Day At The Track

Charlotte ready to make Royal ascent

11:30 AM 13 May 2020 NZST
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Royal Charlotte,Harness racing
Stuart McCormick photo

A baptism of fire continues for a bright young Group 1 winner but trainer-driver Paul Males is optimistic his fresh-faced mare is ready to put her best foot forward.

Royal Charlotte, winner of both the Victorian and New South Wales Oaks last season, has enjoyed few favors in Victoria’s East region as she steps into open age racing, colliding with quality and quantity from the Brent Lilley, Chris Svanosio, David Miles and Mick Hughes stables.

That will be the case again tonight when she contests the OKR 98.3FM Trot, streamed at 8.29pm on Trots Vision, but with the gate one draw, some recent exposure at this class and gear adjustments Males enters tonight optimistic.

“I would have liked to have been in a bit lesser class coming through, having gone from three-year-old fillies’ grade to open grade,” Males said. “But if all goes well and she handles the track, and if she’s on their back at the top of the straight, she’ll get home good.”

Handling the track is no small part of the equation, with her trainer believing that’s been her “biggest problem” this campaign.

“She’s not handling Kilmore, whether it’s a looser surface, she’s just not getting around the last corner that great,” he said. “We have made a few gear changes because she was hanging in.”

If they reap dividends he expects “she’ll go close” and considers her among the better winning chance of the six that he and wife Kari Males send to Kilmore tonight.

The other horse most likely is Kari's returning pacer Good Guy Mach, who Paul said “has been trialling good against a lot higher rated horses. He is drawn inside the second row, so if gets a good run he will go pretty good.”

Kari has also prepared two first starters, who will contest the Jet Roofing 2YO & 3YO Pace, in Le Belle Bijoux and Segesta.

The former is an Art Major filly who’s the first foal out of brilliant mare Bellas Delight. Her 70 starts yielded 20 wins and $442,523, including Vicbred and Breeders Crown success.

Paul believes there's good reason to think the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

“She’s going pretty good. She paces a little like her mother, she’s a really good going horse, pretty strong, loves her work. She has a bright future,” he said.

Her four trials have produced a third and three fourths, and “she has kept improving all the time”.

“She’ll run a good race, but she might not beat the three-year-olds.”

The mixed age race has has three two-year-olds and five three-year-olds competing, including Kari’s other debutant Segesta, a Roll With Joe filly out of five-time winner Lettucesomewhere.

“She’s quite a nice horse. She has taken a bit of time through her own fault, having hurt herself in the paddock and at a trial, but she’s had no problems this time in.”

The camp will also ferry Hedge Your Bet to Kilmore, who will contest the last but will likely find this grade a tall challenge, and Paul’s own first starter Dream Sweetly.

The Sweet Lou filly is out of Trammell, the three-time winning dam of Misterfreeze and Snow Cone, and was snapped up for $21,000 at the 2018 Australian Pacing Gold sales.

“She seems to have good ability. She’s just a nice looking horse,” he said. “She has been a bit slow maturing. She was a bit open in her knees and is a pretty big horse.

“Her first couple of trials she hung in a little bit, but we have straightened her up and she was good her last trial. I’ll drive her quiet, slot her in somewhere and let the race unfold.”


Hosts Jason Bonnington and Blake Redden have another big line-up for today's Talking Trots on SENTrack, which runs weekdays from 11am-1pm on 1377AM in Melbourne, 657AM in Perth and 1575AM in Wollongong.

Click here to listen live and for links to download the SEN app.


The good oil from the Vic trials circuit

BLACKBOOKER: Ballarat, R1 N1, Euryphaessa

May 8: The pleasing part about the performance of EURYPHAESSA was she concentrated throughout the entire trip after having several indiscretions when being a long way in front over the past few weeks. REPORT

May 1: Is an extremely talented filly but she has done a bit wrong at her past two trial attempts. She wanted to pull up and head back to the stables turning out of the front straight when a long way clear. She may concentrate better when there are horses around her. At her past two trials she has stepped quickly and established a big lead before making errors mid-race. REPORT & REPLAY

February 14: Jumped in front but galloped one hundred metres after the start and lost approximately 40m. She did a lot of chasing and finished a game third. REPORT & REPLAY

BLACKBOOKER: Kilmore, R7 N7, Our Kings Landing

A smart former New Zealand trotter, which is now being prepared by trainer Brent Lilley and created a big impression in winning his trial. He produced a booming finish out wide on the track from last to win. REPORT & REPLAY

BLACKBOOKER: Kilmore, R8 N3, Chateaubriant

Has been very good at the trials over the past few weeks and he scored by a large margin. He broke stride momentarily at the start before pushing forward and finding the lead with 1700m remaining. He rolled along at a genuine tempo and continued to build on his lead in the final circuit. REPORT & REPLAY

HRV - Michael Howard
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