A couple of crack sprinters will resume for Darren Weir this Saturday at Flemington in the Kensington Stakes (1000m), most notably Hellbent, and his return highlights racing at Headquarters. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out six metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (13:00) : Doriemus Handicap 1100m:
Back Me: 5 Write Da Script (Bet Now: $4.50) was a drifter in the market when debuting at Ararat on a heavy track but the filly didn’t know that as she ploughed through the mud to lead all the and score quite an impressive debut victory. This race overall doesn’t appear and she is the filly on the up with scope, so I am happy to be in her corner.
Big Danger: 3 Scappare (Bet Now: $4.80) strung together a couple of really good wins at Mornington before going to Sandown last Wednesday where she got held up a touch but when clear rocketed late when a close up fourth to the above average Into Orbit. Not sure how she will handle the straight course, but the extra 100m suits and she is hard fit.
Long Shot: 4 Navagio (Bet Now: $12.00) is a talented filly that is first up for Colin Little. She raced twice during the Spring, starting off with a narrow but sharp win on Sale Cup Day before racing over this track/distance on Oaks Day and finding the class a bit much behind star filly Spright. Jump outs have been encouraging and she looks ready to run well fresh.
Race Two (13:35) : Owner.racing.com Handicap (84) 1400m:
Back Me: 4 Diamond Baroness (Bet Now: $2.50) had been bursting to win a race for some time this preparation and she got that win on the board last Thursday night at Pakenham. Ridden a treat on speed by Nick Hall, the mare led all the way and though challenged early on in the straight, she came clear late. That could well be the key to her now-leading. Time will tell here, but I’ll take the gamble.
Big Danger: 3 Cruising Speed (Bet Now: $5.00) is the very interesting runner here. Handy mare for the Meagher stable at Eagle Farm that had been okay without being spectacular in a couple of Stakes races during the Sumer Carnival up there. Freshened up and loved the way she went in a recent Deagon trial. Stable have ventured to Victoria successfully in the past, so watch and see what the market does with her.
Roughie: 2 Deja Blue (Bet Now: $11.00) was given an absolute peach by McNeil to win over this track/distance two weeks ago. He had the mare perched up in the beaut spot and ready to pounce and instead of presenting early, he just waited for a few extra strides and the mare reacted well to that. Rises sharply in weight, but she has the form on the board and rates highly.
Race Three (14:10) : ATA Celebrates 50 Years Handicap (78) 1400m:
Long Shot: 5 Mr Sneaky (Bet Now: $3.30) was the unlucky runner behind Gratwick last Saturday. He couldn’t take advantage of the inside gate and got left in a pocket, and by the time he eventually got clear, Gratwick was off and gone, with full momentum. I would have had him as a real suspect at 1400m, but on that last start effort, with a cuddle, I think he will get it.
Big Danger: 2 Oak Door (Bet Now: $4.00) continues to step up to the plate and continues to get the job done, winning her past, the latest coming a fortnight back over this track/distance when given a peach of a ride on speed by Ben Thompson and the filly clung on. More depth, but again maps well, and if she can get a cheap sectional again, she’ll take some beating.
Long Shot: 9 Electric Charlie (Bet Now: $21.00) was 57 days between runs when racing in that Gratwick race at the Valley last Saturday where he was perched up near the speed and tired late. Much better suited up to 1400m and the bigger track. Got the run under the belt now and form from earlier in the prep does read okay.
Race Four (14:45) : @FlemingtonVRC Handicap (78) 1600m:
Back Me: 12 Portman (Bet Now: $2.00) is a very promising galloper for Danny O’Brien trained four year old who has really turned the corner since being gelded. Bolted up in two runs at Bendigo before stepping up here on New Years Day where he sat on speed and though under pressure early on in the straight, he fought on strongly when a narrow second to Snitzon. Recent jump out here was outstanding and I think he is the best on the card.
Big Danger: 5 Hokkaido (Bet Now: $6.00) looked to parade really well prior to racing in the VOBIS Gold Star at the Valley last Saturday where like most, he was outclassed and poorly in at the weights against Burning Front and finished midfield. This looks a much better assignment for him and if he brings his looks from what I saw at the Valley, he can go close here for sure.
Roughie: 7 Firehouse Rock (Bet Now: $10.00) isn’t one of my horses but I am including him here. He resumed over 1400m at Warrnambool where he had a nice sit off the speed and looked to travel well but he didn’t quite finish it, with the reason I think being that he hates racing between runners. His record at Flemington, at first glance, is awful, but he has contested some quality races here in the past. Each way for me.
Race Five (15:20) : Bitalli Handicap 2000m:
Back Me: 3 Chance To Dance (Bet Now: $5.00) looks ready to win now. Closed off well fresh at the Caulfield mile behind Burning Front before backing up seven days later over this track/distance where he took an age to wind up but he did and looked home but was bloused late out wide by Kourkam. Looks ready to peak now, and now that he has had the hard 2000m run under the belt, he is the clear horse to be IMHO.
