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Saturday was all about Day One of The Championships at Randwick with a couple of memorable wins. All that and more in this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.


Nature Strip Confirms Status As Worlds Best Sprinter In TJ Smith

He hasn’t got much speed at the end of his races, but it matters not if you’re panels in front and got your rivals tired in chasing. Nature Strip is the worlds best sprinter after beating an elite bunch of gallopers to take out the TJ Smith (1200m) at Randwick. The damage was done between the 1000m-600m, running 21.62, getting his rivals off the bit a fair way out and they were no match. The horse that did have the title as the worlds best sprinter, Santa Ana Lane, ran a mighty second with two time Everest winner Redzel a gutsy third.

Nettoyer Wins The Doncaster

The two runs back from Nettoyer suggested she was flying, Wendy Roche was telling anyone that would listen that the mare was in career best form yet somehow started $40+ and produced a brilliant finale to take out the Doncaster Mile (1600m). The mare won her first major, likewise Roche as well as rider Jmmy Innes Jr, who got down to 51.5kg and produced the mare with her run to absolute perfection. Four wide throughout, Melody Belle was absolutely enormous in defeat.

Baker Wins Another Australian Derby

Murray Baker produced win number five in the Australian Derby on Saturday via Quick Thinker, who won the Tulloch seven days prior and in doing so became the third horse in succession to win the Derby after coming through the Tulloch. He had a great struggle with the horse he beat last week, Zebrowski. Queenslander Eric The Eel did an amazing job to run third. The key talking point post race was Castelvecchio, who was a beaten horse 600m out and finished 20 lengths behind the winner.


Has to go to Wendy Roche and her stable for what they’ve achieved with Nettoyer. Speaking to Roche on a number of occasions over the past 12-18 months, this mare has been a real nightmare to train given she can be a diva at times. But everything has fell into place this prep and has been capped off with a Doncaster win. Great credit to her and her team.


He didn’t win, but liked the debut run of Potentia at Cranbourne on Friday night. Team Hawkes trained galloper that was on/off the bit throughout and was forced to come wide on the turn, which was quicksand for the night. Balanced up and hit the line nicely. Bigger track next time, think he can get a win on the board.


He’s a genius in front is Tim Clark. Rated Entente to absolute perfection in the Carbine Club. Went quick the first 600m, stacked up next 600m then dashed for home and he pulled their pants down, as he does so often when in front and is one of the best in Australia when on speed.


The more I watch the replay, the more I want to be critical of Tommy Berry on Ole Kirk. He gave the run to the eventual winner King’s Legacy and IMO, I think if Tommy stays inside, Ole Kirk wins, and Gracie Belle proved in the Country Championship Final that the inside was okay at that stage. Can understand him wanting to be on the back on Mamaragan and hindsight is a wonderful thing, but he got that decision wrong and I think cost him the win.


Colette – She beat B Graders, but was impressive and is a definite Oaks contender
Gallic Chieftain – Just left flat footed when the sprint went on. Not a hopeless chance if they back up next week
Yogi – Sneaky good Sydney Cup trial from him and 3200m no issue. He and Gallic Chieftain only two to break 13 seconds for L200m in Chairmans
Battle Torque – He can win in town if he finds another wet track
Lakhani Rose – She’s absolutely flying. Just has a horrible racing pattern
Ritratto – He’s ticking along nicely for the Derby


Reloaded – He was awful, but perhaps at the end of a long prep and looking for the paddock
Betcha Flying – Given far too much to do. Don’t sack her
Loving Gaby – She has credits in the bank. Forgive her for that shocker
Larkham – He took charge of Tourneur. Forget he went around. Better than that


Warning – He’s been very disappointing this prep. Can win without me in the future
Beau Balmain – Disappointing. Again
Yourdeel – That was terrible, admittedly not in a suitable race shape

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