September 14, 2023 National Trotguide
Edging closer to a win with each run since coming under the care of Belinda McCarthy, DANGERZONE (3) is worthy of attention when he tackles the opening event. First-up for the Cobbitty mentor following five weeks off, the former Queensland-based 4yo struck trouble in The Singo, resulting in a 58m last behind Captain Hammerhead. A week later and the son of Gotta Go Cullect hit the line well in posting a closing 2.3m 3rd behind Bubba Scrub and Boom after settling last, then progressing to a midfield role at the 800m. Facing the starter for the G2 Stockade, a consolation of the $2m G1 Eureka, Dangerzone led out before taking a sit, prior to being exposed outside of the leader approaching the final bend. The end result was a solid 2.7m 2nd to Sure Thing Captain. This time around Dangerzone will be confronted by older rivals, and rivals in good form, but the 4yo is suitably drawn and is capable of making his presence felt. DEFIANT (2) has been mixing his form since resuming with two solid performances, which includes a win over Kadar and Hezadshadowplaya, along with a couple of unplaced efforts, the latter a week ago when a 19m 9th behind Bubba Scrub. The Ash Hart-conditioned 5yo has drawn better in two and the 2300m should be a suitable, so expect a far more competitive showing. Following an impressive return to racing a month ago, ZAMBIA (1) has recorded two solid placings, both as runner-up, the former when beaten 2.8m by Don Hugo, while the latter was a gritty 6.2m effort behind Bubba Scrub last week when four pegs early, then outside the leader for the trip home. Gate one is a plus in such a competitive field. Although back competing against the boys, the Troy Williams-trained mare LITTLE BLISS (7) will let them know she is in the contest. The Art Major 6yo posted a deserving win when she finished too well for Tay Tay, courtesy of a smart drive by Robert Morris, in the Norms Daughter. Two starts back the mare chased gamely when an 18m 2nd to Himanameisjeff in 1:48.9. Troy has Little Bliss racing in outstanding fashion. ROMANEE (6) has been mixing his form of late, but is worth another chance, particularly when it comes to multiple transactions. BOOM (9) has again drawn wide, however, the James Rattray trained and driven 6yo has posted two solid efforts for the stable since coming over from Tasmania while STINGRAY TARA (11), despite drawing the outside gate, did defeat South Coast Arden and Port Au Prince three starts back, and although unplaced in races won by Spirit Of St Louis and Himanameisjeff, respectively, the 7yo is worthy of more than a passing thought when it comes to the exotics. IF, the reserve OUR MONEY ROCKS (10) comes of the bench, then elevate the David Thorn-trained 6yo, as each of his three runs from a spell have been superb and he is definitely close to a win.
DANGERZONE 1, Defiant 2, Zambia 3, Little Bliss 4.
Despite coming up with a wide gate, the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned ZEUSS BROMAC (10) is entitled to top billing in this suitable assignment. The classy son of Bettors Delight peaks in condition, courtesy of four runs back, all in quality company, with his best effort being a 1.3m 2nd to Spirit Of St Louis two runs back when he hit the line strongly from a three peg role. The 6yo contested the G1 Len Smith Mile from a similar role in running, which resulted in a 5.9m 7th to Rock N Roll Doo. While the wide gate is a concern, Zeuss Bromac will at least have the opportunity to make his presence felt from the outset if Gavin elects to press the button early. Regardless, Zeuss Bromac is more than capable of ‘thundering’ home. ABOUTTIME (7) had a run of three unplaced efforts, the past two in Queensland during the carnival, prior to scoring at Albion park over Rock Bottom and Obi One. The Jason Grimson-trained son of Art major had six weeks off behind resuming at Menangle on August 26 with a fading 25.5m 4th behind stablemate Himanameisjeff. Leading out then taking a sit on the winner, Abouttime was unable to maintain the effort, but did enough to suggest he would be competitive in this type of contest, which should be in a slightly more sedate manner, compared to the 1: 48.9 the winner posted, which included an opening quarter of 26.6 and a third sectional, which was completed in 26.8. KANENA PROVLIMA (8) continues to perform well, but the Elizabeth heath-trained 7yo can’t be rewarded with a win. Placed in four of his previous six, the son of A Rocknroll Dance is coming off a 30m 5th to Hi Manameisjeff, however, Kanena Provlima didn’t have the best of luck when six back along the pegs, the n held up behind tiring horses before working home stoutly over the final 200m. A win this time around won’t come as a surprise. MAJOR JELLIS (5) is also coming off a luckless effort when last produced, which was also in the same race as Kanena Provlima. Five pegs and striking trouble, the son of Art Major recorded a ‘must forget’ 40.9m eighth. Placed in two of his previous three runs, Major Jellis is capable of being in the mix when the judge calls a halt. THE CROUPIER (4) has drawn handily and three of his past four starts have resulted in creditable efforts, so include the 8yo when making multiple transactions, along with CHEVRON ART (6), and WHEREYABINBOPPIN (11), with the speedster drawing the outside gate, but the James Rattray trained and driven 7yo enjoys dictating the terms. That was the case when he resumed from a spell in scoring at Wagga recently, defeating Sugar Apple and stablemate Izaha in the process.
