Trial report: Straight Charge flexes his muscles, Group 1 winners gear up for the autumn

5 min read
It was another manic Monday at Warwick Farm, with 15 heats, five for the juveniles, providing us with a peek into the future for what the autumn could contain.

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Erno’s Cube squares up to her rivals

One of the earliest horses to show their promise in the current 2-year-old division is Erno’s Cube (Rubick), and the Ciaron Maher-trained filly showed her class in Heat 7, with a comfortable spin around the 819-metre course under Jason Collett.

The winner of the Max Lees Classic at Newcastle in November crossed the line 0.33l clear of the Gary Portelli-trained Bubble Tea (Invader), with Zeitung (Exceed And Excel) for James Cummings back in third.

It was a busy finish to the heat all the way down to fifth, with Sakima (Snitzel) and Hallett (Deep Field) finishing within 1l of the winner, who had completed the course in a time of 47.92s.

Have Godolphin found their top juveniles?

James Cummings had no shortage of horses to keep his binoculars fixated on during Heat 8, with four of the seven starters residing in his care.

In another bunched finish, three of the first four home don the royal blue, with the promising daughter of Microphone, And Found, finishing narrowly ahead of Silmarillion (Too Darn Hot {GB}) in a time of 48.65s for the 819-metre heat.

And Found has so far been seen at the races once, finishing back in the ruck of the 2-year-old handicap won by Switzerland (Snitzel) on January 27. As for Silmarillon, she made a significant stride forward in her readiness for a racetrack debut, having finished sixth of eight in her first trial at Warwick Farm on January 30.

Those two were narrowly ahead of the Gary Portelli-trained It’szarbaby (Russian Revolution), with just 0.06l separating the first three home. Pinito (Trapeze Artist), another Godolphin galloper, filled out the numbers into fourth.

Microphone gelding puts in a nice display

Trainer Joe Pride is already staring at a big autumn, even in the absence of his sprinter star Eduardo (Host {Chi}) but he might also have a role to play in the juvenile division, with Maikrow (Microphone) winning Heat 9 on Monday by 0.37l.

Sam Clipperton partnered the gelding around the 819-mette circuit in a time of 49.48s, with the John O’Shea-trained galloper The Big Blue (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) running into second place.

For the first time on Monday amongst the juveniles, it wasn’t a bunched finish across the placings, with third-placed Polymer (Street Boss {USA}) running 1.57l adrift of the heat winner to claim the bronze medal of the heat.

Straight Charge sends a message

There’s been no shortage of dialogue around the strength of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s hand with 2-year-olds this season, and it was one of their most promising youngsters who puffed his chest out and sent a resounding message to his rivals in Heat 10 of the morning.

Straight Charge (Written By), who only two months ago was being touted as a legitimate threat to Storm Boy (Justify {USA}) for the crown of top 2-year-old, burned around Warwick Farm’s 816-metre course in a time of 46.86s.

The colt, who won a December 2-year-old race (beating Erno’s Cube) and ran second in the G3 Breeders’ Plate in September, finished some 2.47l clear of the second-placed Tardelli (I Am Invincible), with After Match (Zoustar) able to hold down third.

Also featuring in the heat was the G3 BJ McLachlan S. placegetter Customized (Capitalist), who ran sixth in the field of nine.

Does O’Shea have a new stable star?

Trainer John O’Shea is building himself an impressive conglomerate of 2-year-olds, which may well include Roselyn’s Star (Shalaa {Ire}), who was an eye-catching winner of Heat 11 at Warwick Farm on Monday.

Under experienced jockey Nash Rawiller, the colt was a comfortable victor of his 816-metre assignment, winning by 1.5l in a time of 47.19s.

Running second was Force Red (Cosmic Force), who has previously turned heads turning up at the trials, and is a colt Triple Crown Syndications are hoping can feature amongst the meatier stanza of the juvenile season.

Peter and Paul Snowden filled both minor placings, also preparing third-placed California Waves (Too Darn Hot {GB}).

What about the older horses?

Complementing a spoil of intriguing juveniles burning around Warwick Farm, a number of seasoned gallopers enjoyed a hitout in preparation for their dashes for some of the lucrative prizemoney in the coming months.

In the opening heat of the day, Don Corleone (Extreme Choice) came out on top of an 822-metre heat stacked with talent.

Trailing him home were the likes of Think About It (So You Think {NZ}), King’s Gambit (I Am Invincible), Mazu (Maurice {Jpn}), Argentia (Frankel {GB}) and Madame Pommery (No Nay Never {USA}).

The talented Zennzella (Snitzel) enjoyed a pipe-opener in Heat 2, winning impressively by 2.2l from Unspoken (Ire) (Territories {Ire}). Also participating in the 1207-metre run was Ganbare (Maurice {Jpn}), Esti Feny (Hun) (Pigeon Catcher {Ire}).

Elsewhere, black-type mares Street Gossip (So You Think {NZ}) and Po Kare Kare (NZ) (Savabeel) stretched their legs in Heat 5, while the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Taormina (Written Tycoon) won Heat 15 (the final of the morning) by a staggering 8.61l.

Erno's Cube
And Found
Staight Charge
Roselyn's Star
Barrier trials