Mister Hunter hasn’t been seen at the races since his brilliant Group 1 win back in May of last year, but he looks set for an exciting return at Cranbourne on Sunday.

The Vince Dicocco-trained speedster prepared for his first-up assignment with a “stunning trial performance” at Geelong on Monday night and was placed straight into Craig Rail’s Blackbook following the run.

John Caldow will take the drive of the three-year-old colt, who will race in the VHRC Del-Re National Food Group Pace at 8.04pm.

Rail also included Aaron Dunn’s unraced gelding Cliffhanger among six new entries to his list of horses to follow.

Catch the updated Blackbook at the bottom of the page, below this week’s Victorian trial wrap.

ARARAT 17/03/23

Trial 2: - DANCEFORME was resuming since November when unplaced at Birchip but he may not have handled the track as he performed nicely at the trials prior and was a runaway winner in his trial performance on Friday. He recorded a handy mile rate of 1.59.7 and was twenty metres in advance over ALFNALMA, which hasn’t raced since November. TIC TACT was a further distance away in third position and TELLMEBOUTIT was fourth past the post.

Mile Rate: - 1.59.7                          Last Half: - 58.4                Margins: - 20m, 15m

Trial 4: - GHANASUYA recorded a sizzling mile rate of 1.58.2 and scored by the massive winning margin of 50m so it was a brilliant form pointer leading up to his performance at Ouyen on Sunday, where he must be considered as a winning chance. PEPPERMINT hasn’t raced since November and finished in second position with ZERO DOUBT being a further 15m away in third position.

Mile Rate: - 1.58.2                          Last Half: - 58.8                Margins: - 50m, 15m

BLACKBOOKER: - Ghanasuya


KYABRAM 19/03/23

Trial 1: - MANDS PEARL hasn’t raced since a debut sixth in October. He was able to take out the opening trial by a narrow margin from SHES GOING PLACES with the unraced mare by Bling It On in STRAWBERRY BLING being last of the three runners across the line. MANDS PEARL is awkwardly drawn for his return to racing at Echuca this evening.  

Mile Rate: - 2.8.6                            Last Half: - 61.1                Margins: - 1m, 3m

Trial 2: - MY LUCKY ROCK was the only horse in the trial that had raced previously and was able to get the job done. He defeated the 3yo pacer IZZ ROSA with the juveniles HOORAH PHILTRA and LITTLE RAIN CLOUD being third and fourth respectively.

Mile Rate: - 2.9.4                            Last Half: - 61.3                Margins: - 1m, 5m



Trial 1: - Only two horses contested the open class trial and it was an easy victory for EAGLE WATCH NZ, which led throughout and recorded fast time. TELEMACHUS sat in the trail and peaked late, being beaten by 25m. EAGLE WATCH NZ must be considered as a winning chance at Maryborough on Monday afternoon considering he recorded slick time in his trial success.

Mile Rate: - 1.57.9                          Last Half: - 56.7                Margin: - 25m

Trial 3: - BAIL DENIED is a nicely bred juvenile colt, which settled down last of the four runners and produced a big finish to score over his older rivals. PET KITTY prepared for her effort at Echuca tonight with a handy second. She raced without cover early and pressured the leader before angling in behind for a trail so it was a reasonable performance. EMJAY STAR came from three back on the inside to finish third and the early leader TISEH LUCKY LADY was the last one to complete the course.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.1                            Last Half: - 60.3                Margins: - 1m, 1m

Trial 4: - MAJESTIC SUMMER settled three back on the inside and moved away from the inside on the home turn. She finished off solidly and got up to win nicely. She was beaten by a long way first up but she could run a place at big odds in the Homegrown Classic at Melton based on her trial performance. MUSCLE MISS trailed the leader, moved off the pegs on the home turn and hit the lead momentarily before being run down late. She will also take her place in the Homegrown Classic tomorrow night. BACARDI JESS attempted to lead throughout and was run down in the final few strides.

Mile Rate: - 2.6.0                            Last Half: - 60.4                Margins: - Head, Head

Trial 6: - SWISS LIGHTNING was stood down to trial after performing well below expectations last outing. He began quickly to find the lead, was always clear by a healthy margin and never appeared to be in any danger of defeat in the trial. He is competing at Ouyen on Sunday and should prove hard to beat on that performance. GIRLS VIEW settled last of the six runners, moved into the death seat at the 700m and battled on quite well for second and YOU BEAUTY came from four back on the markers to finish in third position. GIRLS VIEW is poorly drawn at Maryborough on Monday but is not without a chance.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.8                            Last Half: - 59.3                Margins: - 15m, head

Trial 7: - CLIFFHANGER settled seventh on the markers, came out three horses wide at the 600m and sprinted quickly to record an impressive victory. He is an unraced gelding by Sportswriter for trainer Aaron Dunn and is worth following. JOSIE ELLA led out then took cover at the 1500m and battled on okay for second. ALWAYS WILLOW settled sixth on the inside and finished off quickly for a handy third. He made his debut with a handy finishing fourth at Bendigo on Thursday night.

