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One of the great Carnivals on the world racing calendar, Cup Week at Flemington, begins this Saturday with arguably the best day on the Australian racing calendar, Derby Day. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Derby Field 🏆: View the Victoria Derby Field

Cup Tips 📝: View our Melbourne Cup Tips

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Race 1. (11:45) Carbine Club Stakes 1600m

Back Me

A nation roared for a hero when 5 Ranier (Bet Now: $6.00 FAT ODDS) won the Gothic. Bowman made a good thing of it unlike the start before, getting wide and clear on the turn and he took a while to get there but eventually wore down Yulong January. I think up to 1600m will suit this horse, as will returning to Flemington.


6 Wild Planet (Bet Now: $8.00 FAT ODDS) is a beauty for Team Hawkes and he can certainly turn the tables on Ranier. He was wide no cover in the Gothic but stuck on really well in defeat when third. Draws much better this time around and should get a lovely run just off the pace. Query at a strong mile but does have the gate to get the soft trip.

Long Shot

9 Syd’s Coin (Bet Now: $41.00 FAT ODDS) looks to have turned the corner for Ken Keys. He put in a good run in the Poseidon here behind Wild Planet and Ranier before going to the Caulfield mile where he made a long run from the back and sustained it in a strong win. Stable looks to have figured him out and he appears clear overs.

Race 2. (12:20) Wakeful Stakes 2000m

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The obvious is 2 Verry Elleegant (Bet Now: $2.45 FAT ODDS). Very talented filly for Darren Weir who scored one of the wins of the Carnival last time out in the Ethereal at Caulfield given she pulled her head off for most of the race yet still surged and finished best to win. Did she beat much? Probably not, and she’ll need to put everything together to win the Oaks, but no denying she has a Group l motor.


4 Aristia (Bet Now: $7.00 FAT ODDS) got close to beating Verry Elleegant in the Ethereal but the Weir filly just proved too good late. Aristia was given a lovely ride by Lane and it deserved the win but she couldn’t hold out the fav. Can she give her a start and beat her here? I’d say barring bad luck to Verry Elleegant, I think not. But runs well regardless.

Long Shot

6 Yulong Meteor (Bet Now: $18.00 FAT ODDS) is a definite improver. Put a line through her run in the Ethereal given she was up on speed and doing a stack of work in a fast run race, eventually dropping out to finish down the track behind Verry Elleegant. I think ridden cold, with cover and having last say, she can bounce back.

Race 3. (13:00) TAB Stakes 1200m

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If he handles the straight course, you’d think 1 Osborne Bulls (Bet Now: $3.60 FAT ODDS) wins this. He was the best run outside Redzel in the Everest, with a daring ride from Tommy Berry almost coming off, but the champion sprinter packed too many punches in front. He’ll be much better on firmer footing and first up won with 59kg so the weight is no issue.


Can you believe what you’ve seen with 10 Runson? (Bet Now: $7.50 FAT ODDS) I have huge doubts on the form from the Apache Cat where he won impressively, and even though aided by bias and a fast track, it was hard to ignore his track record breaking win on Manikato Night. Troy Corstens has said there has been excuses each time he has raced down the straight. No excuses now.

Long Shot

I took a slice of $26 all in for 9 Havasay (Bet Now: $18.00 FAT ODDS) because I thought that was just the wrong odds for a quality animal. Resumed in the Schillaci and had no luck at all in the straight when seemingly bolting behind Ball Of Muscle. Been freshened up and I loved the way he closed off in a Cranbourne trial. I think he’s primed to run well.

Race 4. (13:40) Lexus Stakes 2500m

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I’m all over 2 A Prince Of Arran (Bet Now: $4.50 FAT ODDS). Was keen on him each way in the Herbert Power and I thought his run was outstanding behind Yucatan. Should have finished closer but just had no luck early on in the straight. Has the run under the belt and the spacious track of Flemington should really suit him. I’m keen.


If you listen to David Hayes, you’d be all over 10 Jaameh (Bet Now: $5.00 FAT ODDS). He’s declaring this as his best Melbourne Cup hope over Ventura Storm, which is a good lead if you take his word for what it is. Beat all bar Avilius in the Bart Cummings at this track/distance and that horse has been well supported to win the Melbourne Cup. Has to be respected.

Long Shot

12 Yogi (Bet Now: $13.00 FAT ODDS) is flying for Darren Weir. The horse just has such an awful racing pattern of flopping out the back and giving away too much start. That was the case in the Geelong Cup last Wednesday and he was one of the runs of the day I thought behind Runaway. If he can sit closer, he’ll look the winner.

Race 5. (14:25) Coolmore Stud Stakes 1200m

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I’m keen on 2 Zousain (Bet Now: $4.20) running a beauty. There was strong talk about him as an Everest contender, which speaks volumes of how high he is regarded. Took an unbelievable finale from The Autumn Sun to beat him in the Golden Rose, and outside Winx, that’s the best form in Australia. Been freshened up, set for this race…he’s very likeable.


