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The Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington concludes this Saturday, headlined by the Darley Classic (1200m), a crack Group l sprint. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is good (4) and the rail is out nine metres for the entire circuit.

Mackinnon Stakes πŸ†: View the Field for the Mackinnon Stakes

VRC Sprint πŸ†: View the Field for the VRC Sprint Classic

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Race 1. (12:15) Cup Week Radio Trophy (90) 1600m

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Back Me

Was looking at this race on Wednesday assuming 4 Reserve Street (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) was running on Thursday, but now he’s running here, I’m in his corner. He ran over 1500m at the Valley on Manikato Night and was very good in defeat I thought behind Cuba given that horse got an absolute picnic in front, stealing some very cheap splits, and really, nothing from behind was going to win, including this guy, but he still made up ground. Gets weight relief, gate one and Ryan Moore sticks.


2 Ranier (Bet Now: $3.60 TOP ODDS) is going well for James Cummings. Forgive run two back behind Greyworm before going to the mile at Randwick where he got into a tricky spot from the gate but kept finding the line and was good in defeat behind stablemate Cascadian. The form around him this prep does read well so happy to be in his corner here.

Long Shot

3 Al Passem (Bet Now: $12.00 TOP ODDS) is on the quick back up for Ken Keys after racing over 1400m here on Tuesday where he attempted to lead all the way and gave a reasonable kick in front but couldn’t quite finish it off behind Bravo Tango. This race looks much easier, should lead rather comfortably and up to the mile is a big tick.

Race 2. (12:50) Special Kids Pin & Win (90) 2000m

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Back Me

Up in trip, bigger track, fitter, have to give 8 Starcaster (Bet Now: $5.00 TOP ODDS) another chance. He was well respected when making his Australian debut over 1700m at Caulfield and on face value, it was just a run, but it was a real on pace domination and he did pull up with the thumps post race, so there were clear excuses for him. Giving him another look.


7 Grinzinger Star (Bet Now: $2.90 TOP ODDS) is one of the hardest to beat. This guy is third up at 2000m on his home track, so he should just about be ready fitness wise. He comes through the Extreme Pride race over 1700m at Caulfield when back in the run and was under pressure a fair way out but kept finding the line well enough. He should be ready.

Long Shot

3 Lucky For All (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) certainly has the talent to beat these. He comes through the Moe Cup where I’m not sure he was 100% happy on the bog track but was solid enough in defeat behind Gundown. He showed really good promise as a 3YO, but hasn’t quite gone on with it since, but his best is clearly good enough.

Race 3. (13:30) Springtime Stakes 1400m

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Back Me

1400m on the big track, I’m in the corner of 11 Regimental Band (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS). I think she’ll really come into her own in the Autumn given she’s not quite there yet physically and mentally, but perhaps the trip away will bring her on. Had no luck in the Brian Crowley at Randwick and the winner of that, Diamond Thunder, is a smart animal. Hard to beat here.


Very interested in 3 Knickpoint (Bet Now: $2.25 TOP ODDS) for James Cummings. This colt was smashed in betting when resuming over 1200m at Newcastle and the bets were landed with a very sharp turn of foot when asked for an effort and put them away to win in good style, running very sharp time relative to the day. I think he’ll measure up comfortably.

Long Shot

9 Sophia’s Choice (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is flying this time in for Robert Kingston. Resumed with a spank job of her rivals in a Cranbourne maiden before taking on the older horses on Geelong Cup Day when getting a soft run nearer the inside and showing really good change up speed and win impressively. Gets run of the race from the draw and hard to knock the way she’s going.

Race 4. (14:10) Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2600m

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Back Me

5 True Self (Bet Now: $1.90 TOP ODDS) looks to be flying in Australia. Market said she was the one to beat in the Geelong Cup and was given a 12/10 steer by John Allen but couldn’t quite get past the tough nut Prince Of Arran. Don’t think she would have looked out of place in the Melbourne Cup and 2600m here with give in the track, in a relatively thin race, really keen on her.


1 Red Cardinal (Bet Now: $10.00 TOP ODDS) has been excellent in two runs back from a break. Liked the way he stuck to the task in the Newcastle Cup first up before going to the Geelong Cup where he got a mile off them in the run but really liked the way he found the line late behind Prince Of Arran, who of course ran so well in the Melbourne Cup. Has to be rated highly.

Long Shot

6 Ventura Storm (Bet Now: $26.00 TOP ODDS) isn’t going too bad I think. Comes through the Moonee Valley Cup where he was attempting to defend his crown and ran okay but never really looked a winning threat in what was a real sit/sprint affair won by Hunting Horn. Not sure he’s a strong winning chance, but one for multiples.

Race 5. (14:50) Darley Sprint Classic 1200m

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Back Me

A dry track would be perfect for 1 Santa Ana Lane (Bet Now: $2.10). Some say he was unlucky not to win the Everest, but I thought Zahra rode the perfect race on the gun sprinter. Just the dash of Yes Yes Yes was the difference between winning and losing. Proven straight track performer and in terms of the big guns, has the runs on the board.


