• Racing Tips
    Mike Ko’cass analyses Saturday night’s big Menangle meeting Mike Ko’cass analyses Saturday night’s big Menangle meeting

    ONE TO WATCH: Captain Crusader is Mick Ko'cass's on-top tip for Saturday night at Menangle.

    RACE ONE: Perfectly drawn in gate one, which is less the reserve, and peaking in condition, STAR GALLERIA (2) appears to be an ideal... Mike Ko’cass analyses Saturday night’s big Menangle meeting
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    Perfectly drawn in gate one, which is less the reserve, and peaking in condition, STAR GALLERIA (2) appears to be an ideal investment to start proceedings on a wonderful card of racing. Prepared by Belinda McCarthy and to be partnered by Jack Callaghan, providing he bounces back from a fall at Bankstown on Monday, the classy son of Art Major stepped out for his first assignment 10 weeks in posting a pleasing 5.3m 3rd behind the ‘king’ of G3 events of late in Majestic Cruiser. Stepping out for his next engagement on October 9, the 7yo drew the outside gate and as a result was left exposed outside of the leader after working across from a three deep role. With Boncel Benjamin completing the 2300m in a mile rate of 1:53.2, Star Galleria fought on bravely in recording 10.4m fourth. With the prospect of receiving a far kinder run, Star Galleria will prove hard to beat.
    If defeat does come his way, then it may be his stablemate SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS (10) which will bring about his downfall. Luke will take the reins and he is confident that the 4yo is ready to run a bold race. After winning the 4YO Championship at AP during the carnival, prior to his 19.9m 11th to Amazing Dream 2680m Blacks A Fake, when nothing went right, returned to racing two months later on Sept 25 with a solid 2m 2nd to Majestic Cruiser. Last week the 4yo was doing his best work over the final 200m in posting an encouraging 8.2m 2nd to his classy stablemate, Expensive Ego. Despite another tricky draw, the son of Sweet Lou is poised for a strong showing. BURNHAM BOY (3), as per usual, must be included in the mix after the consistent 4yo drew nicely close to the pegs. The son of Bettors Delight again hit the line with intent a week ago in recording a solid 3m 3rd to Pump The Brakes. The gelding drew wide on that occasion with the return to a better draw, enhancing his claims of being a serious threat. ZEUSS BROMAC (11) has been off the scene since an 8.9m 5th to Pocket Of Terror on June 26, but the classy 4yo is worthy of attention when it comes to exotic investments. The Paul Fitzpatrick-trained son of Bettors Delight was safely held in a trial and the outside gate is a hurdle but has boasts plenty of talent and he will improve sharply on this outing. Exotic players should also include RUSTY CRACKERS (6) and MISTER BRAZIL (8).
    STAR GALLERIA 1, Spirit Of St Louis 2, Burnham Boy 3, Zeuss Bromac.
    With the benefit of a higher level of fitness and the switch from the outside gate to position two behind the mobile, MUSCLE FACTORY (2) is capable of giving the powerful Belinda McCarthy stable the opening two races. The son of Roll With Joe commenced his latest term of racing on a bright note, posting a win here on Sept 25. Wide gates have since hindered his claims, commencing with a determined 3.3m 3rd behind Rocky Creed, then a solid-finishing 4.4m 4th to The Croupier last week when he came from a rearward role, en route to catching the eye over the final 200m. Luke McCarthy will be looking to have the 5yo in a dominant role from the outset, and that should result in Muscle Factory giving this a big shake. His main danger has also drawn perfectly with SPIRIT OF ANZAC (1) launching his claim from the prized pole position. The former Kiwi won his opening three starts for Jack Trainor before resuming from a break with a grinding 7m 5th to Cassius on October 2, following a tough trip outside of the leader. With that run lifting his level of fitness and a better draw, Spirit Of Anzac will make his presence felt. With Jack still ‘cooling his heels’ on the sidelines for another week, James Rattray will jump in the bike. Talented 4yo FATHER BOB (4) will be having his first run for Jason Grimson and a spell, but don’t dismiss his claims, particularly as an exotic runner. CLOUD NINE (6) is also capable of staking a claim for an exotic role while VIVA LAS VEGAS (3), ROCKY CREED (5), RICKOSHAY (7) and FAR OUT BRO (11) also have claims in that department.