Mile Rate: - 1.59.8                          Last Half: - 61.2                Margins: - 10m, 6m

BLACKBOOKER: - Cliffhanger


HAMILTON 20/03/23

Trial 2: - MY PURPLE PATCH broke at the start and took no part in a heat of the Mount Gambier Cup at his latest attempt. He was able to gain some confidence with a trial victory in fast time at Hamilton. He was able to win by a handy margin over ADORA JOH, which is an unraced filly by Betting Line. The remainder of the field were tailed off with BOND GIRL being third ahead of the juvenile trotters QUEEN OF THE HILL and THE FIERY SUNSET.

Mile Rate: - 1.59.5                          Last Half: - 57.5                Margins: - 11.5m, 102m


BENDIGO 21/03/23

Trial 2: - DOWNUNDER BARKERS stepped away quickly from the standing start to find the lead and raced keenly throughout the middle stages. He went to the line under a strong hold and won by a comfortable margin. It was good standing start practice for his effort in the Echuca Cup this evening. ZAREM settled four back on the markers and finished fast for a game second. MY JERRY trailed the leader throughout and came away from the inside on the home turn. He battled on fairly well for third with the pacer SPRINGFIELD SHADOW being fourth across the line. MY JERRY is returning from a break at Echuca this evening.

Mile Rate: - 2.9.8                            Last Half: - 59.5                Margins: - 3m, 1m

Trial 4: - ALDEBARAN BROOKE began quickly to race without cover, angled in behind the leader then moved into the death seat at the 700m. She remained strong at the finish and recorded a game win on the way to her performance in the Homegrown Classic at Melton tomorrow night. SHES RUBY ROO settled three back on the inside, trailed the leader from the 700m and was held up for a run at a vital stage before finishing fast for second. She was placed at her two starts back in November and her trial performance would suggest she is close to a win. SHEZ MAJESTIC settled four back on the markers, moved into the one out and one back trail behind ALDERBARAN BROOKE and battled on fairly well for third.

Mile Rate: - 2.5.8                            Last Half: - 62.1                Margins: - 2m, 8m

BLACKBOOKER: - Shes Ruby Roo

Trial 6: - POLLY PEACHUM showed her usual gate speed to lead early, copped some pressure and took cover at the 1800m then angled wide on the home turn. She finished off best to defeat WRITE ABOUT ANGUS, which settled in fifth, moved into the death seat at the 800m and hit the front on the home turn. The eye-catching run of the trial came from the unraced son of Pet Rock in MICHEN ROY. He broke stride in the score up and missed the start by approximately 30m then settled seven back on the markers and moved into the one out and one back trail at the 800m. He was still able to pick up momentum in the latter stages and finished third behind two proven winners so he is worth following.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.3                            Last Half: - 60.1                Margins: - 1m, 4m


Trial 7: - BLUE CANNON has made a few errors recently but he has ability when he is able to put it altogether. He settled four back on the inside, moved out three horses wide at the 300m and finished fast to win nicely. MALAVA MISS settled five back on the inside, moved up without cover at the 700m and fought on strongly for second. She backed up with a sixth placed efforts at Bendigo on Thursday night. KYLOAN QUEEN settled three back on the markers, was held up for a run at a vital stage and ran into a distant third. She struck trouble and finished sixth at Bendigo on Thursday night.  

Mile Rate: - 2.1.7                            Last Half: - 60.4                Margins: - 2m, 30m

Trial 10: - PLATINUM STRIDE NZ won by a narrow margin but he went to the line under a hard hold and had plenty more to give. He settled three back on the markers and proved superior at the end. VANQUISH STRIDE came from four back on the markers and finished well for second with BET ON THE TIGER being third after trailing the leader and hitting the front at the 500m mark. BET ON THE TIGER resumed at Bendigo on Thursday night and failed to beat a runner to the line after being driven aggressively in the early stages.  

