• hrv vicbred 23
  • Racing Tips
    While the big cats are away, Orlando’s ready to play While the big cats are away, Orlando’s ready to play

    EYEING ONE MORE WIN: Alta Orlando.

    RACE ONE: The Jason Grimson-trained MAJOR MAJOR (8) appeals as the one to beat after the former Victorian produced a strong display in scoring... While the big cats are away, Orlando’s ready to play


    The Jason Grimson-trained MAJOR MAJOR (8) appeals as the one to beat after the former Victorian produced a strong display in scoring at Headquarters a week ago. Stepping out for his second assignment since joining the team at Menangle, the first resulting in a pleasing 2.8m 2nd behind Im In Trouble, the 4yo had his winning run timed to perfection by Jack Trainor, with the pair turning the tables on Im In Trouble, with Our Uncle Jim filling the minor placing. With Jack Trainor driving Nerano in the Inter Dominion for Grimson, another Jack in Brown will take the reins. Returning a week ago from a medical procedure, Brown was in fine form at Penrith, guiding home four winners so he will be keen to continue on his winning way. From the wide gate the son of Art Major is again likely to be driven for one last shot at the prize. The ‘x-factor’ is the former Kiwi NICHOLAS CAGE (10), which will be looking to play a starring role, despite being first-up from a spell and drawing deep. Now under the care of Belinda McCarthy, the 4yo son of Art Major has been unplaced in his pasts even starts, spread over two preparations, but his trial effort was pleasing and he has won six of his 18 starts. Monitor markets when it comes to Nicholas Cage. MY ULTIMATE CARTER (6) has been in the mix in each of his past three starts, the latest when a 10.9m 4th to Major Major. The 3yo colt will appreciate the move in four spots at the start, compared to drawing wide in each of his past two Menangle encounters. MAGIC MATTEO (4) has been consistent of late and the 6yo is drawn to again be a threat while DON LOU (9) posted a handy trial effort in readiness for his first assignment since a 14.6m 6th to Foxy Dada at Headquarters back in late October. The Mark Rolfe-trained 4yo won first-up last preparation so don’t ignore his claims. Exotic investors should also consider RAGING SEA (3), despite the tougher task, compared to his win over Some Chevron and Vinkie B. The 11yo CHANGE OF MIND (1) is racing in superb form on the country circuit, but this will be a lot harder, however, from gate one the Nathan Turnbull trained and driven son of Changeover will receive a kind run and he could add plenty of value to the exotic returns.

    MAJOR MAJOR 1, Nicholas Cage 2, My Ultimate Carter 3, Don Lou 4.


    Finishing third in four of his past six starts while finishing no further back then fifth in total, ALTA ORLANDO (9) is starting to become a costly conveyance, but the 11yo veteran is deserving of another chance. The son of Courage Under Fire has been placed in his past three Menangle assignments behind Hi Manameisjeff, Bondi Lockdown and, a week ago, behind Whereyabinboppin. Beaten for early speed from gate three, the veteran settled back in the pack before working home strongly over the final stages when beaten 3.5m. A wider gate awaits Alta Orlando who will be hoping to break through for his first win since defeating Expensive Ego back on  May 20. STAR MAJOR (3) was comfortably beaten in a bracket of three outings, the first taken out by Hi Manameisjeff while the next involved Swayzee greeting the judge. The James Rattray trained and driven 7yo has since posted a handy 9.5m 4th behind Inter Dominion hopeful in Our Money Rocks, prior to a gritty run here a week ago when beaten 3.5m into 5th spot behind Taipo. Suitably drawn and contesting an easier assignment, Star Major should be in the mix from the outset, then well into this contest. JAY OK (4) has just the one placing to show for his seven runs this term, which is rare for a horse of his talent. That effort was a photo 2nd to Stingray Tara, with his two runs since resulting in a solid 5m 6th behind Bondi Lockdown and an 8.5m 5th to Whereyabinboppin last week. Each time the Paul Fitzpatrick-trained 6yo has been working home stoutly, but he is finding it hard to finish the assignment off on a high note. Handily draw, like the two previous tips, the son of A Rocknroll Dance is deserving of another chance. ROLL UP (5) enjoyed a kind run behind the leader and ultimate winner in Whereyabinboppin last week, en route to posting a solid 3.4m second. The 5yo is again capable of playing a role in the finish. JOE NIEN (8) worked home stoutly when a 3m 2nd to the veteran Double Encounter last week, when a $100.00 shot. The 8yo has been thereabouts on a regular basis of late and although his wins are spaced, the son of Shadow Play remains a suitable runner when it comes to the multiples. When it comes to the exotics, also consider the claims of BUBBA SCRUB (7) and BALRAJ (10), the latter hitting peak fitness following three runs from a long spell. The former ‘boom’ performer finished 9th a week ago behind Taipo, however, the 7yo was beaten only nine metres in what was a useful display.

