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  • Mike Ko’cass analyses every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle Mike Ko’cass analyses every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle

    EARLY WINNER: Let It Ride looks the 'pea' in the opening race, according to form expert Mick Ko'cass

     RACE ONE: With the benefit of three runs since a spell, an ideal draw and a suitable assignment on the table, LET IT RIDE... Mike Ko’cass analyses every race at Tabcorp Park Menangle
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     RACE ONE:

    With the benefit of three runs since a spell, an ideal draw and a suitable assignment on the table, LET IT RIDE (2) will have no excuses as he attempts to claim the 19th win of his career. From his past 12 starts, which includes two spells, the Tim Butt-trained 6yo has collected two wins, however he has finished at or near the tail of the field five times, as his rollercoaster career continues. Resuming with a pleasing third to Thunder Dance on June 20, Let It Ride then worked when a fading 17.2m seventh to Cash N Flow, so that run can be forgiven. Stepping out two weeks later over 2300m the son of Rock N Roll Heaven had every chance in the lead role, but could only manage third spot behind Vandanta and Aztec Bromac. Peaking in condition, Let It Ride should appreciate the return to 1609m and that will allow Anthony Butt the perfect opportunity to dictate the terms. And, this time around, Let It Ride should prove hard to beat. MATCH IN HEAVEN (3) has had four runs back, resulting in two placings, the latter a week ago when he posted a solid-finishing 4.7m third to Our Wall Street Wolf. Also drawing well, the 7yo will also be hoping to greet the judge for the first time since February. DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (5) is coming off another honest effort when third to Benicio last week, beaten 2.9m after being held up for a suitable run at one stage in the run home. The Village Jasper 6yo won’t be far from the action from his suitable draw. The wide gate is the main reason why WRANGLER (9) doesn’t feature a spot or two higher on the list as his latest effort was pleasing. Left exposed outside of the leader, which was his stablemate and eventual winner in Benicio, Wrangler kept grinding away gamely, resulting in a gritty 3.2m fourth. Finishing last in each of his previous three runs the son of Bettors Delight appears to be regaining some lost confidence. When forming exotic investments, LOORRIM CREEK (1) has claims from the pole while ARMA THE GUN (8) and HARJEET (7) are also worthy of consideration.

    LET IT RIDE 1, Match In Heaven 2, Double Encounter 3, Wrangler 4.


    The return to a suitable starting role will certainly boost the claims of THE TEXAS RANGER (3). The Brad Hewitt trained and driven son of American Ideal has drawn deep in each of his past three unplaced runs, so gate three will be a welcome sight for the Goulburn visitor. Never a threat from a deep peg role when last to Scoob Operator, The Texas Ranger then finished a solid 3.9m fifth to Ignatius, prior to another respectable display a week ago when he again came from a five-peg role in posting a closing 5m fifth to Benicio. Successful at this venue six starts ago, when he finished strongly to defeat subsequent fast-class winner, Little Rascal, The Texas Ranger will have the chance to settle closer to the action and in an open race, the 4yo is capable of giving this a big shake. ALPINE STRIDE (7) resumed from a short break with a game second to Living Again, although a beaten odds-on chance in the process, before leading and having every chance when a photo second behind No Apachemee last week, once again as favourite. The 6yo will take a higher level of fitness into this contest and from his handy draw, the Darren Binskin-trained, Anthony Butt-driven son of Rocknroll Hanover is entitled to another chance in a race which features a number of winning chances. POCKET OF TERROR (8) is poised to make his presence felt as the 5yo returns to far more suitable assignment after trying to match strides with his ‘star’ stablemate, Cash N Flow. Never a factor in both encounters, Pocket Of Terror did manage to squeeze in a solid fourth to another stablemate in Little Rascal. When returning to races of this nature in recent months, Pocket Of Terror has been able to pick up a couple of wins so respect his claims. LEFT TENNANT (4) has been placed in six of his past seven, with the 18.3-hand son of Art Major bound to again give another determined effort as he looks to record his first win since last July. RAYS CHOICE (2) remains in the mix as an exotic contender, along with ALWAYS ROCKIN (1) and the speedy DON BOSTON (6), who will again keep his rivals running from the outset.

    THE TEXAS RANGER 1, Alpine Stride 2, Pocket Of Terror 3, Left Tennant 4.


