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Cup Week at Flemington ends on Saturday with a fabulous nine race program, headlined by the Darley Classic (1200m) and Mackinnon Stakes (2000m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out seven metres for the entire circuit.

Mackinnon Stakes 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the Mackinnon Stakes

VRC Sprint Classic 🏆: View the Field and Odds for the VRC Sprint Classic

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Race 1. (12:25) Special Kids Pin & Win (bm80) 2000m

Back Me

10 Kissinger (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) looks a progressive animal for Lindsey Smith and I think he’s one of the hardest to beat in the opener. Former Kiwi that has had three runs in Australia and has got better each time he has stepped out. Sat wide at Warrnambool last time out but looked to have a fair on them and duly saluted. Good test here, but think he’s well and truly up to it.

Danger

Market will be fascinating with 1 Almania (Bet Now: $4.50 TOP ODDS), a former UK galloper that makes his Australian debut for Kris Lees. The hope was there that he could be a horse for a race like the Geelong Cup or Hotham, but connections are playing the waiting game. He has form around Enable and Fujaira Prince, which is top shelf form. If there is a market push, I’d have something on.

Long Shot

4 Somerset Maughan (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) is a Danny O’Brien trained gelding that finds a very winnable race here. He has won his past three, with the last two coming at Morphettville. Each time he has been on speed and although there to be run down, he has showed quality and proved much too good. Harder here, but think he’s talented.

Race 2. (13:00) The Amanda Elliott 1400m

Back Me

4 Tommy Gold (Bet Now: $2.60 TOP ODDS) is an above average three year old that should prove hard to beat here. It’s been a stinker of a Carnival for the Sydney gallopers overall but this three year old looks a good one. Resumed in the Brian Crowley two weeks ago and worked home very strongly on a testing track behind The Bopper, running second and producing great late splits. Fitter, 1400m, firmer deck, looks a lovely race for #SF.

Danger

2 Deep Speed (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS) will go around as the favourite more than likely and not hard to figure out why given he’s 2/2 to start his career and has looked sharp each time he has stepped out, the latest coming last Friday night at the Valley when leading throughout from the wide gate and was much too good. 1400m against some quality types is an ask, but he could well lead them a merry dance once again.

Long Shot

9 Allibor (Bet Now: $18.00 TOP ODDS) is a nice horse for Symon Wilde that could be a sleeper here even though his two runs suggest he may lack the class. Ran in a 1400m maiden on Bendigo Cup Day and worked home hard from the back, just missing out on the win when a narrow second to Hostile Takeover. He’s got ability and wouldn’t shock to see him run well.

Race 3. (13:35) Chatham Stakes 1400m

Back Me

4 Morrissy (Bet Now: $3.80 TOP ODDS) is just so reliable. He’s been up forever it seems for the Corstens team but continues to race really well at a good level. That was the case three weeks ago at Caulfield in the Moonga, kicking strongly but was nabbed on the peg by Wild Planet. Think he leads this field up and will prove hard to get past.

Danger

1400m is the query with 7 Sansom (Bet Now: $4.80 TOP ODDS) but Phillip Stokes has him flying. Backed with confidence when resuming over 1200m at the Valley on Manikato Night and I thought the ride from Ben Allen was a peach. Used his gate and early speed to advantage, led and was too strong in the run to the line. If he can get a cheap run, 1400m should be okay and he has change up speed.

Long Shot

1 Reykjavik (Bet Now: $7.50 TOP ODDS) has a fab record at 1400m, especially here, and he is the class of the field. Very good two back in the Sir Rupert Clarke before getting a mile back in the Toorak and was never really a factor behind Mr Quickie. Gets a lovely run from the gate and does have the Melbourne Cup winning rider Jye McNeil in the saddle.

Race 4. (14:15) Nova100 Trophy (bm90) 1600m

Back Me

5 Right You Are (Bet Now: $3.40 TOP ODDS) looks the most progressive of this lot and I think he can resume a winner with eyes towards Stakes races during the Summer maybe? Talented son of So You Think for the Price/Kent team that resumes after a strong Winter prep, which included a narrow second here to Persan, who of course ran so well in the Melbourne Cup. Two jumpouts to get ready and think he can resume with a win.

Danger

1700m back to 1600m is the negative with 7 Power Scheme (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) but the thing going for him over Right You Are is that he has race fitness on his side. Ran over 1700m at Caulfield three weeks ago in what was a fast run race and in a slog to the line, he finished best under Zahra. Does no work from the gate…is this a prep run for 2000m next time?

Long Shot

8 Rainbow Thief (Bet Now: $14.00 TOP ODDS) is the knockout chance. Michael Moroney trained gelding that comes through the Seymour Cup at Kilmore which just looked a race on paper, but since, it’s been a red hot form reference, with the race providing the Sale Cup winner and Gold Fields ran a beauty here on Tuesday. Rainbow Thief got back and worked home well late when balanced up. On his home track, think he runs a cheeky race.

Race 5. (14:55) Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2600m

Back Me

2 Pondus (Bet Now: $2.05) on top for me. It’s hard to ignore Joseph O’Brien when he brings one to Australia. He tried to get this horse into the Melbourne Cup but was too far down in the order of entry, so instead resumed in the Bendigo Cup and he was absolutely enormous in defeat behind Princess Jenni, rocketing home to just miss. Olly on, fitter, within range on the turn, think he wins.

