A crack bunch of gallopers will take their place in the Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington this Saturday, and the race that was once upon a time used as a Cups springboard highlights racing at headquarters. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is out ten metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:15) VRC Member Raymond Ali Handicap (70) 1400m
5 Mulk (Bet Now: $5.50) on top. Hayes/Dabernig trained three year old that spanked them to break the maiden tag two back at Sandown before going to the Ingot at Caulfield where he did a bit wrong in the straight but was still good in defeat behind Shamport. Hard fit, in form and finds a winnable race.
1 Peruggia (Bet Now: $8.50) is a colt for Darren Weir who is going through his grades nicely and deserves a crack at this kind of race. Gave them a galloping lesson two back at Donald before going to Sandown where he sat up near the speed under Williams and though the win was narrow, it was tough and gritty, some good qualities to have for a young horse on the up.
7 Kedleston (Bet Now: $19.00) isn’t one of mine, but in terms of value, I think he can included here. I thought his run in the Ingot behind Shamport was more than tidy given he was back in the ruck, near the rail, and really couldn’t get clear until it was over. Non winner, but for exotics, throw him in.
Race 2. (12:50) VRC Member Beverley Hogan Handicap 2350m
2 Kilimanjaro (Bet Now: $2.90) gets the nod for me. Many were quick to sack him after his seemingly poor effort last time out here, but keep in mind that this is a 2400m+ horse, and he was second up after a long, long spell. This run will tell us whether he is a contender or pretender as a Melbourne Cup contender. I am hoping he is a contender.
4 Super Haze (Bet Now: $3.80) has been given a five week freshen up since winning the Banjo Paterson final over 2600m here when beating home a handy field, but not to the level of this one. Still, he has residual fitness, a turn of foot and the stable is absolutely low flying at the moment, especially in Victoria.
6 Lautaro (Bet Now: $13.00) is a gutsy Albury galloper for Andrew Dale who is on the seven day back up after racing over 1950m last Saturday on the Parks track where he was game in defeat I thought on a sticky track behind Alamonteel. Looking for further, which he gets here, and while I doubt he can win, he is one for exotics.
Race 3. (13:25) VRC Member Graeme McMenamin Handicap 1400m
2 Sovereign Nation (Bet Now: $2.00) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained five year old that has had a little freshen up since racing in the Winter Championship Final where he ran a game close up third to Tshahitsi. This is a horse who does his best when produced fresh and this is a thin assignment.
Process of elimination, 5 Onerous (Bet Now: $3.40) is next best. Hasn’t raced since July 15 at Caulfield over 1400m where he was given a peach off the pace by Dunn and really he had every chance to pick up Schism, but that mare just kicked too strongly, and Onerous isn’t exactly the most reliable horse going around. Gets his chance here in a thin race.
1 Tally (Bet Now: $7.00) is a high class animal that resumes for the Godolphin team. His Autumn prep was solid, highlighted by winning the Mornington Cup and getting a free ticket into the Caulfield Cup. He will clearly be underdone for this, but his class. Gee it will carry him a fair way for sure.
Race 4. (14:00) VRC Member William O'Grady Handicap (84) 1700m
5 Portion Control (Bet Now: $4.60) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained gelding who is absolutely low flying at the moment. Ran four weeks back over the 1700m at Caulfield where he was given a lovely ride off the pace by Cory Parish and he was dominant to the line in winning, running through the line with purpose. See no reason to jump off.
11 Jaminzah (Bet Now: $3.70) is on the seven day back up for the Waller camp after winning over the mile here last Saturday. He was ridden a treat by Baster. Found cover all the way, cuddled and cuddled throughout before finding clear air and finishing best. Same scenario, he should run the 1700m out here.
4 Black Sheep (Bet Now: $10.00) is a talented gelding for the Daren Weir yard who resumed over 1400m at Caulfield several weeks weeks back and though he never really threatened, he stuck to the task really well in defeat behind Nesbo. Got a really good record at this trip and second up last time in he came with a brilliant burst to win at Echuca in a strong race.
Race 5. (14:35) VRC Member Mark Young Handicap (84) 1400m
2 Samovare (Bet Now: $2.00) clearly on top for mine. High quality mare resuming for the Hayes/Dabernig team. Former WA galloper who had one run during the Winter, which came at this track/distance when a narrow second to Pedrena. Her jump outs have been good, she finds a winnable race and gets in well weights wise despite her impressive CV.
5 O’Racheal (Bet Now: $4.50) is a former kiwi mare who has had a couple of runs now in Australia for Chris Waller and I think a win is near. Ran at Caulfield last time out and worked home with real purpose behind Moonlite’s Choice, who has run well subsequent. Four weeks between runs the issue, but she’ll be strong late.
