August 26, 2017 Michael Court
The return to an ideal draw has presented MAJOR STAR with the incentive to produce a winning display. Recently, Major Star has been confronted by three wide starting roles, the past couple resulting in gritty efforts after working home from reward roles. That was the case last week when the rising eight-year-old came from last and four deep on the home turn in posting a respectable 3.3m 3rd to Saloon Passage. This time around Major Star will be close to the action and the pegs in proving the one to beat. Looming as a big danger is ‘peg hugging’ six-year-old PARRAMATTA, who has had little luck in most of his recent appearances at Menangle. Following two ‘luckless’ runs when buried away four pegs, Parramatta then turned a similar run into a big win, however, he again found himself in strife from a four-peg outing, which left him posting an unlucky 6.7m seventh to Presidentialsecret two weeks ago. With better luck in running, Parramatta can certainly claim victory. MATCH POINT is coming off a solid third to Dashofluck last week and he must be included as a threat while MONIFIETH, STORMONT CZAR, CHANGE GEAR and the ‘hard to follow’ LORD ZIN ZAN should be linked to the exotics.
MAJOR STAR 1, Parramatta 2, Match Point 3, Monifieth 4.
Although a shade disappointing last week, UNDER WORKED is entitled to another chance in this suitable challenge. Enjoying the one-one the six-year-old loomed up strongly on the point of the home turn, however, he kept grinding away at the same pace in posting a 3.7m fourth to Saloon Passage. Minus the reserves and gate two awaits Under Worked who shouldn’t have to work too hard to occupy a favourable role, en route to playing a far more active role in the outcome. Stablemate TINTINARA hits peak fitness following three runs back, the latest a gritty 9m third behind Takara Truffle. Gate one is a big plus for the consistent mare. BLAZIN N CULLEN has drawn badly out in 10, and his recent form has been patchy, but include him as a possible threat, along wth the speedy BETTOR BET BLACK who is capable of giving plenty of cheek. BENICIO is the ‘x-factor’ after the former Kiwi debuted for the Craig Cross stable with a solid win, albiet, in an easier event on August 15. Multiple investors should also consider TULLOW, SALLY FLETCHER and SHANNONSABLAST. If the first reserve in RAKSMACH gains a run then include him in the main bracket of chances.
UNDER WORKED 1, Tintinara 2, Blazin N Cullen 3, Bettor Bet Black 4.
In what appears to be an open contest, the consistent POWER OF RED has the chance to stake a strong claim for the major share of the prizemoney. Handily drawn in five, compared to gate 10 last week when a determined 1.2m fourth to Stening, with the four-year-old coming from a little worse than midfield in doing so. Power Of Red has been around the mark in his past five starts at this venue. The interesting threat is the Jarrod Alchin trained and driven mare IMA MYSTERY GIRL, who is having her first outing after an unlucky 13.9m fifth to Eye See Diamonds in the G1 NSWBC four-year-old Mares Final on June 25. With the benefit of gate one and a suitable trial hit-out, Ima Mystery Girl has the talent to test this field. THE GOLDEN CROSS is racing in peak form and is drawn ideally in two so expect him to make his presence felt, as per usual, while PACKNPLENTY remains in the mix despite ruining his recent run of solid form with a 3.8m seventh to Stening last week after enjoying the one-one. MISTER CLOONEY, LETS STRIKE THE GOLD and ROCKN BRUSHGROVE remain the multiple mix.
POWER OF RED 1, Ima Mystery Girl 2, The Golden Cross 3, Packnplenty 4.
Despite the presence of the outside gate, RAKSMACH is worthy of attention after an unlucky outing here last week. With ‘peg hugging’ reinswoman Amanda Turnbull finding a five peg role for Raksmach, courtesy of drawing 10, the pair worked home strongly for an unlucky 1.8m fourth behind Jokers Tothe Right. A solid winner two starts ago when he overcame a midfield peg role, Raksmach will require his fair share of luck again, however, if that is the case then he will prove hard to hold out. Another Amanda Turnbull runner in CHUMLEE also warrants further attention despite being unplaced in his past six assignments. In the process the five-year-old hasn’t been far away on most occasions, the latest a week ago when he finished well from a rearward role in recording a solid 2.7m fourth to Holy Camp Clive. Chumlee is certainly on the verge of another win. The consistent and gritty IDEAL SITUATION must be included as a winning player while HOLDONSU, despite the wide draw, should be included in the exotics. CHANGE OF MIND, ASTRONAUT and COMPOSED also stay under notice in that regard.
RAKSMACH 1, Chumlee 2, Ideal Situation 3, Holdonsu 4.
The star of the show will be MRS BROWNS BOY who has been playing a leading role in each of his past five starts for the Amanda Turnbull stable. The four-year-old son of Real Desire has a ‘real desire’ to find the winning post and his first appearance at Menangle will create postive viewing. Mrs Browns Boy has been winning with ease at Dubbo, Fairfield, Bathurst (twice) and Bankstown. The gelding has overcome second-row draws on three occasions, however, this will be a tougher challenge, but one he is more than capable of playing a starring role in once again. The main threat to Mrs Browns Boy is another Turnbull entrant in DREAM TO SHARE who has drawn ideally in two. The four-year-old has been off the scene for a year when he returned to racing with a solid Bathurst win on Aug 16. Fitter for that outing the talented Dream To Share must be respected. Both FIRE AND ICE and LETHAL PROMISE are racing well and must be kept safe as possible threats while the multiples should also include BLACKJACK SHANNON, HIGHVIEW FREDDY, who is coming off a big win at Newcastle on Monday, and TAYLOR HOOD.
