Racing returns to Flemngton this Saturday with another strong nine race card. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit
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Race One (11:45am) : Murray Cox Handicap 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Really looks a two horse race between El Greco (Best Odds: $1.90) and Alamonteel. It’s really hard to go against El Greco though. His win last time out over this track/distance was just dominant, despite the fact he had the dream run on the back of the speed. Gets no weight penalty for the win, so really, all things being equal, he should be winning.
Big Danger: If Alamonteel (Best Odds: $9.00) is ridden like she was last time out behind El Greco here, she won’t be turning the tables, but she should run well again. She was given every hope last time out when leading at a soft tempo, but she was simply no match for El Greco. If she was to be ridden off speed and with cover to be saved for the straight, she could well improve enough to perhaps give the favourite a run for his money.
Roughie: Ready To Dream (Best Odds: $21.00) debuted at the Valley three weeks back and just didn’t look 100% happy around the tight turning track when running ninth to impressive filly Safariann. Back on her home track now, and though drawn awkwardly, she is certainly one filly that can sharply improve.
Race Two (12:15pm) : 2015 A.R. Creswick Series Heat 5 1100m: Form Guide
Back Me: Rough Justice (Best Odds: $3.80) for me here. His two runs back from a break have been fairly strong, starting off at Mornington (Metro) when a close second to Our Harmony before coming to the 1000m here and just missing out on picking up Husson Eagle in a driving go. Looks to be a bit less depth here, should be cherry ripe fitness wise and he has an excellent record down the straight without winning. That may change here.
Big Danger: Stingray (Best Odds: $15.00) resumed from a four month break in a heat of this race over 1000m here and worked home okay without threatening when ninth to Husson Eagle, beaten 4.6L. Second up last time in, he worked home well at Seymour in a strong race. Should take good benefit from that outing and will take some beating with a clear path and right trail up.
Roughie: Star Stealer (Best Odds: $3.50) was unbeaten in two runs during the Spring before being spelled. He resumed in the Husson Eagle race mentioned above and stuck to the task very gamely when third, beaten a neck in a thrilling go. He should also take good improvement from the run and in his second run last prep, he beat home a subsequent Stakes performer.
Race Three (12:50pm) : Jeune Handicap (78) 1610m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going with some value here in the shape of Tilla Bell Rings (Best Odds: $19.00). The gelding resumed at Caulfield on May 2 and was completely luckless when eighth to in form galloper Charles In Charge before going to Swan Hill and struggling on the testing surface during the Swan Hill Carnival. Firmer track now, weight relief and up to the mile should really suit. Great value IMO.
Big Danger: Noela’s Choice (Best Odds: $7.00) was given an absolute peach ride from Regan Bayliss last time out at the Valley, cutting back to the inside and showing an electric turn of foot to spank her rivals and win with a fair bit of ease. Was due to run last week but was a late scratching, but I suspect nothing major is wrong otherwise she wouldn’t be here. Steps up a bit in depth, but it was hard not to be impressed by the last start win.
Roughie: Relentless (Best Odds: $26.00) resumed over 1400m here and worked home pretty well I thought when fifth to Whistle Baby before going to the Valley and wasn’t really a factor in a leader dominated race when second last to the in form Majestic Duke. He is better when ridden on speed and he is drawn near speed runners, so perhaps he could get over and be a chance at odds.
Race Four (1:25pm) : Brian Beattie Handicap 1610m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going with Kaizaen (Best Odds: $4.80). Her two runs back from a break have been pretty good, starting off with a fifth over 1200m here behind More Radiant before stepping up to 1400m here and working home strongly to finish second to Azeema, beaten two lengths. Looks to have plenty of upside and did run well behind Firehouse Rock third up in the Spring in a strong race. Hard to beat here.
Big Danger: Azeema (Best Odds: $5.50) is the logical threat. She had been ridden on speed in her first two runs this prep before stepping up to 1400m here and aided by a cold ride from Newitt, the daughter of Fastnet Rock powered to the line and proved far too good. She’ll have no issues running the mile here and should prove a testing threat to Kaizaen, despite the weight pull.
Roughie: There was specking for Zahspeed (Best Odds: $41.00) when he resumed over 1400m here a couple of weeks back after a couple of impressive jump out efforts. He was asked to carry 62kg and lead all the way and to his credit, he wasn’t too bad I thought under the circumstances, finishing five lengths off an impressive type in Rationality. Fitter, up in trip, weight relief…he should improve sharply.
Race Five (2:05pm) : Takeover Target Tribute Handicap 1100m: Form Guide
Back Me: Really keen here on Lonrockstar (Best Odds: $9.00). He should have bolted in two back at Morphettville when completely luckless in running third to Heart Of A Lion, a very capable galloper from Adelaide. Lonrockstar then ran over 1200m here two and a half weeks back and again was luckless, this time running fifth to Red Corner. Tumbles 6kg down to 54kg here, Williams takes over, drawn to get a clear run and loves a firm surface, which is what he should get here.
