September 3, 2020 Michael Court
This race will centre around the availability of the reserve THUNDER DANCE (1), which would be the main selection of he gains a run. However, at this stage the one to beat is JACK FARTHING (4) from the stables of John McCarthy. And, if the field remains the same, then the 5yo also appeals as one of the ‘better bets’ on the card. Jack Farthing is now four runs into his latest term of racing, with the gelding managing a couple of placings. The son of McCardle indicated he was ready to greet the judge in posting a solid-finishing 1.4m third to Motu Gatecrasher a week ago. Jack Farthing drew deep on that occasion and will enjoy commencing this assignment from gate three, and that is with the reserve out. The prospect of dictating or at the very least, stalking the pace, should result in Jack Farthing proving hard to beat. MATCH IN HEAVEN (3) has also drawn well and is also hitting his peak following four runs back, and like Jack Farthing, the 7yo has collected a couple of placings. Match In Heaven is coming off a creditable 4.7m third to Our Wall Street Wolf on July 25. Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick sent the some of Somebeachsomewhere around in a recent trial, which resulted in a safely held sixth to Bling It On in a time of 1:51.8. The draw will allow Match In Heaven to occupy a forward role and that will lay the foundations for a competitive showing. OUR WALL STREET WOLF (9) will appreciate the drop in grade after posting a 15.6m seventh to his Miracle Mile winning stablemate King Of Swing. A wide gate awaits the 6yo, however he did win a similar assignment four starts ago, so he must be respected in this company. ALWAYS ROCKIN (6) is always around the money when it comes to the multiples while LET IT RIDE (8) can’t be ignored as the 6yo is capable of accounting for this field if he found his best form. CHERRY STRIDE (10) has drawn badly but the talented 6yo mare has recorded two nice efforts since a spell and could be a value player for exotic investors. THUNDER DANCE (1) hasn’t been disgraced in each of his past two outings, the first resulting in a 20.2m fifth to Cash N Flow while the latter was a gritty 11m fourth to King Of Swing. A swift beginner, the 7yo has drawn ideally and he is capable of dictating and taking a power of beating.
JACK FARTHING 1, Match In Heaven 2, Our Wall Street Wolf 3, Always Rockin 4.
After struggling for some time to win a race, a rejuvenated GOLDEN YEAR (3) can’t stop winning races since coming under the care of Joe Conolly. The pair, along with young upcoming driver Seaton Grima, have combined for four-consecutive wins, the opening two starts landing big plunges in the process at Penrith. After bringing up a hat-trick of wins at the ‘foot of the mountains’, the 5yo son of Art Major headed to Menangle last Monday to conquer his nemesis, the Menangle circuit. Twenty-nine previous attempts resulted in just four minor placings. However, the gelding showed no signs of previous scares when he led and powered over the 2300m in 1:54.7, bringing home the bacon in a 27.6m final quarter. Being a Saturday meeting and Seaton is unable to take reins so that paves the way for John McCarthy to partner Golden Year, who was previously under the care of John’s wife, Narelle. This will be a harder challenge but the draw is ideal and with Golden Year racing with so much confidence, it could be a case of ‘high fives’ when the judge calls a halt. SEEINNASHVILLE (9) has a wide gate to overcome, which was the case a month ago when the 5yo posted a useful 15.9m third to stablemate Zahven Banner. Contesting seven races since a spell, the Mach Three 5yo has posted three wins and he will again be actively involved in the finish. Jack Callaghan will take the reins behind Seeuinnashville, with Luke McCarthy electing to drive the stablemate, AIR TIME (7). The consistent JIMISON (4) doesn’t win out of turn, but he does make for an ideal exotic runner and a win wouldn’t surprise as he is certainly on the verge of another successful trip. WE SALUTE YOU (8) hasn’t had a great deal go his way since scoring four starts ago so don’t write him off. AIR TIME (7) posted back-to-back wins before a 17.6m seventh to stablemate Royal Aurora a week ago. A wider draw awaits Air Time but he is bound to loom as a threat in the run home. GEORGIE MARTIN (6) and IM FEELING FIREY (10) are both racing well and are entitled to be included in exotic discussions.
GOLDEN YEAR 1, Seeuinnashville 2, Jimison 3, We Salute You 4.
