South Australian Barrier Trial Blackbookers

Craig Lewis Craig Lewis
  • South Australian Barrier Trial Blackbookers

Our South Australian racing expert will keep you up to date with all the horses to follow from the SA barrier trials.

While some horses may be flying at the trials and stand out to everyone, some good runs are often hidden among the also rans and our expert will pinpoint those runners so you can capitalise when they hit the racetrack.


Here are some horses to put in the blackbook:




Trial 1 2yo (1000m) 1:00.76 CROWN OF ARAGON
Richard and Chantelle Jolly with yet another impressive 2yo. Crown Of Aragon just coasted in the manner we like to see them with his ears pricked the entire. Good enough speed off the inside, and responsive to the rider’s instructions. Came back underneath Jake Toeroek when asked, which allowed the outside horse to take up the running. Quickened enough to regain the lead and then come down to the 100m under his own steam. Had to be reminded somewhat thereafter as to what his job was.

Trial 4 Open (1000m) 59.15 INSTANT CELEBRITY
She’s reportedly being aimed at the G1 sprint races over the May Carnival, and Instant Celebrity impressed this morning. Kemalpasa had run the crack field along, with Instant Celebrity some 4L off him early. Kayla Crowther picked her way inside Savatoxl, then also Left Hand Man to have Instant Celebrity within striking distance on straightening. Her filly did the rest, and picked-up the race-fit Kemalpasa before the line. Neither horse was asked of as they put a space on the rest, and both have come back in top order.

Trial 8 3yo (1000m) 59.280 YULE MY HERO
Chosen Blonde kicked through to join Lil’ Piper, who had set the tempo in the quickest trial of the day. Smokin’ Val chased strongly to pick her up late, as the two race-fit fillies came away. Yule My Hero, who hasn’t been sighted since November last year had a quiet hit out. Travelled three-wide and about midfield early, Yule My Hero was just professional to the line. He last raced with a Handicap rating of BM57, giving trainer Peter Jolly plenty of options this prep.

Trial 10 3yo Maiden (1000m) 1:00.32 MR TEE KAY
The Ryan Balfour has been presenting plenty of winners of late, and Mr Tee Kay can join those ranks. Big long striding horse, he made his own way in front from the onset. Jumped okay initially, before showing good pace. Went to the line under his own steam in a sharp enough time to suggest he can break his maiden. Wouldn’t expect him to be the type to come to hand too quickly either, so definitely impressed with his effort.

Trial 14 Open (1250m) 1:18.40 SHOP TIL I DROP
The second trial of Shop Til I Drop of her comeback prep, and she’s looking as good as ever! Possibly the most impressive trial of the morning. Relaxed nicely midfield and wide early, Barend Vorster asked her to circle the field from just inside the 500m. The Excelleration she showed under little encouragement was first class. She continued strongly through the line, and as a BM72 rated mare, will be winning races.



I Remember You
French Fields
Pearl Bandit

Trial 1 2yo (1000m) 59.89 PHILONIZE
Possibly the most impressive trial of the morning came in the opener when Philonize came away from the others. Good to see Strathalbyn trainer Dion Koch with a nice filly, and we can’t wait to see Philonize on debut. She has not been sighted at the public jump outs, which makes her attitude in Monday’s trail even more impressive. She pounced on the early lead under Kayla Crowther, making all the running. Seemingly cruising on the turn, Crowther slipped her some more leather and off she went. This was soft, and in smart time any day. With the upcoming May carnival here in Adelaide, don’t be surprised to see Philonize line-up in one of the nicer races.

Trial 3 (1000m) 1:00.41 I REMEMBER YOU
Gotta love watching Will Clarken horses go through their jump outs and trials. There’s just something about watching well-educated horses quietly going through their paces, while remaining on their best behavior. We actually Black Booked this Ex-Tasmanian mare off her trial last prep too. She then got too far back to just miss a placing at Each-Way odds for us on resumption. She looked plenty big again and so wasn’t knocked about. Just moved well in a nice field and she is coming in off a high Handicap Rating. I’m sure Clarken will have her where he wants her to be, and she’ll pick-up a race this prep.

Trial 8 3yo (1000m) 1:00.71 FRENCH FIELDS
She looked good and I love that stride of hers, can tell she just wants to be a racehorse. Not sure where her ability is at, race days will decide that one. For now, she completed her trial in nice enough time while making all the running. Was away okay before catching them guard with her early toe once given some rein after a furlong or so. She’s not overly big, and while Vorster did want to give her a good hit out, he also cuddled her. We’ll look to pick her up in a race while early into her prep, and then play it by ear.

