• hrv vicbred 23
  • Racing Tips
    Kelly ready for an ‘ambush’ in Brian Hancock FFA Kelly ready for an ‘ambush’ in Brian Hancock FFA


    RACE ONE: With the benefit of a better draw, the Elizabeth Heath-trained ONE FOR THE RODI (5) can play an important role in the... Kelly ready for an ‘ambush’ in Brian Hancock FFA


    With the benefit of a better draw, the Elizabeth Heath-trained ONE FOR THE RODI (5) can play an important role in the finish. Working over from a wide gate a week ago, One For The Rodi managed to find the lead, however, with the opening 400m completed in 26.4s, it left the son of Shoobees Place vulnerable down the long Menangle straight. And that was the case, although the consistent 4yo managed to record a solid 3.2m 4th behind the long-shot, Western Style. One For The Rodi was able to enjoy a kinder, stalking role the start previously, which resulted in an easy win over Double Encounter and Wow Hes A Rock Star. Contesting a similar race to last week, One For The Rodi is capable of proving hard to beat. Beaten a half-head in each of his past two Menangle assignments, ARDENS ACE (3) will again give a good account after drawing well. Providing the reserve remains benched and the Tony Bertwistle-trained son of Art Major will be able to use his gate speed in securing another kind run near the action. Behind the leader in both the above-mentioned encounters, Ardens Ace was game when beaten by Zambia before being collared late by Western Style. That form is deserving of having his photo taken as the winner. RICKOSHAY (2) will start from the pole if the reserve fails to secure a run. The Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven 5yo has been solid in all three runs since a spell, commencing with a 1.9m 2nd to Pump The Brakes at Penrith, then a win here and a last-start 8m 3rd behind Brooklyn Bridge and Double Encounter. Blake will also be keen to obtain a kind run for Rickoshay, which will then allow the son of Bettors Delight to keep a sufficient level of energy for the run home. PUMP THE BRAKES (8) is ready to greet the judge once again following a pleasing effort here a week ago. Three pegs and held up for a suitable run until the final 100m or so, the 9yo hit the line nicely when a closing neck 3rd to Western Style and Ardens Ace. The Sean Grayling trained and driven Pump The Brakes can’t be overlooked as a serious threat. STINGRAY TARA (11), which is also prepared by Blake Fitzpatrick, scored in fine style two starts ago, then came from a rearward role in recording a creditable 10m 5th behind Brooklyn Bridge two weeks ago. The draw is a concern, however, the 7yo has won previously when back in the pack, prior to charging home down the middle of the straight. That is likely to be his plan of attack once again so don’t ignore the son of Bettors Delight. Exotic players should also consider DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (10), FEAR CRUISIN (9) and WESTERN STYLE (4).

    ONE FOR THE RODI 1, Ardens Ace 2, Rickoshay 3, Pump The Brakes 4.


    Fitter for his first outing in two months, former Victorian MAJOR MAJOR (8) is looking to ‘square the ledger’ with punters after his costly debut outing for the Jason Grimson stable. Contesting his first race since a 9m 6th behind Terry at Melton on September 23, the Art Major 4yo enjoyed the run behind the leader when a creditable 2.8m 2nd to a fitter Im In Trouble. That assignment was over the 2300m journey, with the return to a 1609 challenge to his liking at this stage of his preparation. However, Major Major will face the starter from the middle of the line, compared to gate one when sent out an even money favourite. With the stable enjoying plenty of success, Major Major can keep the good times coming with Jack Trainor taking over the driving duties from Cam Hart who is on Inter Dominion duties. IM IN TROUBLE (5) will again take a power of beating. Runner-up in his previous two assignments the 4yo dictated the terms in comfortably defeating Major Major and Foxy Dada and with gate five being a reasonable starting position, Im In Trouble will again be in the thick of the action from the outset. Coming of three winners at this venue a week ago, Will Rixon has been booked by Seaton Grima to handle the reins. Another last-start Menangle winner in ZAMBIA (4) is capable of again being involved in the finish. After enjoying the one-one, courtesy of Blake Fitzpatrick, the Dean Atkinson-conditioned 6yo finished a shade too well for Ardens Ace and Sight To See. Harrison Ross, who has been guiding home a few winners of late, will replace Blake behind the son of Bettors Delight. After drawing wide in each of his past two starts, the latter resulting in a 10.7m 5th behind Dance And Deliver a week ago, OUR UNCLE JIM (2) is capable of playing a far more active role in the finish. The Ash Delosa-trained 7yo scored over this course and distance five runs ago, accounting for Lightning Dan and Theresa Love so he is capable of improving on recent efforts. Exotic combinations should include the pole marker CONSTANTINA (1), with the consistent daughter of Pet Rock rarely too far away, although she is finding it hard to break through for a win. However, the mare is an ideal type for the multiples. MY ULTIMATE CARTER (11) worked home stoutly in recording a close 3rd behind My Buzz Lightning and Prince Of Peace a few weeks ago, and although the 3yo colt has drawn the outside gate he remains an exotic player, along with RYANS GANGSTER (10).

