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The Melbourne Review April 3

2 weeks ago

We had two metro meetings over the Easter weekend, Caulfield on Saturday and then Sandown on Monday - both tracks played to a Good 4 standard and I thought both were pretty fair and even.

THE BEST WIN

NAJMATY Race 3 Caulfield

This is a seriously good filly. She was hot and bothered behind the gates pre-race then always in a tricky spot covering ground back in the field, but when she was asked to go and win the race she put them away easily. Her 600m - 400m split of 11.11sec was the 5th fastest for that split for the day and showed the acceleration she has, the Percy Sykes in Sydney looks a great grand final race for her.

HORSES TO FOLLOW

1. PESTO & VONGOLE (Caulfield R1)

This was a messy race and there are probably four or five forgive runs in the race. PESTO was really solid at his AUS debut and is well worth following up second and third run in - I find that horses like this are short second-up and often beaten, third run in might be the way to go. VONGOLE nearly fell when building revs back towards the inside until horses tightened around him and he got into all sorts of trouble - forgive the run.

2. PRIDE OF JENNI (Caulfield R2)

I thought that this was a great run from a filly returning from a spell and short of her best compared to some race fit rivals. She led at a strong and genuine tempo that ultimately set the race up for the winner, but she kept staying on right through the line when tiring. I wonder where they head with her...that G1 Oaks in Adelaide might be the target. 

3. IMMORTAL LOVE (Bendigo R5)

There were some really good runs in this race - Minhaaj, All Of Brighton, Lichtfield County - but Immortal Love is the horse likely to really elevate towards a stakes race from this event. I fancy they look at something in Adelaide for him to Listed / Group 3 level, or the Guineas series in QLD at the same sort of mark. He carried top weight and gave away a stack of ground from the start but I loved his work through the line from the turn. 1400-1600m, yes please!

4. RIDDLE ME THAT (Caulfield Race 8)

I'm not sure where Matt Laurie heads with this bloke but he is ready to win and was unlucky not to test the winner in this race. He was travelling so well from a long way out but had to come through the field to make his run, he kept hitting traffic which slowed his momentum. I thought his last 200m was very good and I want to be with him in similar company next time. ICONOCLASM was very brave after racing wide throughout and he is right on track for the VOBIS race day.

5. KILLOURNEY (Sandown R8)

I want to be all over this horse when he steps to 2000m next start he is absolutely ready to win. I thought the jock stuffed up here to a degree, he just lost touch with the lead pack and then spent the first 200m of the straight trying to find clear air, it didn't have to be that way! The horse really geared up when he found clear air and I'd be happy to back him hard even up a grade or two with weight relief.

THE MARKET SAID...

That EXCELLERATION (Sandown R8 $1.60) would continue on its winning way...but he didn't. It seems that everyone connected to the horse was at a loss to explain the defeat after the event, the horse seemed to have pulled up sound and well - if anything he was a little keen early in the race but from the 500m he was travelling strongly as usual - there was no boot today which is very odd. Stay tuned to stewards updates over the next week, I'm sure they will find something wrong.