MRS BROWNS BOY 1, Dream To Share 2, Fire And Ice 3, Lethal Promise 4.
Which side of the ledger punters find themselves on at the end of the night will depend on runners from the Amanda Turnbull stable as MISS VERA MAC again looks hard to beat. The mare has won five of her past six, with her only defeat being a game second to the exciting prospect Takara Truffle. Following two comfortable, all-the-way wins at this venue, Miss Vera Mac then qualified for this race with an effortless victory at Bathurst. Less the two reserves, Miss Vera Mac will launch her claim from gate six, which should result in the five-year-old being in the thick of the action from the outset. Another consistent mare is LOVIN MISS DAISY and from gate two the five-year-old will also occupy a favourable role in again making her presence known from the outset. JONAH JONES, another member of the strong Turnbull team, has drawn the outside gate, however, the five-year-old is racing in the ‘peak of his powers’ and can’t be taken lightly due to his starting role. CASINO GRIN will appreciate the pole role and his recent form is good enough to be a concern to the more-fancied runners. Both KILLARA HUSTLER and OUR MEMPHIS MAC are racing well and are entitled to inclusion in the multiples.
MISS VERA MAC 1, Lovin Miss Daisy 2, Jonah Jones 3, Casino Grin 4.
The running of the G1 Vic Frost Cup is an intriguing affair on paper, with the Craig Cross stable holding the vital key to proceedings. ALLBLACK STRIDE performed well below his best when he last appeared here on August 5. The star six-year-old had the one-one for the first half of the race, then raced without cover, en route to giving in meekly for a 26.9m eighth to Code Black. Prior to that ‘out of character’ display, Allblack Stride had recorded a determined win when he led from start to finish, just one of his 11 wins on this track, Forgiving a good horse one bad run, and Allblack Stride deserves another chance. Now comes the intriguing Cross player in former star WA pacer, GALACTIC STAR who has been off the scene since overcoming a wide gate in scoring at Gloucester Park back on May 12. During his previous term of racing the 4yo won five of his seven starts while finishing runner-up on the other two occasions. His overall record his outstanding and he must be respected. Another Cross runner in LITTLE RASCAL has been racing well, without a Iuck, and the five-year-old is more than capable of playing an important role in the finish so don’t dismiss his claims. AZTEC BROMAC worked home stoutly when second to Dashofluck a week ago and he isn’t far off another win. Exotic investments should also include CONDAGEN, who had no luck here last week, SALOON PASSAGE and PRESIDENTIALSECRET (another Cross runner).
ALLBLACK STRIDE 1, Galactic Star 2, Little Rascal 3, Aztec Bromac 4.
Promising youngster RAKASINC is the one to beat, despite being costly in two of his three starts to date. Runner-up either side of a gritty Bathurst win, Rakasinc worked hard and battled on gamely last time out when beaten by Lexus With A View a couple of weeks ago. Although the draw [gate eight], is a concern, Rakasinc is bound to give this contest a big shake. Victorian visitor JULIACA started in the ‘red’ when she debuted with a respectable and stout 3.3m third to Ideal Suspect at Cobram a couple of weeks ago. The filly did plenty of work from the outset with the run assisting her level of fitness and race experience. Gate three is also a plus for the southern visitor. ROCKNLACHLAN is coming off a determined win at Newcastle on Monday, the run in keeping with his recent run of ‘hard to fault’ displays. Don’t dismiss him as a major player while MADAME LEZA has won three of her seven starts so she obvisiously has the ability to greet the judge once again. BABYITSCOLD left those who accepted the odds-on quote at Bankstown feeling ‘below zero’ when the filly fnished at the rear of the field. Looming up as a potential winner approaching the home turn, Babyitscold then resemembled a shopping trolley with ‘wheels going every where’. The filly has always shown talent and the return to her home track, which is far more spacious, will assist her claims. MISS CIRIELLO and UNCLE RYAN are worthy of exotic attention.
RAKASINC 1, Rocknlachlan 2, Madame Leza 3, Babyitscold 4.
The Amanda Turnbull show looks set to continue in the final event, courtesy of ZAC MAC who attracted plenty of attention last week when having his first run for the Bathurst trainer-driver. Strongly supported to take out his particular engagement, Zac Mac was trapped three wide during the opening stages and after aborting plan ‘a’ when unable to work across to the ‘death’, the 6yo was restrained back to the rear of the pack. The end result was an 8.7m last to Stening, however, the run was better than it first appears on paper. If the two reserves don’t gain a run, then Zac Mac will start from gate six, three spots better then last week, and that may be the difference this time around. CLARRY is also coming off an unlucky outing last week in finishing an 8m 3rd to Sokys Bigbullet. Firmly entrenched in a four peg role, Clarry, who had won his previous three at Penrith in good style, hit the line well when clear. Expect a competitive run from Clarry while HILLVIEW JAKE also stays under notice after a useful and slightly unlucky 11m 7th to Raksmach here a couple of weeks ago when having his first start for Craig Cross after a good career in Tasmania. MONIVAE is coming off a sound 5.5m 8th to Stening last week after being held up for a run at a vital stage so keep him safe. THE BLACK ASSASSIN, SMITHSTARS LEXUS and RYKOV LEIS are value exotic chances.
ZAC MAC 1, Clarry 2, Hillview Jake 3, Monivae 4.