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    Mike Ko’cass finds all the winners at Tabcorp Park Menangle Saturday night Mike Ko’cass finds all the winners at Tabcorp Park Menangle Saturday night

    ONE TO WATCH: The Wolf

    RACE ONE: When you look at the formguide and it reveals that LINE UP (11) finished ninth in the race won by The Black... Mike Ko’cass finds all the winners at Tabcorp Park Menangle Saturday night

    RACE ONE:

    When you look at the formguide and it reveals that LINE UP (11) finished ninth in the race won by The Black Prince a week ago, place that part of the outcome to one side and look at why he finished where he did. The classy 4yo was having his second run back from an enforced, lengthy period away from race following his 2020 NSW Derby victory, his return resulting in a solid win, when he contested the G1 Len Smith Mile, his venture into the ‘big time’ and against fit, older and proven performers. From gate six Darren Binskin allowed his ‘stable star’ to drift back in the pack, with the pair settling in a six peg role. An opening quarter of 25.5 dictated that move and with the pace being solid through the middle stages, place to be was on the pegs when the moves started to unfold on straightening for home. The winner, The Black Prince, was able to follow the markers home, courtesy of a brilliant drive by Robert Morris, but while the Roy Roots Jnr star was able to take advantage of such a run, and a blistering 26.9 final 400m, Line Up was still probing for a clear passage, which failed to appear as DJ worked away from the poles. The end result was a solid 6.5m 9th, with the son of Bettors Delight hitting the line with intent, although still under a hold. In defeat, Binskin would have been delighted with the run. Line Up strips fitter and although lining up behind gate 10, this will be an assignment well within the reach of such a classy animal. Everything being equal and Line Up will start punters off, on the right side of the ledger in proving to be one of the, if not the ‘best bet’ on the card. FAIRY TINKABELL (10) has drawn next to Line Up, with the ultra-consistent Belinda McCarthy-trained mare entitled to further attention. From her past 10 starts the daughter of Big Jim hasn’t missed a place, converting four of them into winning performances. The mare finished a game 2nd to Line Up two starts ago, then followed that with an equally brave 2nd to The Stunning Nun in a G3 event. Fairy Tinkabell has gate speed but whether Luke elects to ‘push’ the go button from the outset is questionable in this tougher class event. The mare knows how to finish her races off so if she does go back at the start, the sprint will be there when things get serious. MASTER CATCH (8) broke through for a deserving win since joining the Jack Trainor team and he will again be in the mix for a long way while SUMMIT SPECIAL (5), ASHARK (7), LACEYS LAD (4) and STAR MAJOR (9) are all capable of greeting the judge, without surprising.

    LINE UP 1, Fairy Tinkabell 2, Master Catch 3, Summit Special.

    RACE TWO:

    This would appear to be a suitable challenge for the Darren Elder-trained BRIGHT ENERGY (7), which has been giving every indication that a win was just around the corner. Safely held, but far from being disgraced when unplaced in races won by Majestic Cruiser and Malcolms Rhythm, respectively, Bright Energy then posted a solid-finishing 12.7m 3rd to dual Miracle Mile winner, King Of Swing. A gritty 7.5m 5th to Pump The Brakes followed, prior to his effort here last week in posting a 6m 3rd to Summit Special, once again hitting the line in a pleasing manner from a three peg role. Drawing the middle of the line for this open and suitable assignment, Brad Elder has the opportunity to place Bright Energy in a suitable role, and that will result in the pair being actively involved in the finish. His main threat will come from a fellow Novocastrian in PITCH PERFECT (8), which is also trending towards a win for the in-form Roy Roots Jnr. Ten runs into his latest term of racing and Pitch Perfect is yet to greet the judge, with four minor placings and a few solid fourth’s and fifth’s appearing next to his name. Presented with the one-one last week, courtesy of Cam Hart, the 5yo son of Bettors Delight finished the race off strongly, only to be denied the top spot by Summit Special. Roots has booked Robert Morris to take over the steering duties, with the pair still on a ‘high’ following their success last week in the G1 Len Smith Mile. LOORRIM LAKE (10) has contested four runs since a spell, and while he has been below his best, the Kevin Pizzuto-conditioned son of Rill With Joe has been making steady improvement. The 4yo finished his latest assignment off with far more conviction, resulting in a 7.9m 5th to Rusty Crackers last week. With his level of fitness peaking, Loorrim Lake, despite the wide draw, should be ready to be involved in the finish. ROYAL GAMBLE (6) also strips fitter for recent racing and his 6.9m 3rd to Rusty Crackers entitles him to be included in exotic transactions. ZAHVEN BANNER (9), SMOOTH SAILOR (5) and LETS KATCHMEIFUCAN (3) also warrant attention when forming multiple investments.

