December 17, 2021 National Trotguide
Courtesy of drawing ideally in gate one and boasting a high level of consistency, JUST DESSY (1) appeals as the one to beat. Prepared by Belinda McCarthy and to be driven by Jack Callaghan, the son of Alta Christiano scored four starts ago when he overcame the outside gate, with his subsequent three runs all resulting in competitive placings. The 5yo’s most recent display resulted in a 3.2m 2nd behind the talented Harry Martin-trained Double Act, which was most impressive in his return to racing. Third in that particular challenge was Everybodylovedray, which confirmed the form with a solid win at Menangle on Tuesday. This will be a slightly harder assignment for Just Dessy, however, the speed should be genuine and that will assist in his quest for the top spot. Worthy of another chance is the Brad Hewitt trained and driven OUR COWGIRLS N LACE (8), which is capable of being right in the mix, despite coming off a 15m 6th behind Vincent Van Gone a couple of weeks ago. The mare posted a hat-trick of wins in a short space of time after joining Bred from NZ, prior to three handy efforts before her latest assignment. Although a wide gate also awaits Our Cowgirls N Lace, a productive showing wouldn’t surprise. PACMAN HAMMER (4) led throughout, courtesy of a fine drive by McKayler Barnes in the JC Caffyn Plate last Saturday, and although a tougher task will be on the agenda, the Peter Russo-trained son of Courage Under Fire is bound to be in the thick of the action from the outset. RONALDO (3), which is also under the care of Brad Hewitt, stays in the mix after drawing well. Although the 4yo doesn’t win out of turn, the 4yo is usually thereabouts and he should be competitive. ALLSET (10) is first-up from a break and for Amanda Turnbull following mixed efforts in Victoria. The 4yo has trialled soundly at Bathurst and despite the awkward draw the son of Elsu should at least be included in multiple transactions. Monitor betting trends concerning CHUBBY CHECKER (2) as the Jason Grimson-trained 4yo returns from a disappointing end to his previous term of racing. Chubby Checker hasn’t been to the official trails but draws well and if he found his best form, then he would be the one to beat. TRIPLE VC (9), and the Clayton Harmey pair of JOHNSTEP STEP (5) and PORTALEGRE (6) are value players for the multiples.
JUST DESSY 1, Our Cowgirls N Lace 2, Pacman Hammer 3, Ronaldo 4.
Also carrying the number saddlecloth and appearing hard to beat is the Tony Bertwistle-conditioned HANDS ON (1) which enters this open contest with bright prospects of greeting the judge. Following back-to-back wins at Headquarters the 3yo worked home stoutly in recording a 5m 3rd to Delightful Dude, prior to contesting a heat of the Carousel, which resulted in an 8.5m 5th to Our Money Rocks after working outside of the leader. A far kinder trip, either dictating or stalking the leader, is on the cards and that will certainly enhance the claims of Hands On. Despite drawing the outside gate, the Amanda Turnbull-trained OLD LUKE (10) is bound to take a power of beating. Four runs ago the 8yo worked across from a deep gate in dictating the terms, then holding on strongly in defeating Rockin With Elvis and Oaxacan Dream. Solid placings behind Bettor Call Me and La Puddie, respectively, in heats of the Carousel, continued the solid form line of Old Luke, prior to his 18.8m 5th to Shanlou last week. Tough and competitive, Old Luke must be respected. SHANNONSTHEMAN (4) worked early in finding the lead, then held on stoutly for a creditable 10.6m 4th to Lochiel last week. The Brad Elder-trained 7yo is racing consistently and from a good draw the Newcastle visitor is again capable of a bold showing. Consistent, but not prepared to win out of term, ROCKIN WITH ELVIS (8) can’t be taken lightly. Trained and driven by Brad Hewitt, the 4yo scored at Goulburn five starts ago, and has been consistent since, with his latest effort being an 18.4m4th behind Shanlou at Headquarters a week ago. Drawing deeper for this challenge, Rockin With Elvis is capable of charting so don’t ignore his claims. Exotic players should also consider BOMB SUIT (3) after the draw enhanced his claims while STORMY RAIDER (7) had been racing well, without luck, prior to being badly away when a distant last behind Lochiel. A far better showing wouldn’t come as a surprise.
HANDS ON 1, Old Luke 2, Shannonstheman 3, Rockin With Elvis 4.
