WILLOW-NSW OAKS- Made the lead, taken on round to go lead time 57.8 fought strongly but outfinished for third.
Mark's Comment: "Probably the only one we would say was a little disappointing only because we know what she can do. It is hard to say it was the track. It was a bit sloppy early in the day but even so I expected her to sprint away in the run home''
ADORE ME-LADYSHIP MILE - Brilliantly got across to midfield from wide gate when first quarter was 26.7 and moved up wide down the back. Went to lead and looked winner but did not have her usual sting over the last 100m. The 1.52.4 time is in no way her best.
Mark's comment: "She went a couple of rough strides down the back but she recovered quickly. We probably lost the race when a move made us three wide earlier than I wanted and she had to do extra. I am sure that she would have won otherwise''
ISAIAH -NSW DERBY-third in what is claimed a world record time, a remarkable 2.52.4 and a mile rate of 1.55.6 so no disgrace there. Moved up with a round to go when pace eased, charged into it at the turn but the late chargers had an edge.
Mark's comment:"He's a brave horse. He was stuffed in the straight with the time they ran but he just kept going on. Anyway you look at it it was a typically tough run. If he had got to the front they might not have got past him''
BORDER CONTROL-CHARIOTS. -shot out of the gate from a difficult draw and left parked. Got cover briefly then moved up in open again. They ran 1.50.4 which he can do but his earlier efforts told over the final stages. Held on for fifth.
Mark's Comment : (Luke McCarthy drove) Had to do that bit of work to get up there and go again when he was headed down the back. I wouldn't fault his run in the circumstances and the draw was against us''
SMOLDA-ID FINAL-4th. Hugely brave. Went back early and they ran a 26.5 quarter when Mark moved him up to sharpen the pace with Machs Dream stealing the race in front. Mark then gave Smolda his best chance escaping with a quarter in 30 down the back to give him a breather. At the corner he was the winner but the horse Mark had tipped the one to beat, Beautide, had done less work and was poised. Again the Aussies swamped the Kiwis in the shadows of the post-it had happened all day-but 4th was brave considering it was only his third race back from a long spell. Because of that Auckland Cup could be doubtful but decision later.
Mark's comment: "I feel in my own mind that it was the fact that he had only had two races which beat him at least for second and I think he could have run. He sprinted hard while Beautide was up there handy and that lack of hard racing made the difference''
CHEVIOT -4 WINNERS-
HUG THE WIND - huge debut. Settled last from outside draw, out in the open for most of the last round and still going strongly at the line. Win one any time. "He had to do quite a bit of work from the draw and it was a top run" Blair said
TWENTYTEN-When both Mark and Blair label the same horse on the same day just run to the tote. Only $1.60 div but the most relaxed way to earn money. Soon in front and ran away from them. Mark races him with Bill Feiss so he gets a bit of the stakemoney as well. "Once he was underway he was always going to be the one to beat and he jogged it '' Blair
SARATOGA-trailed fought on well (second) in first start in a long time. "He was unlucky" Blair said. "He hooked wheels at just the wrong time and ran out a touch which is why there was an inquiry. He will improve but he was a bit stiff"
ALL STAR MAN-Led, trailed, fought on for third. "He probably was found out a little bit by lack of racing but he had every chance'' Blair
SUPERSONIC MISS-trailed handy ran home best. "I was a bit worried I wasn't going to catch the stablemate but other than that it was no trouble. She got the run and did the business" Blair
FIGHT FOR GLORY-tracked stablemate, worked off fence, strong finish. Terry Chmiel thought she had her chance. "She just didn't come out of the gate that well but then tracked the stablemate and then had to get out early enough. I think she might have hit the front because she seemed to think she had done enough and knocked off a shade. But she had her chance to win''
SUPERBOWLCHEERLEADER-led, handy ran home strongly. "She was always trotting well and when she does it right she is hard to beat in this class'' Blair