Race 1 (1206m) Open 2
Humble Star ran a $1.50F and was much too good. Made it 2/2 and will be even better over further. No surprise if we see the Hickman-trained Star Witness youngster pop up next at the mid-weeks. The debutant Easy Rosy (3rd) had trialled well but drifted to $4.60 at the jump. Khumbu (2nd) was well-tried $13 - $8.
Khumbu led a steady tempo with Easy Rosy sitting on him and Humble Star trailing. The leader gave a good kick but Humble Star had his measure at the 200m and came away to win eased-down. It was a nice front-running effort by Khumbu beaten 1.4L. He just held out Easy Rosy. She took a while to gather momentum but hit the line strongly and can be followed fitter and over longer. The others were well beaten.
Race 2 (1080) Mdn SW
Jetz's $2.60 late scratching took a lot of interest out of the race. Evanora (1st) was always the one to beat and jumped at $1.55. The market gave Old Man Emu (3rd) $2.90 some chance and it was double figures the rest.
Evanora made short work of the outside gate and led as expected. Lenny's Lad sat on him and Old Man Emu sat next on the rail. Evanora railed like a greyhound and quickly put a gap on them. The margin was 3L on the line with a further 3L back to third. This wasn't strong but the Luke Pepper-trained filly shapes as a good prospect and is sure to go on. Lenny's Lad was back from the mile and connections would have been pleased the way he managed that.
Race 3 (1280m) BM65
Sly Song jumped a $3.50F but most of the runners were in the market.
Sizzleonthebridge (4th) found the lead but it was keen with Mad As Zariz sitting on him and the favourite Sly Song positioned three-out, with Penza electing to push on and sit there after being caught wide on jumping. The second favourite Polyxena (2nd) got the perfect sit behind this trio. Mad As Zaris had the other two done-for soon after straightening with the synthetic track specialist Polyxena coming and shaping like a threat. However Mad As Zaris was full of running and held a 1.4L advantage on the line. Zaromatic (3rd) $21 took the eye running into third beaten 2.4L. The rest were gapped. The favourite had too much do, and no surprise to see her drop away when the pressure went on.
Race 4 (1280m) Mdn
Gamblers Quest was well-backed into a $2.4F and She'll Be Apples (3rd) $3.20 was also well-supported. It was the former Victorian Khaleej (1st) $15 who spoiled the party. He was back after 89 days for the John Rolfe yard and had figures to say he'd be very competitive if presented on-song. He drifted from $5 to $15 and it was an impressive effort to just nudge out Ronny Rock Art $4.2 - $8m with She'll Be Apples, next beaten 2L.
Ronny Rock Art led with She'll be Apples railing behind. Khaleej missed the start badly and tailed the field. He made a forward more before the turn and positioned the outside runner on straightening. Meanwhile Ronny Rock Art was making every post a winner and has more than 2L on She'll Be Apples at the 200m with the winner emerging with giant strides to get up right on the line. The favourite was forward in the run but wide throughout and wasn't knocked about when clearly out of contention. A forgive run. A good training effort by John Rolfe and expect Khaleej to be even better over further and win more races.
Race 5 (1080m) BM70 — Federal
Leading local trainer Keith Dryden had two starters but it was Shores Of Avalon $7 - $4.4 that the money came for and he took out the Federal in a tight three-way go from Delightful Dream $3F and Calescent $3.3 - $6.
Calescent led at a decent clip as expected with Shores of Avalon trailing and Delightful Dream positioned behind her. The apprentice has Calescent going great guns at the 200m but she couldn't quite hold on from the other pair who finished determinedly. The three on-pacers were nearly 4L ahead of the rest. The winner had resumed well-beaten at Warwick Farm on the heavy but he had won a trial on the Acton prior and it was a good training effort. Delightful Dream impressed the way she finished it off jumping from a CL3 to 70 level and will also go on.
Race 6 (1900m) BM60
Casino Time was supported into a $3.6 favourite but there were a number given chances and it was the longer priced of the two Nick Olive gallopers — Mohahna $8 — who just got the better of the above in a tight go. Chief Kidder $6.5 just held down third, beaten 2L. The other Olive runner Larmour $4.40 was a noticeable drifter and was caught 4 wide at the first turn and had no luck thereafter and dropped right out.
Chief Kidder led and set a good tempo from Mohahna under a nice hold by the apprentice. Casino Time travelled comfortably behind midfield and improved to be widest on the turn. Mohahna got the better of Chief Kidder at the 200m but Casino Time came hard and just ran out of ground. Really nice efforts the pair. The winner was well ridden by an emerging apprentice and clearly relished the surface and step-up in trip. Another good training effort.
Race 7 (1750) CL1 SW
This wasn't the strongest CL1 and punters weren't overly confident about the better chances. Brennaman $4.20 jumped favourite just ahead of Deterge (2nd) $4.4 but that galloper was just beaten behind Diamond Class $8.50 who had been around the mark and came off a brief freshen. Pride Of Kalaru $12 wasn't far away in third. Brennaman missed the jump and was in the back division and was widest on the turn and made some ground beaten 3L.
Conference (4th) $11 shared a quick lead with Rhythmo and down the back they were well clear of Pride Of Kalaru. Diamond Class was well-positioned midfield some 7L from the lead. Deterge sat at the back with Brennaman both a mile from the leading pair. They were across the track in the stretch with Diamond Class getting the head in front at the 100m to just hold out Deterge who stayed nearer the inside and got a nice run through to finish powerfully. There was about 3L separating the first seven home suggesting there's not much between them. Certainly decent efforts from the first two past the post.
Race 8 (1260m) CL1
Catanzaro was a well-backed $2.35F and justified that support with a comfortable 2L win. He'd shown plenty before a very long break and built (as expected) on the Wagga Maiden win. Jac The Great firmed into $5 and held second ahead of Grazie $16 (promoted after Roman Candle's $14 disqualification). The second elect Boho Chick $4.6 was next home.
They charged early and the three settling closest all felt the pinch at the business end. Boho Chick and Grazie were handy. The favourite was wide midfield and made sharp improvement with Jac The Great to be the widest runners turning. Catanzaro was always travelling sweetly and it was easy on the line. While well-beaten Jac The Great had to do plenty and there's an early win in store for her. Roman Candle belted home to be third on the line but was disqualified when the rider returned underweight. He was having his first run for the Olive yard and will win races down here. The winner will go on and salute in better than this.