Yard to the Post | The Gong

Race Day: Kembla Grange on Saturday, 23 November 2019


The inaugural running of the $1 million ‘The Gong’ at Kembla Grange may have signalled the end of a long spring carnival, but it’s only the beginning for this new feature at Kembla Grange.

The atmosphere was abuzz trackside as the nine races played out, Chris Waller once again winning the feature with veteran MISTER SEA WOLF (picture) after James McDonald had given him the perfect steer on a track that suited horses nearer the rails.

It was an unlucky day for Mark Newnham, his on-pace warrior QUACKERJACK edged out in The Gong after enduring a tough run three wide on the pace. That result followed his promising filly MRS MAISEL getting beaten in the opening race after veering out wide at the jump.

Matthew Smith’s mare AQUA D’IVINA returned to form to win over 1,600 metres and the Snowden-trained NAPOLEON SOLO turned things around in the last race of the day. Four of the last five races won by horses at $10 or more.

See below for a full review, from the yard to the post.



Track Info

RailTRUE
ConditionsGOOD 4 to GOOD 3
WeatherFINE, overcast
BiasNEAR RAILS

Race 1 MARTY CHRISTIE AND CRAMMY i98 BREAKFAST SHOW (6AM - 9AM) 2YO HANDICAP

The most genuine wins the 2YO prize

strong tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Destination James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 3 58.0
2 Mrs Maisel Mark Newnham Tim Clark 7 56.0
3 Galactic Fury Ciaron Maher & David Eustace Hugh Bowman 1 58.0

In The Yard

All the 2YOs paraded in nice order in cool conditions. MRS MAISEL with nice strength, DESTINATION calm and professional.

In The Running

SHIPIERRO went fast to lead at a STRONG tempo after getting a slight bump from FOUND OUR THRILL at the jump, which had the biggest impact on MRS MAISEL drawn out wide, the filly running right out over the first 100m. FOUND OUR THRILL ended up 3W NC and MRS MAISEL was taken back. DESTINATION cruised up outside the leader.

The Result

DESTINATION (1st) was too strong for MRS MAISEL (2nd 1.5L), who was a touch green in the straight running on. GALACTIC FURY (3rd 1.7L) and FOUND OUR THRILL (4th 1.8L) right there too.

The Interest

DESTINATION was the most professional, but both MRS MAISEL and FOUND OUR THRILL have upside after doing things wrong, all three worth following after making nice debuts here. On first look it seemed Tim Clark had made a critical error in restraining MRS MAISEL to the back, but the Stewards' head-on footage shows that he didn't have much choice after she veered right out across the track early on. He wouldn't have known the bias was going to favour inside horses at this stage of the day either.


Race 2 TAB HIGHWAY HANDICAP

Kody's tough guy gets the job done

strong tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Sneak Preview Kody Nestor Tim Clark 7 56.0
2 Clergyman Lauren Davies Ms Winona Costin 1 53.0
3 Acquittal Danny Williams James McDonald 3 54.5

In The Yard

MOSS THE BOSS a touch hot and not really striding out. ACQUITTAL very warm in the parade. Most others well; SENRIMA TIDE, SNEAK PREVIEW, TWO WRONGS DON'T, CLERGYMAN, MAGPIE and QUICK SPIN a few of the standouts.

In The Running

PEYTON PLACE rolled at a STRONG tempo with MOSS THE MOSS moving up on his outside. JUNGLE BOOK wide near the pace. SENRIMA TIDE 4W NC midfield before slotting in 3W WC at the 800m. SNEAK PREVIEW just behind the leaders.

The Result

SNEAK PREVIEW (1st) moved up strongly and held off a fast-finishing CLERGYMAN (2nd 0.5L). A big gap back to ACQUITTAL (3rd 3.3L) and PEYTON PLACE (4th 4.1L). QUICK SPIN (5th 4.4L) ran on well out wide against the bias.