Trial 10 Open (1250m) 1:17.12 PEARL BANDIT
Good to see the Macdonald-Gluyas Camp mix it up and send Pearl Bandit to the Trials. They could well be rewarded with an early win from him too. Handy miler who still gets into most fields okay with a Handicap rating of around BM70 or so. He typically comes to hand early into his preps, and his first-up form is better than it reads. As he usually does, Pearl Bandit lobbed into a good position behind the speed. We’ve got to like that sort of racing pattern as a habit. He had Does It, who’s a fit horse from the Richard Jolly yard for company, with them both trialing well. Pearl Bandit will come to hand quickly, and we might catch the bookies asleep at the wheel with this one.




Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 1 2yo (1000m) 1:01.94 HANABI
HANABI put the shenanigans of her recent jump out behind her to show plenty of ability in this trial. She jumped smartly from the inside gate to hold the early lead with a 1L advantage over her opposition. Importantly, she relaxed well under Kayla Crowther in setting only a steady tempo. She did want to stargazer a little from around the 350 until straightening, experience will help her here. Hanabi moved clear of the rest, with nothing hard pushed. She’s a big filly who will take a bit of work, yet no doubt has ability.

Trial 3 open (1000m) 59:83 GARNER 
The headline act for the day was obviously GARNER, and by jeez he run well. Showing more early zip than usual, Garner was out reasonably before scooting through to sit outside the leader. With Nicconi Poni happy to lead the way, the pair quickly put 3L on the others. Garner took the upper hand at around the 250m, and under little encouragement, moved away to score. Of the others, Lord Vladivostok settled at the tail to come home quietly up the middle in a nice trial.

Trial 4 Open (1000m) 1:00.23 IRONCLAD
Good to see Australian Bloodstock sending some of their horses further South, and they have promising type in IRONCLAD. First trial for Will Clarken was a beauty from the ex-British campaigner. Settled worse than midfield over the 1000m, he got into his work down the side. Todd Pannell slipped him a bit more rein inside the 200m and Ironclad showed good acceleration to pick-up the leaders and win. Trial of the day as far as I was concerned and will pay to follow this horse closely.

Trial 5 Open (1000m) 1:01.11 LIVE AND FREE 
The main under-card to Garner featured stable mate Bold Star. He did come in first, though he was upstaged somewhat thanks to a terrific trial performance by the runner-up, LIVE AND FREE. The trial time left a bit to be desired, though they did seem to walk early. Desiree Stra was content to sit wide on the track near the speed on Bold Star, and they put a space on them. It took Live And Free to come up the middle under Kayla Crowther to give him a fright. Crowther had early settled the Stokes runner some 6L astern of Bold Star early in the run. Big effort to get close to a class act off a slow speed, and Live And Free obviously has some ability.

Trial 11 Open (1200m) 1:13.18 RITRATTO
RITRATTO is worth a mention as the most visually pleasing trial of the day. Last raced about eight weeks ago (December 5) so he held some residual fitness over his rivals. Nevertheless, he led comfortably out in the middle of the track as Table Of Wisdom attempted some pressure. With half a slap down his neck from Jess Eaton, Ritratto ambled away from his opponents. He did have them off the bit a long way out, and he was beautiful to watch.



Betta Eddie

Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 2 Open (1000) 58.64 SIZZLEFLY
The Philip Stokes yard had a productive morning with none being more impressive than Sizzlefly. The mare overcame the delay caused by Crown Harmonium, who put his usual pre-race antics on show, to muster under a good hold from rider Kayla Crowther and lead the open class field. With ears pricked, Sizzlefly had plenty in the tank as the field started to bridge the gap inside the 400m. Allowed a little more reign by Crowther, Sizzlefly quickly put a space on her rivals again. While no horse broke a sweat for the run, they all ran a time to suggest this is a group we can follow in their respective classes.

Trial 4 3yo (1000m) 58.42 MAYAMEEN
Balaklava track staff had moved the rail back to the true position for this morning’s heats, and yet we saw plenty of horses drift a few away from the fence on turning. This may have been by design, or perhaps the horses all just wanted to roll out. Tony and Calvin McEvoy feature as per usual in the South Australian Barrier Trials and this morning their untapped filly Mayameen signalled that she was ready for bigger things this prep. In running the fastest trial of the morning, Apprentice Jockey Jess Eaton allowed Mayameen to stride untested in front of the group. The David Jolly prepared Squishie showed some early speed to settle at her hindquarter before railing close to the inside as Mayameen drifted at least half a dozen horses out to be closer to the middle of the track. Eaton never urged Mayameen along, though she did ensure the filly had a quality hit out and the pair ran out 5 Length winners of the trial. This was her second trial in readiness for the up-coming prep and I believe the McEvoy camp will have Mayameen contesting some competitive events sometime soon.