    MAJOR MAJOR 1, Im In Trouble 2, Zambia 3, Our Uncle Jim 4.


    The David Hewitt-trained EXTREME SEA (6) appeals as the ‘better bet’ on the card as the son of Well Said faces the starter for the fifth start of his career. Following an indifferent start to his career, which commenced with a 24m 3rd to Fear The Banker at this venue on October 24, when a moderate beginning cost him dearly, Extreme Sea wasn’t in the mood a week later when a costly 22.5m last to Agiftfromtheangels. However, a couple of weeks later and the ‘penny’ dropped with the promising 3yo as he scored an emphatic 25.7m win over his rivals at Wagga. Extreme Sea backed that effort up with an impressive win at Menangle in a heat of this event, coming from a four peg role in defeating Montalbano and Captain Ritchie. Finishing strongly over the final 200m, Brad Hewitt still had a hold of the reins as Extreme Sea powered past his rivals. With the learning process now taking shape, Extreme Sea is clearly the one to beat. MONTALBANO (9) is rarely far away when the judge calls a halt, with the Rickie Alchin-trained son of Huntsville again looming as a serious threat. Following his 13.6m 3rd to the classy Captains Knock in the NSWBC 3YO C&G’s Final on October 29, the 3yo headed to Cranbourne for his next assignment which resulted in a solid all-the-way win over Modern Bliss and Master Remi. Always prominent in claiming 2nd spot behind Extreme Sea, Montalbano battled on stoutly and no doubt he will be ready to make his presence felt. CRAFTMANS CHARLIE (7) drew the outside gate and was never a factor when a 22.9m 8th to Better Be The Best in a semi-final of the NSWBC for 3YO C&G’s, but showed his true worth prior and after that display. The 3yo Art Major colt was untroubled leading throughout in his heat at Newcastle, which resulted in an easy win over Go Away Again and Rouge Bling. The Geoff Harding youngster will be driven by Josh Gallagher this time around, who replaces Matthew Harding. Drawing wide, CAPTAIN RITCHIE (11) remains in the mix as the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned son of Captaintreacherous doesn’t know how to run a bad race. Following back-to-back wins at Headquarters in October, the 3yo has been placed third in his subsequent two outings here, the first behind Brooklyn Bridge and Im In Trouble, then a gritty 9.2m effort to Extreme Sea and Montalbano. When it comes to multiple transactions GO AWAY AGAIN (10) is entitled to consideration, despite drawing wide, with the promising FEAR THE BANKER (2) also a contender as the Alex Alchin-conditioned son of Fear The Dragon is now far more settled in his manners and from gate one, with the reserve out, Fear The Banker is capable of depositing another cheque.

    EXTREME SEA 1, Montalbano 2, Craftsman Charlie 3, Captain Ritchie 4.


