August 5, 2021 National Trotguide
Peaking in condition and drawing ideally in gate two, which is less the reserve, BALDUCCI (3) has the perfect opportunity to record back-to-back wins at Headquarters. Stepping out for his third assignment since a spell, the son of Mach Three was always in control of the situation a week ago when he dictated the terms to perfection courtesy of his mentor and driver, Amanda Turnbull. The end result was a comfortable win over True Confessions and Rock Of Delight. Turnbull will again have the chance to dictate the terms, if she so desires, as this assignment will be over the longer trip of 2300m. That may bring about a change of tactics in finding a pacemaker and awaiting the chance to convert a kind run into another winning display. The ‘x-factor’ will be the former Kiwi MIGHTY LOOEE (9), which is now under the care of Belinda McCarthy. Boasting a more than useful career to date, the son of Sweet Lou has drawn wide for his first start on this side of the ‘ditch’, however, there was a lot to like about his trial in finishing 2nd to stablemate Zahven Banner. Under a hold to the line, Mighty Looee appeared to have plenty in reserve, and although he hasn’t raced since mid-June, the 4yo is worth keeping safe. WOW HES A ROCK STAR (6) draws suitably in the middle of the line and he could be the likely dictator if Balducci looks for cover. The 3yo has won three of his five assignments since a spell, the latest when Blake Fitzpatrick dictated the terms when the pair defeated Watchmedazzle and Dragon Tattoo. METAL ROCK (7) joins the Jason Grimson team and with a solid country career behind him the son of Pet Rock is bound to make his presence felt. The 5yo was successful at his only start at this venue when under former mentor Colin Thomas. Although this will be a step-up in grade on his latest encounters, Metal Rock can’t be taken lightly. When it comes to exotic investments, PROSECUTION WITNESS (4) and HUGHIE JUNIOR (10), which is looking to complete a hat-trick of wins, are entitled to consideration.
BALDUCCI 1, Mighty Looee 2, Wow Hes A Rock Star 3, Metal Rock 4.
Vastly improved 4yo CLOUD NINE (3) will be looking to stretch his winning sequence to three for new conditioner Jason Grimson. Since linking up with Grimson, Cloud Nine has posted a soft win over Bertie Jones and No Nukes Skipper, prior to leading throughout when he treated his rivals with contempt in defeating Queenofdance and Bettors Pocket. Taking on a stronger challenge, the son of Bettors Delight will enjoy gate two, which is less the reserve, and that opens the door for the possibility of a stalking role. LONG WEEKEND (6) has been performing strongly, week in and week out, since leaving Victoria to join the Paul Fitzpatrick stable. The son of Sunshine Beach was rewarded for his honesty when he dictated the terms in narrowly defeating Stick Man and Mustang Milly a couple of weeks ago. From the middle of the line, Gavin Fitzpatrick will again look to make his presence known from the outset. Talented 4yo LOCHIEL (2) is an interesting runner, with the son of Lincoln Royal joining the Amanda Turnbull team for his latest term of racing. Following three Bathurst trials, Lochiel then resumed with a solid win at Young before working when a gritty 2nd to Myra Dawn at Bathurst on July 28. Despite stepping out for his first assignment at Headquarters, Lochiel can’t be dismissed as a threat. Former SA resident JOES A CHARACTER (4) had his first outing since making the move to join Kevin Pizzuto when a handy 9.4m 5th to Hughie Junior a week ago. That was his first outing in a month and with the benefit of race experience at this venue, Joes a Character is capable of improving on that effort. Multiple investors should also consider HES CHIMING (10) and BANKERS GOLD (11), along with the reserve SWAGGIE SHANNON (1), if he secures a run, as the veteran hasn’t had a great deal of luck of late. From the pole he can make his own and be involved in the finish, as a result.
CLOUD NINE 1, Long Weekend 2, Lochiel 3, Joes A Character 4.
