October 12, 2023 Michael Court
NATIONAL Trotguide’s form expert Mike Ko’cass again produced a quality tipping effort last week, especially at Mildura last Friday.
Selecting seven of the 12 winners, Mike came up with Goodtime Jazzi ($15.70), Our Artwork ($11.20) and Daysie Brown ($8.40).
At Kilmore 24 hours earlier and Belmac Bambi saluted and paid $8.80 while at Melton on Saturday night, Classic Angelina greeted the judge at the juicy quote of $9.70.
With six of the nine winners tipped by Ko’cass at the Friday night Melton meeting, the weekend was complete when Paddy Mach scored at Cranbourne last Sunday and paid $8.60.
For the latest in news, interviews and tips, National Trotguide online has harness racing covered from all angles.
Here’s Mike’s form and exclusive tips for Club Menangle Saturday night:
The outstanding 10-event card is likely to be dominated by short-priced favourites, commencing with the Bernie Hewitt-trained RIPP (2). The quality 4yo bounced back from his last in the $2m Eureka, with a strong win over Bubba Scrub and Joe Nien a couple of weeks ago. Crossing from gate seven in occupying the role behind the leader and eventual runner-up, Doug Hewitt was able to present the son of Somebeachsomewhere with a kind run, the type of trip Ripp enjoys. Making his presence felt with 200m to run, Ripp powered home for a comfortable win. Gate two is a perfect draw for Ripp and, once again, Doug will have the stable star perfectly placed and ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Ideally drawn in gate one is the Tony Bertwistle-prepared ARDERNS ACE (1), a good beginner who also enjoys stalking the speed. The 5yo son of Art Major scored two starts back after enjoying such a run, then from a three peg role worked home stoutly in posting a head 2nd to Roll Up a week ago. Darren Binskin will again have Ardens Ace receiving every chance to be involved in the finish. BUBBA SCRUB (3) has also received a kind draw, gate three, and that will allow Mitch Ford to go in search of the lead role. That scenario played out when Bubba Scrub gave plenty of cheek after an opening quarter of 26.3 in recording a game 3m 2nd behind Ripp. Bubba Scrub’s stablemate in LIGHTNING DAN (7) was a disappointing 13m 6th in that particular event, however, the son of Captaintreacherous will strip fitter for his first run since June 3. The consistent 4yo was always in the mix during the course of his previous term and with the in-form Jack Trainor taking the reins, Lightning Dan is capable of striking so don’t ignore his claims. ROMANEE (10) has drawn wide but the 5yo remains in the mix as the tempo should be solid, which will suit the Jarrod Alchin-trained son of Bettors Delight. Exotic player should also consider the Leon Jurd-trained JOE NIEN (5), along with PITCH PERFECT (11), despite the outside gate, and last week’s winner ROLL UP (9), which faces a harder assignment, but is racing too well to dismiss.
RIPP 1, Ardens Ace 2, Bubba Scrub 3, Lightning Dan 4.
The consistent JANARTY (6) appears to be the one to beat after the son of Art Major posted another solid effort at Headquarters a week ago. Following back-to-back wins, the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned 7yo has been beaten by narrow margins in each of his next two starts, commencing with a half-head defeat behind Our Cosmic Major in the Carousel Final. Dictating the terms in his most recent engagement, Janarty was grabbed in the final stride by Lochiel after being perfectly rated by Cam Hart. Drawing the middle of the line, Janarty will again be in the thick of the action and in what appears to be a suitable assignment, that should be enough to see him go one better. The Dean Atkinson-conditioned ZAMBIA (9) wasn’t disgraced when he drew deep in competing from a rearward role in finishing a creditable 9.4m 8th to Don Lou a few weeks ago. Prior to that display the 6yo had been racing in fine fashion, and although another wide gate awaits Zambia, this will be a slightly easier challenge, which entitles him to another chance. OUR UNCLE JIM (10) has also come up with a tricky draw, but his form is good enough to suggest that the son of Western Terror will be a threat. The 7yo has had a change of stables since posting a 6.9m 3rd to Saginaw a week ago, with Steph Morris taking over the training duties from Dean Braun. Forget STELLAR ARDEN (2) went around last week in the race brilliantly won by stablemate Braeview Kelly. Beaten for gate speed after drawing the pole, the talented 5yo mare settled four pegs and at no stage did Stellar Arden receive a clear run in finishing a 14m 8th, despite the efforts of Cam Hart in his attempt to find some clear running. Trainer, Jack Trainor will taking over the driving duties and with better luck in running, Stellar Arden is more than capable of being a major factor in the finish. Well-drawn in gate three, JUST AS WELL (3) should be in the mix from the outset, with the last-start all-the-way winner remaining in the mix when it comes to multiple transactions. CONSTANTINA (5) and MITSI GAYNOR (4) have claims as values players for exotic consideration.
