• garrards 2020
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    Mike Ko’cass with a race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night Mike Ko’cass with a race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night

    GOING GREAT GUNS: Monaro Mia

    RACE ONE: Hitting peak fitness following two runs back from a break, and drawing suitably in four, CHUBBY CHECKER (4) is ready to ‘twist’... Mike Ko’cass with a race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night

    RACE ONE:

    Hitting peak fitness following two runs back from a break, and drawing suitably in four, CHUBBY CHECKER (4) is ready to ‘twist’ his way to the top of the charts once again. After ending his first Australian term of racing with four-straight, ‘number one’s’, the son of A Rocknroll Dance then slipped a couple of placings when resumed on May 29, with his first outing under the care of Jason Grimson resulting in a 13.3m 3rd behind Rockin Marty and Arden Messi, the latter since chalking up a gallant 2nd to Loorrim Creek in the Treuer Memorial. Drawing gate 10 for his next assignment two weeks later, Chubby Checker managed to find a handy midfield role, prior to hitting the line strongly in going down by the nose margin behind Ziggy Rocks. With the benefit of those engagements, Chubby Checker is ready to return to winning form and it should be case of Cam Hart dictating the terms with the highly-regarded 4yo from start to finish. The main dangers to Chubby Checker have all drawn deep, commencing with the Kevin Pizzuto-trained NOTA REPLICA (10). The 6yo was responsible for a tough win three starts back, with a game 2nd to Delightful Dude and a three-way photo 3rd to Ziggy Rocks and Chubby Checker being the best of his recent displays. On that occasion the 6yo son of Courage Under Fire drew deep, resulting in a rearward role coming his way. A similar scenario is likely to occur, as far as, Nota Replica is concerned, but he is more than capable of greeting the judge. SA Pacers Derby winner ALADDIN (9) will be hoping for a better outcome this time around, compared to his debut display at Menangle a week ago. Refusing to play the game in the score up, the Greg Norman-trained son of Sweet Lou missed the start by a huge margin in recording an 85m last to Hy Voltage. The former Kiwi is bound to be far more settled this time around and is he certainly entitled to further attention. I AM SERENGETI (8) is racing in fine fashion and he will make his presence felt, especially as an exotic contender. The pole will assist MIGHTY FLYING ART (1) is making a play for a role in the exotics, despite coming off two costly defeats while BELLADONNA GIRL (11), EYE CAN RUN (3) and WAHS FIRE BUG (5) also have multiple prospects.

    CHUBBY CHECKER 1, Nota Replica 2, Aladdin 3, I Am Serengeti 4.

    RACE TWO:

    In what appears an open and tough contest, LETS GO TO BRAZIL (3), which is rapidly running out of chances, is entitled to another one after the Michael Doltoff-trained son of Rock N Roll Heaven drew suitably in three. A consistent performer of late, Lets Go To Brazil has had a few genuine opportunities to greet the judge but hasn’t been keen to take advantage of those situations. Placed in his past three trips to Headquarters, Lets Go To Brazil been runner-up in his past two behind Beau Cisholm and Royal Gamble, respectively, each time working home stoutly in looking a winning chance. Jack Callaghan will have the opportunity to land a suitable role, close to the action, if not at the head of affairs. Dictating, instead of chasing, may be the key to greeting the judge. CHASING THE WIND (2) is also a consistent type and the draw is likely to see the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven son of Fly Like An Eagle secure a kind run, probably in the markers. The 4yo came from a four-peg role last week in posting a closing 8.5m 3rd to Wahs Fire Bug. While Chasing The Wind doesn’t win out of turn, a win in this company isn’t beyond him. APIECEOFLOU (11) has the outside gate to overcome but the stablemate of Aladdin remains in the mix. The quality 3yo hasn’t had a great deal of luck in two runs at this venue, the latter on Tuesday when a gritty 8.9m 2nd to Teddy Feels Good. Better luck in running will see him competitive. MADAZALWAYS (1) is bound to create interest at his first Menangle start and especially after drawing the prized-pole position. Now under the care of Riccardo Errichiello, the 6yo left Victoria with a fine record and a pleasing first-up 4th to Top The Ace, Madazalways has posted back-to-back wins at Bankstown, each time following an astute drive by Sean Grayling. With the prospect of a kind run, Madazalways is a definite contender. POWER SURGE (5) is racing well and is another with winning prospects while MAJOR GENERALJUJON (7) joins the KerryAnn Morris team after a creditable career in Queensland. Claims as an exotic player should be considered.

