Barrier trial black bookers (VIC) – horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials

  • Victorian Barrier Trial Blackbookers

Our Melbourne racing expert will keep you up to date with all the horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials.

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While some horses may be flying at the trials and stand out to everyone, some good runs are often hidden among the also rans and our expert will pinpoint those runners so you can capitalise when they hit the racetrack.

Here are some horses to put in the blackbook:

Wodonga barrier trials - July 16

Trial 1 (1200m) 1:14.62
A nice piece of work from WAVE REVIEWS following a 61-week lay-off and change of trainer. The European-import raced in the famous Winx silks in both starts for Chris Waller but now resides with Benalla-based trainer Peter Burgun. The five-year-old son of Fastnet Rock travelled kindly behind the speed, was widest on the bend and cruised to the line to score while his opposition where being pushed out. He needs a mile and further but is one to stick with this preparation. 

Trial 2 (1200m) 1:14.08
If they let WESTERN PRUSSIA run next time, he can win. Forget his last start failure where he was restrained and overraced fiercely. His only win was fifth-up last campaign when he was fit and led all the way to score. With four runs under his belt now, and an impressive 12-lengths trial win in good time, he can surprise next start.

Trial 6 (800m) 47.00
This was the quickest of the 800m heats, and it was the Lindsay Park filly GRACEFUL STAR that impressed most as she worked home strongly into 3rd place. The stable thought enough of her to debut at Moonee Valley (4th) and then head to Flemington (3rd) before disappointing at Geelong (3rd of 3) and the going for a break. She was outpaced early but really got home well under hands and heels riding. She’ll be placed to get a win on the board this time so stick with her until she does. 

Trial 9 (800m) 47.10
An impressive all the way win by Nan’s Lonhro, but I’d prefer to see what she can do under race day pressure first. However, MOMENTO who showed some ability in Sydney is now with the Lindsay Park stable, and she worked home strongly and will be much better first-up around 1200m. The daughter of Your Song finished 3rd to Tulip and Alizee in the Magic Night Stakes so she can obviously run. 

Wave Reviews
Western Prussia
Graceful Star

Cranbourne barrier trials (synthetic) - July 2

Trial 2 (1000m) 1:00.34
Anthony Freedman’s All Too Hard gelding ALL TOO SUBLIME should simply be winning soon. He led this trial comfortably and was never put under any pressure while his rivals where pushed right out and couldn’t get near him. He narrowly missed on debut behind Ong Varn before going for a spell, but with some strength and maturity on his side, he’ll have no trouble breaking through. 

Trial 4 (1000m) 1:00.44
A very impressive trial from the unraced 2YO IMMELMANN who is by Smart Missile and trained by Matt Laurie. He settled back in the field, got to the outside and easily had this lot covered and was hard held going to the line. 

Trial 5 (1000m) 1:00.54
Another one from the Anthony Freedman yard, and although LOXWOOD wasn’t as impressive as the previous 2YO heat winner, he did it easy and had plenty more to offer while clearly being above his rivals. 

Trial 8 (760m) 46.13
I’m a big believer in combing times with trial performance as most horses can look impressive if they and their opposition are going slow enough. Also, I’m not a fan of finding upcoming winners over short trial trips like this 760m heat. However, I must include the Robbie Laing-prepared LEALTA in the blackbookers despite him running the slowest time of the 760m heats. This unraced Danerich colt looks very strong and was under a stranglehold for the first few hundred metres as he ran with his head on his chest. He was given some rein in the straight and slipped away to put a big margin on his opposition, but he was never put under any pressure and looked very professional for an unraced 3YO. 

All Too Sublime

Pakenham barrier trials - June 20

Trial 1 (1400m) 1:24.81
I’m going to declare it now, THINK ALIKE will win next start based on this trial. He’s somewhat of a synthetic specialist and resumed for new trainer Glenn Cross over 1400m on the Pakenham synthetic and tired late after sitting up on the speed. The winner ran 1:26.50, but Skip Town Mike ran this trial in near track record time and Think Alike was switched off at the 100m mark and could have beaten him. He’ll improve off that too, and if he lines up over 1400m on the Pakenham synthetic next time, I’m all over him. 

