February 28, 2020 Michael Court
DEMON DELIGHT (3) tried bravely to dictate the terms of the Chariots Of Fire from start to finish, and he wasn’t disgraced in posting a 7m fourth. Expect to see the Emma Stewart-trained 4yo making his presence felt in a big way. LET IT RIDE (1) has come up with gate one, the same starting role he had in the Newcastle Mile last Friday when beaten for early speed, then working outside the leader when a game 7m 5th to Majordan in 1:50.7. The quality 6yo will is better suited back to Menangle and he has the chance to secure a stalking role and he could be hard to hold out. A cut-throat battle up front could play into the hands of Pete McMullen and his fellow Queenslander, MATTGREGOR (6). The 7yo worked home stoutly in the Newcastle Mile, resulting in a sound 7.7m sixth. The winner of four of his eight starts at this venue, Mattgregor is definitely a ‘knock-out’ chance. When forming multiple investments BRIGHT ENERGY (10) is worthy of attention.
DEMON DELIGHT 1, Let It Ride 2, Mattgregor 3, Bright Energy 4.
COURTESY of drawing ideally in gate one and stripping fitter for two runs since a lengthy spell, the Amanda Turnbull-trained CATCH A MOMENT (1) appeals as the one to beat in the Lady Drivers Invitational, with local reinswoman Stephanie Lippiatt taking the reins. Catch A Moment resumed with a determined win at Bathurst before having little luck in the tougher G2 Paleface Adios a couple of weeks ago. Four pegs for the majority of the 1609m assignment, Catch A Moment was held up for a clear run on more than one occasion in the straight, resulting in a respectable 12.9m 5th to Hurricane Harley. Stephanie will have the talented 4yo in a dominant role from the outset and that will result in the pair giving this a big shake. CULTURE KING (3) has also drawn well in three and that will be appreciated by the Craig Cross-conditioned 4yo. The son of Art Major did a creditable job when a 9.7m 4th to Hurricane Harley in the Paleface Adios, prior to a 20m 8th to Lochinvar Art in the Chariots Of Fire. Culture King will find this challenge far more acceptable and from the good draw Angela Hedges will ensure he has every chance to greet the judge. AQUA MISS (4) has been consistent since campaigning here over the past couple of months and the Queenslander can’t be taken lightly while STRUVE (7) returned from a long spell with a comfortable win at Globe Derby a few weeks ago and will strip fitter. Only lightly-raced, the 4yo must be kept safe. KEAYANG BLINKY (8) is a model of consistency and with the Margaret Lee stable enjoying plenty of success of late, the Victorian is certainly an exotic contender. SUPERBASS (2), MAKE MINE MEMPHIS (9) and IM BRUCE ALMIGHTY (5) also warrant consideration.
CATCH A MOMENT 1, Culture King 2, Aqua Miss 3, Struve 4.
A SPOT in the Miracle Mile goes on the line when a star-studded field face the starter for the G1 Allied Express Sprint and, after drawing perfectly in two, which is less the reserve, KING OF SWING (3) will take a giant step towards a date with destiny. The Craig Cross 5yo brilliantly won the Hunter Cup (2760m) on Feb 1, and has been freshened for the mile. The chance to dictate the terms is a distinct possibility and one that will excite Luke McCarthy. Despite the race overflowing with class, once in front, King Of Swing will take a power of running down. A GS WHITE SOCKS (7) was brilliant in taking out the Ballarat Cup, en route to a game 9.5m 5th to King Of Swing in the Hunter Cup. The 5yo was left to do the hard work in the Terang Cup a couple of weeks ago, and although a 19.8m 3rd to Code Bailey was the end result, the outstanding wasn’t disgraced so don’t write him off. Apart from Chase Auckland, the powerful Mark Purdon-Natalie Rasmussen stable will also be represented by the classy 4yo, IM ANOTHERMASTERPIECE (9). Arriving on the back of a recent Addington win, Im Anothemasterpiece has recorded a win at this venue, but, the wide gate is a concern. Multiple investors should look to including THE BLACK PRINCE (8), who strips fitter for two fine performances since a spell, CODE BAILEY (11), with the Victorian coming off a superb win the Terang Cup, while WRANGLER (1), IGNATIUS (12) and GALACTIC STAR (10) also stay under notice.
KING OF SWING 1, A GS White Socks 2, Im Anothermasterpiece 3, The Black Prince 4.
