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    ‘Jeff’ and ‘Vinci’ set for a showdown ‘Jeff’ and ‘Vinci’ set for a showdown

    EVERYBODY'S FAVOURITE: Jason Grimson and friends pay tribute to Hi Manameisjeff following his recent win in the P. J. Hall Memorial.

    RACE ONE: Contesting a suitable challenge, the Seaton Grima trained and driven STRAVINSKY (7) has the chance to record his first win since December,... ‘Jeff’ and ‘Vinci’ set for a showdown

    RACE ONE:

    Contesting a suitable challenge, the Seaton Grima trained and driven STRAVINSKY (7) has the chance to record his first win since December, 2022 when he greeted the judge at Melton, defeating two talented types in Sew What and Serg Blanco. At the particular stage of his career Stravinsky was under the care of Emma Stewart, one of a number of mentors he has had during the course of his career. Recently, a stint in Tasmania was followed by a period with Amy Diebert in the Western Districts before facing the starter as a member of Seaton’s team in a heat of the New Year’s Gift, followed by his Final appearance a week ago. In each of his past two appearances the son of Sunshine Beach has dawn wide and, as result the 6yo has been posted outside of the leader. A determined 2.5m behind Our Cosmic Major was a pointer to better things to come while a fading 15m 6th, once again, behind the Luke McCarthy-trained son of son of Art Major was a useful effort under the circumstances. This will be a slightly easier assignment for Stravinsky and with a minor improvement in his starting role, Stravinsky should be competitive in an open race. Blake Fitzpatrick has two runners, each with sound enough form to be regarded as threats. RICKOSHAY (9) has drawn the outside gate in the field on nine while JALANEEL (6) will launch his claim from six. RICKOSHAY had been thereabouts, despite finishing seventh on three consecutive occasions, prior to hitting the line strongly when a 2.4m 2nd to the outsider in Shades Of heaven a week ago. The 6yo son of Bettors Delight scored here six starts ago, and has been building towards another win so don’t ignore his claims. JALANEEL will again be driven by Cam Hart, who replaces the suspended trainer. The last time the son of Heston Blue Chip greeted the judge was July/2023. However, the 5yo has been edging towards a bold showing of late. Beaten 7m when 6th to Our Cosmic Major two starts back, the 5yo then found early trouble, resulting in a five peg role coming his way. Although never a serious threat in the run home, Jalaneel did work home stoutly over the final 200m in posting a creditable 9.3m 4th to Shades Of Heaven. Better luck in running should result in Jalaneel making his presence felt. ARDENS REALITY (1) strips fitter for two runs back, the latter resulting in a useful 8.9m 4th to Tuppence last week. Settling four pegs the KerryAnn Morris-trained 7yo was working to the line soundly. With the benefit of gate one, the son of Somebeachsomewhere should receive a comfortable run, which should assist Ardens Reality producing a competitive display. The consistent SIGHT TO SEE (2) has been placed in three of his past five starts since scoring at Penrith. Suitably drawn, compared to commencing most of his recent starts at Penrith from the back row, the latest resulting in a solid 8.2m 3rd to the promising My Ultimate Snowy, Sight To See should be linked to exotic investments. SHEFFIELD SPARKY (4) led when a creditable 7.8m 3rd to stablemate Tuppence a week ago and remains in the multiple mix. Hopefully, TITIAN RAIDER (8) can run a bold race and improve on recent efforts in memory of one of his part-owners, Peter Gadsby, who sadly passed away last week. Trainer and his best mate Harry Martin will be keen to see the 6yo son of Sunshine Beach doing Pete proud.

    STRAVINSKY 1, Rickoshay 2,Jalaneel 3, Ardens Reality 4.

    RACE TWO:

    The Brad Hewitt trained and driven CAPTAINS KNOCK (6) will take his first steps towards a potential exciting 4yo career when he returns to racing against older opposition. The classy son of Captaintreacherous boasts an impressive record, having won 10 of his 19 starts while being placed on a further four occasions. Captains Knock headed to the paddock after adding another g1 title to his collection when he won the NSWBC for 3YO C&G’s at Menangle last October. Leading from start to finish, Captains Knock was never in danger of defeat as he powered to the line in defeating Waratah Lou and Montalbano. Brad has given his ‘stable star’ two trials, the first resulting in a win at Goulburn before a strong display in finishing 2nd to Titian Raider in a time of 1:53.1, the final 400m covered in 26.9. Drawing the middle of the line, Captains Knock has the gate speed to be prominently placed from the outset, with the lead role being his first option. Despite being first-up and taking on older rivals, Captains Knock will be looking to build towards the Chariots of Fire and beyond on a positive note. MISTER ROBIN HOOD (4) looms as the main danger to the Goulburn visitor. Formerly based in New Zealand, the son of Sweet Lou debuted for Jason Grimson with a solid all-the-way win at Menangle last October when he comfortably accounted for Dat Lou and Vinke B. Enjoying a kind run behind the leader at his next start on November 4, the 4yo was unable to peg back Rakadan in finishing a creditable second. Two Menangle trials, the latter resulting in a 1:51.4 win, Mister Robin Hood is ready to make his presence felt in a big way. The Ash Delosa-trained OUR UNCLE JIM (5) recorded another honest effort when a closing 1.4m 2nd to Tuppence last week. The 8yo has drawn better this time around, but that plus will be off-set by the harder task, courtesy of the top two picks. Our Uncle Jim should be included when it comes to building exotic combinations. CELESTIAL GOSSIP (1) led and was keen to get back to the stables when a fading 19.6m 8th to Shades Of Heaven last week. That assignment was over 2300m and back to the sprint trip, the Bailey McDonough trained and driven 9yo is capable of giving a better showing so don’t ignore his claims when forming multiple transactions. FREDDY SINGH (10) has drawn badly out wide but Rickie Alchin has the 6yo racing in fine fashion and he must be included in the exotics. MAGIC MATTEO (8) and a fitter HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (7) are value players.

    CAPTAINS KNOCK 1, Mister Robin Hood 2, Our Uncle Jim 3, Celestial Gossip 4.

    RACE THREE:

    In a race of many chances, STINGRAY TARA (4) is worthy of an investment. Following a strong win here back last November when Greg Sugars guided him to victory over Jay OK and Longfellow, the Blake Fitzpatrick-conditioned son of Bettors Delight has been placed in three of his subsequent five outings, the latest a week ago. Settling five pegs, then three back in the running line approaching the final bend, Stingray Tara worked to the line strongly in recording a pleasing 1.2m 3rd to Smiffys Terror and Cya Art. Lleyton Green will again take the reins and with a suitable challenge awaiting Stingray Tara, improving two spots isn’t beyond him in this company. BOOM (1) is definitely the one to beat after the son of Alta Christiano drew perfectly in gate one. Drawing wide for his latest engagement last week, the James Rattray trained and driven 7yo secured the one-one, which laid the foundations for a gritty 2.8m defeat of King Tiger and Last Tango In Heaven. Taylah Osmond, who is driving in fine style, will take the reins this time around and will be looking to secure role as pacemaker, or at the very least, the spot behind the leader. Either way, Boom will be involved in the finish. BRAEDOS LAD (3) raced prominently when a determined 1.8m 4th to Smiffys Terror last week, and although he has been mixing his form of late, from gate three the son of For A Reason is entitled to more than a passing thought. DENIS WILLIAM (7) scored here three starts ago, defeating Braedos Lad and Joe Nien, however, the 7yo has been disappointing since. The first can be forgiven to some degree as the son of Art major contested the Brian Hancock FFA, which resulted in a 17m last to Taipo. Last week the Jason Grimson-trained gelding led before finishing a tiring 11m last to SMIFFYS Terror, as an odds-on elect. The Grimson-Cam Hart can never be taken lightly so don’t dismiss Denis William when it comes to the multiples. DANGERZONE (2) had a disappointing end to his previous term of racing with the Luke McCarthy-conditioned son of Gotta Go Cullect finishing unplaced in his past four encounters, following a solid win over boom and Little Bliss in mid-September. Safely held in his trial, the 5yo has drawn ideally in two and Luke will be keen to have Dangerzone making his presence felt from the outset. Dangerzone is capable of a bold first-up showing so don’t ignore his claims. JOE NIEN (8), despite the outside gate, is a reliable type with exotic prospects, as per usual.