    LETS GO TO BRAZIL 1, Chasing The Wind 2, Apieceoflou 3, Madazalways 4.

    RACE THREE:

    One of the highlights on the card will be the clash between ZEUSS BROMAC (8) and SEND IT (9). With the benefit of one run back from a spell, it is hard to go past Chariots of Fire runner-up, Zeuss Bromac, From his past nine starts, Zeuss Bromac has collected four wins, including the 3YO C&G’s Crown title at Melton, with five placings, four as runner-up. The Paul Fitzpatrick-trained son of Bettors Delight led in the Chariots and was responsible for a gallant effort in defeat, with Expensive Ego collecting the trophy, but not before Zeuss Bromac gave him a run for his money. Stepping out for his first assignment since that excellent display, Zeuss Bromac drew the outside gate, which resulted in Gavin Fitzpatrick restraining the 4yo, with a rearward role coming his way. Working to the line with plenty of conviction, Zeuss Bromac was unable to peg back Jimmy Locke in finishing 7.2m astern of the winner. Fitter for that assignment and drawing a couple of spots closer, Zeuss Bromac will be ready to attack this race from the outset. SEND IT (9) does have a big edge in race fitness, with the Brad Hewitt trained and driven son of Western Terror also racing in career best form. The pair are coming off a stylish all-the-way win in the G1 Regional State Final a few weeks ago, with Keayang Kreuzer and Ilikemebettor chasing him home. No doubt Brad will be keen to test Zeuss Bromac from the outset, so the sparks are likely to fire from the moment the green light is activated. Hoping that scenario plays out will be ZIGGY ROCKS (7), which is enjoying a solid period of form at this venue in recent months. The 5yo son of Pet Rock made it two wins from his past three when he finished strongly in defeating Chubby Checker and Nota Replica in a, nose by nose, three-way drive to the line. Mat Rue will again be keen to find a stalking role, which will enhance the claims of Ziggy Rocks. When it comes to exotic players ALWAYS ROCKIN (5) falls into that category, along with DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (3).

    ZEUSS BROMAC 1, Send It 2, Ziggy Rocks 3, Always Rockin 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    Runner-up in each of his three starts on this side of the Tasman, JAZZY STAR (5) will be looking to post a deserving win. Leaving New Zealand to join the Tim Butt team, Jazzy Star found Accelere and Muscle Factory, respectively, too good, prior to coming under the care of Belinda McCarthy when he returned from a spell. Despite the change of scenery, the end result was the same for Jazzy Star when he returned to racing on May 22. After working hard to find the lead, then being given no peace in that role, a vulnerable Jazzy Star was unable to withstand the whirlwind finish of Ziggy Rocks, which posted a widening 14.4m margin over the short-priced favourite. With that run under his belt, the son of Auckland Reactor will be out to make amends and with the benefit a handy gate, the 6yo is entitled to another chance. SMOOTH BAHT (4) was disappointing last week in finishing a 16.6m 9th to Royal Gamble after finding the role as pacemaker. Prior to that effort the 4yo had been racing well, with a solid 3rd to Send It and Nota Replica posted just a handful of starts ago. This time around Smooth Baht may enjoy taking cover and be saved for a late charge. ROCKY CREED (8) started a well-supported favourite here a couple of weeks ago and after having every chance, failed to deliver the ‘knock-out’ blow in finishing a 9.4m 7th to Ronaldo. Coming off three solid placings on the Wagga circuit, the 5yo found his first Menangle experience a difficult one, which isn’t uncommon, especially in leading. The long run home can be daunting. Jack Trainor will again jump in the ‘bike’ and the pair are bound to be competitive this time around. EVERYBODYLOVEDRAY (11) has drawn the car park but the David Thorn-prepared 6yo could be the one charging home. Hitting peak condition, following a break, Everybodylovedray was never a factor when a 19.8m 8th to Eye Can Run in the G1 Regional Metropolitan Final on May 22, but this assignment will be more to his liking, especially if the race is keenly contested from the outset. When forming exotic transactions, BAILEYS KNIGHT (10), OUR LADY LARA (7), ROCKNROLL RHYTHM (6) and the reserve, TRUE CONFESSIONS (10) all rate a mention.