PERFECTLY-PLACED in gate one is MY FIELD MARSHAL (1) and that will give his champion reinsman Anthony Butt options, the first being, dictate the terms from start to finish. The 2018 Miracle Mile winner has recaptured his ‘mojo’ following an all-the-way win in the G3 company, prior to finishing strongly from the one-one in defeating Alta Orlando and the recent Newcastle Mile winner, Majordan. Whether My Field Marshal can find the form that resulted in his record-breaking 1:46.9 Miracle Mile win of 2108 is questionable. But, one thing is for ensure, the 8yo will take a power of beating. BLING IT ON (11) wasn’t himself during the New Zealand Inter Dominion, prior to returning with an effortless win at Goulburn, as you would expect. The 9yo was never a serious factor in the Hunter Cup, resulting in a 16.6m 6th to King Of Swing. A wide gate awaits Bling It On, however, that will allow him to avoid the early explosion, and that will give Luke McCarthy the opportunity to ‘keep his powder dry’, before unleashing ‘bling’ on his rivals. It should be remembered that Bling It On has won 22 of his 44 starts at this venue and his liking for his home track will be a factor. His stablemate in ALTA ORLANDO (5) is racing in superb touch and with a handy draw assisting him, the 8yo is capable of playing an active role in the finish. When forming exotic investments COLT THIRTY ONE (2) must be treated with respect after the star Queenslander drew ideally. The 8yo is coming off a disappointing and costly AP defeat, however, the Grant Dixon star has since trialled strongly and he can never be written off. MACH SHARD (3) is another with exotic claims while HAIL CHRISTIAN (7) and the ‘tough as teak’ OUR UNCLE SAM (12), despite his bad draw, also remain in the mix.
MY FIELD MARSHAL 1, Bling It On 2, Alta Orlando 3, Colt Thirty One 4
WITH the ‘big guns’ all drawing ideally, the G1 Ladyship Mile will be an intriguing challenge from start to finish. At the corresponding meeting a year ago, OUR PRINCESS TIFFANY (3) greeted the judge in the NSW Oaks, and after her emphatic win in the G2 Robin Dundee last week, the ‘All Star’ representative looks poised for another major title. Drawing wide and forced to cover extra ground, en route to parking outside of the leader, the brilliant 4yo defied all attempts to run her down. The end result was a determined 1.2m defeat of Bettors Heart and Havtime. It was also her fourth win at Menangle from as many attempts. Gate three awaits the mare and Purdon will be keen to stamp his authority on the race from the outset. However, drawn directly inside of Our Princess Tiffany is another Purdon runner, but this time it is the Barry Purdon-trained BELLE OF MONTANA (2), another outstanding mare in her own right. Back home and Belle Of Montana has accounted for star-studded fields on a regular basis, prior to arriving for the Ladyship Cup at Melton on Feb 1. Gate one allowed Zac Butcher to set the tempo and that paved the way for Belle Of Montana to greet the judge, narrowly but convincingly, over Bettor Enforce and Goodtime Heaven. The charge into the first turn and who comes out on top, may well go a long way towards deciding the result. Then, there is BETTORS HEART (1), another Kiwi with immense talent and an ideal draw, gate one. The 6yo did an outstanding job in finishing a 1.2m 2nd to Our Princess Tiffany last week after being three deep, with cover, from the 800m. The mare kept finding the line with a high degree of determination and the far better draw, which will result in a kinder run, gives her more than just a ‘rough’ hope. PICK UP LINE (5) is as honest as they come and if there is to be an upset, then the Victorian could be the one to cause such a result. Exotic investors should also consider OUR ALFIE ROMEO (7), who did a fine job in the Robin Dundee, FAME ASSURED (10) and HAVTIME (12).
OUR PRINCESS TIFFANY 1, Belle Of Montana 2, Bettors Heart 3, Pick Up Line 4.
FROM the established stars to the ‘up and coming’ stars of tomorrow, with the ‘babies’ looking to secure a G2 title, courtesy of the Pink Bonnet. Following promising trial form, the Michael Stanley trained and driven SOHO ALMASI (7) indicated she had a bright future and she only added to that opinion after her brilliant debut display at Melton. The Mach three filly had little trouble leading, and even less, in greeting in the judge by 16.4m. Less one of the two reserves and Soho Almasi will launch her claim from gate six, and that will see Stanley set his sights on another all-the-way win win. The remaining runners are likely to be fighting out the minors with the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven BREIVIKA (4) leading the way. The filly led throughout over this course and distance when on debut and she will again be in the thick of the action from the outset. SOMETHINGABOUTLEXY (2) posted a promising 2nd to Breivika when also on debut and with an ideal draw assisting her, the filly has bright exotic prospects once again. GIRL FROM OZ (9) finished a gritty 3rd in the above-mentioned race, and although confronted by a tough draw, the filly could add some value to the multiples. Others to consider in that regard include OUR BELLE LUCIA (10) and BLAZIN BEAUTY (3).