ZEUSS BROMAC 1, Abouttime 2, Kanena Provlima 3, Major Jellis 4.
Back from a spell, the Brian Portelli trained and driven SMALTESE (8) is capable of making an immediate impact. Prior to heading to the paddock the talented 4yo son of Sweet Lou recorded three wins and two placings, along with a close 4th, from six starts. Smaltese wrapped up his campaign with an impressive win over Wavethebill and Just As Well, coming from a deep peg role with a blistering final 150m display. Brian has given Smaltese one trial, which resulted in sound 3rd behind Jay OK and Romanee. Despite the wide draw, this does appear to be a suitable assignment for Smaltese. Fitter and racing in fine form, but drawing the outside gate, is DON HUGO (11), which is clearly the one to beat. Fifth to leap To Fame in the G1 Rising Sun before a well-beaten 9th to The Lost Strom in the G1 Queensland Derby, the Art Major colt returned to Menangle with a respectable 7.3m 4th to Captain Hammerhead in The Singo. The Belinda McCarthy-trained 3yo then led in taking out his next assignment, prior to a solid 4.4m 3rd to Sure Thing Captain in the G2 Stockade. That form is more than enough to result in Don Hugo greeting the judge. The colt will need some luck, but with Luke McCarthy in the sulky, that is a given. THEE OLD BOMB (3) went from a Ferrari like display in winning by 23.8m in 1:50.9 to an ‘old bomb’ when he finished at the rear of the field in the race won by Heavenly Holly a couple of weeks ago. After missing the start and tailing off, the 5yo was never a factor. Better manners and the return to Cam Hart to the sulky will be a big plus so expect the Ash Hart-trained 5yo to perform more like his effort of two starts ago, then his latest display. When forming multiple combinations, SIR SIMON (5) is racing well and has a suitable draw so include the son of Changeover in the mix while RIVEERED (6) and SIR RICHARD LEE (10) in the hope of adding value. IM IN TROUBLE (9) has been finding plenty of trouble of late, mainly due to his own doing, but he is capable of assisting as an exotic runner if he remains focused from start to finish.
SMALTESE 1, Don Hugo 2, Thee Old Bomb 3, Sir Simon 4.
