After two successful trials in Australia, Cloudland is ready to make his race debut.
The 3yo Gelding is a son of Swiss Ace, sire of the Group 1 Railway Stakes winner Julius. He is out of the Listed-placed mare Commiserate, from the family of Group 2 winners Sarson Trail and Arinosa.
He arrived in Australia earlier this year and settled in well at the stables of Kris Lees in Newcastle. He has progressed nicely through his work since, which he has shown in his two trial wins. His trial performance in New Zealand stamped him as a quality youngster with well above average ability.
Cloudland will debut at either Muswellbrook on Friday over 1280m, or at his home track (Newcastle) on Saturday over 1280m.
Even though he is heading to the races for the first time, he should be seen with a fair chance. ‘He should be competitive wherever he steps out.’ says trainer Kris Lees. Despite still having a lot to learn, he has shown nice ability and will improve more with race experience under his belt.
We are hopeful he can repeat his trial performances with a win on debut.
With numerous runners in various states, it should be an exciting weekend of racing ahead. Romancer will start in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes at Caulfield and will again run against high odds. Vardani and Aesop will carry the colours in South Australia, hopefully bringing home a win (or two).
Saturday, April 23
Current Track Rating: Good
Vardani is out to prove himself over a true staying journey, though there’s no doubt he has the class to take out this race. Hopefully, he can find his fourth win of the campaign.
This talented stayer resumes having had just one trial, a trial which he won in good style. He is sure to improve for the run and trip interstate, but a forward showing would give us confidence he can make it to an Andrew Ramsden Stakes.
There is no doubt Mirann is a horse with a great deal of ability, and we have confidence that he’s in for a good preparation in the care of John O’Shea. He’s likely to really hit his straps 3rd and 4th up, but is capable of running a race fresh over this journey.
Funambulist impressed in his Australian debut, closing off well for 2nd despite having good improvement to come. He appeals second-up with a slight rise in trip, and Louise Day knows him well (pictured below)!
Race 6 – 3:25pm | 1600m Maiden | T: Annabel Neasham | J: Ms Louise Day 59kg | Barrier 1 | Saddlecloth 2
Current Track Rating: Soft
Never No More
Never No More has been knocking on the door lately, having finished 2nd in his past two starts. He enjoys having his runs spaced, looks in fantastic order and is expected to be closing off strongly again. A win would see him aimed up at loftier targets.
Romancer, the ‘Quaddie Killer’ is ready for another fruitful campaign in the hands of Grahame Begg. There’s no doubt 1100m is short of his best, but he’s trialled up very well ahead of his return and is capable of giving a sight. He will no doubt enjoy getting back to Flemington second-up.
Kharchin has caused a few frustrations over the past two years but now in the hands of Mitch Beer, we look forward to seeing him get his preparation underway. He is a horse who will likely need 1600m and beyond to be competitive, so this race should bring him on for more suitable contests.
Raffish will enjoy the rise to 2000m following his return run, but given he’s coming back from a long break, he is expected to improve again for the outing. If he’s staying on well, we’ll be confident wherever he heads next start.
With a hearty build and a sharp sting, nettles are a versatile plant with exceptionally strong genes. OTI Racing’s newly acquired filly goes by the name of Nettles, who much like the foliage, is built with strength and sharpness.
The filly is bound for Annabel Neasham’s Sydney training base, whereshe will share a stable with stars such as Zaaki and Mo’unga.
Nettles is by Overshare, a stakes-winning son of Champion sire I Am Invincible. OTI is well acquainted with his progeny through the recent successes of Lady Laguna, our dual Group 2 placed filly who is also trained by Annabel. Nettles is out of En Why Sea Dream, who is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Our Mate Art. It is a pedigree with plenty of speed, including triple Group 1 winning sire Ad Valorem.
Adrian Corboy, Nettles’ breaker, noted that “She is all business and has similar traits to Lady Laguna; they are good movers and are quite sharp.”
Though there is still a lot to learn about Nettles, we are hopeful that she will flower into a fast, early filly that can contest some of the top two-year-old races. We are very much looking forward to seeing her career unfold in the hands of Annabel.