Melbourne racing returns to Flemington this Saturday for a nine race card. The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is out eleven metres for the entire circuit, so I think the back markers will certainly not be disadvantaged.
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Race One (12:55pm) : Pack A Picnic Plate 1100m: Form Guide
Back Me: Wawail (Best Odds: $2.30) resumes here after a two run Spring, which saw her win first up under the Moonee Valley lights before sitting on speed and winning the Twilight Glow at Sandown on Zipping Classic Day. Recent trial win at Tatura was nothing flash, time wasn’t flash, but she did look in need of the hitout and hopefully that will have brought her on.
Big Danger: Clover Lane (Best Odds: $6.00) worked home well in that Antarctic Missile race, sitting worse than midfield before taking a gap nearer the inside part of the ruck and finding the line okay late. During the Spring she had form around Group l class gallopers such as Sabatini, Top Sight and Bring Me The Maid. She’ll take some beating here.
Roughie: Lady Jane (Best Odds: $14.00) comes over from Tassie with a record of three from three. The margins haven’t been big, but she has made her own luck on the speed and can burn the candles at both ends of a race, which is a great quality for a race horse. The big key here is the booking of Craig Williams. I’d watch market moves with this filly.
Race Two (1:30pm) : Flemington Rose Garden Handicap (78) 1420m: Form Guide
Back Me: Pretty keen on Lucky Liberty (Best Odds: $2.60), who makes his city debut after a couple of highly impressive wins from as many runs at the provincials, starting off with a wide no cover on speed debut win at Mornington before going to Sale, settling last in a slowly run race, yet stormed down the middle and won with a leg in the air. Looks highly exciting, and he gets the minimum here from a good draw with an in form rider steering.
Big Danger: Best Suggestion (Best Odds: $11.00) worked home strongly first up at Benalla behind a speedy customer in Pretty Possum before going to Seymour and getting beat as an odds on pop when second to Master Shaft, but he was asked to carry 61kg. Tumbles in weight here and his last Flemington run saw him finish three lengths of Refulgent in the Silverbowl Final. Hard to beat.
Roughie: Corporate Takeover (Best Odds: $12.00) scored a strong win on New Years Eve at Echuca before going to Morphettville Parks and looking most unlucky when second to the above average Cavaloce, beaten a half neck in a close finish. He runs very well at Flemington, gets the claim for Jordan Childs and draws to get a sweet run just off the speed.
Race Three (2:05pm) : Flemington Summer Racing Handicap (70) 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Sticking with the class and putting Better Land (Best Odds: $2.75) on top. He is one of the best bred colts going, being by Shamardal out of former star filly Amelia’s Dream. He had three runs during the Spring in Sydney, starting off with a second to Scissor Kick in the Rosebud before a desperately unlucky fourth in the Up And Coming to the same horse before not having a great deal of luck in the Golden Rose to Hallowed Crown. He was pushed out in his last jump out, back on January 6, but he has class and looks beautifully weighted here.
Big Danger: Street Allure (Best Odds: $3.90) was first up since July when making up good ground over 1000m here when second to Antarctic Missile, beaten over two lengths, but did race near the inside, which isn’t the place to be in straight races, so she got a big pass mark fresh. With natural improvement and drawn out, she can go one better.
Roughie: Southern Sunday (Best Odds: $61.00) is a real smokey in this event. Hislast two runs have been good without winning, starting off at Morphettville Parks when an unlucky fourth, then raced last weekend at the Valley and made up good ground late when tenth to O’Malley, beaten three lengths. That race had clearly more depth than what he faces here, so I think he is a must for exotics.
Race Four (2:40pm) : Trackside Handicap (90) 1420m: Form Guide
Back Me: Putting Betsy (Best Odds: $3.80) on top. She kicked off her career in the Spring and had two career outings, starting off with a dominant debut win at Cranbourne before being sent to Morphettville for the Morphettville Guineas where she beat all bar Royal Ocean, being beaten a long head. Recent jump out was good enough, enough to convince me she is ready to win first up.
Big Danger: Elle Excite (Best Odds: $6.50) is on the quick back up after an explosive win on Monday at Sandown, charging home from near last 250m out, but showed a really sharp turn of foot to win impressively. Time was pretty good, and was only half a second slower than impressive three year old Java. Draws wide again, but her racing pattern of getting back should offset that, and if the speed is on, she can power home late.
Roughie: Winston Drive (Best Odds: $4.40) has been performing well lately without winning, including last time out under the Moonee Valley lights when a close up fourth to the flying Arena Rock, beaten 1.5L. It’s interesting that Darren Weir has stepped her up in class, perhaps an indication there is confidence with this mare, who should get a sweet sit from the gate.
Race Five (3:15pm) : Doriemus Handicap 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Clearly Akzar (Best Odds: $2.90) on top. His two runs back from a spell have been outstanding, starting off with a closing fifth to Jacquinot Bay in the Lord Stakes on Boxing Day before running second to the same horse over the mile. Up in distance tick, fitter tick, Flemington tick…looks the winner, and one of the best bets on the card.
