TWO former star US mares Blue Moon Stride and Lily Stride look set to open their Australian winning accounts at Menangle Paceway on Saturday.
Both are owned by Emilio Rosati and his wife Mary and they race all their horses with the moniker Stride name.
A prominent breeder as well as a big spender at the Sales, Rosati has recently employed former US trainer Noel Daley as his private trainer 'Down Under' at his first class Camden complex.
Both pacers are well credentialed imports and Daley has given them plenty of time to adjust to our style of racing.
Blue Moon Stride, a $1.2m earner and a 1:48.8PB, has now had the benefit of three starts at Menangle.
On each occasion she has been restrained back to the rear from her wide barriers.
This has resulted in twice her doing her best work at the finish before last start making a mid-race move to face the breeze from the 800m.
Although beaten from the turn the 6yo mare still battled on well to be beaten only 10.6m behind Our Millwood Maizie in 1:51.4.
Finally, she gets the chance to show her true ability tonight from her much improved barrier draw.
Expect driver James Rattray tonight to be more positive at the start and go forward and rely on her class to do the rest.
It has been pretty much the same story with Lily Stride, which is an outstanding trotter who back home earlier this season claimed the scalp of champion Atlanta.
She has now had the benefit of two Australian starts and on each occasion has been restrained at the start and caught finishing strongly over the concluding stages.
The Muscle Hill 4yo mare is blessed with blistering speed and don't be surprised to see a change of tactics and go for an all-the-way win over the mile.
She has a PB of an incredible 1:50.2 and has bankrolled over $700,000 in stakes with seven wins and 16 placings from 32 starts.
The depth of the Rosati stable is highlighted by their presence on the same night in Victoria on Breeders Crown night at Melton.
The Rosati's will be cheering for their star juvenile trotter Ultimate Stride in the Group 1 BC 2YO Final for colts/geldings.
Ultimate Stride is $1.70 pre-post favourite for the race after comprehensively winning all his three starts since crossing the Tasman.
They have a second to none chance of claiming the G1 3YO Trotters Final with the erratic but sensational Liberty Stride as well as Emerald Stride.
Enchanted Stride faces the might of Our Princess Tiffany in the BC 3YO Fillies final while stablemate Focus Stride is an outsider in the G1 2YO BC final for colts/geldings.
Despite Focus Stride having only a rough hope, Rosati's other entrant in the race Perfect Stride has drawn perfectly in barrier one and gets his chance to topple hot-favourite Be Happy Mach who will start from the outside of the back row.
Menangle comment by Paul Micallef
WEONA LUKE (Hayden Green): Tough 1:54 win here then 3 pegs 6m 5th Pocket Of Terror (1:51.3) Aug 17. Class may test but distance suits.
SUR LE FEU (Greg Brown): Newcastle pacer with best form in front. Looks to be safely held against this company.
HES CHIMING (Lester Hewitt): Very fast 4yo winner 6 of only 10 starts. Rising in grade but getting better each time. Threat.
MY RUEBE STAR (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Led for 1:52.8 Mares (Div 2) win here last week. Will find this much harder.
FERDINAND (Michael Muscat): Run of race 2m 3rd Pocket Of Terror last week. Prefer in something easier.
TRUE CONFESSIONS (Paul Fitzpatrick): Narrowly beaten by Pembrooks Passion 2300m here 2 runs back. Chance on that form.
BETTOR BE LUCKY (Ian Wilson): Behind leader 2300m win here before 10m 8th Pocket Of Terror Aug 17. Has job ahead.
LEXUS WITH A VIEW (Paul Fitzpatrick): Led 1:52.8 mile win here last week with 26.8 last quarter. Flying and likes the trip. Top show.
RAYS CHOICE (Narelle McCarthy): Behind leader 1:50.5 midweek win then crossed from (10) for 1:52.7 mile win Aug 17. Go well again.