Trial 4 (1000m) 59.69
This was impressive. The Lindsay Park stable thought enough of ALSHAHHAD to send him to Sydney for his first start, but he could only manage a 4th placing and was sent for a spell. He disappointed as favourite at Bendigo but had and excuse after being caught three deep without cover. Another 19 weeks in the paddock and the All Too Hard colt has come back in great order. He clearly had the better of every runner in this trial and he’ll be placed to win.

Trial 5 (1000m) 59.53
ALL IN BRAWL is an unraced two-year-old gelding from the John Price stable, and he led all the way for a soft win here. He looked to have plenty to offer in the straight and should be highly competitive in maiden grade.

Trial 8 (1000m) 59.85
Trainer Logan McGill seems to have GOLD FIELDS quite forward and I’d be expecting a big run within his first two starts this campaign. He’s won six from 23 starts and clearly has ability, and this is probably the best I’ve seen him leading into a preparation. 

Think Alike
All In Brawl
Gold Fields

Tatura barrier trials - June 5

Trial 1 (1450m) 1:29.30
The Darren Weir-trained MASTER ZEPHYR may have finished 7th of nine runners in this heat but he impressed most as he was hard held and making solid ground in the straight. Looks to have come back in great order and can be followed this preparation. 

Trial 6 (850m) 49.40
I highlighted SWEET ROCKETTE in her first public barrier trial, and she has gone from strength to strength. The Michelle Payne-trained daughter of Fastnet Rock came from off the speed in her first trial and won with ease, but this time she showed great early pace and led throughout before kicking well clear to win by 4.5 lengths in slick time. Don’t miss her when she debuts. 

Trial 8 (850m) no official time 
FLYING FROG showed blistering speed out of the gates and set up a big lead to win this heat comfortably. The son of Hillman won his maiden on debut and was sent for a break before being tested in a BM70 at Flemington where he finished six lengths from the winner. He then finished runner-up at Yarra Valley and performed terribly at Morphettville before going for a 19-week break. He’s a natural speedster who looks suited up to 1000m. 

Trial 10 (850m) no official time
I had to hand-time this trial because SHEBAA looked to be dead-set low-level flying, and when I saw 48.47 come up on the stop watch, the time confirmed how impressive this performance was to the eye. The three-year-old Moshe filly set up a big lead and never looked like stopping as she cruised home to win by eight lengths. She is unplaced in four runs to date, and despite having brilliant early speed, she fails to run 1100m and 1200m out – so far. I’d like to see her over 1000m first-up but no further.

Master Zephyr
Sweet Rockette
Flying Frog

Cranbourne synthetic trials - June 4

Trial 1 (1355m) 1:21.54
THINK ALIKE is set to resume for new trainer Glenn Cross, and with plenty of synthetic racing coming up throughout winter, he can find a winnable race. He led them up and kicked six lengths in front to score comfortably here. He was a BM70 winner on the Pakenham Synthetic before injury saw him on the sidelines for more than a year. He was far from disgraced in strong races at Flemington and Moonee Valley last campaign, but I think the synthetic track is where he’ll show his best. Looks ready to go first-up following two trials over 990m and 1355m. 

Trial 2 (1000m) 59.66
Jockey Noel Callow never let DIVINE DICE out of second gear as he led throughout to score a convincing trial win. He won three in a row in QLD before being transferred to Chris Meagher’s Mornington stable, and he has picked up a BM70 win at Seymour as well as finishing 3rd in a BM70 at Moonee Valley. This was a strong piece of work, and he’ll prove hard to beat first-up over a sprint trip. 

Trial 5 (760m) 45.18
The Robbie Laing-trained STRUYCKEN didn’t impress with what he did in this trial, but what an imposing figure he is. For a two-year-old colt, he’s a monster, and he’s by Laing’s Victorian Derby winner Polanski. He’s had three trials to date and done nothing to suggest he’ll be competitive early, but he seems to have that x-factor about him and will only improve with racing as he gets out to a trip. Keep an eye on him and wait to gets to 1600m and beyond. 