    STINGRAY TARA 1, Boom 2, Braedos Lad 3, Denis William 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    ILLAVABUBBLES (6) debuted with a stylish display at Menangle last week, and it is impossible to go past the mare as the one to beat again. Arriving with a couple of safely held displays next to her at Albion Park, the daughter of Always B Miki did what most horses do when they enter the tables of Jason Grimson, and that is to show sharp improvement. The odds-on elect was taken straight to the lead by Cam Hart and from that point onwards, the 1609m became a procession. When the judge called a halt, Illavabubbles had a margin of 16.4m to spare over a game Don Boston while Halloween was a further 3.8m behind that pair. From the middle of the line, Cam will again take control of the contest from the outset with the mare, and, like last week, that will be the ace, done and dusted. The Anna Woodmansey-trained JESEEKA (7) will be an interesting opponent as the daughter of Art Major steps out for her first Menangle experience, officially. Boasting three wins and the same number of minor placings from a mere seven starts, the well-bred 4yo will be having her first outing since scoring at AP last November when she accounted for Sweet Georgia Brown and Sky Blu in the 3YO Fillies Classic. Jeseeka contested a trial at Menangle last week and hit the line well in recording a 6m 3rd to Mister Robin Hood and Spirit Of Arion. The overall time was 1:51.4, with the final 400m completed in 27.9, following a 26.9 third quarter. With the benefit of that outing around the spacious Menangle circuit, Jeseeka will make things interesting for Illavabubbles. JUST AS WELL (11) has drawn the outside gate for her first assignment since recording a 25m last behind our Uncle Jim at this venue last October. The daughter of Well Said recorded a solid trial effort, and although the mare mixed her form when last I work, the Luke McCarthy-conditioned 6yo is worthy of attention when it comes to multiple transactions. Harrison Ross, who won his first Menangle race a couple of weeks when he guided The Croupier to victory for Luke, has been booked to handle the driving duties. The consistent KEILOR BABY SHARK (9) is coming off a solid-finishing half-head 2nd behind Nelly Bigtime when the mare drew ideally in one, The Peter Rixon-trained 5yo has drawn a lot wider this time, but the consistency factor keeps her in the mix when it comes to the multiples. NELLY BIGTIME (8) has been consistent for David Thorn and despite, also drawing wider in a harder race, the Changeover mare remains an suitable exotic player. SUGAR FOR MY HONEY (1) scored at Newcastle last time out in an easier contest, but from the pole the 5yo is worthy of exotic involvement while DANCE ADDITION (2) is also racing well enough to be included, especially after drawing well. SAVEEON (10) will be backing up from an engagement here on Tuesday, and if the mare comes through that engagement with a creditable display, also consider her exotic prospects.

    ILLAVABUBBLES 1, Jeseeka 2, Just As Well 3, Keilor Baby Shark 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    He needs to introduction and doesn’t ask for one. Everybody knows HI MANAMEISJEFF (9) and his reputation. Since commencing his relationship with trainer Jason Grimson, Hi Manameisjeff has contested eight races, recording a ‘magnificent seven’ wins and an unlucky appearance in the Victoria Cup. Despite the bad luck it still would have been a ‘stretch; in him taking the trophy back to NSW. Since finishing a 6.2m 10th to Act Now in that particular assignment at Melton on October 14, the 7yo has returned to base camp and has won his next three, all in fine fashion and with a degree of arrogance. Leading from start to finish on each occasion the son of Art Major has won the Nick Robin FFA, the Tony Turnbull FFA and finally, the P J Hall FFA, with Cam Hart yet to break out in a sweat in guiding the speedster to a hat-trick of emphatic victories. The story should and probably will be the same this time around when Grimson, Hart and Jeff this event, against, mainly similar opposition. Hi Manameisjeff has drawn the outside gate in the field of nine, but that won’t stop Cam from stamping his authority and that of Jeff’s on his rivals. And has we have seen in recent months, that should be ‘all she wrote’. MACH DA VINCI (8) is racing in the ‘peak of his powers’, the best form of his outstanding career, however, the Peter Hanson-trained son of Art Major hasn’t been a match for Hi Manameisjeff, Then again, nothing has. Despite drawing the outside gate and racing without cover, Mach Da Vinci proved too classy, too tough and too good for Magician and Line Up last week, with the 7yo having a margin of 8.5m to spare when the judge called a halt to proceedings. Mach Da Vinci has a superb record of late, with his only blemish being in the Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on Boxing Day. And that was through no fault of the horse as he suffered a severe check soon after the start, forcing Jack Callaghan to retire him from the contest. SOUTH COAST ARDEN (7) peaks in condition following two solid efforts since a spell. The Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned classy 7yo, opened his latest campaign with a gritty 2.3m 3rd to Braeview Kelly and Double Encounter before again producing a determined effort in recording  a 6.2m 2nd to Hi Manameisjeff a couple of weeks ago. Rarely far away, the son of Somebeachsomewhere will again have plenty to offer. LINE UP (3) has performed well in two runs back from a long spell. Now under the care of Joe and Mary Rando, the always, highly regarded son of Bettors Delight finished a fast-finishing 2nd Wow Hes A Rock Star before being prominent throughout when a solid 8.6m 3rd to Mach Aa Vinci and Magician. Fitter and suitably drawn, the sparingly-raced 7yo will again make his presence felt and a suitable exotic runner in the process. ALTA ORLANDO (2) didn’t have the best of luck when a 13m 6th to Mach Da Vinci a week ago after being in a three peg role. Ideally drawn in two the veteran should be included when it comes to the multiples. STAR MAJOR (6) is always competitive and he will offer value as an exotic player.

