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    Will Hammerhead be the last one into the Eureka? Will Hammerhead be the last one into the Eureka?

    SHOOTING FOR A EUREKA START: The exciting Captain Hammerhead. PHOTO; Stuart McCormick.

    RACE ONE: The move from the outside gate, into the pole position, has greatly enhanced the winning prospects of GORDONS BAY (1). Following a... Will Hammerhead be the last one into the Eureka?

    RACE ONE:

    The move from the outside gate, into the pole position, has greatly enhanced the winning prospects of GORDONS BAY (1). Following a quartet of wins, which include two feature displays, the James Rattray trained and driven 5yo had his winning sequence come to an end when he led in finishing a gritty 1.9m 5th to Firestorm Red. That was his first run in three weeks. After another month away from racing, the son of Captaintreacherous stepped out for his latest assignment from the tough draw, with James electing to restrain the gelding at the start, resulting in a five=peg role coming his way. With nowhere to go in the straight, Gordons Bay went to the line, full of running, in recording an unlucky 4.7m 5th to Braedos Lad. With the gate speed to take full advantage of this draw, Gordons Bay will have the chance to dictate the terms from start to finish. OUR MONEY ROCKS (2) enjoyed a successful term of racing last time in, with the David Thorn-prepared son of A Rocknroll Dance drawing ideally in two. After winning his opening five starts, Our Money Rocks ended his previous term with a 2.7m 4th to Betterzippit and a 6.6m 6th to Stingray Tara, far from being disgraced on each occasion. The 6yo has been runner-up in both trials, the latter when a close 2nd to the classy Zeuss Bromac. It would appear David has Our Money Rocks ready to ‘hit the ground running’. TEAGAN BANNER (3) has drawn wide in each of his past four runs, the first resulting in a win, the remaining three all sound efforts, despite being unplaced. Expect a competitive showing from the 8yo son of Art Major. Apart from Teagan Banner, Jarrod Alchin will also be represented by the consistent MY ULTIMATE CHEVRON (8) and despite the presence of a wide gate, the 4yo Sweet Lou gelding remains in the multiple mix. WAVETHEBILL (7) was shooting for four-straight wins last week, but faded to finish a 6.6m 8th to Braedos Lad after dictating the terms. The 5yo remains in the multiple mix, along with FIRESTORM RED (6), the third member of the Jarrod Alchin team facing the starter. The 7yo has been racing with a higher degree of confidence of late so don’t ignore his claims.

    GORDONS BAY 1, Our Money Rocks 2, Teagan Banner 3, My Ultimate Chevron 4.

    RACE TWO:

    The time has arrived for outstanding 4yo RIPP (5) to make a bold statement if the son of Somebeachsomewhere is to make his presence felt in the $2m Eureka. Now peaking in condition following two runs back from a spell, with both efforts pleasing Bernie and Doug Hewitt, Ripp is ready to greet the judge. Resuming with a closer 6m 5th to Stingray Tara in the Alf Phillis FFA, Ripp then hit the line with intent in posting a 7.8m 2nd to faze Of Glory, which was perfectly rated in the lead. On the other hand Ripp came from a three peg role and was held up for a clear run until reaching the 100m marker. Doug will be looking to stamp his authority on this field from the outset. While Ripp looks to be a ‘good thing’, the Georges plain visitor will need to be at his best, as the Noel Hatcher-conditioned JIMARTEE (4) is on the verge of a winning display after three pleasing runs since a spell. Starting out with an 8m 6th to Port Au Prince, then a 8m 4th behind Faze Of Glory, the 6yo son of Sportswriter is coming off a solid-finishing neck 2nd to Braedos Lad a week ago. Jimartee also has his best draw this time in, which is also a plus. MAJOR JELLIS (3) has been thereabouts of late, without appearing to be a major contender. However, the 6yo is coming off a handy 8.4m 5th to Star Major a week ago. On that occasion the 6yo drew gate 10, so the far better draw will certainly enhance his claims of being involved in the finish. Veteran DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (7) also has claims in multiple transactions while SURFERS DELIGHT (1), ROYAL GAMBLE (6), LETS GET ROCKIN (8) and WESTERN STYLE (9) are also worthy of attention in that regard.