Think Alike
Divine Dice

Werribee barrier trials - May 28

Trial 2 (800m) 49.52
REDKIRK WARRIOR didn’t beat much and didn’t run quick time, but there are a few things to take out of this trial. He is unbeaten from two starts with blinkers and trialled in them for the first time because he missed the start a bit last time. Co-trainer David Hayes said the blinkers will come off until he gets to the UK and lines up the King's Stand Stakes (1000m) on June 19, or Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) on June 23. He lengthened nicely to put six lengths on his rivals in the trial and looks to be going as good as ever. Cheer him home at Royal Ascot. 

Trial 3 (800m) 49.99
ABILITY charged home from last on the bend to grab 2nd place and considering jockey Craig Williams said he didn’t seem comfortable on the rain-affected ground, he may be in for a big preparation. Trainer Henry Dwyer also said he was very fat and in desperate need of the trial, so there must be plenty of upside. Only concern might be the high probability of wet tracks.

Trial 4 (800m) 50.49
The time wasn’t flash here, but the way MOONLITES CHOICE hit the line under her own steam suggests she’s come back in great order. Might take one or two runs but I’m keen to stick with this talented mare who has already won five from 12.

Trial 6 (800m) 49.88
The unraced FINE DANE did everything wrong but was far too good form these. Trained by John Moloney, the 2YO Danerich gelding overraced fiercely at the rear but rounded them up with ease and was hitting the line strongly. The breed love the wet and he can measure up.

Trial 10 (800m) 48.83
This was the quickest of the 800m trials and was run more like a real race, so I think the form will stand up. THE AUGUST went approximately five lengths quicker than Redkirk Warrior in heat 2, and this 2YO I Am Invincible colt did it much easier than his rivals. He won on debut over 1200m at Donald, and trainer Brent Stanley has opted for a soft trial two weeks later. He sat off the speed and mowed them down with ease before being throttled down before the finish line. Very impressive. 

Trial 15 (800m) 49.10
Kylie Vella produced an unraced 3YO Atomic gelding by the name of THE LAST NAPOLEON and he looks good. Atomic won the Listed Chairman's Stakes (1000m) on debut before failing in the Blue Diamond Stake and being retired. He is by Commands so the upcoming wet tracks are ideal for The Last Napoleon. In the trial, he sat three wide in the small field and was making up good ground to finish 3rd behind accomplished sprinter Bel Sonic. 

Redkirk Warrior
Moonlites Choice
Fine Dane
The August 
The Last Napoleon

Cranbourne barrier trials - May 21

Trial 1 (800m) 49.36
This was the quickest of the 11 800m heats, and it was the Dan McCarthy-trained KABROCCO that impressed most finishing 2nd. He showed great early speed to lead out wide, and while the winner, Baby Don’t Cry, saved ground along the inside and was pushed out to the line, Kabrocco was hard held and cruised to the line. He’s a winner on Heavy tracks and looks suited resuming now. 

Trial 3 (800m) 49.63
An unraced three-year-old Fastnet Rock colt by the name of THORONDOR really impressed here. Trained by Robbie Laing, Thorondor settled towards the rear and was under a strong hold until half-way down the straight where he was given a bit of rein and really charged home under his own steam. Lengthened nicely, handled the Heavy track without a problem and looks ready to go. 

Trial 7 (800m) 50.02
Another unraced three-year-old to follow with TRAMINER closing off well to finish 2nd for trainer Cindy Alderson. The Dream Ahead gelding won a trial at Cranbourne on February 19 and was sent for a spell, and he looks to have come back just as well except much stronger. This was a soft effort and he can measure up on debut. 

Trial 9 (800m) 49.59
Despite failing to break through in seven starts to date, the Pat Carey-trainded BRALCA'S GEM has placed on four occasions and she may just be looking for a Heavy track. The three-year-old daughter of Fastnet Rock wasn’t asked for much of an effort in the straight, yet she ambled up to them and put nearly four lengths on the 2nd placed horse in the final 150m. She was strong through the line and has previously run her best races over 1400m. 

