANTINA (5) has been consistent, without winning, so include the 6yo daughter of Pet Rock in the multiple mix, along with WHATS YOUR SECRET (7).
FIRE AND SWORD 1, Red Reactor 2, Just As Well 3, Lochiel 4.
The Carousel Final is next up, and with gate one next to his name, the Belinda McCarthy-trained OUR COSMIC MAJOR (1) looks the one to beat. Resuming from a spell and for his new team, Our Cosmic Major scored with ease, and with something in reserve, when too good for his rivals at Penrith, before heading to Menangle a couple of weeks ago for his heat appearance. Finding the leads role from the pole position, the son of Art Major justified his odds-on quote, but only by the half-neck margin in defeating Crime Dont Pay. The runner-up was impressive in scoring at Headquarters last week. Fitter for his recent encounters, Our Cosmic Major will again prove hard to run down. Despite drawn the outside gate once again, which was the case in his heat, the Seaton Grima-trained CRIME DONT PAY (12), which it did last week, appeals as the main threat. Under the care of fledgling mentor Seaton Grima, Crime Dont Pay has contested five runs for the stable, resulting in three wins and two roles as runner-up. Driven by Cam Hart last week, the 6yo son of Sportswriter came from the rear of the field in posting a dominant win over Monsieur Delacour and Laurie Dee. Cam will again partner Crime Dont Pay and is likely to adopt a similar plan in the hope of guiding the gelding to another win. JANARTY (6) fought back bravely in defeating Our Uncle Jim and Foxy Dada last week, and although the son of Art Major will be confronted by a harder test, the Art major 7yo is up to the challenge. CEMETERY BAY (11) has been placed in three of his past four, two at Melton while the latest was a gritty 2m display behind Ryans Gangster a couple of weeks ago at this venue when he worked from a wide gate. The Alex Ashwood trained and driven 5yo, well-named son of Live or Die, has drawn even deeper this time, but with his first Menangle run behind him, another competitive showing is on the cards. RYANS GANGSTER (2) won first-up for Elizabeth Heath and with a suitable draw the son of Courage Under Fire is entitled to be linked to exotic investments. VULUNTEER (5) is racing with confidence and is coming off a gritty win so don’t rule him out when discussing multiple investments. OUR UNCLE JIM (10) is has also been competitive of late and his presence adds further depth to the list with claims in the exotics.
OUR COSMIC MAJOR 1, Crime Dont Pay 2, Janarty 3, Cemetery Bay 4.
Recently, those competing in this event have been very shy about having their photo taken with the winning post. But one will, it is just a matter of which one wants it the most. Down in grade, TOTAL DIVA (8) should find this to be a suitable assignment. Prepared by Peter Hanson, who has been enjoying success with Mach Da Vinci, the daughter of Terror To Love has greeted the judge since last November, however, she has been involved in far harder engagements. And, she hasn’t been disgraced, despite finishing out of the money. Contesting the Norms Daughter Stakes last time out, Total Diva drew wide and drifted back at the start, prior to working home soundly for a creditable 10m 5th to Little Bliss. The 6yo has drawn wide but Jim Douglass may decide to have Total Diva in the mix at the earliest possible moment, as she doesn’t mind doing it tough. PITCH PERFECT (4) has a useful draw and although the Roy Roots Jnr-trained 7yo has been mixing his form, a competitive showing is likely. The son of Bettors Delight was left facing the breeze when a 12.3m 4th to Fear Cruisin at Newcastle recently, and with the prospect of a kinder run, Pitch Perfect will have the chance to enjoy a kinder run. WESTERN STYLE (3) has been placed at Penrith and Goulburn, respectively, the latter when he worked home stoutly, despite finding trouble, in recording a 4.6m 3rd behind Our Money Rocks and Muscle Bart. The Chris Judd-conditioned son of Western Terror is capable of playing a role in the finish. SURFERS DELIGHT (2) has a couple of solid Newcastle placings next to his name and from the ideal draw the 5yo should again be competitive. TUPPENCE (5) continues to be thereabouts and is worthy of attention when it comes to the multiples. BLACK ONYX (1) returns to a suitable assignment after tackling The Singo and the G2 Stockade, finishing a 19m 7th behind Captain Hammerhead and a 13m 8th to Sure Thing Captain, respectively. The 4yo had been around the mark prior to those challenging assignments, so from the pole he should be far more competitive this time around. CHEVRON ART (6) and IZAHA (7) also have claims as exotic players, such is the depth attached to this race.
TOTAL DIVA 1, Pitch Perfect 2, Western Style 3, Surfers Delight 4.
Despite being first-up since July 20, the Rickie Alchin trained and driven FREDDY SINGH (7) is worth an investment. Successful at this venue back in mid-May, Freddy Singh has been competing in Queensland with his campaign coming to an end following a 10.7m 5th to Fast Tracker at Redcliffe. Fast Tracker was seen to advantage at Menangle last week. With a recent solid trial at Headquarters to his credit, Freddy Singh looks ready to produce a bold showing. SAINT CRUSADER (9) strips fitter for two creditable runs since a spell with the former resulting in a 1.6m 3rd to Roclea Image while the latter being a 6.3m 5th to The Cid, both on the Newcastle circuit. Although the 4yo son of Courage Under Fire has been below his below his best, this assignment isn’t out of his reach. The outside gate awaits the Leon Jurd-trained LOORRIM CREEK (10), but don’t ignore him as a contender. The 10yo has been unplaced in his past five starts, following back-to-back sound placings, however, he hasn’t been disgraced in the process. The veteran son of Rock N Roll Heaven went around on Tuesday in recording a 13.4m 6th to Uncle Jay. This challenge will be a shade easier, despite the wide gate. ROMERO (3) started a short-priced favourite in the race won by Uncle Jay on Tuesday. Dictating the terms the Jason Grimson-trained 7yo was run down over the final 100m by Uncle Jay, but from his good draw, the son of Million Dollar Cam is poised to give another bold showing. ARDENS ACE (4) gave a bold showing when a 5.4m 4th to Our Money Rocks at Goulburn on Monday. That was his best effort of late and the draw should again see him in the mix from the outset. Keep the son of Art Major in mind when it comes to the multiples. ONE FOR THE RODI (8) has been thereabouts in his recent Newcastle encounters and is a value player for the multiples.
FREDDY SINGH 1, Saint Crusader 2, Loorrim Creek 3, Romero 4.