The Melbourne Autumn Carnival winds down on Saturday at Flemington but it’s still a ripping card, headlined by the Group ll Blamey Stakes (1600m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out seven metres for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:35) Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Trophy 1200m
3 Quilista (Bet Now: $3.10) drops miles in depth after racing in the Oakleigh Plate last time out where she ran a mighty race but just petered out of it the final 100m behind Russian Revolution. Provided that run hasn’t busted her, you’d have to think she will take some beating, dropping from Group l company to her own sex.
4 Hear The Chant (Bet Now: $2.50) is another of these Hayes/Dabernig runners that are just so useful down the Flemington straight and she gets conditions to suit again off the back of what looked a pretty impressive resumption over 1100m here a fortnight back when trucking up near the speed and finishing best. Rock bottom odds for my liking but should run well.
7 Written Era (Bet Now: $8.50) is the big query here. Very good mare that resumes for the Aaron Purcell team and on her best form, she’d blow these away. Just a matter of knowing where she is at, and I don’t know where she is at. Hasn’t raced since Derby Day in the Begonia when down the track behind Lyuba. Definite yard/market watch.
Race 2. (13:10) St Vincents Hospital 125 Years Handicap 1400m
2 Scarecrow (Bet Now: $4.00) looks the way to go here. Tony mcEvoy trains this three year old, who did an enormous job two back in the CS Hayes behind Grunt before stepping back in class at this track/distance where the punters were all over him and he got the win. Don’t think the field this time around is as strong, so if he holds his form, he should take some beating.
3 Iconoclasm (Bet Now: $4.00) is a very interesting runner. On the quick back up for the Weir camp after racing over 1300m on the Parks track last Saturday where he was backed as if unbeatable and despite nearly everything going wrong for him in the run, he proved far too good for his rivals. Tougher here, but very likeable.
6 Swaffham Bullbeck (Bet Now: $8.50) doesn’t bring the strongest of form next to his name, but he’s got upside and looks to map beautifully on speed. Team Hawkes have this three year old, who was a lucky maiden winner first up at the Randwick midweeks before getting nabbed late by Burden Of Proof at Newcastle. More depth, but should lead, and if the track is anything similar to last week, his chances are enhanced.
Race 3. (13:50) Hopegarten Racing Trophy 1100m
5 Demerara (Bet Now: $2.30) looks a near good thing to my eye. James Cummings trains this filly, who could have resumed in the Typhoon Tracy at the Valley but they instead took the softer option on the night and despite not appearing entirely happy around the circuit, she was far too classy for them. Form out of the Typhoon Tracy has held up okay, so it’ll be interesting to see how the race Demerara saluted in measures up.
Big watch here clearly on 2 Limestone (Bet Now: $7.00). She hasn’t raced since resuming on Feb 16 under the lights at Moonee Valley where the market said she had three legs and she pretty much ran as if she had three legs, but she was wide no cover throughout. Has run well down the straight before and on class, she’s a definite threat.
3 Fox Swift (Bet Now: $10.00) does come through the Typhoon Tracy and I think just forget she went around because she was wide no cover throughout and really had no hope from that point on. Had jumped out well prior to that outing and the form around her from the Spring does read well, so I’ll give her another look.
Race 4. (14:30) TBV Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes 1200m
Happy to be with 1 Krone (Bet Now: $6.50). She started surprisingly good odds last time out in the Cinderella here, getting back off the pace before coming with a brilliant finishing burst to nab them near the line and in the end, she was drawing clear with every stride, so 1200m no issue and she looks to have plenty of room for improvement.
3 Metronome (Bet Now: $5.50) looks a progressive filly for the Mick Kent team who has had two career outings, both over the 1200m at Moonee Valley. Bumped into Sanctimonious on debut before facing an inferior next start and bolting up. Looks a very promising type and though first look down the straight, hoping her talent is enough.
5 Naduri (Bet Now: $17.00) produced a lovely finale to win on debut at the Bool before racing here a fortnight back over the 1000m where she got back in what was a slowly run straight race but her finale was more than sound behind Nomothaj. The rise to 1200m looks absolutely ideal for her. Just needs more tempo.
Race 5. (15:10) Blamey Stakes 1600m
2 Humidor (Bet Now: $2.50) looks a near good thing to my eye. High class animal for Darren Weir who resumed in the Futurity and I thought he was one of the best runs of the beaten brigade when fourth to stablemate Brave Smash, with condition just giving way the final 100m. He’ll eat up the Flemington mile and is just the best horse in the race.
1 Tosen Stardom (Bet Now: $2.25) had a torrid run in the CF Orr in what was a total forgive run before running much better in the Futurity, beating all bar stablemate Brave Smash, who of course ran a blinder in the Newmarket on Saturday, so the form does read well. Just not sure he has the upside that Humidor does.
