Trainer Andy Gath is no stranger to success with New Zealand imports and HRV form analyst Craig Rail thinks he’s found another talent in Corravally Star.

Rail was impressed with the Kiwi native’s performance at the Melton trials on Monday and expects him to run well this Saturday night.

“He appeared to win with something in reserve and he should go well at his Australian debut in a heat of the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship at Melton tomorrow night,” Rail wrote.

Corravally Star was joined by the Conor Crook-trained Ultimaction as additions to Rail’s list of horses to follow. The full Blackbook can be found at the bottom of this week’s trial report.


Trial 2: - PROMISELAND is a smart New South Wales pacer, which has recently joined trainer Freddy Taiba. She finished seventh in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle and used the Bacchus Marsh trials as a stepping stone to her performance in the Breeders Crown Silver event at Bendigo on Thursday night, where she scored impressively. She finished off in reasonable sectionals to win the trial from TIGER PLAY, which hasn’t raced since December 2020 but returns at Charlton this afternoon. SPRING BLUE has returned to trainer Robert Conti after having stints with Emma Stewart and George Batsakis. She was third across the line and unfortunately struck trouble with 900m remaining at Yarra Valley on Thursday afternoon.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.0                            Last Half: - 58.5                Margins: - 1m, 3m

Trial 3: - THE SARGENT hasn’t competed since failing to finish at Melton on July 07 but is preparing for his return at Stawell on Sunday. He won the trial at Bacchus Marsh on Saturday by a comfortable margin then followed with an unplaced trial effort at Melton on Monday so he should be getting fitter. ARZALI hasn’t started since being unplaced in a heat of the Super Series in September but has ability when she can put it altogether. She finished second and was nicely clear of ALDEBARAN SELENA, which finished in third.

Mile Rate: - 2.6.1                            Last Half: - 62.8                Margins: - 4m, 8m

Trial 5: - SARA TA SLOY was stood down to trial after dropping out in the Group 1 Breeders Challenge Final at Menangle, where she was found to be in season. She was able to re-qualify with a comfortable trial victory and backed up at Bendigo on Thursday night, where she competed in the Breeders Crown Silver event and missed out narrowly behind Freeasabyrd. GOZO MAJOR finished in second and it would have been a good hit-out for his first up performance at Stawell on Sunday. HANDLER is an unraced gelding for trainer Tayla Nicholson. He is by American Ideal out of the handy mare Brighty Valentine (1.54.8, $87,170), which has produced the classy filly Patsy Valentine (1.54.5, $97,436) so he is nicely bred and was able to fill third spot in the trial.

Mile Rate: - 2.5.2                            Last Half: - 61.0                Margins: - 2m, 5m

Trial 6: - SWEETGAMBLINGROSE hasn’t started since December 2022 but she has ability and did contest a heat of the Breeders Crown during her last preparation. She defeated GOZO RUBY, which is backing up at Stawell on Monday with IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ being third across the line. IMPERIAL WHIZ NZ competed at Melton on Wednesday night, where he ran a reasonable race for fifth behind Ebony’s Avenger. The winner of the trial SWEETGAMBLINGROSE is awkwardly drawn for her return to racing at Melton on Monday but performed well enough in the trial to suggest she can do well.  

Mile Rate: - 2.3.8                            Last Half: - 60.7                Margins: - 8m, 10m



Trial 1: - OURMATEMENKO NZ delivered a slashing performance to win the opening trial. He gained a nice trip after trailing the leader but produced a big finish via the sprint lane and got up to defeat PEREFECT STRIDE NZ on the line. The time was fast and considering OURMATEMENKO NZ has a National Rating of 61 and PERFECT STRIDE NZ is a proven open class performer with a rating of 110, it was a fine display. He is backing up at Stawell on Sunday and should prove very hard to beat but he has drawn awkwardly. PERFECT STRIDE NZ is scheduled to compete at Melton tomorrow night. ROCK PHONE settled four back on the inside and finished in third on his way to his first up run at Bendigo on Thursday night, where he finished well out wide on the track without threatening the winner.

Mile Rate: - 1.57.7                          Last Half: - 56.6                Margins: - Neck, 8m

Trial 2: - MADIGAN is a smart horse and made it two trial wins in succession leading up to his first up effort at Bendigo on Thursday night. He settled three back on the inside, moved up without cover from the 600m mark and got up to win, seemingly with something in reserve. His first up win at Bendigo was outstanding as he was forced to race without cover throughout in fast time and drew clear at the end. TOPSIES BLING battled on well after setting a genuine speed to finish a narrow second with SETTEBELLO being in third after trailing the leader throughout.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.1                            Last Half: - 56.5                Margins: - Neck, 2m

Trial 3: - MAGOMEDOV hasn’t raced since finishing unplaced in the Super Series Silver event in September. He was six back on the markers early before moving into the running lane (1-2) and ending up in the one out and one back trail with 900m remaining. He came out four horses wide on the home turn and produced a strong finish to win nicely. MAC SHADOW was four back on the markers before moving up without cover just after the bell. He was forced out three horses wide with 500m remaining when the leader BLUE MIKI lugged off the track under pressure but despite covering the extra ground, he battled on well into second place. CINQUANTA was held up for a run at a vital stage and did his best work at the finish to be third across the line. She is backing up at Shepparton on Tuesday night and she is not without a chance.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.1                            Last Half: - 58.6                Margins: - 4m, 4m

