Nine races will be run and won at Flemington this Saturday. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is out seven metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:15) VRC Member Maureen O'Connell Handicap 2510m
I’ll just lean the way of 5 Crocodile Rock (Bet Now: $2.70). Was all over him when he resumed over this track/distance three weeks ago and for the most part, he looked to be bolting and on the turn, it was no betting. But as soon as he came off the bit, he paddled, and was later found to be lame. If he’s overcome that and produces his best, he’ll go close.
4 Kilimanjaro (Bet Now: $4.40) is a talented stayer for Team Williams who resumed in the Sixties Groove race at Flemington three weeks ago and he tried hard but he just doesn’t have the brilliance over the trip and battled away. He’ll be much better when at 2400m+ so I think it’s a good thing he didn’t run last week over the 2040m to be saved for this.
No idea what to do with 3 High Church (Bet Now: $8.00). He’s certainly good enough to win this but he’s really gone off the boil recently, the latest run seeing him down the track behind stablemate Falago in the Banjo Paterson Final. Small field helps and if he brought anything near his best form, he’d go close.
Race 2. (12:50) VRC Member Peter Dakin Handicap (90) 1000m
This looks a lovely race for the in form 3 Invincible Al (Bet Now: $4.80). Ridden upside down on the Parks track two back yet still bolted in. Then ran down the straight at Flemington and aided by a peach from Nathan Punch, the Patty Payne runner dashed and proved far too good. Much like last time, I think only bad luck beats him.
6 Prezado (Bet Now: $2.10) is a talented son of Denman resuming for the Ellerton/Zahra team. This bloke hasn’t raced since the Autumn Carnival down the straight at Flemington when midfield behind outstanding winner She’s So High. His recent jump outs have been very good to the eye and three back he ran second to Nature Strip, which obviously reads well.
2 We’ve Got This (Bet Now: $20.00) is the interesting runner because at his best, he’s certainly good enough to beat these. Resumed at this track/distance three weeks ago in a hot sprint race and couldn’t come on from the back behind Invincible Al but his late splits were decent enough. Wants 1200m, so perhaps one more run, but he’s got class/quality at his best.
Race 3. (13:25) VRC Member Abigail Bartlett Handicap (70) 1400m
Going to go with the Greg Eurell trained 5 O’Tauto (Bet Now: $9.25). He was a drifter in betting when debuting at Cranbourne and despite coming off the bit before the turn, gee he toughed it out strongly and on the line I thought he was quite impressive in winning. Should have no trouble with 1400m and the time he ran that afternoon stacked up quite well.
2 Ruban Bleau (Bet Now: $4.60) looks the one with the best form in the race. I’m just not sure what to make of the Ingot run a fortnight back. Yep, little unlucky not to get out earlier, but I thought he was out in time to finish off and beat Wild Flyer, but that horse held him comfortably to the line. Should be better for the run, he can win…but I couldn’t back him.
12 Zaidin (Bet Now: $9.00) looks a nice type for David Briedoake. Resumed with a dead heat win on the Geelong Synthetic before racing at Sandown where he closed off nicely to run third to a potential Stakes horse in Leonardo Da Hinchi. Up to 1400m third up on the big track should suit and Olly rides. Definite threat.
Race 4. (14:00) VRC Member Rhonda Sexton Handicap (84) 1400m
5 Mariquita (Bet Now: $8.00) looks one of the better each way gambles of the afternoon. Shane Nicholls has this mare flying at the moment. Resumed with an eye catching seventh behind Shaprness before a narrow second to Chiavari at Caulfield, just running out of puff late. Third up at 1400m on the big track, gee she’s very likeable.
4 Harmattan (Bet Now: $3.80) is a daughter of Street Cry resuming for James Cummings. She came ahead in leaps and bounds in the Autumn in her first prep, starting off with a debut maiden win at Sale, then ending the prep in South Australia in a lead up to the Oaks. I’m sure whatever she does here, she will improve on, but she’s got class/quality.
13 Bettyrae Ruby (Bet Now: $23.00) isn’t the most reliable horse going around but she has performed well in town and hopefully should be a mare with a bit of confidence after getting the job done last time at Sale when sitting wide no cover but still finished best to get the job done. Should get an economical run from the draw and could be one to chuck in exotics.
Race 5. (14:35) VRC Member James Hibberd Handicap (70) 1200m
This is a ripping race with plenty of depth. 11 Gold Mag (Bet Now: $2.10) looks, potentially, the best of them. This Hayes/Dabernig trained four year old gelding has been an absolute star, winning two from two to start the career, the second win at Sandown over 1200m where he bolted in and absolutely smashed the clock relative to the day. Tick the straight track box and gee he’ll take some beating.
12 Illumicon (Bet Now: $6.00) is a son of Nicconi for Tony McEvoy who resumed over 1000m at Sandown a couple of Wednesdays back where he was a notable drifter in betting but despite no respect from the market, he led throughout and showed pretty good grit in the straight when challenged by an above average type in Furnish. Time was quicker than the other 1000m race that day and his recent jump out down the straight was very good.
