The News Desk


The Spy Files

Sky Racing's Tony Brassel's first column of The Spy Files for the new The News Desk section on ThoroughbrewNEWS. Tony will file his The Spy Files each week on the Sky Racing sponsored and supported The News Desk along with additional columns and Sky Racing content. 

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Sky Racing’s form expert, TONY BRASSEL, checks out all the slashing trials and eye-catching early morning efforts.


The Arnie Schwarzenegger of Aussie racing, NATURE STRIP, was seen in all his glory at Monday’s Warwick Farm trial session. Grabbing the first barrier trial of 18 heats, the Chris Waller speedster was never fully extended by Hugh Bowman. ‘Arnie’s’ brilliance over short courses is unrivalled, so onwards to the G1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington where he is a firm favourite with TAB.


DESTINATION: Ready-made runner from James Cummings’ juggernaut stable. He pinged straight to the front and held off a promising youngster in ON THE LEAD to win over 801m at Warwick Farm. By evergreen EXCEED AND EXCEL, DESTINATION is already a Kembla winner upon debut and he’s $51 with TAB for the Golden Slipper on March 21. 

ON THE LEAD: Chased DESTINATION home in Heat 12 and, although beaten a head, I reckon the unraced colt trialled just as well as the experienced winner. From Michael and Richard Freedman’s yard, he’s now the veteran of four trials, so should know plenty about the caper and is currently $101 in the Golden Slipper with TAB.

Check out this Warwick Farm trial morning on the Sky Racing website or the Sky Racing Active app. 

MUNTASEERA: Ranks among the high-class gallopers we’ve seen so far in the juvenile division. Jump-outs point to this blueblood enhancing her reputation and she is a superior chance in Saturday’s Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield. Check out Saturday’s TAB market here.


HUMAN NATURE: Marto’s all-time favourite band. This Hawkes-trained galloper didn’t win at ‘The Farm’, but his second in Heat 14 (798m) was top stuff after being handy throughout and cruising home. This ALL TOO HARD youngster has one win to his credit (last April) but expect a forward first-up showing – so often the case with Team Hawkes. Keep an eye on the noms!


“I’ll be trying to take it easier with her early in the prep, so no Lightning Stakes – rather the Light Fingers Stakes.
“You just allow nature to do its thing. There’s better muscle definition and she’s just stronger. She runs very quick times without much effort.
“There’s some nice options sticking to 1100m to 1200m. There’s no races on the calendar you can’t have a shot at – there’s a race for her nearly every Saturday.


The forced retirement of YES YES YES was a blow to racing, but his future girlfriends will be of the highest calibre at Coolmore Stud – south and north of the Equator. A successful breeding career awaits him.

Recent 3YO Colts retired to stud

Capitalist, All Too Hard, Pierro , Merchant Navy, Vancouver, Extreme Choice, Rubick, The Autumn Sun, Written By, Pride Of Dubai, Astern, Flying Artie, Sebring, Zoustar, Yes Yes Yes.

Something to consider: High standard older males remain relatively thin on the ground as you can see from the list above. Without these ‘sexy’ entires, the upper echelons of Aussie racing are increasingly the playground of geldings or assorted imports and mares.

Catch TONY BRASSEL, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, on Sky Racing 1. Check out Brass’s tips @ or follow him on the Sky Racing Active App.

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