SA Blackbookers and Horses to Follow
- Blackbookers to catch the eye in South Australia
- Our latest horses to follow from Adelaide racing
Looking for SA horses to follow each Saturday? We pick out the best blackbookers each week from the metropolitan meeting in South Australia.
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 black book from Adelaide’s Saturday racing.
Here are our SA horses to follow and put in your blackbook:
HORSES TO FOLLOW FRom oakbank april 3
Track Rating: Soft 5
Warm day up around the 30c, and without much breeze about. Track was holding its third race day in a week. With that Soft 5 rating holding, the inside section was a no-go zone the entire, as riders elected to stay out. Outside of Races 1,2, & 9, they were run at a good clip, which likely aided the momentum factor.
Race 1 3yo BM68 (1400m)
Small field of seven led up by Eagles Forever with Grey Vitality to his outside. No real speed to report, and no surprises in the run either. Casino Seventeen lobbed one-out, one-back in the single file event before moving away for a comfortable win. Betta Eddie continues his love affair with the Oakbank circuit, getting home best of the rest from the back for second placing. Ominous signs for the track pattern with all horses wanting to come away from that inside section.
Race 2 Maiden (Spec Cond) (1400m) REYNOLDS 📓
Possibly a bit silly suggesting one for the Black Book out of a reverse-ballot order maiden. Especially when that horse receives the Ride Of The Day under Jessica Eaton to aid in his comfortable victory. He was just so well placed by the Michael Hickmott yard though, and Love the way he relaxed early. Settled well back of midfield the fence, Eaton guided him into the clear on turning. Crowded momentarily inside the 300m, Eaton resists temptation to check off heels. Reynolds rewarded her for holding their line by sprinting quickly once the gap did come. The globe-trotting 5yo has likely found a more permanent home now at Lakewood, with more wins to surely follow.
Race 3 Hurdle (3600m)
He’s not quite Might And Power, Mr. Coyne and perhaps he needs to throw that leg out a bit more. Did all he could to hold off the late challenge of the winner, Britannicus after racing on speed throughout. Well-judged ride on the winner by Ronan Short who watched it all unfold. Mr. Coyne jumped well to dispose of Race Favorite Double Bluff, whose inferior jumping saw him hoist the white flag. Willy Gordon looked to have the race in his keeping, just no match for the superior Britannicus late.
Race 4 BM72 (1100m)
Good early speed as was expected with Zarace leading first-up from the locally trained Heavenly Bridges. Gambler’s Girl had poked up along the fence to make a leading trio. This set it up beautifully for Race Selection Toff Love who raced outside of Stage Front. Just jog-trotting to the turn (and stargazing a little), Toff Love assumed control fairly quickly for Todd Pannell. Moving away for a comfortable win, the interest was in the minors. Zarace and Heavenly Bridges both battled on okay to tie those positions down.
Race 5 Steeple Chase (4950m)
Intriguing Great Eastern with the Champ, Zed Em searching for his third win in the race. He’d just come off a sensational battle in the Von Doussa where he’d gone stride for stride with Yensir. Aaran Kuru let him stride freely in front the first lap, until Nathan Newton sent Pentelligentsia on by. Tommy Ryan took the trailing position with 2017 Great Eastern winner, Spying On You, and there’s your first three home. Pentelligentsia didn’t appear to handle the tight turns, or the downhill runs and this showed in his jumping. Kuru had to work a little on Zed Em down the side on the last lap to come out and chase the leader. Just as we appeared set for a dual between the two in front, Pentelligentsia comes down onto his nose by the second last. Newton regains composure on Pentelligentsia in time to balance him for the last. Zed Em peels wider in search of better ground, and the battle lines are drawn for the 2021 Great Eastern. Zed Em gains the ascendancy on straightening, and now the superior flat horse, Spying On You comes between them for one last crack. With Tommy Ryan urging him on, Grant Young’s training prowess comes to the fore once again. The 11yo Spying On You takes out his second Great Eastern Steeple Chase with Ryan saluting the crowd. Zed Em battled manfully for second, splitting the Young stablemates as Pentelligentsia ground away for third.
Race 6 open (2150m)
Travis Doudle finds a double, and no-one could deny a more deserving Onkaparinga Cup winner than Analytica. Been a while since he’s seen the winners stall, yet he’s been racing consistently well and at times without luck. Seemed to be the way again when he was trapped 3 wide in the early part. Lostarc strode along, and Barend Vorster was able to find a position with the field stringing out. Shayne Cahill had seemingly found the gun run following the leader with Dexter You Devil. That was until Ourkhani swept around by the 500m in a vain attempt to keep-up with the emerging Analytica. Cahill was forced to check abruptly as Dexter You Devil went down on his nose and lost position. With his usual busy riding style, Vorster sends Analytica clear at the top of the straight in a one-act affair.
Race 7 Listed Qty (1100m) GOLDEN HALO 📓
Comeback Queen Emily Finnegan’s Listed win aboard Street Life proved popular with participants and fans alike. Former top apprentice Finnegan has been plagued with long-term injury and has only just recently returned to race riding. In just her 16th ride from a year-long absence, the Course Of History provides with one of its most memorable moments. The speed was right on early as Elderflower strides along under Jess Eaton. Hickmott’s recent acquisition battled on bravely, however the race was set for something to come over the top. Enter Street Life, who had been well-prepared by Karen Byrnes and he ran the days’ top sectionals. Finnegan brings him blistering down the outside with a 34.2 – 22.16 – 11.24 L600m. Golden Halo had been trapped deep near the speed the entire. She continued to build into the race and as a BM72 rated mare, can find a race somewhere this prep.
Race 8 BM72 Spec Cond (1900m)
We had hoped for a gentler tempo with Race Selection Fulton Street. El Diez however, had other ideas. These two ensured a true staying test, with Fulton Street ultimately hoisting the white flag early. Vorster lands his double by finding the plumb position back of midfield with Charlton. Always trucking sweetly, he brings the last start Streaky Bay Cup runner-up into race down the side. He was the only horse you wanted to be on, and the well-travelled Port Augusta trained galloper scores convincingly at Oakbank.
Race 9 BM68 (1400m)
No speed whatsoever to report in the last. This allows Jessica Eaton to control the race as she liked from her wide draw with Going Gaga. Mick Kluske’s gelding was a Black Booker for us last prep, and we missed him here first-up! Has run well at the course previously and I don’t think we’ll be making that mistake with him here again. The field kept well clear of the inside section throughout the event, with Going Gaga leading as the widest. Eaton keeps heading wider in search for the better going, and was never in doubt. Born To Play did well to come on late from well back off the slow early tempo.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE MARCH 27
Track Rating: Soft 5 (Good 4 from R7)
Perfect day with mild temps topping out at 21c. Mid strength South-Westerly in the high teens. Soft 5 upgraded to a Good 4 late in the day. Track played superb, though we do note a preference was shown to keep at least one-off the fence. Outside of races 1 and 3, we saw slick times run throughout, and we can follow the form with confidence.
Race 1 2yo (1100m)
Early favorite Brother’s Shadow wore the blinkers for the first time and crossed to find the early lead. No pressure whatsoever and Kayla Crowther was content to allow him to jog along at his leisure. Race Selection, Karicasu lobbed some 6L or so further behind and saw them all from one-off the fence. The confident ride by Jake Toeroek paid off as he brought Karicasu with one run up the middle. With Tavikat giving plenty of cheek, the two horses had claimed Brother’s Shadow inside the last 50m. Karicasu recorded an 11.23 fastest last furlong for the day to score. Brother’s Shadow had just out-lasted Tavikat in the photo for second placing, leaving a gap back to fourth.