The Interest

SNEAK PREVIEW came off an easy win at Orange and a 2nd to Burning Crown (won last weekend) so the form-lines looked good. Stepping up to the mile no problem for the tough son of Smart Missile. CLERGYMAN very well ridden by Winona Costin and ready for 1800m+ now. No knocks on ACQUITTAL (hot in parade), PEYTON PLACE (went too hard), QUICK SPIN (bias against) and MOSS THE BOSS (on strong tempo).


Race 3 HARRIGAN MOTOR GROUP BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP

Well-trained Waller stayers surge clear late

fair tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Mr Reckless Chris Waller Nash Rawiller 1 59.0
2 Mangione Chris Waller James McDonald 5 57.5
3 Eugene's Pick Will Clarken Jay Ford 7 54.0

In The Yard

All the horses looked well in the yard in suitable conditions. MERCURIAL LAD nice and fit now.

In The Running

MERCURIAL LAD and JAZZLAND worked to get on-pace and rolled at a strong tempo for them, but most of the field were at FAIR tempo. MANGIONE stalking the leaders and MR RECKLESS just behind getting a nice run on the inside.

The Result

MR RECKLESS (1st) ran down a game MANGIONE (2nd 0.3L), who hit the lead and fought on well. EUGENE'S PICK (3rd 2.6L) quickened into it and was just out-fought late by the top two. NORDIC (4th 3.9L) ran on nicely until laying in late.

The Interest

A sharp time of 2:01.88 after honest tempo suggest these two Waller stayers will go on to better things than a BM 78, Nash too good for James Mac this time in a battle of the two of the best jockeys in NSW. EUGENE"S PICK with better luck this time and may prefer 1600m to 1800m, or simply found two smart ones here. NORDIC progressing nicely. Some excuses for MISTER SHUHOOD (5th 5.7L) (not smoothest ride from Brock Ryan) and CALIFORNIA LONGBOW (6th 5.8L), who pulled up 1/5 lame. HE'S IMPOSING (7th 7.1L) pushed wide on the turn and OK against the bias. The heavily-built FASTNET CYCLONE (8th 7.3L) battled.


Race 4 PAGES EVENT HIRE F&M BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP

Nash jumps, kicks and just gets the win

fair tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Kylease Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 2 57.5
2 Handspun James Cummings Hugh Bowman 1 56.5
3 Pumpkin Pie Richard & Michael Freedman Glen Boss 4 58.5

In The Yard

Most well in the yard again, first-up horses fit enough to do something. THE PARTY GIRL a toned tough type that will probably enjoy 1400m and wet ground more than these conditions.

In The Running

KYLEASE sped to the lead and got 2-3L clear, just easing the tempo enough for a FAIR tempo overall. BLAZING MISS 3W NC near the pace and CALL ME ROYAL trapped 4W NC midfield after only jumping with the pack.

The Result

KYLEASE (1st) kicked and tired late, just holding on from a fast-finishing HANDSPUN (2nd 0.1L) who weaved up the inside. PUMPKIN PIE (3rd 0.3L) right in the finish too with LUCICELLO (4th 0.5L) running on up the inside.

The Interest

She had some excuses at Canterbury two starts ago before an OK run last start, KYLEASE enjoying the firm ground and giving a big kick today, just enough to win (1200m is her absolute max). Nice returns from HANDSPUN and PUMPKIN PIE, who got the right inside runs. LUCICELLO very solid again without too much running room on the inside. JEN RULES (6th 2.8L) and MISTEED (7th 2.9L) perhaps as good as the winners, chasing home out wider against the bias.


Race 5 ABAX CONTRACTING BENCHMARK 88 HANDICAP

A progressive mare gets things back on-track

strong tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Aqua D'ivina Matthew Smith Ms Kathy O'Hara 3 56.5
2 Turnberry Kris Lees Ms Samantha Clenton 7 58.5
3 All But Gone Damien Lane Serg Lisnyy 8 53.0

In The Yard

DYLAN’S ROMANCE not fit yet and needs the run. Others fine.