Trial 5 3yo Maiden (1000m) 59.02 BETTA EDDIE
Gawler And Barossa Jockey Club trainer Darren Magro will no doubt be pleased with the morning’s work of Betta Eddie who was having his first trial this time in. He caught our attention when last in work too. After hit outs where he finished close to speedster Chosen Blonde twice, he could not match motors with the filly over 900m at Murray Bridge. Chosen Blonde herself, was bested by Celestine that day before both went onto bigger and better things. Beautifully trialled this morning under usual race day jockey Sairyn Fawke who was happy to let him stride in front without crossing the two inside him. Turned at least four-wide in a casual manner, Betta Eddie was never asked of as the Brett Campbell trained Indian Gazelle scooted clear under Kayla Crowther inside the 300m. Content for Betta Eddie to have an easy morning, Fawke did not ask anything of his mount until Super Looka came off his back to challenge late for the minor. The response from Betta Eddie to pick up the bit showed that he can change speed and I’ll be looking forward to seeing Betta Eddie having another crack at a maiden sometime soon.




Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 1 Open (1000m) 58.80
TERBIUM began a good day for the Stokes yard when he began sharply in Trial 2 then just gradually built through his gears from the front. He seemed to appreciate doing his own thing while not being bustled nor restrained early. Rather than a show of pure speed, Terbium just continued to build in his comfortable 7L win which should see him close to ready for return. He’s a BM80 galloper who hasn’t won for some time, the Stokes’ may look to claim weight as they look for something a little easier than our open class for him to kick off in.

Trial 3 Open (1000m) 58.82
Not only was it a good day out for the Stokes yard, including saddling the winner here with Symphonette, Will Clarken also showed he has plenty to look forward to as well. Another tried runner to his yard, GRAFTED found a soft time of it from the front then was just cuddled by Todd Pannell as Symphonette cruised on by late. Lightly raced dual winner from her eight career starts, Grafted impressed in her jump out seven days ago at Strathalbyn with a relaxed win over Fabulous Flipper who since came out to score first up on Sunday. Nice to see her follow that up in todays trial and we look forward to seeing Grafted on the racetrack soon.

Trial 7 3yo Maiden (1000m) 58.68
One of the faster times from the morning was run in this maiden by the well-educated non-starter ANILLA. He’s been on a few roads in his short time Anilla and came to the Will Clarken stable in need of some polish. Clarken polish he received which we saw in a nice educational jump out at Strathalbyn a week ago. Beaten for speed, Anilla tucked in behind them to pull out late and claim the two handy enough types to his inside under a good hold. Anilla showed the opposite today in being forward from the wide draw. Showing good speed throughout, Anilla cruised to an easy 6L victory casting no doubts over his ability. Quite a big unit, we can believe he will be even better suited on the outer track.


Hello Ladies
Over The Line

Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 1 2 & 3yo (1000m) 59.32
HELLO LADIES already in the Blackbook following his trial back in July, that was a distant enough to be a prep ago now so thought we’d re-cap as he’s getting very close to debut. The Cahill team have actually kept him ticking over with a couple of jump outs since. Today he began well out wide and allowed to drift back early with Cahill just giving Hello Ladies another nice bit of education between runners. Very comfortable to the line, just over a Length behind Short Stories who we know is also close to debut for Will Clarken and I’m pretty keen to see Hello Ladies hit the racetrack some time soon.

Trial 4 Open (1000m) 58.900
MUNSTER has had a couple of light preps in New Zealand, including winning on debut 12 months ago. Now trained out of Lakewood by Michael Hickmott, Munster impressed enough in just a quiet hit out behind the accomplished Defiant Dancer. Fresh, he didn’t appreciate being restrained early by Eaton from the wide draw. Did eventually drop his head though at the tail while spotting the leaders over 5L. Got onto the back of Defiant Dancer with both horses under a good hold. I don’t think Jess intended to give Munster such a soft time of it, she just had to be mindful of the spunky little Miss Harmonium who was inclined to lay out into her running. Has a good head on him this one, seemingly intelligent racehorse with more maturity yet to come. Think we’ll be seeing good things from this horse as he comes through the grades.