Race 2 3yo Maiden (1050m)
Not a lot of speed on again which didn’t help the chances of today’s Sectional Star in Spark Up. Slow into stride, Spark Up used the inside barrier to advantage and hunted to better than midfield. Despite charging home Last three furlongs in 33.92 – 22.84 – 11.48, The damage had been done for Spark Up. Peter Hardacre takes the day’s Top Training performance with the winner, Spin The Reward. The stable made the decision to bring him to town following midfield at best performances over the border. Ryan Hurdle helped himself to the first leg of a double by giving his horse plenty of room to move. After racing handy throughout, he brought the powerfully built 3yo into the race early and put the result to bed. Landing a metro win displays the Hardacre camp’s understanding of class between the two states.
Race 3 3yo BM70 (1600m)
Drama before the start as Mr Raikkonen becomes fractious in the stalls. Senior jock Paul Gatt became dislodged as a result, sustaining multiple fractures to his ankle. No speed in this contest whatsoever, which allowed Ichibansan to take up an unfamiliar role out in front. Jacob Opperman box-seats the fence on South-Eastern galloper Royal Mile, as Race Selection Morty settles around midfield. Opperman sweats on a run to the outside of Ichibansan as they straighten. He’s about to get it by the 250m as Exalted Fire lays under pressure and Ichibansan can’t quicken. Meanwhile Morty Lays under pressure as he tries to wind-up. Video Watch on Crown Mint who comes away from the fence in search of a run. He cops a check off The Brumby who was taken in by Morty, before switching inside the heels of Montepulciano. The race however, was back to the inside section as Royal Mile sprinted sharply to seal the deal. While Morty got home hard, Crown Mint was dogged to the line between horses. We’ll see what Crown Mint has to offer once he gets over a mile and a quarter or so.
Race 4 NMW (1050m)
This field went around as a BM70 event, and so rightly ran the sharp time expected. Centerfield our early leader as Alexandra Bryan refused to be pushed back to the fence on Huffington. She had race favorite Lunar Hero to her outside for company, and that pair did the early chasing. In shaking off Lunar Hero, Bryant issues the challenge to Centerfield just inside the 200m. They surge away for a good win as Champagne Affair, ridden a little colder today, makes ground for second.
Race 5 BM76 (2019m)
The strong win of top weight Farooq was aided by a terrific ride from apprentice Jacob Opperman. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Opperman is still in his first year of race riding. The speed set by Enbarr was very good throughout. This made it difficult for the young rider to cross, and so was content be 3WNC down the back straight. He did allow Farooq to slide a little closer as they swing from about the 1200m. Chooses not to wait when Enbarr increases the ante, dropping off Borris In Ossory from about the 600m. In a similar fashion to his earlier win at Gifford Hill, Farooq takes the sting out of his opponent’s sprint. He goes on by before they straighten to establish his winning break. The Ryan Balfour pair, Dreamed and Canford ran on well, as Opperman wins another.
Race 6 BM60 (1200m)
Ryan Hurdle superb with Ride Of The Day again, this time aboard the Daryl Reynolds trained Galcrum. She’s not an easy mare to win on, and Hurdle had her tucked away around midfield with cover. As is always the case with Masterati going around, the tempo was fast to class. Hurdle effectively wins the race in three stages. He made a conscious decision early to keep at least one off the fence from the low draw. Keeping Galcrum content and happy with the good speed, he waits for the right runs to come outside of Rhode Scholar inside the 500m. Hasn’t spent a penny to that point and he’s into the clear on straightening, on the best part of the track. As has been a feature of Hurdle’s riding of late, we see the whip into the left hand. Perfect balance and rhythm as he asks Galcrum for the supreme effort inside the 200m, and timing does the rest.
Race 7 Listed QTY (1100m) CALYPSO REIGN 📓
Anna Jordsjo holds Mileva together early in the 3W line, as Elderflower forces the issue with Little Rich Boy. Although the two leaders fell away, they didn’t go quite as hard as one might’ve imagined pre-race. This allowed both Mileva, and also Brimarvi Vehero who had been tracking her, to almost play Johnny on the spot. Mileva grinds clear inside the 100m as Brimarvi Vehero couldn’t hold out the late charge of Lyre to his inside. We Black Booked Calypso Reign this time last year, citing eligible for easier. They pushed onto the Redelva and the Euclase, where he ran well in both. This time in as a 4yo, and with a Handicap rating of BM70, they may not immediately chase black type. He ran a ripper today without being fully tested between runners, and we can back Calypso Reign somewhere soon.
Race 8 Listed 3yoF (1600m) SPECTACLE 📓
The mile start at Morphettville is the best starting position anywhere in South Australia. RacingSA seriously need to plan for a Rich Quality or WFA 1600m event over the carnival sometime into the future. Jess Eaton makes short work of her first day as a senior rider as she allows Ecumenical to roll forward. Never at any stage had she over-done anything on the filly down that long back straight from barrier 15. Into a beautiful rhythm, Ecumenical led from Perfect World at just an even tempo at best. Perfect World poked the head in front of the other inside the 400m to threaten. Eaton pulls the bit through and riding hands and heels, urges her filly to respond. Respond she does and Eaton gets to work with Ecumenical by the 200m as the pair regain the ascendancy. Scoring by around 3/4L on the line, it’s hard to see the other turn the tables anytime soon. Lightly raced McEvoy filly, Spectacle found herself 3W with cover. That’s not necessarily a bad thing with the speed not being all that genuine early. I still like the way she ground to the line, especially her last 100m or so. Robust looking filly and I’d expect her to train on through the series.
Race 9 BM68 (1600m) MONRAAJ 📓
Jacob Opperman lands his first city treble with another sensational ride, this time aboard Oh Mo from the back. This kid can seriously do it all. Speed set by Fulton Street was genuine, which set it up for something to storm from the back. Opperman was following the runner-up Echo Boomer, and the third placed Soaring Eagle early. Oh Mo was one of a few who was forced to check as interference came from his inside by the 300m. Another who seemed to be traveling at the time was Monraaj. The Balfour gelding lined-up as first emergency, despite being a last start city winner. Uncharacteristically missing the kick, Monraaj was left out the back early. Barend Vorster attempted the run outside of the winner, only to have Lord Bouzeron veer sharply into him. From there, Monraaj faced a checked path and was unable to be fully tested. Has come back well this prep and is still lowly rated with the handicapper.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE MARCH 20
Track Rating: Good 3
Warm weather on a firm deck, plus the Rail out to the 9m mark with a strong South-Easterly. With all of this combined, we expected to see horses racing on speed being heavily favoured. We actually saw the winners coming anywhere from forward of midfield, while there weren’t many horses dropping away after leading.
Race 1 BM86 (2400m) EXALTED CRAFTSMAN 📓
Ryan Hurdle has been riding in strong form of late and he rewards himself today with a treble. He also produced Ride Of The Day to open the account on Bet Selection Exalted Craftsman. Tempo was even, just enough to give every horse their chance. The Red Sea dictated from Stan The Caddy, with the latter pulling up lame in both forelegs. After initially coming back to find a spot, Hurdle pokes up one off the fence on the first turn to follow Ourkhani. In the process, Lostarc is forced to race 3WNC the entire. Lostarc attempts to improve by the 600m with Exalted Craftsman following. Just going better than the one taking him in, Hurdle allows Exalted Craftsman to stride deep around Lostarc. Ourkhani not much luck with Stan The Caddy coming back onto him, and the bird had flown with Exalted Craftsman. We’ll keep following the winner, love the way he relaxes in the run plus he has that turn of foot. Exalted Craftsman also put Grant Young’s training talents on display. He was racing fifth-up today after more than a year away following a tendon injury. Being relaxed in running and then putting them away is the result of the Top Training Performance by Young’s team.