Danger

1 Le Don De Vie (Bet Now: $4.50) just missed out on a Cup berth but should prove hard to beat here in the consolation. Nearly led throughout to win the Geelong Cup and gave a tremendous kick, but just found one too good in stablemate Steel Prince. He generally improves with the run under the belt and has strong overseas form.

Long Shot

9 Gallic Chieftain (Bet Now: $26.00) is flying for Archie Alexander. He was enormous in defeat in the Moonee Valley, sitting wide throughout and battling away really well despite being a beaten horse on the turn when fifth to Miami Bound. He’s much better on firmer footing, which he gets here, and he’ll love the spacious surroundings that Flemington has to offer.

Race 6. (15:35) Darley Sprint Classic 1200m

Back Me

9 Libertini (Bet Now: $6.50) is a huge chance. This mare made a real statement when bolting up in the Premiere before going to The Everest where she drew wide and had to go back, which sealed her fate, but was still more than sound in defeat behind Classique Legend. Tick over trial was solid enough and she loves firm ground, which is what she gets here.

Danger

If you believe the whispers from trackwork, then 2 Nature Strip (Bet Now: $4.20) will bolt up here. The jury has been out somewhat on how well he is going but even though he finished 7/12 in The Everest, his run was outstanding, sitting on that brutal speed and fighting on til the 150m mark. From all reports, he sizzled in trackwork here last week, and his straight track form is hard to resist.

Long Shot

I think The Everest proved that there is life in the legs of 1 Santa Ana Lane (Bet Now: $11.00). He was run off his legs, like most, due to the brutal early tempo, yet he ran through the pain barrier and worked home sensationally behind Classique Legend. The Everest form has already been ticked off via Gytrash/Haut Brion Her in the Yes Yes Yes, and the way the map looks here, I can see Santa sitting within range of Nature Strip/Fabergino and getting last look.

Race 7. (16:15) Matriarch Stakes 2000m

Back Me

The class of the field is 2 Toffee Tongue (Bet Now: $7.00). She was excellent two back at this track/distance when beaten narrowly in the Turnbull by stablemate Verry Elleegant before going to the Caulfield Cup where she found the class a bit much behind the same horse. Much better suited here and she has the form on the board to take this out.

Danger

Up to 2000m looks a big tick for the Team Edmonds mare 3 Vanna Girl (Bet Now: $6.50). Was 2000m back to the mile last Saturday in the Empire Rose and I loved the way she found the line late when clear behind Shout The Bar. She gets back up to 2000m, gets Bowman to steer, and with clear air at the right, she’ll take a power of beating.

Long Shot

4 Greysful Glamour (Bet Now: $11.00) is the knockout hope. This mare loves dry ground and to dominate from the front, and that is the set up she should get here. Forget she went around in the Tesio on Cox Plate Day. Was part of a mad speed battle and the track was bottomless. Much better placed in this kind of race and a win wouldn’t shock.

Race 8. (17:00) Mackinnon Stakes 2000m

Back Me

9 Arcadia Queen (Bet Now: $3.00) clearly for me. The more I watch the replay, the more I’m convinced that she should have gone close to winning. Got a bad check early on in the race and nearly fell, which took the wind right out of her sails. Still managed to pick up and surge late in an excellent effort. Back to Flemington, firmer footing, looks her race.

Danger

The run of Arcadia Queen in the Cox Plate was enormous…not sure what word you could use to describe the run of 5 Mugatoo (Bet Now: $7.00). He was three and four wide for the trip on a day where nearer the inside was gold yet he was wide no cover for the duration yet still had the hide to be in the finish. Provided that run hasn’t busted him, he’s one of the leading contenders.

Long Shot

2 Fifty Stars (Bet Now: $8.50) won a Group l 2000m at Flemington on the seven day back up in the Autumn and is looking to do it again. He ran in the Cantala last Saturday in what was a brutally run mile and he was good late, just peaking on the run, but backing up into the Mackinnon has always been the plan, so I think he is right in this.

Race 9. (17:45) Seppelt Drumborg Grand (bm80) 1100m

Back Me

15 Plaquette (Bet Now: $3.90) is a leading chance. James Cummings trained mare that is four weeks between runs since racing over 1000m at Randwick where she got back to near last in the run and finished off her race with real purpose in an on speed dominated affair, just missing out on picking up Blazing Miss. Hard to beat up in trip.

Danger

8 Leiter (Bet Now: $19.00) is a talented son of Wanted that resumes. This guy last raced on May 30 at Caulfield over 1200m when near the speed throughout and battled away pretty well in a strongly run race when a close up fourth to Ruban Bleu. Good record at the track, sprints well fresh, and his recent jumpout was encouraging.

Long Shot

6 I’m Telling Ya (Bet Now: $17.00) has a fab record down the Flemington straight and his $71 opening price…bit silly I think. Admittedly he’s not a noted fresh performer, but he’s always around the mark when racing down the straight and the way it sets up, he’ll sit back and look to launch on them late near the outside rail.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Five Number 2 Pondus

NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 2 Toffee Tongue

LONG SHOT: Race Six Number 9 Libertini

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 3, 9

Leg Two: 2, 3

Leg Three: 2, 5, 8, 9

Leg Four: 3 6, 8, 11, 15

$50 Investment = 31.25% of the dividend if successful

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