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A nine race program has been assembled for Flemington on Saturday where it is Aurie’s Star Day. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is out ten metres for the entire circuit.

Aurie’s Star Handicap 🏆: View the Field for the Aurie’s Star Handicap

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Race 1. (12:05) Tab Hcp 2530m

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Back Me

3 Double You Tee (Bet Now: $4.40 TOP ODDS) for me in an ordinary race to start the day. Patrick Payne trained stayer that was somewhat disappointing in a few runs after showing promise at the start of the prep. Bounced back to positive form last time out in the VOBIS Stayers when a closing third to Mahamedeis, who won last Saturday to frank the form. Small field helps and if this becomes a sit/sprint, he has the change up speed to win.


Back in trip is the knock with 4 South Pacific (Bet Now: $2.20 TOP ODDS) but I think he has some promise. Forgive run at his Australian debut at Caulfield before racing over 2800m here where he took an absolute eternity to wind up but was okay late behind Exemplar. He wants further than this off the last run, and if this becomes a sit/sprint, he’s going to struggle. Hopefully for his sake it’s a good clip.

Long Shot

It’s interesting what they’re doing with 5 Exemplar (Bet Now: $7.00 TOP ODDS). He won the 2800m race here from a few weeks and if you watched the replay, he was the only horse you wanted to be on in the run. He was bolting throughout and it was just a matter of when John Allen would push the button. Is this a prep run for a jumps race at Ballarat? Not sure, but he did win the recent lead up race.

Race 2. (12:40) Lexus (bm70) 1410m

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Back Me

Leaning the way of 2 Galactic Fury (Bet Now: $2.50 TOP ODDS) but not a great deal of confidence. Comes through the VOBIS Ingot two weeks ago at Caulfield where not much went his way at a vital stage in the straight and I think with clear air, he fights the finish out with stablemate Flinders River. Think he’s going well but the knock is nine starts without a win. I think that can change here.


Interested to see how 6 Yes Baby Yes (Bet Now: $2.35 TOP ODDS) goes. Few weeks between runs since bolting up to break the maiden tag at Seymour. Visually, very good, but was on speed and out of the kickback and it was a track where you either handled it or you were just no hope. Has showed talent, so keen to see if she can measure up in town.

Long Shot

3 Fatigues (Bet Now: $6.50 TOP ODDS) deserves chance. Thought he toughed it out well to win the maiden two back at Cranbourne before going to the Ingot at Caulfield when wide no cover in a fast run race and feeling the pinch late behind Flinders River. Doubt the tempo will be as hot this time around and noteworthy that Olly is booked.

Race 3. (13:15) Grinders Coffee Roasters (70) 1800m

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Back Me

4 Royal Filly (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS) looks a youngster with some promise. Not sure she beat a great deal on debut on the Pakenham Synthetic but what I liked is that she was one of the first off the bit and under pressure, but she was strong late and strong to the line and through it in winning. Off that, she should be fine here and rates highly.


1 Flinders River (Bet Now: $2.90 TOP ODDS) has been pretty good in two runs back from a spell as a gelding for the Maher/Eustace team. Lovely ride from Willow saw him win the VOBIS Ingot a fortnight back, put into a lovely spot just off a reasonable speed before angling into clear air and got the job done. Can he repeat the dose? Time will tell.

Long Shot

6 Cafe Rizu (Bet Now: $4.20 TOP ODDS) should love the rise to 1800m for the Price/Kent team. Was good fresh over 1300m at Geelong before going to 1500m on the Ballarat Synthetic where she took a while to properly wind up but the last 100m she drew clear and won well. Should appreciate the extra ground and has improvement to come.

Race 4. (13:55) Seppelt Wines Trophy (bm84) 1720m

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Back Me

My thinking with 10 Tavidance (Bet Now: $2.30 TOP ODDS) is that he needs some cushion in the track to be winning, and with rain forecast for later in the week, banking on this track being around the Soft 5/6 mark. On face value, he was ordinary at Caulfield last time out and wanted to lay in badly, which is a concern, but I think his best is good enough to win here.


8 Five Kingdom (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) is working up to a win for the Hayes/Dabernig team. Far from disgraced behind Tavidance at Caulfield before racing at the Valley last Saturday where he got back to near last in the run but really liked the way he closed his race off. Up in trip on the bigger track with upside to come, he’s likeable.

Long Shot

Back up in trip I do like for 3 Curragh (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS). Tempo was too hot for him two back behind Bedford before coming back to 1400m when back in the run and closing off okay late behind the in form Morrissy. Now back up in trip and can sit much closer in the run if need be. Drop of rain certainly won’t hurt his chances either.

Race 5. (14:35) G.h.mumm Plate 1410m

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Back Me

Safe option is 9 Coming Around (Bet Now: $2.60), a former Team Williams runner from Perth that made his Victorian debut for Brent Stanley in the Mildura Cup at Swan Hill and I loved the way he chased in the straight when a closing second to the hard fit, in form More Than Exceed. Great second up record, upside to come, in well after the claim…really hard to beat.


