Interesting to see all three local Oz Tipsters declare “barleese” for the return to Belmont this week – the traditional meeting notorious for upsets did not disappoint, and we did not have to wait long to feel the pain.

Hopes were high for Oz Racing’s Street Bandit ($3.50) in the Westspeed Nursery HCP 2YO 1000m – that was until first starter Ignition ($41.00) decided to prove its trial form was simply a “warm up” – leading (nearly) all the way for a short head victory in what was a remarkable effort. The roughie looked “gone” inside the 300m, with raging favourite Jest Envy Her ($2.00 fav) presented an inside run and hit the lead before compounding inside the final furlong. As luck should have it, Ignition reignited, running straight back past the favourite and onto victory. Street Bandit failed to fire, finishing fifth.

The 4yo Flying Pegasus mare My Lovely Lovely ($31.00) had produced literally nothing since its maiden win last preparation – that was, until today. Taking a “lovely” sit in fifth position throughout, jockey Jason Brown cruised past the leaders inside the final 200m to outlast the fast finishing Black Magic Miss ($6.50) by a short half-head. The other major upset saw Moneghetti ($21.00) circle the field from last to run down Rebelson ($6.00) by a long head in the York Stakes 1600m.

It wasn’t all double figure upsets – but we did get a number of surprise results.

Operational ($6.00) had started favourite in its last six outings, but punters were weary of its lack of first up form, with most declaring the Tiger Hill 4yo would need the run in the Amelia Park HCP 2000m – they were wrong. Claiming the box seat early from barrier three, silk Daniel Staeck powered to lead into the final 200m for a comfortable one length win. In the penultimate, the Don Daniels trained Times Are Changing ($8.00) proved a poor barrier draw no issue when the Time To Settle 5yo powered across from barrier 14 early and never looked back – clinging on to win the Amelia Park Lamb HCP 1200m by a long neck, while Let’s Lighten Up ($8.50) finally had a better run in transit when shooting home from ninth on the turn for a neck victory in the Amelia Park Wine HCP 1300m.

It was all over early for the favourite punters, with the only two returns produced inside the first three races.

Hussy By Choice ($2.50 fav) made it back to back wins since resuming this preparation, outlasting a desperate final effort by Baleen In Me to claim the Amelia Park Burgers HCP 1000m, while Back To A Walk ($2.00 fav) returned to the winners list with an effortless two length drumming in the Jackson’s Restaurant HCP 1400m.

The Hoops / Trainers

Appreciate hoop Ryan Hill steered home a double piloting Hussy By Choice and Let’s Lighten Up to their respective victories, while the trainers shared the spoils.

The Tipsters

Despite the warning from local Oz Tipsters, the boys did manage to pick up a few positive results. Dec continued his sound form declaring Back To A Walk in his best, and couldn’t quite get a double up when Darci Time went down by a breathtaking long neck. Leading local bookmaker Don Martin threw out Hussy By Choice and Back To A Walk in his best, while also including Operational and Let’s Lighten Up in his chances, while Blackie again did his best work with the exotics – spruiking a $668 trifecta in the penultimate (and had it Thank God..).

On the east coast, Shane continued to find the value throwing out Limes ($10.00) as his best bet in Sydney, while also securing his best on the Gold Coast with Oz Racing’s Studio ($1.70) winning narrowly, and finding Famous Seamus ($7.00) later in the program.  

The Black Book

There were a lot of barnstorming winners and near misses today at Belmont, but none more so than that of Black Magic Miss who rattled home from tenth on the turn to fall short by a sort half-head. Other promising runs that remain under notice were from Oz Racing’s Ellavamoment, Baleen In Me and Carry The Nation (if it can ever get out of the barrier).