Interesting race for the trotters with two recent Group One winners resuming and the in-form FUNKY MONKEY (8) looking to complete a hat-trick of wins at Headquarters. The Brad Hewitt trained and driven MAJESTIC TRIO (6) continues to enhance her reputation, which received a further boost when she accounted for Doff Your Cap and Sugarinspice in the G1 Qld Trotters Cup at AP back on July 22. The daughter of Majestic Son has had a recent comfortable Goulburn trial which resulted in a placing. The mare has won nine and been placed on five other occasions from her 19 trips to Menangle, and although first-up, she is bound to take a power of beating. FUNKY MONKEY (8) is racing in outstanding fashion and does have race fitness on her side. The daughter of Monkey Bones has won five of her past eight, with placings in each of the other three encounters. The 6yo overcame a 30m hcp in defeating Sunny Gee and Royal Glenferrie a week ago, and although drawn out a touch deep, Funky Monkey will be a factor from the outset. The James Rattray trained and driven LONDON TO A BRCK (4) has emerged as a star of the future following his win in the G1 Great Square at AP on July 8. That stretched his winning sequence to four, the other three recorded at this venue. In total the 3yo son of Bettors Delight has greeted the judge in seven of his past nine, with a second thrown in for good measure. A pleasing trial placing has London To a Brock, who will be taking on older rivals, ready to give a good account. REGAL ATTIRE (9) found the 30m hcp too tough last time out, especially after working outside the leader for a period of the contest. As a result, the 5yo posted a fading, but useful 8.2m 6th to Funky Monkey. Despite drawing wide the consistent son of Muscle Hill will be a suitable player when it comes to forming exotic transactions. ONE MAJIC KENNY (10) is hard to follow but stays in the multiple mix while the consistent ROYAL GLENFERRRIE (3) is always a reliable type when it comes to such investments. The interesting runner is LOVE GUN (2), with the Jess Tubbs-trained son of Love You drawing ideally in two. To be driven by Jack Callaghan, the 5yo resumed with wins at Ballarat and Melton, prior to recording a couple of unplaced efforts, both at Melton. Love Gun hasn’t had a great deal go his way of late and a competitive showing is a distinct possibility. AFFAIRE DE COVER (1) will be backing up from an assignment here on Tuesday in a far harder race, but the 5yo is racing consistently and is a value exotic chance.
MAJESTIC TRIO 1, Funky Monkey 2, London To A Brick 3, Regal Attire 4.
This is heat five of the Carousel and the intriguing runner is the former Emma Stewart-prepared DON LOU (10), which is now under the care of comeback mentor, Mark Rolfe. The winner of six of his 23 starts, with a further four placings, all as runner-up, the Sweet Lou 4yo has been off the scene since leading throughout in scoring at Horsham back in late February. Contesting a recent trial at Menangle, Don Lou wasn’t placed under pressure by Blake Fitzpatrick in the run home, which resulted in a 16m 4th to Jay OK, Romanee and Smaltese in a time of 1:52.6, the final 400m in 26.9. The draw hasn’t been kind for the gelding, but he does have his share of talent and it would appear that mark has had this race in mind from the outset. In what appears to be a suitable contest, Don Lou is worth the gamble. ALLSTARZZZ FRANKIE (9) continues to be around the mark, which was the case a week ago when he recorded a creditable 8.2m 4th behind Our Cosmic Major. The Steve Turnbull-trained 4yo has drawn wider for this challenge, but he is definitely knocking on the door for the ninth win of his career. Also drawing wide is CRIME DONT PAY (11), but trainer Seaton Grima will be hoping that ‘çrime does pay’ when it comes to the son of Sportswriter. The consistent 6yo has won two of his past five while finishing runner-up on the other three occasions, the latest since coming under the care of Seaton. Contesting heat three of the Carousel, Crime Dont Pay posted a solid finishing head 2nd behind the classy Our Cosmic Major last week. Cam Hart has been booked to handle the driving duties, and although the draw is tricky, the cool, calm and collected Cam will give Crime Dont Pay every chance to succeed. MONSIEUR DELACOUR (7) has been in fine form on the Penrith circuit of late, having posted a win and three placings, all as runner-up, with his only recent unplaced effort being a 10.8m 7th to Don Hugo at this venue. The 6yo stays in the mix when it comes to forming exotic investments, along with PRINCE OF PEACE (6), APACHE WHITESOX (5), MAN MOUNTAIN (3) and the consistent FIRE AND SWORD (8), which will be backing up from an engagement at Headquarters on Tuesday.
DON LOU 1, Allstarzzz Frankie 2, Crime Dont Pay 3, Monsieur Delacour 4.