3 Hellova Street (Bet Now: $7.50) would be a near moral if we got the bias we got last weekend, because he will be leading, controlling things and giving a tremendous kick. That is what he has done at his past two in the Thomas Lyons and Mowbray back home in Tassie and has spanked them. Proven Melbouren performer, albeit not at this level, but he’ll be giving a great sight on speed.
Race 6. (15:50) Singapore Turf Club Trophy (80) 2000m
Really keen to see how 12 Condamine (Bet Now: $5.50) measures up. Matt Cumani trains this former UK galloper, who stretches out to 2000m for the first time since coming to Australia. He stretched out beyond a mile last time out at Terang and he absolutely lapped it up under Brad Rawiller, spacing his rivals by five lengths in good time relative to the day. I’ll bank on his staying prowess coming to the fore.
All you can do is win and that is what 4 He Ecksels (Bet Now: $5.00) has done this time in, winning two of two. Not sure what to make of his win last time out at Sale. Yes, won impressively, but they absolutely crawled in front and turned it into a dash home, which saw him run just over 34 for his final 600m. Keen to see what he does here.
Getting towards D-Day for 3 Cullingworth (Bet Now: $5.50). Three runs in Australia, overall, have been disappointing after the promise he showed on his UK form. He ran over the Caulfield mile last time out and to my eye was a big flop behind Top of The Range but perhaps getting held up and being asked to gather momentum quickly isn’t his go. Interesting to see how he goes.
Race 7. (16:30) March Stakes 1400m
Pretty keen to have a bet on 2 Sovereign Nation (Bet Now: $11.00). He had trialled up okay prior to resuming in the Futurity where he was outclassed behind Brave Smash and WFA clearly isn’t his go. Much better suited at Handicaps, as we saw in the Spring with some ripping efforts, notably in the Toorak and Cantala Mile. On that form, he beats these.
3 Kiwia (Bet Now: $12.00) is a very talented son of Reset that resumes for the Darren Weir. He had a fabulous Spring prep, headlined by his outstanding win against the boas in the Coongy before a gutsy second in the Bendigo Cup to Qewy. He was a tired horse by the time he got to the Queen Elizabeth. Unbeaten fresh and has won at 1400m.
9 Coldstone (Bet Now: $16.00) isn’t the most reliable horse going around but you can say that about most engaged here. He was given a lovely ride by Steph Thornton to win at this track/distance back on Feb 17, getting the lovely run just off the pace before getting clear and finishing best in a driving go. Hard to trust, but I’ll include.
Race 8. (17:10) The Curragh Racecourse Handicap (80) 1600m
5 Soho Ruby (Bet Now: $4.60) is a talented mare for the Levi Kavanagh team who I thought did a ripping job last time out in the Tressady over 1400m here a fortnight back. She was back near last, off the bit and chasing throughout yet still produced some of the fastest late splits from the race behind Flippant. Has won at the mile before and she too has upside.
3 Top of The Range (Bet Now: $3.70) is a promising son of Savabeel for the Michael Moroney camp who was confidently backed when racing over the Caulfield mile at the midweeks on Feb 21 and he let down with a lovely finale to nab the then in form Sohool right on the peg. Think he wants further, but is trained on the track and has talent/class.
2 Portman (Bet Now: $4.80) is on the seven day back up for the Danny O’Brien camp after racing over 1400m here last Saturday where he was a victim of the bias and not the greatest of steers from Olly when well beaten behind King’s Command. Third up at the mile looks ideal, draws the inside gate and boom apprentice Fred Kersley steers.
Race 9. (17:45) New York Racing Association Grand Handicap (80) 1200m
15 Steel Of Madrid (Bet Now: $14.00) is the most fascinating runner in this race. He was tagged as a bit of a non winner for a while but all of a sudden he has put together three booming wins on the bounce, the latest coming at Sale when running sizzling late splits despite the track being sticky. If he handles the straight course, he’ll go close.
4 Handsome Thief (Bet Now: $4.80) looks a definite threat here despite letting the punters down in three runs this prep. The set up didn’t look ideal for him last time out at Flemington down the straight, drawing inside, and that is how it panned out behind Ken’s Dream. Think he will be much better suited here…but this is D-Day.
10 Sacred Sham (Bet Now: $11.00) had been racing well without winning but he got a much needed confidence boost last time out at Bendigo when letting down with a powerful finishing burst out wide to grab them late. Has run well down the straight before and Olly sticks.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Five Number 2 Humidor
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 12 Condamine
VALUE: Race Eight Number 2 Sovereign Nation
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 3, 4, 10, 12
Leg Two: 2, 3, 7, 8, 9
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 5
Leg Four: 2, 4, 7, 10, 15
$50 Investment= 62.50% of the dividend if successful
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