It is impossible to go past Inter Dominion consolation runner-up MACH DAN (9) as the one to beat, and it would certainly be a deserving victory, despite lacking the same level of importance as his latest encounter. The Kevin Pizzuto-trained 4yo did a fine job in each of his three heats, culminating with a gallant 2m 3rd to Expensive Ego in his Newcastle heat. Snookered three back along the markers in the consolation, Mach Dan was held up a suitable run, enroute to hitting the line strongly in recording a photo 2nd to Pocket Of Terror. Confronted by a wide gate, which shouldn’t be a major concern, Mach Dan will take a power of beating in this suitable challenge. PAY ME SAM (10) will loom as the main threat to Mach Dan, if there is to be one, despite the presence of the outside gate. However, win, lose or draw, the return of Gavin Fitzpatrick to the sulky is outstanding after his horrific accident at Penrith about five weeks ago. It was anticipated that Gav would be out of action for at least four months, but G1 has shown a remarkable healing process. Pay Me Sam had won two of his previous three, prior to a gritty 3.2m 5th to his classy stablemate Jay OK at Headquarters a couple of weeks ago. It will be a great ‘feel good’ story if G1 Gav salutes. FOUROEIGHT (4) will be backing up from an assignment at Dubbo on Friday, but don’t dismiss him from exotic equations. The Mat Rue trained and driven 8yo has been trialling in superb fashion and if does back-up, then he warrants attention. LOORRIM LAKE (3) draws nicely and although coming off four unplaced efforts throughout the Inter Dominion carnival, the 4yo didn’t have a great deal luck on the odd occasion or two. Contesting the Consolation, Loorrim Lake was always prominently placed, firstly, being in front then behind the pace in posting a 14m 10th to Pocket Of Terror. Suitably drawn and contesting a far more suitable event, expect a cheeky display from the son of Roll With Joe. Exotic players should be attracted to MASTER CATCH (7) and DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (1) when forming combinations.
MACH DAN 1, Pay Me Sam 2, Fouroeight 3, Loorrim Lake 4.
This does appear to be an open and competitive event and courtesy if finishing runner-up in three of his past four, since greeting the judge, MIGHTY LOOEE (6) is entitled to top billing. After coming off the pace in recording a solid half-neck 2nd to Petes Said So, prior to again working to the post strongly when a 2.7m 2nd to Muscle Factory, which is ‘flying’ at present, at Headquarters on a couple of weeks ago. The son of Sweet Lou will be confronted by an interesting assignment but the 4yo is more than capable of handling the situation. SUMMIT SPECIAL (8) was rewarded for a handful of creditable performances with a deserving win at this venue a week ago when he hit the line strongly in defeating Ziggy Rocks and Rickoshay. The son of Mr Feelgood has again drawn deep, but he will again settle back and come with a rush. ZIGGY ROCKS (4), apart from a 30m 9th to Muscle Factory two starts ago, has been racing with conviction and his 2nd to Summit Special last time out would suggest that the 5yo is capable of turning the tables. RANGER BOMB (5) led and compounded when a 17.3m 8th to Petes Said So just over three weeks ago. Handily drawn and capable of better, Ranger Bomb is worthy of another chance. JIMMY LOCKE (2) scored here on Tuesday in fine fashion and although this will be a harder task, the ideal draw will assist in another cheeky showing. SOHO TSUNAMI (3), THE CROUPIER (7) and FIRESTORM RED (1) remain in the multiple mix.
MIGHTY LOOEE 1, Summit Special 2, Ziggy Rocks 3, Ranger Bomb 4.
This is a race with a number of contenders for the top spot, and although SHANLOU (11) has drawn deep for the G3 Christmas G3 title, the talented daughter of Sweet Lou warrants a high rating. In qualifying for the Final, Shanlou enjoyed a kind run behind the leader, courtesy of drawing one, before finishing strongly in comfortably accounting for Experia and Rossini. With Darren Binskin driving in superb form, Shanlou will again be given every chance to greet the judge. Ideally positioned in one is FEAR CRUISIN (1), which has been responsible for two pleasing efforts since scoring at Wagga on Nov 23. Following a 1.4m 3rd to La Puddie in a heat of the Carousel, the KerryAnn Morris-trained son of Christian Cullen then came from a rearward role in posting an 8.5m 3rd behind Lochiel. A far kinder run may be offer, courtesy of Robbie Morris, and that will ensure a pro-active role in the finish. LOCHIEL (5) is racing in fine fashion and the son of Lincoln Royal is bound to be a factor once again after being rewarded for a solid win here a week ago. Placed in his three previous three starts the Amanda Turnbull-trained 4yo is bound to make his presence felt in a big way. OUR MONEY ROCKS (10) has returned from a spell in fine fashion with wins either side of a solid 6.2m 5th to Old Luke. Prepared by Grant Fuller and to be driven by Will Rixon, the 4yo has a tricky gate to overcome, but he is racing with confidence. ROSSINI (8) had every chance last week when he led in finishing a 7.7m 3rd to Shanlou, but the 5yo is worthy of another chance on the basis of his consistency. ILIKEMEBETTOR (12) is rarely far away but the draw will present him with a tricky challenge. However, the 4yo remains in the mix when it comes to exotic transactions. LOUIS LITT (3) is racing consistently and with a good draw next to his name, which will suit, the 4yo son of Art Major is capable of arguing he has a good case when it comes to greeting the judge.
SHANLOU 1, Fear Cruisin 2, Lochiel 3, Our Money Rocks 4.
