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Nine races will be run and won at Flemington this Saturday, where the feature race is the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m). The weather forecast is for showers, the track is soft (7) and the rail is out ten metres for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (11:40) VRC Member Paul Barnard Handicap 2500m

Back Me

If he’s got petrol in the tank, I think 6 Not A Single Cent (Bet Now: $3.10 TOP ODDS)  wins. Impressive winner of the Mahogany Final at this track/distance two back before going to 2400m at Caulfield two weeks ago where he had to lump the weight and that bogged him down somewhat, but was brave in defeat behind Tavirun. Back up to 2500m and with good weight relief, if he holds his form, I’m keen on him.

Danger

1 Hush Writer (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) is a WaterBott trained stayer who stunned most with a first up win in the McKell Cup (2400m) before going to the Winter Cup (2400m) where he tried hard but was outgunned late when sixth to Destiny’s Kiss. Tick over trial was solid enough, he likely finds the front here and will give them something to run down if left alone and allowed to roll.

Long Shot

4 Mazaz (Bet Now: $16.00 TOP ODDS) is a knockout chance IMO. Chris Waller trains this stayer, who comes through the Lord Belvedere race from here three weeks ago where he was badly held up early on in the straight and that saw him lose all hope in a total forgive behind the Maher/Eustace runner. Reckon he’s going well. Bit more depth here, doubt he wins, but one for multiples.

Race 2. (12:10) VRC Member Helen Saffin Handicap (70) 1400m

Back Me

Tricky race this. I’m in the corner of 3 Heirborn (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS) for Anthony Freedman. This gelding was hard in the market when debuting over 1400m at Bendigo and he made a mess of them, especially the last 100m when really putting them to the sword and winning like a nice horse. Big track, seven furlongs, upside, stable flying…he ticks a fair amount of boxes here.

Danger

9 Antagoniser (Bet Now: $31.00 TOP ODDS) is an Excelebration colt for Mark Kavanagh that has had two career outings. Was okay on debut late in the piece behind Knock Knock before stepping up to 1300m where he was an impressive and drew clear late. He races as if further will suit, which is what he gets here, trained on the track and at start three, he should just about know what the caper is about now.

Long Shot

11 Frazil (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS)  is an interesting runner. James Cummings trains this filly, who didn’t do a great deal on debut at Echuca before going to Bendigo where she was unwanted in betting over 1400m but she defied the betting drift with an electric finale from off the pace to score a sharp maiden win. If she runs up to that, she’ll be around the mark here and is a knockout chance.

Race 3. (12:45) VRC Member Thomas Dandis Handicap (70) 1200m

Back Me

If 12 Jumbo Ozaki (Bet Now: $2.90 TOP ODDS) is right, he’ll be winning here. Being touted as a potential Stakes class animal so am keen to see how he goes here. Created such a good impression in his opening prep during the Autumn, winning his first two run before being most unlucky over 1400m here. Been given a good break and his trial win was outstanding to the eye. He looks a serious animal. Happy to be with him.

Danger

Giving some respect to 16 Talented (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) for Team Snowden. This filly is first up, having not raced since her opening prep in the Autumn, which ended with a placing down the Flemington straight behind Flit, a horse I hold in really high regard, so that form looks A1 for this and her recent jumpout at Flemington was quite good. She has a touch of class about her.

Long Shot

14 Calzini (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS)  is going well for Richard Laming. She contested a 3YO Fillies race at Caulfield two weeks ago and I thought it was a really poor steer from Williams. Just waited far too long to show initiative and by the time the filly got out, it was all over when third to Algadon Miss. If she can get clear air when she wants it, she does have race fitness on her side, and could be dangerous.

Race 4. (13:20) VRC Member Emma Duffy Handicap 1400m

Back Me

I’ll go the way of 6 Vinland (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS). Tony McEvoy trains this gelding, who had a pretty good Adelaide/Brisbane Carnivals, highlighted by a win at Stakes level in the Wayne Wilson Mile. Has been freshened up and though he didn’t beat much in the Murray Bridge, he did show nice change up speed when asked and drew clear late. Think he’s worth an each way ticket.

Danger

The genuine wet track certainly brings 1 Jungle Edge (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) into the mix. Was willing to take him on given I think these days 1200m sees him out, and that still remains a query here, but he’s just a swimmer and will handle the genuine wet track with ease with Michael Poy really riding this horse well. He’ll get the staggers late, but could well cling on.

Long Shot

4 Kemono (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) is a huge watch here. The Maher/Eustace stable trains this galloper, who returns to racing as a gelding and hopefully that will allow him to show his best because since coming from Japan, he has been a major flop. Trialled well enough on Monday at Cranbourne and two of his better efforts in Australia have come when first up. Market watch for sure.

Race 5. (13:55) VRC Member Jeffery Overington Handicap (78) 2000m

Back Me

I want to give 4 Royal Order (Bet Now: $10.00)  another look. I was keen on him over the mile at Caulfield two weeks ago but in hindsight, he probably just needed the run given he was a month between runs and was remaining at the mile. He was left flat footed but was okay late, suggesting further will suit, which is what he gets here, and Olly takes over. Going to just side with him.

Danger

12 Dabiyr (Bet Now: $7.00)  is a former UK galloper that seems to be enjoying life under the care of Chris Waller. He closed off okay first up at Mornington before going to Sandown where he took a fair while to get into his work but knuckled down strongly late and was too good for his rivals. Has had a tick over jumpout at Flemington to keep him going and he seems to be going well.