Trial 8 Maiden (1000m) 59.48
OVER THE LINE is just a ready-made racehorse who will win races! Trained by his breeder in Roslyn Day who stands his sire Dedline at Rosden Park near Murray Bridge, Over The Line is a strong boy with a lot of length about him and a big overreach. He jumps, runs and covers ground well as he showed in his trial win today. Perhaps a little hard doing for the moment, I’m not sure there was a whole lot more to give if needed. He’ll learn with work and does seem the type who’ll just try for you. For the moment though, I’m keen to see him find his way to a maiden and go from there.


Brazen Boy

Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 1 2yo (850m) 46.730
BRAZEN BOY out of the fast Adelaide mare Coco Doll was as impressive as you like to walk in against the small field by 14L. His performance prompted experienced judge Terry McAuliffe to immediately tweet that Brazen Boy’s trial was the most visually impressive he’d seen since Miracles Of Life. The clock backs up his eye with solid proof, cantering around the 850m in 46.73 while having a good look around with the ears pricked. Typically we’re happy to see them head over 800m in around 48 secs and there was nothing wrong in the times of his two competitors. Like “Barbie,” as Miracles Of Life was known, Brazen Boy is not overly big which is typical of his sire’s breeding. He can run fast though and appears ready to debut as Adelaide’s worst kept secret, don’t miss out!

Trial 5 3yo (1000m) 59.470
AWAMOA first starter at the trials for the Richard and Chantelle Jolly team. An aesthetic looking individual this horse, has a beautifully relaxed stride with a slight overreach which sees him cover ground easily. No surprise to see him win the trial against some nice 3yo’s considering he has shown himself to be quite forward during the jump outs, just nice to see him do it at the trials too. Clock displays the run as the fastest time of the day which impressive for any debutant and I feel there was plenty more under the hood should rider Jake Toeroek of asked.

Trial 10 Maiden (1000m) 1:00:36
SABAKU just a case of gently, gently at the moment. Has come into this trial on the back of the one jump out this time in and she hasn’t been overly asked of in either. We had Blackbooked today’s heat winner in Noname Lane during the Saturday Review of his first up run, so it seems pretty obvious to highlight SABAKU at this time as well. They both came away from the others under their own steam in handy Maiden time and while the runner up may have another jump out yet due to the ease of her work in public, she is probably classy enough to knock off a race anytime soon.


Night Passage
Crown Harmonium

Trial 1 Open (1000m) 1:01.55
First trial was delayed which probably only helped the headline act in Bella Vella a little as she was a little hot wanting to get on with things in the pre-parade ring. Settled down a little back in her stall then was all business when Todd Pannell legged aboard. Just wants to be a racehorse Bella Vella and she trialled well as she always does, cruising along in front then wanting to Stretch and go harder through the line than Pannell would allow. Really liked LIANNE in the yard. New acquisition for Clarken-MacGillivary, she was the first one in and looked relaxed and well. Didn’t have the early pace yet she closed off well under Anna Jordjso and like the winner Bella Vella, was full of herself after the run. Good attitude and will tighten up a bit for the outing.

Trial 2 CL3 (1000m) 1:02.68 
NIGHT PASSAGE looked the quality in the yard, just needed to tighten up a bit. Wasn’t quickest out yet responded under the riding of Ben Price to come under them and race away. Not often the McEvoy camp has a trial runner without us writing one up and Night Passage impressed in front of the boss. CROWN HARMONIUM usually a bit fractious was on her best behaviour. Looked close enough in the yard having missed a run as a scratching due to drawing terribly. She was relaxed throughout, has ability while holding a relatively low handicap rating and if she can bring today’s attitude to the races will be winning one soon.

Trial 6 3yo (1000m) 1:02.17
Ashton Downing took two horses to the track and both were ultra impressive. CELTIC BLAST entitled to be as he is fit from recent racing. Really like EQUA in the yard. Impressive filly, she is a very nice type with a good attitude who looks as though she can take on a bit of work. Not the quickest away but Karl Zechner got her into her work down the side and she came on well between horses. Looked comfortable in good enough time. Happy to follow into her prep.


