We’re back at Flemington this weekend after a few average results on a very wet track at Warrnambool. The predicted good track here should see every horse get it’s chance and hopefully we can get back on the winners list.
The headline races for Saturday at Flemington are the $90,000 Flemington VRC Handicap (Race 2), the $90,000 Celebrate Women Trainers Handicap (Race 5) and the $90,000 Singapore Turf Club Trophy (Race 7). As always, Best Bets, One for exotics, a race prediction and the analysis is provided below.
Race 1 2YO Fillies Plate 1100m
Hard to go against our black booker and top weight Merriest here. Was well backed after trouncing his rivals on debut. Looks short enough at $2.30 but has drawn well and should be winning. Giroux won well in a Maiden first up after drawing wide and wasn’t far away from the handy Highland Beat before the spell. Looks to be another talented filly and a danger to the top pick. Harlow Gold and Sebring Dream from the Hayes and Dabernig camp must be respected on debut along with Montoya’s Secret. Cant make a case for anything else.
One for exotics: Montoya’s Secret ($16)
Race prediction: 1-2-7-10
Verdict: Merriest should be winning here, saver on Giroux. 1U on Merriest@2.20. 0.2U on Giroux@7.50 (Ladbrokes)
Race 2 Flemington VRC Handicap 1800m
Zabisco is progressing well this preparation getting closer and closer with every run. His effort last start says he’ll relish the step up to 1800 and looks a very good chance to take this one out after turnitarond romped in earlier this week franking his last start form. Second Bullet loves it here at Flemington and is always around the mark first up. He might want it a little bit further but looks clearly the classier horse of this lot. Rib Eye looks very short here at 2.80 after a promising first up run. He steps up 400m in distance while plummeting in weight. Ben Allen has been riding well but i think this will be too tough. Imperial Lass is one who wouldn’t shock at big odds. She put in a lacklustre effort first up but was finishing well. Poor record at the track but she is getting closer to the ideal distance range. Good Value is finding it hard to win but isn’t without claims.
One for exotics: Imperial Lass ($13)
Race prediction: 3-1-8-7
Verdict: Zabisco looks a good bet with the enhanced odds. 1U on Zabisco@5.50 (Ladbrokes)
Race 3 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1200m
Fleur Fatale was first up after a year off and almost knocked off the Apache Cat lookalike Miss Vista. She carried weight on that occasion and looks well poised here to chalk up her second win with the drop of 4 kilos. Dance With Fontein ran well in the same race as Fleur Fatale. She beat the horse Bella Capri who knocked off Grey Street last time out. Looks a great each way chance here with $18 available. Grey Street was every possible chance (wasn’t disgraced) last start but couldn’t match it with Bella Capri. Big question marks over the Flemington form and her ability to run a strong 1200. Can bounce back but i don’t know how strong that race was. Rebound looks to have plenty of upside after finishing well at Sale first up. Her only effort second up was a demolition job at Stawell in a maiden. Russian Empress next best.
One for exotics: Dance With Fontein ($18)
Race prediction: 3-4-2-6
Verdict: Fleur Fatale looks very hard to beat but having a bet each way on Dance With Fontein. 0.25U each way on Dance With Fontein@18:4.00 (Ladbrokes)
Race 4 Benchmark 78 2000m
The Bandit is a month between runs but looks to have found an ideal race here. He takes forever to wind up so the Flemington straight should suit him. Finished alongside Doctor Care last start and that galloper has franked the form since beating the handy Real Love. Month between runs the negative. My Bantry Bay ran well on his Australian debut behind a potential star in Raw Impulse. Drawn wide, up in weight but rising in distance and fitter second up; should be in the finish. Zayak over from Adelaide brings some strong 2000 form. Sir Prospector is the query runner; watch the betting. Black Stardom, Yenhaab and Auld Burns aren’t hopeless at big odds.
One for exotics: Zayak ($31)
Race prediction: 7-3-8-6
Verdict: Too many form-lines in a seemingly open race. No bets.
Race 5 Open Handicap 1000m
Supido bolted in first up down the straight over 1200. Drops back here but that should be no issue. Looks to go on to bigger and better things. Hard Romp gets the pass mark off his first up run. Loves it here and has a very good record over 1000m. Second up record good also. Le Bonsir is a battler and his best is certainly good enough. Watch the betting first up. This looks to be a warmup race for Admiral. Short of his best distance but look for him to be running on late. Face Forward might be the blowout here. Her only effort at this track and distance was an impressive win. Illustrious Lad was the best of anything behind Supido but can’t possibly see him winning here.