    ALTA ORLANDO 1, Star Major 2, Jay OK 3, Roll Up 4.


    Classy mare BRAEVIEW KELLY (7) is deserving of further attention following an unlucky appearance in the Brian Hancock FFA last week. The Jack Trainor-prepared daughter of Bettors Delight drew the pole position in securing a comfortable, three-peg run, but that is where she remained for the majority of the 1609m contest. When the 5yo was able to find some clear running, it was all too late as she worked home strongly into 4th spot, beaten 3.3m by Taipo. There is little doubt that with a suitable run earlier in the run home, Braeview Kelly would have been hard to hold out. A wider gate awaits Braeview Kelly for what will be another challenging assignment, but she is all class and more than capable of saluting. Jack Brown will be in charge of guiding her to the 18th win of her career. Despite being first-up since a spell, the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned SOUTH COAST ARDEN (9) will be a major player for the top spot. The 6yo son of Somebeachsomewhere has been on the sidelines since a solid 5.4m 6th to Rock N Roll Doo in the G1 Len Smith Mile back on September 2. Two trials, the latter resulting in a win in a time of 1:51.9, has South Coast Arden primed for a bold first-up showing and, it should be noted, that the gelding has been successful when resuming in each of his past two preparations. Stepping out for his first run since a gallant 4th to Encipher in the $2m Eureka on September 2, MAGICIAN (10) was responsible for a gallant effort in defeat. Working from the outside gate, which will again come into play, the 4yo son of Sweet Lou contested the 1609m challenge from the ‘death seat’, before recording a 1.9m 2nd to Taipo. The former Tasmanian was having his first run for James Rattray after being previously under the care of his brother Todd, and with that run under his belt, this assignment is well within his reach. THE CROUPIER (4) is racing in fine fashion, with his latest effort resulting in a game head 2nd to Mach Da Vinci, which is ‘flying’ of late. Handily drawn, The Croupier is again likely to be prominently placed so include the 8yo when it comes to the exotics. WHEREYABINBOPPIN (2) is coming off a typical solid all-the-way win a week ago, and, from his ideal draw the James Rattray-conditioned 7yo will again be prominently placed from the outset. However, this challenge is over the longer trip of 2300m and while races of this nature are usually run in a sedate manner for the first 8i00m or so, there is bound to be action from the outset as the major players have drawn deep and will be keen to be in the mix from the outset, as well. WOW HES A ROCK STAR (3) is a value player for the exotics as his three runs this term have all been sound. Former Kiwi SMIFFYS TERROR (5) steps out for his assignment since joining Belinda McCarthy. Arriving with 10 wins and 16 placings from 57 starts, the 5yo son of Terror To Love has been contesting the elite races back home, with the outstanding Beach Ball winning two of his recent five starts while being unplaced behind Akuta, then Swayzee in the 3200m New Zealand Trotting Cup. The gelding is coming off a last to Self Assured on November 17 in the feature sprint event on the second day of the carnival. This will be an interesting test for Smiffys Terror with any positive market move to be respected. It will be interesting to see how Smiffys Terror handles the heat wave conditions, something that will be foreign to him.

