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The best four days in Australian racing is the Melbourne Cup Carnival and it kicks off this Saturday with arguably the best race day of the year that being Victoria Derby Day. Nine races, four at Group 1 level. 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 One (11:45) : The Carbine Club Stakes 1600m:

Back Me: Godolphin I think will dominate this race and the Sandown Guineas, and I am leaning towards 5 Bezel (Bet Now: $7.50). Some weren’t convinced with his win over the Randwick mile last time out, but you have to keep in mind that they ran along in front, so he was made to carry the 61kg yet he still wanted to win and just kept attacking the line to win in the last couple of strides. He is the hard fit horse who has had the tough run at the mile.
Next Best: 1 Hey Doc (Bet Now: $3.70) was very good in the Caulfield Guineas where his chances took a massive dent when drawing wide. He hit the line really strongly and the Flemington straight will give him every chance. He won three on the trot before that and he looks hard to beat on Saturday.
Danger: 3 Morton’s Fork (Bet Now: $5.50) was the clear unlucky runner in the Gothic on Caulfield Cup Day, getting badly held up behind runners in what turned out to be a very messy race, and he wasn’t clear until the final 75m and still was taking ground off under little riding. Flemington mile looks as though it will suit him perfectly and he looks one of the hardest to beat.
Long Shot: 10 Comin’ Through (Bet Now: $5.00) is the knockout runner. He was a super debut winner at Warwick Farm before going to Randwick where the tempo was totally against him yet he still finished off strongly late to run a close up second to Niccolane. I think he will really come into his own in the Autumn, but it’s hard to ignore he has done so far in his career and hopefully Walker can take advantage of the good draw.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,3/1,3,5,7,10/1,3,5,7,10


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Race Two (12:20) : Mumm Wakeful Stakes 2000m:

Back Me: The key runners come here through the Etheral (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day and I, like many, didn’t miss the run of the Darren Weir trained 6 Tiamo Grace (Bet Now: $3.90). She got badly held up on the turn and in the early part of the straight and by the time she got clear, the race was all over, but she still savaged the line to run Eleonoara down to 1.25L. Flemington 2000m looks perfect for her and comes here with a real sense of timing about her heading towards the Oaks.
Next Best: 4 Sebring Dream (Bet Now: $6.00) has been one of the better performed Victorian fillies throughout the Spring but hasn’t cracked it for a win. She ran in the Ethereal where she sat near last in the run before working home. I think it should be noted that her career best efforts have come at Flemington, and 2000m+ does seem her go.
Danger: 2 Pretty Punk (Bet Now: $4.60) was good at Geelong last start in the Geelong Classic and before that she won what is now a good form race at Morphettville. She will need some luck from the barrier but she is an improving type and the slight drop back to 2000m will suit her perfectly. She has a lot of class about her and looks a big danger.
Long Shot: 11 Florida Keys (Bet Now: $41.00) came with a well timed run when racing in a Mornington maiden last Friday and she got the job done impressively. Rises sharply in grade, but Pat Carey is one of the best trainers when it comes to throwing horses into the deep end with upside, and this girl fits that criteria. Don’t be perturbed by the distance increase when it comes to the Pat Carey stable.

Trifecta Tips: 6/1,2,4,5,11/1,2,4,5,11


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Race Three (13:00) : Sensis Stakes 1100m:

Back Me: Waddle your finger and hope for the best here I suspect. 11 Super Cash (Bet Now: $14.00) resumed over 1100m at Caulfield where she was given a lovely steer from Williams and found plenty when challenged late to win and draw clear late. That followed some impressive efforts at the jump outs, so the signs are all there she has returned in great order and second up last time in she beat Sooboog, who went on to beat Epsom runner up Dibayani, so the form reads very well.
Next Best: The set weights+penalties scenario suits 2 Sheidel (Bet Now: $3.00) once again, so she has to be regarded as the leading chance. Most jumped on her when racing on Caulfield Cup, where she was one of the best backed runners on the program and McDonald didn’t let the punters down with a confident on speed steer to score a narrow but strong win. Given her racing pattern, I think straight track racing will suit her, and she does get Moreira aboard.
Danger: 14 Private Secretary (Bet Now: $21.00) is a very talented galloper on her day and she heads into Saturday’s Sensis Stakes fresh which is when she runs her best. Her runs in SA last prep had a lot of merit to them despite not having any luck whatsoever. She gets into the weights okay and from barrier ten she will get back and be able to stay out of trouble. Watch for her late.
Long Shot: 7 Almighty Girl (Bet Now: $26.00) resumed in the Alinghi on Caulfield Cup Day and if you backed her, it was just a nightmare to watch given she got badly, badly held up and checked in the straight and was pretty much going down the straight like she was in a dodgem car event. Form prior behind the likes of Heatherly should see her right in the mix here.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 2,9,10,11,13,14,16,17


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Race Four (13:40) : Lexus Stakes 2500m:

Back Me: Leaning towards 8 Oceanographer (Bet Now: $2.50). He ran in the Geelong Cup last time out and sat back in a race dominated by the leading pair, and really nothing made ground bar him in what was a very good effort in defeat. On his UK form, the bigger surroundings of Flemington appear as though it will really suit him and he is the class factor.
Next Best: 2 Real Love (Bet Now: $6.00) was very gallant in her Caulfield Cup defeat and from barrier 5 she will be able to settle where she feels comfortable. Her run at Moonee Valley two starts ago was dominant and if she can replicate that run here she will be very hard to beat.
Danger: 7 De Little Engine (Bet Now: $7.50) has to be rated as a leading chance after a satisfactory run in the Caulfield Cup where he sat back near last in the run and though held up a touch at a critical point, he worked home nicely. Saves his best for the longer trips at Flemington and appears very well weighted for a horse who was an eye catcher in a Caulfield Cup.
Long Shot: 1 Junoob (Bet Now: $19.00) is an old marvel but is racing as well as ever. He ran well in the Metropolitan prior to racing in the Tatts Cup where he was the first horse off the bit but the last man standing with a strong and determined win. Not sure he can match it with these bigger boys, but he is tough and loves a fight, plus the drying Flemington surface will play right into his hands.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,2,4,7,8


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Race Five (14:25) : Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: Cannot go against 3 Astern (Bet Now: $3.30) here. He was the star three year old of the Sydney Spring, blitzing a high class field in the Golden Rose (1400m) before being freshened up and producing a remarkable performance to run second to Russian Revolution in the Roman Consul (1200m) at Randwick. He clocked something along the lines of a tick over 32 for his final 600m, which is world class speed. Jump out last week looked impressive to the eye and most importantly, he handled the straight course beautifully.
Next Best: 2 Extreme Choice (Bet Now: $2.80) was hard din the market when resuming in the Moir (1000m) and I was against him in the race because I didn’t think he was up to that level, but I was wrong because he just produced an unbelievable turn of foot when asked by Newitt to sprint clear of Chautauqua and co. That form didn’t hold up at all in the Manikato and in other races, which is the query, but he won that jump out mentioned above and went about his business very nicely. He’ll look the winner at some stage.
Danger: Bookies will still have nightmares of 5 Star Turn‘s (Bet Now: $4.20) Caulfield win where he blitzed a quality field of sprinters. The form from that race was franked last weekend with Fell Swoop running second in the Manikato Stakes. This looks to be a quality sprint field but he is right up to his ears in it.
Long Shot: All you can do is win and that is what 6 Russian Revolution (Bet Now: $11.00) has done to date, winning four from four, the latest coming in the Roman Consul when ridden a treat on speed from McEvoy to dictate for the first 700m, then sprinting hard from the home turn and giving nothing else a chance. I thought he too looked very good in the jump out mentioned above, sitting near Extreme Choice all the way and going through the motions under a good hold. A win here wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Trifecta Tips: 3/1,2,4,5,6/1,2,4,5,6



Race Six (15:05) : Myer Classic 1600m:

Back Me: 4 Danish Twist (Bet Now: $9.00) looked the wrong price at around double figures all in. Her run in the Tristarc was one of the runs of the day IMO. She sat last in the run in a very slowly run event, so really the tempo was clearly against her, but gee once she balanced up she really savaged the line to only go down two lengths. Flemington mile appears as though it will suit her perfectly, and I think she has the most upside in terms of this lot. Hard to beat, especially with the ‘Magic Man’ steering and the form he is in at the moment.
Next Best: 2 First Seal (Bet Now: $4.80) returned to the winners stall last start with a strong win in the Tristarc Stakes. She meets quite a few of the runners out of that race better in the weights and she has drawn the paint which will give her a soft run throughout. A win under her belt will help her competitiveness and she definitely has the class to make it back to back wins.
Danger: 7 Don’t Doubt Mamma (Bet Now: $7.50) ran in the Stocks Stakes on Moir night last start where she sat off speed before Dunn eased her wide and she produced a brilliant finishing burst to win. Set weights probably isn’t her go against the best of the best here, but she’s low flying and has a lethal turn of foot, plus she saves her best for Flemington, so she ticks alot of boxes.
Long Shot: 12 Euro Angel (Bet Now: $10.00) was enormous in defeat when resuming at Warwick Farm before she went to Caulfield for a blacktype event where she had the perfect drag up behind the speed before Dunn cut her loose and she won like a real quality mare going places. This is a big step up in grade and depth, but whenever Team Hawkes do something like this, they rarely leave empty handed. Big watch.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 2,3,4,7,11,12


Race Seven (15:50) : AAMI Victoria Derby 2500m:

Back Me: 1 Sacred Elixir (Bet Now: $2.80) looks the horse to beat after a dominant win in the Vase last Saturday. The blinkers came off and that did the trick for the gelding as he relaxed beautifully in the run and despite getting held up on the turn and in the early part of the straight, he was far too good. He will run 2500m no issue, and he is a big track horse as we saw in the Winter with his JJ Atkins romp at Eagle Farm, so Flemington should only prove ideal. Deserved favourite and really, I think only bad luck beats him.
Next Best: 3 Swear (Bet Now: $7.50) is one of the more lightly race gallopers with just the four career starts to his name. His run last start in the Spring Champion Stakes was very good where he was beaten by Yankee Rose who came out and ran third in Saturday’s Cox Plate. He will definitely improve from that run and has a lot of class about him. If he can get a good run from barrier his class will carry him a long way in the straight and he looks hard to beat.
Danger: 4 Rocketeer (Bet Now: $15.00) had really good market support in the Caulfield Classic despite some reservations from the trainer in regards to how much is left in the tank. Well…there appears to be plenty left given how hard he finished against the tempo when a close up second to Good Standing. On that run, he will have no trouble running 2500m, and that race has always been a good guide towards the Derby.
Long Shot: 11 Kent (Bet Now: $41.00) also comes through the Caulfield Classic and in terms of those out the back, I thought his run was very good behind Good Standing. He was back near last and nearer the inside in a very slowly run race and he couldn’t get any room, but he was still making up ground despite not being fully extended. He still looks to have upside left and 2500m at Flemington will really suit.

Trifecta Tips: 1/3,4,6,7,10,11/3,4,6,7,10,11



Race Eight (16:35) : Cantala Stakes 1600m:

Back Me: I’m happy to be with 5 Le Romain (Bet Now: $12.00). I thought his effort in the Epsom behind Hauraki was clearly the best of the beaten brigade. He was without cover throughout and chased a brutal tempo. He was the lone survivor of those near the chasing pack to Fabrizio and the form out of that has held up pretty well. If he has overcome that gutbuster, I think he is a super chance here, and from gate eight, Bowman has all the options in the world.
Next Best: 2 The United States (Bet Now: $6.00) was a late entrant in the race suggesting he hasn’t targeted the race but he gets in the weights very well against this field. He was dominant in winning the Crystal Mile last start and his form last preparation was second to none. He will need a bit of luck from barrier 10 but if he backs up okay he is the class runner in the race and will be very hard to hold out late.
Danger: 4 He’s Our Rokkii (Bet Now: $9.00) was ridden an absolute treat by Dunn in the Toorak (1600m) last time out, getting that vital cover from the wind before shoving into the clear when he needed to and he charged to the line, winning with real class and authority. I am not sure how strong that form is, but for mine he is the clear pick of the Victorian raiders. Draws to get lovely three wide cover and ambush, and that is his best racing pattern.
Long Shot: Anthony Cummings produced the training effort of the year to get 6 Thunder Fantasy (Bet Now: $16.00) to win first up at Randwick. He sat off a blistering tempo and despite carrying the maximum, plus he was first up for 17 months, he finished best and powered through the line. He is a class animal who shouldn’t be underestimated and from all reports, his work on Tuesday at the track caught the eye of most.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 2,4,5,6,10,11,12,16



Race Nine (17:20) : Tab.com.au Stakes 1200m:

Back Me: 9 We’ve Got This (Bet Now: $7.00) has been given a four week freshen since racing at this track/distance in the Gilgai where he was very good in defeat behind The Quarterback, who franked the form by running a beauty in the Manikato. That’s the right form and this horse loves racing down the straight. Just needs clear running to look the winner at some stage.
Next Best: 6 Counterattack (Bet Now: $5.50) has been costly for punters this preparation but he hasn’t had a lot of things go his way so i am willing to forgive him one more time. I think Waller got it wrong stepping the horse up in distance, it think he races best over this distance so the drop back should see him improve. He is weighted really well against this field and he is drawn to get a good run throughout the race. If he can find some of his best form on Saturday he looks hard to beat in a very winnable race.
Danger: 11 Southern Legend (Bet Now: $4.00) is a high class animal for Les Bridge that comes here after a three run stint to kick start the Spring in Sydney, ending with a close up fifth in the Premiere behind Takedown, who franked the form on Caulfield Cup Day. Looked to trial well down the straight against the classy three year olds, and on the minimum, I can see him running a very cheeky race.
Long Shot: 4 Generalife (Bet Now: $23.00) also comes through the Gilgai and his effort in defeat was very good. The tempo of the race early on was very slow for a Group race and he is the sort of horse that can’t unleash a burst sufficient enough to win. Barrier nine looks ideal for him as he can sit outside runners and be in the clear, plus there should be a more rolling tempo here and he was desperately unlucky in this race last year.

Trifecta Tips: Boxed 1,2,4,5,6,9,11


BEST BET: Race Seven Number 1 Sacred Elixir

NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 3 Astern

VALUE: Race Nine Number 9 We’ve Got This


Have Your Say: Have a tip for Derby Day? – Leave a comment below.


Early Quaddie Tips (Races Two Through To Five):

Leg One: 6

Leg Two: 2, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17

Leg Three: 1, 2, 4, 7, 8

Leg Four: 3

$50 Investment= 125% of the dividend if successful


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 2, 3, 4, 7, 11, 12

Leg Two: 1

Leg Three: 2, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 16

Leg Four: 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11

$50 Investment= 17.36% of the dividend if successful


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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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Racecourse: Flemington
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