Trial Watch Reviews: 13th January - 17th January 2022

Chris Scholtz reviews Sydney barrier trials at Randwick on January 13 and Rosehill on January 17.

NATURE STRIP Picture: Martin King / Sportpix

ROSEHILL January 17

Course Proper; Good 4

2 Heats – 2 x 900m (Open)

Inside Grass; Good 4

12 Heats – 3 x 1030m (1 Open; 2 Maiden); 9 x 902m (1 Open; 1 3YO; 4 2YO; 3 Maiden)

Ring the bells!! Sydney racing awoke from its summer daze with the reappearance of some its biggest stars in their first trials for 2022, setting the clock for the countdown to the start of serious Group racing in February.

There were two heats for the Group horses over 900m wide out on the course proper, one for the older horses and the second for the 3YOs. NATURE STRIP – as always – was the star of the show with his dominant speed while ANAMOE did as much as we could expect from him at this early stage of his autumn prep.

HEAT 1 (55.50; 34.02): It was all NATURE STRIP as he was given an easy workout by James McDonald. He wore ear muffs and there was no intent to use his speed he was cruising wide outside the early leader FORBIDDEN LOVE before taking control at the 600m. No pressure was applied as he worked well within himself over the last 400m to maintain a comfortable advantage over FORBIDDEN LOVE. She also commanded attention with her impressive work to finish within a length of the winner. They cruised away from a pack of five chasers over the last 400m to finish five lengths clear of the third horse STANDOFF. He made up ground from last but was flattered as he was the only one asked to extend in his work over the last 200m. Further back KOLDING loped along at his own speed while RIODINI was given an easy time from the 500m after sharing the early lead.

HEAT 2 (55.92; 35.11): Quality filly MALLORY bounded out of the gates to lead a high class heat of 3YOs and was always in control to run out an impressive winner by more than two lengths from RANCH HAND. Most eyes were on Godolphin's G1 winner ANAMOE and he worked as expected under Rachel King, going back to last before peeling widest to work to the line under no pressure for a strong fourth, about 4.5 lengths from the winner. Further back Chris Waller's high class fillies ESPIONA and FANGIRL were having easy exercise, putting in their best work late.

The heats on the inside grass should also prove worthy autumn pointers as they featured a number of quality 2YO and 3YO prospects from the top stables.

OMNI MAN (Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott): Another fast trial win by this promising maiden. Sat off the leader before going up a gear at the 350m to sprint clear and cruise to a soft 3.5 lengths in the fastest of the three heats over 1030m (61.70; 34.91). Ready to win fresh.

TRAGARA (Richard & Michael Freedman): Good 2YO stable have a nice prospect in this typically strong Written Tycoon filly after she produced an impressive finish from the rear to win her 902m heat (54.60; 35.29). Has been given time to good effect since her first trial in October.

TROACH (James Cummings): The Godolphin youngsters are starting to hit their straps and I suspect this Epaulette filly will improve sharply on her debut effort in the spring after her strong 902m heat win (54.59; 34.86) over her classy stablemate OJAI. Sat outside the leader and easily took charge turning for home with Rachel King holding her back as she was eager to go a lot quicker over the last 200m.  

PYROIS (Hawkes Racing): Second trial win for this Written Tycoon youngster in the fastest of the five 2YO heats (53.50; 35.19). He was a bit keen and awkward when under restraint behind runners early but showed his quality after Tommy Berry eased him into clear air. Like the form in this heat with notable efforts behind him from SANDPAPER and GREAT BARRIER REEF.

It was a good session for the Hawkes stable with smart heat wins by stablemates FIRE, JASIRI and MARS MISSION.

FIRE led for a strong win in the open 902m heat for 3YOs in fast time (52.68; 33.93). It appeals as a worthy form heat as the closing efforts of SINBA, MANA NUI and COASTWATCH really took the eye.

JASIRI, an unraced 4YO mare by Wandjina, was given a good hitout by Tommy Berry in her third trial to post the fastest 902m heat win (52.47; 34.37). Other maiden heat winners MARS MISSION (53.05; 34.09) and CALIFORNIA SURREAL (54.40; 34.84) ran slower times but made a better impression as they both had a lot more to offer.


XXX Nature Strip

XX Forbidden Love; Mallory

X Anamoe; Balzando; California Surreal; Coastwatch; Bottega; Espiona; Fangirl; Fire; Great Barrier Reef; Jasiri; Mana Nui; Mars Mission; Omni Man; Pyrois; Ojai; Rakomelo; Ranch Hand; Robusto; Sandpaper; Sinba; Tiger Of Malay; Tragara; Troach; Vitesse; Williamsburg; 

FOUR MOVES AHEAD Picture: Steve Hart

RANDWICK January 13

Polytrack; Synthetic

11 Heats – 5 x 1080m (2 Open; 1 2 & 3YO; 2 Maiden; 6 x 780m (1 Open; 3 2YO; 1 3YO Fillies; 1 Maiden)

All heats were run on the polytrack. This should prove to be a worthy session with better than average performances for trials on the synthetic.

FOUR MOVES AHEAD (John Sargent): Class act of the session didn't disappoint with this dual G2 winner showing she is set for a strong campaign. Settled three lengths off a pack of leaders in her 780m heat before cruising into the trial three and four wide on the turn with Sam Clipperton embarrassed to give her rein. Picked them under no pressure over the last 50 metres and went through the line hard held in good time (45.79; 33.04), suggesting she will be well primed for the early Group races for 3YO fillies that kick off in February.

GHOST HUNTER (Ron Quinton): This 3YO by Super One is a three start maiden and had never won any of his seven previous trials but his easy win in fast time (64.95; 34.02) in his 1080m heat, recording the quickest last 600m, suggests he has the ability to win races. Had no trouble leading and slipped them easily on the turn to run away to an impressive win by more than three lengths with plenty in reserve.

MONEY FROM THE SKY (Mark Newnham): Carried high expectations in his first prep when placed twice from three starts and his return trial points to him putting a maiden win on the board in the near future. Settled back and worked to the line in great style under a quiet ride for a close third in his 1080m heat won by GALACTIC ANGEL (66.63; 34.66). You won't miss his big baldy face when he returns to the races.

MORIDAN (Anthony Cummings): Lightly-raced Maurice colt won the first heat of the day in the fastest of the five trials over 1080m (64.74; 34.94).  Dictated from the front and was always travelling much better than his rivals to record a soft win by 2.35 lengths. He jumped straight from a maiden win into G1 and G2 races in the spring and will be hard to beat in his right class when he resumes.

STOICAL (Pewter & Paul Snowden): He's recorded all his three wins over 1000m and looks a good prospect for more success in restricted short course sprints after winning the fastest 780m heat of the morning (45.55; 32.64) with something in hand. Tracked wide from the start but Tommy Berry always had him under a strong hold.

The three 2YO heats were won by SAN LUCIDO (46.39; 33.64), RICHON (46.21; 33.42) and SPIRITCHASER (46.33; 33.59). Pass marks for all three in their first trial appearances.


XX Four Moves Ahead; Ghost Hunter; Money From The Sky; Moridan; Stoical

X Ambassadors; Bound To Win; Eleni; Galactic Angel; I Am Vinnie; Kalashnikov; Karuta King; Miss Mya; Richon; San Lucido; Sanstoc; Selhurst Park; Spiritchaser; Stoical.   

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