    JAZZY STAR 1, Smooth Baht 2, Rocky Creed 3, Everybodylovedray 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    The G3 Alf Phillis is an intriguing race on so many levels. With the benefit of a good draw, POCKET OF TERROR (3) looks the one to beat. Formerly with Craig Cross, Pocket Of Terror commenced a new chapter of his career under the care of Jack Trainor when he faced the starter for a 2300m assignment on May 22. From a midfield role, Pocket Of Terror quickly rounded up his rivals on straightening for home, and, in a few fluent strides, the 6yo had the race in his keeping, leaving Jay Ok and Mister Brazil in his wake. Contesting the G3 JD Watts at his next appearance, Pocket Of Terror enjoyed a kind run behind the leader in holding his ground down the running, resulting in a gritty 8m 4th to subsequent Treuer winner, Loorrim Lake. With the benefit of that run and gate three, Trainor is likely to attack this race with plenty of confidence from the outset, either dictating or again taking a sit. The latter may depend on what ALTA ORLANDO (11) does at the start from the outside gate. The former Miracle Mile placegetter led when a fading 13m 4th to Pocket Of Terror last time out. That was over the 2300m and whether the reduced journey will encourage a better performance is a distinct possibility. It may also be vital in Alta Orlando showing intent from the outset once again. BUNDORAN (9) continues to go to another level this preparation and a win in this company isn’t beyond him. Following a number of a stylish wins in his grade, Bundoran then posted a pleasing 8.2m 5th to Loorrim Lake, but what followed next was a clear indication that the Amanda Turnbull trained and driven 4yo was ready for ‘bigger and better’ things. From the tail of the field and entering the straight out three and four deep, Bundoran finished an eye-catching 1.5m 2nd to dual Miracle Mile winner, King Of Swing. A repeat of that effort would result in Bundoran leaving the track as a winner. HIDDEN COURAGE (6) has also gone to another level and possibility beyond over the past month, with the 7yo winning four-on-end since coming under the care of Jason Grimson. And each win has been more impressive than the previous, which was definitely the case a week ago when he defeated Mach Da Vinci and Balraj in a time of 1:50.5. If the power is switched on from the outset, then Hidden Courage could be the one left with plenty of energy for the final, explosive 300m. Multiple players should also look to include a fitter BRIGHT ENERGY (8), along with FOUROEIGHT (4).

    POCKET OF TERROR 1, Alta Orlando 2, Bundoran 3, Hidden Courage 4.

    RACE SIX:

    This appears to be a race in two, with ON ADVICE (5) gaining the decision over THREE BROS (4), the latter looking to turn the tables on the Blake Fitzpatrick entrant. The consistent On Advice enjoyed a kind run behind the leader, prior to cruising to a comfortable win over Affaire De cover and Three Bros, with the latter having every chance in the role as pacemaker. Both On Advice and Three Bros have drawn suitably in the middle of the line, so the early tactics will be interesting. On Advice has been versatile throughout his career to date and appears to have any situation covered and that will pave the way for another win. THREE BROS scored at Bendigo, then at this venue when still under the care of Peter Hall, prior to his latest run as a member of the Belinda McCarthy team. The plus for Three Bros will be his higher level of fitness as the 3yo was having just his third run from a spell when last produced. AFFAIRE DE COVER (6) worked home stoutly in finishing 3rd to the above-mentioned pair last time out. The son of Love You is racing with far more maturity and confidence since a spell and he is capable of giving his main rivals a scare or two. DREAM INCEPTION (9), like Affaire De Cover, is under the care of Troy Williams, and although a wide gate awaits, the Dream Vacation 3yo looks a suitable exotic runner. THE BESTBOURBON (7) and ILLAWONG MOONBEAM (8) could be the value players for exotic investors.