Big Danger: 9 Master Zephyr (Bet Now: $8.00) looks a major player here. Hasn’t won for a little while but looks like he isn’t far away. Loomed to win over this track/distance last time out and for a moment did look the winner but was swooped on late when sixth to Kourkam, beaten under a length. Significant drop in weight after the claim, draws well…ticks alot of boxes.
Long Shot: 1 Extra Zero (Bet Now: $15.00) is getting on in years but gee he is an absolute beauty for the Hayes/Daberig team. He also comes through that mile race at Caulfield won by Burning Front where he got back to near last in the run yet finished his race off with real purpose to run a closing third, beaten three lengths. Saves his best for Flemington and loves the Flemington 2000m.
Race Six (16:00) : Inglis Dash 1100m:
Back Me: Looks a lovely race for 2 Barthelona (Bet Now: $4.80). Resumed over this track/distance a fortnight back and did a really good job in defeat given he lumped the big weight and had to chase hard to get to the leaders and by the time he reached them, he was just gassed. Should strip fitter and weights wise, he is the one.
Big Danger: 15 Fuhryk (Bet Now: $3.80) is building up a tidy little record for the Hayes/Dabernig team and rates highly here off the back of her smart win in the VOBIS Gold Carat at Moonee Valley where she showed a lovely turn of foot when asked for the effort by Parish. Draws to get good cover here and she does have a lethal turn of foot.
Long Shot: 12 Casque (Bet Now: $34.00) comes through that same race Barthelona contested and he just got too far back in a slowly run affair, but his final 200m was very good for a horse clearly looking for further. He doesn’t get that here, so not sure how that will go for him, but Regan Bayliss steers and the horse is drawn the right side of the track.
Race Seven (16:40) : Kensington Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: 4 Hellbent (Bet Now: $1.90) is such an exciting sprinter that resumes for Darren Weir. Created a big impression during the Spring, most notably in the win at Caulfield where he ran Group l class sectionals to round them up with ease. Things then went off after and next raced over this track/distance on Oaks Day where he ran a close up third to Redzel. Tends to race well down the Flemington straight, and given the upside and class/quality he has, I’m keen to be with him.
Big Danger: 8 El Divino (Bet Now: $5.00) is the very interesting runner here. Close relation to Winx who was with the Waterhouse/Bott yard but is now with Darren Weir. Threatened and promised to win a good race in the Spring but just couldn’t quite put it all together. It will be very intriguing to see what Weir can do with this horse, because there is the potential for this horse to reach Group l level if Weir can weave his magic.
Long Shot: 1 Flamberge (Bet Now: $14.00) is the class runner of the field given he is a multiple Group l winner. He only raced twice in the Spring, and both times he ran poorly, so the prep was cut short. Has to carry the weight of 62.5kg, but from all reports he has come back well and he does love racing down the straight, plus he has a fab fresh record.
Race Eight (17:20) : Patrobas Handicap (84) 1400m:
Back Me: 10 Atlantic City (Bet Now: $11.00) can be hard to trust, but I think he is worth the gamble each way here. He ran over 1200m at Caulfield three weeks back where he had a nice sit just off the speed and chased hard but couldn’t quite get the job done and had to settle for second to Crystal Dreamer. Suited up to 1400m, draws well, home track and has upside.
Big Danger: 1 Entre Nous (Bet Now: $17.00) has been freshened up since placing in the Wodonga Cup where he did a bit of work nearer the speed yet fought on strongly to not be beaten far by Loyalty Man, who has gone right on with it since. Looked to trial well at Benalla last Tuesday to clean the cobwebs out and he has a fab record fresh.
Long Shot: 4 The New Boy (Bet Now: $11.00) should be forgiven for his last start failure at Caulfield given he did a power of work to sit on speed and they ran along strongly in that race, which left him gassed on the turn when finishing seventh to Burning Front. Trained on the track so that’s a plus. Negative is that he hasn’t won for a little while, but maps well and if he can lead, he’ll take some stopping.
Race Nine (17:55) : VRC Young Members’ Handicap (84) 1800m:
Back Me: 2 Golden Mane (Bet Now: $9.00) had good pre post market support prior to racing at Caulfield over the mile last time out where he got back in a race dominated by those nearer the speed but once he got balanced up and had clear running, he worked home strongly late. Third up at 1800m, and at Flemington, looks an ideal recipe for success, and Burning Front franked that form last weekend.
Big Danger: 9 Manapine (Bet Now: $6.00) was heavily backed when racing over the Sandown mile a couple of Wednesdays back. Dwayne Dunn positioned the horse at the top of the pack and attempted to lead all the way and for a brief period he gave a good kick but was no match late for Lady Selkirk. Third up, so he should have upside left, and I think he will be much better when he has a bunny to chase.
Long Shot: 5 Patch Adams (Bet Now: $14.00) was one of many unlucky runners to come through the Koroit Cup at Warrnambool last time out where they finished in a real clump with several horses getting badly held up behind the leaders, Patch Adams being one. Looks ready to tackle further, which he gets here, and with clear running, he’ll give this a shake.
BEST BET: Race Four Number 12 Portman
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 4 Hellbent
VALUE: Race Eight Number 10 Atlantic City
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 15
Leg Two: 1, 4, 8
Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 10
Leg Four: 2, 3, 4, 5, 9
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