In The Running

DYLAN’S ROMANCE went to the lead and rolled at a testing STRONG tempo with CUBAN ROYALE on his outside and TURNBERRY just behind with cover. TAHSIN was a couple of pairs back 3W NC. AQUA D'IVINA on the inside midfield held up slightly.

The Result

AQUA D'IVINA (1st) worked clear and fought on best up the inside from a brave TURNBERRY (2nd 0.1L) sustaining his run as always. ALL BUT GONE (3rd 0.5L) and FUN FACT (4th 1.1L) surged late off the testing tempo.

The Interest

They really rolled in this, Matthew Smith's talented mare AQUA D'IVINA finding the right spot and returning to firm third-up. She had the same form-line as TURNBERRY, coming through the race that had produced winners Strome and Mister Reckless. Very surprising to see them both drift so much in the market. The well-supported local runners ESTEEM SPIRIT ($5.5 into $5) (5th 1.4L) and CUBAN ROYALE ($4.8 into $3.9) (7th 4.2L) both had their chance, CUBAN ROYALE too close to the tempo perhaps given 1600m is his absolute max. GRESHAM (did not finish) not the same horse this prep and pulled up with a poor recovery.


Race 6 THE GONG

Waller and McDonald class take more millions

fair tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Mister Sea Wolf Chris Waller James McDonald 9 59.0
2 Quackerjack Mark Newnham Ms Rachel King 14 52.0
3 Star of the Seas Chris Waller Glen Boss 7 55.5

In The Yard

TAIKOMOCHI was hot in the yard. JONKER doesn't parade like he will get the mile. Others fine, including STAR OF THE SEAS following two tough G1 runs.

In The Running

TAIKOMOCHI jumped well and led at a FAIR tempo with NICOLETTA moving up on the outside and QUACKERJACK working hard to get up on-pace 3W NC. MISTER SEA WOLF was urged to be near pace a couple of pairs back, James Mac then edging him onto the back of QUACKERJACK on the turn.

The Result

MISER SEA WOLF (1st) ran on well and just out-fought a brave QUACKERJACK (2nd 0.2L), who kept lifting to the line and never gave up. STAR OF THE SEAS (3rd 0.5L) worked off heels and ran on up the inside. MILITARY ZONE (4th 0.8L), EL DORADO DREAMING (5th 1.3L) and LUVALUVA (6th 1.6L) all running on OK.

The Interest

Most of those in the market ran well and the winner was simply the best-ridden on the day, James McDonald giving the veteran MISTER SEA WOLF a peach to take out the $1 million feature. He had form around STAR OF THE SEAS and LUVALUVA (Brisbane winter) so the win didn't come as surprise, but once again the market pushed him right out ($14 to $21). QUACKERJACK clearly the run of the race after having to endure a torrid run on-pace. STAR OFF THE SEAS (off heels), EL DORADO DREAMING (slow jump, bumped 225m) and LUVALUVA (made run wider out, bias against) all could have got the prize with more luck. NOBLE BOY (12th 4.6L) badly blocked and we'll never know what finish he had over 1600m.


Race 7 TRAFFIC LOGISTICS BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP

A terrifying watch for punters

strong tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Ghostly David Pfieffer Hugh Bowman 7 57.0
2 Broken Arrows David Pfieffer Kerrin McEvoy 13 58.0
3 Brazenpine Peter & Paul Snowden Tim Clark 6 53.0

In The Yard

SEASONS a touch warm in the yard, but seemed to be fit enough first-up. RARE EPISODE paraded very nicely following some plain trials.

In The Running

A mad charge to the turn. MOSSMAN GORGE kicked up on the inside with STONE COLD 2W NC, I AM MAGNIFICENT 3W NC, RARE EPISODE 4W NC and TROPEZINA way out 5W NC. GHOSTLY and BROKEN ARROWS got back in the pack and picked off runs nearer the inside. Plenty of horses found trouble in the straight trying to make runs.

