NOTE: RACES are assessed f or a Good 4. All horses considered starters unless notified by Thursday at 1 PM. (N/R) denotes no rating.
VERY tough little race to kick the Hawkesbury standalone off – I have gone way wide via 8. NAPOLEON (66) who was back to his good old self when 3rd here in a 2000m Bm80 beaten 4.2lens by 5. LOOKIN’ AT YOU (71). I have to concede that Kerrin McEvoy gave the horse a great ride, he saved heaps of ground staying close to the inside fence so maybe the run was a bit of a ‘flatter’ or at very least ‘ had every chance’. Zero knock on Lookin’ At You, the horse is deadset flying but I would personally like to play 10. LAST TRY WINS (63) on the place tote if odds allow. He is in good nick this time in. Good luck – it’s a lottery, dart board, hail mary race. RACE 2 5. SO SPIRITED (N/R) trialled really impressively before he debuted on that Heavy 8 at WF on April 12. He was $7.50 out to $10. He drew 9 of 11 and a bit wide which is no real issue at the track but he certainly covered more ground than pretty much every other horse. I thought fought on really well in the straight to cross over in 5th just 3.6lens from The Mighty Fed who we saw frank that form with a win at Randwick last weekend. 4. ICON OF DUBAI (N/R) is a High Chaparral half to P ride Of Dubai (et al) and was very good on debut when closing 2.1-lens 6th to Regent and Envy of All who I reckon both go pretty darn well. This colt was a $4.80 to $6.50 drifter which can often point ‘improvement out of the run’ which one would very much presume given his breeding. I am not sure if he’s a Derby colt or not, but he’s got a helluva good pedigree and a bright future. 2. TANGLED (N/R) is Snitzel out of NZ Oaks winner Bramble Rose. The Waller colt was quite impressive winning firstup in a 1350m at Wyong in a race that surely had some depth above the usual. Can keep progressing. RACE 3 HIGHWAY ti me. Gayna Williams from Mudgee has a very exciting horse here in 10. I AM A COOL KID (53). This son of the mighty I Am Invincible is a 4YO but he’s only had that one start but, oh boy, what a start! He just ran them off their legs and wasn’t going any slower at the line when he won that Bathurst 1105m maiden back on Nov 7. He went out for some reason, I don’t know why, but I can promise that he trialled like a bomb at home at Mudgee the other day. Gate 4, Adkins, no weight. The horse that beat I Am A Cool Kid in the Mudgee trial was 3. MOSS MY NAME (64) who also won a Narromine trial on April 2. Deanne Panya won a Highway the mare firstup last prep where she beat Fifteen Sunflowers no less. The two runs after that were both okay. Highway experience (a winning one) will take her a long way tomorrow but for me, I just thought I Am A Cool Kid trialled better than her at Mudgee and going to play it on that basis. 2. RUTHLESS AGENT (65) is 6s 3-0-1 but the salient number is 2 from 2 fresh. I really did think for a long that this horse could feature in Country Championships Final. History shows he didn’t but he is at very least good enough to win a Highway. Blinkers off first time. RACE 4 TRIAL watchers are united in their stance that 9. OLD NORTH (90) is flying. I go one step further and say he <i>absolutely</i> flying. I was thinking to myself Stradbroke after watch
his two trial efforts this time i n work. He has dropped out and just cantered along before letting rip at the end both times, without winning of course, but you don’t paid for trials. If this was 1200m – certainty, but 1100m, is he going to run out of time and ground? Time will tell I am tipping a massive campaign for this unbelievably well-bred and good looking horse. 6. STRATURBO (94) won his 11th of 16 (lifetime) trials before he went up to Brisbane and finished runner-up in a 1050m race. He has gate 2 tomorrow which is a big plus I’d want no one else on leader than Deanne Panya who rode him in that trial win at WF before he ventured interstate. Suffice to say, will be this for a long way – it’s just how soft, or otherwise, the run is for him. 8. GRUNDERZEIT (90) is trialling as well as any Godolphin horse you could point to, including Old North, so one has to be very wary and respectful of him. 7. BROOK ROAD (95) had a few things go wrong last prep but she’s a killer first-up horse and the pace will be on for her. RACE 5 BEST bet time. 6. ASTARA (82) is a quality NZ mare who makes her Australian debut for the new team, Snowden Racing. This 3YO grey filly won the Listed Soliloquy at Ellerslie just before that 2.7-lens 5th to La Bella Diosa (re - member her?) in 1000 Guineas. Astara’s last run at home was in the Group
1 Railway where she ran 11th of 13 but was only 5-lens from the winner. That’s
Group 1, 5-lens, down to a Bm85 and off two superb trials. Nice. 8. LANCIATO (75) is a big chance, he would have been elevated to ‘danger’ level had he not drawn so horribly wide. We know he’s in good nick in view of a lovely trial, a similarly lovely trial to that one prior to his creditable first-up 2nd to Gambler’s Blues (races tomorrow i n the last) at Randwick at the top of last prep. 10. YUMA DESERT (78) is a well credentialed stablemate to Astara but I feel that her wide barrier has made her job a much more difficult one. Plenty of others have claims to finish close behind Astara including 4. ENCOSTA LINE (78) and 2. INVINZABEEL (83) from the Waller yard. They’ve trialled well and are handy at best. RACE 6 8. DAYSEE DOOM (99) deserves a black-type win after placings i n the