SOHO ALMASI 1, Breivika 2, Somethingaboutlexy 3, Girl From Oz 4.
THE all-important barrier draw has proven to be just that, as far as the G1 NSW Oaks is concerned. It was a major factor in the Victoria Oaks when Dr SUSAN (11) accounted for STYLISH MEMPHIS (1), and with the draw favouring the latter on this occcasion, the tables are likely to be turned. The Mark Jones and Brendon Hill-trained STYLISH MEMPHIS (1) was responsible for a gallant 4.4m 2nd to Dr Susan in the Victoria Oaks, with the winner dictating while Stylish Memphis left to work from a 2nd line draw. The filly then finished a gritty 2nd against far older rivals when having her first Menangle experience, prior to a brilliant heat win last week, despite being posted without cover. The filly moved into another gear when Mark Purdon gave her more rein in the straight and with distinct possibility of dictating the terms of the 2400m classic, Stylish Memphis will be looking to secure a vital advantage over her main threat. DR SUSAN (11) has been brilliant of late, claiming victory in five of her past seven starts, with two solid placings adding to her impressive stats. Courtesy of her good draw and an outstanding drive by Anthony Butt, Dr Susan had the Victoria Oaks won a long way from home. The filly has been untroubled winning her subsequent two starts at Menangle in maintaining her unbeaten record here (three from three), with the latter being her effortless heat win last week. With the gate speed to nullify the deep draw, Butt will be keen to have Dr Susan in the ‘heat of battle’ from the outset in the hope of keeping his arch-rival well within reach. MAAJIDA (5) was also dominant in winning her heat, and with 10 wins from 12 starts, there is no doubt that the Emma Stewart-conditioned filly has the talent to again make her presence felt. AMELIA ROSE (6) worked home stoutly when 3rd, albeit 14m away, behind Stylish Memphis, but when forming exotic investments the filly is worthy of attention, along with OUR ANTONIO ROSE (2), A RAINBOW DELIGHT (3) and ITS BEAUJOLAIS (12).
STYLISH MEMPHIS (1), Dr Susan 2, Maajida 3, Amelia Rose 4.
THE ‘boys’ take over the next three races as heats of the NSW Derby take centre stage. Following an impressive 7.4m 3rd to stablemate Line Up in the Victoria Derby a month ago, PERFECT STRIDE (7) is on target to cement a spot in the NSW version. The colt returned from his southern outing with a solid win over 2300m of the Menangle circuit two weeks ago, with his exciting stablemate (Line Up) posting a gallant and extremely unlucky second. The Anthony Butt trained and driven 3yo has drawn a ‘touch’ deep in what should be a suitable assignment, although the path to success won’t be an easy one as a number of talented types will be looking to lower his colours. As per usual, the Purdon-Rasmussen combination will have a say, with SMOOTH DEAL (3) drawing ideally and also coming off a ‘confidence’ boosting win here last week, albeit, in an easier assignment. The colt failed to qualify for the Victoria Derby, then recorded a costly 4th to Steel Screens at Melton. Smooth Deal did more than his fair share of work in scoring here last week and, as always, the All Star team must be respected. SOHO SINATRA (5) has managed just the one win from 13 starts, however, the Emma Stewart-trained gelding has been a model of consistency in recent times and he warrants exotic involvement. MACH DA VINCI (9) has drawn wide but he is coming off back-to-back wins here and he wasn’t disgraced when a 10.7m 7th in the Victoria Derby. ZEUSS BROMAC (8) is another consistent colt and his claims as an exotic chance can’t be ignored, along with FOREVER YIN (4), who is a lot better than his latest run would suggest.
PERFECT STRIDE 1, Smooth Deal 2, Soho Sinatra 3, Mach Da Vinci 4.