Mile Rate: - 2.1.3                            Last Half: - 59.3                Margins: - Head, 4m

Trial 11: - MIKI MAHONEY settled three back on the inside and was suited to the leaders going very hard in the back straight when he was able to run over the top of tiring runners to get the prize. He backed up to win again at Bendigo on Thursday night, where defeated a good field. REGAL ROCK NZ raced fiercely in behind the leader and came to the outside at the 800m. He declared war on SPORT MENTAL in the back straight and eventually got the better of her but was run down late. It was a brave performance but MIKI MAHONEY beat him again at Bendigo on Thursday night. BETTERNBETTER came from fifth to pick up third with SPORT MENTAL tiring into fourth.

Mile Rate: - 2.0.9                            Last Half: - 59.7                Margins: - 2m, 25m


GEELONG 20/03/23

Trial 2: - DREAM MAZE is a nicely bred mare and created a big impression with a victory over the highly rated mare FIAMMA. She settled four back on the inside, moved up without cover at the 700m and was able to sneak along the sprint lane to grab FIAMMA, which tried to lead throughout, on the line. FRANK BURNS NZ was the first to the markers then took cover and battled on okay for third. DREAM MAZE makes her debut at Launceston on Sunday and should run a big race.

Mile Rate: - 1.59.9                          Last Half: - 56.9                Margins: - Head, 15m


Trial 5: - MISTER HUNTER produced a stunning trial performance leading up to his first up run at Cranbourne on Sunday night. He began quickly and was without cover early, angled in behind the leader and started his winning run on the home turn. QUEEN TREACHERIE NZ began quickly and worked to the front shortly after the start. She was safely beaten by MISTER HUNTER but she beat the remainder of the field by twenty metres so her effort was sound. MY UNCLE STAN settled ninth on the markers, moved away from the pegs at the 700m and finished nicely to run into a distant third.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.9                            Last Half: - 57.3                Margins: - 10m, 20m

BLACKBOOKER: - Mister Hunter

Trial 6: - ENCIPHER was a multiple Group 1 winner last season and she appeared to be very sharp in her easy win over a very strong field. She raced without cover early, pushed forward to find the lead at the 1600m and went to the line nicely clear with plenty in reserve. SOHO HISTORIA settled five back on the markers and waited for the sprint lane. She fired through late and produced a game performance for second. LA CAPTAIN prepared for his first up run in the Captain Sandy FFA at Melton tomorrow night with a third placed effort after leading out, taking cover and ending up being three back on the markers. PETILLANTE was fourth after trailing the leader and ULTIMATE VINNIE (4 back pegs) was doing his best work at the finish.

Mile Rate: - 2.0.7                            Last Half: - 56.2                Margins: - 8m, head

Trial 8: - BEACH LIFE was one out and one back early but was able to progress forward and find the lead shortly after the start. He held off the late challenge of STAR CELEBRITY, which led out then took cover and ended up being three back on the markers. NONPARREIL led out then took cover and used the sprint lane to finish third. MAGNETIC TERROR NZ settled last of the six runners and finished off strongly in slick final sectionals to work into fourth spot. He makes his Australian debut at Melton tomorrow night and his form in New Zealand is sound so he must be considered as a winning chance.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.9                            Last Half: - 57.5                Margins: - Neck, Neck


KILMORE 21/03/23

Trial 3: - MARY AUSTIN NZ was slow to move and settled down in a distant third but she was able work up behind the two leaders during the middle stages before producing a big finish to score nicely. LEAVE YOUR HAT ON led out then took cover at the 1600m before finding the top again at the 500m. She finished in second and was well clear of the remainder of the field, which was headed by SHANIA TEE, which raced to the front with a mile remaining.

Mile Rate: - 2.0.3                            Last Half: - 60.3                Margins: - 10m, 40m

Trial 5: - ITS EBONYNIVORY is a classy mare, which hasn’t raced since being unplaced at Cranbourne in December. She finished quickly from last of the five runners in a slick final quarter of 27.6 seconds to get the prize. LADY LANI began very fast and was able to run to the lead shortly after the start. She finished off in good final sectionals but found ITS EBONYNIVORY to be too slick for her. RAINBOWSEND finished in a distant third after trailing the leader.

Mile Rate: - 1.59.1                          Last Half: - 57.1                Margins: - 2.5m, 12m

Trial 6: - AMERICAN WEREWOLF has had two starts, one in June and the latest in September so he lacks solid racing but he obviously has ability. He pushed forward early and raced greenly on the first turn before finding the front. He then completely dominated his rivals and raced well clear at the end to win easily. THE PERFECT SWEET settled three back on the markers and worked into a clear second with KILLARA INSANITY doing his best work from five back on the markers to finish in third.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.0                            Last Half: - 58.3                Margins: - 25m, 2m