    MUSCLE FACTORY 1, Spirit Of Anzac 2, Father Bob 3, Cloud Nine 4.
    Semi-final number one for the 3YO C&G’s of the NSW Breeders Challenge series is poised to provide an exciting contest, and although the Michael Stanley-trained BAR ROOM BANTA (10) has drawn deep in eight, which is less the two reserves, the Victorian visitor still looks hard to beat. A year ago, the son of A Rocknroll Dance won the 2yo title, one of five undefeated appearances the colt has posted on the Menangle circuit. Following a game 2.7m 5th to American Dealer in the South East Derby at AP, then a 13.8m 8th, again to American Dealer, this time in the G1 Queensland Derby, Bar Room Banta had some time off before posting a sparkling win at Leeton when having his first outing seven weeks. Bar Room Banta wrapped up his preparation for this series with a comfortable all-the-way win at this venue a couple of weeks ago, which raised his level of fitness. While the draw is tricky, the cause for concern, as far as, Bar Room Banta is concerned, is that his main threat in TITIAN RAIDER (3) and ROCKET BOY (2) have both drawn ideally close to the markers. Miracle Mile winning trainer Harry Martin has TITIAN RAIDER racing in a ‘purple patch’ of form with his driver Glenn McElhinney an important part of the winning recipe. Since resuming from a spell, Titian Raider has won six from eight with a couple of placings thrown in for good measure. The son of Sunshine Beach has won his past five, the latest when he crossed from nine in dictating the terms, en route to defeating The Raconteur and Rocket Boy. McElhinney is bound to show intent from the outset in wanting to dictate from start to finish. ROCKET BOY will fall in behind gate one if the first reserve isn’t required and that will give the son of Art Major the option of holding the inside running or more likely, enjoying a sit on Titian Raider. The consistent Jack Trainor-prepared 3yo won three on end before completing a hat-trick of placings, culminating with a sound 2nd to the classy Captain Crusader, beaten 1.6m in the process. Outside of the top three, multiple players should consider the consistent GORDONS BAY (11), OUR ACTION MAN (7) and KASHED UP (8).
    BAR ROOM BANTA 1, Titian Raider 2, Rocket Boy 3, Gordons Bay 4.
    This event is semi-final number two for the boys and the in-form Rickie Alchin stable is poised for further success, courtesy of his smart colt, CAPTAIN CRUSADER (7). The colt will launch his claim from the middle of the line and that should be good enough to see Rickie make a play for the lead role. The ‘Captain’ was able to take full advantage of drawing the pole when he accounted for Rocket Boy and Stravinsky in taking out his particular heat. Boasting a superb record, the son of Captaintreacherous will face the starter as the class runner of the field, and one of his rivals will need to pull out a big effort if his colours are to be lowered. ELECTRIC EYE (5) provided the ideal quinella result when he finished a gritty 2nd to Hy Voltage in his heat. The Belinda McCarthy-prepared colt has been steadily improving since leaving Victoria and taking up residence at Cobbitty. Suitably drawn and stripping fitter for three runs on this side of the border, Electric Eye should give a good account. HY VOLTAGE (11) has a tough draw and Captain Crusader to overcome this time around, but he remains in the mix when it comes to forming multiple investments as the son of Rock N Roll Heaven is racing with plenty of confidence. When it comes to adding value to the exotics, POPS BOY (2), THREE IN HEAVEN (3), LYRICAL GENIUS (4) and MAJOR BRACKEN (9) will help in that regard.
    CAPTAIN CRUSADER 1, Electric Eye 2, Hy Voltage 3, Pops Boy 4.