Race 2 BM82 (1250m)
Cranbourne trainer Mark Webb is building a handy record with his visits to Adelaide. He took the bikkies home again thanks to a patient ride by Hurdle on Designer Chef. Stalking the speed set by Tequila Time (who was slowly away), Designer Chef came away from the fence to challenge. Triton Rising was the horse with momentum after settling around the winner early. As these two came away from the others, it became evident the inside horse was to wrest that momentum away. Strong boy Designer Chef, he may do just as well on the bigger tracks here too.
Race 3 BM76 (1550m)
The expected solid tempo went out the door early as Bet Selection Territory Titan walked out of the gates. This coupled with La Richesse being on her best behaviour, meaning Heir Of Tavistock found a controlled lead. Don’tdreamit’sover tracked 3WNC, however was traveling comfortably without the speed being on. He took over for Jess Eaton well inside the 250m to put a gap on them, leaving a bunched finish behind. Territory Titan came on hard when clear, just missed Exalted Traveller who also came late to finish second.
Race 4 3yo BM68 (1250m)
Bet Selection Outlaw’s Revenge pushed on early from out wide to control the race from Eagles Forever. He looked the winner on turning, and we were confident of what was left in the tank. It only takes one, and this time it was Todd Pannell bringing the visitor, Melba Storm with a sweeping run. They’d settled on their own in about a midfield position early before peeling to come up the middle. Waiting on sectionals to be sent down the line, however Melba Storm home in something like 34.00. The leader didn’t really seem to shorten, just couldn’t fend off that kind of late charge. They beat the older BM86 field by 1L in overall time, as that field came home about 1.5L faster L600m.
Race 5 BM68 (1000m)
Centerfield had been burning up the turf at Port Lincoln, leading her trainer Rocky King to take a chance in town. She hummed along in front, ultimately giving Larkham something to chase. She did also give a good kick on turning. Dom Tournuer however, had Larkham balanced and ready. The pair surged to the front inside the 200m, and despite laying in had scored comfortably enough. Stage Front had been following the pair in the early running and found the line marginally ahead of Centerfield.
Race 6 CL2 (1000m)
Strong CL2 race, which on paper rated similar to Benchmark as to the BM68 in the previous. A few lightly raced gallopers in this who will go far. For now though, this race was dominated by those on-speed. Eaton had urged New Roman across to the early lead from Race Favorite Hypersonic, who followed them across. Oceans Reward tucked in for a trail and had the perfect run. There’s your first three, with Hypersonic gaining the upper hand to come away and score by 1L under Barend Vorster. The earlier BM68 field finished about 1L faster overall, while home about 1.5L faster L600m. Sectional Star between both heats was All In War, who missed the kick in the second division. Home something like 32.30 L600m (well wait on Sectional times to come through on that). She’s a hard horse to catch, and I think these 1000 – 1050m races are her go anyway.
Race 7 BM68 (1250m)
Sophie Logan rates track and distance specialist Call Me Curtis a treat out in front. She’s been riding extremely well since her return from injury and it won’t take long before her city winners are coming again. Jason Holder parked the well tried Midnight Storm to the leaders hindquarters and that was about all she wrote. Simply too classy Midnight Storm, picking up his well deserved win by just over 1L to Call Me Curtis. Time ranked about 2.5L slower overall to Melba Storms 3yo BM68, while coming home about 5L quicker L600m. They walked and forget the rest.
Race 8 BM68 (1950m)
Peach of a ride by Ryan Hurdle who brings up his treble, together with a Grant Young double. He found the gun run on Exalted Beast, positioned the fence in a spot better than midfield. Video Watch on Peter Hardacre’s Kyshaka, who was trapped 3WNC the entire. Metcalfe gave her as nice a ride as she could without much luck, and Kyshaka ultimately faded from the speed. Only beaten 1.5L in the end and will pay to forgive. Barend Vorster picked his way through the field in a searching run aboard Monteferrante, and looked the winner. Hurdle, however, had come off the fence with Exalted Beast to bring him with a well-timed run and score.
Race 9 BM60 (1400m) NEODIUM 📓
Neodium has been gifted a sweet preparation by the Phillip Stokes yard, and we can believe there’s more to come. He’s now won three from four this prep, with his two latest victories being a display of sustained speed. Crossing this time from the widest Barrier in the full field, Neodium lumped the top weight to track the leader Miroku. These two finished first and third respectively, as the closers came late. He’ll move to a handicap rating of BM70 now where the Stokes’ can pick off a few more yet.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE MARCH 13
Track Rating: Soft 5
Early down grade with mild Temps and overcast skies to open the meeting. Soft 5 combined with the strengthening SW breeze (20km’s to mid 30’s) left times on the worse side of that rating. When the various ratings agencies release their Benchmark times for the card, I’m not sure they’ll be overly kind. Track played extremely well though, and they used plenty of it with no bias evident.
Race 1 2yo BM62 (1000m) KARACASU 📓
Kayla Crowther picks up where she left off from The Parks with another winner. Controlled the speed as she liked aboard Race Selection, Brother’s Shadow. In keeping one away from the fence, Crowther had the field bunched while allowing the others to challenge her. Nothing did, and despite the saddle slipping into the straight, Brother’s Shadow notched his second win in as many starts. Karacasu is one we’ll be watching closely. No early speed then left flat-footed when the leader quickened. He did work into the bridle again, only to check off heels inside the 400m. Stretched out well when clear in a promising debut.
Race 2 BM86 (1000m)
What should’ve been a drawcard event turned into a bit of a fizzer due to the afternoon stroll. They finished about 1L faster than the 3yo BM64 in the next while coming home over 6L quicker L600m. Elderflower led a Length from Alleboom with Propelle settling another couple off them. Forget the others, as they were only afforded a jump out. Alleboom folded quickly under pressure while Propelle went to, and claimed Elderflower.
Race 3 3yo BM64 (1000m)
Beau Rossa began a warm favorite, receiving solid support throughout betting on the strength of his recent jump out. Todd Pannell takes the running double in Ride Of The Day, following the speed set by Chosen Blonde and Baraconi. The latter filly seemed to be tightened for room top of the straight as Pannell eased around her early. Chosen Blonde offered resistance for much of the straight, just tired late on resumption. Perfectly judged ride by Pannell where he didn’t over-do anything, nor knock the horse about.
Race 4 3yo BM68 (1400m) MORTY 📓
Morty copped a squeeze at the start and was sent to the back, some 3L behind the field. This was more of a BM60 field, and they ran along okay for such. Showusyourmotor led with the Race Favorite Casino Seventeen doing the stalking. These two got away from the others and appeared set to fight it out. That breeze was telling though, and the others were coming inside the furlong. Shayne Cahill had gradually eased Morty into the race, punching the run along the fence. They used all of the track in this, and it was Casino Seventeen who held onto win out in the middle section. Morty had put the dive in to make it close, and we can follow him. Bribery a forgive run, pulled up with some issues and I believe she will now be spelled.
Race 5 Maiden (1250m)
Plenty going on in the bigger field in which we could spend all day on. Anna Jordjso on Zero Inn quickly took luck out of the equation as her horse began well. She had the filly traveling one-off behind the leader early. Cuddled into the straight before issuing the challenge and going on with it in a nice debut. Point Blaze the Sectional Star despite finding a checked path towards the business end. His 35.26 L600 was highlighted with a strong 11.68 final furlong. Time was that of a maiden, though we can follow the first two.