Big Danger: Extra Zero (Best Odds: $6.00) is racing so well at the moment, and really is at home at Flemington, winning two back before beating all bar Taiyoo last time out, and that horse scored an impressive win on Monday. Steps up a touch in depth, but he gets a lovely weight drop and is as fit as fit can get.
Roughie: Averau (Best Odds: $6.00) is back after a gritty on speed win in the Bagot on New Years Day, fending hard throughout the straight and scoring a great blacktype win. He is another that could possibly head to Tassie, and he might be using this run as a tune up, but he has residual fitness and is a last start stakes winner. He could surprise.
Race Six (3:55pm) : Elms Handicap (84) 2000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Sticking with Spanish Love (Best Odds: $3.65) to bounce back. She scored back to back wins at the Valley and Flemington respectively, then went down narrowly at the Valley before being one paced yet kicking on strongly for third to Sure You Can and Special Miss here, beaten about 3/4. Draws very well and will be very strong at the end of 2000m. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: Special Miss (Best Odds: $8.50) has raced against Spanish Love in recent times, and has performed admirably, and did beat Spanish Love but couldn’t get past Sure You Can. She again carries no weight and the Mick Kent/Jake Bayliss combo has been pretty good at Flemington in recent times.
Roughie: Bec Said No Credit (Best Odds: $5.50) is absolutely bursting to win a race, and she proved that with a storming fourth to Arena Rock here over the mile. That mare franked the form by running a beauty last weekend at Moonee Valley. She has to rise in weight, but she is getting near peak fitness and has more upside than most.
Race Seven (4:35pm): Patrobas Handicap (90) 1720m: Form Guide
Back Me: Every Faith (Best Odds: $5.00) just failed to lump 59.5kg here last time out when running second to Arena Rock, who franked that form by running a beauty on the weekend. A start in the Cups in Tassie is probably on the line here, so if she was to go over there, she’d want to be performing here and performing well, and I think she can thanks to the weight drop and now that she is just about at peak fitness.
Big Danger: Tonopah (Best Odds: $2.70) was given a beaut ride by Craig Williams to get the job done last time out over this track/distance. Would have liked him to win a bit more convincingly, but he was wide all the way, albeit with cover, and he was second up after a six week break and stable switch. Rises in weight, but should be at peak fitness now and looks the horse to beat.
Roughie: Shamardashing (Best Odds: $41.00) had his first run for Darren Weir when racing over the mile here andmaking up ground late when fifth to Jacquinot Bay, beaten just under six lengths. Rises significantly in weight, but drops big time in class. He is a previous second up winner when with Patinack and he now has the Darren Weir polish.
Race Eight (5:15pm) : Isca Handicap (90) 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Play Master (Best Odds: $9.50) scored a super first up win here over 1000m, then stayed at the track/distance next time out and was a ‘Plain Jane’ behind the Quarterback, but he has been guilty of racing flat second up in the past, so I think we can overlook it to an extent and give him another chance here.
Big Danger: Jimando (Best Odds: $12.00) was first up since the Winter Championship Final when scoring a very impressive on the Parks Circuit at Morphettville, sitting with no cover throughout yet proving way too classy for his rivals. Returns to Flemington now and Tony McEvoy wouldn’t bring him over if he didn’t think he could run a forward race.
Roughie: Expecting a big first up run from smart colt Kumaon (Best Odds: $5.50), who had a pretty good Spring, which was highlighted by a fast finishing fourth in the Caulfield Guineas behind Shooting To Win. He ran in the Caulfield Classic, but in hindsight, he probably shouldn’t have run. Spelled, and he looked really good in a recent Werribee jump out. Flies fresh, and I expect nothing less here.
Race Nine (5:50pm) : @FlemingtonVRC Handicap (84) 1420m: Form Guide
Back Me: Gracious Prospect (Best Odds: $5.00) is more of a loser than winner, but he does try very hard, as he did in that Specter race, running a close second after being left in front very early on in the straight. Given he carried 59.5kg, his effort was excellent. Gets a weight pull also on Specter and Michael Walker jumps back aboard.
Big Danger: Specter‘s (Best Odds: $9.50) last win came when Moses departed the Red Sea, but that all changed a couple of weeks back when he was able to get the job done here, beating a similar field, though he did have a big think about it with 250m to go. Meets most from there worse off at the weights here, but he has got that winning feeling now, and he could go on with it.
Roughie: Chucking in Use The Lot (Best Odds: $26.00) as the roughie. He is a pretty handy stayer who resumes after somewhat of a disappointing Winter, where his best effort was a sixth over 2000m here to Backbone. Prior to his previous first up run, he beat home Commanding Jewel in a trial before resuming in the Swan Hill Cup where the track was very wet and very chopped up, and the campaign went backwards after that. Firmer surface and a bigger track for his first up run here, with Nick Hall riding, could see him a cheeky race.
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BEST BET: Race Five Number 1 Akzar
NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 7 Spanish Love
VALUE: Race Eight Number 5 Playmaster
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 6, 7, 8
Leg Two: 1, 6, 10, 11
Leg Three: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12
Leg Four: 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14
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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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