Despite the presence of a wide gate, compared to six when last produced, FAIRY TINKABELL (10) remains the one to beat, as per usual, as the mare has either won or been placed in each of her past 12 trips to the races. Just under a month ago the Belinda McCarthy-trained daughter of Big Jim sped across from six in taking up the lead role, a role she maintained throughout in easily winning the G3 Sue Kelly. Diamond Party and The Stunning Nun chased the mare home on that occasion. Although moving out four gates, Fairy Tinkabell will again take a power of running down. DIAMOND PARTY (9) will again issue the main challenge, despite being a shade below her best when a beaten favourite here last week. Trapped deep, enroute to finding the role outside the leader, then crossing down to the pegs, Diamond Party faded to finish a 6m 4th to Summit Special, bit is fair to say that she had little go her way. The mare had been racing in fine style before that and is more than capable of playing a far more active role in the finish, B K SWY (7) has been thereabouts in two of her past three, the latest when a gritty 3.5m Diamond Party. Boasting her fair share of talent, the Jack Trainer trained and driven 4yo is bound to stake a claim for a role in the multiples. When forming multiple transactions, the last-start Menangle winner in SMOOTH DEBATE (3) must be included after the mare bounced back to winning form here last week. KAYLA MAGUIRE (5) is unbeaten in three starts for Clayton Harmey since coming from NZ, and although the Bettors Delight mare is stepping up in grade, claims as an exotic runner can’t be ignored. OUR ROAD TO MECCA (6) started favourite when a disappointing 25.8m 6th to Sweet Heaven at Dubbo, but she is a lot better than that run would suggest, and at least she stays in the mix for multiple consideration.
FAIRY TINKABELL 1, Diamond Party 2, B K Swy 3, Smooth Debate 4.
Jason Grimson has added a few talented types to his team, including the former Victorian 4yo DOUBTLESS BAY (1), which will contest his first Menangle assignment from the prized-pole position. In six starts since resuming from a spell, Doubtless Bay has two placings while being close-up in the other four encounters. The son of Bettors Delight drew gate one for his latest Melton challenge when he enjoyed a kind run behind the leader in posting a gritty 2.9m 3rd to the $150.00 chance, Reclusive. Doubtless Bay will again be prominent from the outset and although meeting some handy opponents, the gelding is worthy of a high rating. Heading around to the start as the one to beat is the Darren Binskin trained and driven ALPINE STRIDE (8). The combination finished unplaced in three Inter Dominion in heats, but certainly not disgraced, prior to a determined photo 3rd to Pocket Of Terror and Mach Dan in the Consolation. The drop in grade is a huge plus and Alpine Stride will have little trouble with the wide gate. SOMEBEACHSHADOW (3) also joins the Grimson stable, via Victoria, and although a number of unplaced efforts appear next to his name, the 7yo is racing better than those numbers would indicate. Somebeachshadow is coming off a 13.2m 5th to Yorkshire at Melton when he was never a serious factor but the move north and a good draw are likely to pave the way for a bold showing. Exotic players should consider the consistent HIDDEN COURAGE (6) when looking to add value, along with RED REACTOR (4) and ALWAYS ROCKIN (7). The intriguing runner is WHEREYABINBOPPIN (5) which is stepping out for his first assignment for James Rattray. Without a win since scoring at Newcastle back in early January, the 5yo hasn’t raced since a well-beaten last to Boy From Bondi at Melton in late May. At his best, the son of A Rocknroll Dance would give this field something to think about.
DOUBTLESS BAY 1, Alpine Stride 2, Somebeachshadow 3, Hidden Courage 4.
The classy filly ISLAND FIRE DANCE (6) will make her return to the track after being retired from the G1 Qld Oaks at AP back on July 24. Prior to that mishap, Island Fire Dance had created a big impression winning four on end, each time without being challenged for the top spot, the latest when she accounted for Pay Me Overs and Eye Can Run. With only five rivals the outside gate won’t be a concern as the filly will have little trouble crossing and dictating from start to finish. LOCHINVAR CHIEF (2) arrives from Victorian with a couple of disappointing efforts next to his name, but the talented 3yo son of Captaintreacherous is better than that form would suggest. Ideally drawn in two, which should pave the way for a suitable, stalking role, Lochinvar Chief is poised for a fer better display. AMERICAN MADE (5) is another drive for the returning Gav Fitzpatrick. Prepared by his Hall of Fame father, Paul, the 3yo was driven a treat by Sean Grayling in greeting the judge at Penrith last time out. This will be a harder test but the son of American Ideal stays under when it comes to multiple investments. THE WOLF (4) had been racing well before failing to make an impression when a 12.8m 9th to Diamond Party a few weeks ago. The filly is a talented type and a bold showing wouldn’t surprise. ROMANEE (3) enjoyed success in each of her opening two starts for David Kennedy on the Wagga circuit, prior to a 29m last to Goodtime Junior at Young, when little when right for the odds-on chance. This will be a tougher test but she is worthy of exotic attention.
ISLAND FIRE DANCE 1, Lochinvar Chief 2, American Made 3, The Wolf 4.