• garrards 2020
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    Our expert with all the winners for Menangle Saturday night Our expert with all the winners for Menangle Saturday night

    LOOKS A WINNER: Drop The Hammer

    RACE ONE: Following a couple of solid placings in recent weeks, the KerryAnn Morris-trained ZIGGY ROCKS (9) appeals as an attractive investment, despite the... Our expert with all the winners for Menangle Saturday night


    Following a couple of solid placings in recent weeks, the KerryAnn Morris-trained ZIGGY ROCKS (9) appeals as an attractive investment, despite the presence of a wide gate. After posting a creditable 5.2m 4th to Jimmy Locke three starts ago, when first up for Lucky Lodge, the son of Pet Rock then recorded a determined 9.4m 3rd behind the classy Tasty Delight. The 5yo then indicated that the 11th win of his career was just around the corner when he came from a four-peg role in posting a 5.8m 2nd behind Rays Choice a week ago. Facing the starter in what appears to be an open and tough contest, Ziggy Rocks has drawn nine, but there should be sufficient interest from those drawn inside to ensure that the tempo is solid enough to allow Robert Morris to drop back and wait until the home straight comes into play. There is no doubt that Ziggy Rocks is capable of greeting the judge with a late surge. JIMMY LOCKE (8) went from the penthouse to the basement within a week; however, the Peter Russo-conditioned son of Rock N Roll Heaven is worth another chance. Despite being exposed outside of the leader, Jimmy Locke managed to record a gritty win over Tasty Delight, which has won since, and Burnham Boy. On the basis of that run and a handful of solid efforts prior, the 6yo started favourite last week, but posted a moderate 37.4m last to Rays Choice after again being parked outside of the leader. The difference in the run from one week to the next was like ‘chalk and cheese’. Forgive and forget and give Jimmy Locke another chance. The Belinda McCarthy-prepared BATTLE BORN (4) hits peak fitness following three runs back from a spell, which culminated with a 3rd to Bumper at Redcliffe back in early December. The 8yo son of Art Major posted a solid 2nd to Double Encounter, with creditable efforts either side, the latest when held up for a clear run when an 11.9m 5th to Majestic Cruiser two weeks ago when contesting the race from a five-peg role. Suitably drawn in four, Battle Born has the chance to be involved in the contest from the outset and he explores the possibility of greeting the judge for the first time since December/2018. PUMP THE BRAKES (3) returned to racing with a creditable 11.7m 5th Rays Choice last week when he worked home nicely from a midfield role. Prepared and driven by Sean Grayling, Pump The Brakes, apart from stripping fitter, also draws suitably and he is capable of giving cheek at a suitable quote. When forming multiple transactions, MISTER MAGIC MAN (10), despite drawing the outside gate, warrants involvement, along with MAKOA (5) and HICKSTEAD (6).

    ZIGGY ROCKS 1, Jimmy Locke 2, Battle Born 3, Pump The Brakes 4.


    With the important scratching of MY ULTIMATE STAR, this paves the way for SWAGGIE SHANNON (5) to greet the judge. The 203-start veteran has now had five runs for the Cameron Ross stable and each run has been sound, in particular his past three. Drawing wide and then working home stoutly, Swaggie Shannon recorded a pleasing 8m 4th to Never Been Said before failing to secure a run when an unlucky 3m 5th behind Mister Magic Man. That run was a clear indication that the son of Kenneth J was on the verge of a winning display. Sent out favourite a couple of weeks ago, despite drawing deep, Swaggie Shannon was left facing the breeze, a role Cam Hart didn’t want to find himself experiencing with the 9yo. Despite the extra work load, Swaggie Shannon battled on gamely in finishing a 6m 2nd to Gottashopearly. Confronted by a far more suitable draw and the prospect of a kinder run, Swaggie Shannon should prove hard to beat. ARDENS ACE (6) is coming off two solid efforts for Darren Binskin since arriving from NZ. The 3yo son of Art Major opened his account on this side of the Tasman with a handy 6.5m 4th to Machs Legacy, then led out before drifting back to a three-peg role when a solid 3.8m 3rd behind Titian Raider and Tasty Delight a week ago. Contesting an open race, Ardens Ace is capable of coming up trumps. EXPERIA (4) may hold the key to the race as he returns to racing without a trial. Disappointing in each of his past two starts, the latter a 39.4m last to Our Triple Play in the Young Cup back on March 12, the Hes Watching 4yo has drawn handily for this challenge, and with the Jason Grimson-Jack Trainor enjoying plenty of success, this fellow should be kept safe. JOES A CHARACTER (2) joins the strong Kevin Pizzuto team after a successful career in SA, culminating in a 1.3m 4th to Van Mara at Globe Derby a month ago when an odds-on chance. Ideally drawn in two the 5yo son of Roll With Joe certainly has the talent but it will be interesting to see how he handles this far bigger track and the long run home. But don’t ignore his claims just the same. HUGHIE JUNIOR (3) and PROSECUITION WITNESS (7) should be linked to exotic transactions.

