Group l racing returns to Flemington this Saturday where the feature race is the $750,000 Group l Australian Guineas (1600m), with a crack bunch of three year olds set to take their place. The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race One (12:40) : Saintly Handicap 1400m:
Back Me: 1 Top Me Up (Best Odds: $3.20) comes through the CS Hayes where he led them at a crawl and perhaps went to slow in front. Much, much better suited here, looks the leader and should take some beating.
Big Danger: 4 Lazumba (Best Odds: $4.60) is one of the better maidens in Australia prior to resuming at Werribee over this trip where her class was just far too good for her rivals. That win had been a long time coming, and now she has that winning feeling, she can go right on with it.
Roughie: 7 Overstay (Best Odds: $18.00) resumed against the older mares at Ballarat where she was unwanted in betting yet ran alright when fourth to Must Be Mink, beaten just under four lengths. She is eligible for easier, but she is trained on the track, stable is in form and will relish the extra 200m.
Race Two (13:15) : 3AW 693 News Talk Sport Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: Going with the Peter Moody first starter 9 Alter Call (Best Odds: $6.50). She is a beautifully bred filly by Fastnet Rock out of Group l mare Response. I have been very impressed by what I’ve seen from her at the jump outs and looks to have above average filly who has the potential to head to Sydney if she wins here, and I am confident she can win.
Big Danger: 5 Emphatically (Best Odds: $9.00) contested the Preview and Prelude of the Blue Diamond and while she didn’t win, she was far from disgraced. This looks her right level and back to 1000m is perfect for this daughter of Not A Single Doubt.
Roughie: 6 Thyme For Roses (Best Odds: $18.00) was specked at odds in the Prelude of the Blue Diamond and just didn’t handle the Caulfield track at all when finishing down the track behind Samara Dancer. Trained on the track here, so she should have had experience down the straight and should be better suited here.
Race Three (13:55) : Mrs Macs Family Bakery Sprint 1100m:
Back Me: You find it hard to see anything other than a win for 10 Estaminet (Best Odds: $2.00). She was superb when winning here first up, aided by a lovely from McDonald, who had the horse parked near the speed and pushed the button at the right time. She isn’t as dynamic second up, but her record is still pretty good. Confident she can win again.
Big Danger: 5 Hijack Hussy (Best Odds: $14.00) is the most interesting runner for the program. She is a very good mare who was formerly with Tony Gollan but is now with Darren Weir. She was due to race during the Spring, but Weir pulled the pin and started again. No public trials, so her fitness is always an issue with Weir runners first up, but it’s hard to doubt the great trainer.
Roughie: 11 Scratchy Lass (Best Odds: $19.00) resumed in that race mentioned above and while it was a big, big step up for her from her previous runs back home in SA, she ran a super race to finish second. Meets Estaminet at the same weights here from that outing, so on that basis, I can’t see her turning the tables, but she is talented and will be better suited at 1100m.
Race Four (14:30) : 3AW Roy Higgins Quality 2600m:
Back Me: Most of these come through the Torney Cup (2500m) at the Valley where I thought 2 Real Love (Best Odds: $2.25) was very unlucky not to win. She had to lump 58kg and for the most part, was given a peach from Brad Rawiller, but the breaks just didn’t go her way and finished third, beaten a half length. Should eat up the 2600m at Flemington and is a definite winning chance.
Big Danger: 4 Assign (Best Odds: $2.30) is on the back up from winning last Saturday at Caulfield where he led them at a crawl and kicked on strongly at the finish for a strong win. Harder here, and steps up in trip, but enormous upside and it’s rare to see Lloyd Williams runners back up. But when they do, they run very well.
Roughie: 5 Black Jag (Best Odds: $15.00) also comes through the Torney Cup where he copped too much pressure on speed throughout and faded late to finish down the track, beaten 7.5L. He is better suited at Flemington, looks the leader and can improve sharply here.
Race Five (15:10) : TAB Rewards Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Very keen here on the most improved horse at the moment in Australian racing, 4 Burning Front (Best Odds: $3.60). He has been up longer than Ron Jeremy, but continues to race so well, as we saw last time out in the Carlyon Cup (1600m). The negative about that win is that he absolutely walked them in front. But all you can do is win and that is what he is; a winner.
Big Danger: 6 Dan Zephyr (Best Odds: $4.00) faces his stiffest test to date now. He has won his last two starts, both over this track, with the latest one at this track when beating home Divan, who is a really good horse. He doesn’t get the claim now, but remains on the minimum, hard fit and should take some beating.
