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Barrier Trials Victoria - latest blackbookers from the VIC barrier trials

  • Victorian Barrier Trial Blackbookers

Our Melbourne racing expert will keep you up to date with all the horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials.

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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:

Cranbourne Barrier Trials – October 22


Trial 3 (800m) 46.70
The form from this heat should stand up for a couple of reasons. Firstly, CROWN WITNESS won in the quickest time of the morning, and she did it easily beating the speedy Our Luca and Super Cash. She won on debut and then defeated Madeenaty at Flemington before holding off Catchy in the Quezette Stakes (1100m). She weakened in the final 100m in the Blue Sapphire Stakes (1200m) and had probably had enough by that stage. Now with the Henry Dwyer stable, she looks to have come back in great order and can resume with a win in the right race. 

Trial 7 (800m) 48.76
Crema On Jetty won this in slow time but it was the 4th placed SCHWITZER that caught the eye working home strongly after sitting four deep without cover for the trip. Trained by Greg Eurell, the Danerich gelding trialled twice in June but was only fair on debut when finishing 2.2 lengths from Ben Hercules. Blinkers have come off and he appears to have come back in top order as he made good ground late off the slow tempo. 

Trial 8 (800m) 46.72
The unraced DRAIN THE SWAMP did an enormous job to sit four and five wide for the trip and run such good time in this heat. He was pushed out in the straight but was eased up late. Trainer Peter Gelagotis should have some fun with this won and he should have no trouble breaking through for a maiden win. 

Trial 18 (990m) 1:00.48
Craig Williams was on hand to put this Robert Hickmott-trained son of Medaglia d'Oro through his paces, and I’m guessing that means the stable have an opinion of him. The unraced colt goes by the name of GOLDEN SHOT, and if this trial was any guide, he’ll be winning races soon. After settling off the speed, he came off heels in the straight and just ambled up to them to win stylishly. Still learning his caper and looks quite raw but is in the right hands and has a bright future. 

BLACKBOOKERS:
Crown Witness
Schwitzer
Drain The Swamp
Golden Shot

Cranbourne Barrier Trials – September 17

Track condition: Good 4

Trial 2 (1550m) 1:38.94
It’s interesting to see a nine-year-old Japanese-import gearing up for his Australian debut, but I liked what I saw from HAPPY MOMENT and will be keeping a close eye on him. The son of Deep Impact has good form around 2400m but has been struggling in Group company in Japan in recent times. This was his third Australian trial, and he keeps improving. He was pushed along in the straight but didn’t really quicken or extent, but I get the feeling a couple of cracks with the whip would have seen him go up a few gears. Trainer Anthony Freedman could have him ready to surprise fresh over a mile to 2000m. 

Trial 4 (990m) 1:01.00
Viddora has come back well and impressed winning this heat, but the 2nd placed ASHARANI is the one I want to follow. Trained by David Vandyke and partnered by Jeff Lloyd (who must have come down from QLD for the trial) the three-year-old daughter of I Am Invincible was absolutely strangled down the straight and was matching motors with some far more accomplished gallopers. The fact she’s been sent south suggests she’s well above average, and this was impressive work. 

Trial 5 (800m) 46.85
YOU’VE BEEN HAD ran the quickest time of the 800m heats, and in my experience analysing trials for many years, it’s something to always pay attention to – any horse can look impressive in slow time, but when they look good in quick time, the form usually stacks up. Trainer Lisa Enright has done a terrific job with this Reward For Effort gelding who has won five from eight starts including a last start win at Moonee Valley over 1000m in 57.99 on a Good 4. With six weeks between runs, this trial has him up to speed, and he can continue winning. 

Trial 6 (800m) 47.46
The flying MISS LEONIDAS went 3.5 lengths slower than You’ve Been Had in the previous heat, but she did it in a canter and looked like she would have exploded if asked for an effort. She belted her rivals by six lengths at Moonee Valley over 1000m last start in a time of 59.30 on a Soft 6 which was four lengths quicker than Showpero, Rillito and Belwazi in the following race. She’s come back well from a short break and is worth sticking with. 