Group 2 Millie Fox and Emancipation with a 4th in the Group 1 Coolmore in between. Those are THE mares races in the Sydney autumn and she came through the elevation from BM grade to stakes -races with flying colours. She just doesn’t know how to run a bad race and her on-pace pattern means that she’ll be in the running line no matter how the race is run, fast or slow. One of her 5 wins (from 10 starts) was here at Hawkesbury and that can’t hurt. It goes without saying John O’Shea would dearly love to win the Godolphin crown and he’s certainly brought the right horse in 7. KINSHACHI (94). He just didn’t get the draw that you would think the sponsor’s horse is entitled to! Nonetheless, there is no doubt at all about this mare’s class and quality. She is 11s 5-2-3 and came through the ranks in fabulous style last prep, rewarded with a stakes win i n the Nudgee up in Brisbane in the summer. I have said for years and years that there is no better fresh/debut/first-up sire than Commands Kinshachi is true to that, she’s 3 from 3 fresh. I saw 12. UNEQUIVOCAL (85) trial here on March 28 behind Spright and imme - diately Black Booked her for this race ONLY if she was second-up; which she is tomorrow. She is 7s 1-0-1 first-up, 6s 2-1-2 second-up, trained here of course and that Sapphire run wasn’t all that bad really, in fact, knowing how much she improves with a run, I imagine Noel Mayfield-Smith was delighted. RACE 7 EXTREMELY keen on 9. SALSONIC (67) here. Missed the $51 – he was $35 pretty quick after they went up. More on why in a moment but I am putting out there that Jason Coyle is Sydney’s form trainer at present and here’s why. Of his last 50 runners (at time of pub - lishing) he has prepared 9 winners and 15 placegetters. This bloke places his horse as well as anyone ever has there are ready and able to compete every time they step off the float. The other thing I say about Coyle is that he very much in the Joe Pride mould in that when you see one of his horses trial well, they invariably (almost always!) run well on race day. I have not in my life seen a better ‘last’ in a trial than Salsonic April 10 at Rosehill then the horse comes out and “tries a bit” and runs a super, super 2nd to Testashadow i n WF heat. I have him down as one of the best triallers in Sydney this month and I can guarantee you that Coyle would have targeted race for ages ages and ages. On top of that, I can’t think of a jockey that will suit him more than Jason Collett who just happens to have ridden him in both of those trials. All over him! 1. GOOD STANDING (90) is the class horse in the race in terms of benchmark and contested-races any one who saw his two trials, more so that last one, would know just how well he is travelling at the present. 13. SHAZEE LEE (71) was my bet in the P rovincial Qualifier and for a little bit of the straight I thought I genius. Alas, she ended up running 7th but I am nothing if not loyal and direct you to that awesome win in the Qualifier here at home the start before. RACE 8 DID you see the run of 12. RULING DYNASTY (92) first-up at Randwick? This from a horse who, f or a short space of time, had that look of Group
1/Group 2 chance but sadly he never really reached those heights. Granted, last prep was a little down on what we should expect from a horse with his undoubted talents but it happens and I for one, think that the return to racing showed he is back where he was when everyone was talking him up. The mile suits and I am sure he is going to appreciate a good 4 as opposed to a heavy 8 that he ran well in at HQ two weeks ago. 7. TESTASHADOW (100) did me a huge favour winning the Magic Millions Cup at $31 TAB Fixed. He was one of a number of failures in the Doncaster at his most recent start but it funny race and I am go - ing to put the pen through of the beaten horses. Trialled enormous other day and reunites with Deanne Panya who won on him at the Gold Coast. 6. SPECTROSCOPE (100) was face value disappointing in Doncaster but the fact that he was so well in commission to win the feature mile reflects what he did in his two Aussie runs in the lead-up. Trialled since and was fantastic. RACE 9 13. GAMBLER’S BLUES (72) is a big and strong son of Shamardal from the Tim Martin stable that was 0.2-lens to Lanicato first-up on Feb 22 prior his come from behind 4th in the Wellington Cup over 1700m after that. He has not raced since March 12 so back to 1500m is perfect, that is, he is nice and fresh for the drop in distance third-up on the nice big track will play to his favour. 3. SO WILLIE (76) was very good first-up winning at WF. Sadly for him he has drawn poorly here and even though it is Hawkesbury, the gate makes life a wee bit harder than you’d like it for him. That said, he is a very consistent horse who has clearly come back i n great nick . 8. ANCIENT HISTORY (74) is a relatively new import to the Godolphin camp and has done well in the time that he’s been here. He has 3-lens to make up on So Willie, gate 6 against 17 should help bridge the margin this time when they meet.