    HI MANAMEISJEFF 1, Mach Da Vinci 2, South Coast Arden 3, Line Up 4.

    RACE SIX:

    This should be a case of two ‘jacks’ being good enough to take the pot. Trainer Jack Trainor and driver Jack Brown have been highly successful over the past 14 months or so, and the joy is set to continue when the again combine with the talented mare, ARDENS DELIGHT (2). Ideally drawn in two and rarely far away when the judge calls a halt to proceedings, Ardens Delight is entitled to be regarded as the one to beat. Driven by her mentor last week, the 6yo daughter of Bettors Delight enjoyed the one-one when a gritty 3.8m 3rd to the long-shot Shades Of Heaven. Prior to that effort Ardens Delight worked home stoutly from a midfield role when a 5.7m 4th to Our Cosmic Major in a heat of the New Year’s Xmas Gift. The Luke McCarthy-trained Our Cosmic Major then came out and won the Final in a brave and determined manner. Jack (Brown) will be able to secure a suitable run from the good draw and with his association with Ardens Delight proving to be fruitful in the past, the pair will be looking to come up ‘trumps’ once again. Jack (Trainor) will take the reins behind stablemate THERESA LOVE (1), another honest performer. The 6yo daughter of Terror To Love will launch her claim from the pole, which is a big plus for the mare and her claims on the major share of the prizemoney. Contesting the New Year’s Gift a week ago, the mare worked home creditably from a midfield role in posting a 12.3m 5th to Our Cosmic Major. Back to her own sex and Theresa Love will be competitive. HEAVENLY HOLLY (4) has been off the scene since a sound 11m 6th to Little Bliss in the Norms Daughter Stakes at Menangle back in early September. The winner of the JC Caffyn Plate prior to that run the Michael Formosa trained and driven 6yo daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven has recorded two pleasing Newcastle trials for trainer-driver Michael Formosa. From her handy draw, Heavenly Holly is poised to make her presence felt so respect her claims. TOTAL DIVA (5) returned from a spell last week in recording a pleasing 4.2m 4th to boom. The Peter Hanson-conditioned daughter of Terror To Love hasn’t greeted the judge since November/2022, and although her previous campaign wasn’t her best, the mare is worth including when it comes to the multiples. The Luke McCarthy-trained ITS EBOBYNIVORY (3) is resuming from a spell on the back of a safely held Menangle trial. The mare had a mixed campaign when last in  work, however, from the good draw the daughter of American Ideal should be included when forming multiple transactions. LITTLE BLISS (9) and IDEAL IN DFREAMS (7) also have minor exotic prospects. MAJIC MOMENT (8) has returned after a short stint of racing in Queensland, with Jarrod Alchin taking over her routine. Cam Hart takes the reins, and although safely held in a recent Menangle trial, it may pay to keep the 5yo daughter of Captaintreacherous safe in exotic investments.

