IDEALLY drawn in gate three and with a last-start win boosting her confidence, SPEAK NO EVIL (3) is poised to give leading mentor Craig Cross another big night at the office. As per usual, the Cobbitty training establishment will supply a number of outstanding chances on the eight-event card, and Speak No Evil is more than capable of making it back-to-back wins. Following two unplaced runs from a spell and a switch of stables, the former Victorian led throughout, crossing from gate seven with ease, accounting for Tralee Bromac and Redbank Addi a month ago. The mare had been freshened and although a tougher task awaits, compared to her latest challenge, Speak No Evil has greeted the judge on 13 occasions from her 18 starts, so she knows how to ger the job done. Less the reserve and ARMA THE GUN (6) will ‘fire’ out from gate five, a slightly-better release point compared to his past two assignments. As a result, the 7-y-o has been left exposed outside of the leader each time, the latter when a useful 9m 7th to Star Major a few weeks ago. Arma The Gun is up to this calibre and should be regarded as a threat. Trainer Peter Hansen has TOTAL DIVA (1) racing in fine fashion and from the pole the Terror To Love filly is capable of again making her presence felt. Following a hat-trick of wins Total Diva drew deep last week in the Golden Easter Egg, which left her making a four wide run nearing the turn, en route to a determined 4m 4th to Our Antonio Rose. That run must be respected in a tricky race. LETS GO TO BRAZIL (7) continues to compete at a consistent level and another bold showing can be expected in this harder contest. Exotic investors should consider CHEVRONS REWARD (2), SOUND OF TERROR (4) and CHAPTER ONE (11) when forming combinations.
SPEAK NO EVIL 1, Arma The Gun 2, Total Diva 3, Lets Go To Brazil 4.
THE punter is renowned for his or her ‘big heart’ and also it requires the ‘forgive and forget’ attitude to finish on the right side of the ledger. Well, that theory comes into play here, courtesy of POCKET OF TERROR (7) who is on the verge of being placed in the ‘too hard basket’ if he doesn’t give something back this time. The 5-y-o returned from a spell in a blaze of glory, winning four of his opening five starts, prior to commencing a frustrating run of ‘back me next time’ efforts. Pocket Of Terror has managed just three placings from his subsequent nine starts, while being around the mark on a number of occasions. The Craig Cross-trained 5-y-o had little luck a week ago from a wide gate, when eased from a wide gate in racing in a rearward role, then entering the straight in a four peg role. The end result was a sound finishing 4.5m 5th to stablemate Smokin By after being held up for a suitable run until it was all over. If Pocket Of Terror has better luck this time, he is more than capable of playing a far more active role in the outcome. THE TEXAS RANGER (9) is definitely worth a ‘saver’ as the 4-y-o was responsible for a sound effort in the same race. From the in-form Brad Hewitt barn, The Texas Ranger drew nine and was also restrained at the start in settling back in the pack. Working home nicely, without threatening, The Texas Ranger was unable to round up the leaders, but his 6.2m 7th was a pleasing effort. NED PEPPER (4) ran in the race won by Replaced Eye and it was also a solid display and the 9yo will appreciate a return to a favourable draw. The veteran worked to the line with conviction in posting a 9m 3rd, and with a solid bracket of recent work behind him, Ned Pepper is entitled to attention. VAN MARA (5) also did a fine job in posting a 6.8m 2nd to Replaced Eye and he is moving closer to a winning display after making the move from Victorian to the KerryAnn Morris team. SMOKIN BY (11) led and scored in fine style so he can’t be taken lightly in a tough and open race, However, he did have everything made to order last week, courtesy of dictating, and that may not be the case this time from the outside gate. ALPINE STRIDE (10) has been racing in top company of late, and although the wide gate is a hurdle, don’t dismiss him from exotic selections.
POCKET OF TERROR 1, The Texas Ranger 2, Ned Pepper 3, Van Mara 4.