    SWAGGIE SHANNON 1, Ardens Ace 2, Experia 3, Joes A Character 4.


    With at least six of the runners boasting the right credentials to greet the judge, the fast-class event on the card promises to be an intriguing contest from start to finish. Although he has been costly in his two starts since leaving Victoria MAX DELIGHT (8) warrants another chance, despite going from the pole position to gate eight, although the 2300m should be a plus. Under the care of David Aiken, who will also take the reins, Max Delight arrived north of the Victorian border following back-to-back wins at Melton, with the former NSW Derby winner expected to continue the good work on arriving at Menangle. The 5yo posted a gritty 2.3m 3rd to Pocket Of Terror and Ignatius, prior to his 1.6m 3rd to Cash N Flow and Loorrim Lake two weeks ago. On that occasion Max Delight dictated the terms, but was pressured from the outset, courtesy of a 26.6 opening quarter. Despite failing to justify his ‘favourite’ tag, Max Delight didn’t shirk his task in the process. Due to the longer trip and the draw, Aiken may elect to avoid the early ‘hustle and bustle’ for positions and wait until the final 600m comes into play before making his move with the son of Bettors Delight. Following his rise to stardom last preparation, the Roy Roots Jnr-trained THE BLACK PRINCE (9) should be given plenty of respect. Spelled after his solid 7.5m 4th to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile, The Black Prince won a trial at Headquarters in fine fashion before facing the starter for his return to racing a couple of weeks ago. Contesting the 1609m challenge from a midfield role the son of Bettors Delight worked to the line steadily in posting a pleasing 8m 7th to Cash N Flow. With the benefit of that run and the extended trip, The Black Prince is poised to make his presence felt. BURNHAM BOY (3) has now been placed in four of his five starts since a spell, with an unlucky 4.5m 5th to Cash N Flow also included in the mix. The classy 4yo hasn’t had a lot of luck in a couple of those assignments, but it is time for him to start posting a win or two. Suitably drawn in three the Kevin Pizzuto-trained gelding will be in the mix from the outset and he definitely has the talent to take this out. ROCKNROLL ANGEL (2) draws ideally close to the pegs and that will result in the mare to be in the thick of the action from the outset, possibly in a stalking role on the pegs. The mare is more often than not competitive so don’t rule her out of contention. POCKET OF TERROR (5) is mixing his form, courtesy of three wins and four unplaced efforts since a spell, but if the current trend continues, the Western Terror 6yo is in for a strong display. DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (7) defeated Burnham Boy and Power Of Red last week, due to a clever drive by David Morris, and although a harder task waits, don’t ignore the 7yo as an exotic player.

    MAX DELIGHT 1, The Black Prince 2, Burnham Boy 3, Rocknroll Angel 4.


    With VINCENZINA (5) now missing from the equation, the Kevin Pizzuto-conditioned TOP THE ACE (5) has bright prospects of serving up another win and in the process complete a hat-trick of number one appearances. The son of Aces N Sevens came up ‘trumps’ when he led throughout in scoring at Penrith, prior to enjoying the one-one, en route to accounting for Prosecution Witness and Most Happy Cullen, courtesy of an astute drive by Andrew Bourke, who will again take the reins. The scratching means that Top The Ace will move in one spot to gate six and that will assist the 8yo is making a play for a role close to the action from the outset. The former Kiwi in QUEENOFDANCE (4) will attract plenty of attention following another solid effort at Headquarters on Tuesday. Now under the care of Darren Binskin, the mare opened her career on this side of the ‘ditch’ with a solid all-the-way win before battling on stoutly, despite the margin being 15.2m, when 2nd to Cloud Nine. Suitably drawn the 5yo daughter of A Rocknroll Dance is bound to make her presence felt. LETS GO TO BRAZIL (1) settled seven pegs last week, prior to being three deep and still in a rearward role on the turn, when a useful 8.6m 5th to Viva Las Vegas. The 5yo has been mixing his form in recent months while posting the odd, handy effort. Ideally drawn in one, Lets Go To Brazil has the talent to make this draw count so keep him safe. David Thorn has taken over the training of handy mare RHIANNA REIGNS (6) and although this will be a harder challenge, compared to her country engagements, the mare should be included when forming exotic transactions. Exotic discussions should also include GOTTASHOPEARLY (2) and SCHOUTEN ISLAND (9), the latter coming off a solid win at Penrith when first-up from a spell.

    TOP THE ACE (5), Queenofdance 2, Lets Go To Brazil 3, Rhianna Reigns 4.


    With the benefit of drawing ideally in two, the Jack Trainor trained and driven NEVER BEEN SAID (2) will have the ideal opportunity to have the final say when it comes to the Winter Championship. Either side of a moderate last to Tasty Delight here, the mare has recorded solid wins, firstly in defeating I Am Serengeti and Nota Replica while the latter was a week ago when she finished strongly in defeating Forever Yin and Katchar Shoobee. The daughter of Well Said is capable of dictating, due to the draw, a role which she adopted four starts back when collared by stablemate Mighty Flying Art in the shadows of the post. Trainer will have the option of setting the tempo or taking a sit, which seems to suit Never Been Said. The fact that Jack as elected to take the reins behind Never Been Said is a good guide as his other runner, MIGHTY FLYING ART (12) is racing in peak form. However, the outside will be a challenge for the son of Art Major, but not an impossible one. The 5yo, who will be driven by the in-form Jack Callaghan, is coming off consecutive wins at Headquarters, the latter being his heat win a week ago when he led in easily defeating Pay Me Overs and Vincenzina. Despite the draw, Mighty Flying Art is still capable of being involved in the early scramble for positions and the role of pacemaker isn’t out of the equation. Former Kiwi BANKERS GOLD (4) debuted for the Darren Binskin stable with a respectable heat appearance last week. Settling three pegs after drawing four, the son of Sweet Lou was held up for a suitable run at a vital stage when a closing 1.6m 3rd to Always Rockin. Fitter for that outing and again drawing handily, Bankers Gold stays under notice as a potential threat to the Trainor players. ALWAYS ROCKIN (11) led from gate one in taking out his heat over Bronski Belle and Bankers Gold, but the task will be tougher this time around from out in nine. The 7yo appreciated the easier challenge last time out and although the task has become tricky from this draw, the Peter Russo-prepared son of Rock N Roll Heaven can’t be taken lightly. When forming exotic transactions, the likes of FOREVER YIN (7), PAY ME OVERS (8) and HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (9) are capable of adding value to the return.

    NEVER BEEN SAID 1, Mighty Flying Art 2, Bankers Gold 3, Always Rockin 4.


    It will be ‘hammer time’ once again when DROP THE HAMMER (5) and BIG JACK HAMMER (6) look to ‘nail’ another win. Peaking in condition following three runs back from a spell, the Darren Hancock trained and driven DROP THE HAMMER is entitled to top billing after convincingly accounting for the Victorian when they clashed a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion Drop The Hammer dictated the terms and was untroubled in greeting the judge, leaving Monaro Mia and Caligula to fill the minors. Big Jack Hammer was never a threat in posting a 9m fifth. With the benefit of drawing just one spot closer to the pegs, Drop The Hammer will have the opportunity to find the pegs ahead of his Victorian rival and whether Darren holds, which is likely, or takes cover due to the longer trip, will be interesting. BIG JACK HAMMER (6) finished a gallant 11.2m 2nd to Tough Monarch two starts ago before his latest effort. The 8yo has enjoyed G1 success at this venue and although he may be off the pace, compared to efforts of that nature, the son of The Pres can take a power of beating. CALIGULA (7) continues to be a consistent performer but another minor role awaits while last-start winner MAJOR THOMAS (4) is also in contention for a role in the multiples following his deserving win, albeit, in easier company a week ago.