JANARTY 1, Zambia 2, Our Uncle Jim 3, Stellar Arden 4.
Numerous semi-finals of the NSW Breeders Challenge will feature on the card, commencing with the first for 2YO Colts & Geldings. The powerful Emma Stewart stable will be represented by WAR DAN BUDDY (9) and despite the wide gate the Art Major colt appeals as the one to beat. Following a respectable 11.6m 4th to highly-regarded stablemate Stormryder in the Vicbred 2YO C&G Final at Melton, War Dan Buddy headed to Wagga on September 22 for his heat of this series. Starting well into the ‘red’, the colt was untroubled leading throughout in defeating Gotta Lockhead and Dougs Flame. While a few of his main opponents have drawn suitably, War Dan Buddy is bound to make his presence felt from the outset. The Jamie Cassar-prepared PARADISE POINT (1) is poised to make his presence felt after drawing the prized pole position. The son of For a Reason has won three of his past four, with his only unplaced run resulting in a 5.5m 5th to Sir Knight in the NSWBC Blue Final for his age and sex. Following that engagement the colt has won back-to-back races at Newcastle, the latter being a heat of this series, with Iron Clad and Cabana filling the minors. Jack Callaghan will have him in or near the lead from the outset and that will lay the foundations for another strong showing. IRON CLAD (2) is coming off an emphatic all-the-way win at AP a couple of weeks ago for Grant Dixon. The Art Major youngster will also be keen to find a role close to the action and no doubt Robert Morris will have Iron Clad competing from such a role. ROYAL CRUISER (3) led in scoring at Bathurst, prior to finishing runner-up behind Kick The Switch, as an odds-on elect, on his home track, before working home strongly when a half-neck 2nd to Ravishing Sloy in a heat of this series. The Sweet Lou youngster adds to the early intrigue for positions close to the action. When it comes to forming exotic investments, MONDELLO BEACH (5) is worthy of attention while OUR GOAT (8), despite the presence of a wide gate, is entitled to consideration. Following a hat-trick of Bathurst wins, the Bernie Hewitt-trained son of Warrawee Needy was sent out as an odds-on elect for his next home assignment, but was beaten 6m into 2nd spot by Titiwha after having every chance. Our Goat is capable of making amends for that defeat. WIPE OUT (11) has a tricky draw to overcome, however, the prospect of a keenly contested race should suit the Downbytheseaside colt, who has been consistent of late, with his last-start 19.3m 2nd to Nathan Street being a game effort in securing his finishing role.
WAR DAN BUDDY 1, Paradise Point 2, Iron Clad 3, Royal Cruiser 4.
