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Today's Racing Preview with Chris Scholtz: 11th May 2024

3 minute read

Selections and best best from Chris Scholtz for the NEWCASTLE and SUNSHINE COAST meetings on May 11 plus Trial Watch and Blackbook Reports.

FIRESTORM Picture: Trish Dunell


TRACK RATING: Heavy 10 (5mm last 24 hours; 60mm last 7 days); RAIL: True

Best Bets

RACE 3 (11) TOJAKI: Comes off an easy 1200m win at Eagle Farm when third up. Capable of more improvement with the return to her home track where she is unbeaten coupled with the rise to 1400m, having won four of her five starts over the trip.

RACE 8 (18) FIRESTORM: Former Kiwi filly has impressed in her three Australian starts for Chris Waller with every outing indicating she wants more ground. That was clearly evident last time at Eagle Farm where she charged through the line for a close third in the Princess Stakes (1600m). The step up to 1800m looks ideal with J Mac – her rider when she won first-up at Randwick – back in the saddle.


RACE 9 (10) HARDWARE LANE: Took the eye with his strong first-up fourth over 1000m at Eagle Farm and while rising in class is sure to appreciate a considerable drop in weight. He was beaten a nose over this trip in his only previous start at this track and gets conditions to suit as he revels in affected ground, boasting five wins on soft and heavy tracks.


RACE 6: 3-7-5-14-6

RACE 7: 2-4-5-8

RACE 8: 18-12-1-11-19

RACE 9: 10-1-11-16

HUETOR  Picture: Steve Hart


Meeting transferred from Gosford.

TRACK RATING: Heavy 9 (25mm last 24 hours; 170mm last 7 days); Rail: True

Best Bets

RACE 5 (9) SCARLET OAK: Made her Sydney debut for Chris Waller with a game second in the G3 James Carr over 1400m at Randwick where she just lacked the required race fitness for the heavy conditions. It was a classy effort from a filly having only her second career start after winning a maiden on a soft track in NZ in March. She'll appreciate 1600m and is well placed in this company to improve off her Randwick placing.

RACE 6 (9) HEZASHOCKA: Genuine wet tracker will enjoy the soft conditions with the transfer to the big Newcastle track another plus. Hasn't won since he was a 4YO but he's a G2 winner with some excellent form in high class G1 events (third in a Mackinnon Stakes and fourth in the QEII at Randwick) and rates to win coming off his recent efforts in Group races at the Sydney carnival.


RACE 1: (7) POINT AND SHOOT; (1) Imperial Force; (3) Sovereign Hill; (9) Thundering Soul

RACE 2: (7) NAVY BLOOD; (14) Bodgie; (3) Flying Destiny; (17) Sumo Star

RACE 3: (12) COOL DUKE; (6) Tanglewood; (3) Remember Jack; (4) Ramones

RACE 4: (3) DESPERADO; (2) Speycaster; (8) Our Maryanne; (11) Anderson Bridge

RACE 5: (9) SCARLET OAK; (4) Nana's Wish; (13) Dances With Hooves; (14) Callistemon

RACE 6: (9) HEZASHOCKA; (4) Goldman; (10) Not Usual Glorious; (6) Mankayan

RACE 7: (11) TASHI; (9) Diamond Diesel; (16) Semillion; (14) Wategos

RACE 8: (11) HOLLYWOOD HERO; (9) Tavi Time; (3) Iknowastar; (5) Golden Path

RACE 9: (5) PASSEGGIATA; (4) Our Bellagio Miss; (12) Markwell Dreamer; (8) Upside

RACE 10: (12) HEURISTIC; (5) Starman; (6) Cruel Summer; (3) Baroque Road

HEZASHOCKA Picture: Racing Photos

Why They Can Win….

RACE 1: (7) POINT AND SHOOT – Promising debut. Appeals as a big improver.

RACE 2: (7) NAVY BLOOD – Going well in trials. Ready for this fresh.

RACE 3: (12) COOL DUKE – Three starts, three wins on heavy tracks by big margins. Can deliver again.

RACE 4: (4) DESPERADO – Good Victorian form for this class. Likes soft tracks.

RACE 7: (11) TASHI – Fit mare sure to run her usual honest race. No issues with affected track.