3 Niminypiminy (Bet Now: $9.00) is a mare who can be incredibly hard to trust at times but this is a very winnable race for if she at least held her form from a few weeks back where she has been freshened up since the Leilani Final when placing behind Schism, who franked the form. Draws to get a lovely run off the pace and have last say.
Race 6. (15:15) VRC Member Joan Watson Handicap (70) 1400m
7 I Boogi (Bet Now: $5.00) was once known as the biggest cat in Victorian racing but he has turned the corner now big time and is a leading contender in a Saturday race at headquarters. Resumed over 1200m at Sandown and despite looking beat a couple of times, gee he showed superb fight and eventually wore them down. He can go on with it for sure.
11 Invictum Domina (Bet Now: $4.80) was enormous at this track/distance three weeks ago. This mare did a power of work to sit outside the speed in a fast run race and really had every right to drop out and run last, but she fought on very well to run fifth. Provided she doesn’t do as much work here, she’ll take some beating.
10 Romanesque (Bet Now: $35.00) is such an interesting runner here. Former Irish galloper now with OTI and Jarrod McLean. Had three runs overseas and showed good potential over staying trips. Not sure what level he can get to, but he has shown good talent and is a clear watch, both with the market and yard.
Race 7. (15:55) Aurie's Star Handicap 1200m
3 Grande Rosso (Bet Now: $7.00) gets the nod for me here. Talented galloper resuming for the Hayes/Dabernig team after a very good Summer/Autumn campaign which saw him race very consistently. 1200m is probably short of his best, but gee his jump out a couple of weeks back was something to behold. It was first class.
2 I Am A Star (Bet Now: $6.50) is indeed just that. She is a star for Shane Nicholls who kicks off her Myer Classic defence. She was outstanding in the Autumn, ending the prep with a gutsy third in the Goodwood. No trials/jump outs to go on, but she does go very well fresh and this time last year, she was explosive early on in the prep.
I find it very interesting that 10 Manuel (Bet Now: $13.00) runs here instead of the 70 race. That must speak volumes of how highly the stable rates this bloke. Forget his Lightning run a fortnight back. Track was bordering on heavy and he couldn’t pick his feet. Hopefully back on top of the ground here, he can show his best.
Race 8. (16:35) VRC Member Doris Theuma Handicap (78) 2000m
Really open 2000m race but I think 2 Bling Dynasty (Bet Now: $14.00) is the one. He ran last time out over 1700m at Caulfield where he was given every chance by Williams and loomed to win but he just couldn’t quite finish it off when third to Portion Control. Looking for further, which he gets, and Flemington will feel like a bit longer given the likely genuine tempo, so he rates highly.
D-Day for 9 Galaxy Raider (Bet Now: $5.50) here. On ratings, he had no hope of winning last Saturday at this track/distance but to his credit he ran a beauty I thought behind Aloft. Drops to a 78, draws to get good cover and launch late. Is he a contender or a pretender? This race will tell us.
8 Annaman (Bet Now: $26.00) was a real eye catcher in his Victorian debut at Caulfield behind Coldstone before going to the Parks track at Morphettville where he got back and worked home okay behind Alamonteel, who spanked them last week to frank the form. Third up at 2000m on a big track looks an ideal recipe.
Race 9. (17:10) VRC Member Charles White Handicap (90) 1000m
5 So Si Bon (Bet Now: $15.00) is the very interesting runner for mine. Quality four year old resuming for the Robbie Laing stable after a mixed Autumn. Ran a beauty in the Rosehill Guineas before having enough in the Derby. Best form will come over further, but he goes well fresh, likes Flemington and recent jump out was encouraging.
3 Rough Justice (Bet Now: $14.00) represents the value to my eye. He is a veteran for the Ellerton/Zahra team who has been racing okay this time in but he hasn’t quite run out the 1200m with purpose. Good placement by the stablemate to dodge the Aurie’s Star and tackle the softer option, where he looks well placed.
2 General Truce (Bet Now: $21.00) is a veteran for Tony Vasil who does tend to save his best for the Flemington straight. Resumed in the Monash and was just not suited there at all. The tempo was slow, the track was a tad shifty and he was at WFA. Yeah, not his go. This looks more ideal and he can knock these out at odds.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 3 Grande Rosso
NEXT BEST: Race Two Number 2 Kilimanjaro
VALUE: Race Nine Number 5 So Si Bon
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 3, 7, 9, 10, 11
Leg Two: 2, 3, 5, 10
Leg Three: 1, 2, 8, 9, 13
Leg Four: 2, 3, 5, 8
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
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