    The outside gate awaits the classy CHRISSY CHIC (12), but that won’t be enough to prevent her from booking her spot in the Final in a weeks’ time for the NSW Breeders Challenge for 3YO Fillies. Resuming from a break with a costly but solid 2nd to Machs Legacy on July 17, the Major In Art filly then headed to AP for her next assignment, the G1 Old Oaks. After finding the lead role, Chrissy Chic gave a good account in posting a 10, 5th to the classy Victorian, Momentslikethese. Given a couple of months, Chrissy Chic resumed with a win at Penrith, then had little trouble in leading throughout in defeating Bertie Jones, which has won since, and Louis Litt, which did a big job in running 2nd to ‘Bertie’ at Menangle on Tuesday. The State’s leading reinsman in Cam Hart is bound to take an aggressive attitude into the race in that should result in Chrissy Chic stamping her authority on the event from the outset. BETTOR BE KEPT (6) has drawn suitably in six and that will assist the Michael Doltoff-trained filly to be involved in the early ‘hustle and bustle’ for a role close to the action. The consistent daughter of Bettors Delight is coming off a couple of confidence boosting wins and she is more than capable of giving Chrissy Chic a run for her money. ABOUT TO PEAK (8) does peak in condition for the ‘Mirrool Magic’ Stephen Maguire. Resuming with wins at Leeton and Cobram, the Artspeak filly led when a gritty 4.8m 2nd to Triple Four, a promising type from the Brad Hewitt stable. About To Peak has drawn a ‘touch’ deep but she does have the gate speed to be in the mix from the moment the green light is activated. WINONA WRITER (5) has won all three since a spell but the Bernie Hewitt trained and driven will be confronted by a harder challenge this time. Despite the rise in grade the Sportswriter filly remains an exotic contender, along with INFINITY BEACH (1) and STELLINA (11).
    CHRISSY CHIC 1, Bettor Be Kept 2, About To Peak 3, Winona Writer 4.
    Runner-up behind Soho Almasi in the two-year-old version of this series a year ago, brilliant filly ANNTONIA (8) will be looking to go one better this time around and, that will commence with a winning semi-final appearance. The daughter of Bettors Delight has been a ‘bit sluggish’ since a spell, however, her astute mentor David Thorn, in an interview for the National Trotguide website on Tuesday, declared he is confident the ‘stable star’ has turned the corner. Resuming with somewhat of a ‘shock’ defeat at Penrith in finishing a 3.2m 3rd to Chrissy Chic, Antonnia then led throughout in her heat win, defeating a closing a Machs Legacy, which was able to cut the margin to a mere 1.2m. Fitter and with every indication that Anntonia was about to ‘explode’ back to her best, the class factor will prove too big a hurdle for her rivals. Luke McCarthy will again jump in the cart for the suspended Jack Trainor and he is again looking forward to guiding the filly to another successful trip around the Menangle circuit. MACHS LEGACY (4) was responsible for a game effort in finishing 2nd to Anntonia last time out. and with the benefit of a suitable starting role, the Cameron Ross-prepared daughter of Mach Three again looks the ‘anchor’ behind Anntonia in exotic investments. MISS LEMON (9) has drawn one spot wider than the favourite and although this is a harder test, the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven filly warrants attention in multiple discussions. The Bernie Hewitt trained and driven BALLERINI (3) has been able to ‘waltz’ her way to a hat-trick of starring role and with the benefit of a good draw, the Bettors Delight youngster again has the chance to be in the mix. ARTIES DIME (5), GOOD CHEDDAR THIS (7) and HEAVENLY HOLLY (12) are value contenders.
    ANNTONIA (8), Machs Legacy 2, Miss Lemon 3, Ballerini 4.
