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2020 kicked off with the traditional program at Flemington, while on Saturday, the Magic Millions picture got somewhat clearer. All that and more in this weeks edition of ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’.

KEY NEWS:

El Don Is Good In Bagot

The Bagot Handicap (2800m) is a time honoured contest to kick off 2020 at Flemington and this years edition was a real slog. High Bridge was given every chance by Dunn and looked home, but El Don wanted it more and got the bob in right on the line over High Bridge. Azuro, who hadn’t raced since the Sandown Cup, was enormous in third, and somewhat unlucky.

Halvorsen Wins Standish

The Standish Handicap (1200m) looked a race in two between Halvorsen and Bold Star and that’s how it panned out, with Halvorsen getting the sweet trip off the speed with the rail brigade, sprinting too sharply for Bold Star, who was near the outside rail and tried hard, but no match. Halvorsen will now likely be given a break with an eye towards races like the Newmarket and Goodwood.

Magic Millions Picture Takes Shape

Wisdom Of Water needed scratchings to gain a start in the Gold Nugget (1100m) at the Gold Coast and thankfully that happened as he gained a start and scored a top win to ensure his place in the Magic Millions Classic next Saturday should connections elect to back up. Godolphin youngster Conceited did plenty wrong but worked home well late in tuning up for next weekend.

PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK:

It was only a Stawell maiden, but good lord, how about the win of Flirting Wolf on Friday. He was channelling his inner Chautauqua, tailed off last and doing nothing it seemed, but balanced up in the straight, eventually got to the outside with 100m to go and just savaged the line to score a remarkable win. If you can, find the replay. It was outstanding.

DEBUT OF THE WEEK:

She didn’t win, but won’t be long til April Rain wins her maiden and better races. The worry with her on Friday night at Canterbury was the tight track and whether or not it would suit her, thinking the latter and that’s what beat her in the end. Just got lost on the tight track but loved the way she balanced up and attacked the line. Big track, more ground, she’s got blacktype quality.

RIDE OF THE WEEK:

Thought it was a lovely ride from Avdulla aboard Guard Of Honour in the 900m scamper at the Gold Coast. Made sure the barrier was used to advantage, got the beautiful sit off the speed and then just waited and waited before pushing the button and the ride won the race for sure because the horse does have a few tricks.

SLAUGHTER OF THE WEEK:

I like Cejay Graham as a rider…but what was that on Ave? I’ll state straight away I had something on Ave, so have my blinkers on somewhat, but it was just an awful steer. My worry pre race was would there be speed in front for her to finish over the top from the back. In the end, they went silly in front…but Ave was three and four wide throughout no cover. How she clung on to run fourth I do not know, but safe to say Ave should have won with a half decent steer.

HORSES TO FOLLOW:

Ave – Don’t need to say anymore re the ride
Geo – He’ll win his share of races. Still raw/new to the caper
Cinquedea – He’s knocking on the door to win a similar race
Great Duchess – Made good ground in the quicksand. Can win with the right placement
Shogun Sun – Wants 1400m at Eagle Farm
Conceited – Not #1 seed for me re Magic Millions, but will run well
Magic Fox – Gee he’s flying. No luck again. Bursting to win one

ONE MORE CHANCE:

Think Bleue – Pulled her head off. Give her another look
November Man – Just run off his legs. Another chance given he had a break between runs
Golden Gorge – EIPH post race. Hardly idea

NEVER EVER AGAIN:

Tracy May – Turned it up again
Zouologist – He’s getting close to captaincy for the ‘Milk Drinker All Stars’
High Bridge – Had the race served on a platter and still got beat. No more
Master Shuhood – Set of jumps or North Queensland
(On Dry Ground) Word For Word – Marking her down as a wet tracker from now on
Propelle – Not the best of steers. Still an ordinary finale
Cape Richards – Looked to be bolting, then paddled as soon as that thought was had
(On Dry Ground) Etana – Had her chance today. Wet tracks only for her

 
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