    ARDENS DELIGHT 1, Theresa Love 2, Heavenly Holly 2, Total Diva 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    Despite drawing the outside gate in a field of eight, LAST TANGO IN HEAVEN (8) is ready to greet the judge for the first time since resuming from a spell. The 6yo last paid a visit to the winner’s circle back in March/2023, but his past three runs indicate that he is ready to pay that particular area another visit. Prepared by KerryAnn Morris and to be driven by Robbie, the son of Rock N Roll Heaven hit the line strongly when a half-neck 4th to Wow Hes A Rock Star two starts ago, in what was a far stronger assignment, prior to battling on stoutly when always prominent in posting a 3m 3rd to Boom and King Tiger last week. The small field will help off-set the draw and with a suitable trip, Last Tango In Heaven will prove hard to hold out. SAHARA SIROCCO (2) has drawn well in two and that will assist his claims of being a contender. Prepared by Trevor Munday and to be driven by Will Rixon, the 7yo son of Courage Under Fire has been unplaced in his past four engagements since scoring here over The Croupier and Longfellow. Beaten in good company at Headquarters on three occasions, Sahara Sirocco headed to Newcastle last week for his last assignment, which resulted in a 6.4m 6th to Freddy Singh. In an open event, Sahara Sirocco is worth another chance. FIRESTORM RED (7) has also been safely held of late, but in better class of events. Comfortably held, but far from being disgraced in races won by Max Delight, Taipo, Cya Art and Hi Manameisjeff, respectively, the 8yo son of Somebeachsomewhere has since recorded a 21.4m 7th to Boom last week. Providing the 8yo hasn’t lost confidence, then Firestorm Red should be far better suited in this contest. MAJOR JELLIS (4) returns from a spell with his latest effort resulting in an 8.2m 4th to stablemate The Croupier back in  mid-October. Safely held in a trial, the Art Major 7yo has shown he can match with a field of this standard, however, the Luke McCarthy-trained gelding must commence to shown a return to form. At least consider Major Jellis when organizing exotic investments. ARDENS ACE (5) led and tired when a 33m 8th to Iam The Captain at Bathurst a week ago. That was in stark contrast to his previous sound form so expect a far more competitive showing from the Tony Bertwistle-trained son of Art Major. MAJOR BOB (6) has been thereabouts of late and stays in the mix as an exotic chance.

    LAST TANGO IN HEAVEN 1, Sahara Sirocco 2, Firestorm Red 3, Major Jellis 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    Racing with plenty of confidence, following three wins from his past five starts, HAVE NO FEAR (6) won’t be concerned in the slightest about his upcoming assignment. Before greeting the judge at Menangle last week, the Joe and Mary Rando-trained son of Father Patrick had little difficulty scoring under handicap conditions, the first overcoming a 20m hcp. Last week Have No Fear faced the starter from behind the mobile and despite being left without cover, the 6yo proved too strong for on Advice and Sunny Gee. This time around Have No fear will line up behind the 10m tape, and with a safe beginning, the gelding should again be in the thick of the action, as he prepares to go back-to-back at Headquarters. The main threat will come from the Brad Hewitt trained and driven MAJESTIC TRIO (8) which returns to racing following a sequence of three disappointing unplaced efforts. Ninth to Constantinople at this venue which was followed by a well-beaten 7th to Doff Your Cap, the talented daughter of Majestic Son ended her previous campaign with a distant 8th to Doff Your Cap after breaking on the home turn. That was back in early November and with the benefit of two Goulburn trials, the former resulting in a  win, Brad will be hoping the mare has cleared her mind and is ready to show a return to form. The 20m strand will come into play, but if Majestic Trio is back to her best, then she will definitely test this field. KING OF LOVE (3) certainly has a suitable nickname in ‘spooky’ as he certainly can be ‘flighty’ at the drop of a hat. That was the case at Penrith three starts ago when he broke after the start, resulting in an 11m 4th to The Night King, when he made up many, many metres in the process, prior to doing everything right in leading for most of the way in scoring here. Then it was back to his poor manners when the Joe Conolly-trained son of Love You lost all chance with a tardy beginning last week in the race won by Have No Fear. The end result was a 113m last, but, if King Of Love decides to concentrate from the outset, then he is more than capable of giving a good account. Your fate will be known sooner than later with this fellow. SUNNY GEE (7) has been going along steadily of late and he won’t be worried by the stand start. The 7yo worked home steadily last start in posting an 8.2m 3rd to Have No Fear and, if there is to be somewhat of a surprise result, Sunny Gee is the one most likely to provide such a result. DROP THE HAMMER (9) has been off the scene since last April when a 20m 6th to Aldebaran Tess at Menangle. The Darren Hancock trained and driven 9yo has had the benefit of two solid trials, both as runner-up, so it would appear that the son of Bettors Delight is ready for action. However, a 30m hcp awaits and that will be a tough mark to overcome. With two wins from nine stand assignments, Drop The Hammer will be looking to bounce back to form after a moderate term of racing. Boasting 26 wins, all recorded at this venue, the veteran will be looking to add to his impressive stats at Headquarters, but maybe another night. MONARCH STRIDE (2) is yet to win from behind the tapes, with two placings coming his way from four attempts. The lightly-raced 6yo is coming off a few handy efforts since scoring here four starts back, and from the front line the son of Muscle Hill is capable of giving plenty of cheek.

    HAVE NO FEAR 1, Majestic Trio 2, King Of Love 3, Sunny Gee 4.

      – FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS

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