    Although his recent form has been mixed, this does appear a suitable challenge for the Craig Cross-trained SEEUINNASHVILLE (2), with gate two an added plus. Following an easy all-the-way win here three starts ago, the 5yo then posted a half-head second to the dual-Derby placegetter in Perfect Stride. Contesting the G3 Farmer Joes Final on July 11, Seeuinnashville drew wide, resulting in the so of Mach Three settling seven back along the markers, prior to being in a midfield role on the home turn. With Whereyabinboppin carving out a 26.7 third quarter, then 26.8m for the final 400m, Seeuinnashville was unable to catch his breath in posting a 20.9m seventh to the exciting Shane Sanderson-trained rising star. This time around Seeuinnashville will have the opportunity to do the dictating and that will result in him proving hard to beat. Stablemate ROYAL AURORA (7) looms as the toughest to beat as the son of Sportwriter rarely runs a bad race. The 5yo tried hard when a 12.3m fourth to Whereyabinboppin in the above-mentioned race, then started an odds-on elect when he just failed to peg back Kanena Provlima last time out. That form must be respected in what will be a slightly easier assignment. SKY DIAMOND (1) has been placed in four of his past five, which includes a last-start 2.2m third to About The Attitude last week. Gate one will ensure that the Trevor Munday-trained 6yo is presented with a kind run and, every chance to again being involved in the finish. MAKE MINE MEMPHIS (10) is the interesting runner as the talented 4yo returns to the track after having a couple of months of ‘R&R’. Prepared by Bernie Hewitt, who also takes the drive, Make Mine Heaven has been off the scene since a 5.3m third to Terryrama at Bathurst on May 20, with the winner since moving to Victoria where he has been in outstanding form for Kerryn Manning. Collecting just three placings from his 17 starts at this venue, which is a slight concern, Make Mine Memphis certainly has the talent to be involved in the finish, despite drawing the outside gate so don’t pass on his claims. MASTER CATCH (5), DANCE FOR GLORY (6) and HUEY LEWIS (8), the news about his claims have been positive, all warrant exotic attention.

    SEEUINNASHVILLE 1, Royal Aurora 2, Sky Diamond 3, Make Mine Memphis 4.


    Everything being equal and ZAHVEN BANNER (2) is the anchor bet on the card as the Bettors Delight gelding appears ideally placed to greet the judge. Resuming on June 6 with a solid ‘start to finish’ win, the Craig Cross-prepared 6yo then had every chance in a G3 event, however, was unable to take advantage of dictating the terms when a fading fourth to Pitch Perfect. Sent out an odds-on favourite for his next assignment Zahven Banner led until the final stages when nabbed by his stablemate Royal Aurora. The clincher for his high-rating this time around, stems from his latest run when he came from a five-peg role in finishing, hard and fast, in recording a 10m second to Whereyabinboppin. That was an eye-catching effort. Ideally drawn, as well as, hitting peak condition and dropping back to a suitable assignment, Zahven Banner is poised to dictate the terms from start to finish. “If at first you don’t succeed, then try, try again.” That seems to be the motto of STANLEY ROSS ROBYN (9) who has done everything in his power of late to end his frustrating run without a win, which now extends to 24 months. The 7yo has been brave in defeat of late, with his latest effort a grinding 4.6m fourth to About The Attitude. There is certainly nothing wrong with the attitude of Stanley Ross Robyn so expect to see him again fighting out the finish. FIRESTORM RED (3) has led in winning at Parkes and Dubbo and with the benefit of a good draw the 4yo will again run boldly in this tougher test. BOHANNAN (4) is coming off a sound win here a couple of weeks ago and although this will be a shade harder, don’t dismiss the 6yo as a potential threat. Exotic contenders include SMOOTH SAILOR (10), LETS KATCHMEIFUCAN (1) and EVERYBODYLOVEDRAY (5) while PETES SAID SO (7) continues to perform at a consistent level and he can’t be ignored when forming combinations.

    ZAHVEN BANNER 1, Stanley Ross Robyn 2, Firestorm Red 3, Bohannan 4.