Trial 17 (1550m) 1:40.81
One thing is for sure, MANHATTAN GANGSTER has improved out of sight since his first barrier trial. He finished seven lengths off the pace in his first 1550m trial on a Good track at Cranbourne in a time of 1:41.62 but then won this heat by seven lengths in 1:40.81 – that just shouldn’t happen. But it’s not the winning margin or time that really gets you enthused, it’s the way he quickened away from them in the straight and was easy to the line. Being by Manhattan Rain, he’s clearly looking for further, and he’s one I’d prefer to see on debut before jumping on board. 

Tatura barrier trials- May 14

Trial 1 (1450m) 
Luke Currie put a few of Tony McEvoy’s runners through their paces on Monday morning but I bet DIVANATION is the one he can’t wait to get on come race day. This three-year-old filly is by All Too Hard and out of the champion mare Makybe Diva, and she really impressed in her first public trial. After settling behind the speed and travelling sweetly, Divanation cruised around the outside and went on to score by three lengths and was never out of second gear. 

Trial 2 (850m) 51.47
Russell Osborne’s speedy Redente filly, BILLABONG BILBY, looks like one to follow. The unraced two-year-old showed great early speed to lead and just kept increasing the margin as she scored by seven lengths and was never asked for an effort. The following 2YO trial for colts and geldings was run 12 lengths slower which only adds to the performance of Billabong Bilby. 

Trial 4 (850m) 52.66
This was a very soft trial for SUPEREGO who won by seven and was never out of first gear. The So You Think gelding didn’t show anything in NSW for Edward Cummings but looked a completely different animal in his first public outing for David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Easily up to winning a maiden.

Trial 7 (850m) 50.70
The quickest 850m heat of the morning went to FRANKLY HARVEY who sat last of the quartet, rounded them up on the outside of the bend and then cruised to the line for a soft win. He was really starting to let down strongly in the final 50m, and although he’s best over 1400m to 1600m, he can surprise first-up off that effort. 

Cranbourne barrier trials - May 7

Trial 1 (800m) 47.34
The speedy BELWAZI ran the quickest time of the dozen 800m heats, and although she was given a good hit-out, she was never really asked for an effort. She resumed last campaign without a public trial and won three in a row including a Class 1, BM58 and BM70. With a solid trial to clean out the cobwebs this time around, she should be ready to go first-up. 

Trial 2 (800m) 48.72
STRYKINGLEE led comfortably but was hard held into the straight as Eschiele was pushed right out and ran to the front to score near the line. The Matt Laurie-trained mare kicked off her career most consistently with three wins and four placings from seven starts, but she didn’t have a lot of luck last campaign and had to settle for three placings from five runs. She more forward that when she resumed last preparation and looks in great shape. 

Trial 6 (800m) 48.15
Michelle Payne has a smart Fastnet Rock filly by the name of SWEET ROCKETTE, and I can’t wait to see her debut. Payne rode the 2YO filly and settled her toward the rear, and while others were being pushed out early in the straight, Sweet Rockette towed herself into the race, but it’s when Payne gave her a slight nudge behind the ears that she really started to lengthen stride. She quickly pounced on the lead and was then eased up again for a very soft win. Looks well above average. 

Trial 7 (800m) 47.39
The second quickest heat of the morning was won by JUKEBOX who was just far too good for his trial opposition. They made him look good, but he ran good time and did it very easy. He won the Group 3 Vain Stakes when first-up last campaign without a barrier trial, so he looks on track for another big fresh run. 

Trialm 15 (990m) 1:02.55
By far, the most impressive trial over 990m was won by three-year-old Zoffany gelding LAST BOY SCOUT. This horse has really turned the corner for trainer Kane Harris. He was pushed right out and going nowhere in his first trials, and then he finished 3rd in two maiden events before a 6th placing and a spell. But he absolutely toyed with them here, and while most were hard at work in the straight, Last Boy Scout just cruised down the outside to win under a strong hold. Don’t miss him when he goes around. 

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Barrier trial black bookers (VIC) – horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials

Our Melbourne racing expert will keep you up to date with all the horses to follow from the Victorian barrier trials.

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