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    ‘Sibelia’ attracts a world-class mares’ line-up ‘Sibelia’ attracts a world-class mares’ line-up

    THE ONE TO BEAT: Soho Historia.

    RACE ONE: Former Kiwi SUPER DUPER DUDE (5) was responsible for a ‘super’ effort when he produced a powerful display in scoring at Menangle... ‘Sibelia’ attracts a world-class mares’ line-up

    RACE ONE:

    Former Kiwi SUPER DUPER DUDE (5) was responsible for a ‘super’ effort when he produced a powerful display in scoring at Menangle a week ago. Contesting just his second race since arriving on these shores, the first resulting in a pleasing 10.4m 2nd to new stablemate Don Lou, the Seaton Grima-prepared 6yo held the inside running after drawing the pole, then had little trouble completing the 2300m with a couple of slick splits. Recording a 26.8 third quarter, the son of Lincoln Royal finished his assignment in 26.9, resulting in a convincing 6.9m defeat of Captain Blood and Caulonia Courage. Seaton will return to the sulky for this challenge, which will be his toughest since leaving his homeland, however, Super Duper Dude looks the ‘real deal’ And from gate five he will again target the role as dictator. Jack Trainor had the drive last week, filling in for the suspended mentor. The Jarrod Alchin-conditioned BLAZING HOME (3) will ensure that Super Duper Dude doesn’t have everything his own way over the shorter trip of 1609m. The talented 4yo son of Rock N Roll Heaven has finished runner-up I his past three engagements, the past two since joining the astute Menangle mentor. From a wide draw Blazing Home was restrained at the start by Will Rixon, which resulted in a rearward role, prior to a solid-finishing 2m effort behind the classy Dougs Platter in the Autumn Gift Final while the latest was a gritty half-neck 2nd behind the Brad Hewitt trained and driven Bluto in the Wagga Pacers Cup. Following some wayward displays at the start, Blazing Home returns to the draw and with gate three being a plus, providing he does everything right, then the gelding will have plenty to offer. ALIBERTO (2) has drawn ideally for trainer-driver Luke McCarthy and that will ensure that the 5yo will again be a threat. The consistent son of Somebeachsomewhere won back-to-back races in late January and early February, prior to three consistent efforts, the past two resulting in competitive placings. Following a 3rd to Bluto and Corbie Stumbler, Aliberto posted a solid-finishing half-neck 2nd to Montalbano here a couple of weeks ago when he drew out in nine. Luke returns to the sulky for this assignment, replacing his dual Miracle Mile winning dad, John. MONTALBANO (9) has an awkward draw to overcome but both his trainer, Rickie Alchin and driver Ash Delosa are in fine form. Following his win at Headquarters the 4yo son of Huntsville then recorded a 7.9m 6th behind Zeuss Bromac at Newcastle last week. The draw has added to the degree of difficulty, but Montalbano remains an exotic player. UBETCHA TIGERPIE (8) has also come up with a tricky draw, however, the recent addition to the Luke McCarthy stable can’t be taken lightly. A winner here three runs ago, the son of Betting Line has finished fifth in each of his past two engagements, the first when beaten 6.4m by Dougs Platter in the autumn Gift Final while the latter was a 17.6m effort behind Super Duper Dude last week. Michael Stanley will continue his association with Ubetcha Tigerpie. HANDS ON (6) is back from a spell following a solid campaign and with a solid trial behind him, the 6yo son of Bettors Delight is a suitable exotic player. OUR UNCLE JIM (1) has drawn the pole and while safely held in each of his past two encounters, the 8yo is worthy of another chance in the multiples, courtesy of his better draw.

    SUPER DUPER DUDE 1, Blazing Home 2, Aliberto 3, Montalbano 4.

    RACE TWO:

    Enjoying plenty of success of late, Seaton Grima will be hoping to keep the ‘good times coming’ when he looks to take out the opening two events on the card. This time around DON LOU (9), despite drawing wide, will be hoping to make it four wins from five starts   since joining the Llandillo mentor. The combination recorded a solid 3.8m 4th to Pas De Cheval at this venue before greeting the judge in his next three engagements. Seaton is yet to guide the 5yo son of Sweet Lou to victory, due to his time on the sidelines, with Luke McCarthy winning the first, prior to Robert Morris being involved in his next two wins, the latter a week ago when he led in defeating I Break The Line and Bluto. Despite the tricky gate, Seaton will again be looking to set the tempo, en route to completing the ‘double’ hat-trick. The consistent and ideally drawn OUR VINNIE (3) appeals as the one to beat. Trained and driven by Jack Trainor, who could be in for a big night, Our Vinnie has contested six races since leaving the Emma Stewart stable and heading north, five for Jason Grimson while the latter was his first for Jack. Four of those efforts have resulted in placings while one of the unplaced displays was his 13.5m 9th to Frankie Ferocious in the G1 Chariots of Fire. Good enough to contest a race of that nature, it is surprising that the 4yo son of Vincent hasn’t be able to greet the judge in an easier assignment. That could change this time around as he looks to greet the judge for the first time since taking out the SA Derby at Globe Derby last October. PAS GUARANTEE (10) will return to racing from the outside gate and while that is a concern, the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned 5yo has the talent to be involved in the finish. The son of Guaranteed has been off the scene since late December when a 5.5m 3rd to Max Delight in the Cherry City Cup a Young. With the benefit of two useful trial appearances, Pas Guarantee will be ready to make his presence felt. ARDENS ACE (8) will appreciate the return to a suitable contest after his 22.7m 4th to Nerano last week. A deserving winner at Menangle two starts back, following a number of game efforts in finishing second, the Tony Bertwistle-trained son of Art Major was involved in an early speed battle with Whereyabinboppin before eventually being three pegs at the 800m, then four back on the home turn. The 6yo should be included in exotic discussions while MAJOR PERRY (7), which has been racing consistently since a spell, TUPPENCE (2) and JOEN NIEN (6), a winner here a week ago at good odds, also gave claims when it comes to the multiples.

    DON LOU 1, Our Vinnie 2, Pas Guarantee 3, Ardens Ace 4.

    RACE THREE:

    Former Kiwi SIMPLY SAM (10) will create plenty of interest as he faces the starter for the first time since coming under the care of Lucky Lodge. Back home and the 5yo contested 44 races for seven wins and 16 placings. Many of his recent efforts, which resulted in four placings, have been against class opposition, including Don’t Stop Dreaming, Its Merlin, Sooner The Bettor, Mach Shard and Self Assured. Simply Sam has been competitive on a regular basis. The son of American Ideal has been of the scene since mid-February, but two trials have him ready to make his presence felt, his latest outing Robert Morris never placing pressure on the gelding in allowing him to hit the line under his own steam in finishing a 19.9m 4th to Aardies Express. More on that particular exciting mare latter. While Simply Sam has drawn badly out in 10, his class is bound to be a crucial factor in his success. Lining up for start 248, DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (6) looms as the main threat to his far younger opponent. The 10yo, which is under the care of another veteran in Harry Martin, has been performing consistently of late, without winning, as each of his past three starts have resulted in solid fourth’s. The middle one was his best as the son of Village Jasper recorded was beaten 8m when he worked home stoutly behind Hot And Treacherous and Expensive Ego. Double Encounter drew deep for his latest assignment a couple of weeks ago when he came from a rearward role in finishing 8m behind Ardens Ace. The better draw is a plus for Double Encounter as Sofia Arvidsson will be looking to secure a run closer to the action. CHEVRON ART (6) has had a few weeks off since his creditable 7.5m 4th to Surfers Delight at Penrith. The consistent son of Art Major hasn’t won in nearly a year, but the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven 6yo is more than capable of again being involved in the finish. If nothing else, Chevron Art is an idea type for exotic players. LAST TANGO IN HEAVEN (5) went around as an odds-on favourite last week. After being involved in an early speed battle, which resulted in a 25.8m opening quarter, and the role outside of the leader coming his way, Last Tango In Heaven was a spent force on the home turn in finishing a 14.3m 7th to Joe Nien, with those back in the pack dominating the finish. The 6yo has been unplaced in his past six starts since a Menangle win back in February, with his latest being his first since joining Seton Grima, who will take the reins this time around. Expect a better showing from the son of Rock N Roll Heaven. TOTAL DIVA (4) returns to racing after two months off and with the benefit of a suitable draw and a solid Penrith trial outing, the talented daughter of Terror To Love can’t be taken lightly. This assignment will be far more to her liking after chasing home the likes of Taipo, Spirit Of St Louis, Ardens Delight, Illavabubbles and Promiseland. SAHARA SIROCCO (8) ran an improved 2nd to Joe Nien a week ago and on that effort the 7yo son of Courage Under Fire should be kept safe as a value exotic player.

