A strong nine race card has been assembled for Flemington on Saturday. The weather is overcast, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (11:49) Living Legends Graham Salisbury Plate 1400m
3 Yulong Mercury (Bet Now: $4.80) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained filly resuming. Hard in the market when debuting at the Valley back in December and was disappointing in the end behind Lady Horseowner, but that form does read well. Jump outs have been very good since and I think draws the right part of the track.
1 Graceful Storm (Bet Now: $4.60) is an unbeaten filly for John Moloney who resumes. Had two runs in the Summer to kick off her career, winning at Bendigo before doing a really good job at Sandown when well backed. Form out of both wins looks very good and her recent Cranbourne trial did catch the eye. Leading chance.
2 Aristia (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Lonhro filly for the Ellerton/Zahra team who was solid in betting when resuming at Bendigo where she had a nice sit off the pace and loomed large to win but had to settle for second to Rock Hard. Placed behind Lady Horseowner in that race mentioned above, so she’s definitely likeable here.
Race 2. (12:24) Living Legend Efficient Handicap 2800m
If he runs up to his last two runs, 3 Doukhan (Bet Now: $5.00) is a good thing. Excellent against the bias in the Chairmans behind Sir Charles Road before going to the Sydney Cup and you could make a case that he would have gone close to winning had the gap not closed on him when about to burst through. Runs up to that, he wins.
You could make a case that 4 Sin To Win (Bet Now: $5.00) should have won here on Anzac Day over 2500m. Just got held up behind tired runners at a crucial stage and this horse isn’t a stop/start type. He needs momentum and didn’t get that when just missing out on picking up Gallic Chieftain. He’ll have no issue with 2800m and is starting to find some good form.
10 Sky Romance (Bet Now: $26.00) is a real one better so the 2800m of Flemington should probably suit him. He ran over 2400m at Bendigo last time out where he was well backed to win but was really once paced to the line when fourth to Divine Sanction. Choysa will inject some tempo so he should get his chance to run on.
Race 3. (12:59) Living Legend Akke Van Den Dolder Handicap (84 2000m
10 Cedar Grande (Bet Now: $11.00) is a Ciaron Maher trained mare racing really well. Ran under the lights at Pakenham a couple of Thursday nights back over the mile where I thought Ben Thompson gave the mare an absolute peach, hugging the inside all the way, getting the split and dashing through hard late to score. Up to the ten furlongs a big tick and has upside.
11 Diapason (Bet Now: $4.80) isn’t the most reliable mare going around when it comes to greeting the judge first, but she does try hard and isn’t far away. Ran over 2100m at Sandown last time out where she sat off the pace and kept surging but couldn’t quite get there when a narrow third. Has run well here before and should get a lovely run from the gate.
2 Smart As You Think (Bet Now: $7.50) is a mare that is racing really well for John McArdle. Ran over the mile here on Anzac Day and she was a real eye catcher, surging home from the back to run third to the above average mare Sebring Dream, who had the better turn of foot on the day. Up to 2000m is her go and is getting hard fit.
Race 4. (13:34) Living Legend Rogan Josh Handicap 1700m
7 Keysor (Bet Now: $7.50) on top for me. Mick Price trains this progressive three year old, who was disappointing two back as a deep odds on pop before making amends over the Ballrat mile last time out under a lovely ride from Dwayne Dunn. He should have no issue with 1700m, has upside and should appreciate the surroundings of Flemington.
3 Ancient Echoes (Bet Now: $5.00) strung together a couple of sharp wins on the bounce at swan Hill and Morpettville respectively before going to the Sandown mile last time out where they absolutely crawled in front and he really had no chance of picking up Reflectivity. 1700m is what he’s looking for and does have a turn of foot.
9 Found Out (Bet Now: $13.00) was a notable drifter in betting when resuming under the lights at Cranbourne but despite the market flucs, I thought he ran really well in defeat behind Sarkozy, beaten just under a length. Did run well at this track/distance on New Years Day, so the talent/form is there, has upside and a good draw.
Race 5. (14:14) Living Legend TJ "Tommy" Hughes Handicap 1000m
2 Malibu Style (Bet Now: $2.90) gets his chance to win. He hasn’t had that chance in Melbourne for some time due to Steve Parnham steering but as soon as he came off, bang, he improved out of sight in the Bel Esprit when close up behind Sprightly Lass. Draws to track the speed and have last say. Keen on him here.
1 Gun Case (Bet Now: $5.00) is a horse I want to include. Not the best horse down the straight at Flemington but he is just a beauty who is never far away, especially when produced first up. Hasn’t raced since December 2 when running second to proven swimmer Jungle Edge on a bottomless Sandown surface. Keen to see what he does here.