    BRAEVIEW KELLY 1, South Coast Arden 2, Magician 3, The Croupier 4.


    In-form Goulburn mentor Brad Hewitt appears to hold the key to this event as TAKE A HIKE (3) and KEEPERS IDEAL (4) have both drawn ideally. Former Kiwi TAKE A HIKE (3) has just one win to show for his 30 starts to date, and that was his final appearance back home when he scored at Addington on August 5. His next outing was at Menangle two months later, which resulted in a 23.5m 6th to Takingcareofbusiness when he was never a factor after drawing wide and racing in a rearward role. Runner-up to Yareadyfreddy at Bathurst, prior to a 1.4m 2nd to Tulhurst Dancer, again at Bathurst, the 5yo son of Panspacificflight strips in peak condition and with a good draw assisting him, Take A Hike has the chance to ‘trek’ towards a winning display. Brad’s decision on who he will drive will be the best guide. KEEPERS IDEAL (4) scored at Bathurst five runs ago, and has been placed in four runs since, twice at Wagga while a head 2nd to Nowherenear Crazy at Young is sandwiched between those appearances. Also favourably drawn, the 4yo will also have the opportunity to secure a role close to the action. DENSTOWN (6) has been in fine form since linking up with Tom Ison. The 9yo has won his past four, the opening three at Tamworth while the latter was at Newcastle when he overcame a back row draw in defeating Stealth Bomba and The Terrorifier in his heat of this Final. Suitably placed on the front line, Denstown is bound to again make his presence felt. SMOKIN POCKET (7) is coming off a sound Wagga win and has claims when it comes to exotic investments while SPECIAL DREAM (9) and NOWHERENEAR CRAZY (8) also fit into that category.

    TAKE A HIKE 1, Keepers Ideal 2, Denstown 3, Smokin Pocket 4.


    In what appears to be an intriguing event, the Sofia Arvidsson trained and driven mare POLLY PUT THE KETTELON (9) is worth the gamble. The talented daughter of Courage Under Fire thoroughly enjoys racing at this venue and Sofia has the key to driving the former Victorian. Since steaming home to score here five starts ago, Polly Put Kettleon has been placed just once, that was a solid 2.5m 2nd to the classy Victorian Rakero Rebel. However, the mare hasn’t been far away in races won by Stellar Arden and more recently, Mach Da Vinci and Taipo, with the latter a week ago when she came from a five peg role in posting a solid 5.9m 6th to Taipo. The wide draw won’t be a serious factor as Sofia will allow Polly Put The Kettleon to settle into a comfortable, rearward role, prior to bringing the mare to the ‘boil’ as the field enter the hone straight. From that point onwards, hopefully, it will be ‘full steam ahead’ and victory for Polly and Sofia. IM IN TROUBLE (1) has been a model of consistency since mending his manners and from the pole the 4yo is bound to give another good account. Runner-up behind Unfazed and Brooklyn Bridge, respectively, prior to accounting for Major Major and Foxy Dada, the Seaton Grima-trained 4yo then led when beaten in the last stride by Major Major last week. With a 14 day suspension now over, Seaton will take over the driving duties from  Will Rixon. Former Kiwi CYA ART (3) had his first run for Jason Grimson when a 2nd to Dont Stop Dreaming at Addington on Cup day when he just failed to bring off a big plunge. The 5yo son  of Art Major then had his first run for the stable on this side of the Tasman when an odds-on favourite for the running of the Cherry City Cup at Young on December 1. Dictating the terms of the 2887m challenge, with Jack Trainor in the sulky, Cya Art was beaten a head by the tough and classy Max Delight. Suitably drawn and to be driven by Ash Hart, Cya Art is bound to be in the thick of the action from the outset in proving a worthy opponent. UNFAZED (5) is rarely far away and that was the case a week ago when the honest 6yo son of Auckland Reactor recorded a 3.9m 5th to Western Style. With a slightly better starting position, Unfazed will have the chance to settle closer to the action if Sean Grayling so desires. Another consistent type is ARDENS ACE (4) which is coming off a 7.3m 4th to Double Encounter a week ago. Prior to that effort the 5yo had finished runner-up behind Zambia and Western Style, respectively, beaten a half-head each time. From his handy draw Ardens Ace will again be close to the action from the outset, which makes him an ideal exotic runner. RICKOSHAY (2), STINGRAY TARA (10) and BRAEDOS LAD (11) also warrant attention, such is the depth attached to this race.

