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What You Missed - Royal Randwick 30th December

By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick

Don’t Keep It A Secret
Gary Portelli conceded that Secret Lady had “got away from him” after her last run so expect plenty of improvement when she heads north for the Magic Millions.

The speedy two-year-old ran along at a good clip at Royal Randwick with Punters’ Intel revealing sectionals of 7.76s, 10.46s, 10.48s, 11.13s, 11.39s before feeling the pinch running her last 200m in 12.15s which allowed Quackerjack to take top honours.

Ben Melham confirmed as much upon dismounting too, “Ran well. Will improve with the run under her belt and maybe a tongue tie might help also.”

Meanwhile, Glyn Schofield said Legislation didn’t show the same sprint that saw him win so impressively on debut.

“The tempo was solid and he travelled up nicely enough in behind them but battled to find the finish that he did first up,” Schofield said.

Take nothing away from the winner though with Mark Newnham observing that Quackerjack needed every bit of the 1100m.

“He has been a natural from the time we bought him,” Newnham said. “He’s got a good attitude. A good constitution. He’s got all the ingredient that make a good two-year-old.”

Pendeloque A Filly To Follow
If you didn’t back Pendeloque first up, don’t let her slip under your guard next time out. She is a talented filly who should have no trouble shooting through the grades.

The Gerald Ryan-trained three-year-old was good last preparation but her trials this time in suggested she had improved again, markedly.

“She did a good job last preparation without knowing too much about it. We were pretty confident today,” said stable foreman Sterling Aleziou.

“Hopefully it's onwards and upwards with her.”

James Innes Jnr rated Pendeloque beautifully out in front, slipping home in 32.84s for her last 600m, before he revealed that she still had a good blow after the race.

“If you had a stable full of horses with the heart that she has, you’d be going alright. She tries her heart out,” the jockey said.

Hogmanay Wins For Steve Smith
The fourth Ashes Test resulted in a draw but in a coincidental twist of timing, the Steve Smith-owned Hogmanay won at Royal Randwick just as he was walking off the MCG. Couple of minutes too late Steve!

The Aussie skipper was undefeated on 102 when umpires called time with a draw the inevitable result.

Hogmanay found the front in the Hyland Boxing Day Sale Handicap (1800m) and the positive early tactics turned around the horse’s form.

“He was a little bit slow away but I gave him one behind the saddle just to get him into stride and wake him up a little bit,” said Blake Shinn. “He picked up the bridle after that, dictated and wanted to win. It was a good effort.”

“He just needs things his own way and when he gets things his own way he is a totally different horse.”

Endless Drama Up And About
Punters will note that a few autumn carnival contenders are starting to trickle back through the barrier trials.

One of those being highly rated import Endless Drama.

The Chris Waller-trained six-year-old will likely find himself kicking off his campaign in the Apollo Stakes, the same as he did last year when he ran third to Winx and Hartnell.

“We’ll have a similar campaign to last year going through those races trying to get him to a race like the Queen Elizabeth but obviously he has got to show a lot before then," said Waller's Racing Manager Charlie Duckworth.

Race form is one thing and trial form another but it’s worth noting that Endless Drama ran third to Dothraki and Pendeloque in his Rosehill trial with both subsequently running well at Randwick first up.

Check out all the results and replays for Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting.












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