Race six honours the deeds of Sutton McMillan with the FFA attracting a classy line -up. And, heading the list is SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS (4) and, as per usual, the classy son of Sweet Lou will head around to the start as the one to beat. The Belinda McCarthy-conditioned 6yo was gallant in defeat in the G1 Len Smith Mile a couple of weeks ago, with the gelding leading until the final stride or two when nabbed by the star Victorian, Rock N Roll Doo. Rated to perfection by Jack Callaghan, Spirit Of St Louis has again drawn suitably and that will again allow the pair to dictate the terms, and in the process, take a power of beating, which is always the case. TAIPO (5) looms as a serious threat after resuming from a two month break with a solid 6.3m 2nd behind Hi Manameisjeff last week. The son of American Ideal had no luck when down the track in the 2680m Blacks A Fake at AP on July 22, then returned home for a spell before, hopefully, contesting the Len Smith Me. Disappointed about missing a start, trainer-driver Brad Hewitt will have the 6yo fitter for this assignment so don’t take him lightly. JAY OK (10) has been off the scene since an 11.8m 5th behind Expensive Ego at Menangle on May 13. Trainer Paul Fitzpatrick has given the classy 6yo two trials, the latter resulting in a solid win, and although confronted by a wide gate, Jay OK is ready to chart highly. From 38 starts at this venue, Jay OK has won 10 and been placed on 20 occasions, so he can be expected to make his presence felt. NERANO (11) has drawn closer to the marquee than the pegs, but the Jason Grimson-conditioned son of Tintin In America can’t be faulted on the score of consistency. From his past nine starts, seven since resuming, the 6yo has posted three wins, and six consecutive placings. Third behind Spirit Of St Louis and Zeuss Bromac two starts ago, when he worked home strongly from a rearward role, Nerano then enjoyed the one-one when a determined 2.3m 3rd to Rock N Roll Doo and Spirit Of St Louis in the G1 Len Smith Mile. The wide draw is the main concern, but apart from that hurdle, Nerano is deserving of further respect. MACH DA VINCI (9) is ‘flying’ at the moment for trainer Peter Hanson, courtesy of two dashing wins at Headquarters. On each occasion driver J Douglass has produced a ‘pearler’ of a drive, keeping his powder dry before allowing the 6yo son of Art Major to come with an explosive run over the final 300m. It is hard to dismiss Mach Da Vinci as a threat on those efforts. STAR MAJOR (8) continues to be competitive in this company, despite being left posted in his past three starts, which have resulted in the son of Art Major finishing runner-up twice, while finishing a close 4th to Spirit Of St Louis. Expect the James Rattray trained and driven 7yo to be in the mix. MY ULTIMATE RONNIE (7) was far from being disgraced when a 16.7m 6th to Encipher in the inaugural running of the $2m G1 Eureka a couple of weeks ago. The classy 4yo son of Bettors Delight will be confronted by older rivals, but the Jarrod Alchin-trained star can’t be left out of multiple transactions. BULLETPROOF BOY (2) arrives from Victorian is in fine form and is drawn to be competitive while PETES SAID SO (3) comes up with a good draw and he is racing better than his past four unplaced stats would suggest. Another value type worthy of exotic attention.
SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS 1, Taipo 2, Jay OK, Nerano 4.