BROCKS TERRITORY (Em) (KerryAnn Morris): Torrid run 10m 9th Pocket Of Terror and go on 10m 2nd Gods Spirit (1:52.5) Aug 10. Up to this if he starts.
DANCE FOR GLORY (KerryAnn Morris): Good stayer winner 2 from past 4 here. Raced wide 9m 6th Pocket Of Terror. Loves this trip and rates highly.
BLAZIN N CULLEN (John McCarthy): Raced 3 pegs when 2m 4th Pay Me Sam last week. Always a danger in these races.
SAPPHIRE SWAYZE (Shane Sanderson): Led when weakening last Pay Me Sam Aug 17. Not on last week's performance.
SHANNONSABLAST (Craig Cross): Outclassed past 2 starts in Level 1 company. Has early speed and can show up here at his best.
OUTRAGEOUS EL (David Thorn): Drew wide and 5 pegs when 14m 9th Islandspecialmajor Aug 10. Suited here and can win.
EXPRESSIONIST (Shane Sanderson): Fast beginner. Had good trail 8m 3rd Fouroeight in 26.8 sprint home Jul 27. Is never far away.
BEETSON (Em) (Shane Sanderson): Disappointing 3 times here since leading photo 2nd Left Tennant Jul 20. Needs to lift.
LOMBO KOTAKINABALU (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Hit the line 6m 5th Double Encounter last week. Eye-catching run first-up.
JONAH JONES (Leon Jurd): Claimed after midweek win 1:52.8 here Aug 13.
DARK ENERGY (KerryAnn Morris): Behind leader 8m 8th Pay Me Sam last week. Facing hard task here.
MARK DENNIS (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Not beaten far twice in Level 2 company since 1:51.4 claiming win Jul 30. Tested here.
AZTEC BROMAC (KerryAnn Morris): Midweek 1:52.6 mile win before 10m 6th Mister Brazil (1:51.7) last week. Hard to fancy.
BALFAST (Em) (Kevin Pizzuto): Awkwardly placed 4 pegs 13m 4th My Ruebe Star (1:52.8) Aug 17. Class will test.
DU VELLA (Paul Fitzpatrick): Won slow 1:54.9 Mares (Div 2) before 4 pegs 8m 7th Double Encounter last week. Needs luck.
BLUE MOON STRIDE USA (Noel Daley): Former top USA mare set to strike after 3 Australian runs from wide draws. Ready to go forward and has 1:48.4PB.
PROPHESY (KerryAnn Morris): Never a threat 13m 3rd Tact Maggie (1:53.5) here last week. Racing well but looks safely held.
HEDGES AVENUE (Clayton Harmey): Behind leader 1:51.2 Mares win here before 2nd Reaza Grunter at Newcastle on Monday. Place.
OUR MILLWOOD MAIZIE (Craig Cross): Behind leader for hd win Major League in 1:51.4 Mares Level 1 Aug 10. This harder.
TACT MAGGIE (Tim Butt): Has led and won 3 of 4 runs here with only failure galloping at start. Facing toughest test.
BRONSKI BELLE (KerryAnn Morris): Restrained early 9m 6th Our Millwood Maizie Aug 10. Will be driven for luck and upset chance if she gets it.
MAJOR LEAGUE (Kevin Pizzuto): Brilliant beginner. Behind leader 8m 6th Double Encounter Aug 17. In the mix back against own sex.
ELLE YEAH (Dennis Picker): Back from Qld campaign winning 3 of past 4 at Albion Park. Facing stronger opposition here.
EYE SEE DIAMONDS (Amanda Turnbull): Front runner who has found it harder of late to lead with Major League on her inside. Faces same again here.
ADMIRAL BRONSKI (Craig Cross): Well drawn but first-up since March and lack of fitness a concern.
SHANNONSABLAST (Em) (Craig Cross): Disappointing twice since 3 pegs 6m 3rd Majordan (1:50.9) here Jul 27. Needs to lift.
