The Trials ‘Report Card’

What was worth noting from the trials from all around the country for the week ending 16/2/2024

Captains Mistress (2f Captaintreacherous – Imaginary Bet) Tr. N Williamson

9/2/24, The royally bred half-sister to smart horse Merlin, trailed two and three deep but was giving the tearaway pacemaker (Rakavenom) a conservative 10L at the 400m, set alight and proceeded to gobble that up and came clear of her three rivals, officially by 3 1/2L at the line, last 800m in 57.3, 400m in 29.3. Yet another from this barn set to star and on this effort her breeder/owner should get rewarded quickly when the early 2yo fillies get to race.

Always Dreaming (2c Bettors Delight – Start Dreaming) Tr. N Williamson

On the same day, the full brother to Don’t Stop Dreaming and half to Dreams Are Free also put in a winning turn after racing fourth of five, got carted up into the 1x1 inside the final 600m and was able to finish over the top of his rivals in the last 50m, last 400m in 28.7. The overall time nothing flash but as an $85k purchase at the 2023 yearling sales and acknowledging the deeds of his older brothers, punters must respect his obvious credentials when assessing upcoming 2yo racing in the deep south.

Dreams Are Free (3c Captaintreacherous – Start Dreaming) Tr. N Williamson

The noteworthy feature of this three horse heat at Winton had the glamour southern 3yo (3 wins + 2 placings from 5 starts) 6L adrift of the stablemates Always Ticking (trail) and Takeitout (pacemaker) who deadheated, last 800m in 57.3, 400m in 28.0. Touted as a key competitor for the 3yo specials, he wasn’t knocked around and perhaps was not as forward as his two rivals but the distance back to third was bigger than one might have expected. Watch this space!

Great White (2c Vincent – Honey Rose Falcon) Tr. A Herlihy

9/2/24, already qualified, the 2yo trailed third of four, challenged at the 400m and finished strongly without too much urging to just nudge out the pacemaking Lincoln Lou. Professional peformance with impressive sectionals MR:2:00.2, 800m in 57.4, 400m in 27.5 Dam won eight and has already left a 1:50 performer. Stablemate Roy Kent who beat him in the qualifying trial earlier in the month could only run third after tracking the winner throughout.

Cormac Leo (4g Sweet Lou – Athena Matai) Tr. C Ferguson

On a track that was rained on (Wyndham 10/2/24) Cormac Leo settled fourth of six and was there until 350m out when he came around to take issue, quickly assumed control and proceeded to run away from his rivals (officially 4 1/2L) in a 2:00MR, last 800m in 58.7/28.9. Lightly raced, he has not raced since running fifth to Ohoka Connor and Wag Star way back in April of last year but looked more than ready to resume on this effort. As the winner of only one race, he should be placed to good advantage in the coming weeks.

Lovemeto (4g What The Hill – Love Ya Doosie) Tr. Rogerson/Ferguson

At Cambridge 10/2/24, up against the maiden pacers and starting widest of all behind the gate, the 5 win/Group 1 trotter settled last of five before looping around midrace to lead a lap out, kept going strongly to the line to keep his rivals at bay, MR:2:03.7, last 800m in 58.6, 400m 28.3. Written up in this forum recently and he looks primed for a bold resumption anytime now.

Here’s Herbie (5g Sportswriter – Just Rose) Tr. C & J DeFilippi

The seven win gelding (last two on end) went to Motukarara 10/2/24 for a blowout before going to the Rangiora Classic this coming weekend, started off 20m behind two rivals, stayed there until 600m out when he was asked to improve in the open, not knocked about to get within a neck of Georgie Zhukov who used passing lane from the trail to finish best. ‘Herbie’ has always looked a handy type and his last win was on the grass at Rangiora back in December where he dealt to most of his country cup rivals that he meets at the same venue this time.

Just Foxin (3g Sweet Lou – Fire Dancer) Tr. K Townley

The full brother to Fire Fox went to Rangiora 14/2/24 and was not rushed early in the seven horse qualifying heat, still had plenty to do 400m out before keeping up a strong run last 250m to get up as a winner right on the line, last 800m in 57.5, 400m in 29.1. Fire Fox has now won 12 and won $178k with a best winning MR of 1:49.6 since crossing the Tasman. The dam has done a good job at stud and her latest qualifier looks a promising type for his connections.

Sweet Tartan (3f Sweet Lou – Expressive Victor) Tr. G & J Dunn

Showing speed from wide on the gate (14/2/24), the filly was soon in front and was always going well over her three rivals, ran clear last 200m for impressive win, last 800m in 57.8, 400m in 28.1. Qualified back in September last year and the trainers have been patient. Dam won 10 and this filly is only her second foal so enough boxes ticked to suggest a promising future.

Allets (2f Captain Crunch – Sue Dreamer) Tr. R & J Dunn

14/2/24, yet another of her sire showing up at local trials, trailed third of four before angling wide on final turn and finished attractively to do best final 100m, 800m in 58.4, 400m in 29.6. This was a timely win for her connections as they are offering a Bettor’s Wish half sister next week at the sales (Lot 296) and the dam Sue Dreamer has already left six winners so Allets can be expected to be competitive in 2yo races coming up especially against her own sex.

Rakero Rocket (4g Rock N Roll Heaven – Motu Pocket O’Jewels) Tr. T Bamford

Not for the first time, this horse showed a touch of class when winning his heat (14/2/24), settled midfield of seven rivals then asked to improve 500m out, kept going strongly to outpoint Whose Delight (6 wins) who had made a midrace move from the rear to lead, these two well clear of the others, last 800m in 56.2, 400m in 28.5. Remembering that the winner is only a one win (2 starts) pacer, he looks a strong candidate to improve upon that record sooner than later.

Threebeersdeep (3g Net Ten Eom – Portia Maguire) Tr. B & T White

14/2/24 at Ashburton, the White trained pacer soon in front and always going kindly, not extended to keep going strongly to the line, winning attractively, last 800m in 56.6, 400m in 27.4. Has only had the three starts and was successful at Roxburgh at just his second public outing when well supported. Stable knows how to get them going and on this run looks more than capable of getting to the next rung on the ladder.

Beaudiene Rocknroll (4g A Rocknroll Dance – Beaudiene Babe) Tr. R Green

15/2/24 at Pukekohe, led from the pole (going the Cambridge way around) and kept up a strong run to hold his five rivals at bay, last 800m in 57.5, 400m in 27.5. Six win Hail Lucius trailed throughout and wasn’t asked to come out at any stage but the winner is only a two race winner (from 17 starts) and in the right company looks more than capable of adding to his record especially away from Auckland.

Frisco Bay (3c Downbytheseaside – Idealistic) Tr. R Green

Stablemate of the above runner adopted similar tactics with a similar result, last 800m in 57.6, 400m in 27.5. Hasn’t started since September where his three starts failed to match his previous 2yo trial form but he was racing the likes of Escape Artist and Mantra Blue. A bit more time to mature and interestingly still a colt, he could surprise a few in a non winners race at healthy odds in the coming starts. His astute trainer liked him enough to start early in a ‘young guns’ heat last season.

Potter (4g Sweet Lou – Sauchiehall) Tr. A Poutama

15/2/24, sped out to lead and kept going strongly to hold four rivals at bay, last 800m in 57.4, 400m in 27.6. Last start winner at the Park in his debut there after beginning his career in the South Island (first 9 starts which yielded three minor placings). That win was his first run back for three months and this workout suggested he has trained on and is enjoying his new life in the upper north. You wont miss him, he has the Sweet Lou big white blaze.


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