betMaster raceday recap for January 23, 2021

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Royal Vibes in the winners' enclosure with jockey Dane Nelson who rode a triple on the day. (Photo: Kimberly Bartlett)

Race 1– Facing easier off short rest, odds on favourite Balazo shot to the lead and that was that. Cruising Motion had a good trip but barely held for second despite being clear of the rest at the 1/8th pole. Twilight Storm had no early foot, was wide (and last) entering the straight, and did well to almost snatch second.

Race 2– Favoured Sheboom broke sharply from the rail post and had perfect positioning just off the lead. She glided to the fore at the top of the lane while well in hand, and safely held Helicopter at bay. Top pick Helicopter was bounced around at the start, rushed up along the rail, and steadied repeatedly on the backstretch. He briefly challenged Sheboom in early stretch, but by that time the effort had taken its toll. A tale of two opposite trips. Both finished well clear of Silent Cat in third. Daytona Belle, shockingly hammered down to 6/5, had a perfect trip and finished a well beaten fifth.

 Race 3– Odds on favourite Night Light did not disappoint. Well away from the gates, he travelled comfortably on the lead, and shrugged off a feeble challenge from Reigning King to win with authority. Reigning King chased throughout, and finished clear of the rest. Coralando was well prepared for this, but finished a tame fourth with no apparent excuse. She is off colour just now.

Race 4– Evens favourite Sudden Flight made all. Away in good order, he was asked for a run at the quarter pole and won handily. Top pick Jahsendblessings raced in a challenging position throughout but refused to switch leads and was no match for the winner. Both finished clear of the rest. Unwritten Law blew her chances by fly-jumping at the start, and did well to finish fourth.

Race 5– Star Lee broke inward sharply but was quickly straightened out to race up close early, before kicking clear to win handily. Well handled by Dane Nelson. Sweet Medicine raced up close throughout and stayed on well without threatening the winner. Both finished clear of the rest. Riddim Up was never travelling well and finished a well measured fourth.

Race 6– Red hot favourite Princess Lauren was away in good order, sat on the flank of Baby Star before asserting midway on the turn, at which point the issue was never in doubt. She won easily from Custer, who was left flat footed at the start once again. Though getting into a challenging position on the final turn, Custer was used hard to get there and was gassed thereafter. Did well to hold second from Baby Star, who had nothing to offer when headed.

Race 7– Reporting first off, the claim, veteran Royal Vibes was slow to get going early but picked up entering the first turn to go in hot pursuit of aggressive leader Lord Ashton. Under a full out drive from 3F out, he got on terms with the stubborn leader entering the lane and gutted it out late to prevail by three quarters of a length. Superbly handled by Dane Nelson. Lord Ashton was in receipt of an enterprising ride, and fought gallantly to the end. Key Witness blew the start but rolled home late to finish a close up third. Top pick Lazer Light had a perfect trip and although finishing a close up fourth, was never appearing to be a winning threat.

Race 8– Firm pick and even money favourite Excessive Force impressed in victory. He wasn’t the quickest away but effortlessly took over the lead after a furlong and was never in danger of defeat. Sprinted clear to win easily and this American bred son of Broken Vow (multiple Graded Stakes winner) is definitely on the upgrade. Awesome Treasure was held together patiently but was no match for the winner. Let Him Fly was used from his rail post early to keep in touch and faded to finish a distant third.

Race 9– As expected, this turned out to be a de facto match race. Using his versatility, top pick Double Crown kept the pressure on Another Affair from early and overpowered her mid-stretch to win convincingly, despite hanging on the wrong lead. Messi finished up well for third. Rohan Kabir was in a perfect spot on the backstretch behind the dueling leaders but found nothing when the pace quickened.

Race 10– Crafty and Ready, who had shown tremendous promise as a 2yo, returned from a four month break ready to go for his new trainer. Breaking alertly, he duelled with Princess Kyra for the lead until mid-turn, before drawing off to win easily. Can win right back. Top pick Executive Chief was slightly steadied after the break and lost position on the turn while in and among horses. Left with too much to do (and wide), he finished up well for second behind the out of class winner, clear of the rest. Will be tough at this level next time around. Double Jeopardy finished a distant third, while highly touted Ajita made no impression from the widest post.

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