JOES STAR OF MIA (Steve Turnbull): Outside leader 9m 6th Majordan Jul 27. Racing with heart in the top grade and finds easier race. Hard to beat.
UNDER WORKED (John McCarthy): Won claimer 1:51.4 then finished strongly 2m 3rd Pay Me Sam (1:52.2) last week. Won't disgrace himself again.
THE BETTORMACK (Kevin Pizzuto): Won 2300m claimer then tried hard nk 2nd Pay Me Sam last week. This hard but in for solid prep.
REAL STRIDE (Darren Binskin): Unplaced 3 times since resuming all in Level 1 company. Should be ready and big chance to improve here.
IM THE DIRECTOR (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Doing best work late and tactics queried 4m 4th Double Encounter last week. Keep safe.
RAKAROLLA (John McCarthy): Left alone in front for 1:52.1 Level 3 win here Aug 3. Won't get things his own way here.
MISTER BRAZIL (Michael Doltoff): Midfield trail 1:51.7 Level 3 win here last week. Facing much harder assignment here.
SMOOTH SAILOR (Dennis Picker): Returned from Qld with 6m 4th Deecaesar Young 2100m Aug 16. Tested here.
LUCKY LOMBO (Shane Sanderson): Nice 12m 5th Tiger Tara here Aug 10 then fancied 5m 3rd Santannas Rocket Newcastle Aug 16. Tested.
TULHURST KATE (Em1) (Nathan Hurst): Yet to win a race after 29 starts and not likely to trouble these.
CAMS PEARL (Anthony Deep): Restrained and never in the hunt 7m 4th Luvhavinfun Penrith Aug 15. Back in draw and look for a more positive drive. Each-way.
GETALOADATHISGIRL (Nathan Hurst): Left alone in front Young heat win before 50m 7th Pocket Beauty at Dubbo. Tested.
MATAMUA (Ashlee Grives): Ran on from 3 pegs for 2m 2nd Kid Me Not Bathurst heat Aug 14. Improver and don't take too lightly.
PETES ART MAJOR (KerryAnn Morris): Trailed leader/winner when head 2nd Luvhavinfun Penrith heat Aug 15. No excuses last time.
JENELLES TRISTAR (Grant Fuller): Placed past 4 provincial starts, latest 3 pegs 4m 3rd Luvhavinfun at Penrith. Don't underestimate.
SHEZALUCKYLADY (Kim Hillier): Had good trail 2m 3rd Getaloadathisgirl Young heat. Looks safely held here.
HAMMERTIME HARLEY (Gemma Rue): Speedy 3yo filly placed here. Surrendered lead first-up 5m 3rd Kid You Not Bathurst heat. Place show.
ALLY ROGAN (Em2) (Dennis Picker): Made move to be outside leader back row 4m 4th Getaloadathisgirl Aug 16 at first run back from Queensland.
PROMISE TO ROCK (Nathan Turnbull): Won Tamworth maiden before closing 1m 2nd Getaloadathisgirl Young heat. Watch for her late.
KID YOU NOT (Wendy Turnbull): Improving 3yo filly. Worked to lead for 1:58.2 win Bathurst 1730m Aug 14. Looks a good chance.
LUVHAVINFUN (Courtney Slater): Victorian heavily-back for all-the-way odds-on 1:57 Penrith heat win Aug 15. Sure to be well fancied again.
MAYWYN TOUGH (Jeff Andrews): Placed in 6 of past 7 starts at Newcastle. Behind leader/winner 3m 2nd Courageous Dancer Aug 16. This may test.
MISTER MYSTERIOUS (David Reynolds): Still a maiden after 17 starts and looks safely held here.
FIREY JERULA (Em2) (Bernie Hewitt): Brave but not match for winner 12m 3rd Whereyabinboppin Young heat Aug 16. Prefer others.
MAJOR HUSS (Michael Hawke): Had good run 11m 2nd Whereyabinboppin Young heat. Honest but out of depth here.