    Former Bathurst Gold Crown winner and exciting juvenile COLLEGE CHAPEL (1) will create a great deal of interest as he steps out for his second run back from a brief spell. Contesting just five races this season, which has resulted in a win and a couple of placings, the Bernie Hewitt trained and driven son of Mach Three has had a problem or two since his opening two seasons, but appears to be regaining his composure if his run at Dubbo last Sunday is any indication. Spelled after scoring at Bathurst on May 20, College Chapel settled in a rearward role in his return, prior to powering home over the final 150m for an eye-catching 4m third to Firestorm Red and Dazzle Me. The run would have pleased Hewitt, who will return to the sulky, after son Doug had the reins last Sunday. Fitter for the hit-out and drawing ideally in gate one, College Chapel should have a suitable run, probably behind the leader or three pegs. Either-way, he should have plenty in reserve when things get serious. The one to beat is FIRST STRING (7), just another top chance on the night from the powerful Craig Cross training establishment. The 4yo son of Roll With Joe has been seen in the winner’s circle in three of his past four engagements, the latest a few weeks ago when he led throughout in comfortably accounting for The Golden Cross and Topsky. Despite drawing a few gates wider or this assignment, First String is bound to look for the top and that will again ensure he takes a power of beating. It is impossible to leave ROYAL GAMBLE (9) out of the mix, despite the presence of a wide gate. From 13 assignments this season the 5yo has recorded two wins and nine placings, with a gritty 10m fourth to Royal Aurora posted two starts ago. The gelding is bound to make his presence felt once again. MISTER DONALD (2) joined the Craig Cross team with solid country form behind him and he wasted no time adding to the success the Cobbitty trainer has been enjoying this season. The 4yo proved too good for Typhoon Stride and Cowboys N Indians, overcoming a wide gate. Although confronted by a tougher test, Mister Donald will appreciate gate two so don’t ‘duck’ around Donald as an exotic player. WE SALUTE YOU (5) had little go his way from a wide gate last week when he finished at the tail of the field in the race won by Man Hands. Prior to that run and We Salute You had been a model of consistency for Blake Fitzpatrick so keep him in mind when forming exotic investments. PORTALEGRE (4) will be having his first run at Menangle, but arrives with three wins and two placings since a spell so don’t ignore him as a player for the multiples.

    SPEEDY DOMINIC (6) is also capable of adding some ‘spice’ to the exotic dividends.

    COLLEGE CHAPEL 1, First String 2, Royal Gamble 3, Mister Donald 4.

     RACE SIX:

    The King is back and long may he reign. Yes, KING OF SWING (11) is back and from all reports has furnished into a stronger version of himself when he powered to victory in the Miracle Mile back on March 7. Following a mixed career back in WA, King Of Swing opened his career on the east coast and for Craig Cross, with a gritty second to Ignatius on January 11, prior to going on a winning spree, commencing with the G3 Perc Hall, the Hunter Cup at Melton, prior to returning to Menangle in brilliantly winning the G1 Allied Express Sprint, en route to taking out the Miracle Mile, leaving Lochinvar Art and Alta Orlando in his wake. The son of Rocknroll Hanover hasn’t been asked to appear at the official trials, however the stable have been glowing in their praise since the ‘King’ commenced working his way towards an eagerly awaited return. So, out go Cash N Flow, who has won nine on end over the Menangle 1609m, and in comes the Miracle Mile winner. How must REPLACED EYE (10) feel? The 7yo has been chasing Cash N Flow home on a regular basis. Week in and week out, giving his heart and soul, only to finish second. The son of Rocknroll Hanover did manage to greet the judge two starts ago when he defeated another one of his high-profile stables in Alta Orlando, who was having his first run back following an outstanding third to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile. Now he has to might of King Of Swing. Still, someone has to finish second and it may as well be Replaced Eye, who always give a big sight. The battle for the remaining two exotic roles will be keenly contested with IGNATIUS (7), LIVING AGAIN (6) and VANDANTA (9) the trio most likely to fight out those positions. IGNATIUS scored two starts ago when resuming, then was game in defeat when a 17m third to Cash N Flow a week ago. Fitter, the son of Roll With Joe is bound to be competitive. LIVING AGAIN is racing in fine fashion and although a far harder task is on the agenda, the 7yo is capable of making a play for a minor spot behind his star stablemate. VANDANTA (9) has a similar to tell as Living Again, but he will be at odds and that is a plus when it comes to giving the exotic dividend some ‘punch’.