Broadway And First
Magic Sunset
Deep Speed

Track Rating: Soft 6

Trial 1 Open (1000m) 1:00.760
Smart McEvoy mare Xilong trialled aplomb, just sitting under leader Star Parfait before being allowed more reign by Vorster to skip clear by the 300m then throttled down close to the line. It was the trial of a quality galloper which comes as no surprise. BROADWAY AND FIRST on ratings should’ve been well outmatched by the runner up Tequila Time, however, was given a solid hit out to finish alongside him as those two closed in on Xilong late. We did Black Book BROADWAY AND FIRST off his first up run last prep owing to his last 600m split being equal to that of open sprinter Brimarvi Vehero. Sent back to the paddock two runs later and on today’s trial it looks he’s ready to resume in the same manner as he did last time in.

Trial 2 Open (1000m) 1:00.500
MAGIC SUNSET had support first up for the Will Clarken stable after 12 months off the scene. Was a bit of an ask, though wouldn’t have lost many admirers in placing behind Taken Off. Rather than giving the mare a gut busting second up run, Clarken elected to trial MAGIC SUNSET instead. Couldn’t have asked for a better set up and trial with the speedy Social Media ensuring plenty of pace, Todd Pannell just had MAGIC SUNSET coasting underneath him around midfield early and sat quiet as a church mouse as she went out to pick up the leader under her own steam. She’s not overly big, is light on her feet with a lovely stride and plenty enough quality about her. Ready to win wherever she goes next.

Trial 3 3yo (1050m) 1:02.200
DEEP SPEED been sent to Adelaide by the McEvoy camp following two jump out wins over 800m, including the latest in a sharp 46:35 up the Flemington straight. Jumped well, held together three wide near the speed then heavily restrained the entire behind Michael Hickmott’s Livin’ Loose. Really wanted to stretch out, I thought he was well behaved for an unraced 3yo who wasn’t allowed his head. Not just the fact he has natural ability – DEEP SPEED has that in spades, it was his attitude that impressed me the most. Nice to also see he can run on the affected Soft 6 track too.


Instant Celebrity
Keep On Bopping

Track Rating: Good 4

Trial 1 Open (1000m) 1:01.22
INSTANT CELEBRITY was who we were here to see and the Phillip Stokes filly didn’t disappoint. As customary, she showed no early speed and as such lobbed out the back early as the smart Ef Troop steadily made his way towards the lead down the side. With Ef Troop backing up his fine barrier trial performance where he finished half a Length astern of Bella Vella, Crowther brought Instant Celebrity to the outside with the filly giving chase to him under little encouragement. Still inclined to have a bit of a stargaze, don’t be surprised to see winkers or visors or so applied to Instant Celebrity as her prep goes on. Targeting the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield, Instant Celebrity looks well on track and I’ll be happy to back her through in her lead up races.

Trial 2 Open (1000m) 1:01.23
SAVATOXL, Reckon we could hear them cheering from the Top End in this trial. We’ve been told from all who have seen him in The Alice and Darwin that this one might just be very good, and after today seeing is believing! Never raced on turf previously so this was an interesting watch as Sunlight’s little sister, Sisstar put the early speed on. Still wanting to show her bad habits of getting her head up early, Sisstar did improve her manners after a couple of furlongs when Vorster allowed her more reign. Savatoxl settling last the small field, only 2.5L off the leader. On straightening it was clear Sisstar was under pressure as Savatoxl moved outside her, the mare inclined to lay out as Savatoxl wanted to roll in down the straight. Jason Holder taking action to correct his mount as Savatoxl strolled a bit over a Length clear under a strangle hold in what was the most impressive trial of the day. Would think the Balaklava Cup is on the agenda, just back him wherever he goes!

Trial 5 3yo (1000m) 1:01.36
KEEP ON BOPPING can play a part in the spring. Unraced half brother to Ryan Balfour’s smart sprinter Cashed, Phillip Stokes may have a smart staying type on his hands. Still raw, Keep On Bopping looked all legs in a jump out win to begin this prep. Improved with an impressive trial win smart time late August and I wanted to Black Book him then. Felt we could hold because he was still very raw and here he is back at the trials a week later. Handled the back up with no worries which makes me think he is a sturdy type and there might just be a big race over some ground for him in his first prep. Needs to learn to relax yet, as to which Kayla Crowther made effort to constrain him early today. This was a smart trial field with L’il Piper having shown ability and black type winner Ecumenical rolling forward with the blinkers on. Keep On Bopping pulling his way around them, did settle a little better when the pressure started to build. Love the way he pinned the ears back and lengthened after Ecumenical who was kept honest and it would seem Keep On Bopping is ready to go to the races now. Comfortable win in fast time, follow throughout this prep.

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