Racing on Saturday across Australia saw lifetime bans, star riders in the spotlight for the right reasons, pre mature retirements as well as some outstanding performances of the equine kind on the track. Here are our blackbookers from Saturday:
Race Five Number 1 Role Model:
She was having her first run since the 2014 ATC Oaks when last to Rising Romance. Trialled well on a couple of occasions leading up to the weekend, but was unwanted in betting, drifting to $12 from $6. I thought her effort to run second to Mihiri was outstanding given she carried 59.5kg, led at a good speed (first 600m in 34.72), beat the other leader off but was a sitting shot for the Team Hawkes runner. Granted that Role Model will probably run flat very soon, but the trials and first up run indicate that she has come back in good order and that she’ll be competitive at this level and a touch higher for the campaign.
Race Seven Number 3 Ninth Legion:
The stable were wary of his chances because he was first up at 1400m, and he did look big in condition when trialling earlier in the week, but thanks to a dry track and a lovely steer from James McDonald, the gelding powered home to win and win impressively. Take away That’s A Good Idea and he didn’t beat much, but the way he accelerated with 58kg. Looks to be in for an outstanding prep and will be competitive in Group, maybe even Group l company, provided the tracks are firm.
Race Eight Number 11 Harrier Jet:
Very easy to put him in the blackbook after his luckless run in the last. Chris Waller put the blinkers on the gelding, and they just seemed to backfire, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was getting severe checks off Perfect Weapon before the first turn, losing all momentum on several occasions. The fact he got within a length of the winner was an outstanding effort. Should be winning next start with normal luck.
Race Four Number 2 Priority Road:
Back-to-back wins over the mile here, and on both occasions he has sat three wide no cover on a hot speed, more so on Saturday, with the leaders running the first 1000m in 59.59 seconds, so he was made to work very hard, especially with 58.5kg, but he just kept coming and was just so strong through the line. This horse has come back in brilliant order, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went over to Tassie for a race like the George Adams during their carnival.
Race Six Number 9 Profit Share:
He is becoming hard to trust, but his effort in the VOBIS Gold Star was just out of this world. Pulled his head off throughout the race, and was four wide for the first 200m or so, then went forward, raced very erratically yet kicked for home about 300m out and was just overhauled late by Hong Kong Captain, who had the soft run out the back and was given a gun ride from Michael Walker. Not sure if Profit Share will race again this prep, but he may come back in the Winter for the VOBIS races. He’ll be winning those.
Race Eight Number 7 Scarlett Billows:
One of the runs of the afternoon across Australia. Michelle Payne went straight back to last with the mare, then took off 700m out and was forced three/four/five wide for the remainder, yet surged to the leaders on the turn and eventually wore done Peninsula Dane to win and win like a good mare. Could be another that heads to Tassie, and her future as a broodmare could be sealed if she picks up blacktype over there.
Race Three Number 3 Proper Madam:
Once upon a time I was a peanut who backed this mare, and she did get the job done for me at Warwick Farm. Her following couple of runs were just fair/average, but for some reason she was best backed at odds to beat the flying Centre Pivot. Granted, she looked a touch unlucky, but that’s just her. She’ll always find bad luck and her record of 30: 3-1-4 speaks for itself.
Race Seven Number 4 Scream Machine:
Promised a great deal during the Winter, but has done very little in the Spring/Summer. His racing pattern of getting back and running on, like Proper Madam, will result in more bad luck than good luck, especially when it comes to stakes company. Given his rating of 100, he is pretty much forced to race at this level, and until he gets to drop in class, he won’t be winning any races at stakes level.
Race Three Number 10 Hunter Island:
This horse could start in the ’50 Shades Of Grey’ movie, because he loves to tease. But he didn’t tease on Saturday, he did sweet [email protected]#! all after being heavily backed to win. He had a nice run along the rail, but was under pressure a fair way out and ran a well beaten tenth, and in fact the 3000m stayer Luck’s A Fortune went past him. No more Hunter Island surely for punters.
Race Eight Number 4 Soosa Rama:
It was a very strange ride by Ollie on this mare. He had the option of peeling out when Scarlett Bilows was making ground, but he elected to stay in. Despite that error in the judgement, given the good tempo, Soosa Rama should have done more. Looked like she was going to be a classy mare early on in her career, but she hasn’t gone on with it, so she can warm the bench for now until further notice.