November 11, 2021 National Trotguide
MAJOR OBAHMA (1) has been a major contributor to the successful season being enjoyed by Kerry and Dean McDowell, and with gate one a big plus in this company, the Art Major 5yo should be competitive. Stepping up a notch in grade, Major Obahma has posted two wins and a last-start 3rd to Rickoshay from his past four Menangle assignments. Young Lleyton Green, who continues to impress in the sulky, will again take the reins. MASTER CATCH (6) also contested the race won by Summit Special last week in finishing a respectable 5.8m fourth. Driven by Green, the 6yo enjoyed the one-one before working home stoutly out three wide from the 400m. Jack Trainor has booked Jake Hughes for the drive and that engagement won’t hinder the claims of the 6yo son of Tiz A Masterpiece. BRIGHT ENERGY (11) is racing in fine fashion but the draw is a concern for the Darren Elder-trained son of Western Terror. The 6yo was able to lead throughout a week ago in proving too good for Loorrim Lake and Royal Gamble. Brad Elder, who is driving in career best form, will be keen to have Bright Energy in the mix and no doubt his class will take him a long way. Exotic investors should consider SWAGGIE SHANNON (3), which is coming off two sound wins but rises in grade, along with SEND IT (4), MY ULTIMATE STAR (7) and ARDEN MESSI (8).
MAJOR OBAHMA (1), Master Catch (6), Bright Energy (11), My Ultimate Star (7).
While Line Up appears to be the ‘best bet’, next in line for those honours is the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained ZEUSS BROMAC (1), with the classy, former Chariots Of Fire runner-up (Expensive Ego) stripping fitter and drawing ideally in gate one. However, far more importantly, our thoughts are with Zeuss Bromac’s regular reinsman Gavin Fitzpatrick who was badly injured in a horror fall at the Penrith trials last Monday. ‘G1’ Gav is still in hospital with leg injuries and we wish him a speedy and full recovery as the popular reinsman is an important fixture on the local scene. Hopefully, Zeuss Bromac can give him something to smile about. The 4yo has had two runs back from a spell, the latter a week ago when an 18m 5th behind Expensive Ego. Snookered in a six peg role, Zeuss Bromac was never a factor but he did work home nicely after drawing out in gate nine. Brother Blake jumps into the bike and the prospect of Zeuss Bromac being a major factor from the outset appear bright. That being the case, Zeuss Bromac will prove hard to beat. Although spelt with one less ‘s’, Zeus, being the god of sky and thunder, so if Zeuss Bromac does salute, then a thunderous applause should welcome him back to the winner’s circle with Gavin in mind. Gate two awaits PITCH PERFECT (2), which is the main threat on the strength of an extended run of solid efforts. The Roys Roots-trained 5yo hasn’t greeted the judge since scoring at Tamworth back in late January and has only been placed in four of his 11 starts since resuming. However, it is hard to ignore his recent body work, which includes a 5.6m 5th to his star stablemate The Black Prince at Newcastle, followed by an unlucky 5.3m 4th to Pump The Brakes, a solid 2.7m 2nd to Summit Special and a last-start 7.3m 4th to Bright Energy a week ago. The improved draw is a plus while Roots has booked Luke McCarthy to replace Robert Morris, who has important driving commitments in Victoria over the weekend. IGNATIUS (9) had no luck last week when a tiring 9.2m last to The Black Prince in the G1 Len Smith Mile. Posted without cover, the classy 6yo was involved in a 25.5 opening sectional, which set the stage for a blistering time of 1:49.9. To finish as close as he did was a gritty effort. Prior to that run the son of Roll With Joe had been racing in fine order and although confronted by a deep draw the gelding will be competitive. A great deal of interest will centre around the return to racing of the talented BALRAJ (7), with Jack Trainor taking over the mentoring duties after the son of Art Major returned from a mixed Qld campaign while under the care of Belinda McCarthy. There has never been any doubt about his class, however, the classy 5yo has lost his way on the odd occasion and Trainor will be keen to get a ‘feel’ of Balraj under race conditions, as he was unable to find a suitable trial date. With the first round of the Inter Dominion heats just around the corner, a progressive performance by Balraj is important. LOORRIM LAKE (8) is gradually building towards a win following a solid half-neck 2nd to Bright Energy a week ago. The son of Roll With Joe is bound to give another good account while ROYAL GAMBLE (3) and ELLMERS IMAGE (10), which resumes from a spell following a solid Qld campaign, has drawn badly but the son of Falcon Seelster has had the benefit of two solid Bathurst trials, the latter resulting in a 1:56.6 winning effort. Classy mare JENDEN STRIKE (5) resumes under the care of Jack Trainor, but at this stage the 4yo is likely to need the run, especially in this strong company.
