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What You Missed - Rosehill 19th May

By Brad Gray
At Rosehill Gardens

‘Spider-like’ Ronstar Impresses On Debut
There is nothing conventional about Ronstar. That didn’t matter though with the Gary Portelli-trained two-year-old taking out the opener at Rosehill Gardens.

He has a swayback - but as Ray Thomas from the Daily Telegraph pointed out so did Tulloch - and didn’t handle the turn into the straight but that was no surprise to jockey Winona Costin who also rides the son of Zoustar in trackwork.

“He has got a big action. In the straight he is good. Around the corners he gets a bit spider-like but he’s got plenty of improving to go,” Costin said.

Portelli added, “I thought he got tired at the 200m and it looked like they had him cold. He does that at trackwork, when they go up to him he says 'no I’ve got plenty left'.”

As for odds on favourite, Press Box, nothing could be found to explain her poor run.

“She was just plain,” was James McDonald’s succinct comment after he dismounted. It might have come all too soon for the full sister to Press Statement with Charlie Duckworth from the Chris Waller stable indicating that she’ll likely spell now.

1,2,3 Highway
Dia De Reyes beat home Coup De Main and Bocelli. Numbers 1,2 and 3 in the race book.

In a great show of versatility Dia De Reyes, for the Matthew Dunn stable, won fresh over 1200m here having won a Highway Handicap last preparation over 1800m. So, what is his best trip?

It could be the mile according to Keira Dunn and when he is kept fresh. Punters Intel reveals the winner ran his last 600m in a slick 34.15s.

“He has got such a good sprint and perhaps with a space between runs because he does try hard and he does feel it,” Dunn said.

“He is his own worst enemy missing the kick but as we’re racing more with him he is getting a bit better. I was surprised to see him (settle) so close in the end.”

The third-placed Bocelli was keen to get on with the job in the yard and that’s a normal trait of his at the moment according to Tash Burleigh. The Japanese-bred galloper will win a Highway once he settles down.

Next Time For Aaraaja
The Getaway won the race. Naval Warfare was incredibly brave. Roman Son disappointed.

That’s not where the Edward Deas Thomson Hall Of Fame Handicap (2000m) ends though. Chris Waller had six runners in the race and the one you want to be with next time out is Irish import Araaja.

The four-year-old was good on her Australian debut on ANZAC Day before she improved again on Saturday, with Rory Hutchings left to lament what could have been.

“She was a certainty beaten,” he said, “I had a couple of runs close on me at vital stages. James McDonald’s mount (Solo Mission) came in on me at the 600m and I had to switch back to the inside. I’ve taken clear running about half way down and the favourite (Roman Son) has rolled in and closed the run on me.

“Had I had clear running down the straight, I’m pretty sure she would have won.”

I'm not sure what to make of Roman Son, having pulled up fine. Did the tough staying contest find him out? Did he not appreciate being ridden closer? Richard Freedman is of the opinion that he has had enough and indicated he’ll spell now.

Newcastle Winners Ready For Town Now
Saturday’s Newcastle meeting was stacked with quality and don’t be surprised to see plenty of the winners on the day pop up in town next start.

Kris Lees’ duo Rebel Cry and Brabinger were perhaps the pick of them. Both are lightly-raced and both trounced their rivals again, after doing the same first up.

Rebel Cry has been flagged in this column before and despite the daughter of Street Cry staying at 900m, she won brilliantly again. In second was Right As Rain for late owner/breeder Don Storey.

Brabinger, meanwhile, also started well in the red after a dominant debut back in late April and he went right on with it. The highest-paying winner of the first six races at Newcastle at Newcastle was $2.10, which was Roman Son's brother Britannicus trained by John Thompson. The early quaddie paying an incredible $5.20 with TAB!

Seriously, She Is Stakes Quality
James McDonald was left with little doubt that I Am Serious is a mare ready to take the next step. In a fitting victory, the Chris Waller-trained four-year-old won the Chris Waller Hall of Fame Handicap (1400m).

"She is a beautiful mare. I think she is better than that and can progress to stakes grade soon," McDonald said after guiding her home.

"It has been hard to come down the middle (today). There hasn't been many horses do it so that adds a bit more to her performance. She is definitely a mare going places."

Charlie Duckworth applauded McDonald's ride taking a three-wide trail in the run before getting on his bike before turning for home.

"As we all saw from her first up run she hits a bit of a flat spot so it was good to see James get mobile on her early over 1400m because I think ultimately she'll get over a lot further. It was a good ride and a good win," said Duckworth.

Check out all the results and replays for Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

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