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A strong nine race program has been assembled for Flemington on Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (12:55) Seppelt Salinger Hcp 2600m

Back Me

Bludger of a staying race to kick off the meeting. Landed each way with 8 Saint Eustace (Bet Now: $12.00 TOP ODDS). Impressive winner two back at Sandown in what has turned out to be a good form race with a couple of winners to come out of it. Raced last Saturday here in a race that rated solidly behind Miyake. Does no work from the gate, trip no issue and has upside compared to most who have found their level. Don’t like the favourite at all, Bartholemeu Dias. That race at the Valley rated poorly.

Danger

1 Princess Jenni (Bet Now: $4.60 TOP ODDS) is in good form for David Briedoake. Strong winner of the Bendigo Cup two back before going to the Pakenham Cup where she was behind the good speed and tried hard. Just lacked the killer blow to finish it off and had to settle for fifth. Better suited here and can bounce back into the winners list.

Long Shot

2 Djukon (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) is a very interesting runner. I dare say this run will be a pipe opener for the Bagot but in the fair dinkum department, this is the easiest race he has contested since coming to Australia. Last time that was said was three back at Rosehill where he was pipped late by Attorney, who recently won the Pakenham Cup, so the form does read well.

Race 2. (13:30) Lexus Holiday Plate (bm70) 1200m

Back Me

The market will be fascinating to see what it does with 4 Hickok (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS), resuming for Tony Noonan. Talented three year old that had a two run Spring prep, resuming with a dominant maiden win at Bendigo before being far from disgraced in the Guineas Prelude. Just one quiet jumpout to get ready but his form is A1 compared to this lot. Just want a market push.

Danger

1 Pioneer River (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) has been up a little while for the Hayes/Dabernig stable but reckon he’s going okay. I’d be forgiving of his effort three weeks ago in the McKenzie at the Valley. It was a real on pace domination and those from the back had no chance, including Pioneer River. Better suited here I think and an improved showing is on the cards.

Long Shot

5 San Marino (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) looks a progressive type for Danny O’Brien. Debuted over 1100m on Werribee Cup Day where he had a perfect sit just off the speed before getting clear and going through his gears nicely in the straight to score. He’s got raw talent this guy and think getting to his home track will suit him.

Race 3. (14:05) Tab App Trophy (bm70) 1400m

Back Me

Like 11 Zou Dancer (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) as a horse. Team Corstens trained filly that resumed with a dominant maiden win at Dunkeld before going to the Valley where she had to make a four wide sustained run from around the 650m mark and she battled away well late to run a closing fourth to Lariat. Think 1400m will be okay and is hard to beat.

Danger

Big track and 1400m are two big ticks for 10 Thunder Peak (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS). Gave them a spanking fresh to break the maiden tag at Wangaratta before going to the Valley where she just didn’t look entirely happy around the tight track but the last little bit of the race I liked from her, suggesting 1400m will be ideal. Gets serious respect for me.

Long Shot

4 Dance To Dubai (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS) rises a bit in grade/depth but she looks to be heading in the right direction for Peter Moody. She was there to be run down last Wednesday at Sandown but she fought hard under Nolen to fend them off and get the job done. Needs to improve a bit to beat these, but she’s in the right stable to take that leap.

Race 4. (14:40) #lovethehorse Trophy (bm84) 1600m

Back Me

1 Vungers (Bet Now: $3.70 TOP ODDS) is a beauty and I think he can make it three on the bounce. Has won a couple of Country Cups his past two and has been dominant each time, the latest being the Wodonga Cup where he did have the track pattern in his corner, but he was still too good for them. Gets the claim, so is well in, should lead and prove hard to run down.

Danger

7 Aussie Nugget (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) deserves another chance. Team Freedman trained gelding that had specking at a price when resuming a few weeks back at Ballarat where he had a suck run nearer the inside and battled away okay without threatening, finishing sixth behind Titan Blinders in a solid resumption. Like him up in trip and is a key threat.

Long Shot

3 Safin (Bet Now: $19.00 TOP ODDS) is a sleeper here for the Hayes/Dabernig camp. Comes through the handicap race on Pakenham Cup Day won by Tavidance and in a real sit/sprint, his run was full of merit when third to the Price/Kent runner. Not sure I could back him to win, but for exotics and the quaddie, he definitely goes in.

Race 5. (15:20) Myer Giftorium (bm70) 1400m

Back Me

Bit of a throw at the stumps here in the shape of 13 Banger (Bet Now: $10.00) for Matty Dale, who is third up here and I think finds a very winnable race. He ran over 1400m at Canberra in a Federal last time out and I thought his sustained effort from near last was quite good when fourth to Upper House, who was beaten a lip on Tuesday. Stable finds Olly to steer and if he can get three wide, think he can be dangerous.

Danger

6 Midships (Bet Now: $7.00) is putting together a tidy record for David Briedoake. He has been given a few weeks off since taking out the Tatura Cup where he sat on speed and looked to travel strongly before taking the lead soon upon straightening and was strong to the line in winning. Tricky draw, but has talent.