JANARTY (6) will be looking to commence his association with Jarrod Alchin on a winning note after enjoying a successful period of racing under the care of Jackson painting. The former Kiwi has collected four wins and a number of placings since calling the Riverina home, with the son of Art Major coming off an emphatic win on the Wagga circuit a week ago. Working three deep early, Jackson had no hesitation in taking up the lead role and from that point onwards Janarty was well on his way towards greeting the judge. Carving out a 27.7 final sectional, the 7yo had 16m to spare over Dance Addition and Misterfreeze when the judge called a halt. Providing the reserve isn’t required, Janarty will slot into gate five, a comfortable role for the gelding, who has one placing to show for two engagements at this venue. Cam Hart will be in charge of guiding Janarty to his maiden Menangle victory. The main threat will come from the Brad Hewitt trained and driven TWILIGHT BONNIE (5), who had her colours lowered for the first time just over a week ago, following an impressive hat-trick of wins. After enjoying the one-one, the 3yo daughter of Hes Watching was unable to ‘ping’ from her prized role, instead grinding her way into 3rd spot, beaten 5.4m by Theresa Love and Millies Creation in what was her toughest assignment to date. Far from being disgraced, Twilight Bonnie has the raw talent to bounce back strongly so respect her claims. RED REACTOR (7) is always thereabouts and that was the case when the son of Auckland Reactor recorded a gritty 4.9m 4th to Ryans Gangster a week ago. The Leon Jurd-prepared 8yo won’t be far away when the sixth heat of the Carousel comes to an end. The Chantal Turpin trained and driven AADIES FLASH (8) will create plenty of interest as he steps out for his first Menangle challenge. Runner-up in three of his past five starts since scoring at Albion Park, the 3yo son of Always B Miki failed by the nose margin when a determined 2nd behind Amani at AP two weeks ago. The gelding has drawn the back row for his past four engagements, and although confronted by a tricky draw, gate seven, the northern visitor should welcome the chance to determine his own fate at the start. The Scott Ewen trained and driven HES OLLY (3) has been mixing his form, but mainly in stronger company than this. The 4yo posted a gritty 2nd behind Aureus at Warragul on Monday and is worth more than a passing thought after drawing well for his first Menangle challenge. Dean Braun has sent OUR UNCLE JIM (9) north to contest the race with Luke McCarthy taking the reins behind the son of Western Terror. Following a return to form in scoring at Cranbourne recently, the 7yo then worked home stoutly in posting a handy 8.8m 4th to Terry at Melton. Although drawn wide, Our Uncle Jim, who has a win and a second to show for two previous Menangle assignments when formerly with Chris Frisby as a youngster, remains in the mix when forming multiple transactions. RIO DE JANEIRO BLUE (10) has won five of his past six, the past two since resuming from a spell. The Jack Trainor-prepared 3yo son of Betting Line will be facing a harder task and from a deep draw, but claims as an exotic player should be considered. ALTA BILLY (11) has the outside gate to overcome, however, his form is good enough to again consider in the multiples.
JANARTY 1, Twilight Bonnie 2, Red Reactor 3, Aardies Flash 4.
Courtesy of drawing suitably in three, the Jack Trainor trained and driven THERESA LOVE (3) has the chance to record back-to-back wins at Headquarters. Following a tough win over Kabibi and Mini Mine Yet, the daughter of Terror To Love then worked home stoutly in finishing a 7.4m 4th to My Sweet Sabrina after being four pegs for the majority of the contest. Despite racing without cover when next produced, Theresa Love proved too strong for Millies Creation and Twilight Bonnie. Ash Hart guided the mare to victory on that occasion, bit Jack will take over the driving duties for this engagement. The main threat to Theresa Love will come from her equally talented stablemate STELLAR ARDEN (8) who will be driven by Jack Brown. After posting four wins and a couple of placings from her six starts, the Bettors Delight mare then finished a respectable 8.2m 4th to Little Bliss in the Norms Daughter Stakes a week ago. Returning to an easier, but still competitive field, Stellar Arden, despite the wide draw, will again be a serious contender. ANNA LOVE (10) returns to racing after a couple of months off, with the Brad Hewitt trained and driven 4yo looming as a threat, as per usual. Following an extended period of solid displays, the Terror To Love 4yo was off her game when a 27.4m last to Punt Away at Headquarters on July 15. Breaking and always in a rearward role, Anna Love was never a factor, which was out of character. A recent comfortable Goulburn trial win has Anna Love ticking over nicely for her return. JUST AS WELL (5) is coming off a solid 4.3m 2nd behind My Sweet Sabrina, and although the Well Said mare has been mixing her form of late, her suitable draw will allow the mare to occupy a forward role, and that will result in a bold showing once again. WHATS YOUR SECRET (4) will appreciate the return to a better draw, which will assist her exotic claims, while CONSTANTINA (6), which has been thereabouts on a regular basis, is also a worthy inclusion in exotic transactions.
THERESA LOVE 1, Stellar Arden 2, Anna Love 3, Just As Well 4.
– FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS