Group l racing returns to Flemington this Saturday where it is Makybe Diva Stakes Day, where Hartnell is expected to dominate the feature. The weather is overcast, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:30) Cap D'Antibes Stakes 1100m
1 Jorda (Bet Now: $2.40) is a quality filly for Godolphin and James Cummings who should take a power of beating here. She resumed in the San Domenico three weeks back and did a really good job against some of the big boys when third to Pariah, who ran well last week to frank the form. Looks ideally placed here.
5 Roomooz (Bet Now: $4.80) is an above average filly for the McEvoy yard who was a drifter in betting first up at the Valley but aided by a lovely ride from Currie, the filly was in the right spot, peeled out and fought on strongly to hold out Tulip. That form is easy to tie in because Tulip beat Pariah by 12 lengths in the Slipper and Jorda got within 1.3L of that horse in the San Domenico. Very likeable.
7 True Excelsior (Bet Now: $17.00) is three weeks between runs for Team Corstens after racing at the Valley over 1200m where she attempted to lead all the way in a very strong fillies race and just lacked the killer punch on speed when third to Roomooz. Not sure she can beat these, but she maps okay and is definitely one for exotic.
Race 2. (13:05) Pin & Win Plate 1400m
7 Toga Picta (Bet Now: $12.00) is a talented Godolphin colt who comes back to Melbourne after resuming at Randwick where he did an excellent job to close off like he did despite not much luck in the straight behind Dracarys. Trialled last week at Warwick Farm and looked very good to my eye behind Improvement. Looks ready.
1 Royal Symphony (Bet Now: $2.40) is the ruling Caulfield Guineas fav that kicks off his Spring for the Tony McEvoy yard. He created quite the impression in three runs during the Winter. Not sure he beat much, but he won so impressively, ran time and the talk immediately turned to the Caulfield Guineas. Looks ready to rock and roll.
3 Hualalai (Bet Now: $21.00) is the big improver here. Most were quick to put the pen through after his fresh run in the McNeil but I thought it was full of merit. Just lacked the speed I think to go with them over 1200m but he was sound without being spectacular. Flemington 1400m looks ideal and he maps well if he presses forward.
Race 3. (13:40) The Sofitel 1400m
6 Snitzson (Bet Now: $8.00) got a definite pass mark for mine when resuming down the straight here in the Auries Star behind Hey Doc before going to the Caulfield 1400m a fortnight back where he was a clear blackbooker, finishing off with real purpose behind stablemate Grande Rosso. He has the upside, likes Flemington and given his rating, being 1kg over the minimum sees him thrown in.
Can’t ignore the avalanche of money for 12 Mr Sneaky (Bet Now: $3.20). Aided by a brilliant ride, with the bias, but the win first up at Caulfield with 60kg was electric and he did run some super splits late in beating Theanswermyfriend. I think that is the second tier form here, but as I said, the weight of money has to be respected, he maps well and drops big time in weight.
3 Mio Dio (Bet Now: $27.00) is a quality galloper for the Will Clarken team who resumed with a brilliant win in the Spring Stakes before going to the Penny Edition where he just got too far back in a race dominated by those near the speed/rail behind Gailo Chop. That does look strong form for this and you always respect the stable when they come to Melbourne.
Race 4. (14:15) Bobbie Lewis Quality 1200m
3 Redkirk Warrior (Bet Now: $3.50) is the best bet across Australia. High class animal for the Hayes/Dabernig stable who showed his class in the Autumn by defying 100 years of history and winning the Newmarket at this track/distance first up before okay efforts in Sydney. The Tatura trial was outstanding and the noise out of the stable is that this is their number one Everest horse.
4 Voodoo Lad (Bet Now: $4.20) looks the obvious threat here. He resumed at Caulfield a fortnight back where he was confidently backed and with a nice ride from Rawiller, the Darren Weir trained galloper sprinted hard and dashed away. Ran well behind Redkirk in a Newmarket so we know he handles the straight and there is enormous upside.
9 So Si Bon…(Bet Now: $6.00) oh gee he has cost me big time in two runs back from a spell. Punting hat off, he has been outstanding. Been giving away impossible starts but has rattled off some freak sectionals and probably wins both races in another stride or two. Takes on a high class horse here, but he has fitness and likes the straight course.
Race 5. (14:55) Danehill Stakes 1200m
Have to stick solid with 2 Jukebox (Bet Now: $5.00). Huge fan of this boy and his win first up in the Vain was outstanding. Was off the bit on the turn and had to chase a fair way out but he kept finding under Williams and his last 100m was excellent. Kept ticking over with a jump out at Sandown and he looks spot on.
