Racing continues at Flemington this Saturday with another strong nine race card, backing up from Wednesday. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
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Race One (11:45am) : Eugene Gorman Handicap 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Alamonteel (Best Odds: $7.00) was given an absolute peach ride by Michelle Payne last time out at Mildura, and though she didn’t beat much, she did it with absolute ease and ran smart time. The stable knows when to send them to town, and this looks a very winnable race for this daughter of Alamosa.
Big Danger: El Greco (Best Odds: $2.30) was smashed in betting to win the Elvstroem Classic (1200m) last Friday at Swan Hill, and loomed to win 200m out, but he couldn’t quite get past Prince Of Brooklyn, who is being touted as a possible Caulfield Guineas horse. That form looks very good, he’s fit and will relish the rise to 1400m on a bigger track.
Roughie: Old Trieste (Best Odds: $8.00) worked home strongly first up at Caulfield behind Bassett, who looks a rising star. Old Trieste then went to the Valley and again worked home okay late behind Kinglike, another youngster who looks well above average. 1400m looks ideal, as does the return to a bigger track, and going back through his Summer form, it reads well for this, along with recent form.
Race Two (12:15pm) : Young Members Ball Handicap (70) 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going towards One Inch Punch (Best Odds: $15.00) here. He ran last time out at Bendigo and worked home okay late when fifth to Curragh King, beaten just under two lengths. That horse ran well on the weekend in the Swan Hill Cup so the form isn’t too bad, and most importantly, he gets back on his home track and Ben Melham is back on, and he rides the horse very well.
Big Danger: Siegestor (Best Odds: $7.50) comes back to 1400m after running over 1700m here three weeks back when seventh to Longeron, beaten four lengths in a much stronger race than what he faces here. Rises significantly in weight, but he is the class runner and is far better suited at 1400m.
Roughie: Topkapi (Best Odds: $21.00) resumed at Cranbourne after a strong showing at the Flemington jump outs and was quite good in running second to impressive winner I’m Ablaze in what looks to be a tidy form race. Back to the home track now, drawn the right part of the track and did work home well second up last time in.
Race Three (12:50pm) : Rivette Series Heat 4 (78) 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Northoza (Best Odds: $2.20) for me here. She was heavily backed to win first up over 1200m here, but she just came off the bit a long way out and never really looked like winning, but she did pick up and her last 100m or so was excellent. Can only benefit with the run under the belt now and up to 1400m. She bolted up in her maiden at start two last prep, so second up shouldn’t be an issue and she looks the obvious one here.
Big Danger: Kaizaen (Best Odds: $6.50) resumed in the same 1200m race mentioned above, and she was quite solid herself when running fifth to More Radiant, beaten just over two lengths. She’s always threatened to be a high class filly, but she has never really put it together, but she did second up last time in, beating home Amicus, who went on to win the Thousand Guineas. That’s obviously great form for a race like this.
Roughie: Violent Snow (Best Odds: $14.00) is a Jason Warren trained filly who was ridden upside down two back over the mile here behind Kansas Sunflower before going to Caulfield and coming from behind to finish a close second to Anaphora. Those tactics have proven before to be the right way to ride this filly, so if she can get cover and be saved for the straight, she’s an upset chance.
Race Four (1:25pm) : Banjo Patterson Series Heat 3 2500m: Form Guide
Back Me: Gee this is a hard race to sort out. Going to go with the one with upside and that is De Little Engine (Best Odds: $3.80), who is third up here. His two runs back from a break have been super, starting off with a third to Pyrrolic before coming here and running a game fourth to Magicool, who franked the form by winning the Queensland Derby. He did run home strongly third up last time in, Ollie up now, up to his pet trip…looks the one.
Big Danger: Kareeming (Best Odds: $5.50) is flying for Pat Carey, winning his last two runs in impressive fashion, starting off at Caulfield before going to the Valley and eventually wearing down Black Jag in a slogging go. Back to a bigger track should suit him better here, draws well again, Moloney sticks and will be strong late.
Roughie: Cooldini (Best Odds: $9.00) has had three runs back from a break now for Robert Smerdon and his last effort was good in the Magicool race, finishing sixth, beaten just under four lengths. His last fourth up run resulted in an excellent win in the Listed Roy Higgins, run over 2600m here, beating home Prince Of Penzance, who went on in the Spring to win the Moonee Valley Cup. Excellent formlines for this.
Race Five (2:05pm) : Rod Johnson Handicap 1100m: Form Guide
Back Me: Hard Romp (Best Odds: $6.00) scored a super first up win over 1000m here, beating home subsequent Stakes winner Ball Of Muscle before running a game third to Lumosty, who won a Stakes race and then went around as the Stradbroke favourite last weekend, which is excellent form for this. Trialled well since and should take some beating.
Big Danger: Nadeem Lass (Best Odds: $8.00) is a favourite of mine. She rarely wins, but she never runs a bad race, and her recent form has been fantastic, including a win in the Bendigo Gold Bracelet before running third at Caulfield, and then third at Morphettville behind Hazard and Miss Promiscuity. She loves Flemington, and she ran a beauty in her lone straight track run, back on New Years Day 2013. Hard to beat with the right run.