While the outside is a concern, THUNDER DANCE (11) is entitled to top billing, with the drop in grade set to offset that hurdle. A noted good beginner, the Kerry McDowell-trained 7yo has been competing against the likes of Cash N Flow and King Of Swing over the past couple of months, so his numbers can be misleading. Thunder Dance, who scored a shock win six starts back when he defeated Replaced Eye and Let It Ride, hasn’t been disgraced in recent starts, which have resulted in a 20m fifth to Cash N Flow and an 11m fourth behind King Of Swing, respectively, the latter when he broke 1:50 on the clock. If Glenn McElhinney can secure the role at the head of affairs, then the pair should be well on their way to greeting the judge. However, the noted speedster DON BOSTON (9) may have something to say in that regard. If Brad Abbott elects to hold the inside and, as per usual, let the ‘Don’ run, then, that may allow Thunder Dance to adopt the stalking role. If Plan B is the option, Thunder Dance will still prove to be the one to beat. REDBANK ADDI (6) is deserving of a high rating on the back of her recent efforts. The KerryAnn Morris-trained mare has found the line well in each of her past two starts, the latter resulting in a 2.3m fourth to Motu Gatecrasher a week ago. With the tempo bound to be on from the outset, Redbank Addi will be the one they have to look out for over the final 200m. LEFT TENNANT (7) hasn’t enjoyed that winning feeling since July/2019, however, the 7yo continues to put his giant frame in the picture and a win would be well-deserving. Last week the son of Art Major worked when a gritty 11.7m fifth to Our Triple Play. This time around, from a reasonable draw, Left Tennant will enjoy the prospect of a keenly contested race, and that will keep him in the mix. LIVING AGAIN (8) has been unplaced in his past five starts but his latest run, a 5.4m sixth to Motu Gatecrasher last week, was pleasing and as a result the 7yo can’t be dismissed as a threat. POWER OF RED (4) and AZTEC BROMAC (10) stay under notice when forming multiple investments.
THUNDER DANCE 1, Redbank Addi 2, Left Tennant 3, Living Again 4.
The exciting Anthony Butt-trained WOLF STRIDE (2) returns to the track after spending three months away from the spotlight, following six-consecutive wins to end his previous campaign. The classy 4yo son of Rock N Roll Heaven headed to the paddock after brilliantly winning the G1 Regional Championship at Headquarters on May 23, defeating Culture King and Bettor Robyn. Butt has given his star three trials, the first an easy time to blow out the cobwebs, the second resulting in a solid win while the latest was a solid, closing fourth to Bling It On, with Wolf Stride under a hold in closing nicely over the final 100m. Ideally drawn in gate two, Wolf Stride appeals as the ‘best bet’ on the programme and that will see him make it eight wins from just 14 appearances. Whether Butt leads or looks for a sit will depend upon the speeding MAESTRO BELLINI (1) and driver Robert Morris. The pair combined for a strong all-the-way win over this course and distance on August 18 when the 6yo was having his first run for new mentor KerryAnn Morris and, also from a two month spell. Morris, who is driving in superb touch, enjoys the role as pacemaker and he may elect to ‘park’ the favourite and take advantage of the race fitness Maestro Bellini has over Wolf Stride. ESCALERA (3) has been in sparkling form since a spell, and returns from a successful stint of racing in Queensland full of confidence. The Jarrod Alchin trained and driven son of Bettors Delight has drawn ideally, and that is a big plus as this will be a tougher test, but he is at least entitled to be included when forming multiple combinations. ARROKEEFE (5) continues to be around the mark and he is a handy type to include in exotic investments, along with PORTALEGRE (9) and MARTY MAJOR (7).
WOLF STRIDE 1, Maestro Bellini 2, Escalera 3, Arrokeefe 4.
Ideally drawn in the pole position, FIRST STRING (10) should be able to wrap this assignment up and in the process make amends for a costly defeat here a couple of weeks ago. The $1.20 favourite found Maestro Bellini too good on that occasion when, after leading out, enjoyed a kind run on the back of the eventual winner, only to find him too slick over the final stages. A strong showing by Maestro Bellini in the race prior, will only enhance the claims of First String. Prior to his latest defeat, First String led throughout in defeating Chapter One, who subsequently proved too good for his rivals at Headquarters on Tuesday. Looming as a definite threat, despite drawing the outside gate, is the Darren Binskin trained and driven TIMES STRIDE (1), with the 5yo a model of consistency. His past six starts have resulted in three wins and the same number of minor placings, all recorded on the Penrith circuit. The son of Rocknroll Hanover is likely to be saved for one shot at the major share of the prizemoney and, if close enough on the home turn, he is certainly good enough to hit the target. PETES SAID SO (2) is a reliable member of the Lucky Lodge team and from his ideal draw the Well Said 4yo is capable of again making a play for a role in the top three. Last time out the gelding enjoyed a soft run behind the leader, en route to proving a shade too good for Jakes Sportwriter and Bohannan. This will be a harder assignment but expect another bold showing. The ‘X-factor’ runner is RED REACTOR (6) who steps out for his first assignment on this side of Tasman after a creditable career back home. The 5yo son of Auckland Reactor has only recently joined David Thorn, with his latest outing resulting in a 2200m win at Cambridge on August 15. If there is a move for Red Reactor, then it may pay to follow the money trail. When it comes to forming exotic combinations also take into account the likes of TWO PLY (9), DEANNE PANYA (8) and HUEY LEWIS (3) with the news about his claims looking positive after a couple of handy efforts.
FIRST STRING 1, Times Stride 2, Petes Said So 3, Red Reactor 4.