6 Catchy (Bet Now: $3.50) is a high class filly for the Hayes/Dabernig team who should take a power of beating here. Given a peach by Williams first up in the Quezette and loomed large to win but the race fitness of Crown Witness just beat her. Should come right on from that and for mine she’s the lone/key threat to Jukebox.
10 Limestone (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Darren Weir trained filly who didn’t look all that great at the jump outs back home prior to resuming at the Valley weeks ago where the market agreed but despite that, she ran well to finish just behind Roomooz. Fitter, up to 1100m and will be better off with the run under the belt.
Race 6. (15:35) Let's Elope Stakes 1400m
Going to give the nod to 1 I Am A Star (Bet Now: $4.50). Two runs back this time in have been okay without setting the world on fire. Worked home well fresh in the Auries Star behind Hey Doc before going to the Memsie where the firm track was clearly against her, along with the tempo, behind Vega Magic. Back to mares grade, Flemington 1400m third up…looks the one.
3 Oregon’s Day (Bet Now: $5.50) is a quality mare for the Mick Price yard who didn’t have a great deal of luck first up before stepping up to the 1400m where she was given a lovely ride by Mark Zahra and it was the ride that won the race when defeating Swampland. She is a big time performer who looks well placed here third up.
8 Exocet (Bet Now: $23.00) is a quality mare that resumes for Anthony Freedman. This mare ended her Autumn on a high with wins in the Wagga Guineas before a blacktype win during the Adelaide Carnival. Trials/jump outs have been good and she can sprint well fresh so see and watch what the market does.
Race 7. (16:15) Makybe Diva Stakes 1600m
I think only bad luck will see 1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $1.80) getting beat here. He made high class horses look ordinary first up in the PB Lawrence and he looked to do it without being fully wound up and without being fully extended by Williams. He made the Caulfield Cup winner look ordinary last time he came to Flemington. He should make them look ordinary again.
8 Jon Snow (Bet Now: $18.00) is a ripper for the Baker/Forsman team who got a definite pass mark for mine when resuming in the Memsie behind Vega Magic. He lacked the turn of foot to go with that horse, but he stuck on really well and didn’t turn it up. Flemington mile looks ideal and perhaps with a bit of cover, he’ll be more effective.
If the forecast for rain is right, then I think 10 Inference (Bet Now: $20.00) comes into play as a place bet. Did nothing first up in the Warwick but he was wide no cover for the trip and not sure rock hard tracks are his go. Been freshened up, back to Melbourne and on his home track. He could bounce back.
Race 8. (16:55) JRA Trophy 2500m
1 Almandin (Bet Now: $5.00) is the reigning Melbourne Cup winner and he couldn’t have made a better impression in his first run back of the Cup defence at the Valley three weeks back when wide throughout yet still stuck on really well in defeat behind Pacodali. Last time he was at Flemington was the first Tuesday in November and history says he scored a great win. Class just about gets him home.
4 Aloft (Bet Now: $7.50) is a Team Williams trained galloper who is building a good record and has returned in fab order based on his first up win at Flemington where the market support suggested he’d run well and the punters got it spot on with a dominant on speed win. No reason to suggest why he can’t go on with it.
The knockout chance is 9 Cismontaine (Bet Now: $17.00). Tough, tough stayer for the Waterhouse/Bott team who was confidently backed when racing over the 2500m at the Valley three weeks back and aided by a lovely ride on speed by Baster, he fought hard and in the end was holding them. Looks the leader, hard fit and will take some catching.
Race 9. (17:25) Sofitel Girls Day Out Handicap 1700m
3 Amelie’s Star (Bet Now: $4.00) might need one more run, but I think her class might be enough to get her home here. Really liked her effort in the Heatherlie where she got well back off the pace, picked her way through and attacked the line with purpose behind Hell Or Highwater. That little bit of cushion in the track is perfect, she draws well…keen.
7 Hardham (Bet Now: $8.00) is a David Briedoake trained four year old who resumed over 1400m at Caulfield two weeks back and he definitely got a pass mark for mine. Looked to travel well throughout before being asked for the effort until getting held up and his race was done then behind Grande Rosso. 1700m at Flemington looks ideal.
13 Mihany (Bet Now: $11.00) was a horse I had enough of two back at Flemington after a relatively soft run near the speed, but he was much better at the Valley three weeks back because he had conditions to suit. The pattern was suiting those near the speed and he had things his own way for the most part, rightfully kicking and holding on for second to Here To There. If he gets the lead again, he’ll take some holding out
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Four Number 3 Redkirk Warrior
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 1 Hartnell
VALUE: Race Two Number 7 Toga Picta
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 3, 7, 8, 11
Leg Two: 1
Leg Three: 1, 4, 9, 12, 13
Leg Four: 3, 7, 9, 10, 13
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