    ON ADVICE 1, Three Bros 2, Affaire De Cover 3, Dream Inception 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    This race sets up nicely for the Mark Callaghan-mentored LACEYS LAD (1) which has both the form and the draw to ensure he takes a power of beating. Successful at Newcastle six starts ago, prior to a solid 3rd behind Shannonstheman on his home track, Laceys Lad has been unplaced in four subsequent Menangle engagements, but the son of Lis Mara hasn’t been disgraced in races harder than this upcoming challenge. Bundoran won two of those races and Laceys Lad was beaten 10.3m or less in finishing 6th on each occasion. Laceys Lad drew deep and then raced in a deep peg role when a solid finishing 5.6m 4th to Major Roll, then again hit the line with intent in recording a 4m 6th to Rockin Marty. That form must be respected in this field and the ideal draw is just an added bonus. MAKOA (7) looms as the main threat to Laceys Lad as the Jack Trainor trained and driven son of Art Major has been thereabouts in the bulk of his engagements. Surprisingly, Makoa hasn’t greeted the judge since defeating Alta Orlando and Double Encounter in what was a shock result back in early December. Makoa is coming off a closing 3.9m 5th to Rockin Marty last time out and like Laceys Lad, he should find this contest to his liking. BETTOR VISION (8) can give a bold showing after having no luck last time out. The form will show the 7yo finishing a 9.4m last behind Rockin Marty, but little went the way of the son of Bettors Delight from his role behind the leader. Usually thereabouts, Bettor Vision is capable of making his presence felt. HICKSTEAD (4) has been mixing his form but the draw will assist his exotic prospects while ELROY JETSON (2) will appreciate his ideal draw and his form is certainly good enough to be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. DON BOSTON (5) led and fought back bravely when 2nd to Tippitinya on Tuesday, a vastly improved effort by the veteran. On that display the 12yo is again capable of dictating and making a play for a role in the multiples.

    LACEYS LAD 1, Makoa 2, Better Vision 3, Hickstead 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    MONARO MIA (9) has drawn the outside gate but with only eight rivals the mare shouldn’t be too disadvantaged by her starting roll. Over the past month or so, Monaro Mia and CALIGULA (8) have been engaged in a number of intriguing battles, with the Darren Hancock-trained daughter of Imperial Count greeting the judge twice while playing ‘second fiddle’ behind Caligula on the other two occasions. With David Morris taking the reins last week, Monaro Mia dictated the terms to perfection in defeating Royal Glenferrie and More Shades Of Gold. Caligula, which started the $1.70 favourite, lost all chance with a poor beginning, resulting in a well-beaten eighth. Darren will jump back in the sulky and with the mare racing with such a high degree of confidence, it is hard to go past her as the one to beat. CALIGULA (8) has won four of his even assignments since a spell, but he can also be thrown in a disappointing run. If, Caligula has his mind on the job from the outset, then he is bound to test Monaro Mia every step of the 1609m. MORE SHADES OF GOLD (3) gives Blake another top winning hope with Will Rixon engaged to handle the son of Majestic Son. The 6yo has been building towards a win following four runs back, with his latest effort being a 4.3m 3rd to Monaro Mia last week. Ideally drawn in three, More Shades Of Gold can cause an upset. GARLAND GREENE (4) will again be a suitable exotic runner, along with GALLEONS GLORY (5), IN THE VALLEY (7) and ORLANDO STORM (6).

    MONARO MIA 1, Caligula 2, More Shades Of Gold 3, Garland Greene 4.

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