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A strong nine race card has been assembled for Flemington on Saturday. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out four metres for the entire circuit.

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Race 1. (11:50) KA Morrison Handicap 2000m

Back Me

Leaning the way of 4 Masculino (Bet Now: $4.40 TOP ODDS) just. There were some critical of the fact that Lachie King made his move early on this horse two weeks ago, getting run down late by Second Bullet, but that’s the way to ride Masculino. He has no turn of foot and just builds into his work, as we saw when he led all the way at Caulfield. If he can lead and control, he’ll take some beating.

Danger

There were some bets landed with 3 Second Bullet (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS) from two weeks ago. He was well specked and it was vintage Olly once again, lifting the gelding home late and blousing Masculino. Don’t think the race will be set up as well for him this time around, but he was a few weeks between runs when winning there, so you’d like to think there is room for improvement.

Long Shot

2 Carzoff (Bet Now: $8.50 TOP ODDS) is flying I reckon but just finds another race where I’m not sure he’ll be suited. He comes through the Masculino race from a few weeks back at Caulfield when back in an absolute crawl and had no chance but he did find the line quite well. Looks to have worked really well since that outing…had he drawn a gate, he’d clearly be on top. Just think he gets dragged back from the gate and will run on late.

Race 2. (12:25) Flemington Event Staff Handicap (78) 1200m

Back Me

I’m keen on the Peter Chow trained 4 Moor Wanted (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS). This four year old is four weeks between runs since racing at this track/distance when attempting to lead all the way and giving a really good kick, but just finding Groundbreak too good on the day. Has had the break between runs, but looked in good order in a recent Ballarat Synthetic jumpout and clearly has a liking for the straight course.

Danger

The drop in depth should suit 6 I’m Telling Ya (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS), who contested the Sprint Series Final two weeks ago where he just found the class a bit much but was far from disgraced when three lengths off Malibu Style, who was enormous in defeat last Saturday in the Monash, so that form reads well and back to 78 grade, I think he’ll take some beating here against this lot.

Long Shot

8 Play Master (Bet Now: $41.00 TOP ODDS) is a rising 11YO for Peter Smith who comes through the Highland Beat race from three weeks back at Caulfield and liked the way he found the line very late when fifth after coming off the bit on the turn and being asked to chase from a fair way out. Has run well down the straight before and does strike a very winnable race here. Knockout chance.

Race 3. (13:00) Byerley Handicap 1800m

Back Me

Have to be with the Hayes/Dabernig trained 2 Huntley Castle (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS). He ran in a 1600m maiden at Bendigo against the older horses last time where he was well supported and under a confident steer from Jye McNeil, he surged hard late to get the win, suggesting the rise to 1800m will be ideal and this race does look very thin re depth. I’m in his corner.

Danger

5 Vallauris (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS) is a James Cummings trained colt who comes through the Huntly Castle maiden at Bendigo. I was keen on him running well in that race but he ran his race in patches. When those in front dashed, he was left flat footed and raced quite greenly, but when he got clear air late, he found the line well. 1800m should be fine. Just needs to improve the racing manners.

Long Shot

10 Farlingaye (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) is a stablemate of Vallauris who comes through a Bendigo maiden as well at the same meeting. Her maiden was over 1400m where she was on debut and I loved the way she found the line late when fourth to Jahbath and that form has been franked with Olympic Oath winning earlier this week. Needs luck from a sticky gate, but can see why she’s popular in early betting.

Race 4. (13:35) Harry White Handicap (90) 2500m

Back Me

Would love to know the fitness levels of 3 Lord Belvedere (Bet Now: $3.30 TOP ODDS) for the Maher/Eustace stable because he’s flying, well at least he was when racing. Win of the night at his Aussie debut under the lights at Cranbourne before going to Rosehill where he just got too far back from the wide gate but his late splits were some of the best in the race behind So You Win. 2500m on a big track looks perfect…just a matter of how forward he is given last run was five weeks ago.

Danger

1 High Bridge (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) is going quite well for the Chris Waller stable. Three weeks between runs since contesting the Stayers Cup (3200m) at Rosehill where he got a fair way back in the run and tried hard but couldn’t quite finish it off well enough to win when third to Azuro. Like him back to 2500m and somewhat back in depth. Hard to beat on current form.

Long Shot

Want to be very forgiving of 6 The Statesman (Bet Now: $13.00 TOP ODDS) and his last start flop behind Second Bullet. He was forced to race wide no cover for the trip which sealed his fate and dropped out late. His first up run at Sandown was super so with better luck this time around, he could easily bounce back third up, and likely to get a decent enough price to find out if he can.

Race 5. (14:15) Rising Stars Final (90) 1400m

Back Me

8 El Questro (Bet Now: $5.00) can bounce back into the winners list here. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I think had Nikita had her time again, she would have held the lead instead of handing up to Pria Eclipse. She handed up and it was a nightmare from that point on as Miss Mandito had all the momentum whereas El Questro just had to wait to get clear and should have won. Hopefully ridden more aggressively, she can win.

Danger

9 Rat With Goldtooth (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Paul Preusker trained mare who is third up here so she should just about be at peak fitness. Just looked in need of the run first up at Geelong behind a subsequent Caulfield winner in Highland Beat. She then went to Sandown where she was a bit flat when the sprint went on but was sound late. Third up at 1400m looks a good set up and stable is going really well.