WHEREYABINBOPPIN (Steven Harris): Smart winner 4 of 7 starts. Resumed from year spell and back with original trainer for easy 1:56.6 heat win Young Aug 16. Pay to follow.
TULHURST WRITER (Nathan Hurst): Raced 3 pegs 15m 2nd King Triton Bathurst heat before all-the-way Dubbo win Aug 18. Harder here.
CRUISING BELLEW (Wayne Dimech): Odds-on win Penrith before 3 pegs 21m 3rd Mission Control Penrith heat Aug 15. Has the job ahead.
KING TRITON (Paul Fitzpatrick): Unbeaten in 3 starts, latest worked to lead 1:56 heat win Bathurst 1730m Aug 14. This toughest test but is untapped.
DARK TERROR (Tiarn Sutton): Easy win Penrith at second start before led 3m 2nd Mission Control Penrith heat Aug 15. Has bright future but winner too good last time.
MISHON CONTROL (David Thorn): Won 3 from 5. Outside leader for odds-on 1:56.7 heat win Penrith Aug 15. Looks above-average and hard to beat.
COURAGEOUS DANCER (Mark Callaghan): Has led and won past 2 starts at Newcastle. Hasn't been running any time and this much harder.
ALIMONIE (Em1) (Clayton Harmey): Risky beginner and 12 start maiden. Nice run 6m 3rd Courageous Dancer Newcastle heat. Wait for easier race.
PEMBROOKS PASSION (KerryAnn Morris): Ran a big race first time this grade last week when 2m 2nd Double Encounter. Place show again.
ADMIRAL BRONSKI (Em) (Craig Cross): Not raced since March and facing a very difficult task first-up against these.
REPLACED EYE (Craig Cross): No luck outside leader last week 8m 8th Double Encounter. Likes to lead and should cross here. Take catching.
THUNDER DANCE (Kerry McDowell): Won 7 straight before leading 7m 7th Loorrim Creek (1:50.4) here Jun 30. Best in front but is versatile.
DOUBLE ENCOUNTER (Harry Martin): Landed some big bets with run of the race 1:52.1 Group 3 win here last week. Chance again with similar run.
ISLANDSPECIALMAJOR (Jason Grimson): Left alone in front for 2300m win here Level 2 Aug 10. Could measure up but won't have things his own way here.
COCOSFELLA (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Freshened up and endured hard run 1m 2nd Pocket Of Terror last week. On the way up but badly graded at this stage.
FOUROEIGHT (Gemma Rue): Dictated in front 1:51.5 win then 3 pegs 10m 3rd Tiger Tara 2300m Aug 10. Versatile and has the class to threaten.
POCKET OF TERROR (Kevin Hayes): Surrendered lead and gained inside run for 1:51.3 win here. Lucky last week and facing huge rise in grade. Hard to fancy.
GODS SPIRIT (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Flying 4yo yet to miss a place in 11 starts (6-4-1). Led 1:52.5 win here Aug 10. This biggest test to date but is headed for top grade.
PAY ME SAM (Paul Fitzpatrick): Outside leader for gallant 1:52.2 win Level 2 last week with 3rd quarter in 26.8. Has the job ahead here but racing too well to dismiss.
MAMMALS MAGIC (Em) (Leon Jurd): Has been safely held in all 5 starts here since coming from Qld. Prefer others.
HOT FLUSH (KerryAnn Morris): Has had her chances with 4 unplaced runs this grade and has job ahead here.
POWER SURGE (Mark Callaghan): Fast beginner. Outside leader brave 4m 2nd Tinted Lass at Newcastle but big rise in grade here. Place.
OUR AMERICAN PRINCESS (KerryAnn Morris): Unplaced twice since making ground 4m 2nd Tact Maggie (1:52.1) here Aug 3. Each-way.
VOLANDO DENARIO (Kerry McDowell): Restrained and forget last run. Previous form solid in top mares company and can strike here.