    THE STUNNING NUN (11) returns to a suitable challenge against her own sex, following a stronger G3 appearance here last. Stepping out in the Kevin Robinson Memorial, with a wide draw adding to the degree of difficulty, the classy mare didn’t have the best of luck in recording a creditable 11.4m 8th behind Miracle Mile runner-up, Expensive Ego. Prior to that exercise, The Stunning Nun resumed from a break with a narrow, but solid display in defeating My Ultimate Star and Petes Said So. The 5yo was given some time off following a ‘hit and run’ trip to Queensland for the running of the G1 Golden Girl at AP on July 17. Boasting six and a placing from just eight Menangle engagements, The Stunning Nun will be confronted by an intriguing challenge, with the deep draw being a hurdle while a few of her rivals also bring strong form to the table. However, The Stunning Nun does possess a lethal sprint and Cam Hart will know exactly when to push the ‘go’ button. The Jack Trainor B K SWY (8) is definitely one rival which deserves plenty of respect and attention. The daughter of Big Jim has been in fine form since joining the stable, with back-to-back’ wins coming her way, the latter at the expense of Zanadu and Queenofdance a week ago. The 4yo has been able to sit back and come with a ‘rush’ and that would appear to be the likely method of attack once again, although Jack Callaghan may look to be closer to the action, prior to The Stunning Nun coming with her challenge. FAIRY TINKABELL (10) is a model of consistency and despite the wide gate, the Big Jim mare can’t be taken lightly. Following a successful Queensland campaign, Fairy Tinkabell has won two of her three starts since returning to her home base, with her latest effort being a solid head 2nd to the classy Line Up, which was a NSW Derby winner a season ago. From the deep draw Luke may look to keep his ‘powder’ dry for as long as possible before coming with a late surge. When forming multiple combinations, SHANLOU (2) is capable of a creditable account from her good draw while QUEENOFDANCE (1), BLAZE COOPS (3) and a fitter POWER SURGE (7) also have claims at a ‘value’ quote.
    THE STUNNING NUN 1, B K Swy 2, Fairy Tinkabell 3, Shanlou 4.
    This is a tough and open race and although MY ULTIMATE STAR (9) has a tricky draw to overcome, the talented son of Bettors Delight is capable of continuing the success currently being enjoyed by the Jarrod Alchin stable. The son of Bettors Delight enjoyed a respectable stint in Queensland during ‘carnival’ time before resuming his local commitments with a couple of role as runner-up, either side of a solid win at this venue when he proved too good for Our Madiba and Bracken Knight. His second outing in finishing 2nd was behind the smart mare The Stunning Nun when he missed by the nose margin in pegging back the winner. My Ultimate Art will find this assignment far more acceptable after contesting a tougher 2300m challenge a couple of weeks ago. From a midfield role My Ultimate Art was never a serious factor in recording a 19.4m 8th to Boncel Benjamin, which did cut-out a slick mile rate and a sizzling 26.3 final 400m for the 2300m challenge. Cam Hart will be replaced by sister Ash, who is coming off a smart front-running drive on Tuesday, when she guided Zahven Banner to an easy win. THE CROUPIER (6) will be looking to extend his winning run to four, and according to Luke McCarthy, that is a distinct possibility as the master reinsman spoke highly of the 5yo in an interview on Tuesday. The son of Roll With Joe completed the third leg of his hat-trick with a solid display in defeating Viva Las Vegas and Taroona Bromac a couple of weeks ago. The Croupier has a slightly better draw awaiting him, compared to his past two outings and Luke is bound to find a suitable ‘stalking’ role. MASTER CATCH (7) has been placed in three of his past four starts, the other resulting in a 13.3m 4th to Ranger Bomb. Still looking for his first win since leaving Lisa McDonald to be prepared by Jack Trainor, Master Catch has indicated his trip to the winner’s circle is just around the corner following his past two efforts, the latter being a pleasing 8.9m 3rd behind the smart Line Up a week ago. The Tiz A Masterpiece 6yo is capable of being in the mix from the outset so respect his claims. ROCKNLACHLAN (1) passed numerous marker pegs in sneaking home via the poles, resulting in a narrow but solid win over Kingmaker and Rossini last week. From the pole draw, Cam Hart will again be looking to secure a similar kind trip, prior to producing the 6yo in the home straight. Peaking, following three runs back, Rocknlachlan is one of a handful of definite contenders for the major share of the prizemoney. Exotic players should also consider TAROONA BROMAC (2), OUR MADIBA (5) and HIDDEN COURAGE (10) when forming investments.
    MY ULTIMATE STAR 1, The Croupier 2, Master Catch 3, Rocknlachlan 4.
