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    Your race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night Your race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night

    LOOKS A WINNER: Bad To The Bone

    RACE ONE: Racing in the ‘peak of her powers’, MISS RUBY SUNSHINE (4) will be hoping to ‘high five’ punters when the Queensland mare... Your race-by-race guide to Menangle Saturday night

    RACE ONE:

    Racing in the ‘peak of her powers’, MISS RUBY SUNSHINE (4) will be hoping to ‘high five’ punters when the Queensland mare continues on her winning way. Prepared by Chantal Turpin and to be driven by the in-form David Morris, the daughter of Sunshine Beach has won her past four in fine fashion, including a solid all-the-way win over the 1609m of the Menangle track five weeks ago. On that occasion Miss Ruby Sunshine accounted for Wahs Fire Bug and Saucy Dreams. Returning to home base the 4yo then led throughout in scoring over the 1660m at Albion Park, prior to coming off a back row draw when driven with a sit, en route to accounting for Royal Aurora and Tactical Response. That particular assignment was over the 2138m, so Miss Ruby Sunshine won’t have any concerns with the 2300m of this assignment. From her useful draw Morris is bound to have the mare leaving the machine with intent, and due to the longer journey, then looking to find cover before making their presence felt in the run home. The race is overflowing with contenders for the top spot, including the Amanda Turnbull-trained LIFEOFBRIAN (3), one of three the Bathurst mentor has entered for the contest. The 5yo has drawn well in gate three while VIGOROSO (9) and OBI ONE (10) have higher numbers. Lifeofbrian drew deep here two starts ago and was never a factor when a creditable 11m 5th to Courageous Dancer, prior to again having little go his way from a 2nd line draw at Young when a 10.3m 5th behind Boston Busker. Prior to those efforts the son of Mach Three had been performing consistently and if Amanda does select Lifeofbrian as her drive, then that will be a good guide to his claims. On the other hand, if she goes for one of the other runners, that decision must come into play. STORMY RAIDER (11) posted a stylish win here last week and although confronted by the outside draw, the Dean Cernovskis trained and driven 8yo remains in the mix as a definite contender. The extra trip will be a bonus as that will allow the son of Village Jasper to settle into a rearward role before unleashing in the straight, as he did in scoring. DREAM TO SHARE (1) worked and tired when last to Under Worked on Tuesday. Gate one is appealing and prior to his latest run the 8yo had been racing consistently. A kinder run will at least assist his claims as an exotic runner. MILLWOOD TILLY (2) is also in the mix when it comes to the multiples as the consistent 4yo mare, which is a stablemate of Miss Ruby Sunshine, has drawn ideally in two and that will be a bonus in this open contest. BETTOR TO BE TRICKY (8), along with VIGOROSO (9) and OBI ONE (10), also have exotic prospects. If, the reserve ROYAL GAMBLE (6) comes off the bench, then the race takes on a completely different appearance. The Mark Callaghan-prepared son of Bettors Delight hasn’t had a great deal go his way recently, including a 5m 5th to Marty Major a week ago when he failed to get a clear run from his peg three role.

    MISS RUBY SUNSHINE 1, Lifeofbrian 2, Stormy Raider 3, Dream To Share 4.

    RACE TWO:

    Although she can be moody and hard to catch at times, there is no doubting the talent of ROCKNROLL ANGEL (9) and although the 8yo has drawn wide, the daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven still appeals as the one to beat. A tough winner over the Menangle Mile four starts ago when she drew deep, Rocknroll Angel galloped out in the G2 Sibelia, resulting in a distant last behind Stylish Memphis. Contesting the G2 Robin Dundee a week later and Rocknroll Angel was focused from the outset, and although three deep in working to race without cover, the Jason Grimson-trained mare fought on bravely in recording a close 2nd to the classy Victorian, Maajida. Contesting the G1 Ladyship Mile on Miracle Mile night, Rocknroll Angel was again left exposed outside of the leader, despite drawing four, however she was far from disgraced in posting a 10.3m 6th to Stylish Memphis in a time of 1:49.2. The extended trip of 2300m won’t be a hurdle and if Cameron Hart can have the mare leaving the mobile with confidence, then this race is well within her reach. In suggesting that Rocknroll Angel looks hard to beat, a ‘saver’ must be placed on the David Thorn-trained SUMMIT SPECIAL (5) as the son of Mr Feelgood is definitely on the verge of a winning display. Placed in each of his past three engagements, Summit Special was held up for a run at a crucial stage when a 3.2m 3rd behind Hidden Courage and Rockin Marty a week ago. Another good draw awaits and if the 6yo does have luck on his side this time around, then expect to see him fighting out the finish. THE TEXAS RANGER (1) has drawn ideally in gate one, which was the case last week when he settled four pegs, but that was due to the fact that the 5yo raced roughly at the start, resulting in a four peg role. Unable to secure a suitable run over the final stages, The Texas Ranger posted a 10.6m 9th behind Hidden Courage, but a smoother get-away will see him land a role closer to the action and that will see him producing a competitive performance. VANDANTA (7) also contested the above-mentioned race and his 7.9m 7th was also a creditable effort as the son of Christian Cullen, who was having his first run in two months, didn’t have a great deal of luck in the run home. When forming multiple investments, the veteran ELROY JETSON (2) can’t be taken lightly as he scored with authority last week while BENALONG VALLEY (4) and BETTOR VISION (10) also warrant attention. Keep GOLDEN YEAR (6) safe in that regard as well, despite the Joe Conolly-trained 6yo resuming from a spell.

    ROCKNROLL ANGEL 1, Summit Special 2, The Texas Ranger 3, Vandanta 4.

    RACE THREE:

    This appears to be an ideal assignment for the Michael Stanley-trained mare IOLANTA (1), with the perfect draw and the booking of Luke McCarthy further enhancing the Victorian’s claim on the major share of the prizemoney. Following a comfortable all-the-way win over Young Rooster and Explicit Castle at Geelong recently, Iolanta again attempted to record an all-the-way win when overpowered by Delightful Jazz in finishing a creditable 2.9m 2nd at Melton last week. Over the sprint trip, Iolanta will again dictate and this time around the daughter of Bettors Delight will take a power of running down, despite the fact that this will be her first assignment at Headquarters. Sometimes, newcomers to this venue can find the long run home daunting, however, that shouldn’t be the case with this talented mare. OUR MONEY ROCKS (2) strips fitter for two runs and draws favourably after starting from the outside gate in each of his runs since a break. Prepared by Grant Fuller and to be driven by Chris Geary, Our Money Rocks commenced his latest term of racing with a safely held 14.4m 7th to Moreau Drive, but the talented 4yo then ‘caught the eye’ with his run here last week. Trapped three wide through the opening stages, Our Money Rocks then found himself outside of the leader. Over the final stages Our Money Rocks battled on stoutly in finishing a 12m 5th to Elroy Jetson. With a higher level of fitness and the prospect of receiving a far kinder trip, Our Money Rocks is capable of a bold showing. Prior to his latest engagement it was hard to fault the form of BUNDORAN (4) so don’t write him off as a threat, especially from the good draw. A winner here three starts ago, then a gritty 6.5m 2nd behind Bad To The Bone, the 4yo son of Lincoln Royal was expected to greet the judge in the Young Cup last week, as the $1.65 quote would suggest, however, after dictating the terms from the pole position, Bundoran raced keenly and, as a result, was a spent force in the run home, which left him recording a 36.5m 9th to Our Triple Play. Bundoran is entitled to another chance as a ‘stalking’ role is bound to come his way and that will result in a far better showing. GIMMEFIVEMINUTESMORE (7) continues to be around the mark and claims as an exotic runner must be considered while FOR THE BETTOR (5) and HE BETTOR STEP ASIDE (6) also have claims in that regard.

    IOLANTA 1, Our Money Rocks 2, Bundoran 3, Gimmefiveminutesmore 4.

    RACE FOUR:

    It is impossible to go past BAD TO THE BONE (4) as the one to beat, with the classy son of Bettors Delight having both the form and the suitable draw backing his claims for another winning display. After posting back-to-back wins, the former Kiwi, who has thrived since arriving to join Paul Fitzpatrick, then went with an ‘ace’ of completing the hat-trick here a couple of weeks ago. Caught facing the breeze from his wide gate, Bad To The Bone forged his way to the lead and looked poised for further success, only to be grabbed in the shadows of the post by Escalera. The form has been confirmed as Escalera continues to race in fine style. Whether Bad To The Bone dictates or races without cover, may well depend on the ‘game plan’ concerning THE CROUPIER (2). The Belinda McCarthy-trained 6yo had been racing in fine fashion before a costly 14.6m last to Father Bob at Goulburn back in mid-January. The son of Roll With Joe has trialled soundly for his return and with the good draw a plus, The Croupier will secure a favourable, forward role from the outset. ITZ GEORGIAONMYMIND (1) returned from a lengthy spell with a solid win at Newcastle when she proved too good Brooklyns Best and Delilaah. Sparingly-raced over the past 12 months, the talented daughter of Big Jim has drawn ideally in one and that will allow Jack Callaghan the chance to present the 6yo with a comfortable peg run. That will enhance the mare’s claim as an exotic runner. WE SALUTE YOU (6) has been thereabouts of late and he also warrants exotic attention while CHRISTMAS TOYBOY (5) and MOST HAPPY CULLEN (7) could assist in adding value to the multiple dividends.

    BAD TO THE BONE 1, The Croupier 2, Itz Georgiaonmymind 3, We Salute You 4.

    RACE FIVE:

    Two weeks ago, IGNATIUS (11) was facing the starter for a shot at Miracle Mile glory. Although the outside gate awaits the son of Roll With Joe for his upcoming challenge, it is hard to see him leaving the track without having first, greeted the judge. A gallant 5.8m 4th behind King Of Swing in the G1 Schweppes Sprint tipped the scales in his favour, regarding an invitation into the ‘great race’, and, while never a serious threat in the $1m ‘dash for cash’, Ignatius wasn’t disgraced in recording an 11.2m 7th behind King Of Swing. From his three peg role, Ignatius kept grinding away gamely, but the chance to race in exposed air this time around will suit him, compared to being in restricted room. There is power drawn inside, so where James Rattray decides to settle Ignatius will be intriguing. CRUZ (7) is entitled to further attention after being involved in a ‘power play’ for supremacy last week when a gritty 7.6m 6th behind Cash N Flow. Cruz and Double Encounter went ‘stride for stride’ as they covered the opening 400m in 25.9, and while the middle section was slightly more relaxed, the final quarter was completed in 27.5. Double Encounter dropped out to cross the line in 9th spot while Cruz kept grinding away. Following his win over Balraj and Alta Orlando three starts ago, Cruz also posted a respectable 3.2m 6th to Wolf Stride in the G1 Allied Express Sprint in an attempt to be invited to face the starter in the Miracle Mile. MAFUTA VAUTIN (10) doesn’t have the class of the other pair, but the 10yo is an honest performer who can spring a surprise of the speed goes on from the outset and stays that way. From a midfield role here last week, Mafuta Vautin hit the line strongly in posting a 5.3m 5th to Cash No Flow, the effort in keeping with his recent body of work. ROCKIN MARTY (9) stays in the mix when it comes to multiple combinations while a bold showing from MAKOA (2) is a distinct possibility after the 7yo son of Art Major drew ideally close to the pegs. MACH DA VINCI (4) must be given exotic attention as well. Wider investments should also include HIDDEN COURAGE (8), particularly when looking to add some ‘spice’ into the return.

    IGNATIUS 1, Cruz 2, Mafuta Vautin 3, Rockin Marty 4.

    RACE SIX:

    Victorian mentor Michael Stanley, apart from Iolanta, will also be represented by WATCH LIST (4), and although the 5yo has been unplaced in each of his past six starts, following a win at Ballarat on Boxing Day, a bold showing should be forthcoming in an open race. Finishing fifth in each of his past three starts, Watch List hasn’t had a great deal of luck in two of those assignments, but hasn’t been beaten far in the process. When last produced a week ago at Melton, Watch List worked three wide before parking outside of the leader, with a determined 5m effort coming his way behind Plan Ce. While Luke McCarthy will drive stablemate Iolanta in race three, Leonard Cain will partner Watch List, however, that won’t hinder the claims of the Victorian as Cain is driving in superb form. Luke will take the reins behind LA BELLA VITA (1) who is trained by his wife, Belinda. The former Kiwi has been in fine form since crossing the Tasman, with a hat-trick of wins coming her way, prior to a superb run last week when a fast-finishing 6.3m 2nd to Elroy Jetson. Drawing deep and settling in a rearward role, the daughter of Changeover made up many metres over the final 200m, with Leonard Cain in the sulky. From the pole position, La Bella Vita will settle a lot closer to the action and that will only enhance her claims of greeting the judge. RED REACTOR (8) has drawn the outside gate in the field of eight, but that won’t be a major concern in the smaller field. The 6yo is likely to be content in racing in a rearward role and with the ability to power home, the son of Auckland Reactor is entitled to be include as a serious threat. When forming multiple combinations ACCELERE (5) should be included, despite a last-start disappointing effort, with his form prior to that display being more than acceptable for this type of challenge. BRONSKI BELLE (2), BAILEYS KNIGHT (6) and JIMMY LOCKE (7) are also capable of sneaking a role in the top four.