Race 6 NMW (1000m)
This field went as around as somewhere close to a BM68 class to record a fast time to the day. Top Training Performance by Travis Doudle as his filly, Spanish Heirloom landed the stable a treble. Today’s win comes off the back of her Maiden victory at Bordertown, and two wins in succession at Port Lincoln. She did it all from the front, scooting through to take the early lead from Huffington and Champagne Affair. That trio came away from the others and as the latter two commenced to weaken into the breeze, the leader kept going. We can follow Spanish Heirloom, and also Devonte who made ground to land second placing.
Race 7 BM68 (1400m)
Angaston brought up a well-deserved win for many after receiving an armchair ride from Jacob Opperman. Phyla Vell had played-up behind the gates and began well despite delaying the start. She was well-supported off the back of dual victories at Port Lincoln and Crowther allowed her to open up down the side. Angaston settled some 4L astern with Lake’s Folly to his inside and another couple to Alsvior. With Phyla Vell hanging badly to the outside on turning, Angaston and Lake’s Folly came back to her inside. Alsvior under the big weight however, was not so lucky. With the leader shifting, Sophie Logan was forced to baulk and commence another run with the mare. She looked a chance though had peaked inside the last 100m or so. Angaston got the better of Lake’s Folly before having to survive a challenge from Sadente, who charged late to miss.
Race 8 NMW (1550m)
Fulton Street pings the barriers to find the early lead in a well-judged ride under Maggie Collett. They controlled the tempo to their liking from Desidero and the eventual winner, Monraaj who gained the sweet run. Video Watch on Dare To Dream Horse, Mullaghmore trapped 3WNC the entire. Fulton Street gives them the slip on turning and seemed all but home. That head breeze of over 30km’s must’ve been telling though as Monraaj was able to chip away into the margin. With the line looming, Monraaj had found the front to keep the purple patch going for trainer Ryan Balfour. Mullaghmore somehow picked himself up to grind away, and they deserve to find a win with him somewhere this prep.
Race 9 BM64 (1250m)
The Murray Bridge training partnership Sue and Jason Jaensch capped off a memorable day in picking up a winning double. Paul Gatt also completed his double when he stalked to speed on Skilled Bunch. Rose Tiara had gone to the leader, Miss Carboni, only to be set upon by Skilled Bunch by the 200m. Galcrum ran on to pinch second, but Skilled Bunch was just in the right place at the right time. Good pace and the overall time rated okay too.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE MARCH 6
When Stars Align
Track Rating: Good 4
Perfect conditions with the Rail True on a Good 4. SW breeze near 20km’s and mid 20c. Lead to win was the order of the day, until Appalachian came from the clouds to take the last.
Race 1 2yo Maiden (1000m)
Debutante filly Champagne Dreams from the Francis-Kent yard jumped quickly to lead the first. Well controlled gallop for a 2yo maiden under Kayla Crowther and wasn’t pressured at any stage. She gave a good kick to win clearly over Tavikat with the pattern for the day taking shape already. We’ve seen faster times from the 2yo’s, however Champagne Dreams did run out a comfortable winner.
Race 2 3yo Maiden (1000m)
Virtue pinged sharply to find an uncontested lead, again under Crowther. Not much else doing, we can place a Video Watch on Sparkup who ran on into second. A Blackbooker from his previous prep, Sparkup ran on against the pattern to nab the well-supported Jonquest. Similar tempo early, with Virtue coming home about 2L quicker than the 2yo’s.
Race 3 BM64 (1550m) CROWN HARMONIUM 📓
We backed Heir Of Tavistock with a tricky pace map last start, where he duly presented with a forgive run. Thought we found a couple of better chances with our two Best today, though Heir Of Tavistock repaid those who stuck. Back from a BM68 race last start in which the quinella, Unlaced and LA Richesse will do battle on Monday. This time Jason Holder was able to find the front, and even had the luxury of allowing Enki to stride around him. Gave a good quick once he regained the lead to hold off Crown Harmonium who dived late. The former found a checkered path into the run and will pay to follow.
Race 4 BM72 (2400m)
Kayla Crowther rode a bag of four winners at Gawler back in January of this year. Stan The Caddy formed part of the haul that day and Crowther gave him Ride Of The Day to land her third here. Controlled front running ride in which they went quickly enough to be left alone, slow enough to kid to them. They came home in short spaces, nice to see the top-weight Exalted Craftsman relax well before running into second. He was racing third-up today following a lay-off of around 18 months. Would love to follow, just not sure what there is around for him over a trip and with his high-rating.
Race 5 BM62 (1250m) WHEN STARS ALIGN 📓
SA Blackbooker Load And Go delivered today, hopping straight on the bunny to record an impressive win in sharp time. He led at a fast tempo, there to be beaten. Eventually Born To Play gave a belated late dive. Still finished over half a Length astern at the finish and Mount Gambier trainer Richard Wilson added a city double to his name. Port Augusta horse woman Kylie McKerlie has transferred the training of When Stars Align to former SA Jockey Scott Westover. Westover, looking to establish himself as a trainer in SA after spending time in the Red Centre unearths a coming winner. When Stars Align raced as a successful Blackbooker for us last prep and found the line well between runners again. He was second-up in this and usually takes a run or two to find his best.
Race 6 BM62 (1400m)
Here she is, crowd favorite Jessica Eaton with a mature steer on the winner Zoist. Wasn’t the best away, however early tempo wasn’t sharp either. Eaton allows Zoist to find his feet before cruising up to the early leaders after not much more than a furlong. All of a sudden, the McEvoy trained 3yo was trucking easily and the result loomed ominous. They were the first to straighten, and the two next to them in Spectacle and Mr Raikkonen filled the minors in close attendance. Video Watch on Heavy Rotation who missed the kick a bit over a Length. He made ground the fence to be in a striking position on turning. Didn’t find a lot of room, though I don’t think he’d have troubled the other three. Otherwise a perfect day for trainer James Dodgson, and there’s a win for Heavy Rotation somewhere soon.
Race 7 BM78 (1400m)
RacingBase SA cult horse Territory Titan’s all the way win itself took the days Top Training Performance. Bordertown horseman James Dodgson’s two-state treble which included a double at Edenhope was the icing on the cake! Territory Titan was coming back to a sharp 1400m city event following two successive defeats over a mile. The latest of which when he lumped 61.5kg to see Dr Dee Dee get to nab him late at Bordertown. Short let-up did the trick, plus southpaw senior Caitlin Jones taking the reigns from Crowther, and Territory Titan did the rest. He did jump up slightly out of the gates, though mustered quickly enough to lead at a good clip. No excuses the rest with Diplomatic Measure running on with Lakes Folly, and also Angaston between them. Sharp time was recorded by the winner who took the race away from them early.
Race 8 BM60 (1400m)DESIDERO 📓
High rating win by that of Neodium who did it all from the front and we can follow plenty out of this. Still not quite up there with the BM72 field earlier in the day, though the winner is on the right path. Always comfortable under Crowther, he didn’t flinch as Gougers worked overtime to cross, and Magic Dee worked 3WNC. Neodium busted the field up as Race Selection Gougers hoisted the white flag and Magic Dee was game holding third. We can follow her too. Desidero usually takes a few runs and with Grant Young adding the blinkers, signs were that fitness was building. He couldn’t go with them early before making ground late out wide. Look for Desidero to play his part in the upcoming Port Augusta Racing season. The dam had burst for Kayla Crowther though. She has just been ticking over with the winners, and the win of Neodium brought up her second haul of four.