    SIMPLY SAM 1, Double Encounter 2, Chevron Art 3, Last Tango In Heaven 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    The Waratah Final could go the way of any one of the 10 runners, without surprising. Drawing six, but to start from four, if both reserves remained benched, MARVELLOUS MAC (6) is entitled to plenty of consideration. Prepared by Wendy Turnbull and to be driven by Jason, the 4yo has been in the best form of his career this season having posted five wins and the same number of placings from his 15 engagements. The son of Roll With Joe qualified for his first trip to Menangle with a comfortable all-the-way win at Dubbo recently, accounting for Potter and Odins Black Crows. Four starts back and Marvellous Mac again dictated the terms in proving too good for a couple of in-form types in Oursouthernstar and Captain Blood. A repeat of that effort alone would see the gelding take a power of beating. Drawing gate one is a big plus for the Corey parker-trained NIFTY RONALD (1), which will have the services of Taylah Osmond. A month ago, Nifty Ronald posted back-to-back wins when successful at Goulburn and Wagga, respectively, before contesting a Waratah final at the end of the month in finishing a well-beaten and disappointing last to Halsey Nicole. Heading to Bathurst a couple of weeks alter and the 9yo son of Stoneridge Regal bounced back strongly in recording a 6m 2nd to Lettys Reason and booking himself another attempt to win a race of this nature. Unplaced in his three Menangle challenges to date, Nifty Ronald has the opportunity to play an active role in the finish. HEZ ON THE BUZZER (7) was beaten on the buzzer when a photo 2nd to Thomas Royal at young. A winner at Bathurst prior to that challenge, the 7yo son of Christian Cullen is one of two runners under the care of Nathan Turnbull, with POTTER (120 being Nathan’s choice of drives. POTTER (12) may well need to produce some magic to overcome the outside gate, but the son of Art Major is certainly racing well enough to be involved in the finish. ROUGE BLING (11) had consistent form to support his claims before a last-start 20.6m last to Racing Paula at Tamworth last time out. Despite that effort and a wide draw, the 4yo son of Bling It On warrants another chance while the consistent ULTRA BLISS (10) can’t be overlooked as a threat, especially with the booking of Josh Gallagher.

    MARVELLOUS MAC 1, Nifty Ronald 2, Hez On The Buzzer 3, Potter 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    Jack Trainor has an outstanding record with former Kiwi mares and MY MOONLITE DREAM (8) will be looking to continue his marvelous strike rate. The daughter of Always B Miki was having her first run for the stable since February 1 when she faced the starter at Menangle a week ago. Drawing two and settling behind the leader, My Moonlite Dream hit the line with conviction but was unable to peg back the winner Promiseland, which was rated to perfection by Cam Hart. When the judge called a halt the margin was 1.9m, with both the winner and the runner-up recording strong displays. The 5yo will strip fitter for that run, and although a wider gate will await My Moonlite Dream, she is capable of turning this race into a nightmare for her rivals. Another former Kiwi in CARRERA SUNSET (6) is unbeaten in two runs since crossing the Tasman and becoming involved with Jason Grimson. Resuming from a spell the daughter of Downbytheseaside finished strongly in defeating American Hammer before again hitting the line with intent in proving too good for Son Of The Shark and Il Bandito. The 4yo has drawn the middle of the line, but Chloe Formosa will have Carrera Sunset in the mix from the outset. To complete the trifecta is another former Kiwi mare in MARIA ALLEGONDA (2), which has been a model of consistency since joining the stables of David Thorn. Debuting for the astute Menangle mentor with a solid Menangle win, the daughter of Sweet Lou then finished runner-up at her next three assignments before a couple of third’s, firstly when beaten 9.9m by Carrera Sunset, then 7.6m by Promiseland when she worked home stoutly from a four peg role. Suitably drawn in two, the 4yo should again receive a kind trip which will assist her claims of greeting the judge. DIEING ART (3) is a sparingly-raced 7yo daughter of Art Major, who only commenced her career back in mid-January. Now seven runs into her career, Dieing Art has four wins and two placings to show for her efforts. The former Victorian has had her past three encounters under the guidance of Jarrod Alchin, with a first-up win followed by a 23.5m 6th to Illavabubbles when she was always in a rearward role, then a determined 1.8m 3rd to Bertie Jones at Penrith a week ago when posted outside of the leader. Gate three will assist Dieing Art in receiving a better trip and a role in the finish isn’t beyond her. ROCK OF JOY (1) has exotic claims after drawing the pole while MY CRACKLING ROSIE (4), KENDYS BUTTERFLY (7) and a fitter ARDENS DELIGHT (11), despite drawing the outside gate, also have claims when forming exotic transactions.