SIMPLY brilliant in winning the Victoria Derby, then gallant in defeat when he appeared here two weeks ago, the exciting LINE UP (4) will make amends for that unlucky defeat by claiming victory in heat two of the Derby. Once again, Anthony Butt has another outstanding youngster on his books, with Line Up on target for the ‘blue riband’ double. Following his stylish win in the Victoria Derby, the Bettors Delight colt was expected to score here on Feb 15, however, his rivals had other ideas. From his wide gate Line Up was forced to work, virtually from start to finish, firstly out three deep, then, when he eventually found the lead. In finishing a neck 2nd to his stablemate Perfect Stride, Line Up was gallant in defeat, the effort further enhancing his growing reputation. PACIFICO DREAM (3) continues to show potential and his 10m 5th to Line Up in the Victoria Derby, when off the 2nd line, was a pointer to better things as his career continues to unfold. The Mach Three colt is coming off an effortless Wedderburn win and if there is to be a surprise result, the Emma Stewart runner could be the one. MACH DAN (2) has won five from eight, the latest a gritty win at Globe Derby, two weeks after his respectable 10.4m 6th behind Line Up in the Victoria Derby. Ideally drawn in two, Mach Dan will be a factor from the outset and certainly an ideal runner for the multiples. ROCKIN WITH ELVIS (1) strips fitter following two runs from a spell and with the pole position being a big plus, his claims as an exotic runner have been greatly enhanced. VIRGIL (9) did little in the Victoria Derby, prior to a 13.9m 5th to Perfect Stride a couple of weeks ago. Despite those two unplaced efforts and a wide gate, Virgil is worth including as a value chance in the exotics.
LINE UP 1, Pacifico Dream 2, Mach Dan 3, Rockin With Elvis 4.
HEAT three and this appears to be an ideal challenge for the Grant Dixon trained and driven star, GENERAL JUJON (1). The colt led throughout in winning the 1609m Simpson Memorial here on Jan 6, then repeated the effort when he proved too good for Perfect Stride and Hesty in a heat of the Victoria Derby at Ballarat. Presented with the one-one on the 2760m feature event, Governor Jujon was game in defeat, failing by a mere 1.6m to peg back Line Up. Returning to Menangle for a 2300m assignment, the Queenslander drew gate 10, resulting in the role outside of the leader coming his way in a hectic run affair. Fading on his effort over the final stages, the Cammibest colt recorded a creditable 11.3m 4th to Perfect Stride. Lead and keep improving your position will Dixon’s ideal plan of attack. YOUAREMY SUNSHINE (5) arrived with bright prospects for his first assignment for new boss Craig Cross. However, things didn’t go according to plan and things turned bleak in recording a well-beaten last in the race won by Perfect Stride. The Victorian import had superb form prior to that run so don’t dismiss the colt as being a factor in the finish. MIRRAGON (3) finished a safely-held 10th in the Victoria Derby, prior to posting a costly 4th to Belittled at Bendigo. Peaking in condition following three runs back, the Art Major colt is better than that form would suggest so include him in multiple transactions. PRADASON (6) also arrives from the southern state with creditable form and he also remains in the multiple mix while GEE SMITH (7) will be looking to secure a role in the NSW Derby after missing out in a heat of his home-state version. The 3yo won his only other two starts, either side of that tougher assignment, and he continues to show promise.
GENERAL JUJON 1, Youaremysunshine 2, Mirragon 3, Pradason 4.
DESPITE the presence of a wide gate, classy Kiwi mare OUR STEP UP (10) should step up to this challenge with a degree of confidence as this will be a far more comfortable challenge compared to her NZ assignments and appearance in the G2 Robin Dundee last week. The Stephen Telfer-trained 6yo worked for a good part of the 1609m, prior to posting a respectable 8.5m 6th to fellow Kiwi, Our Princess Tiffany. Prior to making the trip across the Tasman, Our Step Up had been mixing it with the likes of Belle Of Montana, Our Princess Tiffany, Chase Auckland, Bettors Heart and Star Galleria. It is safe to say that Our Step Up will appreciate this assignment, despite the draw. The draw has presented IDEAL CONQUEST (3) with the perfect opportunity to dictate the terms and she is more than capable of making the classy Kiwi mare work for the winner’s cheque. Reserve out and Ideal Conquest will leave the machine from gate two and over the mile journey, the mare will take plenty of catching. Lightly-raced over the past couple of seasons, the 6yo was having her first outing in nine months when she led throughout in scoring at Charlton on Feb 10. Greg Sugars will again take the reins behind the Emma Stewart-trained mare and with a higher level of fitness also being a plus, the pair can’t be taken lightly. BEACH GARDEN (11) arrives on the back of three runs since a spell, each one better than the previous, culminating in a 13.9m 3rd to Im Sir Blake at Melton a couple of weeks ago. The mare has the outside gate to overcome, but she is bound to be working home strongly so include the 6yo in exotic investments. The consistent SHE ENVY (8) also comes in for consideration while JUSTALITLE TORQIE (5), REDBANK ADDI (6) and DRIVE THE DREAM (7) are value contenders in that regard.
OUR STEP UP 1, Ideal Conquest 2, Beach Garden 3, She Envy 4.