    BRIGHT ENERGY 1, Pitch Perfect 2, Loorrim Lake 3, Royal Gamble 4.

    RACE THREE:

    This should develop into an open and competitive race with at least half-dozen genuine winning chances. Drawing suitably and stripping fitter for one run since a five month spell, FATHER BOB (3) is worthy of an investment. Now under the care of Jason Grimson, Father Bob has always shown above-average talent throughout his career, which has resulted in 11 wins and nine placings from 39 starts. After ending his previous preparation with a 13.6m 5th to Send It in the G1 Regional State Final at Menangle on May 29, owner and former trainer Mark Fletcher elected to send the Somebeachsomewhere to the Menangle-based mentor. Caught facing the breeze when resuming, Father Bob battled on stoutly in recording a 5m 6th to Major Obahma a couple of weeks ago. That outing would have certainly tightened the waist line of the 5yo and with gate three a suitable position, Father Bob is worth the gamble, although his career stats at Headquarters are moderate, with a win and just one minor placing from 13 appearances. Hopefully, now that he resides here, the confidence will improve. CLOUD NINE (1), which is a stablemate of Father Bob, looms as the main threat as the Bettors Delight 4yo will enjoy launching his claims from gate one. The ultra-consistent gelding has greeted the judge in three of his past nine while finishing runner-up on five occasions, his only miss being a 4m 4th to Major Obahma. Jack Trainor will be looking to hold the peg running with Cloud Nine and that will result in the pair proving hard to beat. Despite drawing the outside gate, MUSCLE FACTORY (11) can’t be dismissed as a winning chance. Along with Line Up, Muscle Factory was also extremely unlucky in his particular assignment last week. From the same starting role, the Belinda McCarthy-trained 5yo settled four back in the running line, a role he maintained until creeping up one spot further on the home turn. However, from that point onwards Luke McCarthy had little luck in securing a suitable run, which resulted in a solid 6.5m 4th to Rickoshay. But there is no doubt that Muscle Factory should have been fighting out the finish. ROCKNLACHLAN (7) scored here two starts ago, then led and tired when a disappointing 24.7m 5th to Master Catch. Although mixing his form the 6yo is worthy of further attention when it comes to multiple investments. VIVA LAS VEGAS (6) continues to be a consistent performer and he is certainly racing well enough to be a threat while FAR OUT BRO (5), NOTA REPLICA (10) and a fitter BOYD WRITER (2) should be linked to exotic transactions.

    FATHER BOB 1, Cloud Nine 2, Muscle Factory 3, Rocknlachlan 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    With the benefit of three runs since a spell, which will off-set the wide gate, the Brad Hewitt trained and driven HEZ DUSTY (9) is ready to make amends for a couple of costly defeats. Resuming with an emphatic win at Goulburn on Sept 20, the son of For A Reason was expected to repeat the performance in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Wagga a month later, however, Hez Dusty, despite enjoying the one-one, could only manage to record a 6.4m 3rd to Gordons Bay. Sent out a short-priced elect, once again, for his next assignment at Bathurst on Oct 27, Hez Dusty had his supporters also feeling a little ‘dusty’ after he completed the challenge in 2nd spot behind Best Beau. The margin was a convincing 5.8m, however, Hez Dusty did work home stoutly and with his fitness now longer an issue, the 5yo should be ready to record his second win at Headquarters. The Bernie Hewitt trained and driven KASHED UP (2) looms as the main obstacle to Hez Dusty. Returning from a successful Queensland campaign, Kashed Up, which is also a son of For A Reason, finished a costly 1.5m 2nd to Lyrical Genius at Bathurst, prior to a 14.2m 5th to Titian Raider in a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge for 3yo C&G’s. Facing the starter for the G1 Final last week, Kashed Up enjoyed a suitable run behind the leader (Titian Raider) en route to recording a determined 4.9m 3rd to Bar Room Banta and Titian Raider. From his ideal draw Bernie will again have Kashed Up in the mix from the outset and this time around, the pair will be poised to go a couple of spots better. This does appear to be an ideal situation of ‘backing one and saving on the other’. With gate one next to his name THE STAIN (1) is capable of leaving his mark on the race when it comes to forming exotic investments. The Corey Parker, no not that Corey Parker, trained 3yo, another sired by For A Reason, won three-on-end on the Wagga circuit, prior to contesting a semi-final of the NSW Breeders Challenge a couple of weeks ago. The end result was a 25m 8th to Titian Raider, however, The Stain will appreciate the big drop in grade and the good draw. KILLARA EAGLE (5) was having his first run for the KerryAnn Morris-team at Lucky Lodge when he posted a 27.5m 7th to Triple Four at Headquarters a couple of weeks ago. The son of Fly Like An Eagle will benefit from his first, official Menangle experience and he is more than capable of assisting as an exotic contender. THE MOUNTAIN (4) has been unplaced in two previous Menangle outings, but recent solid form has him peaking, and claims as an exotic runner should be considered. SUNSHINE PEPPER (6) will enjoy the return to a far more favourable engagement while FEAR THE EAGLE (10) and REASON TO BE (12), the latter with Luke McCarthy taking the reins, also warrant exotic attention.