    RIPP 1, Jimartee 2, Major Jellis 3, Double Encounter 4.

    RACE THREE:

    The final make-up for the $2m Eureka, to be staged at Menangle on September 2, will be known after the running of The Singo. Victorian trainer-driver David Moran has another exciting colt on his books and while he is well short of being another Lochinvar Art at this stage of his fledgling career, CAPTAIN HAMMERHEAD (1) continues to impress. Basting five wins and three placings from just 10 trips to the races, the exciting son of Captaintreacherous will face the starter from gate one. However, from the 2400m starting point, drawing the pole may not be the plus it would be from the 1609m or the 2300m. That is due to the tight turn where the 2400m starting point is designed. Despite that slight concern Captain Hammerhead is still entitled to top billing. Resuming from a spell with a determined head 2nd to the classy Petracca at Bendigo on Aug 2 in a heat of the Nutrien Equine for 3YO C&G’s, the colt was able to go one better in the Final, accounting for Dangerous and Sure Thing Captain. On that occasion Moran dictated the terms from start to finish after drawing the pole. NATURALLY GIFTED (4) was surprisingly beaten as a $1.06 favourite by Horn Player a week ago at Menangle, but trainer Jack Trainor was still delighted with the run, suggest the son of Sweet Lou would be spot-on for The Singo. Disappointing when beaten 23m in finishing 6th to The Lost Storm in the Queensland Derby on July 22, Naturally Gifted hit the strongly in running Horn Player to a half-neck margin last week. Better for the outing and drawing handily in four, Naturally Gifted will be partnered by Cam Hart. TIMS A TROOPER (10) has drawn awkwardly out deep but the Grant Dixon-trained son of Tintin In America has a sound record at Headquarters, courtesy of two wins and four placings from his eight starts. Tims A Trooper is coming off a solid win at AP last week and with Robert Morris be re-united with the 4yo, the pair are capable of playing an active role in the finish. HEZA SON OF AGUN (12) will be required to overcome the outside gate, but he is more than capable of being a factor, despite that hurdle. Trained and driven by Matthew Craven, whose stable is enjoying plenty of success of late, the Art Major 4yo was a disappointing favourite when beaten 13m in running 7th to Vanquish Stride in the Blacks A Fake at Melton back in late June, prior to returning with a handy 10m 8th to Better Eclipse at Melton two weeks ago. Fitter and likely to allow things to unfold, hopefully, at a solid tempo which will assist Heza Son Of Agun in his quest for a spot in the Eureka.

    CAPTAIN HAMMERHEAD 1, Naturally Gifted 2, Tims A Trooper 3, Heza Son Of Agun 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    In what appears to be an open and competitive race, the Blake Fitzpatrick trained and driven HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (5) is worthy of another chance, especially after drawing a lot closer to the markers. After leading from this draw when a game neck 2nd to stablemate Jalaneel, the 8yo then draw out in 10, but Blake still managed to cross the face of the field in dictating the terms. The end result this time was a solid 2m 3rd behind Triple Four and Theresa Love. Although without a win since early February, the son of Bettors Delight continues to be a consistent performer and a win would be well-deserved. Placed in three of his past four, BERTIE JONES (2) will enjoy a far better starting position as well. Two runs back and the son of Prodigal Seelster recorded a tough 6.9m 2nd to Alta Billy, then  week ago the 6yo was again working home stoutly in finishing a 7m 3rd to Crime Dont Pay. The prospect of the Kerry and Dean McDowell-trained gelding receiving a kinder run, courtesy of Lleyton Green, would certainly see him giving this a shake. RED REACTOR (7) scored here five starts as $126.00 chance and while placed in just one of his past four, the Leon Jurd-trained 8yo hasn’t been far away. The son of Auckland Reactor has been beaten 6.2m or less in his past three, culminating in a 5.5m 4th to Triple Four. This is the type of contest that will suit Red Reactor so don’t dismiss his claims. CONSTANTINA (8) is coming off a creditable 9m 2nd to My Sweet Sabrina a week ago, and although the mare has drawn deeper, the daughter of Pet Rock has been racing well enough to keep her in the mix. The ‘watch’ runner is ZAMBIA (6), which is prepared by Dean Atkinson and to be driven by Cam Hart. The 6yo son of Bettors Delight has been off the scene since finishing a 10.6m 3rd to Another Statement at Penrith last October. Two, more than pleasing Menangle trials, would suggest Zambia is primed for a bold first-up showing so keep him safe. IM IN TROUBLE (9) was exactly that at the start last week when he ‘blew’ the start in finishing a 106m last to Crime Dont Pay. The Jack Trainor-prepared son of Art Major has drawn the outside gate, compared to one last time, but his previous form is certainly good enough to see him figure in the finish, providing his manners are better. LOCHIEL (1) has exotic claims from the pole while WHATS YOUR SECRET (4) also has claims in that department.

    HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE 1, Bertie Jones 2, Red Reactor 3, Constantina 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    Suitably drawn in four and peaking in condition, former Kiwi STELLAR ARDEN (4) is deserving of further attention, following a pleasing effort a week ago. Prepared by Jack Trainor and to be driven by Cam Hart, due to Jack being required to drive at Albion Park, the mare opened her career on this side of the Tasman with two solid wins, the first over subsequent winner, Sir Simon. Contesting her toughest test since arriving on these shores, the daughter of Bettors Delight enjoyed a handy run, three back in the running line, prior to working home stoutly in recording a 2.7m 2nd behind Crime Dont Pay. This will be a slightly harder task, but Trainor has a good opinion of Stellar Arden and if she can land a spot or two closer to the action, then that will certainly enhance her winning prospects. PUNT AWAY (10) has the ability to be successful, however, the mare has been mixing her form of late. The daughter of Sportswriter accounted for Im Presi Belle three starts ago, with that particular mare winning their past two encounters, the latter a week ago in fine stylish when she greeted the judge in the Ranji Bill. Punt Away finished last on the first occasion, due to missing the start badly when last, prior to a creditable effort in the Ranji Bill when a 10.8m 6th when she made steady ground from a rearward role. On the subject of the Ranji Bill and HEAVENLY HOLLY (7) came with a ‘rush’ over the final stages when she grabbed second spot, beaten 1.3m in the process. The mare is capable of again playing an active role in the finish so keep her safe. COMMON COURTESY (3) was never a factor when beaten 16m by Im Presi Belle last week, however, the mare had been performing soundly prior to the Ranji Bill so don’t ignore her claims as she was racing well enough prior to that effort to be a factor in this field. OH DADDY (5) is racing in good spirit, and although this will be a harder task don’t leave the daughter of Mach Three out of the exotics.

    STELLAR ARDEN 1, Punt Away 2, Heavenly Holly 3, Common Courtesy 4.

    RACE SIX:

    The open class event is overflowing with outstanding talent, and although SOUTH COAST ARDEN (11) has again drawn the outside gate, the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned 6yo must be placed at the top of the list. In facing the starter in six Menangle assignments, the former Kiwi has drawn seven or wider,  but it hasn’t prevented him from chalking up four wins, a gallant second and a 3m 4th behind Spirit Of St Louis. After wins in the Vic Frost FFA and the Paul Fitzpatrick FFA, the son of Somebeachsomewhere was denied victory in the Alf Phillis FFA, courtesy of a superb drive by Jack Brown and a barnstorming finish by Stingray Tara. South Coast Arden has been driven with aggression and a high degree of confidence by Gavin and that scenario is again likely to play out. But South Cast Arden will need to be at his best as there will be no shortage of serious threats. Leading the way will be his classy stablemate ZEUSS BROMAC (8) with Blake engaged by his father to handle the driving duties. The 6yo son of Bettors Delight had been off the scene since a 10.8m 8th to Spirit Of St Louis in the G2 Schweppes Sprint on Feb 25. Following a solid trial win, Zeuss Bromac resumed with a 9.5m 8th to Port Au prince at Headquarters on July 29. With the benefit of that run, Zeuss Bromac will be ready to produce a big effort. From his past eight engagements, PORT AU PRINCE (10) has recorded three wins and five placings, so it is fair to say the 5yo will again be thereabouts when the judge calls a halt to proceedings. KANENA PROVLIMA (5) has also been a model of consistency, with the Robert Morris trained and driven 7yo placed in three of his past four while a creditable 12.3m 5th to South Coast Arden is included in his recent stats. A useful draw will assist Kanena Provlima making a play for an exotic role. CASH N FLOW (9), despite his veteran status, can always be relied upon for an honest effort so don’t ignore the son of Mach Three in multiple transactions while STINGRAY TARA (7), which won the Alf Phillis FFA in fine fashion, also warrants plenty of attention.