    KING OF SWING 1, Replaced Eye 2, Ignatius 3, Living Again 4.


    “Always forgive a quality horse for one bad run”, so the saying goes. Well, let’s forgive PERFECT STRIDE (10), the dual Derby placegetter who performed well below that form when he appeared at Menangle on July 11. The Anthony Butt trained and driven quality 3yo was resuming from a spell when he just ‘fell’ in to defeat Seeuinnashville and Jimison on July 4, his first outing since a costly second to Focus Stride, a talented type in his own right, in the G1 Gold Chalice at Bathurst on March 20. Tackling the G3 Farmer Joes Final at Headquarters on July 11, Perfect Stride drew deep however, Butt had the colt in the one-one and poised to strike, but that didn’t eventuate. Whereyabinboppin was carving out strong sectionals with Cameron Hart guiding him through a 26.7m third quarter and home in 26.8m. Perfect Stride was never a factor in finishing a 23.4m eighth. Perfect Stride will strip fitter and this field should present him with a suitable assignment. One, well within his reach. The best of Perfect Stride would be too good for this field. So let’s forgive and forget and give Perfect Stride another chance. Butt had four runners entered but has reduced that to three with the early scratching of Vivid Stride following a disappointing run on Tuesday. The wraps on EQUITY STRIDE (3) have been strong from the outset and following a solid win at start number two, those glowing reports seemed to be spot on. However, the Art Major 3yo then finished a costly eighth to Our Money Rocks, courtesy of leading and virtually coming to a ‘stand-still’ just 600m into the contest, prior to taking cover when second to Artemis on Tuesday when he again appeared unsettled when behind the leader. Race experience, now that he has had four starts, may start to ‘kick in’ so don’t drop off Equity Stride. EYE CAN RUN (1) creates interest at her first run since a solid second to Pelosi in the G1 NSWBC 2YO Fillies Final at Menangle last June. The KerryAnn Morris-trained 3yo has had the benefit of two trials, the latter when a 12.5m fifth, but at no stage did Josh Gallagher release his tight grip on the reins. The trial was pleasing and from the pole, Eye Can Run will have the chance to run a bold race. JIMARTEE (6) strips fitter for two sound placings since a spell and is a definite exotic chance, along with HES THE WARRIOR (8), who has been in fine form in suitable Newcastle assignments, and MACH DA VINCI (9), with the Peter Hanson-trained 3yo colt stripping fitter for his 21.8m fifth to Cash N Flow last week. The son of Art Major will appreciate this task after being outclassed in that particular assignment.

    PERFECT STRIDE 1, Equity Stride 2, Eye Can Run 3, Jimartee 4.


    The Roy Roots Jnr-trained GLENFERRIE TYPHOON (9) has been in superb form against similar opposition since a spell and with Tom Ison in the sulky, the Newcastle-based trio appear set to continue on their winning way. Resuming with a solid all-the-way win on July 4, the 10yo Majestic Son gelding then raced without cover, but a late surge by Gold Sovereign resulted in the pair sharing the prize two weeks later. With his level of condition going up a notch, Glenferrie Typhoon should again greet the judge, but this time he won’t be asked to share his spoils. MORE SHADES OF GOLD (4) has been off the scene since finishing a 12.5m second to Princess Kenny in a stand event over 2300m last November. Trainer Blake Fitzpatrick has given the 5yo two solid trial outings, both resulting in placings, so expect a bold showing from More Shades Of Gold. KINGDOM COME (7) has been unplaced in his past seven starts, spread over three preparations, his past two starts being under the guidance of Craig Cross. The veteran showed some signs of being on the improve with a useful 9.2m seventh to Major Thomas a week ago, and as a result, Kingdom Come is worthy of exotic attention. REVY JAY (11) has drawn wide but the mare is coming off a couple of sound placings and she is more than capable of playing a role in the finish. LUCKY EYES (1), courtesy of a bold drive by Josh Gallaher, scored here on Tuesday and from the pole he is another with exotic prospects, despite the tougher assignment. BLAZING UNDER FIRE (8) has been mixing his form, but remains a multiple player on his best form.

    GLENFERRIE TYPHOON 1, More Shades Of Gold 2, Kingdom Come 3, Revy Jay 4.


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