RACE 8: (11) HOLLYWOOD HERO: Will relish dropping to the limit weight from impressive midweek win. Value play of the day.

RACE 9: (5) PASSEGGIATA: Out and out speedster should be too quick for this lot over 900m.

RACE 10: (12) HEURISTIC – Strong work late when resuming. Group 3 winner well placed with weight relief.

PASSEGGIATA  Picture: Steve Hart



NEWCASTLE SATURDAY: Imperial Force (R1); Sovereign Hill (R1); Harlem Queen (R1); Super Bright (R2); Navy Blood (R2); Passeggiata (R9); Baroque Road (R10)

SUNSHINE COAST SATURDAY: Volatile (R4); Froebel Star (R4); Moravia (R6); Xidari (R6); Bases Loaded (R6); Kovalica (R7)


ROSEHILL May 2: Impressive work from developing 3YO NAVY BLOOD to finish third in his 900m heat. Settled five lengths off the lead before tracking three and four wide from the 500m to easily make up ground and close off under a tight hold to be beaten less than a length. Could have won the trial if asked for a serious effort. Youngsters to take the eye with their easy work included the last start winner IMPERIAL FORCE.

RANDWICK April 30: I've been a fan of the $550,000 yearling VOLATILE since he won his first trial in October with lack of maturity showing in his early starts. His development now looks complete as he was too classy for his rivals in the fastest 742m heat (43.10; 32.76), running freely to win easily. Honourable mention to the talented MORAVIA worked well within himself for a soft win in his 1050m heat (62.34; 33.84). Early season winner SOVEREIGN HILL is one to keep an eye on after his confident heat win.

WARWICK FARM April 26: Nice conditioning trial from BAROQUE ROAD.

ROSEHILL April 23: Is there a faster short course mare in Sydney than PASSEGGIATA? Another brilliant trial win by this out and out speedster in her 900m heat (53.35; 33.97), leading by 10 lengths on the turn and maintaining that margin to the line in easily the fastest of the heats over the distance. It's just a matter of Bjorn Baker finding the right short course sprint for her first-up.

RANDWICK March 22: The speedster PASSEGGIATA made a winning return in the fastest 740m heat (43.00; 32.86), showing her usual pace to burn them off and get home narrowly.

RECENT TRIAL WATCH WINNERS: Pink Baroque; Be Real; Glenbower; Clean Energy; Emirate; Zoe's Promise; Contemporary; Rise Of The Masses; Parisal; Graceful Artist; Lizzie's Gem; Spring Lee; Waterford; Highlights; Ikasara; Redbreast; Jedibeel; Call Me Gorgeous; Battle Of Vienna; Perfumist; Overpass; Piggyback; Joey D'Or; Celestial Legend; Espionage

DESPERADO  Picture: Racing Photos



NEWCASTLE SATURDAY: Point And Shoot (R1); Anderson Bridge (R4); Hezashocka (R6); Grebeni (R8)

CAULFIELD SATURDAY: Let'sbefrankbaby (R5); Shock 'Em Ova (R8); Papillon Club (R9)


MORPHETTVILLE SATURDAY: Silent Surrente (R5); Tiffany Valentine (R6); Pounding (R7); Sachem (R9)

BLACKBOOKERS – Selected May 4

(Follow for next 3 starts)

BENGAL BOY (Melbourne): Strong start to a staying campaign.

EMBASSY (Brisbane): He'll win a good race.

LIBERTY STEPS (Brisbane): Working up to a win. Needs 1400m.

MNEMENTH (Sydney): Honest sprinter. Should have a good winter.

MORE SECRETS (Sydney): Ready for a suitable mares race.

SNOWMAN (Sydney): Tough run first-up. Sure to be fitter.

STATE OF AMERICA (Sydney): Did his best work late. Follow over more ground.

WAKANJEJA (Melbourne): Nice return. Suited against her own sex.

RECENT BLACKBOOK WINNERS: Hollywood Hero; Skybird; Seonee; Tojaki; Quothquan; Circle Of Fire; Miss Joelene; Terra Mater; He's Our Bonneval; Riff Rocket; Elettrica; Strawberry Rock; Fearless; Commemorative; Illative; Etna Rosso; Pasima; Sir Atlas; Territory Express; Dolphin Skin; Cadetship; Celestial Legend
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