6 Laburnum (Bet Now: $3.40) has come back well for James Cummings. Found the wet track not to her liking first up at Rosehill so the stable sent her to Caulfield a few weeks ago and she didn’t have much luck in the straight behind She’s A Thief, which looks a tricky race on paper to sort out with confidence, but she’s got the progression and upside compared to most.

Long Shot

5 Reflectivity (Bet Now: $13.00) has to be an improver here at odds. Was really keen on him when he resumed at Caulfield a few weeks ago, but the rain came hard and he is a horse who is legless on genuine wet ground, so forget he went around by Travimyfriend. Much better suited on firmer footing and is a second up winner. Can run a much improved race.

Race 6. (15:15) Aurie's Star Hcp 1200m

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Back Me

5 Great Again (Bet Now: $3.90) is hard fit, racing well, and the rain forecast for later this week will be music to the ears of Lindsey Smith. This eight year old found a firm track two weeks ago in the Bletchingly but he stuck to the task really well on speed when a close up third to Viridine. If we do get that rain, and this track has give in it, he’ll take some beating.


7 Yulong January (Bet Now: $10.00) is a Maher/Eustace trained five year old that resumes. This guy really made a name for himself in the back of the Spring and into the Summer, stringing together four on the bounce. Recent jumpout was good and I think this will be a good test to see if this is indeed his level, or could connections aim that little bit higher.

Long Shot

The class of 4 Widgee Turf (Bet Now: $6.00) will carry him a long way towards victory. Stable stalwart for Patrick Payne that has dodged the Autumn and the first bit of Winter. Hasn’t raced since the Gold Bullion at Pakenham when a closing fifth to Yulong January, who went on to produce a number of successive wins. Latest jumpout was very good and think he’s ready to go.

Race 7. (15:55) Furphy Larger (bm78) 2000m

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Back Me

2 Dogmatic (Bet Now: $9.00) is bursting to win one for Richard Laming. Good resumption against the pattern before racing over 1700m at Caulfield four weeks ago where he spent his petrol tickets between the 800m-200m and tired late. Like he has had the extra couple of weeks off to recover from that hard outing and third up, he’s hard to beat.


5 Skyman (Bet Now: $2.80) is a fascinating runner. He wasn’t really fancied when making his Australian debut two weeks ago but as is the case this time of year, Chris Waller can produce an import for a first up win and he showed good change up speed late to get the job done. 2000m on the bigger track looks a good set up and has more to come you would assume.

Long Shot

9 Cadre Du Noir (Bet Now: $6.50) looks really well suited up to 2000m. Made his Australian debut over the mile at the Valley on a near bottomless track where he wasn’t entirely happy on both the track and the Valley itself, but loved the way he closed off once balanced up. He’ll be winning races. Not sure it’s here, but certainly including in multiples.

Race 8. (16:30) Farewell To Rob Gaylard (bm90) 1000m

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Back Me

Not the only one that is looking forward to seeing how 6 Octane (Bet Now: $2.50) measures up here in Melbourne. Did start his early career here, but Phillip Stokes got a hold of him in SA and the horse has transformed himself into potentially a Stakes class animal. His racing pattern can be a bit tricky, but the turn of foot is that of a Stakes class horse and I’m confident he can measure up.


11 Sword Of Mercy (Bet Now: $7.50) is racing really well for the Ellerton/Zahra camp. Ran over 1100m at Caulfield two weeks ago and I thought she was very good in defeat. Between the 1000-400m, they ran 32.7, which took the stuffing out of those behind, but this mare kept finding the line. Draws the right part of the track, sits off the speed and finishes off strong.

Long Shot

7 Elite Legacy (Bet Now: $12.00) is flying this time in for Tony Noonan. Narrow second fresh at Sandown before making there amends at the midweeks a couple of weeks ago, with a win at Sale in between. The win last time out had plenty of merit to it because he was there to be run down but kicked hard late and clung on. Harder here, but like the way he’s going about it.

Race 9. (17:05) Rubaroc (bm70) 1410m

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Back Me

Complete throw at the stumps in the get out via 19 Guissola (Bet Now: $46.00). Thought he was a bit unlucky not to win two back at the Valley before going to Swan Hill on Mildura Cup Day where he was disappointing but the key to him is wet tracks, so I’m hoping the rain does hit this track hard Friday and Saturday. If it does, think he’ll run a big race at odds.


The gelding operation could well be the making of 9 Lord Markel (Bet Now: $4.20) for Wendy Kelly. Backed with confidence when resuming at Sandown and under a lovely steer from Jason Maskiell, he surged hard late to get up and win. He’s got more to come you would assume and up to 1400m I do like. Hard to beat for sure.

Long Shot

Think a rise to 1400m will suit 15 Shush (Bet Now: $7.00), who ran over 1200m at Caulfield two weeks ago when put into a lovely spot and was there to win, but couldn’t quite hold off the two swoopers, Chassis and Rich Hips. The way she’s racing, 1400m should be okay, and if she can get cover from the gate, think she’ll be dangerous.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Eight Number 6 Octane

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 10 Tavidance

LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 19 Guissola


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 2, 4, 5, 7, 10

Leg Two: 2, 5, 9, 10

Leg Three: 6

Leg Four: 7, 9, 15, 19

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