Stepping out in a semi-final for 2YO Fillies, RENEWAL (1) appears to be an ideal investment. The classy Emma Stewart-trained daughter of American Ideal has won four of her six engagements while filling two minor placings. A gritty 2nd to her exciting stablemate Draw A Dream in the Vicbred 2YO Fillies Final at Melton on September 16, Renewal headed to Wagga for her heat just six days later. With Mark Pitt dictating the terms after starting from gate one, Renewal was always comfortable in easily accounting for Eye Believe and Tapanga Miss. Renewal will again have the opportunity to dictate the terms from start to finish. AROMET GIRL (4) was game in defeat, despite the margin between first and third being a convincing 30.7 when beaten by the classy Geoff Webster-trained filly, Elusive. One-one early, then exposed three wide for the final stages, the Garry Harpley-trained daughter of Alta Christiano continued to battle away gamely in the run to the line. The Temora visitor has drawn closer to the pegs in gate four and that will assist the filly in securing a suitable trip. LUVARESCHS (3) has drawn suitably in three and that is a plus for the consistent Elizabeth Heath-trained daughter of Art Major. Unplaced just twice in her 14-start career, which boasts five wins and the same number of runner-up cheques, Luvareschs is coming off a 2m 2nd behind Polka Delight at Newcastle when she appeared to race keenly from a three peg role. SWEET HAYLEY JANE (9) has drawn the outside gate in the field of nine, but the Rickie Alchin trained and driven daughter of Sweet Lou will again make her presence felt. The winner of five of her nine starts, Sweet Hayley Jane has led in scoring in each of her past two wins, the latter defeating Forever Skyfall and Sara Ta Sloy in a heat of this series at Menangle. EYE CAN TRY (8) threw away her chances when the filly broke early in finishing a distant last behind Elusive. The daughter of Sweet Lou has the talent to be involved in the finish so don’t dismiss her from exotic investments. LIBBY LOU (5) battled on stoutly when an 8m 2nd to Elusive so include her as a value exotic player.
RENEWAL 1, Aromet Girl 2, Luvareschs 3, Sweet Hayley Jane 4.
The Jake Stockton-prepared MY SWEET SABRINA (6) has been impressive in winning her past couple at Wagga, particularly the latter, and it is hard to go past her as the one to beat. Following a comfortable all-the-way win over Skittle Bomb and National News, courtesy of a smart drive by Taylah Osmond, the daughter of Always B Miki then made it five wins from her past six starts on September 29, but the 4yo was made to earn her winner’s cheque. Working to the top, everything was going according to plan, however, approaching the home turn and Sugar Apple wasn’t only applying pressure to the odds-on elect, but taking a slight advantage as the pair entered the home straight. However, under hard driving from Taylah, My Sweet Sabrina displayed a high level of commitment in drawing clear once again, which resulted in a brave win, 3.6m clear of Sugar Apple while Misterfreeze filled the minor role. My Sweet Sabrina will again be looking to dictate the terms in making it a hat-trick of winning performances. BEAUTY PLAY (7) has been mixing her form of late with the Peter Rixon-trained mare coming off a 19.5m 6th behind Major Celebrity at Penrith. Back to a suitable contest against her own sex and the daughter of Sweet Lou should be involved in the finish. LA VISTA (8) has been around the mark on a regular basis and another bold showing should be forthcoming from the Blake Fitzpatrick rained and driven mare. SECRET BLING (3) won two on end at Wagga before having little luck when outside the leader in recording a 10.7m 7th behind Keayang Domino last week. Suitably drawn, the daughter of Bling It On will receive a kinder run this time and that will enhance her claims of being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. SOLAR EXPRESS (4) has won her past two at Penrith, and although a harder task awaits, don’t write her off when it comes to multiple transactions. A fitter ZENXENA (5) is also capable of improving on her first run back so keep her in mind when it comes to the exotics.
MY SWEET SABRINA 1, Beauty Play 2, La Vista 3, Secret Bling 4.
Race six, number six and with six-straight wins behind him, SWAYZEE (6) should have little trouble continuing on his winning way as he starts his build-up towards an Inter Dominion campaign in a couple of months. Prepared by Jason Grimson and to be driven by jack Trainor, Swayzee went from struggling to be an $11.00 chance for the Inter Dominion title in the space of a few months. The 5yo son of Rock N Roll Heaven ended his previous term of racing with a dashing display in the G1 2680m Blacks A Fake at AP on July 22 when a bold front-running drive by Cam Hart was responsible for leaving Leap To Fame to fill 2nd spot, with Hot And Treacherous claiming third spot. Two solid trials wins have Swayzee primed for a winning return and that will leave his rivals to battle out the minors. With Swayzee giving leaving his rivals with little more than a ‘ghost’ of chance to upstage him, that leaves his quality stablemate ABOUTTIME (4) to again fill a minor role, although on recent form behind another star stablemate in Hi Manameisjeff, the 7yo son of Art Major deserves to greet the judge. Placed in his past three starts after posting a 25.5m 4th to Hi Manameisjeff, Abouttime is coming off a gritty 10.5m 3rd behind Jeff, who is Victoria Cup bound on Saturday night. PETES SAID SO (8) has been placed in his past three and another minor role appears to be his best hope again. The 7yo worked in finding the lead last week, en route to posting a game 3.4m 3rd behind Pitch Perfect and Western Style. The consistent son of Well Said will again give a good account. STAR MAJOR (5) was unable to make his presence felt last week in the race won by Hi Manameisjeff. Restrained at the start and settling in a six peg role, the usually consistent James Rattray trained and driven son of Art Major will have the chance to settle a lot closer to the action from his better draw and that will allow him to stake a claim in the finish. OUR MONEY ROCKS (3) is racing in fine fashion and is bound to give another good account while ZEUSS BROMAC (7) is rarely far away, making him a suitable exotic player. BRAEDOS LAD (2) will be having his first run for the in-form Rickie Alchin barn, but others preferred in this class of contest, despite his sound trial effort.