    POLLY PUT KETTLEON 1, Im In Trouble 2, Cya Art 3, Unfazed 4.


    Trainer Jarrod Alchin will be hoping that the Christmas Gift final is the first leg of a two-state feature double as the Menangle mentor will be represented by MISSED THE TRUTH (8) on his home track while his stable star MY ULTIMATE ROINNIE will face the starter in the lucrative G1 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park later in the night. Missed The Truth has faced the starter on three occasions for Jarrod since leaving Victoria, with a first-up 3rd to The Croupier, followed by a stylish defeat of One For The Rodi before taking out his heat with a solid display in coming from ‘nowhere’ in defeating Sir Richard Lee and Sailor Girl. Missed The Truth has again drawn wide, however, the versatile son of Somebeachsomewhere is capable of handling any situation and his winning run looks set to continue. Seaton Grima has two top chances going around, firstly, TALENT AGENT (5), which has won his past three by convincing margins, and SAGINAW (1), which produced a big effort in winning his heat. Seaton has elected to take the reins behind TALENT AGENT (5) and that is a good guide which must be respected. The 5yo has won his past three by convincing margins, the latest when he led in defeating Sir Simon and Rocket Boy when he had a margin of 18.2m to spare when the judge called a halt. Cam hart was in the sulky on that occasion when the son of The Gold Ace crossed from out in nine. This time around Talent Agent will start from four, providing the reserves don’t come into play, and that should result in the lead role again being on offer. SAGINAW came from a five peg role when he charged home to snatch victory from Diamond Eclipse, with Ryans Gangster back in third spot. Jackson Painting replaces Cam Hart and from the pole the combination will be hoping to secure a role closer to the action. Thereabouts on a regular basis of late, the 7yo son of Well Said will again be looking to have a say in the finish. Victorian DIAMOND ECLIPSE (10) has drawn deep, but will come in at least one spot with a reserve out, and while that is a hurdle, the John Newberry-trained son of Pet Rock is still a threat. With solid form back home, Diamond Eclipse posted another fine effort in finishing a metre 2nd to Saginaw, which came from well back in grabbing the win, courtesy of a superb drive by Cam Hart. Matt Newberry will be looking to secure a kind run, maybe midfield, before making his move with Diamond Eclipse. When forming combinations for the multiples SIR RICHARD LEE (4) is entitled to attention while RYANS GANGSTER (6), ROCKET BOY (7) and SAILOR GIRL (9) are all racing well enough to be included.

    MISSED THE TRUTH 1, Talent Agent 2, Saginaw 3, Diamond Eclipse 4.


