McDougall has won 24 races at Canberra this racing season, 11 wins head of Chad Lever (13) in the ACT Jockey Premiership. Nick Olive trained a double and trails Keith Dryden by 8 wins (and Peter and Paul Snowden by 2) in the ACT Trainer Premiership.
Punters were right on the mark. Five favourites delivered on the day and the other winners were well-supported.
Race 1 (1000m) Maiden
MANILA THRILLER $2.50 fought out favouritism with SPICY RESTAURANT $2.70 and proved too good winning comfortably in the end. ONE LAST FIGHT $7.50 shared the lead comfortably on the rail and kicked clear on turning. Manila Thriller was given a perfect sit behind the filly and was nicely positioned three out as they straightened. The leader kicked and looked the winner approaching the 100m, but Manila Thriller was eating into the ground and got up by three quarters of a length eased down. There was a big gap to the rest headed by HINVICTUS $6.0.
Manila Thriller continues to impress for the in-form Dryden yard, and will get over further based on Wednesday's effort. One Last Fight was brave in defeat, and the speedy galloper will be placed to win more races.
The big disappointment was Spicy Restaurant, who didn't get into it resuming off the Black Opal. The stewards inquired and jockey Costin said he her mount was quite agitated before the start and that may have impacted the performance. Post-race the gelding was revealed to have speedy cuts to the near foreleg.
Race 2 (2000m) BM60
It was $4.20 the field with the favourite TYRRHENIAN running a long last. When questioned, the gelding's rider could offer no tangible explanation for the performance; other than that his mount was running on the wrong leg rounding the home turn.
The field settled comfortably in pairs with EAGLEHAWK $9.0 holding a comfortable lead. The winner LARMOUR $6.50 was positioned beautiful by the apprentice one off the rail behind the leading trio. She was presented in the perfect spot three- out on turning and took the lead at the 250m from Eaglehawk, who fought hard. There was a half length in it on the line and Larmour had clearly taken good improvement off the Orange placing at the mile. She should prove a good money spinner for connections over middle distances.
Of the beaten runners, the third-placegetter CELEBRATOR $20 took the eye late in the race, enjoying the lift in trip. MAYBACH $5.0 raced handy and was given every chance, but the 66kg proved too much of an impost.
Race 3 (1600m) CL1
TCHAIKOVSKY ran a $1.85 favourite first-up in easier grade for the new yard, but finished out of the placings beaten 3.6L. When questioned, the jockey (Wolfgram) said he was happy with his mounts overall performance as the gelding was resuming form a long spell, and would benefit from the run.
The winner ROCQUETTE $4.60 had put the writing on the wall at Nowra, and McDougall's booking was a positive pointer to the filly's chances. Tchaikovsky led and Rocquette was well-positioned on his flank. They turned in that order, but Rocquette soon applied the blow torch and came away to win by 1L. OUTAHAND $7.50 and ZOUMAZE $26 filled the placings, and both hit the line well. The latter in particular, looked like she could threaten passing the 250m, and the improved run would have pleased connections.
TWILIGHT SUN $5.50 was slow off and didn't have much luck in the straight, when he looking to work into it. He's worth another chance.
Race 4 (1600m) BM70 — Federal.
ASSAULT'N'BATHORY took out the Federal backed from $5.0 into $3.80 favourite. He led easily as expected and ran the field along at a good tempo. He was five lengths in front at the 800m and held that when they headed down the stretch. The margin on the line was 4.42L to the post. ROSEBANK $4.0 chased gallantly in the straight making up good ground after meeting trouble at the start. HILLTOP HOOD $9.50 finished it off okay laying out a bit in the straight.
SWEET KNUCKLE $4.80 dropped out, beaten a mile, and jockey McDougall could offer no tangible reason for the disappointing run. He said his mount may have raced flat after the first-up win, and that the fast pace may not have suited.
Assault'N'Bathory was well-suited in the race, but had been a bit plain in the two lead-ups in better grade. The Seib barn had a plan today and it paid off, assisted by the claim and a heady front-running ride. LOLITA GOLD $7.50 was slow away, but few excuses the others, who were feeling the pain a long way out.
Race 5 (1300m) Maiden
CORDYCEPS MIRACLE the $3.40 favourite and winner brought city form to the race. OUR CHEEKY MONKEY $4.80 led at a good clip and was clear on turning. Cordyceps Miracle sat one-out behind the leading bunch and Loy had him perfectly positioned in the middle of the track at the top of the stretch. Cheeky Monkey kicked hard, but Cordyceps Miracle had her within his sights at the 200m and pushed out delivered by a half length. There was plenty to like about both runs.
Plenty of money came for MOSSY OAK $4.60 and he couldn't have been more impressive running into third. After a slow start, he was 4L behind the second-last horse at the 800m and last and wide on the turn. He made up a tonne of ground and the run has to be noted. PHYSOCA ($9.50 raced wide throughout. PIERRO STAR $6.50 was inclined to hang in when placed under pressure in the early part of the straight.
Race 6 (1200m) BM65
TERRA REIGN was backed into a $3.80 and took the race out. The Matt Dale-trained mare was back in grade and McDougall's booking suggested this could be the day. There was plenty of action early with the Waterhouse-Bott-trained MUNGARO (a big drifter, $7.5 - $12) finding the lead. The favourite MORALIST $3.0 sat on his flank and they were joined three wide by TRUMBO $12.0 after the 600m. On turning Moralist soon got the better of the leader, but Terra Reign - who had got a lovely sit behind the leading bunch -emerged on the scene and came away to win it well from the fast finishing THE PATRICIAN (8.50 - $6.50), who was last and widest on the turn, powering home. Moralist was beaten 2L third and tried very hard to hold out the two above. Trumbo was next and there was some merit in that given he was wide throughout and had to be checked at the 200m. The first two past the post can go on from here.
Race 7 (1400m) CL1
Favourite backers finished the day with more money in their pockets when TEMOIN CHAUD $2.70 delivered in the last race, bringing up a double for trainer Nick Olive and a fourth win for jockey Blaike McDougall.
Three were vying for the lead at the 1000m with SAILING ALONG $5.50 finally taking it up with Temoin Chaud sitting right on her. The filly was cruising on turning and soon got the better of Sailing Along and looked in for an easy win before CASINO TIME $11.0 came from the clouds to run her to three quarters of a length. It was a huge effort by the gelding who had been freshened and was a clear last on turning. The third placegetter finished it off okay but never looked likely.
Temoin Chaud can certainly go on and Casino Time will win another race if he can hold that level of form.