Trial 11 (800m) 47.43
The Tony McEvoy-trained EAST INDIAMAN won a maiden at Balaklava and was then tested at Flemington where he was far from disgraced finishing 2.6 lengths from stablemate Crockett. He sat on the pace with La Chambie who weakened to finish six lengths away but has subsequently won, and the fact East Indiaman battled on until his run peaked at the 100m mark showed his effort was full of merit. McEvoy’s given Hinchinbrook colt five weeks to get over the run and has topped him off with this nice trial where he came from off the pace and went on to score comfortably. I especially loved the way he pricked his ears when he got to the front as it shows he’s pretty smart and knows what he’s doing. Follow him for sure.

Trial 13 (800m) 47.19
Another one for McEvoy with debutant STILL INVINCIBLE impressing in his first official outing. He showed good early speed to lead them, and when Luke Currie have him a dig in the straight, he quickly put four lengths on others that were being pushed out hard to the line. Time was good, and he can measure up in a suitable event. 

Trial 15 (800m) 47.57
MISS LIBERTAS is an unraced three-year-old daughter of Artie Schiller who is trained by Anthony Freedman, and she showed a great turn of foot to charge into 2nd under hands and heels riding. She’ll appreciate getting over a bit more ground and can be followed into her debut assignment and beyond. 

Trial 21 (990m) 1:01.59
BRAVO TANGO has a high head carriage and doesn’t appear to be the most tractable galloper, but he was 2nd at Stakes level in his first campaign and resumed next prep with a 1.7 length 3rd behind Nature Strip - that form reads extremely well. He came from last in the trial This was his second trial this time in, and he looks ready to go first-up over a sprint trip. 

Trial 27 (1190m) 1:14.68
A very soft trial for OUR LIBRETTO who scored for us after starring in the trials earlier this campaign. She’s a filly with a lot of talent and plenty of upside, and the stable are aiming high with some Group races on the agenda. Continue to stick with her. 

BLACKBOOKERS:
Happy Moment
Asharani
You’ve Been Had
Miss Leonidas
East Indiaman
Still Invincible
Miss Libertas
Bravo Tango
Our Libretto

Cranbourne Barrier Trials – September 3

Track condition: Heavy 8

Trial 1 (800m) 47.37
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained BONS AWAY won this heat in average time but did it very easy and looks to have come back in great order. He won and placed 3rd in his first two fresh runs and then resumed last campaign in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) where he was far from disgraced finishing half a length from Russian Revolution after a tough run. That first-up form is strong and he’s worth following into his first run this preparation.

Trial 2 (800m) 47.46
This was by far the best piece of work I’ve seen from the Michelle Payne-trained TEMPLAR who has managed just two placings from five starts to date. He showed good early speed from the wide gate and coursed six wide throughout. But despite doing far more work than his trial rivals, he ambled up in the straight to win the heat under a strong hold while others were pushed right out and simply couldn’t match him. Following an eight-week break, he tried to lead all the way over 1350m but just peaked late and was grabbed near the line. With that run and this very soft trial under his belt, he’ll prove hard to catch next time. Being by Fiorente, a step up in trip should see him improve further. 

Trial 3 (800m) 46.49
ZOUMANOR won this heat in the quickest time of the eight 800m trials and did it within himself from out in front. The Robbie Laing-prepared son of Zoustar looked quite professional with the blinkers on, and his brilliant early pace should give him every chance to score over 1000m on debut. 

Trial 6 (800m) 46.78
Trainer David Brideoake must have an opinion of GRAND WISH considering she went from a win at her second start and then straight into the Group 3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) where she finished seven lengths from Sunlight. She was held up a few times in the straight but then seemed to weaken late. With another soft trial win under her belt, she can go on with it in a winnable race.