    Boasting six wins and two placings from nine starts, MAXIMUS MERIDIUS (4) is clearly the one to beat in the Arizona Blue Final. Prepared by Dean and Kerry McDowell, the 2yo trotter resumed from a spell with an all-the-way win in an heat of the Breeders Crown at Maryborough before contesting the final at Melton on November 25. Drawing the inside of the back row, but managing to gain the one-one after working three wide, courtesy of Lleyton Green, Maximus Meridius found some bother in posting a 27m 3rd behind Val Thorens and Thunda Struck. Returning to Menangle for a heat of this series and the son of Sebastian K had little trouble taking that next step as he was untroubled dictating the terms in comfortably accounting for Yukond Me and Malibuu. Maximus Meridius will again be targeting an all-the-way victory and it is hard to see his rivals turning the tables on the classy youngster. MALIBUU (3) worked home stoutly from a midfield peg role in recording a creditable 8.9m 3rd to Maximus Meridius last time out and from his useful starting role the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven filly, who is also by Sebastian K, is capable of again being involved in the finish. YUKOND ME (7) has loads of potential but at this stage of her young career, the daughter of majestic Son is still learning what this game is all about. When she does, then Yukond Me will have a bright future. The former Kiwi displayed her inexperience when first-up for Elizabeth Heath in finishing a well-beaten 6th to Racing Eyes at Menangle, prior to again doing something wrong at Goulburn two weeks later, however, a superb drive by Robert Morris enabled the filly to greet the judge, turning the tables on Racing Eyes while Kennywould was back in third spot. Yukond Me again displayed poor manners in her heat of this event, missing the start before to be outside of the leader, which happened to be Maximus Meridius and, after matching strides with him on straightening, Yukond Me finally faded to post a gritty 5.8m second. If, Yukond Me remains switched on from the green light is switched on, then we could have a contest. PHOENIX RED (6) is another with the ability, but not the manners to go with his talent. The Steven Loftus trained and driven Up and Quick colt scored on debut but has been hard to follow in four subsequent engagements. Breaking in the score up and losing all chance the Victorian finished a distant last behind Maximus Meridius at this venue a couple of weeks ago, with his mentor heading back home in the hope of fixing his manners. Like Yukond Me, the 2yo colt is capable of making his presence felt if he does everything right. KENNYWOULD (2), which will also represent the Blake Fitzpatrick stable, has had the three runs, the best of them a 3.2m 3rd to Yukond Me at Goulburn. The kind draw should assist Gav Fitzpatrick in giving the My High Expectations gelding a comfortable run behind the speed and that will enhance his exotic prospects.

    MAXIMUS MERIDIUS 1, Malibuu 2, Yukond Me 3, Phoenix Red 4.


    Although he can be a ‘hit or miss’ type, ONE MAJIC KENNY (10) does have the ability to overcome a 10m handicap and secure the top spot. Prepared by Blake Fitzpatrick and to be driven by his brother, Gav, who guided the 6yo to his latest win on November 23, One Majic Kenny has been responsible for two solid efforts since that win, with a 6m 5th to Doff Your Cap, followed by a solid-finishing 5.2m 3rd behind King Of Love and Valley Star two weeks ago. Both of those engagements were behind the mobile. With five wins and seven placings to show for his 31 encounters from behind the tapes, One Majic Kenny does appear well-placed in this field so respect his claims. Hopefully, he will arrive in a good frame of mind. JAKARTA (7) debuted for Adam Ruggari on Tuesday and overcame a 20m hcp in defeating Kylies Life and Mocca Francy, with jack Callaghan producing a superb drive. The former Victorian will launch his claim from the front row and with solid stats under these conditions, the 6yo son of Andover Hall will again prove hard to beat. HAVE NO FEAR (6) has two wins from five starts in  stand events, his latest win coming two starts ago when he broke at the start before regaining his composure in working to find the lead. From that point onwards the 5yo son of Father Patrick proved too good for King Of Love and Simone Lindenny. Back to a mobile for his latest challenge and Have No Fear led when a useful 8m 4th to King Of Love. The front tape is a plus for Have No Fear so don’t ignore his claims. VALLEY STAR (5) was never a factor when a 26.3m 6th to Chief Runningcloud at Headquarters on Tuesday when the 8yo had a 30m hcp to overcome over the shorter trip of 1609m. Back to the front line and over a far more suitable journey (2300m), Valley Star isn’t the roughest chance going around. ON ADVICE (8) resumes from a spell and has two solid trials behind him, however, the Blake Fitzpatrick-conditioned 5yo will be having his first stand experience under race conditions. In his first trial On Advice stepped away smoothly for Zara Fitzpatrick and travelled strongly, only to go off stride on the final bend in finishing a well-beaten 3rd in the field of three. The son of Sebastian K is at least a contender when it comes to forming exotic investments. Others to consider in that regard are SUNNY GEE (9), VIKSUN (3) and MONARCH STRIDE (1).

    ONE MAJIC KENNY 1, Jakarta 2, Have No Fear 3, Valley Star 4.


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