    MY MOONLITE DREAM 1, Carrera Sunset 2, Maria Allegonda 3, Dieing Art 4.

    RACE SIX:

    The G3 Sibelia Stakes is next up and what an exciting array of talent has been assembled in honour of an outstanding mare. Another outstanding mare in SOHO HISTORIA (8) will contest her first race at Menangle, and although a wide draw, which will eased slightly by one spot if the reserves aren’t required, is entitled to top billing. The Clayton Tonkin-trained daughter of Courage Under Fire will be stepping out for her first assignment since a rare, unplaced, but still sound display, in finishing a 9m 8th to Rakero rebel in the Make Mine Cullen FFA at Melton last October. Boasting 13 wins from her 32 engagements, plus nine placings, seven as runner-up, the 5yo recently won a Melton trial by 2.5m, with the final 800m run in 54.58 while the last 400m was covered in 25.91. The Queensland Oaks winner will be driven by Seaton Grima in what is a great show of belief in the young NSW driver. Delighted with the opportunity to partner the mare, Seaton was looking forward to justifying the confidence shown in him by taking out the G3 feature event, which is a stepping stone to further important opportunities in coming weeks for the winner. While Soho Historia will take a power of beating, Jack Trainor will attack the race with three outstanding types in MANHATTAN (3), BRAEVIEW KELLY (9) and another Kiwi on debut for the stable, AARDIES EXPRESS (10). All three will attract plenty of attention, but Jack is excited about the prospect of AARDIES EXPRESS, a 5yo daughter if Always B Miki. Arriving with 13 wins and two placings from her 19 starts, Aardies Express hasn’t raced since last December when beaten into 8th spot by Lady Of The Light at Alexandra Park. Following a 26.2m 8th in her first trial, Aardies Express was then explosive in her next trial. Leading from the outset the mare opened proceedings with a 26.4 quarter, then 31.1 and 29.0 before wrapping up her work in 25.2, with jack still sitting, as the saying goes, ‘quite as a church mouse’, defeating Line Up by 11.7m. Little wonder he was thrilled with the performance and had little hesitation declaring this mare could easily be the best of his runners, by a margin. MANHATTAN is unbeaten in two runs for Jack and has done the job in fine fashion on each occasion. Jack Brown guided the 6yo daughter of Bettors Delight to her first win, when she finished strongly in defeating Braeview Kelly and illavabubbles. From one Jack to another and Jack Callaghan replaced the suspended Brown when Manhattan again accounted for Braeview Kelly while Im Presi Belle grabbed third spot. Jack Brown returns from suspension to gain partner the mare and from gate three, Manhattan will be ready to strike. BRAEVIEW KELLY (9) has been placed in all four runs this time in, the past three as runner-up, and hasn’t had a lot of luck in doing so. Also, a 6yo daughter of Bettors Delight, the outstanding mare has hitting the line on each occasion after launching her claim from a rearward role, and on the odd occasion just needed that little bit of luck when it comes to being eased into the race, with cover. Braeview Kelly is coming off a solid-finishing neck 2nd to Manhattan and is more than capable of playing an active role in the finish. Jack has engaged Inter Dominion winning reinsman Josh Gallagher to complete his attack on the top spot. ILLAVABUBBLES (1) will appreciate gate one as she attempts to bounce back strongly following a costly 8.8m 5th to Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. After winning six of her previous seven since leaving Queensland to link up with Jason Grimson, the mare must be given another chance. Chloe Formosa has been booked to take the reins due to Cam Hart heading to WA on Friday to drive Hot And Treacherous in the Nullabor. Cam has elected to commence a suspension following this commitment so it opens the door for Chloe to enjoy the opportunity to continue her good form in the sulky in a feature race. Luke McCarthy has NOT TO BE DENIED (5) racing well since resuming from a spell under his care. The daughter of Always B Miki won the Riverina Championship at wagga at the end of March when she defeated her stablemate Eye Keep Smiling and the star Victorian Major Delight. Peaking following two runs back, Not To Be Denied should be included when forming multiple transactions, along with PROMISELAND (6), which led throughout in scoring here last week.