    DROP THE HAMMER 1, Big Jack Hammer 2, Caligula 3, Major Thomas 4.


    The Amanda Turnbull trained and driven BALDUCCI (4) appeals as an attractive investment. Resuming from a spell with a solid and slightly unlucky 1.2m 2nd to Ronaldo at Young on July 13, the 4yo then came from a deep peg role, prior to being four deep, with cover, on the final bend in posting a closing and pleasing 7m 4th to Never Been Said last week. Prior to spelling the son of Mach Three posted a solid 2.9m 3rd to Bundoran and Send It during the Miracle Mile carnival. Bundoran, who is a stablemate of Balducci, has gone head in ‘leaps and bounds’ since while Send It has also enjoyed success. Balducci has drawn the back row and deep, respectively, since resuming but this time around finds himself enjoying a suitable draw, and of course, a higher level of fitness. That should be enough to see him home. EYE CAN RUN (7) hasn’t been running as quick as she did in winning a G1 event seven starts ago, with just the one minor placing appearing next to her name since. The mare enjoyed a comfortable trip behind the leader when a useful 8.4m 5th to Always Rockin last week. The mare draws wider for this assignment, but that may suit as she can drop out and what until straightening before joining in. In a race of this nature, Eye Can Run is worthy of further consideration. TRUE CONFESSIONS (3) continues to be a consistent performer and from gate three the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained son of Western Terror could be a factor. Drawing wider in a heat of the Winter Championship, True Confessions settled in a five-peg role, prior to posting an encouraging 7.8m 4th to Always Rockin. The draw and this suitable engagement should result in a competitive effort by the 6yo. MADAZALWAYS (2) will enjoy his return to a good draw after drawing wide in each of his past two starts at this venue. The 6yo, who has recently joined the Sean Grayling team, posted a 9m 6th to Gottashopearly when he carried a flat tyre, then from a rearward role last week, Madazalways worked home steadily in finishing an 8.6m 5th to Never Been Said. The prospect of a much easier trip will assist in Madazalways giving a good account at what should be a suitable quote. ROCK OF DELIGHT (9), while never a serious threat to the winner Mighty Flying Art, would have finished closer up the order than 9th (33.4m) had it not been for racing roughly at the 200m when he cast a plate. The form of the 5yo is handy enough, although the draw is a concern, to play a role in the finish. Others to appeal as exotic players include JEDI MIND (5) and ELMS CREEK (6).

    BALDUCCI 1, Eye Can Run 2, True Confessions 3, Madazalways 4.


    Tricky trot event to complete the card with the in-form Troy Williams stable set to provide the winner, AFFAIRE DE COVER (7). The Love You gelding posted a couple of solid placings, prior to being rewarded with win over On Advice and Imperial Poet after been given the ‘run of the race’ behind the leader by Robert Morris. The talented 3yo has drawn deeper for the longer 2300m challenge, however, he is again entitled to be looked upon as the one to beat, despite being involved in a contest against older rivals. ROLLING SECRET (6) is a consistent member of the Blake Fitzpatrick team, however, the daughter of Roll With Joe doesn’t win out of turn. The last time the mare enjoyed a trip to the winner’s circle was back in May/2020. Placed in four of her eight starts this season, Rolling Secret followed a couple of creditable placings with an 11.6m 4th to Right Moves a month ago. RITEUR (8) has been safely held in most of her recent encounters but is capable of better and should be included as an exotic player while DO BALL (3), ORLANDO STORM (9) and SUNNY GEE (10) also warrant attention when multiple transactions are being formed. SEKKIE MONKEY (4) has been in the market in each of her four starts four starts for Darren Binskin since coming from NZ. Following an encouraging 3rd to Right Moves when first-up for DJ, the Monkey Bones 6yo has been well-beaten due to bad manners. The mare’s record back home would suggest she has talent so it may pay to risk keeping her safe in exotics, just in case she finds her best manners and, as a result, that should assist in far more pleasing efforts.

    AFFAIRE DE COVER 1, Rolling Secret 2, Riteur 3, Do Ball 4.


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