ZEUSS BROMAC 1, Pitch Perfect 2, Ignatius 3, Balraj 4.
This looks to be a tough and open contest and with a suitable drop in grade being a plus, the in-form Rickie Alchin stable has bright prospects of providing the winner. OUR ACTION MAN (3) was game in defeat when a 13.8m 3rd to Hy Voltage in a heat of the NSWBC, prior to working his way into the G1 Final with an 18.2m 6th to the smart Titian Raider. Starting at triple figures for the title, the American Ideal 3yo was responsible for a solid finishing 8.2m 5th to Bar Room Banta, with the 1609m covered in 1:50.7. Our Action Man has drawn better for this 2300m challenge, which should suit, and although taking on older rivals, he looks a threat. Will Rixon, who is driving with plenty of confidence, should be able to give Our Action Man a suitable ‘smother’ before giving him every chance to be competitive in the run home. MAJOR STATEMENT (1) is ideally poised in gate one for in-form mentor Troy Williams. The 4yo son of Well Said has had a say in each of his past five starts, all at Penrith, resulting in two wins and three placings, with his most recent engagement being a win over Team Of Starzzz and Christmas Toyboy. although he has managed just three minor placings from his 11 starts at this venue, Major Comment should make his presence felt. FAR OUT BRO (5) has been mixing his form of late but his last-start 7.4m 5th to Muscle Factory was a pleasing effort and a repeat of that effort would surely see him give this a shake. NOTA REPLICA (11) has the outside gate to overcome but the 6yo is racing well enough to being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. PACMAN HAMMER (2) showed a return to winning form here on Tuesday when Ash Hart rated the Peter Russo-trained son of Courage Under Fire to perfection. Ideally drawn in two, the 6yo is bound to be in the firing line from the outset, with Jack Callaghan likely to adopt the same game plan as Ash. GOTTASHOPEARLY (4) and RICKOSHAY (9) are value exotic contenders.
OUR ACTION MAN 1, Major Statement 2, Far Out Bro 3, Nota Replica 4.
Although a level or two below the ‘peak of his powers’ these days, the Brent Lilley-conditioned SICARIO (8) is entitled to top billing in this field. The son of Somebeachsomewhere has been missing from the winner’s circle since December 2020, and more recently, it has been nine starts since a placing, the past five since a spell. Although unplaced, Sicario hasn’t been disgraced just the same, finishing just behind the placegetters on most occasions. Such was the case a week ago when Sicario finished a 12m 6th to Our Millionaire in the St Arnaud Cup at Melton. This appears to be a far mor suitable challenge for Sicario and the booking of Luke McCarthy is an important factor. The main threat to Sicario is his stablemate, I CAST NO SHADOW (10) which has had 12 starts from a spell for a solitary win and one minor placing. The Shadow Play chestnut has also been going around in harder races such as the Kilmore Cup and the Geelong Cup. His latest assignment resulted in a respectable 5.9m 4th to Supreme Dominator at Melton on Oct 30. I Cast No Shadow has drawn the outside gate but Lilley has engaged Blake Fitzpatrick to assist in overcoming that hurdle. JIMMY LOCKE (3) is coming off a solid win at Newcastle on Monday and from his ideal draw the Peter Russo-trained 6yo is capable of again being involved in the finish while ZIGGY ROCKS (4) is also a contender for a role in the finish, despite recent mixed form, which could be put down to contesting harder races and having little luck on the odd occasion. ALWAYS ROCKIN (2), which led in finishing 2nd to his stablemate Jimmy Locke at Newcastle, remains in the mix as an exotic contender, along with a fitter FIRESTORM RED (6) and SHANNONSTHEMAN (7).
SICARIO 1, I Cast No Shadow 2, Jimmy Locke 3, Ziggy Rocks 4.
