March 12, 2021 National Trotguide
With the benefit of a suitable draw, plus, some recent solid displays, SUMMIT SPECIAL (3) is poised to play an active role in the finish. Less the reserve and the talented son of Mr Feelgood will leave the machine from gate two and that will allow Blake Fitzpatrick to secure a favourable, forward role, and in an open race, that will be a plus. Following a narrow win here five starts ago, Summit Special’s only blemish was a distant last behind Cruz at his next appearance and, that was due to a rare display of bad manners. A solid finishing 6.4m 4th to Bright Energy followed, prior to the David Thorn-trained 6yo failing by the narrowest of margins to peg back Always Rockin. During the recently completed Miracle Mile Carnival, Summit Special again powered home, this time resulting in a half-neck 3rd to Escalera and Bad To The Bone. That assignment was over 2400m and from the outset the power was switched-on, resulting in a 1:54.0 mile rate, with the final two sectionals posted in a tick over 27.0. HIDDEN COURAGE (8) has also been thereabouts in most of his recent encounters, with a 15.9 7th to King Of Swing to be placed to one side when assessing his form for this challenge. Outclassed on that occasions the son of Courage Under Fire was responsible for respectable efforts either side of that outing. Like Summit Special, the 7yo is also coming off a solid 3rd to Escalera, with Ellmers Image splitting the pair. Although drawn a ‘touch’ wide, Hidden Courage should be competitive once again. THE TEXAS RANGER (2) has an ideal draw and certainly the ability to make his presence felt. The American Ideal 5yo hasn’t had a great deal of luck in each of his past two starts, the latter when he locked wheels when a 12.3m 5th to Aphorism at Bathurst. Don’t ignore the Brad Hewitt trained and driven gelding as a major contender. ROCKIN MARTY (10) had every chance when a 12m 7th to Escalera last week, however, the son of Pet Rock is entitled to another chance in this company while VANDANTA (4) and APHORISM (11) should be linked to the multiples. The ‘x-factor’ is the Darren Hancock trained and driven CHECK IN (6), with the former Kiwi stepping out for his first assignment since last December. The Mach Three 7yo hasn’t been seen at the official trials, and although the numbers next to his name are nothing ‘flash’, Check In has been racing against the likes of Self Assured, Spankem, Copy That, Stylish Memphis and company. If there is a ‘money trail’, it may pay to follow the lead.
SUMMIT SPECIAL 1, Hidden Courage 2, The Texas Ranger 3, Rockin Marty 4.
The Belinda McCarthy has been enjoying a great deal of success over the past couple of months with former Kiwi runners, including MONGOLIAN CAVALRY (7) and while his upcoming assignment is tougher than the previous couple, the entire again warrants attention. After comfortably scoring at Newcastle when first-up for the stable, Mongolian Cavalry headed to Headquarters for his next assignment and with ‘red’ figures next to his name, the 5yo produced a strong display in defeating Accelere and Gimmefiveminutesmore. This will be a tougher test, but the son of Mach Three appears to have further scope for improvement and he is certainly worth the gamble in a tough and open race. RED REACTOR (8) who had little luck when last produced in the race won by Bad To The Bone a couple of weeks ago. Heading into the Lady Drivers Invitational with two solid wins and a couple of respectable placings, the 6yo drew deep which resulted in a handy midfield role coming his way. However, on the point of the home turn, Red Reactor was posted five deep and as a result, he was unable to gain ground on the leaders, en route to finishing 6th, 13.5m from the winner. Regular reinsman Jack Trainor will jump back in the sulky and that will assist Red Reactor his quest for further success. BAILEYS KNIGHT (5) also contested the Lady Drivers Invitational and his effort resulted in a pleasing 8.5m 4th, with the KerryAnn Morris-trained son of Christian Cullen hitting the line nicely from a deep peg role. With a suitable draw assisting his claims, Baileys Knight is capable of being involved in the finish. LETS GO TO BRAZIL (9) also had little go his way in the above mentioned race, resulting in a 13.4m 5th after being buried, five back along the markers. The wide draw is a concern, but his form prior to that encounter is good enough to see him run a bold race. BETTOR STEP ASIDE (4) is coming off two narrow wins at Newcastle but from his good draw the 6yo is worthy of exotic involvement, which also applies to the veteran ELROY JETSON (6) and LA BELLA VITA (10), with the mare drawing deep in this harder race, however, with a hat-trick of wins next to her name, the former Kiwi can’t be taken lightly.