Big Danger: Hard Romp (Best Odds: $3.80) is an absolute ripper for Ciaron Maher. This horse has been pretty dominant in the heats of this series so far, with the latest coming a fortnight back when proving too good for Nadeem Lass in a good finish. He drops a kilo from that run and meets Nadeem Lass better at the weights for beating her, so in terms of that form reference, nothing will turn the tables on Hard Romp, so he has to go in as the threat.
Roughie: Desert Jeuney (Best Odds: $26.00) resumes here for Nigel Blackiston after a strong yet frustrating Spring, with the highlight being a close up third in the Toorak Handicap (1600m). Recent jump outs have been pretty sharp, he runs well fresh and though 1100m is short of his best, he has class.
Race Six (2:45pm) : Banjo Patterson Series Heat 5 2500m: Form Guide
Back Me: It really looks De Little Engine’s (Best Odds: $3.20) race to lose. He worked home very strongly last time out in a heat of this race when fourth to Black Jag, beaten just over two lengths in a leader dominated race. It was fourth up last time in when he started a three race winning streak. Looks extremely hard to beat here.
Big Danger: Black Jag (Best Odds: $6.50) looks the obvious threat. He won the race mentioned above, aided by an absolutely brilliant front running ride from Noel Callow, who just kept at the horse and he responded in great style. Rises in weight, which is the worry, but he’ll lead again and prove tough to run down.
Roughie: Cadillac Mountain (Best Odds: $6.00) worked home very strongly out wide last time out over 2000m at the Valley when second to Digitalism, beaten a length after settling near last in the run. Distance won’t be an issue, and his pattern suggests that when he finds form, he generally holds it, so he is a definite chance here.
Race Seven (3:25pm) : David Bourke Provincial Plate 1610m: Form Guide
Back Me: No Excuses Bec (Best Odds: $19.00) resumed in a solid mares race at Bendigo a few weeks back and worked home pretty well I thought when sixth to Leia, beaten 1.6L. Her form in the Spring was very strong, with the highlight being the Pinker Pinker Plate (2080m) win at Cranbourne. She is a classy mare when right, and this race isn’t very strong when you take out Kenjorwood.
Big Danger: Lord Durante (Best Odds: $11.00) looked home two back but was grabbed late by Metaphorical before going to Bendigo and just battled on fairly IMO when fourth to Venture On, beaten five lengths. He has a pretty tidy record at Flemington in strong races, and with the lead his, he might take some running down.
Roughie: Rock ‘N’ Gold (Best Odds: $13.00) is on the quick back up after running last Sunday at Cranbourne where he battled away well when fifth to Luckyi’mbarefoot, beaten just a tick under three lengths. Back on his home track, and his last public appearance at the track resulted in a dominant jump out display, so back on his home track should see him prove hard to beat.
Race Eight (4:05pm) : VRC-CRV Winter Championship Series Heat 6 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Been a big fan of Mr Utopia (Best Odds: $4.20) since joining the Smerdon stable, and I don’t see any reason to jump off. He was unbelievable in defeat last time out in the previous heat of this race here given he carried 59.5kg and came from the widest gate. He was forced to make a long and searching run from the back yet he loomed to win 200m out, but was bloused late by Yesterday’s Songs, who had the suck run near the inside. He is racing in fantastic form at the moment and is the one to beat.
Big Danger: Amovatio (Best Odds: $6.00) returns to Melbourne after doing his recent racing in Sydney, with his latest effort being a third to Magic Hurricane and Pajaro at Randwick, with that form well and truly franked last Saturday. That’s probably the best form line heading into this, Ollie rides, hard to beat.
Roughie: Decircles (Best Odds: $26.00) has been an absolute nightmare this preparation, but he finally draws a soft gate to finally show something. He wasn’t beaten that far last time out behind Yesterday’s Songs after doing work from the wide gate, so from gate one here with weight relief, he can improve I think.
Race Nine (4:40pm) : Leilani Series Heat 4 1400m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going to go with Judicial Rock (Best Odds: $10.00) in the last. I’m prepared to forgive her for the failure last time out the Valley given she just pulled very hard early on in the run and that just took the gas out of her at the end. Her run prior to that at Caulfield behind Miss Rose De Lago was very good and she meets that mare 2kg better off for a last stride loss. Should roll forward from the gate and with only 51kg on her back, she should take some running down.
Big Danger: The mare with real upside is La Passe (Best Odds: $8.00) for Darren Weir. She worked home very strongly from the back two starts ago at Cranbourne behind in form galloper I’m Ablaze before coming to the 1200m here and showing an electric turn of foot to put her rivals away with a fair bit of ease. Gets down to 52kg now after the claim, in form and is racing as though the 1400m won’t be an issue.
Roughie: Whistle Baby (Best Odds: $8.00) was pretty good I thought last time out at the Valley behind Flash Of Doubt given she was forced very wide on the turn, and it was a meeting where it was difficult to come wide and make significant ground. Back on her home track now and is drawn to get midfield cover, a formula which saw her win at this track/distance two starts back.
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BEST BET: Race Six Number 7 De Little Engine
NEXT BEST: Race Eight Number 2 Mr Utopia
VALUE: Race Nine Number 8 Judicial Rock
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 7
Leg Two: 4, 8, 9, 11, 15
Leg Three: 2, 4, 7, 8
Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 8, 11
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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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