VIC Blackbookers and Horses to Follow

  • Blackbookers to catch the eye in Victoria
  • Our latest horses to follow from Melbourne racing
VIC horses to follow Latest Blackbookers

Looking for VIC horses to follow each Saturday? We pick out the best blackbookers each week from the metropolitan meeting in Victoria.

From winners of feature races to unlucky loses and first up gallopers outrunning expectations, we select three or four horses each week to add to your blackbook from Melbourne’s Saturday racing.

Here are some horses to put in your blackbook:


Race 2 – BenchMark 70 (1400 METRES)- UMGAWA 📓 
Keen to see how the form from this race holds up and a number should progress further than a BenchMark 70, including the winner, Decent Raine, as well as Attractable (3rd). Umgawa settled last in the field of six on what was an even tempo and produced the fastest last 600m and last 400m but couldn’t quite reel in Decent Raine in the closing stages. The Leon & Troy Corstens-trained galloper was second up after finishing runner-up behind Squid Game at his previous run. A win shouldn’t be too far away for the son of Shamus Award, who looks like he can get out to the 1600m at his next couple of starts.

Race 3 – BenchMark 100 (1700 METRES)- SOMERSET MAUGHAM 📓 
Bit of a tough watch for backers of Somerset Maugham in Race 3 with the $2.50 favourite missing out on the win. The Danny O’Brien-trained galloper was runner-up behind the former Hong Kong galloper Dark Dream. He might have finished a bit closer but was held up from the 500m until the 350m before getting out and producing the fastest last 200m, only to finish a length away. He is worth sticking with at his next couple of starts.

Race 7 – Standish Handicap (1200 METRES)- THE ASTROLOGIST 📓  & TURAATH 📓 
Best benchmark figures came out of the Standish Handicap with Halvorsen going going 12.2 lengths faster than standard benchmark en route to taking out the Listed feature. Tempo was red hot in the early stages and suspect that both The Astrologist and Turaath will be hard to beat in the next races that they tackle. Both were first up and sat on the speed before sticking on well. The Astrologist ran 3rd with the 59kg and went down by just under a length. Turaath settled handy before running 5th. She went from a couple of minor placings at Warrnambool and Geelong over shorter trips last year before winning four straight races over the 1400m. The Astrologist is another that improved after a couple of runs last year before winning three of four, including the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m). Put them both in the blackbook



Race 1 – Two-Year-Olds (1000 METRES)- JEWELLERY 📓 
Liked the performance of Jewellery in the opening event of the day at Caulfield. The Godolphin galloper settled a mile back in the field of six and rattled home late to just miss out behind Philosopher. The winner went 5.5 lengths faster than standard, which are excellent figures for the early season two-year-olds. Jewellery produced the equal fastest last 600m of the entire day and the third fastest last 200m. The daughter of Lonhro is one to watch with more experience and as she steps up in trip.

Race 3 – Three-Year-Old Fillies BenchMark 70 (1400 METRES)- THRONTARI 📓 
The fillies lined up in Race 3 of the day and it was Sister Vianney that prevailed. She can continue to progress and the improver out of the race might be Throntari. The Robbie Griffiths & Matthew de Kock-trained galloper settled back on what was a slow tempo and was strong to the line but couldn’t quiet reel in the winner. She might be one that is suited over 1600m and beyond.

Race 4 – BenchMark 70 (1100 METRES)- IN THE BOAT 📓 
Best benchmark figures came out of Race 4 with IN THE BOAT going 9.7 lengths faster than standard en route to winning over the 1100m. The four-year-old managed to work across from the wide barrier in the early stages to lead with Alana Kelly on board and had enough in the tank at the business end to hold out Marine One, with those two putting a gap on the rest. The winner has won three on the trot and can keep working through the grades.