Trial 7: - CAESARION was stood down to trial and for an ECG at his latest racetrack performance but he bounced back with a big victory in the seventh event. He trailed the leader BE THE ONE, came to the outside on the home turn and produced a big finish to win by twenty metres. He is backing up tonight at Ballarat and is worth an investment on that performance. BE THE ONE held down second position with LA MESH (3 back markers) being third across the line on his way to the big Stawell Cup meeting on Sunday, where he will take his place in the maiden event.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.7                            Last Half: - 56.7                Margins: - 20m, 6m

Trial 8: - EBONYS AVENGER came from last of the three runners and sprinted quickly from the quarter pole to win her trial by a convincing margin. She obviously gained a lot of confidence from that performance as she backed up at Melton on Wednesday night and produced a dominant display to win by a large margin. TICTOK was second after setting the speed and STINGOFAWASP (trailed leader) was third across the line. STINGOFAWASP will be resuming from a spell tonight at Ballarat.

Mile Rate: - 2.3.1                            Last Half: - 59.0                Margins: - 15m, 2m


HORSHAM 27/11/23

Trial 2: - SHADY AZZ prepared for his effort in the Stawell Pacing Cup on Sunday with a trial victory at Horsham. He defeated easier opposition compared to his rivals on Sunday but the win would have given him plenty of confidence leading into the weekend’s feature event. He defeated MIKI STEAMED HOME, which is out of the former top mare Steam Washed and is racing at Charlton this afternoon with BONAVISTA BOY being last of the three runners to complete the course.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.8                            Last Half: - 57.6                Margins: - 4.5m, 12.5m


performed below his best in the Breeders Crown Final won by Catch A Wave at his latest attempt but he should derive benefit out of his trial success. It was a standing start trial of just two horses and he was slow to begin but he picked up the trotter MAJESTICAL BELLE comfortably in the final quarter and dashed to an effortless win. He is competing in the second heat of the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship at Melton tomorrow night. MAJESTICAL BELLE shot away from the tapes to lead comfortably and ran along at a genuine tempo. She was beaten by twenty-five metres but she took on a Metropolitan class pacer and the time was handy so her performance was better than it looks on paper. She is resuming from a break in the Stawell Trotting Cup on Sunday.

Mile Rate: - 2.1.2                            Last Half: - 58.85              Margin: - 25m

Trial 2: - ULTIMACTION was extremely impressive in winning the second event. She is by Ultimate Machete out of the former handy mare Powerful Princess (1.57.9, $95,245), which has produced three winners including Overpowering (1.56.4, $123,497) and appears to have a promising future. She was behind the leader early before ending up being three back on the markers before unleashing a powerful finishing burst with 300m remaining to defeat the quality pacer THESTATESMAN, which made a valiant bid to lead throughout. The mile rate was very quick at 1.56.0 so both horses are worth following. ULTIMACTION makes her debut at Melton on Monday and should prove hard to beat even though it is a tidy field. ANOTHER PUDDIN settled four back on the markers and ran into a distant third. She is by Somebeachsomewhere out of the top race and producing mare La Machane (1.54.6, $335,268), which makes her a close relation to four winners including La Puddie (1.53.0, $137,179) and La Captain (1.52.8, $156,290), with the latter competing in the open class event at Melton tomorrow night.

Mile Rate: - 1.56.0                          Last Half: - 57.28              Margins: - 2.5m, 27.5m


Trial 6: - THE PERFECT SWEET is a lightly raced gelding, which hasn’t started since May. He settled four back on the inside before whipping around to find the lead from the 1200m. He finished off in reasonable final sectionals to hold off the fast finishing REALLY WHISKY, which led out then took cover and waited for the sprint lane. HIS DREAM LIVES ON was four back on the markers for the last lap and made ground along the sprint lane for third. HAVEACHAT showed very good gate speed from barrier three and angled in behind the leader early. He ended up being three back on the markers and battled on fairly well for fourth. He is backing up at Stawell on Sunday afternoon. The winner THE PERFECT SWEET is scheduled to compete at Shepparton on Tuesday night.

Mile Rate: - 2.0.1                            Last Half: - 58.92              Margins: - Head, 3.5m

Trial 8: - CORRAVALLY STAR NZ is a former New Zealand pacer, which joins trainer Andy Gath. He has been racing against elite opposition across the Tasman with his past two efforts being in the Methven and Kaikoura Cups. He wasn’t asked for an early effort but progressed forward to find the lead at the 1200m. He appeared to win with something in reserve and he should go well at his Australian debut in a heat of the Gordon Rothacker Memorial Championship at Melton tomorrow night. STIR ME UP led out then took cover and came to the outside on the home turn. He finished second with OUR FIRE AND DELIGHT NZ (3 back pegs) being third across the line. She is a former New Zealand pacer, which joined Mark Rees in Queensland and put together three straight victories at Albion Park before coming to Victoria with trainer Jamie Kirk.

Mile Rate: - 1.58.8                          Last Half: - 56.89              Margins: - 1.5m, 2m

BLACKBOOKER: - Corravally Star NZ