Formerly with Emma Stewart and now under the care of Corey Peterson, CARLAS MACH (7) is bound to attract plenty of attention as he faces the starter for his initial Menangle assignment. Boasting six and three placings from his 16 encounters, the classy son of Mach Three has been off the scene since recording an 11.4m 5th to Pacifico Dream in an APG 4YO E&G’s heat at Melton on April 23. Throughout his brief career the 4yo has been confronted by quality opponents and he has certainly been a tough competitor. Carlas Mach recently contested a Menangle trial, which resulted in a useful 18.9m 5th to cash N Flow. Although safely held over the final 200m, Carlas Mach will benefit greatly from the experience and the outing. Corey has engaged Blake Fitzpatrick to handle the driving duties. LACEYS LAD (6) looks close to a winning display, following two runs back from a spell. After ending his previous term on a winning note, the Mark Callaghan-trained son of Lis Mara resumed with a pleasing 10.2m 4th to Alpine Stride on Oct 9, prior to a solid half-neck 3rd behind Summit Special and Fairy Tinkabell a week. Fitter and drawing handily in five, which is less the reserve, Laceys Lad must be respected. Mark has elected to again book his ‘rising star’ son Jack as the driver. STORMY RAIDER (2) resumes from a spell but two recent solid Goulburn trials should have him ready to ‘hit the ground running’, especially after drawing nicely in two. The Dean Cernovskis trained and driven 8yo hasn’t raced since a sound 6.3m 6th to Vandanta on March 26. His form at the time had been sound on a number of occasions. When resuming from a spell on two recent occasions, Stormy Raider has managed to finish third each time so he must appreciate being ‘fresh’ so don’t ignore his prospects, particularly, when it comes to the multiples. VIVA LAS VEGAS (11) has drawn next to the grandstand but the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven son of Sweet Lou is entitled to further consideration. Prior to an 11.8m 7th to Muscle Factory a week ago, when always in a rearward role, Viva Las Vegas had been close-up in a number of outings and if he can have any luck from this draw, then expect to see 4yo testing this field. When it comes to exotic combinations, expect a sound showing from OUR MADIBA (3) which wasn’t disgraced by his latest run while the draw is a plus, while BETTER ROBYN (8) and POWER SURGE, the former being a last-start winner at Newcastle when resuming, the latter improving with each run since a spell, certainly in the mix.
CARLAS MACH 1, Laceys Lad 2, Stormy Raider 3, Viva Las Vegas 4.
This event is named in honour of the late Nick Robin, who we lost far too early. A true master of his craft when it came to any sport, but in particular racing, and also a gentleman in every sense of the word. Jason Grimson-trained runners have been enjoying G3 racing and that will be the case once again, courtesy of BONCEL BENJAMIN (8), which looks suitably placed in this field, despite the depth involved. The speedy son of Grinfromeartoear scored over this trip (2300m) three starts back in defeating Rays Choice and Alta Orlando. The 6yo has since been game in defeat in finishing 3rd behind Expensive Ego and Alta Orlando in the G3 Kevin Robinson Memorial and a gallant head 3rd to The Black Prince and Alta Orlando in the G1 Len Smith Mile on Oct 30. Boncel Benjamin has drawn wide but he has the speed to leave the machine with plenty of zest in finding the pegs, and with Josh Gallagher driving in superb form, the pair are bound to take a power of catching. Back from a spell and drawing ideally in three, JAY OK (3) is capable of being involved in the finish, with the drive going the way of Blake Fitzpatrick, who replaces his injured brother. The classy 4yo has been off the scene since a solid 13m 3rd to Loorrim Lake in the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown in mid-June, but a recent solid trial 2nd to Cash N Flow, when under a hold, at Menangle indicated that the son of A Rocknroll Dance was on the verge of returning with a strong showing. Prior to the Menangle trial, Jay OK had posted a pleasing trial effort at Penrith. BURNHAM BOY (6) broke through for a deserving win here a few weeks ago when he accounted for Spirit Of St Louis and Mister Brazil. The 4yo then contested the G1 Len Smith Mile and although he crossed the line in 8th spot, the son of Bettors Delight was only beaten 5m by The Black Prince. Locking wheels with Expensive Ego about 100m from home wasn’t a major factor, but a slight ‘hiccup’ for both runners. POCKET OF TERROR (11) has drawn the outside gate, and while that is a concern, the Jack Trainor trained and driven 6yo can’t be taken lightly. The son of Western Terror has been ultra-consistent in races of this nature over the past few months, with his latest outing resulting in a solid 5.4m 4th to Malcolms Rhythm on Sept 11. Pocket Of Terror trialled nicely behind Cash N Flow, finishing 4th, and with the Inter Dominion just a couple of weeks away, Trainer will be keen to see Pocket Of Terror ‘top’ of his preparation with a solid showing. The talented ATOMIC RED (9) makes his first appearance since an 11.7m 8th to Havtime at this venue back in Oct-2020. Prepared by Steve Turnbull, Atomic Red has been involved in more trials than Perry Mason, for the younger brigade, which probably means under 50, use google to find out who he was, with the son of Rocknroll Hanover facing the starter in six, the latest on Monday when a solid 2nd to Alta Equus. Steve has left ‘no stone unturned’ in having the 7yo ready to make his presence felt from the outset. PAY ME SAM (7), ROCKIN MARTY (4) and PUMP THE BRAKES (10), courtesy of gate one, are value players for the multiples.