Long Shot

Thought it was a very encouraging first up run from 11 Saccharo (Bet Now: $5.50) at Sandown. That was his first run since June 2019 and the market liked him at a price which was a positive sign and he worked home quite well when third to Boltoutoftheblue. Off that run, think he’s got to be respected here because he does have quality when right.

Race 6. (16:00) Merry Christmas Vrc Mem.-bm78 1600m

Back Me

10 Lunakorn (Bet Now: $6.00) on top for me. Team Freedman trained mare that comes through a 1400m Mares race on Pakenham Cup Day where I thought Jamie Kah rode a peach race on the mare, presenting her to win out wide. She just couldn’t quicken when required, but was sound late when a close up third to Metronome. Off that, 1600m here should be fine and has upside.

Danger

2 Re Edit (Bet Now: $4.20) is hard to trust and follow with confidence, but think she’s returned in really good order. Narrow second to Rocha Clock first up on Oaks Day in the Inglis Bracelet before going to the Valley where she lapped up a fast speed and Olly really lifted her late to win. The overall time was good for the day, but the race did produce the worst last 200m of the meeting, so that’s a concern, but the hot early tempo is the reason for that. Hard to beat.

Long Shot

Fitter and up to the mile I do like for 7 Lamu (Bet Now: $9.50). Former French mare for Archie Alexander that is having her second Australian prep. Resumed over 1400m at Sandown and she warmed to the task with purpose late when a close up fourth to Dee Keepa in a good effort over an unsuitable trip. Might want one more, but she’s got upside and talent.

Race 7. (16:40) Furphy Festive Season (bm84) 1200m

Back Me

It was hard not to be impressed by the first up win of 8 Defiant Dancer (Bet Now: $3.20) at Pakenham. Admittedly he had the A1 run in transit, wide with cover off a hot speed, but still had to take advantage of it and that he did. Ran very sharp time relative to the meeting and with only 53.5kg after the claim, with improvement to come, think he’s the one to beat.

Danger

4 Ruban Bleu (Bet Now: $14.00) has a really good record down the straight and Lachie King rides him better than anyone so think he commands some level of respect. Resumes, having not raced since the Spring when far from disgraced behind I Am Superman, a subsequent Stakes winner. Liked the recent jumpout and he should be strong late.

Long Shot

12 Messerschmitt (Bet Now: $15.00) looks well suited up to 1200m for the Freedman camp. Ran down the straight on Stakes Day a few weeks ago and was very good late when close up behind Leiter in a real blanket finish. Racing as if 1200m will be ideal and overall, in four runs this time in, he hasn’t been far away from winning.

Race 8. (17:20) Kennedy Hcp 1400m

Back Me

10 Titan Blinders (Bet Now: $2.80) is racing just so well at the moment. Four weeks between runs since leading throughout and bolting up on Ballarat Cup Day. He had the track pattern in his corner, but still ran good time relative to the meeting and the form out of it has been good, with I Am Vinnie winning last Saturday. Lands near the speed and is hard to get past.

Danger

9 Over Exposure (Bet Now: $8.00) is an improver here for sure. The McEvoy team has this gelding, who was far from disgraced I thought when he resumed at Pakenham. Was just off the speed throughout and seemed to have his chance, but battled away really well behind Sirius Suspect. He’ll appreciate the rise to 1400m and is a leading contender.

Long Shot

5 Vassilator (Bet Now: $14.00) should appreciate the rise to 1400m for Colin Little. Resumed four weeks ago over 1200m at Ballarat where the track pattern wasn’t with him but he wasn’t too bad in defeat behind Excess Funds in an encouraging return. Draws to get decent three wide cover and prove strong at the end.

Race 9. (18:00) G.h. Mumm Christmas Plate-bm78 1000m

Back Me

Richard Laming has accepted/scratched with 6 Condo’s Express (Bet Now: $14.00) several times in recent weeks, hoping to find the right race, and I think he’s found it here. He’s a Saturday class horse when right, and as a whole, this is borderline midweek quality. Gets Jamie Kah steering, draws the right part of the track…not backing with confidence, but he’s on top.

Danger

Back to 1000m I find interesting with 4 Overkill (Bet Now: $3.50) but think he’s got the most progression of this lot. Just worried about the race he comes out of, which was the Valley from three weeks ago when a close up fourth to Bandersnatch. That race didn’t rate at all, but he does look to have found a rather thin race here.

Long Shot

Not sure I could back 12 Queen Anabel (Bet Now: $27.00) to win but can certainly entertain her as a first four threat. Comes through the All Banter race from a few weeks ago at the Valley and she was good late without threatening, finishing fourth. Far from disgraced the start prior down the straight here behind Leiter, so she’s a must for multiples.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Seven Number 8 Defiant Dancer

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 1 Vungers

LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 13 Banger

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 2, 4, 7, 10, 12

Leg Two: 8

Leg Three: 4, 5, 9, 10

Leg Four: 4, 6, 12, 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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