SWAYZEE 1, Abouttime 2, Petes Said So 3, Star Major 4.
The second semi-final final for 2YO C&G’s is one of the more open race on the card, however, if NATHAN STREET (9) produces a similar effort, which saw him graduate to the event, then it may be clear-cut as well. Prepared by Freddy Taiba and to be driven once again by Jack Trainor, the Lazarus colt has been starting to show his early potential since resuming, winning two of his three starts this term after opening his career with two unplaced appearances. His heat performance resulted in a dominant 19.3m win over Wipeout and Beachride, with Jack dictating the terms from start to finish. When asked for and more at the 200m, Nathan Street responded in fine style. Although drawn deeper for this challenge, Nathan Street will be looking to post a carbon copy display. HUMBLE (11) is the main threat and a genuine winning chance as well. Prepared by Brad Hewitt the American Ideal colt is undefeated in three starts this preparation after opening his career back in March with a costly 3m 3rd to Mini Me at Wagga. Resuming with a big win at Wagga in late August, Humble then scored easily at Bathurst before completing the hat-trick with another strong display at Headquarters when he led in defeating Double Fear and Stagecoach, with the latter scoring since. The draw is tough for Humble but he must be rated highly. BEACHRIDE (3) has won just two from 11, however, the Bernie Hewitt-trained son of Sunshine Beach has managed seven minor placings. Ideally drawn in three, Beachride struck trouble in finishing a 19.5m 3rd to Nathan Street, with the run being a lot better than it may appear in the form guides. Expect a bold showing from the consistent youngster while CABANA (8), DOUBLE FEAR (2), MISTERFOURTHOUSAND (5), AMERICAN SPIRIT (6) and KICK THE SWITCH (10) are all in the mix when it comes to forming multiple transactions.
NATHAN STREET 1, Humble 2, Beachride 3, Cabana 4.
Boasting an unblemished record, which consists of seven wins, LUX AETERNA (9) will keep on record intact, despite drawing the outside gate for the second semi-final for 2YO Fillies. Astutely prepared by Rickie Alchin, and to be driven by same, the brilliant daughter of Captaintreacherous already has the G1 Gold Tiara Final to her credit, along with the Nutrien 2YO Fillies Final trophy to her list of achievements, following a decisive display in scoring at Bendigo two months ago. The filly has been untroubled in each of her past two wins at this venue, the latter in her heat when see led in defeating Sara Ta Sloy and Sweet Hayley Jane. Rickie is bound to leave the machine with intent as he will be keen to again dictate the terms with Lux Aeterna. It will be interesting to see if the Geoff Webster filly, ELUSIVE (3), will give up her right to set the tempo, which she did to perfection in her heat win. With Connor Clarke in the sulky, the ultra-consistent Victorian broke the heart of her rivals with a 26.9 third quarter, which paved the way for her easy win over Libby Lou and Aromet Girl. Four wins and seven placings, six as runner-up, from just 12 starts is a clear indication of the talent that is Elusive, and she will be hoping to live up to her name once again. LADY KINGSCLAIR (2) is also a quality young filly, as her record of five wins from six starts would. Prepared by Bernie Hewitt and to be driven by Jason, the daughter of Modern Art won the G2 NSWBC Blue for her sex and age at Menangle on September 2 before scoring by a big margin at Bathurst in qualifying for this race. Equally at home dictating or coming off the speed, Lady Kingsclair won’t be far away when the judge calls a halt. When forming multiple investments SARA TA SLOY (4) is a suitable choice as the filly has produced two sound displays since resuming while OUR ULTIMATE LUKA (6) and BETTINE (8) are also in the mix.
