Punters are expecting to see a similar sight to that they saw in the Bobbie Lewis Quality recently with the quinella from that race, Chautauqua and Temple Of Boom, leading the way in betting markets for the G2 Gilgai Stakes. In past weeks the inside draws for the straight course races haven’t been favourable but despite Chautauqua drawing one and Temple Of Boom four, punters believe the can overcome this recent obstacle and installed the first and second favourite at $3.00 and $4.20 respectively. Another drawn inside (gate 3) who has met with good support early is the New Zealand Bounding who tackles this race first up from a six months spell. Her opening price of $6.00 was quickly snapped up and she’s firmed into $4.80.
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1. RIVER LAD – D Oliver (5)
A Queensland galloper that was rewarded for his consistency with a narrow victory in the G1 Stradbroke Handicap at the end of his last campaign, narrowly defeating the in-form Temple Of Boom. With that Group 1 win under his belt he carries top weight here of 57kgs. Gives a good account of himself wherever he goes and would think, albeit this being his first look at the straight course, he will handle it well but, under the set weight conditions first up, will be better again for the hit-out.
2. SMOKIN JOEY – Ben Melham (6)
Tough horse for punters to catch is this 7yo gelding from Wez Hunter’s stables. His two most recent victories, the G3 Tab.com.au Stakes (1400m) and G1 The Goodwood (1200m) have been he was unwanted in betting and at 40/1. He tackles this race first up from a seventeen week break and whilst his first up record is not flash, he does race well at Flemington and as we’ve learnt from past experiences, cannot often pop up when lest expected.
3. FLAMBERGE – V Duric (9)
Secured the ideal run first up in Theshark.com.au Stakes from the inside draw and recorded a solid 1.5 length win over Rifleman and subsequent winner Hard Strike. Drew the inside again but up the Flemington straight in the Bobbie Lewis a fortnight ago, it wasn’t the best part of the track to be and the 5yo weakened from a handy position to finish tenth (4.7 lengths) behind Chautauqua. Finished right behind the place-getters in the G1 Newmarket Handicap over this course earlier in the year and from a better draw here, should again be in this for a long way.
4. CHAUTAUQUA – D Dunn (1)
You would have to watch plenty of racing before you see a more impressive win than that of this 4yo first up in the Bobbie Lewis a fortnight ago. Dwayne Dunn bided his time toward unleashing the son of Encosta De Lago who powered over the top of the rivals, running away to win by 2.5 lengths with Temple Of Boom in second place. On his first up run, the sky seems to be the limit for the lightly raced grey.
5. TEMPLE OF BOOM – T Harrison (4)
The old boy found a new lease on life during his home-state winter carnival in Brisbane earlier this year. He won the G2 Victory Stakes before being shaded twice in Group 1 company – Doomben Cup and Stradbroke Handicap. Ran his typically honest race up the Flemington straight course when second to impressive winner Chautauqua, whom he meets here 6kgs better! On recent form and his Flemington straight record, has to be included.
6. LIMES – S Arnold (8)
Has been tuned up for his return to racing off a eleven week spell with two barrier trails in the six weeks. His first up record isn’t flash, having only one from six but he has contested some smart races first up in the past and finished just behind the place-getters. Generally produces his best over 1400m but with a solid speed up front here and having drawn out – which in past few weeks as been an advantage in the straight course races, he could be finishing well wider out.
7. ESSAY RAIDER – C Williams (7)
Returned from a seventeen week spell by running sixth (3.3 lengths) of twelve in the Listed Wylie Quality in Adelaide a fortnight ago. He was a comfortable winner of a Listed race second last campaign and his two runs up the Flemington straight have been good, resulting in a head second to Flamberge in the Standish and a neck third to Lonhspresso in the Straight Six. This is tougher again than those races but has been set for this second up and cannot be dismissed.
8. FINAL CRESCENDO – C Newitt (2)
Drew the widest gate in a field of thirteen when resuming from a spell and after settling near the tail, never really improved his position and finished eleventh (5.4 lengths) behind Adebisi. He then drew much better and took up a forward spot in the run before registering a ¾ length win in an Open class race over 1200m.
9. IL CAVALLO – L Nolen (11)
Had some big wraps on him from the very start but didn’t quite reach the expectation set for him and trainer Peter Moody has subsequently, taking the well bred son of Choisir through the grades, building his strike rate and confidence along the way. He returned from a spell two runs back a winner, defeating five rivals by 1.3 lengths in a BM 84 (1000m) before, in the same grade and over the same trip, he was out-bobbed on the line by Taddie Tondo at Mornington. Faces a massive challenge taking on this grade.
10. LONGMA – J Cassidy (10)
Made steady improvement last campaign which was rounded out with a second placing (half a length) behind Sir Moments in the Listed Daybreak Lover (1600m). Seems to have continued to improve over the break judging by his two barrier trials wins in Sydney for trainer Gai Waterhouse in the past six weeks. This is a stiff challenge compared to what he has faced in the past but the stable did scratch him from a race at Canterbury earlier in the week for this.
11. BOUNDING – M Du Plessis (3)
Smart New Zealand mare that went within a head of winning her first Australian start when second to Sidestep in the G2 Royal Sovereign Stakes back in April. From a wide gate she jumped the lead, stacked the field and looked to have the race shot to bits until the winner arrived on the line with a big finish. Hasn’t race or trialled since then but her overall record is first rate and will be ready to run well fresh.
RACE OVERVIEW AND SELECTIONS
Chautauqua was brilliant first up – if he is able to reproduce that effort again – he wins but the inside draw is a concern and has pulled up several fancied runners in recent weeks. In a small field, the best option for Dunn may be to drop out and pick is way through the centre of the field. Flamberge draw inside in the Bobbie Lewis and only battled home but from a wider gate here, expect a big improvement. His record up the straight is good and includes a comprehensive victory in the Standish Handicap at the start of this year followed by a fifth placing in the G1 Newmarket Handicap. Temple Of Boom’s recent record and that up the straight makes him an automatic selection.
- TEMPLE OF BOOM