Although gradually rising in grade, PLEASE SHUDDUP (3) continues to silence his rivals and it doesn’t come as a surprise that Robert Morris has a good opinion of the Auckland Reactor gelding. Please Shuddup has won four of his eight starts for the stable, the past two defeating Colby and Two Ply, both successful since, while the latter was a few weeks ago when he accounted for Sky Diamond and Kleened Out. Please Shuddup has drawn nicely in three and Morris is bound to go in search of the lead role once again. That role would certainly out the pair in the box seat, en route to completing a hat-trick of winning performances. ROCKITA (5) is one of a handful of definite contenders for the major share of the prizemoney. A recent addition to the Craig Cross team, Rockita wasted no time in posting back-to-back wins at Penrith, prior to catching the eye with a big finish last week in posting a 2.7m second to her classy stablemate, No Win No Feed. Jack Callaghan, who is creating a big impression since making the move from Newcastle to Menangle, will again take the reins behind the mare. PLATINUM REVOLUTION (2) returned to the track at Newcastle last week, with the Changeover mare picking up from where she left off when last in training. Winning six on end, prior to a 7.2m second to Deanne Panya at Newcastle on February 7, the 4yo led in recording an effortless 10.2m win over Azur Express and Deanne Panya at Newcastle last week. The Clayton Harmey-conditioned mare will strip fitter and Blake Hughes will no doubt give her every chance from gate two. STAR MAJOR (8) resumed with a solid win and strip fitter so don’t ignore the James Rattray trained and driven son of Art Major as a potential threat in this slightly harder assignment. Multiple players should also consider LETS GO TO BRAZIL (4), OUR MEGA STAR (7), AZUR EXPRESS (9) and OLD STUDLEY ROAD (10), the quartet capable of adding some value to return.
PLEASE SHUDDUP 1, Rockita 2, Platinum Revolution 3, Star Major 4.
Another G3 for the fast-class pacers and, as per usual, the Craig Cross stable will be represented in the winner’s circle. And, as per usual, CASH N FLOW (11) will be the one taking the applause as the ‘Menangle Mile Mauler’ stretches his winning sequence to eleven. The sensational son of Mach Three has been spending the past couple of weeks relaxing, allowing King Of Swing and Zennant to continue the Cross juggernaut proceedings without interruption. Cash N Flow continues to greet the judge with apparent ease, despite churning out slick times on a regular basis, which was the case when he glided across from the outside gate in finding the pegs, en route to stopping the clock at 1:49.0, the final 400m covered in 26.2. Cool Hand Luke still appeared to have plenty in reserve, which has been the case throughout this brilliant display of speed and stamina. Luke will again allow those drawn inside to make a play for their particular roles, prior to crossing the face of the field and dictating the terms. As the field head into the back straight, Cash N Flow will be keeping the marker pegs company, leaving the remaining nine runners to do their best in fighting out the finishing order. It has also been a ‘given’ that REPLACED EYE (10) has been the one most likely to finish in the role as runner-up. That again looks the most likely scenario, but with a difference. Throughout his game attempts to match strides with his star-studded stablemates (King Of Swing and Cash N Flow), Replaced Eye has been kept company by Todd McCarthy. With Todd now applying his trade in the northern hemisphere, the 7yo will have a new partner, with Robert Morris gaining the nod. FOUROEIGHT (4) has always shown an abundance of ability and his recent form is more than pleasing while the good draw is an added bonus. The Mat Rue trained and driven 7yo is certainly a ‘must’ when it comes to forming exotic investments following his determined 1.3m second to Motu Gatecrasher last week. WRANGLER (6) was responsible for a gritty 13.8m fifth to King Of Swing last week, and that effort entitles him to further attention as an exotic player. ATOMIC RED (3), ALPINE STRIDE (2) and ZAHVEN BANNER (9) also stay under notice in that regard.
CASH N FLOW 1, Replaced Eye 2, Fouroeight 3, Wrangler 4.
The Craig Cross-trained FLINGANDWINGIT (3) returns to racing after ending his previous term with a strong win over the talented Adelle and Caligula over 2300m back on March 14. The son of Fling It has posted two strong, an effortless trial wins in readiness for his return and over the 1609m and from an ideal starting point, the 4yo looks ready to open this campaign on a winning note. ADELLE (4) is the main threat with the mare looking to enjoy better luck this time around after being knocked out of business last week. Contesting a stand over the 2300m, Adelle was travelling nicely, three back in the running line, prior to being badly checked and losing all chance when a distant last to More Shades Of Gold in the G2 Franco Australian Trotters Cup. Trainer-driver Blake Fitzpatrick said during the week that the mare was about to move into the race strongly when the trouble too place. Drawn next to Flingandwingit, Adelle is bound to make a bold bid for victory. Her previous two wins were full of merit. MAJOR THOMAS (5) is racing in peak form and he was responsible for another bold showing when a gritty 3m third to More Shades Of Gold. The son of Lawman will again be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. MORE SHADES OF GOLD (10) led from the stand and was perfectly rated from that point onwards by Jack Trainor in taking out the G2 feature. The wide draw is a hurdle but he is racing with confidence and can’t be dismissed as a threat. In search of value for the multiples, LAW LEGEND (1), GOLD SOVERIGN (7) and HOTJANE BLING (9) are worthy of a spot.
FLINGANDWINGIT 1, Adelle 2, Major Thomas 3, More Shades Of Gold 4.