It’s National Hall of Fame Raceday at Flemington this Saturday. Minor showers between now and the weekend but we should be running somewhere in the Good range. Big fields should make for some open races and big priced winners.
The headline races for Saturday at Flemington are the $200,000 Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Race 7) and the $120,000 Straight Six (Race 8). All 9 races will be covered below providing the race prediction, one for exotics, best bets and quadrella selections.
Race 1 2YO Plate 1400m
Not an easy one to kick off proceedings here. Putting Sebring Dream on top. One start, but she finished strongly down the straight here in a reasonably good quality race for the 2 year olds. Drawn and bred well. Cliff Hanger ran a nice race on debut on the heavy track at the bool. Should be hard to hold out up in trip on a firm surface. Jaws of Steel won nicely in the Mornington Sires two back before an poor show behind the quality Prized Icon. Expect better. Montoya’s Secret can improve with race fitness. Might’ve wanted further on debut. Beach Life looks more than short enough here at $3.80 coming out of a weak Ballarat maiden.
One for exotics: Cliff Hanger ($9.50)
Race prediction: 12-4-1-13
Verdict: Will be leaving the two year old race alone. No bets.
Race 2 3YO Fillies Benchmark 78 1200m
Euston Road has come back in top form this preparation and beat a good one two weeks ago down the straight. Only goes up 1 kilo on that effort and looks nice value here at $9. Reemah seemed to peak on her run first up but should be fitter here second up. Wasn’t far away in some top quality races last prep. Payroll can run a nice race first up. She was scratched last week and should be storming home over 1200. The failure at Flemington is somewhat of a concern. The lightly raced Glenn Road goes in next after his booming finish at Ballarat off the freshen up. Mihalic has been trialling well and has won at the track as well as first up.
One for exotics: Glenn Road ($13)
Race prediction: 6-1-2-10
Verdict: Tempted by Euston Road at $9 but this race also looks a bit open to bet. No bets.
Race 3 Open Handicap 2000m
Have to go with Turnitaround here after his dominant win in Warrnambool cup week. The form out of his race prior has been good and he looks very hard to beat with 52 on his back here. Extra Zero is coming back from the jumps but his record is far too good to ignore. He rarely wins but always runs an honest race. Place looks best. Killarney Kid is doing a great job building the picket fence. The Weir stable is on fire but this is tougher. It’s hard to line up his form. The race pattern was against Second Bullet first up. His Flemington record speaks for itself; he can run a nice race here. Moriarty is another class runner who has group form around 2000. Wouldn’t surprise. Doumaran is the unknown.
One for exotics: Extra Zero ($15)
Race prediction: 7-1-8-6
Verdict: Turnitaround looks a nice bet in a pretty open race. Turnitaround W@4.60.
Race 4 Benchmark 78 1600m
Raffle. Grand Dreamer has a great record over the mile. He was very well backed and couldn’t reel them in last time. He’ll be giving them a start but looks hard to hold out here with no weight. If you’re willing to forgive Mr Pago after his sub par effort at Caulfield last start then he looks a nice chance at $17 here. Beat home two subsequent winners in Show a Star and Turnitaround prior and if he can replicate that effort he can win here. Aurum Spirit has been hitting the line hard and the big open track should suit despite his overall poor record at Flemington. Santa Rocks brings the NSW form but I’m certainly not getting carried away at $3. Mihany may be able to bounce back but his effort last start suggests he may be ready for a spell. War Story is a big watch.
One for exotics: Mr Pago ($17)
Race prediction: 13-11-5-14
Verdict: Grand Dreamer on top with Mr Pago the value. No bets.
Race 5 3YO Handicap 1600m
If Shockaholic can jump with them he looks a top chance to go back to back. Was very impressive last time out beating a few of these over 1400. I can’t see anything from that race turning the tables. Loyalty Man was backed off the map last start before performing below expectations. He was terrific the start prior over this distance and looks well suited after the claim. Atlantic City looks ready to peak here third up. No match for the winner last time after being wide throughout but he ran well. Untested at the mile. Sir Sagamore was entitled to do more last time and I can’t have him above some of the others here. His effort prior was good. Un de Sceaux may not have been in the A-Ground last time. Good win prior. Whoop Whoop was impressive first up after 10 months walking in at Cranbourne but this is significantly tougher.