Roughie: 10 General Groove (Best Odds: $10.00) has been given a month freshen up since running a close up third to Dan Zephyr over 1400m at Caulfield, beaten just over half a length. He does get a 2kg weight swing on that horse now and runs well on his home track, so he is a definite threat for mine.
Race Six (15:50) : ATA/Bob Hoysted Handicap 1000m:
Back Me: 4 Headwater (Best Odds: $4.80) resumed in the Kensington Stakes (1000m) at this track/distance where he was given a lovely ride from Dwayne Dunn to win narrowly but impressively. This will be a good test for him, but he is drawn the right part of the track and has upside along with race fitness.
Big Danger: 1 Lumosty (Best Odds: $3.40) is a class mare that resumes for Robert Smerdon. Her Spring ended with a game sixth to Delectation in the Darley Classic (1200m) in where there has been a couple of subsequent Group l winners. Recent trials have been very good and she is lethal when produced fresh as well as down the straight.
Roughie: 11 Bullpit (Best Odds: $9.00) is the race fit horse on his side. He ran second in the Kensington and looked home but was nabbed in the last couple of strides by Headwater. He does look the speed horse here and should prove hard to run down provided he doesn’t race too fiercely.
Race Seven (16:30) : Australian Guineas 1600m:
Back Me: We won’t discuss the protest from the CS Hayes, but 9 Palentino’s (Best Odds: $10.00) effort was outstanding. He was clearly headed by Tivaci and looked gone, but a good horse knows how to fight back and that is what Palentino did. He’ll eat up the mile and should be at peak fitness third up from a spell.
Big Danger: 5 Xtravagent (Best Odds: $2.90) is clearly the best horse in the race IMO, and by a big margin. He is a multiple Group l winner, including last start when beating the older horses in a race that has been won in the past by the likes of Boncecrusher, Veandercross, and Sunline. And he spanked his rivals. If he brings that form over here, he’ll spank these too, but the negative is that he has been up for a long time.
Roughie: 10 River Wild (Best Odds: $18.00) was a clear unlucky runner in the CS Hayes given he bombed the start by nearly five lengths yet worked home strongly near the inside without a great deal of room. If he jumps, he probably leads, and if he can get a cheap sectional, I am convinced he will be right in the finish.
Race Eight (17:10) : Frances Tressady Stakes 1400m:
Back Me: Going with 2 Jessy Belle (Best Odds: $6.50). She resumed in the Bellmaine and worked home strongly late without threatening behind Tuscan Sling in a race where the form has really held up. This mare has been bursting to win a race for some time, and this isn’t the strongest mares race going around.
Big Danger: 6 Abidewithme (Best Odds: $4.80) is a talented mare that resumes for Peter Moody. She performed very well at Group l level during the Spring, which ended with a solid tenth to Politeness in the Myer Classic (1600m). Recent jump outs at Caulfield have been sharp and given her class and rating, she looks weighted to win it.
Roughie: 8 Whistle Baby (Best Odds: $18.00) has been given a freshen up since running a closing fifth to Written over 1400m at Caulfield in a race where the form has been franked subsequently. She loves racing on her home track, fresh and is on the minimum, something she hasn’t experienced against the mares for some time.
Race Nine (17:45) : Antler Luggage Trophy (90) 1800m:
Back Me: 8 Divan (Best Odds: $2.80) was fantastic when resuming over 1400m here when three and four wide no cover throughout yet still kept coming to the line when second to in form galloper Dan Zephyr. Up in trip and fitter, upside…looks extremely hard to beat.
Big Danger: 7 Falago (Best Odds: $13.00) ran over 2000m here last time out and stuck to the task quite gamely I thought when running third to Pemberley, beaten four lengths. Back to 1800m looks ideal for this Darren Weir runner, hard fit and is in form, so he has to be respected.
Roughie: 11 Berisha (Best Odds: $19.00) has been given a month freshen up since resuming over 1400m on his home track when running down the track behind Dan Zephyr. The start prior he was impressive over this track/distance on Oaks Day, and he does run well second up, so he can sharply improve here.
BEST BET: Race Nine Number 8 Divan
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 9 Palentino
VALUE: Race Eight Number 2 Jessy Belle
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11
Leg Two: 5, 9, 10
Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9
Leg Four: 8
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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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