A massive morning of barrier trials saw 25 heats conducted on a Good 4 track at Cranbourne on Monday, March 6.
A few stood out as potential winners and can be followed in their upcoming assignments.
Here are my horses to follow from the Cranbourne barrier trials:
Trial 1 (800m) 45:75
PUNT CLUB was a clear standout in the opening heat as he led all the way and went to the line untested.
Trial 5 (800m) 45:62
Robbie Laing’s unraced two-year-old filly MAID TO MEASURE travelling easily on the pace and went to the line without any pressure at all. Easily had Peristrophe covered and that filly finished 2nd in the Listed Gold Sovereign (1200m) at her second race start.
Trial 7 (800m) 45:45
Despite winning two from four and finishing 4.8 lengths from Hey Doc in the Stutt Stakes (1600m), the Matt Laurie-trained MANDALAY BAY looked very green as he swamped them out wide late in the piece. He’ll get better as the distances get longer, but he has come back in great order and can be followed this campaign.
Trial 9 (800m) 45:60
MOTOWN LIL was disappointing first-up this campaign but I’m guessing she needed the run hence trainer Robert Smerdon sending her back to the trials. She finished 2nd to Toorak Belle without being asked for an effort in the trial but was taking plenty of ground off the winner who was under hard riding.
Trial 10 (800m) 45:52
Probably the most impressive trial of the morning over 800m was by the unraced Helmet filly POLISHER. Trained by Mitchell Beer and Max Hinton, this three-year-old towered over her opposition and looked more like a solid gelding than a delicate filly. But what was most impressive about the trial is the fact she reared at the start and came out a distant last, and although she was still last on the corner, she got to the outside and swamped them to win. She’s going places.
Trial 16 (990m) 57:88
The unraced RUSHARD ran the quickest of the 990m heats on the morning and should be fit enough to go to the races now after two trials. He sat four wide up on the speed and outgunned Calais View and Reflections Way who had softer runs. Was eased up before the line and should be winning a suitable maiden on debut.
Trial 25 (1550m) 1:37:78
Trainer Robbie Laing took an unusual approach with this French-import, DARABAD, who is yet to be seen in Australia under raceday conditions. He trialled earlier in the day over 990m and then lined up for the last heat over 1550m. He came from near last on the turn and mowed them down and obviously has plenty of ability. The son of Dansili won the Listed Grand Prix (2400m) at Clairefontein and has never raced below 220m. Laing purchased him for the Melbourne Cup and has plans to test him in the Sydney Cup this autumn. He’s already qualified for the Melbourne Cup but needs some weight to be guaranteed a start. bet365 is the only bookmaker I could find that has him in the Melbourne Cup All-In market but $51 was hardly appealing - I was hoping for $150+ to have a crack at him.