South Coast Arden looks to go three in a row

By Adam Hamilton

Former Kiwi pacer South Coast Arden looks to have found the right race to stretch his unbeaten NSW streak to three at Menangle on Saturday night.

The class gelding has clearly enjoyed the switch to Australia as evidenced by an impressive first-up win at Bathurst, followed by a narrow but blistering 1min49.1sec mile win at Menangle on June 3.

Connections opted for the move from Brent Mangos’ NZ stables to NSW when South Coast Arden raced below his best late last year, culminating with 15th in the NZ Cup on November 8.

The son of Somebeachsomewhere has benefitted this week from some key NSW players heading to Queensland already for next month’s huge Constellations carnival at Albion Park.

Another former Kiwi, Group 1-winning mare Braeview Kelly, looks the main danger. She’s in gate 11, directly outside South Coast Arden in 10 in the 1609m free-for-all.

Team McCarthy’s veteran former Kiwi pair Cash N Flow (gate four) and Alta Orlando (eight) also have claims.

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Another high-class former Kiwi pacer Turn It Up gets his chance in a ripper Lucky Creed Open Pace (2680m) at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Trainer-driver Shane Graham has done a superb job with the injury-riddled former All Stars’ pacer.

Turn It Up is renowned for his blazing gate speed and from the pole has the option of leading, or more likely, taking a sit on one of the key players and going for a sprint lane win.

Inter Dominion winner I Cast No Shadow will be suited by the long trip and fitter for a sound first-up third at Menangle, but he has a wide back row draw (gate 11) to overcome.

He’s one of two Jason Grimson-trained runners, the other being speedster Abouttime (gate five).

Local Brendan Barnes has picked up the drive on I Cast No Shadow with emerging young Tasmanian driver Mitch Ford on Abouttime.

The gifted but enigmatic Bondi Lockdown opens his Queensland campaign from gate six.

It’s a crucial race for Bondi Lockdown, who won well first-up this campaign but has been most disappointing in both runs since.

Another star local Blacksadance has the class, but is a query at a strong 2680m and has an outside back row draw (12) to overcome.

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Australia's most exciting pacer Leap To Fame makes a surprise trip to Queensland’s quirky Redcliffe “triangle” track tomorrow (Friday) night.

And last year’s triple Derby winner will need some luck after landing barrier eight. If emergency Port Au Prince comes out, Leap To Fame will start from inside the back row around the tight circuit.

Leap To Fame, who boasts 19 wins and four seconds from just 25 starts, also faces some serious opposition.

Jason Grimson’s recent $1mil Nullarbor winner and former Kiwi, Betterzippit, is there from outside the back row (gate 11).

High-class former Kiwi pacer Hot And Treacherous, a winner of his past two runs for Queensland trainer Jack Butler, looks another major factor from gate six.

Even Leap To Fame’s stablemate, Tims A Trooper, commands plenty of respect from the front row (gate five).

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Star Victorian mare Encipher can stake her claim for runs in both the Group 1 Rising Sun and inaugural TAB Eureka with another Melton win on Saturday night.

Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin’s mighty mare should be too classy again despite drawing outside the front (seven) over 1720m in the Cinderella Stakes.

“She’s definitely going to Queensland, it’s just a matter of what she runs in,” Stewart said.

Given four-year-old mares Amazing Dream and Ladies In Red have won both runnings of the Rising Sun so far, it must be tempting for connections to give it a crack with Encipher.

Trainer-driver Matty Craven is also looking at the Rising Sun with potentially the best horse he’s trained, four-year-old Bettor Isolate.

The sparingly-raced sit-sprinter smashed clock from a mile back when second to Hurricane Harley two weeks ago.

He will dominate betting from gate five in The Big Screen Company Pace (race five) at Melton on Saturday night.

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