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By Taron Clarke | Monday, July 26, 2010

Moonee Valley, July 24, 2010.
Track - Slow 7. Rail - Out 3 metres.
Three Year Old And Up Fillies And Mares Handicap - 1514m.
Time: 1-34.93. (Carrying 52.5kg).
1 Belscenica; 2 Das Machen; 3 Chouxmaani.

Whilst the fully fledged jockeys had a rest, the apprentices took to the stage for the running of the Travis Harrison Apprentices Cup.

Jockey Jarrod Fry, who was successful earlier in the day aboard the Darren Weir trained Rue Maple, took out the cup for Mornington trainer Tony Noonan on Belscenica.

With the victory, the five year old mare took her Moonee Valley record to five starts for three wins and one minor placing.

As the barrier stalls opened, Fry allowed the daughter of the ill-fated sire Scenic to amble out of the gates and trial the field around the first corner, as opposed to the favourite Das Machen, who pinged the gates and was sent forward to take up the running for jockey Ben Knobel.

Once the field negotiated the first turn, jockey Ben Knobel made an attempt to steady the speed aboard the main fancy Das Machen.

The Flying Spur mare was having her first start this campaign beyond 1200m and, after a break of three weeks between runs, there was a slight distance query.

At the tail end of the field Jarrod Fry was content on saving ground along the fence whilst ensuring to keep his mare in plenty of galloping room. However, Fry’s luck aboard Belscenica was about to change.

As the field passed the 800m mark, jockey Ben Knobel was successful in his endeavour to steady the speed which in turn saw a chain reaction behind him, and jockeys were forced to push out of the ruck in order to avoid the heels of runners to their front. At the end of the domino effect was Belscenica.

Jockey Fry had saved considerable ground to this stage on the fence, but now that the speed had slackened immensely and the fact that he had two runners on his immediate outside saw him bailed up on the fence with little galloping room and plenty of horse underneath him.

The Apprentices Cup field raced down the side of the track and approaching the swing for home, it had become apparent that the leader Das Machen had plenty to offer after being able to sneak a couple of cheap sectionals mid race.

It was at this stage of the race that Fry and Belscenica were able to push out one of the fence in an attempt to present the mare into the race.

But as soon as Fry had eased his mount across the heels of Jack Hill’s mount Chouxmaani, which was directly in front of Belscenica, jockey Hill had the same idea as Fry and he brought his mare one off the fence.

This series of events saw Fry check his mount and push back to the fence where there looked to be more running room. But it was only for a stride or two.

As soon as jockey Jack Hill had pushed one off the fence he found himself pushing into a pocket of runners which was comprised of the tiring Justsay Sumthink, Game Serena to its inside and, chiming in three wide on the track, was last year’s winner of the Apprentices Cup Clandon, for comeback kid Ibrahim Gundogdu.

So where does Jack Hill and Chouxmaani go? Back to the fence which in turn saw Belscenica and jockey Fry severely checked and back to where he started - bailed up on the fence with nowhere to go and plenty to offer.

Favourite Das Machen and Ben Knobel were well clear of the scrimmage directly behind him and he took the opportunity to slip the Mick Price trained mare some more leather and she bounded away putting up two lengths to Game Serena, Justsay Sumthink and Chouxmaani. Trailing Chouxmaani was Belscenica who was still looking for an out.

In the early part of the straight Das Machen held a comfortable lead over Chouxmanni and Game Serena with Belscenica and Jarrod Fry looking for a run directly behind the pair of chasers.

It was now or never for Fry as he was presented with half a run between Game Serena and Chouxmaani or an unimpeded run to their immediate outside. Fry took the common sense option to ease across heels and bring the Tony Noonan trained galloper to the outside of runners.

Once the mare was balanced up she was spotting Das Machen a healthy four length start, but, as Belscenica was presented with the run, Das Machen was starting to paddle.

Belscenica quickly rounded up Game Serena and Chouxmaani and had her sights set firmly on Das Machen.

Belscenica and Jarrod Fry surged to lead at inside the 40m mark and put a torrid run of luck behind them to win going away by three-quarters-of-a-length over Das Machen with a further half-length back to Chouxmaani in third position.

Jockey Jack Hill later received a careless riding charge and was suspended for a period of eleven meetings for his part in the interference caused to eventual winner Belscenica.

Trainer Tony Noonan: “She got a great ride, and he needed to, because he rode it ordinary on Wednesday at Sandown. But look he’s a good kid too. He’s a tough little nut and took some runs there which needed to be taken and she balanced up and hit the line well.

“I think sometimes us trainers put too much logic to it. She does have a great record here and it usually stands up. The horses that like the Valley continue to run well.

"We were just a bit disappointed the other day and really we just spent that time getting her right so we could continue on the prep, but she had a lovely run and tacked into it good and was always going to be hard to beat on the corner.

“She’s a pretty good little mare this mare ... she’ll be better suited to the 1800m and 2000m, There’s some nice races in the next couple of weeks against mares so she’ll continue to be very competitive.”

Jockey Jarrod Fry: “It’s good. We held up and all we needed was half a run and when she got it she really accelerated well.

“She was really travelling and handled the conditions well and got to the line well.

“It was not too bad ... just probably a bit more carnage than the usual races, but apart from that it’s alright.”

Winner (Belscenica): 10.00 out to start 15.00
Favourite (Das Machen): 2.25, finished second.

Rounding the turn near the 1200m, Bronislava, which was laying in, was taken in by Justsay Sumthink, tightening the running of Pray For Me and Game Serena.

After passing the 1000m, Cameo Minx lost ground when having to be restrained off the heels of Pray For Me when the pace slackened.

Clandon raced wide without cover throughout and then compounded from the 600m. A subsequent veterinary examination of the mare revealed no abnormality.

After passing the 400m, Cameo Minx had to be eased again to avoid the heels of Pray For Me and then shifted out to obtain clear running.

On straightening soon after passing the 200m, Belscenica shifted out to improve and in doing so inconvenienced Justsay Sumthink.

J. Hill pleaded guilty to a charge of careless riding under the provisions of AR137(a), the careless riding being that rounding the home turn at the 300m mark, he permitted his mount to shift in when insufficiently clear of Belscenica, resulting in that mare having to be checked.

J. Hill had his license to ride in races suspended for a period to commence midnight 26 July 2010 and to expire midnight 6 August 2010, a total of 11 meetings, 3 metropolitan and 8 provincial.

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Photos: Taron Clarke

Photos: Taron Clarke
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