The key to 7 Bullpit (Bet Now: $9.00) is getting him on speed and away from other runners, so the wide gate and the straight five looks ideal. He has been going just fair in recent times, but this field has next to no depth to it and I love the booking of Callow. He’ll sort this bludger and make sure he has a crack.
Race 6. (14:54) Living Legend John "Banjo" Patterson Handicap (78) 1600m
Have to side with 9 Balcazar (Bet Now: $8.50). The Hope stable have this bloke going so well at the moment and he deserves a crack at a Saturday grade race. Good run against the tempo two back behind Scholarly before going to Pakenham a couple of Thursday nights back where he was impressive, warming to the task late and finishing best, beating My Paisann, who placed at Caulfield last Saturday. Keen to see him at the Flemington mile.
6 Kilmacurragh (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Team Hawkes trained gelding who has always had a bit of a boom on him but never quite lived up to it. Did win nicely first up at Pakenham before going to Sandown where he sat outside a slow tempo and tried to reel in Sunday Pray but that horse packed too many punches. Flemington mile third up, no excuses.
14 Another Bullseye (Bet Now: $6.50) is a Danny O’Brien trained mare who scored a good win first up over 1400m at Pakenham before going to the Distaff at Caulfield where she ran a game second to the in form French Emotion. Third up at the mile on her home track looks an ideal recipe and Moor remains on.
Race 7. (15:34) ATA Handicap 1400m
I’ll just lean the way of 10 King’s Command (Bet Now: $5.00), hoping he can come over from the wide draw. Four weeks between runs since attempting to lead all the way at Bendigo where he led and gave a good kick but tired late when third to Land Of Plenty. Won like Black Caviar start prior at this track/distance so he can bounce back off the freshen up.
13 Kapaulenko (Bet Now: $10.00) is the weights horse and will be fancied I’m sure, but if you’re going on times, I think he’s a risk, but with only 51kg and a soft draw, he has to go in. Heavily backed last time out over 1400m at Caulfield and the punters got it spot on as he sat near the speed and proved too good. His best chance will be if they roll along, because he will love a hard 1400m, like last start was.
3 Amovatio (Bet Now: $14.00) could be the big improver. He comes through the Anniversary Vase at Caulfield where he got too far back but worked home with purpose I thought behind Fastnet Tempest. He does tend to save his best for Flemington these days and though better suited at the mile, his 1400m is form is very good.
Race 8. (16:14) Living Legend RE "Mick" Mallyon Handicap 1800m
5 Magic Consol (Bet Now: $3.20) is an eight year old who is racing in near career best form at the moment. Three weeks between runs since scoring a strong win over the 1700m at Caulfield in the race mentioned above, aided by a lovely steer from Tahlia Hope. No qualms with the rise to 1800m. Just a slight concern about his Flemington record.
3 Turnitaround (Bet Now: $6.00) is a Matty Williams trained galloper who resumed with a ripping second to Widgee Turf in the Victoria Handicap before going to the VOBIS Gold Mile where he was ridden upside down and ran accordingly behind Waging War. Much better suited with cover and he has run well at this track/distance before.
7 Quick Defence (Bet Now: $10.00) ran well behind Magic Consol in the race mentioned above before racing at this track/distance on Anzac Day where he was well backed at odds and ran well in defeat behind stablemate Life Less Ordinary. They ran home in 33.49 so he would have had to run sub 33 to win. No chance. He can go close here.
Race 9. (16:54) Living Legend EJ "Midge" Didham Handicap 1400m
Keen on 13 Moana Jewel (Bet Now: $4.00) Has returned really nicely for the Shea Eden camp. Resumed with a tough on speed win at Pakenham before racing at Sandown a couple of Wednesdays back and you could make a very good case that she should have beaten the above average Platinum Angel but just had no luck. Should eat up the 1400m and will prove hard to beat.
Interested to see what 12 Naantali (Bet Now: $7.50) can do second up. She was one to follow from the Spring after a couple of outstanding efforts. Resumed in the Reilmartini race at Caulfield and for mine she was just a touch flat but off a long lay off, I can forgive. Interesting to see what she can do here now with the run under the belt.
11 Shenanigator (Bet Now: $21.00) is a son of Artie Schiller for Patrick Payne who showed a lovely turn of foot from off the pace to win on debut over 1200m at Pakenham, clocking some really good late splits in doing the job. He should have no issue with 1400m to my eye, he’s in the right stable and will be strong late.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 3 Doukhan
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 2 Malibu Style
VALUE: Race Three Number 10 Cedar Grande
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 3, 6, 9, 14
Leg Two: 3, 8, 10, 13
Leg Three: 1, 3, 5, 7
Leg Four: 1, 5, 11, 12, 13
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