The week that was – Brad Waters’s ones to follow

Brad Waters - Tuesday October 3

A huge Grand Finals weekend of racing has just gone by but there were some smart performances on the provincial circuit to take note of with a view to finding a winner in the next few weeks.

Tbilisi looks a good spot to visit and the equine Tbilisi might go all right as well.

ARARAT 26/9/17

BOOKBUILD

The son of Choisir was gelded after his last campaign, which produced a couple of fair efforts, but his return to racing resulted in an emphatic win at Ararat last Tuesday. Bookbuild won a Cranbourne trial comfortably on September 18 before winning his maiden in impressive fashion. He had too much pace for his opposition to find the lead comfortably from barrier 10 before remaining in control of the race to the home turn. Bookbuild quickened well under jockey Daniel Moor’s handling before maintaining his effort easily to score by 2 ¾ lengths. He’ll only improve off that win so stick with him. He’s nominated for a Benchmark 64 race at Moonee Valley on Friday night and could be hard to beat there.

BENDIGO 28/9/17

TBILISI

The winner Irish Vega attracted attention with his big finish to the 1300m maiden but Tbilisi didn’t have the best of luck when finishing sixth, two lengths from the winner. He did a couple of things wrong, including over-racing, midfield from barrier three and was held up on the home turn while the winner was able to get out wide and build momentum. It was unlikely he would have beaten the winner but there was a bit to like about the way Tbilisi finished off his race despite laying in under pressure. That was his third start this time in and he could be just about ready to break through, perhaps over 1400m.

BIG PAT’S PONTIAC

This Nigel Blackiston-trained gelding is a work in progress but appears ready to hit his straps as a four-year-old after a promising start to his campaign at Bendigo. As is the norm with Blackiston-trained runners Big Pat’s Pontiac was ridden conservatively in the early stages of his Class 1 assignment, which was won by the leader Flaming Bel, and was second last on the home turn. Jockey Beau Mertens had to ride Big Pat’s Pontiac hard to build his momentum but the last 200m of his race was most promising. His maiden win was over 1440m and his best form is on firm footing so expect him to improve enough to threaten in his next couple of starts.

ECHUCA 2/10/17

LORD SUNDOWNER

Lord Sundowner made the jump from a maiden win to a Benchmark 64 race and showed he is a horse on the way up when thrashing his rivals by 4 ½ lengths. The son of Hard Spun rolled forward to lead as he did in his Geelong maiden win and cruised through the middle stages, relaxing well for jockey Jake Noonan until he was asked to quicken on the home turn. Lord Sundowner quickly put a few lengths on his opposition before Noonan was able to ease down the Mick Price-trained galloper late. He’s only going to get better with racing and can pick up a race or two in town in the next few weeks.

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