Race 8 -BenchMark 84 (1100 METRES)- SCORCHED EARTH 📓  & EVENING GLORY 📓 
These two fought out Race 8 of the day with Scorched Earth getting the upper hand late before surviving a protest from Evening Glory. The winner can continue to progress and is likely to bypass the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) for some of the Adelaide features later on in the autumn. Evening Glory has to break through soon and lost a bit of ground in the last 50m but not enough for the stewards to overturn the result. He was first up on the weekend and was a winner just over a year ago before landing close up in a number of runs in town.


Race 3 – BenchMark 70 (1600 METRES)- RELIABLE DUDE 📓 
Race 3 was a BenchMark 70 over the 1600m and Reliable Dude can be an improver going forward. The Matthew Ellerton-trained galloper was second up on the weekend after battling at Sandown when resuming but showed improvement to finish 5th, while he was a fraction unlucky not to land a little closer. The four-year-old raced keenly in the early stages then was held up from the top of the straight until the 200m mark before running on from well back. At his last campaign he was a winner at Cranbourne in a BenchMark 64 before placing 3rd in the Silver Bowl Final (1600m) at Flemington. He can break through at his next couple of runs.

Race 4 – BenchMark 70 (1100 METRES)- SHARP RESPONSE 📓 
Not a bad return by Sharp Response in Race 4 of the day. The Julius Sandhu-trained galloper was first up off a winter campaign that saw him win two races and nearly knocked over Clemenceau, while holding out the previously unbeaten Squid Game to land in the runner-up slot. The son of Maurice went for a run on the inside rail, which isn’t always the place to be in sprint races, and just went down late behind the promising winner, who was third up. At his winter campaign, Sharp Response was able to win out to the 1300m and he should be hard to beat at his next couple of starts.

Race 5 – BenchMark 84 (1600 METRES)- SOMERSET MAUGHAM 📓 
Race 5 went the way of Designer Chef, while Bermadez battled as a $1.65 favourite. The one to follow might be Somerset Maugham, who finished runner-up, beaten one length. The Danny O’Brien-trained galloper settled midfield in the field of eight and was held up from the 400m to the 150m mark before charging late. He has had three runs this time in and has been getting closer with every run. The former import might be getting back to the form that saw him win four races from the 1600m-1800m range late in 2020.


Race 2 – Two-Year-Olds (1200 METRES)- JAMARRA 📓 
Not sure how the form from this will play out as they went very slow early on and it was Jacquinot that dominated at the business end, clearing out to win by nearly three lengths from Jamarra, while there was another two lengths back to 3rd. Jamarra may have finished a little closer and lost a fair bit of ground behind the tiring Semper Invictus just before the turn. But he managed to pick himself up and produced the second fastest late splits behind the winner. Keep an eye on him at his next start.

Race 6 – BenchMark 84 (2000 METRES)- MIDAS PRINCE 📓  & EL MISK 📓 
Bit of a blanket finish in Race 6 of the day and suspect that a few of the beaten brigade can measure up in the summer months. Midas Prince was 4th behind Daqiansweet Junior, while El Misk was 6th. Both finished within half a length of the winner and had excuses. Midas Prince was held up for the majority of the straight and was a big improver off previous runs. El Misk was stepping up to the 2000m for the first time since coming over from the UK and was another that was caught in a bit of traffic in the straight. The pair can go close in similar class at their next few runs.

Race 8 – Christmas Stakes (1100 METRES) – MARABI 📓  & AWAY GAME 📓 
MARABI confirmed her status as a serious racehorse by producing the best benchmark figures of the day in taking out the Listed Christmas Stakes. The five-year-old made it a perfect five from as many starts in going nearly 12 lengths faster than standard and will head towards the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield in February. She can measure up. Away Game lost no admirers with her effort to fill the exacta behind the potential star. She settled in a midfield spot and ran on to finish within a length. She produced the fastest last 200m of the entire day and will be hard to beat at the Gold Coast at her next start.


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MORE HORSES TO FOLLOW: Our latest blackbookers from New South Wales and the latest horses to follow from Queensland.

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