One for exotics: Sir Sagamore ($11)
Race prediction: 2-1-7-10
Verdict: Slight concern with young apprentice but Shockaholic looks a good thing. Shockaholic W@5.50.
Race 6 Benchmark 84 1800m
Think Time to Test looks good value here at $12. There was money for him first up after a year long spell in an on pace dominated race and he crossed the line with subsequent winner Tonopah. His one effort over this track and distance he wasn’t disgraced melbourne cup week. Sir Prospector ran well on his Australian debut but doesn’t look particularly suited with the drop in distance. Should appreciate the drop in weight but he’s drawn wide and will be a long way back. Looks risky at $4.40. Every Faith ran a pass mark last week and is on the quick backup here. Written is impossible to follow for a punter. If the bias allows she can run a big race. Tenacitus is always around the mark but finds it hard to win. Fair And Equitable can run a nice race at big odds. Like the Into the Mist form.
One for exotics: Time To Test ($12)
Race prediction: 5-10-4-3
Quaddie selections: 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12
Verdict: Wide start for quaddie punters. Hoping Time To Test can run well second up. Time To Test E.W@12:4.00.
Race 7 Andrew Ramsden Stakes 3200m
I was very impressed with Barwon’s effort two weeks ago here. Doesn’t look particularly well suited with the weight rise but the senior rider takes over today and he looks like a young stayer with plenty of upside. Lucky Lucky Lucky won quite well beating a few of these over 2800. He’s up 1.5kg today and his one effort at 3200 was in the Adelaide Cup where he wasn’t disgraced. De Little Engine was well backed and just kept grinding away to hit the line okay last time. He’s a true stayer so the distance won’t trouble him. Master Zephyr is untested at this distance range and looks short enough. Glorious Sinndar might relish the jump in trip. Swacadelic has to lug 60.5 and it would take a mighty effort.
One for exotics: Barwon ($21)
Race prediction: 16-4-3-6
Quaddie selections: 3, 4, 6, 10, 16
Verdict: Plenty of unknowns here. Happy to have an each way bet on Barwon at big odds. Barwon E.W@21:7.00
Race 8 Straight Six Handicap 1200m
Another raffle. My Poppette was an eye catcher first up behind Olivier. That form has been franked and she looks perfectly suited out to 1200 here. Durendal is building a formidable record at this distance range. He’s 2/2 down the straight but his first up record is questionable. Le Bonsir beat all bar Lumosty in this race last year and has a great second up record. Fancy Lumosty would be beating this lot. Demonstrate is in career best form this preparation and isn’t without claims. I won’t be taking the short odds in this wide open affair. Thermal Current was poor last start but is certainly good enough to bounce back. Whistle Baby likes it here but might want it a bit further. Heart Testa always runs well first up. First time down the straight. Mirage and Odyssey Moon next best.
One for exotics: My Poppette ($11)
Race prediction: 16-2-5-19
Quaddie selections: 2, 3, 5, 16, 19
Verdict: My Poppette looks overs at $11 as does Durendal at $12. No bets.
Race 9 Open Handicap 1400m
I’m willing to give Sistine Demon one more chance here. Led at a frantic pace with Charmed Harmony last start before fading late to be beaten by just over a length. Those who passed him both ran very well last week. Has a great record at 1400 and likes it at Flemington. Tycoon Tara will appreciate the drop in grade. Wasn’t too far off them in the Robert Sangster. In reasonably light and has drawn well. Zebrinz will be flying home late but think he might perform better over a bit further. The New Boy can run a race here with no weight. Drawn well to get a nice sit on the speed. Mr Backchat ran well last week. The majority of the field have a case here.
One for exotics: Tycoon Tara ($15)
Race prediction: 4-5-7-15
Quaddie selections: 4, 5, 7
Verdict: Another very open race, go as wide as you can in the quaddie if you can afford it. No bets.