    Following an impressive heat win, the Kevin Pizzuto-trained ROLL WITH SLOY (9), despite drawing wide again, remains the one to beat. The daughter of Roll With Joe has emerged from a ‘mini form slump’ with a win at Penrith, followed by an unlucky 2nd to hands On, again at Penrith, before breaking in the score-up and losing at least 15 to 20m, then working to be outside the leader in proving too good for Peaceful and Vinette. Providing the filly does everything right from start to finish, then this race is hers for taking. PEACEFUL (11) has been mixing her form since resuming from a spell, and is certainly below the brilliance displayed joining her juvenile career. The 3yo daughter of Sweet Lou led in having every chance in finishing a 3.4m 2nd to Roll With Sloy last time out. Peaceful has also drawn out deep and while that is a slight concern, the Belinda McCarthy-trained filly can’t be dismissed as a threat. MY STELLA ROSE (4) led in her Newcastle heat, which resulted in a comfortable win over Shiralee and Sally Bigtime. That was her first run in six weeks so expect the Allan Ellul filly to strip fitter, with the good draw, gate two, with both reserves out, an idea starting point for the daughter of Warrawee Needy. EVE CROCKER (7) has been thereabouts in her past three Menangle assignments, the latest resulting in an 11.3m 5th to Roll With Sloy. The Ash Delosa-conditioned filly should be considered by exotic players, with SALLY BIGTIME (5), HARPERVILLE (10) and VINETTE (1) also having claims in that regard.

    ROLL WITH SLOY 1, Peaceful 2, My Stella Rose 3, Eve Crocker 4.


    The running of the Brian Hancock FFA has attracted an intriguing line-up with the brilliant mare gaining an important edge over male rivals by drawing the prized pole position. Prepared by the astute Jack Trainor, who will occupy the driver’s seat, Braeview Kelly  contested a similar event three starts ago when an unlucky 9.5m 4th behind Mach Da Vinci. The daughter of Bettors Delight then found the 2760m attached to the running of the Queen of the pacific beyond her when she worked in finding the lead, en route to posting a tiring and well-beaten 11th to Ladies In Red. Returning to Menangle for her next assignment on November 18, the 5yo came from a midfield role in posting a solid 3m 3rd to the classy Victorian Rakero Rebel and Polly Put Kettleon. With the prospect of receiving a kind run, Braeview Kelly will have plenty to offer when the final 300m comes into play. And, with a powerful sprint at her disposal, the daughter of Bettors Delight could be a ‘betting delight’. Peter Hanson has MACH DA VINCI (9) racing in outstanding fashion in recent months and the son of Art Major will again be pro-active in the finish. Runner-up behind the classy Hi Manameisjeff in similar FFA events, with a 30.7m 3rd to Pas Guarantee in the Lachlan Valley Cup at Cowra, sandwiched between those two superb efforts, Mach Da Vinci recorded a career best 1:49.9 when he accounted for The Croupier and Wow Hes A Rock Star. The 6yo is racing with plenty of zest of late, and although confronted despite the wide draw by a wide draw, which is familiar ground, Mach Da Vinci must be treated with plenty of respect. The intriguing ‘x-factor’ is the James Rattray trained and driven MAGICIAN (11) which did a marvellous job in the $2m Eureka at Menangle on September 2. Prepared and driven by Todd Rattray, prior to the switch, the Tasmanian had won seven of his 10 starts this season while being placed on three other occasions, prior to his gallant 15.4m 4th to Encipher in the richest harness racing event, world-wide. James has given the son of Sweet Lou two trials, the first resulting in a handy 3rd behind Betterzippit and Firestorm Red in a time of 1:52.4, the latter a narrow defeat of Van Shard and The Texas Ranger at Goulburn in a far more sedate mile rate of 1:57.9, the final 400m covered in 27.2. The classy 4yo has drawn the outside gate, but he can’t be taken ignored. The Brad Hewitt trained and driven TAIPO (8) has been on the wrong side of ‘lady luck’ recently at Cowra and Young, respectively, coming from a back row draw in facing the breeze on each occasion. The end result has been a gritty 22.2m 2nd to Pas Guarantee in the Lachlan Valley cup and a respectable 10m 4th behind Max Delight in the Cherry City Cup. A wide gate will be the 6yo’s starting point, however, the son of American Deal is still worthy of more than a passing thought. FIRESTORM RED (7) won two-on-end at Headquarters in fine style then also contested the two above-mentioned Country Cup events. At Cowra, the Jarrod Alchin-trained 7yo finished a 34.7m 4th to Pas Guarantee when always in a rearward role on the pegs before working home stoutly in posting a 13.3m 5th to Max Delight. Back to the bigger circuit and Firestorm Red is capable of showing sharp improvement on those efforts. DENIS WILLIAM (6) scored first-up from a long spell when he finished strongly from a midfield role in defeating Braedos Lad and Joe Nien. That was the former Victorian’s first outing since July 2022, and his first for Jason Grimson, so natural improvement can be expected. This will be a harder test, but the stable can never be taken lightly no matter what the race. Former ‘boom’ horse BALRAJ (4) was having his first assignment since April 2022 when he recorded a game 3m 2nd to Fear Cruisin at Newcastle before overcoming a back row draw and the role outside of the leader in posting a determined win over Saint Veran and Camanchi Warrior at Bathurst. Fitter, but up in class, which wouldn’t have been an issue a few seasons ago, Balraj remains an exotic player. STAR MAJOR (3) also falls into that category  from his good draw.

