The Armchair Punter reckons the ATC needs Weir to weave some magic

Stephen Brassel - Monday September 25

There's no doubt the ATC’s brave decision for The Everest is going to take some Darren Weir magic to deliver the right result and I’m getting back onto the jump outs situation in Victoria, which seriously needs to change.

Is it the horse who's blindfolded or us poor punters?


There has been plenty of feedback from our loyal Racenet readers questioning the ATC decision to take Brave Smash as their representative in The Everest and rightfully so.

Considering the top quality gallopers still available going into last Saturday's races included Moir Stakes favourite Russian Revolution you'd have to question why they didn't keep their powder dry a little longer before snapping up the ex-Japanese five-year-old.

The decision was made to offer connections of Brave Smash a slot in The Everest after he won at Moonee Valley but the opposition was certainly questionable on that day with El Divino and Revolving Door filling second and third placings.

Neither of those two found the placings at Caulfield on Saturday while in the Testa Rossa, Brave Smash was beaten fair and square by Bons Away, who had come out of a Benchmark 70 win at Seymour.

Brave Smash has now had three runs in Australia, all over 1200m, while his first 12 starts in Japan were between 1400m and 2400m, when he finished last in the Japanese Derby.

You'd have to question whether the import still has the speed in his legs for the 1200m of The Everest and it's going to take all of Darren Weir's genius to deliver the $5.8m top prize on October 14.

With blinkers going on, maybe that's the Weir magic ingredient but there's no argument he's going to need to find something special to get close to the big gun sprinters on Everest day on what he's shown at his past two starts.


I've had a bee in my bonnet for some time now and for the life of me I can't understand why the Victorian jump outs can't be included in official form guides.

The clubs openly show the fields and even the vision for the jump outs, however, there is nothing relayed to the poor punter via any formguide to tell the tale.

Unless you go trawling through the jump outs looking for a specific horse you 'think' may have gone around somewhere the horses are just too easily missed.

We are always hearing about integrity and transparency being paramount in the industry but this jump out situation is nothing short of farcical.

Take for example Heatherly, she is high in the markets for Friday night's Moir Stakes and her form will show a last start second to Russian Revolution in the McEwen Stakes.

Last Friday, Heatherly had a jump out at Flemington leading throughout to win easily but importantly she wore a blindfold for approval at the barriers however all formguides will show nothing of the outing.

Why can't we just get something along the lines of;

JUMP OUT – Flemington Sept 22, Heat 2 (approval blindfold).

It's not rocket science and the data is obviously easily available to be included in the official form. Just let the poor punter know and we can do our own homework as to how the horse performed.

These aren't just a jump out on an outer city track with a couple of horses going 400m. These are a fair bit more official than that and as they are being acknowledged via race club websites with fields and vision it's about time something was done to keep the punter informed in a more official capacity.


Linda Meech had a day out at Caufield on Saturday with two double-figure priced winners and both rides were gems, one from the front and the other from the back, but it was the beaten Nikita Beriman who really hurt punters most.

Meech was successful aboard Sircconi ($12) and Bons Away ($11), the latter beating $1.65 chance Brave Smash, however Beriman was the unlucky one aboard I Did It Again.

Trapped four-deep on the speed throughout, the $2.20 chance was exposed but still looked like he could hold on when Beriman pulled the whip at the 200m only to lose it a few strides later.

She resorted to hitting the horse down the neck with her hand but to no avail, beaten narrowly by Bandipur.



Check out Nikita doing her best to get I Did It Again home without the stick.


There was much said about the unlucky performance of Ravi in the second last at Caulfield on Saturday with many declaring the mare a certainty beaten.

While there's a solid argument to support the suggestion I'd argue the runner-up, Legless Veuve, was even more unlucky and should have won clearly.

She wasn't the best to begin and then got into a tricky spot, back further than she would normally have settled ending up second last on the turn, inside of Ravi.

When the field straightened, Legless Veuve moved across in front of Ravi looking for clear running but from the 300m both horses ran into major traffic issues. Ravi was certainly strung up getting clear air but so too was Legless Veuve and it was the latter who ran through the line strongest over the last 50m.