FOLLOWING an upset but deserving win in the Golden Easter Egg a week ago, quality filly OUR ANTONIO ROSE (7) is entitled to top billing in this easier contest, with her starting price to be considerably less this time around. After taking out the Gold Bracelet consolation at Bathurst on Mar 28, the 3-y-o was then switched to the stables of Jason Grimson, due to the zoning restrictions in order to compete at Menangle. The move paid off big time when she upset her far more fancied rivals in Vincenzina and the multiple G1 winner Dr Susan. Our Antonio Rose has drawn wider for this challenge, but that won’t be enough to prevent her from continuing on her winning way. WAHS FIRE BUG (4) has a win and three placings to her credit of late and from the good draw the mare is capable of giving plenty of cheek. DELILAAH (10) broke through for a deserving win last time out, following four-consecutive placings. In greeting the judge, the Michael Muscat-trained mare accounted for Wahs Fire Big, however, the tougher draw is a slight concern this time. Multiple combinations should include ARMA NAUGHTY (5), PRINCESS DANICA (1) and GOTTA BE DOWNTOWN (8).
OUR ANTONIO ROSE 1, Wahs Fire Bug 2, Delilaah 3, Arma Naughty 4.
WHEN assessing the prospects of CULTURE KING (7), just remember the story about his stablemate Pocket Of Terror and give the 4-y-o another chance to redeem himself, following a costly outing here last week. Since contesting the G2 Hondo Grattan, the G2 Paleface Adios and, ultimately the G1 Chariots Of Fire, when safely held each time, Culture King has been out of the money in his three subsequent assignments, each time in far easier events. And, like Pocket Of Terror, the son of Art Major has had the odd excuse or two. A week ago the 4-y-o drew gate two, and after securing the role behind the leader, that is where his luck started and ended. After striking some interference, Culture King didn’t receive a suitable inside run until late, with his work over the final 80m encouraging, as he posted a closing 4.9m 4th to Makoa. This is an open race, and one certainly well within the reach of Culture King, so give him another chance. STANLEY ROSS ROBYN (10) hasn’t won in nearly two years, however, along the way the 7-y-o has been a reliable performer. After being off the scene for 14 months, Stanley Ross Robyn caught the eye in working home stoutly for a 10.6m 4th to Jedi Mind. This will be a harder test, especially from a wide gate, but he does strip fitter so don’t write him off as a threat. PUMP THE BRAKES (1) continues to perform at a consistent level and from gate one the 6yo is bound to give a good account at a suitable quote. The 6yo drew wide last start in coming from a rearward role in recording a solid 1.4m 3rd to Makoa. NO WIN NO FEED (11) hasn’t ‘eaten’ since resuming from a spell as the talented mare has failed to win in four outings. The draw is a hurdle but the mare has the ability to make her presence felt so don’t write her off. Exotic combinations should include a fitter LONGWINDINGROAD (2), CASINO TOMMY (3), who joins the KerryAnn Morris team with consistent Qld form while ELDERBERRY STRIDE (5) steps out for the first time under the care of Anthony Butt.
CULTURE KING 1, Stanley Ross Robyn 2, Pump The Brakes 3, No Win No Feed 4.
WHILE a number of the races appear to be overflowing with chances, this race looks ‘cut and dried’ as the classy HAVTIME (3) should collect her fourth win from her past five starts. The mare managed to cross from gate 10 in finding the lead last time out, en route to being perfectly rated by Robert Morris, which enabled her to comfortably account for Bettor Robyn and Make Mine Heaven. With gate two, which is less the reserve, and ideal starting position for this highly-regarded daughter of Mach Three, it should be a case of ‘lead and continue to improve your position’ in greeting the judge once again. Exotic investments look the way to go, with HOWS THE MEMORY (11), despite drawing wide again, favoured to lead the charge. The mare tried to lead throughout last week when a gritty 1.6m 3rd to Fame Assured. Rarely far from the action of late, Hows The Memory is bound to be in the thick of the action from the outset, as per usual. AQUA MISS (6) worked home stoutly when a 5.7m 5th to stablemate Makoa last week, and although she doesn’t win out of turn, the 5yo is bound to give this a shake. A fitter ROCKING (2) is capable of a vastly improved run and from the ideal draw, keep her safe in multiple discussions. LOVE MY SISTER (4) and ROCKNROLL ANGEL (8) are also worthy of consideration.
HAVTIME 1, Hows The Memory 2, Aqua Miss 3, Rocking 4.