Race 9 BM60 (1000m)
My confidence was growing throughout the day for our Value Selection in Fabulous Flipper. The days racing pattern had leant itself to those on speed and nearer the fence. We mentioned pre-race the wrecking ball that Mrs Hyde can bring to the races with her pure speed. We hadn’t figured on one other wrecking ball though – that of enigmatic galloper Appalachian! Mrs Hyde came out fast with Gimme The Goss. As one of the best in the business, race-smart apprentice Stacey Metcalfe took the box-seat on Fabulous Flipper. With Race Favorite Larkham racing 3WNC and Appalachian ducking in behind them, we were preparing an early crow for Fabulous Flipper. Last time out she ran 57.74 with a 33.33 L600m, and had now cruised up to the leaders by the 250m. Nothing could beat her from here – except for Sectional Star horse Appalachian who sprouted wings late. He’s run some sectionals in the past, and produced a 22.62 L400m to claim Fabulous Flipper about 50m from home to score. Time of 57.46 was sharp and the top three, which includes a forgive by Larkham can all be followed.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MURRAY BRIDGE FEBRUARY 27
Track Rating: Good 4
Rail True on the Good 4 with mid 20c temps. Breeze started mildly with a 13km North-Westerly before building throughout the day to a 28km South-Westerly. All in all, conditions were perfect and the track played a treat.
Race 1 Maiden (1000m)
Good race to start the card and this rated well, we can follow out of the race with confidence. Stasia received good market support and jumped cleanly today. She set a good tempo with Throwaparty kicking through along her inside. Paul Gatt gaining the gun run the fence behind the pair on Race Favorite Divenire. Gatt gets to the early leaders towards the 200m to boot Divenire home a winner, with Saint Olga next. Turfitt, a Video Watch horse on debut ran home 32.8 – 21.7 -11.0, marking him the day’s Sectional Star.
Race 2 3yo (1400m)
They walked in this and there’s not a lot we want to take out of it. Struck By lands an early race to race double for Jockey Paul Gatt after racing outside the leader. With Baiandabai unfortunately weakening due to a nose-bleed, Struck By was left well in front inside the 400m. Another Award did chase into second when finally clear, but that was all she wrote really. Struck By well rated and too good.
Race 3 BM86 (1200m) SECOND SLIP 📓
Very high rating race to the day in which one gets the feeling Second Slip has plenty more to offer. Controlled ride out front by Todd Pannell as Second Slip led at a good tempo with the ears pricked. Tequila Time momentarily looked to apply some pressure, however Will Clarken’s import decided to wake up inside the 200m. For such a big boy, he just floats this one. Has a high cruising speed with an effortless big stride and Second Slip is a black type horse in the making.
Race 4 3yo BM62 (1200m) OUTLAW’S REVENGE and BOTTOM LINE 📓
It’s not often we attach the above Race Title to such a high caliber field, yet these were a 3yo 62! Highest rating performance of the day came from the winner Outlaw’s Revenge, and we’re going to follow this field. Outlaw’s Revenge pulled himself to race on-speed early, with Jacob Opperman electing not to fight him. Instead, balance was the key for Opperman as Outlaw’s Revenge kept wanting to change legs and do things wrong. Once into a good rhythm, Opperman sent the smart Ryan Balfour 3yo out after Race leader Baraconi. Outlaw’s Revenge was very good, and so too the runner-up Bottom Line from the Phillip Stokes yard. He got home well between horses on resumption here, will want further and his peak is yet to come.
Race 5 BM82 (1400m)
Another truly run race in which we can follow out of. Felt watching it live that they were only going even at best, and Barend Vorster appeared to of stolen it! The clock tells a different tale and both the winner Renegade, and also runner-up Sky Punch ran very well. Video Watch on the big fella Balf’s Choice who was resuming today. Nice spot around midfield early, did have to wait around the heels of Gigglon for a few strides. He made good late ground despite tasting the whip of Claudia Lions, and is a dual second-up winner.
Race 6 2yo SA MM (1200m)
Didn’t appear to be an overly strong field lining up in this year’s edition of the SA 2yo Magic Millions. John Moloney targeted this race with the Blue Diamond Prelude runner-up in Scorched Earth who ran away with the prize. Jessica Eaton allowed her to stride along under her own steam in front before putting several lengths on her rivals. While she did win by 5L, the time doesn’t rate and she’s probably the only horse I’d want to follow. Still, Scorched Earth did put on a spectacle for the crowd and hopefully the new standalone MM meeting can gain traction.
Race 7 BM60 (1200m)
Perhaps that swinging breeze to a strong South-Westerly was coming into play, as this race also did not rate. Big win by Justica to come from well back off the slow tempo and just nose out He’s A Balter. Port Lincoln trainer Brian Clarke brought up a timely reminder to punters to not underestimate the form from the Westcoast. With the Port Lincoln Cup just around the corner, it will pay for punters to brush up on the local form. Video Watch on He’s A Balter as the Moe stable of Peter Gelagotis will be counting themselves unlucky. Baulked for a run for much of it under 60.5Kg’s, He’s A Balter sprinted sharply inside the 200m between horses. It was a big effort and he looked the winner too. Just with the slow overall times posted, I am concerned he may be backed into under’s at his next run.
Race 8 BM78 (2500m)
Plenty of accolades to hand out here as Blanch takes the day’s Top Training performance with the winner Azzureous. He wasn’t beaten all that far in town recently, a run that was sandwiched between two defeats at Kingscote. Blanch backed his judgment in getting his horse out over a trip in town, and Metcalfe’s claim made the difference. Their win possibly overshadowed the Ride Of The Day performance from Jake Toeroek on the runner-up Ourkhani. Given a peach just back of the speed early. Toeroek elected not to come out 3W and lose cover around Fairlight as he became shuffled with the mixed tempo. Instead, he followed Karl Zechner (himself a well-judged ride) into the race as the real pressure started to build. In an ideal world, Zechner would’ve moved for him earlier. As it was, Ourkhani had just missed with jake changing up his riding late in an effort to keep him straight.
Race 9 1MW (1800m)
Stacey Metcalfe with a treble as she again proves there’s nothing wrong with the three-wide line, this time with Kyshaka. Trapped 3WNC is no issue at Gifford Hill, and Kyshaka cruised up to them early for an effortless win in sharp time. Buena Veloz had tracked the winner for much of it and seemed to hit a flat spot from about the 400m. Nice run to grab a minor while the stewards will be working overtime to highlight the runners back towards the fence.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE FEBRUARY 20
Track Rating: Good 4
The rail remained out to 11mts on a warm day of 28c. Strong enough South-Westerly again, blowing at high 20km’s. The day played fairly enough, though it was hard to lead and win.
Race 1 BM82 1600m
We opened with a match race between last start winners Ritratto and Iron Clad. Both incidentally come through our SA Barrier Trial Black Book and were one and two in the market. We were firmly in the corner of Ritratto, and the corner is we stayed for the meeting. Ritratto was tardily into stride, which may have ultimately cost him. Todd Pannell found an early lead on Iron Clad before making Jess Eaton spend a few more pennies to cross on Ritratto than she’d have liked. Iron Clad remained in close attendance before winning out in what was an old-fashioned war up the straight. We talk about second-up syndrome, often reserving the lingo for stayers who have put in a good fresh run. Top Training effort by Will Clarken who gave Iron Clad a jump out following his first-up win over 1200m. They ran along throughout, and the time these two produced rates highly. Can keep following both horses.
Race 2 BM60 (1050m) ASTON RAPOVA 📓
Ryan Balfor produced Larkham to win first-up following some promising signs at the trials and jump outs. A controlled ride by Dom Tourneur saw Larkham scoot through to take over from early race leader, Load And Go. Just an even tempo followed which gave little chance to those who lobbed out the back early. These included Three Tears who recorded some of the day’s fastest sectionals in getting home late for third. Astron Rapova missed the kick slightly on resumption so lost any advantage of using his early toe. Hi kept finding to the line. Still only a 3yo with a light handicap rating, Astron Rapova can win a race somewhere at a good price soon.
