This evening I’m riding at Pakenham for the night meeting. The rail is out 3 metres and the track is rated in the good range.
Race 1 is the Iron Jack Australian Lagers 2YO Maiden Plate over 1200 metres, my ride here is ROCK ARTIST who is trained by Ken & Kasey Keys. This colt by Wandjina had one start last preparation at Moonee Valley over 1000 metres before being sent for a spell and is resuming this evening. He was back in the field in his debut run and closed the race off really well, with the best part of his race being to and through the line. The distance of 1200 metres should suit him and his recent jumpout at Cranbourne will have him ready to return to the races. He will start from an outside barrier in a small field and with the benefit of previous race experience behind him, I expect he can make his presence felt.
Race 2 is the Watch Live on Sportsbet Maiden Plate over 1200 metres, my ride here is ZOUTELLUS who is trained by Ken & Kasey Keys. This three-year-old gelding by Zoustar has had three starts for a second and two third placings, with all of his runs being in his last preparation, last year. After watching his replays, he looks to be a horse that was still learning his trade, so I’m looking forward to having my first ride on him and seeing how he has matured and the benefit he has taken of that racing preparation. The form around him has been franked and should prove a strong reference for his first-up run. If he has taken improvement from his first campaign and we have luck in running from an outside barrier draw, he will take a lot of beating in this.
Race 6 is the John Duff & Co BM64 Handicap over 1400 metres, my ride here is COUP DE TONNERRE who is trained by Matt Cumani. This three-year-old colt by Night of Thunder has had five starts for a record of one win and a second placing. All of his starts have been as a two-year-old where he contested races such as the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate and VOBIS Showdown before winning his maiden over 1400 metres on heavy ground at Bendigo in May 2020. He hasn’t been to the races for some time and runs first-up this evening. He has extremely strong form lines behind him and is starting off at a distance that should suit him. If he returns in the same form as he ended his last preparation, he will be one of the main contenders in this.