    BRAEVIEW KELLY 1, Mach Da Vinci 2, Magician 3, Taipo 4.


    Boasting three wins and a game second from his four runs since joining the Belinda McCarthy team, RAVISHING SLOY (3) appears to have this race at his mercy. Following narrow wins at Menangle and Penrith, respectively, when back from a  spell, the 2yo then finished a gallant 3.5m 2nd to the classy Royal Cruiser at Headquarters before heading back to Menangle on November 21 for a heat of this series. Poised in the one-one on the final bend, Ravishing Sloy finished far too well for My Ultimate Buddha and Major Allegiance, with the odds-on elect appearing to have something left on the locker, despite the 6.3m winning margin. With a better draw on offer, Ravishing Sloy should be a dominant factor from the outset. MY ULTIMATE BUDDHA (5) is coming off a deserving win after posting five-straight placings, three before a spell and two on resumption. The win was a dominant display at Penrith, with the son Lazarus having a margin of 17m to spare over War Western and Salero. This will be a harder task, compared to that encounter, however, the Jarrod Alchin-trained youngster has always been competitive and that will again be the case. MAJOR ALLEGIANCE (8) draws wide but it is hard to fault his form since resuming. Prepared by Dean Atkinson and to be driven by Blake Fitzpatrick, the Art Major colt has a win and four placings to show since a spell, with his latest effort resulting in a 3m 3rd to Merrywood Paul at Penrith. Prior to that effort Major Allegiance qualified for this event with a solid finishing 11.8m 3rd to Ravishing Sloy and My Ultimate Buddha, coming from a five peg role. The wider gate is a hurdle, but Major allegiance remains in the mix as a possible threat. MEMPHIS FURY (2) has drawn well and his recent form has been more than useful, which will enhance his claims being a suitable inclusion in multiple transactions. ALWAYS BE CHAPS (1) has won four of his eight starts, and although safely held when 7th to Royal Cruiser here two starts ago, the Mitch Chapple-trained Always B Miki colt is coming off a solid heat win at Newcastle and with the number one gate being a plus, claims as a value exotic chance can’t be ignored. TUFFTIGER (6) is another to look at when looking for value.

    RAVISHING SLOY 1, My Ultimate Buddha 2, Major Allegiance 3, Memphis Fury 4.