One for exotics: Hard Romp ($16)
Race prediction: 7-3-2-1
Verdict: Supido looks the goods, Hard Romp the value. No bets.
Race 6 3YO Handicap 1400m
Sir Sagamore was backed off the map last start and came from the tail with a long sustained run. Gets the slight weight swing on the winner but has drawn wide again. Would’ve liked him better over the mile but he’s crying out for a win and should be hard to beat. Un De Sceaux had a dream run last start and just held on to salute at big odds over this track and distance. Looks a big chance again after drawing well. 10$ is appealing. Prestwick impressed first up at Sale in Tuesday class. This is a lot harder but he has plenty of upside. Looks unders at around $4. Lazumba might be able to bounce back over 1400 at Flemington where his last win was. Wasn’t disgraced in a harder race last start. Whirlpool came from last to win first up over 1200m off a 280 day spell. Should be fitter second up and might be the best of the maiden brigade.
One for exotics: Lazumba ($13)
Race prediction: 10-1-3-5
Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 5, 10, 15
Verdict: Risky again with the wide gate but think Sir Sagamore will be too good. 1U on Sir Sagamore@5.00 (Ladbrokes)
Race 7 Singapore Turf Club Trophy 2800m
De Little Engine is all class and thrives over the longer trip. He won a 2800m race in Melbourne Cup week coming from last at Flemington. He is rising sharply in trip but does look to peak third up here. I missed the 7.50 on offer when markets opened unfortunately, but he still looks good value at $4.20. Lucky Lucky Lucky is another who looks ready to win. He’s capable of throwing in the odd shocker but overall he’s a very consistent galloper. $3 looks short enough for a horse who’s never won over further than 2200. Paradanza was okay last start from the back. She was jumping 930m in distance second up and should be much fitter here third up. Has no weight on her back after the claim; each way at $15. High Church was disappointing last start but form prior was good. Like a Carousel never wins.
One for exotics: Paradanza ($15)
Race prediction: 2-4-9-6
Quaddie selections: 2, 4, 9
Verdict: Missed the each way odds on De Little Engine. No bets.
Race 8 Benchmark 90 1400m
Del Prado ran well first up in a high quality race. Loves it here at Flemington and looks suited over 1400. Has plenty of weight but the claim helps and looks a great chance at $10. Whistle Baby always runs well here and was reasonably good behind a couple of smart ones at Caulfield. The form from that race has been good as well. The New Boy will be up on the pace making his own luck. He did win well last start but big questions marks over what he beat. In well after the claim. Duibio always runs well here and was okay last start. Was 5 weeks between runs so may have been bit flat. Looks short at $3.80 but has no weight after the claim. Staviva was the best behind Supido but his record at 1400 is a big query. Chivalry has been a long way from his best for a while. His first up effort was a pass mark and could be ready to improve second up. Weir has been winning everything lately but $6 looks unders. Just can’t bring myself to leave it out of the quaddie.
One for exotics: Del Prado ($10)
Race prediction: 1-4-6-11
Quaddie selections: 1, 4, 5, 6, 11
Verdict: Quite an open race here. No bets.
Race 9 3YO+ Fillies and Mares Benchmark 84 2000m
Gabella has had three runs in Australia and is getting better each time. Gets the blinkers on today and made a stack of ground (the only horse to do so in the race) late behind the in form Tarquin. On the quick backup and up in the weights but looks hard to beat here. Miss Wynette has tears of joy form similar to the top pick. Beat a few of these at Caulfield in March and isn’t hopeless at $17. Chabaud has some good Tasmanian form and wasn’t far away in the ATC Oaks last start. Hard to line up the three year old form though. Inishowen’s best is good enough. Big jump in distance but last start was promising. Snow Secret it a bit of an unknown but wasn’t far off Master of Arts last year who won the Warrnambool Cup this week. Sure You Can loves Flemington and his last start form looks good.
One for exotics: Miss Wynette ($17)
Race prediction: 2-3-8-7
2, 3, 6
Gabella clearly the one to beat, quick backup the query. 1U on Gabella@6.00 (Ladbrokes) No bets after the major scratching. Going to replace it with Sure You Can in the quaddie.