SHE ENVY (Tim Butt): Former Victorian having first run for stable. Past winner here and bold showing is on the cards.
SHANDANCE (Steve Turnbull): Fast out to trail leader and winner 7m 2nd Tact Maggie (1:53.5) here last week. Chance again.
GRACIE TALJUICE (Michael Teuma): Placed past 2 starts this grade to Du Vella and My Ruebe Star respectively after soft runs. Draw hurts here.
COME CULLECT (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Has measured up to the best mares here and will appreciate the drop in class here. Fast out and hard to beat.
MY MAJOR ROCKET (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Left alone in front for 1:53.7 win here Aug 17. Was aided by the pole draw last week.
BALFAST (Kevin Pizzuto): Restrained and awkwardly placed when fav. 13m 4th My Ruebe Star last week. Strong claims with better luck.
KYVALLEY BOOMERANG (Graeme Hartman): Unplaced past 17 starts since resuming and way out of depth here.
ALL ROYAL GAL (KerryAnn Morris): Handy midweek performer but looks safely held here.
ENJOY AN ALE (S P Tritton, L R Tritton): Has run some handy placings here of late but this class will test.
CONON BRIDGE (J A Rando, M J Rando): Former ace trotter who broke at first start for stable here last week behind Tough Monarch. Improver.
BACARDI HURRICANE (Trevor Munday): Speedy trotter and better than form suggests. Can be risky but can run a bold race on best behaviour.
LILY STRIDE USA (Noel Daley): Restrained and doing best work late in both encouraging Australian runs since coming from the USA with big wraps. Look to go forward here and show her class.
ROMPERS MONARCHY (J A Rando, M J Rando): Beat War Dan Destroyer twice here before 6th and 2nd to Tough Monarch Aug 3 and 17 respectively. Place show.
MAORISFAVOURITESUN (David Aiken): Goes very fast but can also be risky. Wait for an easier race.
WAR DAN DESTROYER (Michael Doltoff): Placed twice to Rompers Monarchy and twice to Tough Monarch from past 4 starts, leading each time. Include in all multiples.
CLOVER MAC (Leon Jurd): Has been safely held in recent weeks against this company. Prefer others.
GLENN FORD (Mark Callaghan): Consistent Newcastle 4yo racing well against easier company. Has early speed and may place with soft run.
CHEROKEE WARRIOR (Kerry McDowell): Out of town form sound but unplaced all 5 runs here. Another with early speed and place claims.
LANI KAI BEACH (Ian Wilson): Placed 3 times this grade before 10m 6th Rays Choice (1:52.7) last week. Better drawn and include in all multiples.
GENERAL JOY (Michael Doltoff): Sat 3 pegs before 1:52.7 win here beating Arthur Lowe. Not disgraced 3 times since. Not out of this.
BRACKEN SKY (Blake Fitzpatrick): Big win Bankstown before 4 pegs 8m 5th Lexus With A View (1:52.8) last week. Not won in 19 attempts here.
DIKERRY (Shane Sanderson): Followed 5m 2nd The Space Invader 2300m Aug 3 with 6m 3rd Islandspecialmajor 2300m Aug 10. Rates highly on that form.
EVERYTHING (Leon Jurd): Midweek claimer who has been failing in easier company and needs to do better.
THE SPACE INVADER (KerryAnn Morris): Raced 3 pegs 7m 3rd Lexus With A View Aug 17. Behind leader to beat Dikerry 3 runs back. Each-way.
BROCKS TERRITORY (KerryAnn Morris): Torrid run 10m 9th Pocket Of Terror Aug 17 after 10m 2nd Gods Spirit (1:52.5) Aug 10. Grades well here. Hard to beat.
DEECAESAR (Scott Hewitt): Had race to suit peeling of hot speed for easy win 1:57.2 Young 2100m Aug 16. Has quick finish and upset chance with right run.