Moonee Valley Preview
Friday January 29
Moonee Valley racing tonight and I begin in race one on THE SQUATTER trained by Brian Gentle. She is a lightly raced four year old and has been closing off very well in her two runs to date. She usually gets back and with the rail out five meters I hope it's a night where closers can figure.
In race two I’m riding a lovely New Approach filly for Godolphin called GRIDELIN trained by John O’Shea. She has trialled well coming into this race. I have ridden her in a piece of work and was very happy with the feel she gave me. She is a girl with a lot of ability and all going well she is the one to beat.
Race four I’m aboard WEE FRANKIE, an imported horse trained by Chris Waller. He’s getting out to a trip that he appreciates. He just needs to have luck from the outside barrier draw.
In race six I am riding ROYAL APPLAUSE trained by Symon Wilde. This horse is going to need a lot of luck from an outside draw. She steps up in trip and she does look like a filly that is going to be winning her fair share of races. She will need the race run to suit to give her the best chance.
Race seven I am riding CORDOBA trained by Allan & Jason Williams. He is stepping up to a mile and is never far away from the finish. Like always he will need luck in running and if so will be competitive.
EQUIETTO trained by Darren Weir for ATB is my ride in race eight. He was very impressive on debut at Horsham. He will find a lot more pressure here compared to his debut but he does look like he has a lot of scope.
Moonee Valley Preview
Saturday January 23
In race one, the Think Big Handicap I’m riding MONOGRAM (pictured). She was impressive in her last start win. She stays down on the minimum weight, she has confidence from her recent success and she’s performed well at Moonee Valley. We will need a little bit of luck from an outside draw in a small but very competitive fillies and mares race.
In race two the Hillie’s Home Extension Handicap my ride is INNER CIRCLE another John O’Shea trained horse. He starts this preparation with a clean slate. He is having his first run in Melbourne. He has been gelded and has the blinkers off. He’s also had a look at Moonee Valley in which I rode him in trackwork, he was quite lost, but when I asked him to extend I was happy with his response. He will be ridden conservatively from the gate and if the race is run to suit I expect him to be closing off strongly.
In race three the Cube Finance Handicap over 1200m I ride CALAVERITE, my third O’Shea trained horse. She has been impressive at the course and distance. She worked here leading into the race and I couldn’t be happier with the way she felt. She has come up with a good barrier draw, she makes her own luck and is going to be a great chance.
In race six, the Campolina Handicap I’m aboard BULLISH STOCK who is trained by David Hayes & Tom Dabernig. He’s been racing very consistently. He comes up with a wide barrier draw and he’s going to be a really strong chance in this open benchmark 78 race.
In the Jeep Australia Stakes, race seven, I rode HOLLER, another trained by John O’Shea. He was very dominant in his last preparation at the course and distance against his own age. He’s worked well coming into the race and if he can have a little bit of luck from a wide draw I expect him to be there at the end.
Tuesday January 26
Australia Day is always a great race day at Caulfield. In all the races the horses with the number one saddle cloth get to wear the Australian Flag colours.
I start off in race one riding BOUNDARY and she has drawn perfectly to get every chance from an inside barrier. It is a small field but every runner can win if they have luck on the day.
In race two I’m riding COMMANDING TME and he’s getting out to a trip that he likes. There doesn’t seem to be too much pressure on paper so if he can utilise his gate he should find himself in a threatening position and I expect him to run well as he usually does at Caulfield.
I race three we see the first batch of two-year-olds targeting the Blue Diamond in the Blue Diamond Preview for colts and geldings. I ride WEATHERLY and he is having his first start. I have trialled him at Balnarring and he has given me a feel of a very smart horse. He is still learning his trade so he’ll need a little bit of luck but he is a horse of high potential.
In race six, i’m riding LIFE OF BRIAN who has also come up with a wide barrier draw. He does get back in running and it does look like it's going to be run at a slow tempo. He is going to need a little bit of luck but he definitely looks like a horse with nice staying ability.
AMORINO is my ride in race seven and this is the race that I’m privileged to wear the Australian colours. It’s great to see this horse back on track for Archie Alexander. I had high hopes for Amorino in the Spring and unfortunately injury cut his carnival short. He’s come up with a really good barrier draw, has won at the course and distance, and if he is back to his best this is a really good race for him to begin his Autumn preparation.
Happy Australia Day everyone!!
Racing.com Park Preview
Thursday January 21
I'm looking forward to getting out and feeling the vibe of a new permanent fixture in racing which is the twilight meeting tonight at Racing.com Park.
I start off in race one riding PORTMAN for Danny O'Brien and Qatar Bloodstock. He's quiet an exciting horse and in his debut run finished a closing third behind Jalan Jalan. Since then he is lucky to be alive as he has had major surgery. I am looking forward to him getting back to the track. I have trialled him in preparation for today's race and was happy with the way he has come back. He has drawn an awkward barrier and although he is still learning his trade he's got plenty of ability.
In race two I am riding GRUOSI for trainer Brent Stanley and Musk Creek Farm. I did trial him last year and he was put aside to have a spell after that experience to fill out and develop. The stable has a really good handle on two-year-olds this season, Brent has won a few races with them so he'll have a very good understanding of this horse and if Gruosi can measure up with a field of first starters.
Race six I'm riding PENDLES for Darren Weir. He has a favourable draw in one. He has been racing very consistently and I expect him to be of the main chances.
In race seven I am riding BASCULE for Chris Waller, he walked into the yard last start and had a really good attitude and showed he was back to his best. He does gets back in his races and has a tendency to lay in so he always need a little bit of luck but this is the right race and if he gets that luck he'll go close to winning.
Wednesday January 20
I start my day at Geelong in race four riding HONOURABLE TYCOON who is trained by Mark Kavanagh. He has showed in his last two starts that he is right back to his best form. He's coming down in grade and we have drawn an awkward barrier so will need some luck. On his best form he'll be the one to beat. In a previous start at Geelong he has performed well finishing second.
Race seven I am aboard the Saab Hasan trained PURE KARMA and his two runs this preparation have been solid. He steps up in trip which won't be an issue for him, he's drawn nicely and will be hitting the line really hard.
Saturday January 16
I have a solid book of rides at Flemington and I start my day in race one riding the Tony McEvoy trained two year old LESSYD. He has been very competitive in his two starts closing off well. Having race experience will help him having his first look at the Flemington straight.
In race two I ride BOUNDARY who is trained by Heath Conners. She has been racing very well and is a course and winner at the distance. On her best form she will be very competitive but will need some luck from the outside barrier draw.
DANJEU is my ride in race four and is trained by Chris Waller. He is a stayer with good ability and has really found form. He comes back in distance and he is going to be the one to beat.
In race five, in the Mitty’s Racing Colour’s Handicap, I ride BASCULE for Chris Waller. He showed last start he is back to his best form. It is his first run down the straight and if he brings his best form he is one of the main chances however there needs to be three scratchings for him to gain a start as he is fourth emergency.
In the Inglis Dash, race six, I ride MOSSIN’ AROUND who is trained by John Thompson. She is lightly raced and ran a very good second last start down the Flemington straight and she drops back from 1200m to 1100m so will need to be a little bit sharper.
In race seven, the Chester Manifold Stakes I ride SARAJEVO trained by John O’Shea. He had no luck last start down the straight. The step up in distance will suit. He has come up with a wide barrier draw but he seems comfortable with more galloping room. I expect him to be hitting the line really hard.
In the Piping Lane Handicap, race eight, I ride the John O’Shea trained ALLERGIC. He looks like he is building up to this race and with a good barrier draw, down in the weights he is one of the main chances.