    The Blake Fitzpatrick-conditioned and driven LIBBY LOU (2) appeals strongly as the one to beat, with gate two being an added bonus for the talented daughter of Sweet Lou. Throughout the NSWBC series for her age and sex, the 2yo filly was game in defeat in her heat, semi-final and ultimately the G1 Final. Following a gritty 8m 2nd to Elusive, then a determined 7m 3rd behind Renewal, Libby Lou then started á 150/1 chance for the feature event when a 21.5m 3rd to Lux Aeterna and Renewal. As a result of those quality displays, Libby Lou found her next assignment, a heat of this Final, to her liking and managed to easily account for Luvareschs and Bettine. From gate two Blake will again have the filly in a prominent role, either dictating or stalking, but either way, Libby Lou will be the one to beat. LUVARESCHS (3) tried hard in finishing a 5.3m 2nd to Libby Lou last time out and from gate three the Art Major filly will be in the thick of the action from the outset. The Aaron Goadsby-trained youngster has been runner-up in three of her past four and is more than capable of going one better so don’t take her lightly. A LOT OF LUVIN (1) has been consistent since scoring at Newcastle four runs ago, it what was a far easier assignment. The draw will at least give the filly the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable trip, and that will assist the Elizabeth Heath-trained daughter of Somebeachsomewhere in her quest to filly a minor role in the finish. FOREVER SKYFALL (10) has a tricky draw to overcome, however, the Michael Formosa trained and driven daughter of For a Reason can’t be ignored when forming exotic investments. Runner-up in both her heat appearances of the NSWBC, prior to a well-beaten last behind Lux Aeterna in her semi-final, Forever Skyfall is coming off a nose 2nd to Mystify Me at Tamworth. SECRET SEA (9) is only raced but shows enough potential to keep safe in exotic transactions while ARMAZING GRACE (6), ELITE MOLLY (8), BETTINE (4) and MIRADOR LASS (5) wouldn’t be out of place when it comes to multiple combinations. It does appear to be an even race outside of Libby Lou.

    LIBBY LOU 1, Luvareschs 2, A Lot Of Luvin 3, Forever Skyfall 4.


    Without a win since mid-May, veteran performer ALTA ORLANDO (3) appears ideally placed to record the 27th win of his outstanding career. Third to Boncel Benjamin and Expensive Ego in the 2021 Inter Dominion Grand Final, the son of Courage Under Fire continues to be a determined competitor at the tender age of eleven. Now six runs into his latest term of racing, Alta Orlando has been placed in three of them, the past couple behind Hi Manameisjeff when an 11.7m 3rd, then a 2.8m 3rd to his classy stablemate Bondi Lockdown a week ago. For his upcoming encounter Alta Orlando will launch his claim from gate three, which is ideal. JAY OK (4) was unable to make an impression in the opening four runs of his latest campaign, which is rare for this classy six-year-old. However, his past two runs have been encouraging, with a photo 2nd to Stingray Tara, followed by a solid 5m 6th to Bondi Lockdown a week ago. Jay OK will benefit from a better draw and his claims must be respected. BUBBA SCRUB (2) has been mixing his form of late, but mainly when he steps up to a higher grade. The 4yo son of Hes Watching has managed to fill a place in three of his past five starts while being unplaced in races won by Mach Da Vinci and Our Money Rocks. Gate two will allow Bubba Scrub to use his gate speed to be in the mix from the outset. WHEREYABINBOPPIN (8) has also been mixing his form, but the James Rattray-trained speedster indicated he was finding his ‘mojo’ once again when he led in posting a gritty 3.5m 4th to Bondi Lockdown. Despite drawing deep the 7yo will leave the machine with intent, with James likely to send him to the front in order to keep his rivals honest over the sprint journey. MALCOLMS RHYTHM (7) return will create interest, despite being off the scene for nearly 14 months. The highly-regarded 7yo son of Art Major last appeared at this venue, with a solid 1.3m 3rd to Alta Orlando coming his way. Malcolms Rhythm has been safely held in two trials but it may pay to keep safe when it comes to the multiples. PORT AU PRINCE (9) is worthy of another chance according to his driver Josh Gallagher. Breaking in the score up and losing all chance when a distant last to Hi Manameisjeff, the talented 5yo then had his second run back from a spell when a 20.7m 7th behind Mach Da Vinci last week. However, the son of Somebeachsomewhere was hindered when another runner baulked his opportunity to keep moving forward on the home turn. Despite the wide draw, don’t discard Port au Prince as a threat. LONGFELLOW (11) has a tough draw but is another with claims when it comes to exotic transactions.

    ALTA ORLANDO 1, Jay OK 2, Bubba Scrub 3, Whereyabinboppin 4.


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