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By Jack Petley | Thursday, September 9, 2021

At the first switched meeting to Kembla from the City a fast track saw records tumble in all directions. Not so at the next meeting on a soft surface … but the weather has been super fine in the South Coast this week and, all going well, the track will offer excellent footing, so I expect some records to be tumbling again with such strong fields carded.

The feature is the $200,000 Run to the Roses for three-year-olds and this should be a cracker with some super smart colts engaged including the Slipper winner Stay Inside, the brilliant Godolphin colt Anamoe (with James McDonald up), Converge and the San Domenico winner, hard running In The Congo. Interesting Tim Clark will ride Converge instead of the stablemate (In The Congo) and Josh Parr has taken that mount. Latest betting - $2.50 Anamoe, $5.50 Converge, Remarque, $8 Stay Inside, $10 In the Congo, $13 Home Affairs. Looking at Anamoe being my top bet although Remarque looked good at the recent trials.

The Te Akau filly Entriviere has been placed a warm favourite in the Sheraco Stakes with McDonald engaged. She sits at a solid $2.90 ahead of $5.50 Written Beauty, $6 Fituese, $7 Tailleur, $10 Forbidden Love.

Big Parade is the early favourite for the Theo Marks at $3.10 then the strylish last start winner for Joe Pride, Private Eye at $4.

Tiger of Malay holds favouritism for the Dulcify at $3.60 (another McDonald mount) ahead of, at $4.20, the unbeaten Silent Impact.

News around the Melbourne Cup... six international entries have been received from Europe headed by Andrew Balding’s Spanish Mission, who ran that fine stayer Stradivarius ever so close in the recent Lonsdale Cup. Others booked to make the trip Down Under, last year’s winner Twilight Payment for Joe O'Brien and also from his yard Master of Reality. Then there are Sonnyboylisten, Away He Goes and Rodrigo Diaz, all pretty much in the mid-20s in early betting.

Andrew Balding reports Spanish Mission goes into quarantine today and luckily he has a former staff member in Victoria who will take control of the Yorkshire Cup and 2020 Doncaster Cup winner. "He has passed all his tests and it is all go," said the top UK trainer.

Interesting to see no entries from Aidan O'Brien, Charlie Appleby and Saeed Bin Suroor who had some 20 entries between them last year. Twilight Payment led Tiger Moth and Prince of Arran home in the last Cup with Prince of Arran, after such a wonderful globe-trotting career, just recently been retired.

Aidan O'Brien may still have runners in Australia this season having entered his 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth for the $7.5m Golden Eagle in Sydney and also included in the 121 entries Collins Street and Lamorak for Joe O'Brien, Chindit for Richard Hannon and Law of Indices for Ken Condon and good galloper Maximal, with Michael Stoute, will join John O'Shea.

The Kiwi mare Probabeel has opened up favourite at $6 for the $2 million Invitation with Mother Earth second favourite in the early market at $8,0 then $8.50 Tofane, $9 Entriviere, $11 Collete, $15 Bonham, Forbidden Love, Icebath, Libertini, Odeon.

Boom NZ breds Ayrton ($4.50) and Mo'unga ($5) head the market for the GoldenEagle. Chindit is at $15 and Maximal, also that odds.

Yet another new race for Sydney, the $700,000 Four Pillars Midway for Golden Eagle Day. It will be open to those City and Provincial trainers who are eligible to have runners in the Midway races.

Luke Currie has been engaged for Aegon in the Makybe Diva this weekend at Flemington replacing Jye McNeil. The Baker-Forsman four-year-old turned in a bold fourth in the recent Memsie and has evidently thrived since. His main aim in the Golden Eagle and he will likely return to NZ to be readied for that after his short Melbourne campaign.

Also in the Makybe Diva, is that NZ bred mare Inspiration Girl, now with Danny O'Brien for Bob Peters. She finished fifth in the Memsie and the daughter of Reliable Man has done well since the run said Peters.

Also out at Flemington this weekend will be that promising half-brother to the fine mare Melody Belle, Tutukaka, by Tavistock, and a winner before his rest over 1800 metres in Brisbane for Tony Pike. He meets a crack field including Artorius and Hilal. The 1400 metres will be too short for him as he builds to the Victoria Derby which sees him on the third line of early betting at $14 with the early favourite the JJ Atkins winner Converge.

Pike also has his former NZ Derby winner Sherwood Forest running this weekend at Flemington and he is on the Melbourne Cup path. "He will need the run this time," said Pike, “but he will be getting fitter for the staying races ahead. In the next month or so he should be able to find his level and hopefully head to the Cup."

Pike also reported to the NZ Racing Desk that Catalyst won a trial at Cambridge and he is ready for a big effort in the Tarzino at Hastings. "He had a good blow out at the trial and he will have another one, at Te Aroha, before he heads to Hastings," said Pike.

High class sprinter Rothfire will kick off his campaign next week in the Shorts in Sydney and Tim Clark has been booked for the ride by Rob Heathcote. Heathcote has the sprinter ready for a big first up run and he is hopeful that an Everest slot holder will come to the party. At present the sprinter is at $12 for the $15 million Everest and he is also solid for the Golden Eagle.

Tony Golan is eyeing off Sydney for that smart NZ mare Bonham and he has races like the Golden Eagle and the Invitation in mind for the talented four-year-old.

Chris Waller has yet another top Kiwi galloper for his stable and spring racing, the Auckland Cup winner of last autumn Ocean Billy. His breeder and owner and previous trainer Bill Pomare had earlier intended to campaign the stayer in Australia, but lockdown borders on both sides of the Tasman had him looking at a better option, sending the stayer to Waller. "Chris offered to help and he has not won a Melbourne Cup yet," said Pomare, who said that Damien Thornton is being considered for the Cup ride.

Ocean Billy ran a fine fourth first up at the Te Rapa meeting in the Foxbridge Plate and now Pomare has him heading to Hastings for the Tarzino. "If he had not been caught up at the back of the field he would have finished closer," said Pomare. "He is still fresh enough to go a cracking 1400 in the Tarzino." After that the stayer may run in the Windsor Park at Hastings or head to Australia as he builds to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

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Photos: Graham Potter and Darren Winningham
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