    HEZ DUSTY 1, Kashed Up 2, The Stain 3, Killara Eagle 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    While brothers Rickie and Jarrod have been grabbing the headlines, Alex Alchin will be out to add his name to the ‘family success’ when IM VEXATIOUS (7) faces the starter for the G2 NSWBC True Blue Series for 2YO C&Gs. The son of former champion Bling It On will head around to the start as the least-experience runner, having just three starts to his name, however, the promising youngster has already experienced that ‘winning feeling’ on two occasions. Im Vexatious opened his career with a solid win over this course and distance on Oct 12, with brother Rickie guiding the gelding to a convincing win over Matai Reactor and Manly Mach. and landing some handy investments at a big quote. At Penrith two weeks later and Im Vexatious experienced the other side of racing in having little luck in recording 12.8m 5th to Black Onyx and leaving older brother facing a 21 day stint on the sidelines. Robert Morris jumped in the cart to replace the suspended Rickie, and with pleasing results. Contesting a 1609m challenge at Newcastle, Im Vexatious led from start to finish in defeating Write About Her and Black Onyx. This will be his toughest test to date and a wider gate awaits, however, Im Vexatious has the talent and multiple G1 winning driver in Robert Morris to guide him to further success. CHAPPY STREETNORTH (5) warrants respect as he looks to make amends for a costly visit to Tamworth on Sept 23. Prepared by Mitch Chapple and to be driven for the first time by Miracle Mile winning reinsman Mat Rue, the son of John Street North commenced his career with a ‘bang’, posting a hat-trick of wins, all at Newcastle, with ease. After causing a false start at attempt one, Chappy Streetnorth then led when things got under way, but he was unable to continue on his winning way in recording a 3.5m 4th to Skyfall Benchmark. Suitably drawn and bound to be better suited by the bigger circuit, Chappy Streetnorth will give this a big shake. ROCLEA IMAGE (6) is a consistent youngster who is also under the care of Mitch, with Dean set to take over the reins. Guy Chapple was in the sulky when the 2yo greeted the judge at Newcastle a couple of weeks ago. The recent form of the son of Shoobees Place has shown maturity and another competitive showing is on the cards. From his outside gate ESCAPE ARTIST (12) may need a trick or two in assisting his claims of being involved in the finish. The Brad Hewitt trained and driven son of Tintin In America opened his career on a promising note when he scored at Bathurst, prior to finishing a solid 2m 2nd to Master Stride in a heat of the Gold Crown. The youngster ruined his chance for a shot at G1 glory when he galloped out in finishing a 55.2m 9th to Mister Rea. Resuming with a 21.6m 5th to Mister Rea at Young in a heat of the NSWBC, Escape Artist managed to overcome a tardy start and a tough run in scoring at Wagga a month ago. While still learning his trade, Escape Artist should be linked to exotic combinations. NOBLE TRICK (2) is coming off two solid all-the-way wins and from gate two the son of Bling It On will again give cheek while SAINT CRUSADER (3) and PROMISING (4) also have exotic prospects.

    IM VEXATIOUS 1, Chappy Streetnorth 2, Roclea Image 3, Escape Artist 4.

    RACE SIX:

    Costly, when surprisingly beaten into fifth spot here last week in the G1 Len Smith, Miracle Mile runner-up EXPENSIVE EGO (11) will be looking to make amends for that defeat in what will be a suitable assignment for the classy son of Rock N Roll Heaven. Avoiding the early speed battle, which resulted in the opening 400m being covered in a blistering 25.5, Expensive Ego settled in a midfield role before securing the one-one. Everything appeared to be going to plan, with the middle sectionals solid at 29.8 and 27.7, however, on straightening for home, Expensive Ego still had plenty of work ahead of him, as the leaders kept going and the peg runners were starting to come into play. Although beaten at the time, the star 4yo locked wheels about 100m out, and his 3.2m 5th behind The Black Prince could have resulted in the margin being a shade less. That was Expensive Ego’s second run back from a solid Queensland campaign, the first resulting in a win over Alta Orlando and Boncel Benjamin. There was certainly nothing ‘flash’ about the win, but he did what he had to do. Fitter for his past two encounters, Expensive Ego will justify the ‘short’ quote this time around. Less the reserve and RAYS CHOICE (2) will launch his claim from the pole and that is an ideal starting position for the speedy son of Four Starzzz Shark. The 8yo played ‘second fiddle’ to Boncel Benjamin, King Of Swing and again to Boncel Benjamin, all game efforts in defeat, prior to working when a gritty 8.4m 7th to Expensive Ego a few weeks ago. Rays Choice will be in the mix from the outset and he is bound to give another good account. With the benefit of one run back from a spell, ZEUSS BROMAC (10) is capable of playing an active role in the finish, despite drawing out deep. Stepping out for his first assignment in four months the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained son of Bettors Delight made steady ground from a rearward role in recording a 9.7m 5th to Burnham Boy. With that run under his belt the outstanding 4yo is capable of finishing closer to the action. MISTER BRAZIL (6) caught the eye with a fast-finishing 4.2m 3rd to Burnham Boy a couple of weeks ago when resuming from a spell. The 9yo son of Sportswriter will derive a great deal of benefit from that outing and with his form over the past six months being of a similar nature, the veteran is again capable of making a bold bid for an exotic role. BUNDORAN (9) did a fine job in going down by only 5m in finishing 7th to The Black Prince in the G1 Len Smith and he looks ready to again be involved in the finish while ALPINE STRIDE (5) is an exotic player, as well.

    EXPENSIVE EGO 1, Rays Choice 2, Zeuss Bromac 3, Mister Brazil 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    A change of stables, coupled with an ideal draw, is bound to attract plenty of attention in the direction of KNIGHT KISS (2). Formerly in the care of Norm Diebert, the 2yo daughter of Three Over Three enjoyed a productive start to her career, posting three solid placings before greeting the judge at the end of her first preparation and again when resuming from a spell. Knight Kiss was never a factor in finishing a 50.7m 8th to the classy Captains Queen in a heat of the NSWBC before posting a useful 14m 4th to Lulu Mau in a further heat. Drawing the back row for her third outing since a spell, the filly managed to compete from the one-one, en route to a gritty 10.4m 2nd to the talented Shes A Caribbean at Wagga on Oct 15. Lacking nothing in the fitness department and with gate two a best starting position this term. Knights Kiss will be looking to ‘kiss’ her rivals goodbye. SHES A CARIBBEAN (7) faces the starter with her confidence on a ‘high’ after greeting the judge in three of her past four assignments. Prepared by David Kennedy and to be driven by Jackson Painting, the Caribbean Blaster filly has led in each of those wins, and although gate six awaits, which is less one of the reserves, the same game plan is bound to be on the agenda. FLARE UP (6) is bound to make her presence felt after chalking up five wins and a second from her seven starts. The Darren Elder-prepared daughter of Warrawee Needy failed at her only Menangle challenge, and that was in a semi-final of the NSWBC for her age and sex when she broke in transit, resulting in a 49m 8th to Madrid. Returning to a suitable assignment, Flare Up will make her presence felt. When it comes to forming multiple transactions PAINTMEAREASON (5) and FINERY (4) must be included in investments while ESTHER RISING (10) and STEPH (12) could throw some value into the return.

    KNIGHT KISS 1, Shes A Caribbean 2, Flare Up 3, Paintmeareason 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    MAINLAND MAGIC (1) broke through for her maiden win at West Wyalong last week, and did it in style, so with the benefit drawing the ‘prized pole’ position, the Rodney Woodhouse-trained Warrawee Needy filly is capable of making it back-to-back trips to the winner’s circle. Placed in two of her previous four starts, both as runner-up, the filly drew the 2nd row for her latest challenge, but Peter McRae was able to spot a gap and grab the one-one. When the final 400m came into play, Mainland Magic was ‘off and gone’ to the extent that the race was over on the point of the home turn. The end result was an emphatic 27.3m defeat of Gracenava and Big Jolt. Such a commanding win would have no doubt lifted the confidence of Mainland Magic and with the opportunity to secure a favourable run from the outset, that should pave the way for further success. The race does take on an open appearance with a number of threats, however, first choice goes the way of the Roy Roots Jnr-trained ONE REASON (7) with Robert Morris booked for the drive. The daughter of For A Reason scored at Newcastle three starts back but has been safely held since, the latter when a 13.9m 6th behind Chrissy Chic in a semi-final of the NSWBC series. Returning to a suitable challenge, One Reason, despite drawing a touch deep, should play a role in the finish. MERRYWOOD LYN (6) scored easily at Bankstown then drew the back line when a creditable 12.9m 4th to King Corey at Penrith. The favourable draw will allow the filly to produce a bold showing. GABBYS REASON (8) has been thereabouts in her past three Bathurst outings, plus her fitness levels have gone up a notch or two as a result of those engagements. Unplaced in both Menangle starts to date, Gabbys Reason has the chance to be far more pro-active this time around. OUR BELLA LUCIA (4) and FERAL FRANKIE (3) stay in the mix as exotic players.