    SOUTH COAST ARDEN 1, Zeuss Bromac 2, Port Au Prince 3, Kanena Provlima 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    This is a tough race to assess, mainly due to the lack of solid form. KING CITY (1) has the form on the board and is entitled to a high rating. The Rickie Alchin trained and driven 4yo was untroubled in scoring under stand-start conditions on Tuesday, and although this a harder assignment, the talented son of Pegasus Spur will take a power of running down once again. With the benefit of two runs back from a spell, and for the Belinda McCarthy team, DONTOUCH THE DUCO (7) should be ready to make his presence felt. Resuming with a 20.6m 5th to Funky Monkey, the son of Muscle Hill contested a stand when a 5th once again, this time beaten 7.3m by Valley Star. This should be a suitable challenge for the 7yo, despite drawing wide, so expect a vastly improved effort. ROYAL GLENFERRIE (8) rarely runs a bad race and the Paul Fitzpatrick-conditioned 7yo will again be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. Following a win four runs back, the son of Bettors Delight has been placed in his subsequent three starts, the latest a photo 2nd to Valley Star. Despite drawing wider, Royal Glenferrie will again be a threat. ONE MAJIC KENNY (6) has the ability but he can be hard to follow. Blake Fitzpatrick has given the 6yo two trials in readiness for his first run since April 1, the first a pleasing effort while the latter was moderate. Despite that display, One Majic Kenny can’t be overlooked. HAVE NO FEAR (2) has been unplaced in all three runs at this venue, but the 5yo does have a more than useful record of seven wins from 19 starts. Off the scene since a 22.7m 7th to Araignee Flair last September, is now under the care of Mary and Joe Rando. The 5yo son of Father Patrick has been in more trials than Perry Mason in readiness for his return, so don’t write him off from the good draw. Bailey McDonough is also a significant booking.

    KING CITY 1, Dontouch The Duco 2, Royal Glenferrie 3, One Majic Kenny 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    Hopefully, for all concerned, the real DEFIANT (7) will face the starter this week after a disappointing display a week ago. Following some issues after his 36.5m 11th to Bettor Isolate at Menangle last October, the classy son of Roll With Joe was forced into a lengthy spell, prior to trainer Ash Hart bringing him back for an assignment here on July 29. A gallant head second was the end result, with Whats Your Secret sneaking home, via the pegs, to edge out the favourite. With that run under his belt and an ideal draw, Defiant was expected to go one better last week, but disappointed when a tiring 10m 8th to Star Major. There is no doubt that Defiant will strip fitter and at his best the gelding would handle this assignment. Prepare to forgive Defiant for his latest run and bank on his higher level of fitness making all the difference. KADAR (2) is coming off a pleasing debut run for James Rattray, which resulted in a neck 3rd to Whats Your Secret and Defiant a couple of weeks ago. Prior to joining James, the son of Roll With Joe had been mixing his form, however, if he can repeat his latest run, especially from the good draw, then Kadar will again play a role in the finish. The Chris Judd-prepared veteran CARLO GAMBINO (3) will appreciate the return to a good draw after starting his latest assignment a week ago from gate 10. Never a serious factor from a rearward role, the 9yo son f Mach Three posted a 19.7m 7th behind Sir Simon. Placings behind Wavethebill and Jalaneel, respectively, were sound displays so keep in mind when it comes to exotic transactions. ROSBERG (9) has been consistent of late, but draws deep, so exotic prospects appear best, which leaves LOORRIM CREEK (8), TOMMY WATERHOUSE (5) and HANDS ON (10), which has been to the trials on four occasions, resulting in three handy efforts, also warrants attention, despite the wide gate.

    DEFIANT 1, Kadar 2, Carlo Gambino 3, Rosberg 4.

      – FORM ASSESSED BY MIKE KO’CASS

     

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