Roughie: Trevinder (Best Odds: $13.00) has been a bit of a tease this prep, placing in five of eight runs, including his last two, with the latest coming at Caulfield when a fighting third to Play Master in a pretty strong race. Rises in class, but he is trained on the track, fit, on the minimum and should be in it for a long way.
Race Six (2:45pm) : A.R. Creswick Series Heat 3 1000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Husson Eagle (Best Odds: $3.70) for me here. I was keen on him when she ran at Stakes level at Morphettville after a lovely trial, and he was simply enormous in defeat when running fourth to an in form galloper in Nicoscene, coming from last on the turn. He is a very talented type for Patrick Payne, and a Flemington straight race looks as though it’ll really suit him; drop out and bomb them late. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: Illustrious Lad (Best Odds: $13.00) strung together two impressive wins before going to Caulfield and sticking on well when fourth to Durendal, beaten just over half a length. That horse ran a beauty at Doomben last Saturday to frank the form. This horse is rock hard fit and should be in the finish with normal luck.
Roughie: Reigning Meteor (Best Odds: $17.00) resumed on his home track during the Warrnambool Carnival and was given a peach by Damien Thornton to get the job done. He has failed in two runs at Flemington, but the two races have been very strong with much greater depth than what he faces here.
Race Seven (3:25pm) : Ken Cox Handicap (78) 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Warrior King (Best Odds: $6.50) for me here. He won his first starts in impressive fashion before coming to the mile here and being game in defeat when fifth to Thermogenic, beaten just under a length. He was good there considering he was wide most of the way. Looks suited up to 2000m, Zahra sticks and still looks to have plenty of upside.
Big Danger: Berserk (Best Odds: $8.50) ran over this distance at Caulfield a month back and worked home strongly late when third to handy Darren Weir galloper Unfurl. That was his first run since the St Leger when he ran fourth to stablemate Authoritarian. Should have some upside left, trained on the track and the stable is just flying at the moment.
Roughie: Quedoutes (Best Odds: $9.00) worked home strongly two back in the Adelaide Guineas behind Magic Boy before going to the mile here and again working home well when seventh to Thermogenic after settling near last in the run. She looks to have her fair share of talent and appears as though she’ll be very strong late with the right trip.
Race Eight (4:05pm) : VRC-CRV Winter Championship Heat 4 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Mr Utopia (Best Odds: $8.00) on top for me here. He has been pretty good for yours truly and the JHR followers this prep, winning two of three, both at this track, with a strong Wangoom run in between. He won a heat of this race three weeks back and was excellent in winning, aided by a peach from in form hoop Mark Zahra, who gave the horse a three wide cover steer and he was just impressive. This looks no harder and should prove hard to beat.
Big Danger: Tried And Tired (Best Odds: $15.00) ran fourth in the race mentioned above, and he was excellent IMO given he was wide all the way and was carrying 60kg. He was brave and would have perhaps challenged Mr Utopia had he received cover. His recent record at Flemington is very sharp and gets a decent weight pull on Mr Utopia.
Roughie: Decircles (Best Odds: $34.00) has simply been terrible in two runs back from a break, both being down the straight where he has finished ninth on both occasions behind classy filly Lumosty. The out I’ll have for him here is that he returns to a bending track and he does have a pretty solid record when returning to the Flemington 1400m from the straight.
Race Nine (4:40pm) : L.V. Lachal Handicap (90) 1800m: Form Guide
Back Me: The key runners here came out of the 1700m race at this track three weeks back won by Longeron (Best Odds: $4.00), and I think he can repeat the dose. He had been running well without winning, but Dwayne Dunn had him on speed in that race and he just never looked like getting beat, winning by over two lengths and doing it comfortably. Has to rise in weight, but this looks a touch easier and will only be better IMO at 1800m compared to 1700m.
Big Danger: You couldn’t possibly tip Prizum (Best Odds: $16.00) to win given his last victory in the 2012 Bairnsdale Cup, but his two runs this time in have been full of merit. He worked home well on the big behind Luckyi’mbarefoot during the Warrnambool Carnival before going to that Longeron race mentioned above and again getting to the line well when running fourth, beaten just under three lengths. Like I said, you’d rather have something on Rain Affair than this horse, but he should run well.
Roughie: Commanding Time (Best Odds: $19.00) has had the two runs back from a spell in the same races contested by Prizum, and while he hasn’t run as well as Prizum, he has been pretty good, including behind Longeron when running fifth. He ran well third up last time in when second to Kanjorwood, and recently, Kenjorwood beat Longeron by five lengths. Definite chance.
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BEST BET: Race Eight Number 2 Mr Utopia
NEXT BEST: Race Nine Number 3 Longeron
VALUE: Race Two Number 12 One Inch Punch
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 4, 7
Leg Two: 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11
Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 5
Leg Four: 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 11, 13
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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