Trial 13 (1190m) 1:16.03
Group 1 Schweppes Oaks runner-up Kenedna won his heat from Anthony Freedman’s Bedford, but it was the 3rd placed LAUGHING HEIR that impressed most. His best form is between 1600m and 2000m, so he might take a couple of runs to wind up, but he was hard held behind more accomplished gallopers and outshone them. He has had two trials and could run a bold race first-up, so it may pay to stick with him until he scores this preparation. 

BLACKBOOKERS:
Bons Away
Templar
Zoumanor
Grand Wish
Laughing Heir


Cranbourne Barrier Trials – August 21

Track condition: Heavy 10

Trial 3 (1190m) 1:15.41
I’m a big fan of Spanish Reef but she doesn’t look ready just yet, neither does Ambitious who trainer Richard Freedman hold in high regard, but gee did OUR LIBRETTO impress. The five-year-old daughter of O’Reilly settled a distant last but swooped down the outside late under no pressure at all to grab 2nd in this heat. She came to Grahame Begg following two unplaced runs in New Zealand, and after a 52-week break, she scored at Sandown over 1400m claiming a maiden victory in her Australian debut. Considering she has trialled twice since that win, she clearly has plenty of upside, and with some serious staying pedigree, she’ll only improve as she gets out in trip. For a maiden winner to stand out against these classy types, she must have some talent and she could be a spring player. 

Trial (800m) 48.50
SHOALS savaged the line in what was the quickest of the 800m heats. Stablemate Santa Ana Lane set the speed and was asked for a bit of an effort down the straight but Shoals hit the line best and looks to have come back in great order ahead of her The Everest campaign. 

Trial 6 (800m) 49.34
Two that impressed here for different reasons. VASSILATOR came from well back in the field to score and is nominated for the Caulfield Guineas. Trainer Colin Little said he suffered a set back when returning an elevated white cell count and they are two weeks behind schedule so it’s uncertain if he’ll head to Moonee Valley on Saturday or Caulfield the following week – but he’s come back in great order. Robbie Laing’s MASTER ROCK featured in my last barrier trial blackbookers piece, and he lost no admirers finishing 2nd here as he just cruised to the line after sitting off the speed and taking the lead half-way down the straight. 

Trial 13 (800m) 49.72
There wasn’t much between WRITTEN CHOICE (1st) and I Did It Again (2nd), but the former is proven when fresh and I’m keen to follow him into his first-up run. He scored a 2.5-length win over 1100m at Caulfield following an eight-week freshen-up last campaign, and he was far from disgraced next start when stepping up to 1200m and getting caught three wide without cover when finishing 4th. Trainer Logan McGill has been patient with this horse and that patience may pay off this spring. 

Trial 20 (990m) 
Japanese-import A SHIN ROOK came to Anthony Freedman as a maiden winner and scored by three length in his Australian debut before a 4th placing in Listed race at Sunshine Coast and then a disappointing effort in another Listed event at Doomben on a Heavy track. I mention this because the son of Heart’s Cry simply ploughed through the mud at Cranbourne to score by a rapidly increasing five lengths. He’s turned the corner and is showing the potential Freedman must have seen in him early days. This was the quickest 990m heat and A Shin Rook was never under pressure so I’m expecting the trial form to hold up. 

BLACKBOOKERS:
Our Libretto
Shoals
Vassilator
Master Rock
Written Choice
A Shin Rook

Cranbourne Barrier Trials – August 6

Track condition: Soft 7

Trial 2 (990m) 1:01.13
This heat just oozed quality and while Holy Snow (1st), Mighty Boss (3rd) and Widgee Turf (5th) all impressed, it was the 2nd placed GRUNT that stole the show. Holy Snow and Mighty Boss pinned their ears back and attacked the line without being asked to, and Widgee Turf was getting home hard after a very soft run, but Grunt went to the line with his ears pricked and looked to have more to offer than the others. Of the others, there has to be a doubt over Jameka at this stage, and Spanish Reef may take a few runs to get fit.

Trial 3 (990m) 1:01.19
The first five home put a big space (3.8 lengths) on CHAMOIS ROAD – but he was most impressive.  Heptagon and Oregon’s Day were pushed out to the line while Wheal Leisure put in some effort without being asked to. Chamois Road was scratched from Flemington on Saturday and basically went around here for a maintenance gallop, but there’s no reason to jump off him based on this effort. 