7 Tahi (Bet Now: $11.50) was poor in his first two runs for the prep, both over 1200m at Sandown when finishing down the track each time. Sent back to the Provincials at Sale for a confidence boosting win before racing down the straight at the track/distance and running a narrow third to Overstep. That does look good form for this.
Race 6. (15:15) VRC Member Darren Allsop Handicap (78) 2000m
17 Sir Edwin Landseer (Bet Now: $12.00) for me in a real dartboard job. Former Irish galloper making his Australian debut for Team Williams so it’ll be interesting to see how he shapes up here. Form when racing in Ireland, as a whole, isn’t something you’d jump up and down over, but he’s in the right yard and to be fair, the majority of these you couldn’t back with confidence.
13 Haripour (Bet Now: $4.80) is a Darren Weir trained import who has had a few runs now in Australia and has shown good talent. Landed some bets at big odds when winning two back at Caulfield before going to Sandown where he ran well but was no match for the brilliance produced by Sikandarabad. Looking for the 2000m+ and he gets it here.
2 Brigadier (Bet Now: $20.00) is a Wayne Walters trained stayer who attempted to lead all the way in the Sixties Groove race at Flemington and he gave a pretty solid kick in front but the class of the Weir horse kicked in and he was no match but he stuck on quite well. Won the start prior beating a couple of subsequent winners so he has to be included.
Race 7. (15:55) Aurie's Star Handicap 1200m
Is 7 Poetic Dream (Bet Now: $4.50) a superstar trialler or is he a proper Group l horse to be followed? This race will give us some guide. He’s been a working progress for the Hayes/Dabernig team but when the blinkers have been applied to him, he looks like a star and has gone like a jet in jump outs. Brings that, he wins. Hopefully he can.
1 Home Of The Brave (Bet Now: $3.30) is making his Australian debut for James Cummings and Godolphin. He brings some world class form next to his name, including a win over world class sprinter Jungle Cat. Trials leading in to the resumption in Sydney have been first class and he seems to be loving life down under. Class will carry him a long way.
9 Man From Uncle (Bet Now: $34.00) does look quite well placed here by the Weir team. Two runs for the stable, both down the Flemington straight, have been full of merit. Resumed over 1100m when a close up fourth to Malibu Style before running sixth to stablemate Camdus. Third up at 1200m looks ideal…just needs to behave himself in getting into the barriers.
Race 8. (16:35) VRC Member Damian Cubela Handicap 1400m
Siding with 14 Barthelona (Bet Now: $5.50). Michael Morney trains this five year old, who strung together a couple of sharp wins before having no luck behind Malaise. Then raced over the Caulfield 1400m again and finishing close up behind Chamois Road. Would love to see Parnham ping over from the wide gate and let this bloke roll.
6 Theanswermyfriend (Bet Now: $5.50) is the best horse in this race by a mile ability wise. I reckon he’s going well. Just been ridden poorly in both runs for the Weir camp. Best asset this horse has a high cruising speed, as we saw this time last year. Restraining for cover isn’t his go. If he’s allowed to roll on speed, I reckon he’ll take some beating.
Interesting to see what 2 Seaburge (Bet Now: $12.00) does. The Hayes/Dabernig team train this five year old, who hasn’t raced since the Adelaide Carnival in the R A Lee when finishing midfield behind Land Of Plenty. He can sprint well fresh, he likes Flemington and his recent jump out was more than encouraging to the eye.
Race 9. (17:10) VRC Members Handicap (84) 1700m
Now he’s won a race, I think 6 Mantastic (Bet Now: $2.70) can go right on with it. The win he produced a fortnight back at Caulfield over the mile was huge I thought given he was wide no cover throughout yet still kept finding and in the end he attacked the line best to score, so 1700m no issue and he did run a ripper here first up. Keen.
10 Al Galayel (Bet Now: $3.50) can bounce back here for sure. Three runs in Australia to date for the Maher/Eustace team, winning brilliantly first up at Sandown before a close up third at Caulfield. He then went to Rosehill over 2000m where I thought he was ridden a bit upside down, attempting to lead all the way and fading late behind Vaucluse Bay. I reckon ridden with cover, he’ll be much better off.
13 Tan Tat Trusting (Bet Now: $12.00) looks ideally placed here third up. Resumed with a dominant on speed win at Ballarat before racing on the Parks track three weeks ago in Adelaide and running second to a nice type in Trogir after settling just off the pace. Has run okay up to 1800m so the 1700m no issue, upside and gets good weight relief.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 7 Poetic Dream
NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 6 Mantastic
LONG SHOT: Race Four Number 5 Mariquita
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 5, 10, 13, 17
Leg Two: 7
Leg Three: 2, 6, 12, 14
Leg Four: 6, 8, 10, 13
$50 Investment= 62.50% of the dividend if successful
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