    WATCH LIST 1, La Bella Vita 2, Red Reactor 3, Accelere 4.

    RACE SEVEN:

    SAMMY SHOWDOWN (3) won’t receive a better chance than this to show a return to winning form. Since heading up the highway and joining the Cawdor stables of Paul Fitzpatrick, Sammy Showdown has been a model of consistency, apart from his distant 8th to Majestic Man in the G1 Aquagait Equine Mile at Menangle two weeks ago. On that occasion the 5yo had an excuse as he struck trouble and lost all chance in the process. On a number of occasions, the chestnut has finished runner-up, including his latest assignment when beaten narrowly by Flingandwingit after racing without cover. Suitably drawn in three and confronted by an easier assignment, Sammy Showdown has the chance to go one better, it is hoped that he doesn’t feel content with finishing runner-up once again. REVY JAY (8) had also been racing in fine style before bumping into Majestic Man on Miracle Mile night. Back in the pack through the early stages to middle stages, then outside of the leader on straightening, the mare tired to finish a 38.9m seventh. This challenge will be far more to her liking so expect another competitive showing. FLINGANDWINGIT (7) led throughout in defeating Sammy Showdown last time out, but draws slightly wider while Sammy Showdown draws closer and inside of the Belinda McCarthy-trained 5yo this time around. However, Flingandwingit will again be a tough opponent. ARNOLD (9), which is also prepared by Belinda, is Luke’s choice of drives and that decision must be respected. Breaking in the score-up, Arnold finished a distant 9th to Majestic Man, however, on his previous solid form, the son of Muscle Mass must be given another chance. Peaking after three runs back, GIMONDI (4) is worthy of exotic consideration.

    SAMMY SHOWDOWN 1, Revy Jay 2, Flingandwingit 3, Arnold 4.

    RACE EIGHT:

    This should be a matter of securing a boarding pass, enjoying the journey and then collecting the money when Darren Hancock guides CHECK IN (2) to a safe and secure landing in the final event. The former Kiwi had little go his way when debuting for the Pheasants Nest mentor a week ago, with restrained at the start, only to skip for a few strides in what was a ‘bumpy’ start to the trip. That left Check In exposed to turbulence, resulting in Hancock sending the son of Mach Three forward with the role outside of the leader coming his way for the final 1100m. Despite nothing going right for the $4.00 ‘pop’, Check In was still grinding away gamely in the straight, and did appear to put his nose in front at the 100m, only to be run down late in finishing a determined 3.5m 4th to Hidden Courage. That was his first run since mid-December when he was racing against the likes of Spankem, Thefixer, Stylish Memphis, Mach Shard and Copy That. Apart from being first-up, Check In went into the race without a trial so his level of fitness has been improved immensely. Hancock expects Check In to show more gate speed this time around and with gate two being an ideal starting position, the flight plan will be to dictate the terms from the outset. ROYAL GAMBLE (4) appears as the only stumbling block from that scenario playing out. Placed fifth in his past three encounters, the Mark Callaghan-conditioned 6yo hasn’t had a great deal of luck, particularly last week when beaten 5m by Marty Major. Nestled three back along the marker pegs, Royal Gamble had little to no ‘wiggle’ room in an attempt to secure a clear passage. Driver Jack Callaghan still had a grip on the reins and had the opening presented, Royal Gamble would have been right in the finish. If, there is to be a serious threat to Check In, look no further than Royal Gamble. PUMP THE BRAKES (7) contested the same race as Royal Gamble last week, with the 7yo running his usual, typical honest race, in posting a 3.8m fourth. The Sean Grayling trained and driven 7yo will again be in the mix when the judge calls a halt. VINNY CHASE (6) is also racing consistently and he will assist exotic players while SHELBY BROMAC (5) looks to be a value player in that regard.

    CHECK IN 1, Royal Gamble 2, Pump The Brakes 3, Vinny Chase 4.

     – MIKE KO’CASS

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