Race 3 3yo BM68 (1100m)
Good speed initially shown by Morphett Road who led and kicked from Cool Magnum, who raced a little greenly late. Those two did find a steadying furlong in passing the 600m, after accruing a break of some 6L on the rest. Nice ride by Jason Holder saw Pimm’s Party finish best from worse than midfield to score from Morphett Road. Video Watch on Wide Awake from the Dabernig-Hayes yard, who unable to be fully as Cool Magnum shifted ground. Comparatively, this field ran similar time to the first 600m as to the BM60 won earlier by Larkham. They did not come home anywhere near as well which suggests this race may be hard to follow out of.
Race 4 BM82 (1050m) TOFF LOVE 📓
They ran along out front with Music Addition and Elderflower not keen to hand-up. This saw a confident ride by Kayla Crowther on Taken Off and we finally record him running smart time. Toff LOVE continues to race well under new master, David Jolly. He followed the winner without proving any match for Taken Off. Toff Love comes through a low handicap rating and will be hard to beat back to his own BM70 grade.
Race 5 BM78 (1800m)
Little to no speed to report as Jess Eaton was able to slide-up on Race Favorite Lord Vladivostok. The pair remained at the hindquarters of leader and Race Selection, Hobo Bob. Those back in the field again were presented with no realistic chance at the tempo. Eaton sent Lord Vladivostok for the judge early and he raced clear, putting 4L on his rivals quickly. Despite incurring the wrath of the Stewards over his antics of ducking in sharply, Lord Vladivostok had won comfortably. SA Blackbook horse Motel was game in running on late from well back and will likely find another winnable race soon.
Race 6 BM60 (1540m)
Picture perfect ride from Todd Pannell saw Call Me Shamus lob handier than usual from an inside draw. Detentore had pulled himself to a 3/4L lead outside of last start winner Echo Boom, keeping up a strong gallop. Stacey Metcalfe comes around the heels of Detentore to mount a challenge at the top of the straight. Pannell follows them through before the threading the gap to Echo Boom’s outside in a perfectly timed ride to score. The lightly race Worsfold was well-tried in betting, and he ran okay back along the fence.
Race 7 BM64 (1200m)
Less tempo in this, and yet we saw another example of superb timing by the winning jock. This time it was Barend Vorster who produced the first emergency Lope De Wolf with one run up the middle. Last week, Vorster had found the key to Ocean Reward’s success. Now with Todd Pannell retaking the reins on that horse, Vorster was left to the late pick-up ride. Friendless in betting, he stalked the more fancied runners in Ocean Reward and Midnight Storm from early in the piece. Thankfully none of the competitors seemed fazed with the riderless horse, and no-one became badly injured. As Midnight Storm gets to Rose Tiara inside the 250m, Ocean Reward attempts to tackle the pair. Lope De Wolf descends upon them all down to the 100m, going on to defeat a game Midnight Storm. Lope De Wolf registered the day’s Star Sectionals over the short journey with his 45.36 final 800m (11.68 L200m).
Race 8 G3 SW+P (2600m)
Jason Holder steps to the plate on race favorite Tralee Rose with Ride Of The Day. A good tempo had been ensured on top with expected race leader The Red Sea running along up top. Race Selection Farooq no luck for the second week running and was forced to push on from his wide position. Meanwhile, Holder found a beautiful spot one off the fence and back of midfield. Farooq makes his second run into the race before the 600m, hoping to outstay his rivals. This afforded Tralee Rose the perfect tag into the run and Holder couldn’t hold her slower. The Adelaide Cup favorite swept on by inside the 300m for a win of silly ease. Long Arm the best of the rest, coming on from well back. Fittingly, Jason Holder had just produced the best ride in the race, on the best horse in the race.
Race 9 BM68 (1600m)
Backing-up from last week when La Richesse found early trouble, Todd Pannell was able to find an uncontested lead. There did look to be good speed on paper and La Richesse had yet to record a win in three attempts over a mile. It took a positive ride by Jess Eaton on a good horse in Unlaced to stalk – and claim La Richesse in the end. In what’s fast becoming a modern-day rivalry here in SA, Eaton and Pannell settled down to fight this one out early. La Richesse appeared to gain the upper-hand late, but Eaton had other ideas. She asked the Michael Hickmott runner for one final effort inside the 100m and Unlaced responded. As they crossed the line, Eaton had joined both Todd Pannell and Jason Holder in claiming yet another winning double.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE FEBRUARY 13
Track Rating: Good 4
With nearly two months between racing, the Morphettville Parks surface raced a treat on a perfect day. Overcast and 24c, the South-Westerly did kick-up into the high 20km’s without having much effect on the racing itself. Sharp times recorded to class throughout the day and we can follow out of the meeting with confidence.
Race 1 BM76 (1000m)
They ran the first one hard with Alleboom holding a margin along the inside over Flostar. These two get away from the others which affords Jess Eaton an armchair ride on Pariano. She gathered the leaders in quickly to put a margin on the field and find a comfortable 3L win. Sectional Star Symphonette home the day’s quickest last 800m in 43.92. This includes a 12.08 last 200m as she peaked on the effort. That last sectional shows that Symphonette had been taken out of her comfort zone as she was forced to chase. She will likely appreciate settling into a rhythm over the slightly longer 1200m in future races.
Race 2 3yo Maiden (1000m)
Plenty going on in this maiden race, including horses dumping riders en route to the gates. The rough and tumble continued during the event, where a good speed was set. Race Favourite Virtue took up the early running after being made to work from out wide. Breathtaking win by the well-supported debutante in Great Diviner. Strung-up on the fence with nowhere to go inside the 200m, Todd Pannell eventually found clear galloping room around heels. Great Diviner did the rest, getting home between horses while recording the day’s fastest Last 200m in 11.30 to score.
Race 3 2yo (1000m) BOLSONARO
Good 2yo race even though they didn’t break any records. SA Barrier Trial Blackbooker Hanabi found the front easily enough as Hauraki Gulf felt content to stalk. Ryan Hurdle kept the winner Knightstown in the one-out, one-back around Bolsonaro. Hurdle comes out three deep to challenge on turning as Kayla Crowther looked for galloping room on Bolsonaro. This division got away from the others and with the former two weakening a shade, Knightstown pounced inside the 100m. Hanabi lifted off the canvass to snatch second from Hauraki Gulf as Bolsonaro did her best work late once clear.
Race 4 BM68 (2400m)
Apprentice rider Scarlet So showed plenty of initiative to turn a seemingly mundane mile and a half race into a thriller! She may have gone out a little harder than first intended on race leader, The Red Sea. It matters little when they’re trained by Grant Young though, and the flashy chestnut kept going all the way. Race favourite Tibetan did the chasing from around 15L away with the also well-supported Ourkhani. These two seemingly had the leader for the taking from the 450m, only to find that So had been kidding. After allowing a breather down the side, So asked of The Red Sea again at about the 250m. He responded by backing up his Gawler win of three days previous and signalling another Top Grant Young Training Performance.
Race 5 3yo BM68 (1250m)
We expected the speed to be Medium to muddling, which is what we got. Jess Eaton again, this time controlling the speed on River Twain from the visiting Price-Kent yard. Todd Pannell was content to let Race Selection Pimm’s Party find her rhythm out of the gates. Nothing else wanted to attack as Eaton found an easy time of it on River Twain. Another Award found the back of her stablemate, Pimm’s Party as Ultimate Victory was able to be more forward today. They were the first four turning and the first four home. The reality is though, there is some quality in those four sets of legs as they got home in quick time. Eaton a double, Another Award was good and Pimm’s Party still learning.
