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Morphettville Races - Pictorial Report

18 August  2012

The first race of the day saw the Victorian Border Express repeat his win from a fortnight earlier as he raced away in the straight to win by nearly 2 lengths from fellow Victorian Sleep'n Pete with Blevic Lad third.  The it was onto the new season 3yos over 1200m where Danerich filly Legcut easily held off the challenge of Daytona Grey to win by 2 lengths with a further 3 lengths to Bellchuca third making it two from two for the Victorian trainers. 

The feature race of the day the SA Grand National Steeplechase was next with the biggest field of the day lining up.  Rabbuka in his 17th jumps start took the early lead from Yesquire (having his 25th jumps start) and Jockey Jack then followed by Via Savoia and Berlioz with Al Karam out wider and Half Moon Rising 4 deep.       Coming to the turn the first time Rabbuka raced clear from Al Karam then Yesquire with Half Moon Rising then Jockey Jack with a gap to Berlioz at the head of the others.  In the straight the first time Rabbuka was clear of Al Karam and Yesquire with Half Moon Rising out wider followed by Jockey Jack and Berlioz.  Heading out of the straight Half Moon Rising went up to shadow Rabbuka from Yesquire then Al Karam and Berlioz alongside Jockey Jack.   By the 1400m and Rabbuka started to kick away again from Half Moon Rising then Yesquire as Berlioz started to move forward around Al Karam and Jockey Jack.  By the 800s Rabbuka was well in front from Half Moon Rising then Berlioz and Rampur all making ground as Via Savoia started to run on from well back in the field.  Around the home turn Rabbuka was going strongly ahead of Berlioz and Half Moon Rising together with a gap back to Yesquire.  Around the home turn Berlioz started his run going up inside Rabbuka with a gap back to Half Moon Rising then Via Savoia still running on.  Over the last two fences Berlioz started to come away putting in a huge leap over the last to race away and win as he liked by 7 1/2 lengths from Rabbuka with another gap to Via Savoia third with Half Moon Rising fourth and Yesquire 5th.  Berlioz was earmarked as a stayer early in his career and at his 6th start was second in the Group 1 WA Derby before returning to Victoria to win the VRC St Leger.  Touted as a Melbourne Cup hope that year he lost form and only had a handful of starts as a 4yo before returning the next season to win over 1700m at Flermington.   Spelled again after losing form that spring he returned as an autumn 5yo with a jumps career in mind.  After a win and a placing over hurdles he lined p in the Houlahan hurdle but was retired from the race after his saddle slipped during running.  Returning this winter as a 6yo he was placed in several trials before being placed in 2 of his three hurdle starts before a short let up.   Berlioz was then unplaced on a bog track in the Grand National Hurdle before knuckling at the second last fence and dislodging his rider in his first steeplechase when assured of a top three finish.  Back on a much drier track he lined up in the SA Grand National Steeplechase as his second start over the bigger fences taking his record to 9 jumps starts for 2 wins and 3 placings.  While trained in Victoria Berlioz is now majority owned by South Australians.

In race 4 Dark Knight returned from a spell to come away for a strong win from the lightly raced Social Assassin with Stravinsky Code third while Exalted Wonder made it three wins for the day for saddlecloth number 7 in defeating La Praline with Silent Attitude third.   Kosciuszko's Side made it three in a row on the Morphettville track with his victory over Finniss Storm and Belfast Boy in the 6th race while the final race on the card Dominant Hcp over 1600m was taken out by Victorian trained Oregon Spirit (who was again saddlecloth number 7 making it 4 from the 7 races on the day) from Road Warrior with 12yo Riceman running third.

Focus next week moves to the time honoured Penny Edition Stakes where several runners are expected to have their final local hit out before heading to the Melbourne Spring Carnival.


Race 1
Race 2
Race 3 - SA Grand National Steeplechase
Race 4
Race 5

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