Long Shot

4 Miss Mandito (Bet Now: $12.00) was rewarded for consistency with a tough win in the Leilani Final from two weeks ago, aided by a peach of a steer from Michael Walker, who got going on the turn to build momentum with clear air while El Questro was tucked away nearer the inside and held up. That was the difference between winning and losing. She’s honest, tough and gives her all, so have to respect her again.

Race 6. (14:55) Murray Cox Handicap 1600m

Back Me

Just how good is 9 Killavally (Bet Now: $3.00)?  The Maher/Eustace stable trains this three year old, who debuted over 1400m on the Ballarat Synthetic and he produced one of the more impressive wins on the track since it opened, winning by eight and running a track record. Doesn’t matter what track you’re at, if you’re running a track record on debut, you’re very good. Hoping he can translate that to the turf.

Danger

3 Howlowcanyougo (Bet Now: $9.00) is a Patrick Payne trained three year old who is 3/3 to start his career. His win over the mile at Moprhettville two weeks ago was one of the wins of the entire day given he was back in the run in a race suited to those on speed and he had to come wide against the bias, but produced a brilliant finale to nab them on the peg. Nice prospect and happy to include him here in a harder race.

Long Shot

4 Phoneme (Bet Now: $21.00) is a Chris Waller trained three year old who comes through the Silver Bowl Final where the tempo set by the eventual winner Buffalo River was probably against him but I thought he still found the line well enough in defeat behind the Moroney three year old. Tempo should be more genuine this time around and that was his first run in three weeks, so there should be room to improve.

Race 7. (15:35) TAB/ATA Trainers Trust Handicap 1200m

Back Me

1 Sylvia’s Mother (Bet Now: $2.25) is the interesting one. On face value, her first up run behind Albumin was disappointing when only managing fifth as a $1.50 fav, but Tommy Berry said post race that the mare did struggle on the shifty track, so I think how the track holds up will be vital to her chances because if we get similar conditions to her resumption, then she’d have to be a risk, especially if she’s short odds again. But her trial on Monday was outstanding and she’s got a bit on these re class.

Danger

Keen to see 11 Murless (Bet Now: $18.00) resumed for the Busuttin/Young team. This son of Tavistock had two runs over 1400m at Pakenham in the Summer and while he didn’t win, I thought he was quite good each time he stepped out. Resumes here and looks ready to go off the back of a sharp Cranbourne jumpout on June 24, interestingly not wearing the Blinkers, but they’re on for race day.

Long Shot

Want to be forgiving of 5 News Girl (Bet Now: $21.00) and her first up run behind Voila at Caulfield, where she kicked up hard to sit on speed under Michael Poy and that early burn just told on her late as she tired to finish down the track. Her best is certainly good enough to measure up to these so keen to see what improvement she’s made from that resumption and how much work she does in the run.

Race 8. (16:15) VRC Recognition Handicap 1600m

Back Me

7 New Universe (Bet Now: $5.00) is flying for Chris Waller but gee how deep do your pockets have to be to keep buttering up. He comes through the Civic from three weeks ago where he was sensationally backed to win but his chances were done after 200m when hooked right back to last and giving away too much start. Can sit closer in the run, so if that eventuates, he’ll take some beating.

Danger

If 3 Reykjavik (Bet Now: $3.10) can produce the finale that saw him bolt up in the Winter Championship Final, I don’t think they’ll be beating him, but it’s just a matter of whether or not he can produce that again because it was a stunning win and he smashed the clock late in doing so. Lindsey Smith has Group l aspirations for this horse, so keen to see how he goes again.

Long Shot

2 Naval Warfare (Bet Now: $21.00) is a Chris Waller trained stayer that resumes with eyes towards longer trips and likely the Provincial Cups in NSW. This bloke had a very busy Summer/Autumn, running very well right throughout, ending the campaign in the Adelaide Cup where he ran third to Surprise Baby. Can sprint well fresh and didn’t look too bad in a recent Flemington jumpout.

Race 9. (16:50) Stable Staff Recognition Handicap (90) 1000m

Back Me

Market will be the guide but 11 Usain Bowler (Bet Now: $3.30) just needs to be forward enough in condition to give this a shake. John Sadler trains this four year old, who has raced twice down the straight in the past, winning impressively first time and next run here, he was six lengths off them in a Newmarket. Recent Caulfield jumpout was encouraging enough and considering his record, he’s well in at the weights.

Danger

13 Gibbon (Bet Now: $23.00) looks a definite knockout chance. Wendy Kelly trains this six year old, who ran over 1000m at Sandown on June 26 when back near last in the run and finishing off strongly to run second to the in form Aluf. Has run well down the straight in the past and being third up, he should just about be ready fitness wise, and there looks to be a couple of speedsters engaged, so he’ll get his chance.

Long Shot

5 Labuan Star (Bet Now: $34.00) is a Daniel Bowman trained gelding who was I quite keen on running well in the Golden Topaz at Swan Hill and I thought his run in defeat was quite good without getting a great deal or room and luck in the straight despite having something to offer. I reckon Bowman has this bloke going really well and this does look a very winnable race.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Six Number 9 Killavally

NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 1 Sylvia’s Mother

LONG SHOT: Race Two Number 4 Moor Wanted

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 9

Leg Two: 1

Leg Three: 2, 3, 7, 8

Leg Four: 3, 5, 6, 11, 13

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