    MAINLAND MAGIC 1, One Reason 2, Merrywood Lyn 3, Gabbys Reason 4.

    RACE NINE:

    THE WOLF (3) emerges as the one to beat after the filly bounced back to winning form with a strong display at Headquarters on Oct 19. Following her third change of trainers in just eight starts, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven resumed from a spell a couple of Penrith placings, both as runner-up behind American Flyer. In both those encounters the 3yo commenced the race from a second row draw, so the move to a far more appealing draw, position one on the front line, was a big plus when she enjoyed a kind run behind the leader, en route to accounting for Shanlou and Bella Clare. Grimson drove the filly on that occasion but will hand the reins over to Amanda Turnbull for this challenge. The Wolf will have the opportunity to dictate or again look for a stalking role, either way, the filly will be involved in the finish. OUR LADY LARA (2) has been off the scene since posting a 10.9m 4th to Dancing Chick at Goulburn on Aug 23. Trainer Brad Hewitt, who will also warm the sulky seat, has given his talented mare two trials on her home track, with both outings resulting in pleasing efforts. The 4yo daughter of Betterthancheddar has drawn ideally in two and with those trial efforts assisting her level of fitness, Our Lady Lara looks ready to produce a bold first-up showing. CHERISHTHEMEMORIES (7) is coming off a comfortable all-the-way Penrith win, although this will be a shade more difficult, expect the Sportswriter filly to be in the mix for a long way. CALA JANE (9) has been in fine form on her home track of Bathurst, with three wins and a placing coming her way before a 5.5m 5th behind Ronaldo was recorded on the back of being trapped three wide in easing to a rearward role. Confronted by a tricky draw, Cala Jane is capable of playing a role in the multiples. DIBABA (11) followed a couple of safely held efforts with a 3m 3rd to Team Of Starzzz at Penrith last time out. The mare hasn’t won since June 11 when she added to her outstanding record at that time of her career. The 7yo hasn’t been the same since a Queensland campaign but remains in contention as an exotic player. ZANADU (6) and MISS DAYTONA (5) also have claims as exotic players while OAXACAN DREAM (10) also warrants attention if she comes off the reserves bench.

    THE WOLF 1, Our Lady Lara 2, Cherishthememories 3, Cala Jane 4.

    RACE 10:

    Last week TOUGH MONARCH (9) staged a ‘two horse war’ with the exciting Funky Monkey, with the latter ‘dethroning’ the veteran champ with a tough and determined display. This time around, with no Funky Monkey involved, the 9yo son of Monarchy will again rule over his subjects, despite taking his place on the end of the line when the starter calls the field into position. Tough Monarch will be driven by Robert Morris this time around, replacing trainer Rickie Alchin. Morris combined with the gelding for back-to-back wins at Headquarters back in early July, with the combination set to continue on their winning way. Contesting the same, above-mentioned race, ONE MAJIC KENNY (6) did a respectable job in finishing a 12.3m 4th after competing from a midfield role. The 4yo scored in easier company two starts ago and would appear to be finding the form which warranted in a trip across the Tasman to join the Blake Fitzpatrick stable. Polemarker TIMOTHY RED (1) scored first-up from a break, then didn’t handle the stand when a tailed-off last to Funky Monkey three weeks ago. The Muscle Hill 4yo didn’t enjoy the best of luck when a 12.7m 5th to Funky Monkey last week. Expect a bold showing from this draw while ENHANCE YOUR CALM (3) is also capable of giving a good account from his good draw. PRINCESS KENNY (4) returned to racing and winning form in defeating Enhance Your Calm and with added fitness, this talented mare is capable of again giving a bold showing. SOBOMBA (2) stays in the mix when it comes forming exotic transactions.

    TOUGH MONARCH 1, One Majic Kenny 2, Timothy Red 3, Enhance Your Calm 4.

     

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