She didn’t beat much in the Manikato, overall, but that finale of 9 Loving Gaby (Bet Now: $6.00) was just so elite. The manner in which she dashed and savaged the line was outstanding. Bivouac ticked that form off in the Coolmore and keep in mind he beat Yes Yes Yes, who beat most of these in the Everest. That in mind, I think the filly can win.

Long Shot

7 In Her Time (Bet Now: $12.00) is a Kris Lees trained mare that is another suited down the Flemington straight. First up in the Everest was always going to be a tough ask, but first up and sitting near that brutal speed was just a bridge too far and she dropped out. She’s better than that, so have to give her another chance.

Race 6. (15:30) Matriarch Stakes 2000m

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Back Me

Up to 2000m looks ideal for 7 Rondinella (Bet Now: $4.20). She comes through the Ladies Day Vase at Caulfield where she was just left flat footed when the sprint went on but kept chasing and was quite good behind Spanish Reef. A rise in trip looks perfect for this mare, who ran so well in some high quality Group l races during the Autumn.


Under the conditions of the race re weights, I think 13 Girl Tuesday (Bet Now: $3.70) is a key chance. Was freshened up and came back to the mile last start on Cox Plate Day in a race totally dominated in front by Amangiri, but thought she closed off very well. She’s just so well suited at this weight scale, and 2000m on a big track looks perfect. Just don’t want too wet of a track.

Long Shot

Not dismissing 4 Nettoyer (Bet Now: $14.00). She ran in the Empire Rose last Saturday and speaking to Wendy Roche post race, she wasn’t thrilled with the ride. Given little hope of winning, but it was a day where making up significant ground was saved for the top class eg Melody Belle and Exceedance. Up to 2000m I like and she did win the Angst on the seven day back up.

Race 7. (16:10) Chatham Stakes 1400m

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Back Me

Happy to speck 1 Streets Of Avalon (Bet Now: $11.00) each way. He comes through the Cantala last Saturday when wide no cover throughout on a heavy track and he really struggled in the conditions, but actually stuck on really well in defeat I thought. He and Tom Melbourne look the only go forward horses here, so he can take care of the wide barrier I think and each way, back to 1400m, he’ll run a beauty I reckon, and his seven day back up record is outstanding.


That’s taking nothing away from the win of 6 Iconoclasm (Bet Now: $5.00) in the VOBIS Gold Star. He was given a 12/10 steer by Olly and made Widgee Turf chase, and that was the winning move. Back to 1400m looks a little query with him, but I hope they roll on speed and don’t hold him because there are a couple of sharp types engaged.

Long Shot

8 Manolo Blahniq (Bet Now: $21.00) isn’t racing too bad for Tony Noonan. He comes through the Moonga at Caulfield when just off the speed and tried hard but couldn’t finish it off with the moderate tempo but was still game in defeat. Has run well here in the past and much better than what his record reads. Can run a positive race at odds.

Race 8. (16:55) Mackinnon Stakes 2000m

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Back Me

How can you ignore 15 Melody Belle (Bet Now: $3.00). I was somewhat against her in the Empire Rose last Saturday given she had been beating up scrubs in NZ, but gee she was just so impressive, winning impressively and was pretty much the only winner for the entire meeting that made up significant ground. Her two wins at 2000m have been impressive and I’m on board with her now.


8 King’s Will Dream (Bet Now: $9.00) is a definite improver back to Flemington. Scored a super win in the Turnbull two back before going to the Cox Plate where he probably wasn’t 100% suited around the Valley but stuck to the task very well in defeat behind Lys Gracieux. J Mac on, just needs to overcome the tricky gate to be hard to hold out.

Long Shot

6 Kluger (Bet Now: $23.00) could be worth something very small each way. His Australian form is brilliant, except the Cox Plate last time out, but there were clear excuses for him that day. He didn’t look happy on the tight track, not handling the turns at all, and he did pull up with throat issues post race. Bigger track, fitter…he can bounce back for sure.

Race 9. (17:45) Seppelt Drumborg Grand (80) 1100m

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Back Me

I think 1 Esperance (Bet Now: $5.50) deserves another chance. He resumed over 955m at the Valley on Cox Plate and usually those races are run at a strong tempo, but this particular one, they just walked in front, and those on speed, including the winner Fine Dane, were seriously advantaged. Fitter, up in trip and was very good in this race last year.


Matt Cumani has 3 Akkadian (Bet Now: $14.00) flying. Admittedly he had things fall into place for him on Geelong Cup Day but he still had to take advantage of it and he did it in good style, showing a really good turn of foot when asked by John Allen. Has run well down the straight in the past and now has the win under the belt, so his confidence should be up.

Long Shot

19 I’m Telling Ya (Bet Now: $23.00) is always thereabouts whenever he races down the Flemington straight. He comes through a sprint race on Moe Cup Day where the track was absolutely bottomless and he ran a blinder from the back when fourth to La Tigeresa, who ran well at Flemington on Tuesday, so the form doesn’t read too bad and he saves his best for the straight course.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Four Number 5 True Self

NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 7 Rondinella

LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 1 Streets Of Avalon


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 4, 5, 7, 13

Leg Two: 1, 3, 6, 8, 12

Leg Three: 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 15

Leg Four: 1, 3, 16, 19

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