BONCEL BENJAMIN 1, Jay OK, Burnham Boy 3, Pocket Of Terror 4.
The 2300m stand-start for the trotters has been made more intriguing by the fact that the three major players have all drawn behind the 30m tape. The KerryAnn Morris-trained FUNKY MONKEY (11) continues to impress, with the former Kiwi now one of the headline acts in her particular gait. The daughter of Monkey Bones raises her profile with each outing, and she did that and more when she managed to ‘out tough’ Tough Monarch, which has won since, a couple of weeks ago. Competing from the role outside of the leader (Tough Monarch), the 4yo kept grinding away under pressure, which paved the way for a dominant 1.7m win. Boasting a 50% winning strike rate from just 20 starts, all but one of those wins recorded since calling Lucky Lodge home, Funky Monkey will be confronted by an interesting assignment. Josh Gallagher replaces Robbie, who will be in Victoria.
The Brent Lilley-trained and James Rattray-driven ROBBIE ROYAL (9) is a tough, gritty and consistent trotter, which is usually involved in the vast number of Country Cups on the Victorian calendar. Since the end of September, the son of Raffaello has been placed in the Swan Hill Cup, Maryborough Cup and just over a week ago, the Yarra valley Cup where he finished a brave 1.3m 2nd to Havehorsewilltravel. The 7yo should be suited by the Menangle circuit so expect him to be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. Outside of the ‘top two’, exotic players should look to the Blake Fitzpatrick pair of ONE MAJIC KENNY (8) and GIMONDI (5), along with EMPIRE BAY (1) for the Rando’s.
FUNKY MONKEY (11), Robbie Royale (9), One Majic Kenny (8), Gimondi (5).
The Amanda Turnbull-trained OLD LUKE (2) gets his chance to greet the judge after the consistent son of Bettors Delight drew perfectly in gate one, courtesy of the pole-marker in Rum Delight being withdrawn. Narrowly beaten by Ronaldo at Bathurst, then going down by 4.4m in finishing a 4.4m 3rd to Black Hawk Joe at Goulburn recently, the 8yo had posted a few handy efforts in slightly harder company, compared to this challenge at Headquarters. With the prospect of receiving a kind run, courtesy of Isobel Ross, who is driving in fine form on the country arena, Old Luke is bound to issue a strong challenge for the top spot. MARTY MAJOR (6) had been racing in fine form at Newcastle and this venue before posting a 28.6m last to Rusty Crackers on Oct 30. Given every chance in the one-one, Marty Major was still in the mix with 300m to run, but he was unable to finish the job. The Art Major 8yo drops back to a suitable challenge and from a reasonable draw so don’t dismiss him as a threat. Jack Trainor takes the reins behind the Roy Roots Jnr-trained gelding while Luke McCarthy will partner the stablemate GLENGARRY ROSE (7), which also has winning prospects. The mare is coming off a couple of sound efforts at Newcastle, the latter a week ago when she hit the line well in recording a 1.9m 2nd to Swaggie Shannon. While she doesn’t win out of turn these days, Glengarry Rose is capable of winning here, without surprising. BOYD WRITER (2) will be backing up from an assignment at Wagga on Friday and providing David Hewitt trained and driven son of Sportswriter comes through that appearance with a creditable display, he is certainly good enough to be involved in the finish, especially from the ideal draw. Exotic players should also consider ELROY JETSON (4) and JACK WILLIAM (10), the pair both members of the Kevin Pizzuto team.
OLD LUKE 1, Marty Major 2, Boyd Writer 3, Glengarry Rose 4.