Leap To Fame Headlines Bumper Card

A ten-race card will be headlined by the race return of the reigning Australian Horse of the Year and last start Miracle Mile winner Leap To Fame.

The Grand Circuit Champion draws awkwardly inside the second line and does look at risk of being buried away in the run, a position from which he last tasted defeat.

That was in the Be Good Johnny Sprint last November when Leap To Fame was locked away and only saw space in the closing stages to charge home into fourth place.

Since that luckless run, Larry has gone on an 11-run winning streak that has included three of the biggest races on the Australasian Grand Circuit- The Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile.

Despite dominating the feature races and producing a slick trial performance in readiness for his race return, ultimately trainer/driver Grant Dixon could potentially be a victim of circumstance from the gate.

“Yeah look, it’s never ideal and he has copped that barrier draw a few times and it has been a bit difficult,” Dixon said.

“That’s the way it is, so hopefully we get our difficult barrier draws out of the way again.”

With speed runners on the front-line, Dixon will need to be at his best to work Leap To Fame into space at some stage.

“I think it is a particularly hard race, there is a lot of up-and-coming horses in it.

“Theres a lot of pace there and a lot of horses that are particularly quick, it will be an interesting spectacle,” he said.

One horse that can boast a victory over Leap To Fame, is Cantfindabettorman who defeated Larry during their three-year-old season, with the gelding bringing Menangle form back to The Creek, a track where he last tasted victory- in the ID23 Consolation back on December 16.

The Luke McCarthy trained and driven five-year-old was a narrowly beaten favourite last start over the Menangle 2300, finishing just a half-neck from the winner.

Track record holder Blacksadance will also be resuming from a spell, having been runner-up to Cantfindabettorman at his last appearance in the ID consolation.

Captain Shuffles defeated Blacksadance in a recent preparatory trial, the five-year-old to jump from barrier four with trainer Ben Crosby happy with his gelding going into this race first up but unsure of the early speed.

“It’s a very fast front line actually, I’ve looked it a few times,” Crosby said.

“I think he could cross, but he would have to use every bit of energy he had to get across, we saw Aardies Flash hold Turn It Up the other day and we know how quick he gets out.

“It’ll be up to Nathan, but we will do a bit of talking together and work it out.”

After four successive victories, the past two in sub 1.51 time, Wisper A Secret steps up to FFA for the first time, with trainer Chantal Turpin back aboard the four-year-old with Pete McMullen opting for the stablemate Aardies Flash.

Wisper A Secret is aiming up for the Racing And Sports Rising Sun and a strong performance on Saturday might be enough to see an invite issued.

It will be a tough ask for Leap To Fame to stretch his winning streak to 12, yet he will only need the smallest piece of luck to flex on his rivals.

The open mare’s race will be over 2138 metres this week, the extra distance always a leveller.

Girl From Rosedale draws gate six following her strong victory at the mile last start and will be looking for her first victory at the middle trip.

Winning over the sprint trip, last time out, the Ryan Veivers trained mare draws one gate inside the same mare she defeated on that occasion, Its Ebonynivory.

Beaten narrowly behind Girl From Rosedale, the Luke McCarthy trained mare franked the form of that win, securing a dominant victory last week.

Despite facing the outside front-line gate, Its Ebonynivory has previous victories at Menangle over 2300 and at Melton at the 2240, which holds her in good stead to handle this week’s 2138 metre assignment.

Vindicate continued her consistent season last week with victory, while Diamond Shooz steps up in grade but has won two of her past three starts.

Race one is scheduled for 5.42pm, with race 10 at 10.07pm



Chris Barsby- R3 N8 Free Thinker: “I like the way Free Thinker has returned, this is a nice four-year-old and he has a perfect draw here behind the likely leader, in my opinion Always Smokin”

Darren Clayton- R8 N8 Sergios Rocket: “This mare has shown that she has good pick up speed when used on the passing lane and from this gate should be stalking the speed every step, ready to dart through when the gap presents.”