MONGOLIAN CAVALRY 1, Red Reactor 2, Baileys Knight 3, Lets Go To Brazil 4.
Although ZHUKOV LEIS (6) doesn’t win out of turn, the James Rattray trained and driven son of Somebeachsomewhere is entitled to a high rating in this field, as his rivals also fit into the same category. Since scoring here last December, Zhukov Leis has been around the mark in the bulk of his eight assignments since, with a solid 3.6m 2nd to My Ultimate Star at Penrith, when a back row draw didn’t help his cause, then followed by a 6.2m 4th to Double Encounter at Headquarters a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion the 7yo was doing his best work over the concluding stages after being locked away in a four peg role. Due for a change of luck, Zhukov Leis is racing well enough to be a major factor. STORMY RAIDER (4) appears to be finding form once again after appearing to lose his way for a short period. The Dean Cernovskis trained and driven son of Village Jasper had been a model of consistency, prior to his slump, however, his past few starts would suggest he has regained his composure. Turning the corner with a pleasing 7m 3rd to Lets Go To Brazil, Stormy Raider then worked home stoutly in recording a 12m 6th to Bad To The Bone. Although he was never a threat on that occasions, Stormy Raider did enough to suggest he was building towards another competitive showing. And, he has found the right race to make his presence felt. IM BRUCE ALMIGHTY (3) has been disappointing of late after opening his latest term of racing on a winning note. As a result, the Pet Rock 5yo has been unplaced in his subsequent five starts, with two of them being creditable. One of those runs is his latest, a closing 6m 5th to Mongolian Cavalry, with a bold showing by that runner earlier in the night, a pointer to the claims of the David Hewitt-trained gelding. The draw is at least a positive for Im Bruce Almighty so don’t ignore him as a contender. WAHS FIRE BUG (7) is rarely far away, but like her rivals, the mare has been finding it difficult to have her photo taken with the winning post. In fact, despite racing so consistently, the mare hasn’t greeted the judge since last July. A win this time around wouldn’t come as a surprise. CHRISTMAS TOYBOY (9) was forced to retire from his latest Penrith challenge, and although confronted by a wide gate, the Christian Cullen 7yo has the speed to be in the mix from the outset. If Blake Fitzpatrick finds the lead, Christmas could come early for the pair. TEAM OF STARZZZ (8) has been thereabouts of late and should be looked upon as a value exotic player.
ZHUKOV LEIS 1, Stormy Raider 2, Im Bruce Almighty 3, Wahs Fire Bug 4.
The two early scratchings have further enhanced the claims of the Brad Hewitt trained and driven mare DANCELIKEANANGEL (8), with the daughter of Fly Like An Eagle coming into gate six. Safely held in the 3YO Fillies NSW Breeders Challenge series, Dancelikeanangel ended her 3yo career with a distant last to Masons Delight at this venue back in mid-November after breaking and losing all chance. Resuming with a handy 6.4m 6th to Ananais here on February 23, Dancelikeanangel then bounced backed to her best form with a big win at Penrith on March 1. Drawing the back row, which resulted in a rearward role coming her way, the mare circled the field with authority in the back straight, and once the home turn come into play, the race was ‘done and dusted’ as Dancelikeanangel powered clear for an emphatic win over Blazin Beauty and Santa Lucia. If Dancelikeanangel brings that form to this contest, then the race is hers for the keeping. The main worry is that Dancelikeanangel has contested 10 races at this venue for just one minor placing. BLAZIN BEAUTY (1) has drawn ideally in gate one and that is a big plus for this consistent filly. Placed in her past four engagements, all at Penrith, the latest behind Dancelikeanangel, the Kevin Pizzuto-trained daughter of Pet Rock has been hindered by drawing the 2nd line on three occasions. A far kinder trip is bound to come her way and that will see her give this a big shake. ROCKNROLL SWINGER (5) is coming off a couple of solid wins at Newcastle and from her good draw the Michael Formosa trained and driven mare will be in the thick of the action from the outset. SPORTS CANDY (4) could be the value ‘knock-out’ runner as the daughter of Sportswriter is certainly due for a change of luck. Placed in all but one of her past 10 starts on the country arena, the Jessica Prior trained and driven mare hasn’t had a lot of luck on the odd occasion. The 5yo will find this track to her liking so don’t dismiss Sports Candy as a potential threat. OUR LADY LARA (6) comes off the bench and is also worthy of exotic involvement, along with SEMI SENSATION (10) and AALESUND (12).