The Result

GHOSTLY (1st) ran on best to win, BROKEN ARROWS (2nd 0.1L) charging at him late after getting held up slightly. BRAZENPINE (3rd 0.6L) poked up the inside after getting held up too. MOSSMAN GORGE (4th 0.8L) not far off after leading.

The Interest

Sometimes the luck goes your way, GHOSTLY getting the dream run through while others found trouble. The list of unlucky runners is long; 2nd BROKEN ARROWS held up early straight, 3rd BRAZENPINE held up 'til 150m, 5th TROPEZINA stuck 5W NC, 6th LATIN BOY pushed wide turn, 7th AND SO IT GOES held up badly, 9th RARE EPISODE stuck 4W NC and 10th KOONUNGA held up badly. TROPEZINA, AND SO IT GOES and KOONUNGA perhaps the ones to follow. BROKEN ARROWS did enjoy the strong tempo from the back at least. ORI ON FIRE (14th 7.2L) pulled up 2/5 lame.


Race 8 POLYTRACK CG&E BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP

James Mac always in control on the fav'

fair tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Trumbull Kim Waugh James McDonald 6 57.0
2 Cinquedea Richard & Michael Freedman Tim Clark 9 57.5
3 Poetic Charmer Peter & Paul Snowden Tommy Berry 12 58.5

In The Yard

TRUMBULL and POETIC CHARMER both paraded very well. CINQUEDEA in nice shape first-up too, but parades like a horse that may want 1400m+, a tougher more defined type.

In The Running

TRUMBULL took up the running at a FAIR tempo with I AM CAPTAIN pulling on his outside and SANCTIONED out 3W NC.

The Result

TRUMBULL (1st) kicked on best for a clear win. CINQUEDEA (2nd 1.3L) and POETIC CHARMER (3rd 1.7L) running on well late.

The Interest

The best runs were the top three here, TRUMBULL getting a professional ride from James Mac and a deserved win, while CINQUEDEA (better to 1400m+) and POETIC CHARMER (very quiet ride) hit the line nicely. I AM CAPTAIN (5th 2L) a bit keen and not bad too. TONY'S REWARD (11th 6.4L) held up badly and pulled up 1/5 lame. SANCTIONED (12th 7.7L) lame in both front legs.


Race 9 PARTY CENTRAL BENCHMARK 78 HANDICAP

Gear changes light up the top two

fair tempo
Bias: rails-3w

Place Silk Horse Trainer Jockey Gate Kgs
1 Napoleon Solo Peter & Paul Snowden Tommy Berry 11 55.0
2 Super Star Bob Matthew Dale Kerrin McEvoy 10 56.5
3 Final Award Mark Newnham Nash Rawiller 6 58.0

In The Yard

FINAL AWARD and DESTINY'S OWN paraded well. NAPOLEON SOLO looking sharp too. SUPER STAR BOB a touch hot in the parade deep into this prep.

In The Running

SUPER STAR BOB worked up to lead and set an honest FAIR tempo with DESTINY'S OWN on his outside. NAPOLEON SOLO out 3W NC midfield and FINAL AWARD back in the pack getting held up slightly as NAPOLEON SOLO made his run wider out.

The Result

NAPOLEON SOLO (1st) kept coming to win, beating a tough SUPER STAR BOB (2nd 0.5L) and late-finishing FINAL AWARD (3rd 0.6L) with DESTINY'S OWN (4th 0.8L) right there too.

The Interest

NAPOLEON SOLO got the blinkers back on and produced a very strong win here, clearly back on track this prep now. FINAL AWARD just held up at the wrong time as the leader kept him trapped in. SUPER STAR BOB not at his best in the parade, but the blinkers first time worked nicely. BOOMTOWN RAT (6th 2.3L) wound up late and looks set for a good prep and BOBBY DEE (7th 3.6L) was well-backed ($8.5 to $5.5), but peaked on his run from the box seat.



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