Racing in the ‘peak of her powers’ on the country arena in recent months, UROC SKINNY JEANS (8) is worth the gamble as the mare steps out for her challenge at Menangle and for new mentor, Cameron Ross. The winner of three of her past five, the other two resulting in the role as runner-up, one behind Lochiel, the daughter of Mach Three is coming off an emphatic 34m win over Nobbys Clock and Marianna Bromac at Albury last week. With Jessica Prior in charge of the driving duties, Uroc Skinny Jeans dictated from the outset and despite the tougher test which awaits, and a deep draw, another competitive showing is on the cards, And, as always, when Cam Hart jumps in the ‘bike’, that is a big plus. B K SWY (5) is also racing in fine form on the country circuit, with a couple of wins and two placings from her past four encounters. The daughter of Big Jim arrived in time to defeat Dancing Chick and Fleetwood Rock at Wagga last week and with the benefit of a handy draw, the 4yo is likely to secure a role close to the action. QUEENOFDANCE (2) led and faded when a 24.5m last to Schouten Island at this venue last week, but the former Kiwi mare did win first-up for Darren Binskin, prior to finishing a 15.2m 2nd to Cloud Nine. Ideally drawn close to the pegs, Queenofdance is worthy of another chance. VINCENZINA (9) posted a useful 8.8m 6th to Never Been Said a week ago, and although the draw is tricky, the mare usually competes from a rearward role, en route to working home. That will again be the case, with the Ross Adams trained and driven daughter of Betterthancheddar is more than capable of being involved in the finish. Exotic players include the consistent WATTLEBANK LASS (3), HIDDEN DELIGHT (4) and SADHANA (6).
UROC SKINNY JEANS 1, B K Swy 2, Queenofdance 3, Vincenzina 4.
With the benefit of a higher level of fitness and an ideal draw, VALENCIA (3) will be perfectly poised to make it ‘two from two’ since coming under the care of Jack Trainor. Formerly based in Victoria, Valencia resumed from a six-month spell with a 19.2m 5th to Abettasecret at Cranbourne on June 20 before stepping out for his first run for Trainer on July 27. Taken straight to the top, despite drawing the outside gate, the son of Somebeachsomewhere was untroubled in defeating subsequent Menangle winner, Southbound Train. With an ideal draw assisting his step up in grade, Valencia again look to stamp his authority on this engagement from the outset. ARDENS ACE (4) has been gradually building towards a win since leaving New Zealand and joining the stables of Darren Binskin. Two starts back and a solid 3.8m 3rd to Titian Raider and Tasty Delight indicated a win was just around the corner, with a half-head 2nd to Hughie Junior a week ago, underlining that assessment. Handily drawn, Ardens Ace should be regarded as a threat. BOYZHAVETIME (9) won his opening two starts for Roy Roots Jnr, following a brief career in NZ, at Penrith and Menangle, respectively, before having little go his way from a back row draw at Penrith. Left snookered in a five-peg role, the 3yo son of Bettors Delight worked to the line strongly when finally clear of traffic in posting a 3.7m 3rd to Beiderbecke and Spock. Back to the roomier Menangle circuit and Boyzhavtime can’t be ignored. GORDONS BAY (10) is a talented son of Captaintreachous, which is under the care of James Rattray. The 3yo has returned from a break in fine order with wins at Wagga and Bathurst. While the deep draw is a concern, Gordons Bay does strip fitter and he does boast a good record here. Charlie Castles will take the reins after guiding Gordons Bay to his past two trips to the winner’s circle. A watched is placed on another former Kiwi, PERFECT CUT (5), with the son of Lincoln Royal now under the care of Amanda Turnbull. With two wins and six placings from 21 starts, the 3yo has won a couple of trials at Bathurst in good style and he should be kept safe. IM PRESI BELLE (6) and MACHS LEGACY (8) remain in the multiple mix.
VALENCIA 1, Ardens Ace 2, Boyzhavtime 3, Gordons Bay 4.
Despite being first-up since last November and drawing wide, the Belinda McCarthy-trained CULLENBURN (10) is worth the gamble. When last in training the talented son of Christian Cullen contested a number of tough assignments in Victoria, with the likes of Out To Play, Lochinvar Art, Major Times, Tam Major and the likes involved in his events. Successful five starts back, Cullenburn completed in southern sojourn with a creditable 15.8m 4th to Wolf Stride at Melton. In a recent Menangle trial, Cullenburn closed nicely, while under a hold by Mason Beresford, in posting a narrow 3rd to stablemates Zahven Banner and Mighty Looee. The winner of three of his seven starts at Headquarters, Cullenburn warrants more than a passing thought. NEVER BEEN SAID (4) is racing in sparkling form since coming under the care of Jack Trainer, posting wins in three of her past four starts. The mare has been winning from various roles, the latest a week ago when she powered home in defeating Bankers Gold and Viva Las Vegas. The draw is kind for this tougher test so respect the daughter of Well Said, as she is capable of having a big say in the outcome. MAJESTIC CRUISER (8) won in fine style when first-up for Jason Grimson, then never threatened in recording an 11.2m 7th to Double Encounter a couple of weeks ago. The former Victorian is capable of bouncing back strongly so don’t ignore him as a winning contender. BATTLE BORN (2) has again drawn well so include the consistent 8yo son of Art Major in exotic transactions, along with ALWAYS ROCKIN (1), MAKOA (7) and POWER OF RED (11).
CULLENBURN 1, Never Been Said 2, Majestic Cruiser 3, Battle Born 4.
The running of the G3 Les Chant will be another intriguing contest and although POCKET OF TERROR (7) is coming off a costly defeat, just a week ago, the Jack Trainer trained and driven son of Western Terror is worthy of another investment. Approaching the 800m, Pocket Of Terror, which was racing at the rear of the six-horse field, struck some trouble when he over-raced and lost five or so metres in the process, before becoming balanced once again and joining his rivals. The 6yo did appear to have every chance from that point onwards in recording a closing 2.3m 4th to Double Encounter. Since resuming from a spell, Pocket Of Terror has contested eight races of this nature, collecting three wins in fine style while finishing unplaced on the other five occasions. With the majority of the field boasting the ability to greet the judge, Pocket Of Terror is more than capable of playing an active role in the finish. THE BLACK PRINCE (1) creates interest after the Roy Roots Jnr-trained son of Bettors Delight drew the prized pole position. Spelled after his outstanding 7.5m 4th to King Of Swing in the Miracle Mile back on March 6, The Black Prince resumed on July 17 with a solid 8m 7th to Cash N Flow after competing from a role, three back in the running line. Working to the line with intent over the final stages, The Black Prince strips fitter and the draw will give him the opportunity to secure a good run, leaving him with sufficient energy to make his presence felt. CASH N FLOW (4) bounced back to winning form a few weeks ago when he converted the one-one role into a narrow defeat of Loorrim Lake and Max Delight. Suitably drawn once again, the 8yo son of Mach Three is again a major player now that his confidence has been restored. MAX DELIGHT (8) was game in defeat when 3rd to both Pocket Of Terror, respectively, prior to being left exposed when a respectable 4.5m last (six runners) to Double Encounter a week ago. The classy David Aiken trained and driven 5yo hasn’t had the best of luck in two of those three assignments since making the trip from Victorian. Don’t write the former NSW Derby winner off when assessing his prospects. DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (6) finished a solid 4.5m 5th to Cash N Flow three starts ago, then posted wins in each of his next two encounters, defeating Burnham Boy into 2nd spot in both events. This will be a stronger challenge for the Harry Martin-trained son of Village Jasper, but he at least remains in the multiple mix. BURNHAM BOY (11) has drawn the outside gate and while that is a concern, his lack of winning form since a spell in also a factor. Five of his six encounters have resulted in placings, so there is no doubting his honesty but the talented 4yo has also had the odd chance or two to find his way to the winning post. And, to balance the books, on the odd outing, Burnham Boy hasn’t had the best of luck. Despite the draw, Burnham Boy remains in the picture.
POCKET OF TERROR 1, The Black Prince 2, Cash N Flow 3, Max Delight 4.
Six runs into his career under the care of Cameron Ross, SWAGGIE SHANNON (3) will be hoping that ‘lady luck’ finally smiles upon him as the veteran looks to break through for a deserving win. During the course of his half-a-dozen trips to the races, the 204-start veteran has finished runner-up twice while being just behind the placegetters in his other four outings. Three starts back and from a three-peg role, Swaggie Shannon had no luck securing a clear run when he went to the line, hard held, in recording a 3m 5th to Mister Magic Man. Then, in each of his past two engagements, Swaggie Shannon has been left competing from the role outside of the leader, firstly, finishing a determined 6m 2nd to Gottashopearly, then a creditable 10m 6th behind Hughie Junior a week ago. Cam Hart has been in the sulky in each of those six runs, but this time around another in-form reinsman in Jack Callaghan will take the reins in the hope of bringing about a change in fortune. SOHO TSUNAMI (1) joins the Jack Trainor team on the back of a patchy return to racing in Queensland. A winner three starts ago, the 4yo has back in the pack in each of his next two outings, the latter when a 10.4m 7th to The Announcer at AP on July 23. Gate one and the fact that he joins the in-form Trainor stable must come into play when considering his claims. LETS GO TO BRAZIL (7) has been mixing his form but a last-start half-neck 2nd to Schouten Island, when he found the line strongly from a three-peg role, entitles him to further consideration. RHIANNA REIGNS (9) was having her first start for David Thorn when she posted a pleasing 4.5m 4th to Schouten Island. The mare did enjoy a kind run behind the leader, with the wider draw making this a harder task. However, the daughter of Bettors Delight can’t be ignored as a threat in what looks an open race. HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (10) has a tricky draw to overcome but his form keeps him in the mix when it comes to multiple selections. OUR MONEY ROCKS (8) is capable of improving on his past two runs while last-start, big price winner GLENGARRY ROSE (5) also stays in the mix when exotic investments are being considered.
SWAGGIE SHANNON 1, Soho Tsunami 2, Lets Go To Brazil 3, Rhianna Reigns 4.
There will be a number of winning chances facing the starter for the final event, with TRUE CONFESSIONS (7) high on the list of priorities. The consistent Paul Fitzpatrick-prepared son of Western Terror has finished runner-up in two of his past three outings at Menangle, with an unlucky 7.8m 4th behind Always Rockin splitting the pair. Last week the 6yo enjoyed the one-one before looming up three deep when the field entered the lane. With the winner, Balducci, enjoying a perfect run in dictating the terms, True Confessions found the line gamely in cutting back the margin to just 2.9m. This assignment appears a suitable one for True Confessions. MADAZALWAYS (4) also contested the same race as True Confessions a week ago in posting a creditable 7.3m 4th after enjoying a soft trip behind the leader. The 6yo has been thereabouts in a number of events of late and a win in this company wouldn’t come as a surprise, especially after drawing handily. ROCK OF DELIGHT (8) was involved in the same race as the above-mentioned runners and his closing 6.9m 3rd was also a sound display. The 5yo son of Art Major has again drawn deep but he is capable of playing a far more active role in the finish. ROCKY CREED (9) finished strongly in scoring here four starts ago, with his form since being patchy, although he was outclassed when last to Jimmy The Irishman at Bendigo following his success here. His past two runs have resulted in a sound 3.7m 3rd to Harry Ovens at Wagga and a 14m 7th to Never Been Said at Headquarters. The outside gate awaits, but that may be a plus, as it will allow the son of Pet Rock to drift back and come with a rush, which was the case when he scored here. BRONSKI BELLE (6), JEDI MIND (5) and a fitter ELMS CREEK (2) stay in the multiple mix.
TRUE CONFESSIONS 1, Madazalways 2, Rock Of Delight, Rocky Creed 4.
– MIKE KO’CASS