I’m a believer in 8 Diplomatico (Bet Now: $9.00). He gave them an absolute caning first up on the Kensington track at Randwick, running sizzling time. He then went to the Brian Crowley at Randwick on a bog, which he hated, yet his class came to the fore and proved too good. The time was slower than the Nivison but he’s in a stable renowned at getting them right for a stallion making race, got upside and brilliance.

Long Shot

Just how good is 6 Sesar? (Bet Now: $9.00) Steve O’Dea trains this high quality three year old, who landed some decent bets at odds when resuming with a brilliant win in the Roman Consul, albeit aided by a brutal speed, but he was last man standing. The speed looks as if it will be strong here so he should get his chance to ambush.

Race 6. (15:05) Empire Rose Stakes 1600m

Back Me

I think the horse at the wrong odds is 13 Oohood (Bet Now: $8.50). 3YO Fillies have a great record in this race and IMO, she’s the pick of them. Loved the way she found the line in the Caulfield Guineas when third to a superstar in The Autumn Sun. Outside Winx, that’s the best form in Australia, and this girl gets better as the prep gets deeper.


Is 5 Aloisia (Bet Now: $9.50) back? Off the Tristarc run, it’s an overwhelming yes. She was one of the runs of the day, closing off hard off a moderate tempo when third to Shumookh. Better suited at Flemington IMO and this has been her GF since day one this prep. They’ve realised she’s not a stayer. She’s a miler.

Long Shot

It was hard to miss the run from 14 Seabrook (Bet Now: $15.00) in the Thousand Guineas. She got well back off the pace and didn’t have much luck at a vital stage but closed off with real purpose when third to Amphitrite. She can be a bit hit and miss, but when she’s on, she’s certainly capable of beating these.

Race 7. (15:50) AAMI Victoria Derby 2500m

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2 Aramayo (Bet Now: $5.50) on top for me. I thought he was one of the better runs of the day on Cox Plate Day, making up really good ground out wide after making a searching run to finish third to Stars Of Carrum. The formula has been used successfully by James Cummings with Prized Icon and this horse appears to be ticking over beautifully.


1 Thinkin Big (Bet Now: $3.40) is the favourite and a deserving one. His form and efforts on dry tracks have been that of a high class three year old. He comes here off the back of a dominant win in the Caulfield Classic when controlling things from the front and giving nothing else a look in. Can he lead all the way to win a Derby? That’s the unknown.

Long Shot

The sleeper at odds could well be 14 Savvy Oak (Bet Now: $19.00). He ran in the Vase last Saturday and was very good without much luck in the run behind Stars Of Carrum. Has always shown promise since day one and should be able to use the good draw to full effect. Think he’ll run a ripping race at decent enough odds.

Race 8. (16:35) Kennedy Mile 1600m

Back Me

4 Land Of Plenty (Bet Now: $4.80) looks the safe option. Darren Weir has this bloke flying and the Flemington mile looks perfect. Got his Group l win last start in the Toorak, producing one of the wins of the Carnival under a peach steer from Lane. He’ll be even better suited at Flemington and has to be rated as the one to beat.


The class of the field is 1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $6.00) and he is the horse who appears a touch of overs. Fab steer from Bowman got him the win in the Epsom two back before going to the Toorak where he was far from disgraced behind Land Of Plenty. I think he’ll love getting to Flemington more so than Land Of Plenty and turning the tables wouldn’t be a surprise.

Long Shot

The 2000m-1600m formula is one we’re used to when it comes to feature mile races, so I’m giving respect to the Godolphin galloper 17 Best Of Days (Bet Now: $10.00), who shared the spoils with Mask Of Time in the Coongy Cup last time where he looked as if he’d win by ten but didn’t run out the ten furlongs. Fast run mile looks perfect and he gets the blinkers for the first time.

Race 9. (17:20) Furphy Sprint 1100m

Back Me

4 I Am Excited (Bet Now: $4.00) clearly has to be respected here. David Pfieffer has this mare flying and she appears ready for this and perhaps the VRC Sprint Classic. Had to like the way she knuckled down late to win the Gilgai over 1200m here, beating Eduardo, who was most impressive on Caulfield Cup Day. Jump out last week was outstanding and appears one happy horse.


9 She Knows (Bet Now: $10.00) is such a gutsy, gutsy mare for Danny Williams. Trialled up well prior to running in the Caulfield Sprint where she loomed large to beat Eduardo but that horse safely held her. Has run well down the straight before and with this mare, it really is hard to put a line through her no matter the scenario.

Long Shot

I think only bad luck will see 17 Petrelle (Bet Now: $10.00) run poorly. I thought she was one of the runs of the day last time in the Durbridge at Morphettville. First crack at blacktype, first try at 1200m and she was beaten by a hard sprinter and a tough campaigner in Casino Wizard. Back to the 1100 where she was so dynamic first up, confident she can get back into the winners list or at least run top three.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Eight Number 4 Land Of Plenty

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 2 A Prince Of Arran

LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 13 Oohood


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 4, 5, 13, 14, 15

Leg Two: 1, 2, 10, 14

Leg Three: 1, 4, 9, 17

Leg Four: 2, 4, 9, 17


$50 Investment= 13.02% of the dividend if successful


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