Race 6 BM86 (1300m)
This was the feature race on the card and Stacey Metcalfe came out on top with Ride Of The Day. They didn’t fly up front, though they did run along better than we expected. As Arrow Lane took on the resuming Sky Punch, Metcalfe found the fence a few Lengths back the on Hankstar. The busy finish was coming as Foxhall came out three deep and Hankstar hunts the rails. Video Watch on All Star Mile aspirant Regalo Di Gaetano who kept coming from a mile back with the big weight to put himself into the finish. Arrow Lane improved out of sight to nearly cause a boilover and Sky Punch was game in just missing out. Metcalfe with all the right moves, proving the difference on Hankstar.
Race 7 BM68 (1250m)
Plenty happening again in another rough run race. Jason Holder with perfect timing in taking the chocolates aboard Tony’s Reward. We mentioned Tony’s Reward as a Video Watch horse last start and he delivered today. Not before some controversy, with Viduka shifting out around the 300m to commence his run. In doing so, contacted Leggero to his outside who in-turn hampered Lake’s Folly. Holder had also used his horse to lay-in on top of Lake’s Folly, who was building into the race. Immediately following the incident, Eaton stood up on the mare and elected not to test her to the line. Not sure she was going as well as the winner, and she does now get to race another day. Tony’s Reward puts the nose down in time to claim a luckless Viduka who is just searching for that win.
Race 8 BM60 (1000m)
They ran along in this one with the two speedsters, Summer Show and Mrs Hyde putting on a speed exhibition. This set it up for Ocean Reward to stalk from back of midfield and score under Barend Vorster. To effort from trainer Mark Webb to back-up Ocean Reward from his placing over 1200m at Morphettville last week. Rising to 60kg’s and coming back to 1000m is rarely a recipe for punters to follow, yet he was dominant. No excuses the rest.
Race 9 BM68 (1400m) LA RICHESSE 📓
Jess, Jess, Jess – oh why do I take you on?! La Richesse was expected to lead as she has done at her past couple. Instead, the mare seemed to cop some interference shortly after the start which saw her lobbing out the back. Impressed with the way she finished off and there’ll be more wins to come. Stacey Metcalfe with a picture-perfect ride on Race Selection Gougers. She just poked up enough to keep Sophie Logan busy on Masterati who had the gate speed to cross. Eaton kept Lord Vladivostok comfortable before producing some of her brilliance on the Hickmott gelding late. Back to the inside, Gougers had fought off all challengers with Metcalfe staring down a double. Instead, Eaton fluent with the shillelagh in the left hand had somehow managed to lift Lord Vladivostok over the line. We were looking at a 15/1 winner to get out with, which would’ve been good. Metcalfe looked set to bring up another double which would’ve been great. Instead, Eaton bags out with yet another the treble which is outstanding! Bring on next Saturday.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE FEBRUARY 6
Call It A Day
Track Rating: Soft 6
Rail 11mts on the Soft 6 track for our second meeting back on HQ following a let-up. Temps were around the 20 degrees with a strong South-Westerly blowing in excess of 35km’s per hour. Outside of the first, horses generally found it difficult to circle and make ground up the middle of the track. Slow early race tempo appears to be the theme for most of the day.
Race 1 BM72 (1200m)
No speed to report as Heyington Station was somewhat forced to take up the front running. This left Ambidazzle in unfamiliar territory one-out, one-back around Aten. Jess Eaton shifts off the fence early, following Ambidazzle, as her mount Lake’s Folly wanted to fight the slow tempo. Todd Pannell saw them all on the other fancy, Ironclad. Two Lengths separated the field inside the 450m as Ironclad circled the widest. Lake’s Folly gets the split inside the 300m, however still has a Length to make up on Ironclad who held the momentum. Strong win in the end for Ironclad over the former, as Ambidazzle stuck on well for third.
Race 2 3yo Maiden (1200m)
Another poorly run race through the early part. Lottie’s The Boss was out well on debut and led at a crawl from Daily Spirit to her outside. Point Blaze had pulled himself along the inside to sit up there with them. Daily Spirit ambled up and took over from Lottie’s The Boss around at the 250m to open a break. Point Blaze had come off their heels, and despite the over racing, quickened well to chase into second placing. Video Watch on the debutant from the Gordon Richards yard in Turfitt who also did not appreciate the slack tempo. She finished well into fourth under Jeff Maund once clear, as nothing else could make up a lot of ground.
Race 3 BM82 (1100m)
Patrick Payne comes back for a second helping of the riches on offer in South Australia. This time the punters weren’t waiting for a lead, instead they took to the markets early with Ididitforlove. Backers were duly rewarded as Jacob Opperman, following a tardy beginning by the top weight, produced a plearla off the inside. Opperman helped Ididitforlove into a rhythm without bustling the horse to find a spot behind the leader in Rock Hard. With no speed to report once again, Ididitforlove was able move under Tequila Time on turning to find clear running. Home the last 600m in 33.86 to clock the day’s fastest sectionals (including 11.60 last furlong). This was a switched-on ride that made the winning difference in a bunched finish.
Race 4 BM68 (1050m) CALL IT A DAY 📓
Now we get to see some speed as the intelligent apprentice Stacey Metcalfe claims another metro win. Riding the race fit Little Rich Boy for John Hickmott, she rolled along outside the race leader, Gatsby’s Girl. This afforded her plenty of cover off that strong Westerly blowing up the straight and they were a mile clear of the rest. Happy to let Little Rich Boy lay out further under pressure late, Stacey got enough out of him to hold a margin over the runner-up. Top training performance by John Hickmott who had Little Rich Boy backing-up every week for four weeks. Now with a fortnight between runs, Hickmott claimed the full 3kg’s with Metcalfe to find the result. Call It A Day, like the leader Gatsby’s Girl, was also resuming. He put in a big effort to keep up the chase from a mile back while leaving a reasonable gap back to the rest. Call It A Day had already shown plenty in his recent trial behind subsequent winner Ironclad, and we will be following.
Race 5 BM86 (1600m)
Interesting to see how the early-mid race pace was going to play out now that we’ve come away from the chute races. With a long straight run to the turn, Race Selection Ritratto didn’t have to do a power of work find the early lead. Eaton had him bowling along in front and racing tractably underneath her after not much more than a furlong. Plenty of others doing it a bit hard in behind the leader, including Diplomatic Measure who lugged hard 3WNC. Pace was just okay for a Soft track; still thought they might roll along better than what they did. Nevertheless, Ritratto kicked off that tempo to string the field out as they crossed the finish. First three turning were the first three home with plenty of gaps separating all the field.
Race 6 BM68 (2040m)
John Hickmott brings up a winning double and the partnership with Anna Jordjso continues to be profitable for their followers. We mentioned the high rating performance of Hobo Bob in the Review following his most recent win at Murray Bridge. Jordjso was able to follow at the leader’s rump as Sophie Logan showed her intent on Jack’s A Cracker. Still No Pace To Report in the event, leading to Dom Tourneur and Jason Holder making mid race moves. They took their mounts, Connermara Rose and Exalted Beast towards the front inside the 800m. Not one to panic, Jordjso just stalked the pair until it was time to produce Hobo Bob by the 450m. She didn’t really ask for a major effort until the 300m, and the pair opened a winning break. Video Watch on Master Of Zerprise who was one of the few able to make ground out wide. Eaton initially hunted rails runs until the pair were halted with Jack’s A Cracker coming back onto them. Switching heels by the 400m to become the widest runner wasn’t ideal, and connections will be licking some wounds.
