Flemington will host their traditional New Years Day program this Friday, where the feature race is the $150,000 Group lll Standish Handicap (1200m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (12:25) : New Year Plate 1000m:
Back Me: I am not sure what Sword Of Light (Best Odds: $3.10) beat on debut at Echuca, but she won by over five lengths and looked to do it very easily, plus the time compared nicely with the other 1000m race run on the same afternoon. Trained on the track here, so she would have had experience in trackwork down the Flemington straight, and that is a definite advantage.
Big Danger: La Renarde (Best Odds: $3.50) debuts here for John Sadler off the back of a couple of very sharp jump out performances, the latest coming on Tuesday where she led all the way and ran good time under little pressure. Oliver on is a good lead also.
Roughie: Family Business (Best Odds: $15.00) debuted at Geelong and finished off her race quite nicely when fourth to Hell Of An Effort, who franked the form by winning impressively at Caulfield last Saturday. Should be improved with the run under the belt, and the stable is having a decent little run at the moment.
Race Two (13:00) : Straight Draw Handicap (78) 1400m:
Back Me: Going for some value in the shape of Pure Karma (Best Odds: $15.00). He looked sharp at the jump outs prior to resuming at Geelong where he was completely luckless when fourth to Sharcade after getting badly held up on a couple of occasions in the straight. IMO had he got a clear run, he wins the race. Trained on the track here and should take good benefit from the Geelong run.
Big Danger: We’ve Got This (Best Odds: $3.40) has been given a month freshen up since running a game second to Burning Front in the Gold Bullion (1400m) on Pakenham Cup Day, and that horse franked the form by running a beauty at this track/distance next time out. This horse can be frustrating to follow, but gee he looks as though he gets his chance to win again.
Roughie: Mihany (Best Odds: $8.50) ran over this track/distance last time out and was given a peach of a front running steer from Ben Melham, but even that wasn’t enough for the gelding to win and he had to settle for second to A Lotta Love. He is knocking on the door to win a race, and he should be very competitive here in what looks a very open race.
Race Three (13:36) : Byron Moore Handicap 2000m:
Back Me: Allergic (Best Odds: $4.40) was a bit unlucky not to finish closer last Saturday at Caulfield behind Leica Day given he didn’t get much room in the straight when appearing to travel well and having something to offer. Back to his home track now, tumbles 4kg in weight and the form rider in Melbourne at the moment takes over, plus has upside.
Big Danger: Second Bullet (Best Odds: $4.80) had a horrendous run last time out at William Hill Park Lakeside, sitting wide no cover early on before doing a power of work to sit outside the speed and the effort just told in the straight when fourth to Tom Melbourne. If he can somehow get some better luck here from the tricky gate, he’ll take some beating.
Roughie: Inspector (Best Odds: $8.00) is another that backs up from Caulfield last week where he ran a pleasing seventh in the Lord Stakes (1700m) behind top class galloper Signoff. That form reads very well for a race like this, he is on the minimum and Bossy is on, so he does tick some boxes.
Race Four (14:11) : Nouvelle Star Handicap (70) 1200m:
Back Me: There was plenty to like about the win of Lady Esprit (Best Odds: $4.40) at William Hill Park Hillside last Wednesday, spanking by her older rivals by nearly three lengths and was eased down the final 75m. She ran well down the straight on Oaks Day, and being third up now, she should be ready fitness wise and looks the hardest to beat.
Big Danger: Lahqa (Best Odds: $7.00) resumed over 1000m here when working home strongly late to run fourth to Shakespearean Lass, beaten just under three lengths in what was a pleasing return to the races. She will lap up the extra furlong here and should take some beating.
Roughie: Maddie Moo Moo (Best Odds: $13.00) ran in a 955m race at Moonee Valley and worked home very strongly late to run fourth to speed demon Petite’s Reward, beaten just under three lengths. Her overall numerical record isn’t flash, but she is talented, and she’ll be strong at the end of 1200m.
Race Five (14:46) : Red Tempo Handicap (90) 1000m:
Back Me: The old boy Fab Fevola (Best Odds: $15.00) is racing as well as ever. He ran in a heat of the 55 Second Challenge at the Valley and he looked home but he was nabbed in the last couple of strides by Beau Rada. He gets significant weight relief here, and the the third last time he ran at Flemington, he was five lengths off Lankan Rupee in the Lightning, so he will take some stopping here at value.
Big Danger: Lucky Symbol (Best Odds: $9.00) is an Adelaide visitor for Phillip Stokes who looks to have returned to racing in very good order. He toughed it out well to win first up, then ran a close second to Stratumsphere. He gets some weight relief here, which is needed for him to win, and he gives the impression that he will lap up this course.