I'd argue it was Legless Veuve that should have been the winner, not Ravi.

Have a look and judge for yourself.


Coming off the back of an impressive Canterbury win, Paret was heavily supported to win the opener at Rosehill on Saturday and while, he didn't deliver on the day, the run suggested he's a horse with a big future.

Not the best to begin he settled last, which was expected, but the son of Harbour Watch over-raced and wasn't the easiest of rides for Hugh Bowman.

Paret changed his lead leg at the 150m and looked like the proverbial drunken sailor in the straight but he's a good horse this bloke and no doubt the one to follow out of the race.

Hugh Bowman pretty much summed it up after the race; "He's obviously got talent – there's no question of that – but he needs to get into a pattern. He threw it away in the final stages so there's a couple of chinks in his armour at the moment."

Stewards also showed plenty of interest in the Waller-trained three-year-old with his racing manners brought to the attention of a stable representative, who was informed a warning would be placed on the racing manners of the colt.


Nobody could suggest there was any team riding in the fourth at Rosehill on Saturday with hot favourite Up 'N' Rolling going down to stablemate Alward.

Hugh Bowman rode the perfect race aboard Alward sitting fourth in the 'one-one' and holding Up 'N' Rolling in a zip-fastener behind the $71 leader Thewayweare with $26 chance Zaunkonig outside the speed.

When Bowman took off three-deep on straightening he held up long enough to make certain Kerrin McEvoy on Up 'N' Rolling had to wait for 100m too long until his stablemate was turned loose.

Only problem was, when the gap to come out along came Brenton Avdulla on Quick Defence, another Waller runner, who held Up 'N' Rolling behind Alward just long enough to make certain the short-back-and-sides had been delivered.

If Up 'N' Rolling had been able to get clear earlier he may well have stretched the winner but whether he would he have won remains to be seen.


I doubt trainer Paul Perry expected the Golden Rose to turn out the way it did with his two runners The Mission and Perast.

Instructions to Adam Hyeronimus were to go forward on Perast and the expectations, I gather, were he'd trail the noted front runner, and stablemate The Mission.

As it turned out, Perast over-raced resulting in the two Perry-trained runners cutting at each other in front and racing through the 600m split between the 1200m and 600m in a sizzling 32.77.

No wonder The Mission was 'gassed' on the turn and dropped out to finish second last, beaten 15 lengths, however the run of Perast to fight on gamely for seventh, just over two lengths from second placed Champagne Cuddles, was outstanding under the circumstances.


Trainer Mick Price admitted after the race Duke Of Brunswick had, on occasions, tried to have a piece of the Clerk of the Course ponies but not another horses during a race.

That all changed on Saturday when the gelding took a fancy to the rear end of Sircconi right on the post in what was a bizarre little aside to the race.



That's a nice piece of rump!


It was impossible to miss the run of $51 outsider Lakhoni in the fourth event at Caulfield in Saturday with the son of Dalakhani finishing a desperately unlucky fifth after jockey Patrick Moloney nearly fell in the run to the line.

The gelding flopped out of the barriers from a wide gate and settled three lengths last in what was a messy race. That was in stark contrast to his debut win at Bendigo when he jumped well from a wide gate and led.

On Saturday Lakhoni trucked up behind the lead group at the 200m and looked ready to charge into it however he never saw daylight and when he did get the smallest piece of room took off under Moloney only to clip heels nearly dislodging the hoop in the charge to the line.

Beaten only 1.8 lengths, Lakhoni is a future winner and Mike Moroney looks to have a horse we can follow with great confidence into the future.




Keen Array promised plenty early on and has won his share of races but after Saturday's performance at Caulfield he can't be backed with confidence any more.

The Hayes and Dabernig trained galloper sat behind the leader in the perfect position but when he got clear running soon after straightening only plodded to the line in fifth place.

He's now had four runs this preparation without finding the placings and if he was going to win a race Saturday looked his chance so for this preparation, at least, he's in the sin bin.



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