Long Shot

5 Charossa (Bet Now: $8.50)  has found some really good form in recent times and I reckon has earned a crack in Melbourne but gee he’s short enough. Had the bias and A1 steer go his way in bolting up at Gawler (Metro) two back before stepping up to 1800m at Morphettville where I loved the way he put them away and knuckled down when asked to win. Horror gate, but D Lane steers and if he can overcome the gate, I think he’ll measure up, but from a betting POV, you’d want double figures.

Race 6. (14:35) VRC Member Brenda Nugent Handicap (90) 1000m

Back Me

10 Assertive Approach (Bet Now: $1.80)  has been very good to me in all three career outings, each resulting in wins, so I’m channelling my inner Jon Bon Jovi and going to keep the faith. He was outstanding in winning the Lightning at Morphettville two weeks ago. Once he found the front and got a cheap furlong, it was game over and he was much too good for them, including the Group l placegetter Behemoth. Hardest test to date here, but is trained on the track, has upside, has sustained speed…keen.

Danger

Can you trust 1 Prezado? (Bet Now: $10.00)  He was a bludger for a little while but bounced back into the winners list three weeks ago at this track/distance, aided by an absolute beaut steer from Linda Meech. Consistency hasn’t been his strong point and there is a bit of depth to this field, but I reckon fast run 1000m events are his go in life, so giving him some respect.

Long Shot

I find 3 Bassett (Bet Now: $67.00)  a fascinating runner. Former Mick Price runner that is now under the care of Mitch Freedman. If he was near his best, he’d just about be beating these. Just been a long time since he has shown that, but now with Freedman, he has had several jumpputs in readiness for his return and hasn’t looked too bad. Good fresh record, so keen to see how he goes.

Race 7. (15:15) VRC Member Peter Cosgriff Handicap (84) 1400m

Back Me

7 My Pendant (Bet Now: $1.90)  finds a lovely race here IMO. Danny O’Brien trains this mare, who is three weeks between runs since resuming down the straight here where she tried hard but was no match late for the class of Sylvia’s Mother. That form looks to read very well for this, up to 1400m, back on a bending track with Olly steering…looks one of the better bets on the card.

Danger

There’s just no depth to this outside the fav. If they go hard in front, then the only mare that can beat the fav IMO is 9 Voila (Bet Now: $7.00), who will sit back and have last look if that eventuates. Impressive winner three back and has been good in two subsequent runs. She’s racing as if 1400m will suit and should do no work from the gate. Only danger to the fav.

Long Shot

2 Pop Queen (Bet Now: $20.00)  is a Tolson/Proctor trained mare who comes through a 1400m race at Flemignton from three weeks ago where she got a fair way back in the run from a tricky gate and despite never really being a winning threat, but she found the line well enough behind Shokora. Been up a little while but continues to race okay and is one for exotics.

Race 8. (15:55) Aurie's Star Handicap 1200m

Back Me

Gee I reckon 13 You Make Me Smile (Bet Now: $9.00)  is a bet here. Jason Coyle trains this galloper, who was confidently supported when resuming over 1100m at Rosehill two weeks ago and to the eye, the run was solid behind Bon Amis, but when that horse is running just over 33 for the final 600m, the run was strong. The best way to ride him is jump and run. Hope that eventuates here.

Danger

I reckon 1200m sees 2 Malibu Style (Bet Now: $8.50)  right out but Neville Parnham has him absolutely flying at the moment. Super winner of the Sprint Final at Flemington before backing up a week later in the Monash, coming back in trip, and just that moderate beginning cost him the win I felt when a fast finishing fourth to Oak Door. Hopefully with an economical run and clean beginning, he’ll go close.

Long Shot

10 Holy Blade (Bet Now: $20.00)  is nearly a year between wins but in three runs for Team Snowden, he has been quite good without winning, the latest in the Sprint Series Final a few weeks ago when chasing from off the speed to run third to Malibu Style. The depth here, overall, isn’t as strong, and he just has to hold his form to be a winning threat against these.

Race 9. (16:35) VRC Member Angela Kennedy Handicap (84) 1720m

Back Me

Been waiting and waiting for him to get to Flemington and now he has, I’m quite keen on the Tony McEvoy trained 8 Laure Me In (Bet Now: $7.50) . He comes through the Special Diva from a few weeks back where he got back, held up, bit lost on the turn but balanced up in the straight and was good late. Hopefully can get clear air from the asset, so keen to see what he does.

Danger

5 Master Shuhood (Bet Now: $8.50)  is a Chris Waller trained stayer who was well tried when resuming over this trip at Caulfield four weeks ago where he got back in the run and found the line strongly late to run a close up third to the in form Bedford. 2000m+ is when he’ll come into his own I dare say, so can’t say I’d back him to win, but he definitely goes in all multiples.

Long Shot

Back up to 1700m, I’m giving respect to the Patrick Payne trained 3 Street Sheik (Bet Now: $17.00). Lovely ride from Tahlia Hope saw him win over 1800m at Morphettville two back before stepping back to 1550m on the Parks track where he was back near last in the run and tried hard but couldn’t quite reel in the in form France’s Boy. Extra trip, in form…he’s a definite threat.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 10 Assertive Approach

NEXT BEST: Race Race Three Number 12 Jumbo Ozaki

LONG SHOT: Race Eight Number 13 You Make Me Smile

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 10

Leg Two: 7, 9

Leg Three: 2, 4, 8, 10, 13

Leg Four: 3, 5, 8, 11

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