TRIAL WATCH STARS with Chris Scholtz

01 May, 2024

Chris pinpoints horses to follow from recent Sydney  barrier trials – April 8-May 1.

RANDWICK April 30 - A strong session that will produce good winter winners.

A feature of the trials were the performances of some high priced yearlings with heat wins by the $1.3 million colt BRAVEHEART and $550,000 purchase VOLATILE, two of the three juvenile winners on the day from the Snowden stable, and Michael Freedman’s $800,000 3YO MORAVIA

The unraced BRAVEHEART (I Am Invincible) produced his best effort in four trials to win his 1050m heat (62.76; 34.99) in good style from a previous trial winner Shangri La Impact but I was more taken by the winning efforts of his stablemates VOLATILE and ZEALOUSLY in their heats.

VOLATILE (Peter & Paul Snowden): I’ve been a fan of this Snitzel youngster since he won his first trial in October with lack of maturity showing in his early starts. His development now looks complete as he was too classy for his rivals in the fastest 742m heat (43.10; 32.76), running freely to easily beat recent trial star Shangri La Spring with a big margin to the rest. One to follow wherever they take him.

ZEALOUSLY (Peter & Paul Snowden): This Harry Angel colt showed he has come on in the right style from his first start in January with a dominant wi9n his1050m heat (62.92; 34.28), doing it easily under a hold and under no pressure to hold off the chasers. Looks capable of big improvement.

NEED SOME LUCK (Peter & Paul Snowden): Promising Rubick 3YO has been off the scene since October but is set to make up for lost time judging by his impressive fourth in a strong 1050m heat won by the classy INSURRECTION in fast time (61.94; 33.72).

This was his second trial since returning to work and his strong work through the line under no pressure augers well for his immediate prospects

Honourable mentions to some open class heat winners – PALMETTO is ready to turn her form around after a surging last to first win in the 1200m heat (72.68; 34.58) and the talented $800,000 purchase MORAVIA worked well within himself for a soft win in his 1050m heat (62.34; 33.84). Maidens and 2YOs to watch out for include SETOMBE; DECLICHY BOULEVARD; BURJ and TARTAGLIA.

WARWICK FARM April 26 - Nice conditioning trials from some well-known names.

They included the G1 performer NUGGET, BAROQUE ROAD, JOJO WAS A MAN and BACCHANALIA, who was a strong winner of his 801m heat (47.48; 33.50) in his first trial for his new trainer Richard Litt.

Some nice trials in the 2YO heats with Marc Conners’ unraced SHEZASIREN adding to her unbeaten trial record with another sharp performance in the fastest 797m heat (46.03; 33.45). Her three trial wins have all been at Warwick Farm over short courses where she has simply been too fast for her rivals.Another unraced filly made an excellent impression winning her heat.

JELLICIOUS (Ciaron Maher): Attractive Snitzel filly made nice improvement from a placing in her first trial at this course on April 12 with an impressive win her 801m heat (46.89; 33.38). Let down strongly under no pressure from two lengths off the leader on the turn run away for a soft win under a cold ride with a lot in reserve. It was nice work.

I’m not a fan of polytrack trials but it there was plenty to like about the way the three heat winners CALL DI, JAMBALAYA and TULLE went about their business.


CANTERBURY April 19 - Some nice work from two well performed Bjorn Baker stablemates.

IOWNA MERC (Bjorn Baker): First trial since December and you wouldn’t see a better piece of work from a sprinter preparing for a winter campaign. Settled at the rear before peeling to the outside at the 400m and letting down with a super turn of foot to run past his rivals with ease and cruise through the line more than two lengths clear in the fastest of the five 905m heats (55.41; 35.55).

INSURRECTION (Bjorn Baker): Impressive work from another good sprinter, leading his 905m heat (55.93; 35.44) under a big hold and working easily to the line to win with plenty in reserve. Another from the Baker team set for a good winter.


Impressive return by a quality sprinter and another fast running juvenile from the top 2YO stable.

CANNONBALL (Peter & Paul Snowden):  High class sprinter made an impressive return from his summer spell, a break he needed after his trip to the UK last year. He finished fourth in the fastest 737m heat won by FAMOUS PEDRILLE (42.58; 32.63). While the winner was travelling on the bit in the lead he drifted to the rear some 15 lengths off the lead before steaming to the line over the last 200m to be beaten less than 2.5 lengths. Not the easiest horse to train but he’s obviously coming up well and an indication of what he is capable of when right.

SHANGRI LA SPRING (Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott): Unraced Castelvecchio colt is yet another fast running youngster from Tulloch Lodge. Having his first trial, he was four lengths in front after 150m and kept running freely under no pressure to score by 3.5 lengths in fast time (42.63; 32.68).


A big session for the Waterhouse/Bott stable winning 10 of the 19 heats.

CLEAN ENERGY (Adrian Bott/Gai Waterhouse): Impressive second trial by this unraced Zoustar filly, showing nice improvement from her first trial in November to win her 735m heat in sharp time (42.86; 33.02). Her keen sprint to the line for a soft win points to early success.

SPACEWALK (James Cummings): Good Group sprinter on his day and two recent trials have him ready to be a player in the right sprints at the Brisbane carnival. Classy win under a good hold in his 850m heat on the Kensington track (50.50; 33.61), running through the line with a lot to offer. The form looks good as the subsequent Randwick Group winner Joliestar finished third.

Class prevailed in the 1200m open heat on the A Grass where the imported mare POPTRONIC, a G1 winner on Champions Day at Ascot, did all that was required to win the trial for her new trainers Waterhouse and Bott. She’s won five of her 13 starts from 1700m to 2400m and expect she is being prepared for suitable Group races in Brisbane. Other Waterhouse and Bott performers to make an impression included the heat winners MADRINA and THE LITTLE PUMPER.

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