Race 7 Listed Qty (2040m)
Race seven, black type and now the speed goes on with Sikorsky taking up the early running. Exalted Craftsman slides to his girth, keeping Sikorsky honest as Kayla Crowther holds Declares War one-out, one-back with cover. The tricky 2000m starting position coupled with the good early speed seals the early fate of Race Selection Farooq. Barend Vorster forced to come back to get in, and me re-thinking my future pace-maps from that starting point. All Honours the winner in Declares War as Kayla Crowther continues to find the winners on tap. The black type win for visiting trainer Matt Cumani surely opens Crowther to further opportunities come the Adelaide Cup Carnival.
Race 8 NMW (1600m) CAFÉ TORTONI 📓
Good Girl Bella continues her winning form for Bordertown trainer Jeff Searle as she completed her hatrick of wins. Even tempo as Sairyn Fawke attempts to control things a bit with It’s Magic. It was mission accomplished somewhat, as the pair did find a steadying couple of furlongs down the back. Sophie Logan finds the sweet run back of midfield with cover on Good Girl Bella and was able to tack on as Fawke increases the ante. By this time they are coming from well off the fence and Logan chimes into it with perfect timing by the 100m. Pure Ride Of The Day again Sophie Logan to get the winner home, as the runner-up Café Tortoni found little luck in running. Forced to race without cover and up to four wide at times, Cafe Tortoni was something beaten.
Race 9 BM64 (1200m)
Michael Hickmott is rarely far away from a winner these days and Pindaric supplied – proving too big, too strong for the seasoned Midnight Storm. Pace was okay, as we had seen throughout the day though, horses pretty much needed to race on-speed to figure. Midnight Storm had pushed-up closer than usual early as Jess Eaton was content to keep Pindaric happy outside the speedy Plaisir. With Plaisir weakening early from the lead, the stage was set for a battle up the straight between Pindaric and Midnight Storm. As Pindaric wanted to lay-in under pressure, Eaton was left on one rein and with the whip in the left. It was enough to find a slender margin though and stave off the protest in the steward’s room. When the dust had settled, Jess had landed a precious double to hold the gap between herself and Todd Pannell u the premiership race.
HORSES TO FOLLOW FROM MORPHETTVILLE JANUARY 30
LOAD AND GO
Track Rating: Good 4
First meeting at HQ for around 6 weeks and the track looked superb. Rail out in the 8m on a warmish day with the breeze starting off a mild 15km’s South-Easterly. The wind did pick-up to start Race 4 and had changed to a South-Westerly where it raged in the high 30km’s. No advantage anywhere, though horses who settled well back found it hard to win.
Race 1 3yo BM62 (1100m)
Race Selection Pimm’s Party bungled the start, and then again slow to find her feet. Impossible Action twice now has shown enough early speed to be closer than first thought. He moved up outside the leader, Swing With Junior after initially being caught wide. Those two ran along okay which afforded Jess Eaton a lovely trail on Race Favourite Echoes In Eternity. That filly was too good, as she ran past them by the 200m. Winner perhaps a little green in wanting to lay-out with Pimm’s Party and Mrs Mourinho making ground late.
Race 2 Maiden (1050m)
The market liked Chill With Teejay from the opening on Wednesday and he received constant support in betting. He received a nice ride too from Karl Zechner as he went on to score in a tight finish. Jason Holder put his skills on display early, with Virtue wanting to buck-jump shortly after the start. Quickly reined in by Stubbie, Virtue held a slight advantage in the lead until Self Sufficient scooted through. Chill With Teejay was not overly comfortable in being restrained off the slow tempo towards the rear. This was preferable to racing 4WNC though, and he and Effortkat made their runs together. Virtue had raced a little fiercely behind the leader and did well to be beaten only half a Length by the other two.
Race 3 BM68 (1800m)
As expected, Meadows Young Buck set the good early tempo. Did seem to over race in front though and may have come to an end. The Favourite and Race Selection, Tibetan also seemed a little keen throughout while receiving the gun run under Jess Eaton. Notification came through prior to the event that Nights Passage would attempt to gain cover. That horse settled at the tail of the small field and ended up chasing the winner, Medieval Miss to the line. He got close, but Todd Pannell on the Patrick Payne visitor was just getting himself warmed up for the day.
Race 4 NMW (1050m) LOAD AND GO 📓
This may have been a small field in a non-metrop, but still must be impressed with Load And Go. The South-East galloper led to run good time from start to finish and nearly pinched it. Todd Pannell had stalked him the entire with another Victorian raider, this time aboard Soul Obsession. First two out, first two home says more about the ability of the quinnella horses than anything else. They set good time and kept running, with Soul Obsession getting the bob in late. Both Soul Obsession and Load And Go will win more races, with perhaps more upside to the former.
Race 5 3yo BM62 (1530m)
That South-Westerly was raging in full swing by now, blowing up around close to 40 km’s phr. Muddling run race as Wild Spree injection some speed initially, leading a small breakaway group of four horses. Paul Gatt had the winner Struck By racing somewhat tractably at the back of that pack. The runner-up No Strings just lobbed along by himself a few lengths a way, with a further gap back to the rest. As the leader commenced to weaken by the 300m, Struck By was able to open a winning break with the rest racing touch dour. No Strings ran on resolutely into second, beaten a Length to the winner while Bolt By had too much to do.
Race 6 Listed WFA (1100m)
While there were specking around the top two, the word was all about a match race between Behemoth and Kemalpasa. Race Selection Mystyko not the best out of the inside gate, affording Kemalpasa a comfortable time in front. Todd Pannell with perfect handling of the big fella, Behemoth. Found a nice rhythm a few off the speed while keeping one off with plenty of room. Pannell had Kemalpasa in his sights early and it was a comfortable 3L win first-up for Behemoth. Mystyko was as honest as they come in never giving up the chase back along the inside. He couldn’t match the class of Kemalpasa, though kept coming to hold third in front of Regalo De Gaetano.
Race 7 BM72 (1200m)
Race Favourite Taken Off brought his winning Gawler form to HQ while keeping the punters cheering. After tightening considerably late from his short opening quote, Kayla Crowther gave him a neat ride with cover to score. Video Watch on Tony’s Reward. Jason Holder asked the Macdonald-Gluyas stable horse to find his feet behind them. After initially wanting to make ground around the field, the pair were forced back closer to the inside. In coming on late with Ice Ghost and Evening Glory, his momentum had already been held up. Pleasing to see there was nothing wrong with that inside section and Tony’s Reward may have turned the corner for his new stable. All honours the winner though, which are coming with some regularity for Kayla Crowther.
Race 8 BM82 (1600m)
Todd Pannell saves his best for last in bringing up Ride Of The Day with the winner Black Sail. Last years John Letts Medallist kept the leader relaxed in front, as Heir Of Tavistock wanted to pressure early. Pannell just kidded to them with Holder backing off and allowing the front runner to rate the pace too well for the others. He won comfortably with a gap back to Heir Of Tavistock, who again tried to force some pressure from the 600m. Cuban Toonite ran on well from the back for third. Todd Pannell too good though in bringing up his fourth winner for the day, and all others must be forgiven.
Race 9 BM60 (1600m) DREAMED 📓
Patrick Payne with a double and welcome home Lachy Neindorf, even if it just was for a hit and run mission. Settling midfield early, Neindorf brought Echo Boom with a confident run up the middle to run away with it late. Dreamed finished off well into second for Caitlin Jones and can be followed for a win soon. Stuck the fence with nowhere to go, Jones found runs in coming off the fence by the 400m to force herself into the clear. Once balanced, the pair came out after them to put the writing on the wall for next start. Nice ride from a sticky position by Jones and good effort by Dreamed.