Trial 4 (800m) 47.62
Considering SHOALS is only just winding up for spring and still has her winter coat, she really impressed here. She goes well fresh and is likely to head to the Moir Stakes (1000m) first-up before heading to The Everest. I AM A STAR also hit the line well and looks to have come back in great order. She can perform fresh but won’t show her best until she gets out to a mile after a few runs. 

Trial 6 (800m) 47.18
SPIRIT OF AQUADA ran the quickest time of the 800m heats and did it under a strong hold. He won first-up this campaign before two very disappointing efforts. A four-week freshen-up may have done the trick, and this was winning work.

Trial 9 (800m) 48.25
Connections of Missrock must think MASTER ROCK has some ability, and the unraced son of Fastnet Rock didn’t disappoint trainer Robbie Laing with a convincing trial win. He quickened nicely down the straight and quickly put a margin on his rivals who were under far more pressure. Should be winning a suitable event on debut. 

Trial 13 (800m) 47.47
One of my favourite upcoming fillies, SWEET ROCKETTE, scored a nice win in this heat and she can break through. She really impressed in some early trials but then did a few things wrong on debut when finishing 2nd to Trilli at Sandown. Trilli has race experience and was far from disgraced in Saturday grade at her next start, so the form should stack up. Trainer Michelle Payne has been very patient with this filly, and that only backs up my thoughts that this one is above average. 

Trial 19 (990m) 1:01.04
Don’t miss this one when he steps out. The Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young-trained LOUIE THE LEGEND led throughout and did it under his own steam throughout as he clocked quicker time than the two opening heats that were jam-packed with quality. He defeated Resurge and Gheedaa at his second start, and Gheedaa was runner-up in a $120,000 race next time where Louie The Legend disappointed, while Resurge brained them first-up this time in. He’s come back in terrific shape and should be winning soon. 

BLACKBOOKERS
Grunt
Chamois Road
Shoals
I Am A Star
Spirit Of Aquada
Master Rock
Louie The Legend

Wodonga barrier trials - July 16


Trial 1 (1200m) 1:14.62
A nice piece of work from WAVE REVIEWS following a 61-week lay-off and change of trainer. The European-import raced in the famous Winx silks in both starts for Chris Waller but now resides with Benalla-based trainer Peter Burgun. The five-year-old son of Fastnet Rock travelled kindly behind the speed, was widest on the bend and cruised to the line to score while his opposition where being pushed out. He needs a mile and further but is one to stick with this preparation. 

Trial 2 (1200m) 1:14.08
If they let WESTERN PRUSSIA run next time, he can win. Forget his last start failure where he was restrained and overraced fiercely. His only win was fifth-up last campaign when he was fit and led all the way to score. With four runs under his belt now, and an impressive 12-lengths trial win in good time, he can surprise next start.

Trial 6 (800m) 47.00
This was the quickest of the 800m heats, and it was the Lindsay Park filly GRACEFUL STAR that impressed most as she worked home strongly into 3rd place. The stable thought enough of her to debut at Moonee Valley (4th) and then head to Flemington (3rd) before disappointing at Geelong (3rd of 3) and the going for a break. She was outpaced early but really got home well under hands and heels riding. She’ll be placed to get a win on the board this time so stick with her until she does. 

Trial 9 (800m) 47.10
An impressive all the way win by Nan’s Lonhro, but I’d prefer to see what she can do under race day pressure first. However, MOMENTO who showed some ability in Sydney is now with the Lindsay Park stable, and she worked home strongly and will be much better first-up around 1200m. The daughter of Your Song finished 3rd to Tulip and Alizee in the Magic Night Stakes so she can obviously run. 

BLACKBOOKERS:
Wave Reviews
Western Prussia
Graceful Star
Momento



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Barrier Trials Victoria - latest blackbookers from the VIC barrier trials

Our Melbourne racing expert will keep you up to date with all the horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials.

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