Roughie: Danger Close (Best Odds: $14.00) ran on well against the tempo in the Doveton (1000m) at William Hill Park Hillside when sixth to Wild Rain, beaten just over four lengths. He is a winner down the straight and I like that Newitt is back on, plus he is drawn to stalk the tempo and charge late.
Race Six (15:26) : Flemington 1840-2016 Handicap (70) 1600m:
Back Me: Rib Eye (Best Odds: $9.00) was backed as if unbeatable last time out at Bendigo and he gave his supporters no concern with a dominant on speed win. Toughest test to date here, but he is in ripping form, draws well and should give his rivals something to chase.
Big Danger: Black Sheep (Best Odds: $5.00) was given a peach from Brad Rawiller to win last time out at Moonee Valley, albeit in a much easier race than what he faces here. Blinkers on first time here also, which is a concern, but who am I to doubt Darren Weir.
Roughie: Making Mayhem (Best Odds: $7.00) has been excellent from the back in both runs this time in, the latest at William Hill Park Lakeside behind Kaniana when two lengths off that horse. Looks as though he’ll get the perfect drop here behind the speed and is a knockout hope.
Race Seven (16:06) : Standish Handicap 1200m:
Back Me: Durendal (Best Odds: $3.00) was given a peach to win on Ballarat Cup Day two back, then came to this track/distance where he was heavily backed and duly saluted in impressive fashion. Looks very well weighted despite his recent form, proven at the course…ticks plenty of boxes for mine.
Big Danger: Sarajevo (Best Odds: $6.50) was the unlucky runner in that race Durendal won here given he got back in the run and was held up a touch when appearing as though he was going to be a threat. Senior rider goes on now and he draws to stalk Durendal all the way and he does get a 1kg weight pull.
Roughie: Zupacharged (Best Odds: $12.00) was a real eye catcher when racing over 1200m here last Saturday. He sat near last in a slowly run race yet weaved his way through the field and finished off hard for a close up third to Durendal. More genuine tempo here is ideal and is near peak fitness.
Race Eight (16:46) : Bagot Handicap 2800m:
Back Me: Who’s the best plugger here…I am going to give the Adelaide visitor Tunes (Best Odds: $13.00) the nod here. He has been quite impressive at his past two starts, both resulting in superb wins, most notably last Saturday where he just spanked his rivals and won with a fair bit of ease. He will eat up the Flemington 2800m here, he’s on the minimum and will just stay all day.
Big Danger: Danjeu (Best Odds: $4.20) ran over 2400m at William Hill Park Lakeside last time out and toughed it out best on speed to win impressively. I think he is better ridden with a sit, and I think that is what should eventuate here from the wide gate, and if it does, he’ll be hard to hold out at the end of a hard 2800m.
Roughie: Subiaso (Best Odds: $34.00) is another that will relish the trip after working home strongly last time out over 2400m at William Hill Park Lakeside to run third to Spectacular Vision. The last time he raced at 2000m+ at Flemington was in the Derby in 2013 behind Fiveandahalfstar where he was fancied at odds. Brings that kind of form here and he will be ultra competitive.
Race Nine (17:26) : George Watson Handicap (96) 1400m:
Back Me: Del Prado (Best Odds: $4.20) on top for me here. He produced a sharp jump out prior to resuming at William Hill Park Hillside when producing a brilliant finishing burst to beat a similar field. Been to the jump outs again and looked outstanding there, so I’ll be in his corner.
Big Danger: Burning Front (Best Odds: $4.00) is an absolute ripper for Darren Weir attempted to lead all the way over this track/distance three weeks back but was gunned down in the last couple of strides by Precious Gem, who ran poorly last Saturday, but the fourth horse, Star Rolling, ran well, so the form is mixed, but this is a drop in depth for mine, and you just know he will be around the mark.
Roughie: Double Pockets (Best Odds: $13.00) is the interesting runner. Adelaide visitor trained Sue Nolan who was luckless two back behind Lord Aspen before backing up seven days later and missing out to Dr Dapper in a close photo finish. The form around him is very good and he certainly shouldn’t be left out of exotics here, and is even a winning chance.
BEST BET: Race Nine Number 4 Del Prado
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 5 Durendal
VALUE: Race Eight Number 13 Subiaso
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13
Leg Two: 5, 9, 12
Leg Three: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 13
Leg Four: 3, 4, 7
$50 Investment= 13.88% of the dividend if successful.
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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