The best race day of the year is upon with Saturday being Derby Day at Flemington. The nine race card is 100% blacktype, with four group ones, two group twos and three group three races. Where do you begin?
The obvious pick would be the $1.5 Million Aami Victoria Derby (2500m), but some would argue that. For others, boom youngsters Sepoy and Atlantic Jewel will hope to keep on their winning ways in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and the Wakeful Stakes (2000m) respectively. Cox Plate failures and Melbourne Cup aspirants will slog it out in the Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) while a spot in the Melbourne Cup field is up for grabs with a win in the Lexus Stakes (2500m) getting you a spot in the final 24.
Race One: Inglis Carbine Club Stakes 1600m
Back Me: Punters should kick the day off on the right foot with Galah. Impressive winner at Caulfield who looks to have these covered.
Don’t Back Me: Meethaq has drawn barrier one, but I think that might be an issue as he may have trouble getting out.
Big Danger: First Course is always around the money. Should roll forward and run his usual honest race.
Roughie: Highly Recommended had no luck behind Galah and is drawn to get a cheap run here.
Race Two: Lexus Stakes 2500m
Back Me: Green Moon needs to win to get into the Cup field and I think he will. Fab run in the Caulfield Cup and a repeat will see him win.
Don’t Back Me: Niwot is a very good Flemington horse but maybe the depth here will find him out.
Big Danger: Moyenne Corniche worked home beautifully in the Herbert Power and is on the fresh side as he is aiming towards Tuesday.
Roughie: Galizani won very well last start at Randwick and her chances will enhance if the pace is on
Race Three: Wakeful Stakes 2000m
Back Me: From a betting perspective, have something on Dowager Queen. She looks as if the 2000m and beyond will suit her big time.
Don’t Back Me: Gliding won well, but mainly because of a Beadman special. She won’t repeat the dose.
Big Danger: Atlantic Jewel has the ability to beat these, but I just feel last start was her grand final. A risk at such a short quote.
Roughie: Rahveel is racing like the longer distances will suit her and Oliver sticks with her.
Race Four: Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m
Back Me: Sepoy will be winning here. Not at home down the straight, but class gets him home.
Don’t Back Me: Hot Snitzel was a big winner first up, but I wonder if that run has taken the edge off him here.
Big Danger: Masthead will run well, as he always does. Probably needs something to chase to show his best.
Roughie: Bear Hero is a very good Hong Kong youngster who is the big unknown.
Race Five: Longines Mackinnon Stakes 2000m
Back Me: Going for the value which is Sincero. Galloped on in the Cox Plate so forgive him. All his prep in Victoria has been at Flemington and he looks the big improver.
Don’t Back Me: Rekindled Interest was unlucky in the Cox Plate, but he is not a Flemington horse.
Big Danger: Wall Street was fantastic last Saturday. Group one winner at Flemington and Nash jumps on.
Roughie: Ginga Dude was ok in the Crystal Mile and steps up to a trip where he excels.
Race Six: Aami Victoria Derby 2500m
Back Me: If Manawanui gets the 2500m, he’ll be beating these. Has lengths on these in class and the price is right.
Don’t Back Me: Niagara is a serious threat, but only if he gets across from the horror barrier draw. I don’t think he will.
Big Danger: Induna was ultra impressive at Geelong and the bigger track will suit him even more.
Roughie: Zabeelionaire looks the ideal Derby horse and can certainly fill the placings.
Race Seven: Myer Classic 1600m
Back Me: More Joyous just looks the winner at WFA here. The good thing on the card after some brilliant work at Flemington during the week.
Don’t Back Me: Mosheen does have the lightweight, but she is taking on the mares and that is not easy at this time of the season.
Big Danger: Response was very good in the Tristarc and the step up in journey will appear to suit, as will a return to her home track.
Roughie: Kiwi mare Banchee was brilliant first up and looks the blowout roughie.
Race Eight: Seppelt Sallinger Stakes 1200m
Back Me: Stirling Grove is an excellent straight track horse and was the real eye catcher behind Black Caviar.
Don’t Back Me: Temple Of Boom also loves the straight six, but he is stepping up in class here and looks a risk.
Big Danger: Sister Madly has the form on the board and being trained at Flemington, she would have had experience down the course.
Roughie: Ego’s Dare is racing well at the moment and trainer Gerald Ryan has had success bringing horses here.
Race Nine: Tab.com.au Stakes 1400m
Back Me: A very tough race. Going with Launay. Unbeaten at Flemington and second up. Hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Doubtful Jack did finish second to the great mare on Saturday, but he is not a betting prospect for me.
Big Danger: Niblick was ultra impressive first up at this track and distance. Has been given a freshen up for this and the stable is flying.
Roughie: Largo Lad was strong first up and should strip much fitter for that effort down the straight. Big overs at the moment at $26.
Written by Adam Page
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