    This is an open contest, with a number of the players having claims on the top spot. With the benefit of four runs from a spell, RED REACTOR (10) is ready to play a far more active role in the finish, following a couple of pleasing efforts. The David Thorn-trained 6yo was having his third outing this preparation when he finished strongly in recording a 2.4m 2nd to Major Obahma, prior to again finding the line with intent in recording an 8m 8th to The Croupier a couple of weeks ago. The chestnut son of Auckland Reactor has drawn wide but he is likely to compete from a midfield role or a shade worse, prior to coming with his run when the field rounds the final bound. If close enough at that stage, Red Reactor could ‘explode’ over the final stages. SWAGGIE SHANNON (2) went around at Bankstown on Monday and his 5.3m 4th to Gottashopearly could have been a lot better with a luck in the home straight. The Cameron Ross-conditioned 9yo struck interference half-way down the running, baulking him at a vital stage when he was finding momentum. Ideally drawn in two, the veteran son of Kenneth J is racing well enough to be a serious player. GOTTASHOPEARLY (5) was driven a ‘treat’ by Josh Gallagher in greeting the judge at Bankstown and with his recent efforts being hard to fault, this similar contest is well within his reach. A fitter LOCHIEL (3) strips fitter for a couple of outings since a spell, with an improved draw also assisting his claims. The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven 4yo worked to the line nicely last week in posting a 10.9m 5th behind Rocknlachlan. Although never a threat the sparingly-raced son of Lincoln Royal indicated he was building towards a far more pro-active performance. STARZZZINTHEMAKIN (1), courtesy of drawing the pole, along with JEDI MIND (7) and ROLAMAX (9) stay in the mix as exotic contenders.
    RED REACTOR 1, Swaggie Shannon 2, Gottashopearly 3, Lochiel 4.
    Despite the presence of a 20m hcp, and a less than confident start to her previous stand start assignment, the KerryAnn Morris-prepared FUNKY MONKEY (10) remains the one to beat. After adding to her 10m mark for the running of the G2 3009ss challenge on September 18, the talented daughter of Monkey Bones was never a factor in posting a 50.9m 7th to Tough Monarch. The 4yo did have creditable stand efforts prior to that outing but she will need to be on her best behaviour. Following that outing, Funky Monkey returned to a mobile for a next assignment, and although beaten into 2nd spot, the lightly-raced 4yo did a fine job in running the classy and exciting Aldebaran Revani to the head margin. Hitting peak condition and striking a suitable assignment, Funky Monkey is entitled to top billing. ALEPPO MURPHY (8) had excuses here two starts back in the event won by Tough Monarch as the Sundon 8yo found trouble, prior to picking himself of the canvas in recording a solid-finishing 5m third. first-up from a spell and for the stables of Joe and Mary Rando, the effort was outstanding. As a result, Aleppo Murphy started favourite last week for a 2300m mobile event, but from the outset the chestnut was clearly displayed he wasn’t in the mood. The end result was a 48.9m last to One Majic Kenny. If in the right frame of mind Aleppo Murphy certainly has the talent, the stand record and the added fitness to ensure he plays a role in the finish. GIMONDI (5) should be ready to be involved in the finish after contesting two runs from a spell. Placed in three of his previous six stand outings, the talented 4yo hasn’t been a factor as yet, but this race does lack depth and he should be kept safe. TIMOTHY RED (2) will be confronted by his first official tape assignment, but the Muscle Hill 4yo has won a 2300m trial under these conditions. Timothy Red scored back in late November 2020, then scored again in early August when resuming before again greeting the judge on October 12 when he easily defeated Dance Secret and Sunny Gee. ‘Team Rando’ have been astute with their placement of Timothy Red and if he steps cleanly, then he is capable of giving plenty of cheek from the front line. AGENT MAORI (4), MAJOR THOMAS (7) and EMPIRE BAY (9) should be considered when it comes to multiple transactions.
    FUNKY MONKEY 1, Aleppo Murphy 2, Gimondi 3, Timothy Red 4.

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