By Ray Hickson
New and improved Menari
Gerald Ryan has the fingers crossed that a throat operation while spelling will bring the best out in Menari in the autumn.
The classy colt, a beaten favourite when third in the Group 1 Golden Rose at his last run, is less than two weeks away from returning to work along with several other of Ryan's carnival contenders.
Also due back with Menari are Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist and dual track record holder Deploy, last seen in the Everest.
Ryan said the fact Menari was able to achieve what he did in the spring under the circumstances was a testament to his ability.
"He did a very good job winning a Group race and placing in a Group 1,'' he said.
"I haven't seen him yet but reports are he's looking very well.''
Menari's full sister Sweet Ava won a barrier trial at Rosehill on Friday (more on that later) with Ryan describing her as of similar size to her brother but not yet filled out into her frame.
Ryan said Deploy will be aimed at races around the 1300m-1400m mark and he will also welcome Golden Slipper hope Legend Of Condor back to the stable on Monday.
One more for Wal
Trainer Kris Lees is likely to bring progressive stayer Wallangarra's campaign to an end after he chases four straight wins at the ATC meeting at Wyong on Wednesday.
The import posted his first city win at the Hawkesbury ATC program on November 15.
Lees said Wallangarra has exceeded hopes for his first Australian prep and would look to test his class levels in the new year.
"He came with no real expectation given he was an eight start maiden,'' he said.
"We knew he would perform once he got over ground but from his first trial he showed us something.
"It'll be interesting to see what level he can get to next preparation."
Wallangarra carries the Australian flag-like colours and is set to contest the Benchmark 70 Handicap (2100m) with Andrew Adkins again in the saddle.
Did you Sea that trial?
They don't trial as well as the Chris Waller-trained filly Seahampton did at Rosehill on Friday and not win races.
This three-year-old has only had the one start and bumped into a Kembla Grange maiden won by Ace High over Unforgotten in July, was in the market and finished midfield.
She's clearly come on with the experience and a bit of time and she looked the goods rounding up her rivals from last in a 900m trial.
Don't be surprised if she puts a few on end.
There were plenty from the Waller camp to keep an eye on out of the 15 trials.
Seahampton's impressive Rosehill trial win – November 24
Mister Sea Wolf is an Irish import having his first trial and found the line nicely over 1030m, Toryjoy is a Street Cry filly and she won a 1030m heat under a solid hold, Calculated had an easy trial running sixth over 900m and the likes of Campaign, Press Review, Isle Of Capri and Guangdong all pleased.
From the Hawkes stable Montrachet, a half sister to Satin Shoes, won her first trial with a strong finish through a neat gap and Bucephalus, a two-year-old, caught the eye running third in his trial.
To Sweet Ava, and Menari's sister sat outside the lead and had the better of her rivals without a lot of pressure in a 900m trial in solid enough time.
Horses to follow
Morton's Fork (Rosehill): settled a long way back, and bear in mind they didn't make a heap of ground in the sprints on the day, second last at the 600m. Tracked into it okay but a bit flat to the 200m before he really got going and ran on strongly to be right on the heels of the first three. First run as a gelding, top effort. Note he is listed in a tried horses sale in December.
Test The World & Secret Trail (Rosehill): both mares made pleasing returns in another on pace dominated sprint. Test The World is yet to miss a place and there was merit in the way she stuck to her guns after looking under pressure before the turn. Secret Trail always performs better second-up than fresh so to see her run the fastest last 600m, including all three final splits according to Punters Intel, suggests she's in for a successful summer.