Shining Stars June 26


The lustre of some of the biggest stars dimmed across the past week, adding plenty of intrigue ahead of the 2024 Constellations Carnival.

There was no bigger upset than District Attorney which was able to do what did seem the unthinkable and run past Leap To Fame which was looking to become the first pacer to win the Patrons Purse on two occasions.

District Attorney which was having his second start for the Grimson stable made full use of the stalking trip and Jack Callaghan drove an inch perfect race to deliver the upset.

The five-year-old entire has now forced his way into the conversation for all the open features and with his turn of speed, has firmed in the markets for races like the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake.

Less than 24 hours later and Nerano delivers a second upset when making the most of the passing lane to defeat Swayzee in the Lucky Creed Open.

While it was Jack Callaghan that delivered the knockout on Friday, on this occasion he was on the receiving end, his first drive on Swayzee resulting in the narrow defeat by the Leonard Cain driven Nerano.

Later in the night at The Creek, last year’s runner-up in the Rising Sun, Rocknroll Hammer was resuming from a spell in a qualifying pace and was met with most of the market support to run as a $1.18 favourite.

However, he was unable to hold off a fast-finishing Saint Veran to finish the narrowest of seconds, putting a smudge on his resume in the hope of contesting the 2024 Rising Sun.

At Menangle, the Brad Hewitt trained Captains Knock which already has a Rising Sun Invite, was sent out as favourite, but the four-year-old could only manage a 5th behind his stablemate Taipo.

Hewitt also had Bluto contesting the opening race of the night on the 1400 metre oval, the four-year-old finishing runner-up behind Hector, with fellow Rising Sun hopeful, Dougs Platter finishing at the rear od the field in his first run back from a spell.

Further South at Melton, Rockinwithattitude was having her second run back from a spell when finishing fourth behind Virginia Clowers.

That winner, trained by Brent Lilley, has now won five of her past six starts and a trip North to contest The Great Square looks on the cards, where another showdown with Rockinwithattitude and Shes Ruby Roo (which was scratched from the same race) looks set to eventuate.

Clayton Tonkin’s three-year-old Bay Of Biscay was first up from a spell and an awkward draw saw his defeat when finishing third behind the filly, Tilly Jayne,

Also at Melton, the Kyle Marshall trained four-year-old Son Of Mac did his Constellations prospects no harm when overcoming gate 6 to led throughout in a five-metre victory.

John Justice is heading back to Queensland with his free-for-all square gaiter Mufasa Metro, and stablemate Hatchback might just get to make the trip following his fortuitous victory in the Aldebaran Park Trot, defeating Hesallmuscle.

On the trial scene, there were several smart performances in the past week from Constellation hopefuls.

Frankie Ferocious was having his first hit out back in Queensland and third trial back from a spell when running a 1.51.7 mile, the last half in 54.5 and last 400 in 26.7.

Regazzo Di Tilly hit the line strongly the last 100 in finishing third, with the Chantal Turpin trained Wisper A Secret in second.

Three-time winner Iron Clad was back for his first appearance as a three-year-old for trainer Grant Dixon and the colt was strong to the line in a 1.54.2 mile.

Connections of Koda Da Moda are hopeful of securing a Great Square invite and the mare trotted strongly in this same trial, her own mile recorded at 1.55.1.

At Bathurst, the Bernie Hewitt trained two-year-old Sweet On Lexy was having his second trial back from a spell when racing clear for a huge margin.

With identical 27.8 closing quarters, the son of Sweet Lou may just have a Protostar Slot with his name on it, with Gemma Hewitt Racing yet to confirm her runner for the inaugural running of the $500,000 feature.

Petracca has not been seen at the races since his Victorian Derby victory back in October, but the Clayton Tonkin trained four-year-old impressed in a Melton trial, running a last half in 55.2.

Some horses to watch this week from a Constellations Carnival perspective.

The Creek Friday

R2- Free Thinker, The Tax Cullector

R7- Constantinople, Funny Face

R9- Gus, Royal Dan

Redcliffe Saturday

Princess of the Bay, Derby, Oaks, Pacing Cup

Menangle Saturday

R1- London To A Brick, Caligula

R3- Extreme Sea, Dougs Platter

R5- Aardies Express. Captains Knock, Hot And Treacherous

Melton Saturday

R1- Captain Hammerhead

R2- Mufasa Metro