DANCELIKEANANGEL 1, Blazin Beauty 2, Rocknroll Swinger 3, Sports Candy 4.
The consistent MARTY MAJOR (7) is one of a handful of chances in an open race. Prepared by Roy Roots Jnr, Marty Major hits peak condition following three runs back from a spell, commencing with a strong win at Tamworth in the Gold Nugget on January 10. The son of Art Major then drew deep for his next outing at Newcastle, and with the role outside of the leader coming his way, Marty Major faded on his run. although he wasn’t disgraced in posting a useful 10m 6th behind Ashark. It was off to Menangle for his next assignment, and this time around Marty Major did have every chance after drawing the prize pole position. From in behind the leader, the 8yo battled on stoutly in posting a solid 7m 5th to Escalera. With sufficient speed drawn to his left, Robert Morris will be looking to secure a suitable role for Marty Major, with the pair then attempting to charge late in having the final say. PUMP THE BRAKES (4) is one of those ‘go forward’ runners, the main one being the speedy DON BOSTON (1) who will no doubt keep the inside running from gate one. Pump The Brakes is coming off a couple of narrow defeats, the first being a closing head 2nd to Ashark at Newcastle while the latter again resulted in the 7yo being ‘second best’, this time when beaten 2m by Double Encounter. This is a suitable challenge for Pump The Brakes and another strong showing can be expected. ROYAL GAMBLE (2) has the chance to find the back of the “Don’ and that should assist his claims of being active in the finish. A member of the Mark Callaghan team, Royal Gamble has had the benefit of three runs back from a lengthy spell, all on his home track of Newcastle, the latest an 8.6m 5th to He Bettor Step Aside. The 6yo son of Bettors Delight has a more than useful record at Headquarters and with Mark calling upon his talented son Jack, to take the reins, Royal Gamble could end a ‘troubled’ week for the Monarchy on a pleasing note. VINNY CHASE (6) is racing well and is another who is more than capable of greeting the judge while BETTOR VISION (8), despite being disappointing of late, has the talent to again play a role in the finish.
MARTY MAJOR 1, Pump The Brakes 2, Royal Gamble 3, Vinny Chase 4.
This appears to be a ‘match in two’ with the Belinda McCarthy-trained pair, CASH N FLOW (8) and CRUZ (5) the two runners in question. CASH N FLOW (8) will be hoping to put his past two disappointing efforts behind him and show a return to the form which had him winning races of this nature in his sleep. The son of Mach Three accounted for subsequent Miracle Mile runner The Black Prince back on December 5, then the disappointment set in, with a costly 7m 4th to Whereyabinboppin, followed by another surprising defeat in posting a 10.3m 6th to Bright Energy on February 13. Considered to be a definite Miracle Mile contender at one stage, Cash N Flow gave it more shot at a chance to face the starter in the $1m dollar classic, but he was never a factor in finishing a 14.5m 9th to the champ King Of Swing in the G1 Schweppes Sprint. Usually, Cash N Flow takes his place behind the highest number on the mobile, but this time gate eight awaits the 8yo, so that is a plus to start with, and, apart from his stablemate, this fields wouldn’t cause him too many sleepless nights. Luke has elected to stick with Cash N Flow over Cruz, and that must be looked upon as a positive. The in-form and talented Leonard Cain will partner CRUZ (5), and it wouldn’t be the first time he has beaten the boss home in recent times. Cain drove Cruz a ‘treat’ when he speared along the pegs in defeating Balraj two starts ago, prior to guiding him to a 3.2m 6th behind Wolf Stride and Alta Orlando in the G1 Allied Express Sprint. Wolf Stride then recorded an outstanding 3rd in the Miracle Mile while Alta Orlando was far from being disgraced by his effort. Cruz is likely to be first to find the pegs before then ‘stalking’ Cash N Flow, then looking to producing his trademark finishing sprint. MACH DA VINCI (6) was unable to make his presence felt in finishing a 19.5m last to King Of Swing in the Schweppes Sprint, but this will be more to his liking and, prior to that run, the talented 4yo had been racing in fine fashion. Although he is likely to find the two major players too good, the son of Art Major should be linked to the exotics. DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (4) and MAFUTA VAUTIN (10) also fit into that category. ESCALERA (10) is coming off two stylish wins, courtesy of two brilliant drives by Cameron Hart. The talented Jarrod Alchin-trained 5yo will be confronted by a harder assignment and from a bad draw, and that may be enough to see him tested this time around. Departing mentor Tim Butt will be represented by the former WA pacer ROMAN AVIATOR (7), who arrives with sound form, but this will be a tough first-up assignment for the 6yo.