ONCE again the open class race on the card looks set to be dominated by the Craig Cross stable, as three of the major chances will come from that yard. The main player appears to be CRUZ (5) who scored led throughout in defeating Expressionist and Fouroeight three starts ago, prior to a couple of fine efforts in harder races. The first was a useful 15m 4th to his classy stablemate Cash N Flow, prior to again chasing the speedster home a week ago. Leading out, then taking a sit on Cash N Flow, Cruz was never a match for the odds-on favourite, but, he wasn’t disgraced either in posting a 13.6m second. Less the reserve, and Cruz will face the starter from gate four, and that should see him make a play for an all-the-way win. His two main dangers also have the same address in LITTLE RASCAL (3) and OUR WALL STREET WOLF (4). Apart from one safely held 9th to Cash N Flow two starts ago, LITTLE RASCAL has been a reliable performer and with the good draw next to his name, the 8-y-o is a definite threat. Last week the gelding worked home nicely when a 15.3m 4th to Cash N Flow. This will be a far more suitable challenge. OUR WALL STREET WOLF (4) also chased home a stablemate last week, with the 6yo recording a solid neck 2nd to Smokin By. A slightly better draw awaits the consistent son of Mcardle and it will come as no surprise if his stocks don’t go up on the back of this run. HICKSTEAD (7) is racing well and stays under notice as a suitable exotic runner. MANGO STRIDE (6) is resuming after a solid trial win and he certainly warrants exotic involvement, along with JACK FARTHING (8) and the in-form MAKOA (10).
CRUZ 1, Little Rascal 2, Our Wall Street Wolf 3, Hickstead 4.
THE Shane Sanderson-trained LOORRIM CREEK (5) will be looking to greet the judge for the second time in the space of five days, and although a harder task is on the agenda, the 7-y-o is capable of achieving such a result. Starting from gate eight, Cameron Hart had the gelding across to the pegs and dictating, en route to comfortably holding his rivals in the run home, leaving Brocks Territory and Redbank Addi to fill the minors. A model of consistency these days, the draw is a plus and that will enable Loorrim Creek to occupy a favourable role in again giving a good account. CANT REFUSE (6), like Pocket Of Terror and Culture King, is another Craig Cross entrant who is fast becoming a ‘money muncher’. The 7-y-o hasn’t won in 13 months and is yet to win for his new stable following 10 trips to the races. That said, on a number of occasions he has been competitive, but, he remains shy in having his photo taken with the winning post. Cant Refuse is coming off a 13.3m 5th to stablemate Replaced Eye a week ago, when he found himself buried four pegs after being beaten for early speed after being ‘scratchy’ in the score up. Handily drawn, Cant Refuse is bound to make a bold bid for victory so don’t discard him as a contender. MOTU GATECRASHER (2) is an interesting runner after being left in the care of Craig Cross, following the departure of Team Tritton to the US. The 7-y-o son of Changeover hasn’t raced since a creditable 1.2m 3rd to Molly Kelly back on Feb 25. But, a solid trial win has him ready to give cheek, especially after drawing one, providing the reserve doesn’t gain entry into the race. SPARE ME DAYS (11) has been struggling for form, however, when it comes to the exotics, include him in the mix, along with BROCKS TERRITORY (4) and PEMBROOKS PASSION (8).
LOORRIM CREEK 1, Cant Refuse 2, Motu Gatecrasher 3, Spare Me Days 4.
THE trotters’ race wraps up proceedings and the 2300m stand appears to be a race of many chances. The nod goes the way of the consistent KOWHAI MONARCH (9), one of three runners for Team Rando. Boasting 10 wins from 40 stand assignments, Kowhai Monarch last greeted the judge under these conditions back on Feb 8, with his form sound since, finishing no further back then fourth in five subsequent outings. The veteran worked home stoutly last start, which was a week ago, when a closing metre 2nd to Drop The Hammer over the 1609m. Despite the 20m hcp, which shouldn’t be a major concern, Kowhai Monarch should go better this time around. Stablemate EMPIRE BAY (8) is also a handy type from behind the tapes and his latest bracket of work is pleasing enough to suggest a competitive showing. MAJESTIC COURTNEY (10) will launch his claim from behind the 30m tape, and although this talented 5-y-o can be ‘hit and miss’ these days, he is more than capable of being actively involved in the finish. His most recent win was three starts ago, and it was over this course and distance when the stand start was in play. BLAZING UNDER FIRE (7) also enjoys the stand but he has been racing with confidence of late. The 7-y-o stays in the mix when it comes to the multiples while IONA GRINNER (3), CALIGULA (4) and KYVALLEY BOOMERANG (2) also have claims in that regard.
KOWHAI MONARCH 1, Empire Bay 2, Majestic Courtney 3, Blazing Under Fire 4.