LUX AETERNA 1, Elusive 2, Lady Kingsclair 3, Sara Ta Sloy 4.
Following an outstanding return to winning form a week ago, albeit, by a narrow margin, IDEAL IN DREAMS (6) is the one to beat once again. Resuming from a spell under the care of David Thorn, Ideal in Dreams indicated she was on the way back when she powered home to record a 3.7m 3rd to Just As Well. Although costly on that occasion, due to starting a $1.50 chance, the 4yo daughter of Warrawee Needy again started the popular pick last week, however, in a competitive betting race, the price was a generous $4.20. Six pegs then easing to be three deep and five back in the running line on the point of the home turn, Ideal In Dreams powered home with Jack Trainor in the sulky, gaining the verdict in the final stride or two over Freddy Singh and Saint Crusader. With only seven runners facing the starter, sitting back won’t be a major concern as there will be less traffic to overcome for Ideal In Dreams. The main threat will come from the Nathan Jack entrant, CAPTAINS QUEEN (4), who has won three of six here, along with two minor placings. One of those victories came in the G1 APG 2YO Fillies Final. Placed in four of her six runs since a spell, the latest a 4.2m 3rd to Rakero Rebel at Kilmore on September 29, Captains Queen has drawn suitably in four, which should result in the mare making her presence felt from the outset. With young Ollie Arentz in the sulky, the Rockie Alchin-trained SUGAR FOR MY HONEY (1) was safely held in a recent trial in readiness for her first outing since an 11m 7th to Whats Your Secret over this course and distance on July 29. Consistent prior to that display, the Roll With Joe mare is bound to give a far better showing after drawing one. When forming exotic transactions SWEETLY SPOKEN (3) has been performing soundly back home on the Newcastle circuit while KATES VIRTUE (2) and ARENA QUEEN (7) also have claims in that regard.
IDEAL IN DREAMS 1, Captains Queen 2, Sugar For My Honey 3, Sweetly Spoken 4.
The return to a mobile event will be welcomed by the classy mare FUNKY MONKEY (8). The winner of one of her past three stand events, the Elizabeth Heath-trained mare managed to overcome a 30m hcp in defeating Sunny Gee and Royal Glenferrie, but found a similar 2300m assignment a week ago too demanding after stepping away from behind the 20m tape. Settling in a rearward role, prior to improving to be four back in the running line with 400m to run, Funky Monkey worked home steadily, without ever looking likely, when a 12m 5th to the all-the-way winner, Constantinople. Prior to that effort Funky Monkey was able to dictate the terms under mobile conditions, however, the exciting London To A Brick had too much firepower over the final stages in coming clear for a decisive win. The mare has drawn the outside gate, but Josh Gallagher will have the 6yo in the mix from the outset. DOFF YOUR CAP (7) strips fitter for a creditable 8.9m 4th to Constantinople a couple of weeks ago when off a 10m hcp. The consistent Jarrod Alchin-trained 7yo is a model of consistency and with that run under his belt, the son of Peak DNK is bound to play an active role in the finish. MAJESTIC TRIO (6) was never a factor when a 21m 9th to Constantinople on September 30. That was a rare safely held effort by the Brad Hewitt-trained daughter of Majestic Son. The 5yo was off a 10m hcp on that occasion so the mobile conditions will also enhance her claims of being involved in the finish. ROYAL GLENFERRIE (3) has a suitable draw and remains a contender when it comes to forming multiple investments while a fitter ALDEBARAN TESS (5) is capable of a vastly improved display following a safely held effort when resuming last week. AFFAIRE DE COVER (1) also stays in the mix as an exotic runner as his form is useful and the pole position is a plus.
FUNKY MONKEY 1, Doff Your Cap 2, Majestic Trio 3, Royal Glenferrie 4.