CASH N FLOW 1, Cruz 2, Mach Da Vinci 3, Mafuta Vautin 4.
Punters should be celebrating to the ‘funky monkey’ when a horse of the same name greets the judges in the trot. Formerly based in NZ, where her form was encouraging, FUNKY MONKEY (6) debuted for the KerryAnn Morris stable in fine fashion, and that led to Lucky Lodge spruiking that the daughter of Monkey Bones was heading in the right direction for what should be a successful career. Only lightly raced, the 4yo has won three of her 10 starts, with a couple of placings thrown in for good measure. The mare’s latest win was posted at this venue on March 2, with Funky Monkey leading throughout in easily defeating Fox Trot Hill and Araignee Flair. The mare had 15.2m to spare over her nearest rival, however, it is the way she exploded away from the field over the 400m, posting a 26.5 final quarter and that was the ‘clincher’ in this exciting display. The switch from the mobile to the stand won’t be a concern Funky Monkey has done the bulk of her racing from behind the tapes, posting a win and two placings from eight assignments. From her front line draw, Robert Morris will be keen to have the mare in full-stride and dictating the terms, laying the foundations for another winning display. GIMONDI (10) is one of two runners who will face the starter from behind the 10m tape. Boasting nine wins and three placings from 20 starts, the 4yo has been unplaced in both his stand encounters. Fitter for two runs since a spell, the latter a 20.6m 4th to Funky Monkey after working outside of his main rival, Gimondi will strip fitter but is hard to see him turning the tables. AGENT MAORI (5) is a veteran under these conditions and he will give a good account so don’t ignore him as an exotic player while SOBOMBA (1), who resumed with a solid win, is also capable of again being in the mix. ROYAL GLENFERRIE (2), KYVALLEY BOOMERANG (4) and GOLD SOVEREIGN (8) should also be regarded as multiple contenders.
FUNKY MONKEY 1, Gimondi 2, Agent Maori 3, Sobomba 4.
Just the five runners at this stage, following the withdrawal of Double Act, and with the Blake Fitzpatrick trained RICKOSHAY (3) backing up from the Derby at Young on Friday night, it will be interesting if the talented colt faces the starter for the second time in the space of 24 hours. CHRISY CHIC (1) draws ideally in gate one and that is a big plus for the Jason Grimson-trained filly. Following four-consecutive winning displays, the filly was given her chance to contest a heat of the NSW Oaks, and she didn’t let anyone down in posting a gallant neck 2nd to the star Victorian filly, Tough Tilly. However, the task proved beyond her in the G1 challenge as Chrissy Chic posted a 29.6m 7th behind the star NSW filly, Anntonia. Back to a suitable assignment, the daughter of Major In Art should look a ‘pretty picture’ in greeting the judge this time around. RICKOSHAY (3) ended his previous term of racing on a winning note, then resumed with a narrow, but solid win at this venue in defeating subsequent winner, Elektra. If, he backs up, then Rickoshay will make his presence felt. TREACHEROUS ROCK (4) is coming off a solid and gritty win in defeating Janalan, which confirmed the form with a pleasing win here on Tuesday. The colt is bound to be in the mix from the outset so don’t write him off. That leaves WOW HES A ROCK STAR (6) and WHATS YOUR SECRET (2) to fight out a minor exotic role.
CHRISSY CHIC 1, Rickoshay 2, Treacherous Rock 3, Wow Hes A Rock Star 4.