    SOHO HISTORIA 1, Aardies Express 2, Manhattan 3, Braeview Kelly 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    CONSTANTINOPLE (8) will be looking to make amends for a disappointing performance last week. Starting a dominant odds-on favourite for the 1609m challenge, the Luke McCarthy-trained, Jack Callaghan-driven 7yo enjoyed a comfortable trip, three pegs, prior to making a move out three deep on straightening, only to break when he went into a pace when starting to make his presence felt. The end result was a well-beaten 62.4m behind Royal Dan, and the way the winner went in recording a 1:52.9 time for the 1609, it is doubtful whether Constantinople would have lowered his colours, regardless, of his display of bad manners at such a crucial section of the race. Prior to that appearance the son of Trixton had been in superb form, winning four of his previous five while finishing runner-up to the outstanding Callmethebreeze in the G1 Hammerhead Mile. The longer trip of 2300m will suit, and although a wide draw awaits Constantinople, this does look to be an ideal assignment. Luke McCarthy will be back in the sulky after competing at Albion Park last week. The main threat is the Jarrod Alchin-conditioned VICTREE HILL (7) which has been competitive on a regular basis. Greeting the judge at this venue five starts ago, the 7yo, who is also a son of Trixton, has been placed in three of his subsequent four encounters while finishing fourth to Constantinople on the other occasion. Victree Hill, while never a serious threat to the winner Royal Dan last week, did work home stoutly from a rearward role in recording a 14.6m third. The effort was pleasing under the circumstances. FUNKY MONKEY (4) finished a 14.7m 4th in the same race after gaining the position behind the winner, which led in giving a bold display of front-running. The mare has been in the mix on a regular basis and is again capable of playing a role in the finish. Greeting the judge isn’t out of her reach. RAVE ON HALL (3) steps out for his first assignment since last June when he finished a well-beaten 7th to Thebestbourbon. The James Rattray trained and driven 8yo was safely held in a trial, however, he will contest his 50th assignment as an exotic player. SUNNY GEE (2) continues to race consistently and from his good draw the 7yo is also a worthy exotic chance while CHIEF RUNNINGCLOUD (5) and a fitter HAVE NO FEAR (6) should also be considered.

    CONSTANTINOPLE 1, Victree Hill 2, Funky Monkey 3, Rave On Hall 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    An open race to end the meeting and the quaddie. IDEAL IN DREAMS (6) has been a shade or two below her best, however, the David Thorn-prepared mare warrants attention this time around. Safely held when a 26.7m 8th to Not To be Denied in the Riverina Championship at the end of March, the daughter of Warrawee Needy than produced a better effort at Menangle a week ago when a sound 12m 4th to Promiseland. On the strength of that display the 5yo is deserving of another chance as she goes in search of her first win since last October. NICHOLAS CAGE (5) played a starring role in scoring here three runs back, but the 5yo has been just a support act in his subsequent too roles. Following a 17.9m 7th to Golden Bay, the Luke McCarthy trained and driven son of Art major posted a 7.5m 6th to Montalbano after enjoying a kind run behind the leader. Handily drawn Nicholas Cage should be handily placed in his quest for the spotlight on him once again. HAVEYOUCHECKEDIN (8) will check back in after being off the scene since last December. The Ty Robson-conditioned son of Hurrikane Kingcole ended his previous term of racing with a 4m 2nd to Hy Poactive in the NSWBC Western Region 3YO C&G’s Final at Bathurst. Ty has given the 4yo three trials, the past two pleasing with the latter a solid second at Menangle. The draw is tricky, but the in-form Will Rixon will present Haveyoucheckedin with every chance. SHEFFIELD SPARKY (2) has been thereabouts in each of his pasts even encounters, the latest a closing 5.9m 4th to No Heart Throb at this venue a week ago. The Darren Binskin trained and driven 8yo son of Art Major has drawn ideally in two and with the prospect of a cosy trip, Sheffield Sparky is capable of being a serious threat. MAJIC MOMENT (1) is coming off a couple of useful placings at Menangle and Penrith, respectively, and from the pole the mare should be included in multiple investments, with DARK TERROR (9) and TITIAN RAIDER (4) also worthy of consideration.

    IDEAL IN DREAMS 1, Nicholas Cage 2, Haveyoucheckedin 3, Sheffield Sparky 4.     

      – FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS

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