Flemington // August 6th
The good horses are returning from the paddock and spring is just around the corner. The Box Seat is back and looking to get off to a winning start this Saturday at Flemington. It a 9 race card for Racing Rewards Raceday.
The headline race for Saturday at Flemington is the $150,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (Race 7). All 9 races are covered in our thorough analysis below including our Race Prediction, One for Exotics, Betting Verdict and Quadrella Numbers.
Race 1 3YO+ Fillies and Mares Benchmark 84 2000m
Savannah Moon showed great fight to fend off the challengers at Flemington two weeks ago when in trouble. She’s a much better horse this preparation and i think she can go back to back. Khutulun was well backed, well ridden and walked in last start. 3 starts in as many weeks is a bit of a question mark but she relished the quick backup last week. Az Given took advantage of the leaders bias at Moonee Valley 3 weeks to claim a solid victory. I think Savannah Moon can turn the tables on that last encounter but she isn’t without a chance. Yulong Baby was a noted drifter at her last start and performed accordingly. She gets a nice weight drop today but not so sure 2000 metres is ideal. Cinnamon Carter best of the rest.
One for exotics: Cinnamon Carter ($16)
Race prediction: 4-1-3-2
Verdict: Happy to have a small bet on Savannah Moon. Savannah Moon W@4.00
Race 2 3YO Benchmark 70 1400m
Zubaqa looks a classy filly in the making. I’m unsure if she’ll measure up over here but the way she won last start was impressive. Odeon and Loch Oir fought out the finish at this track and distance two weeks ago. It’s hard to see anything from behind turning the tables but I have to go with the winner Loch Oir with Ben Allens claim (despite losing the flying Williams). Lessyd is a winner down the straight here and looks well suited to 1400 off his first up effort. Brookwater ran well first up, this is tougher.
One for exotics: Lessyd ($16)
Race prediction: 3-2-6-1
Verdict: No thanks.
Race 3 Open Handicap 2000m
Pin Your Hopes is absolutely flying at the moment. He’s a completely new horse this preparation and should prove very hard to beat again despite the weight and distance rise. Killarney Kid has an exceptional record over this distance and has a liking for Flemington. He looks very well placed here. Lucques is the best roughie for mine. He’s a pretty talented stayer and might need another run but has won second up before. Golden Mane was well backed off the freshen up and just missed, the form looks good. Almandin has solid 2000 metre form from France. I think he might just need this run but it wouldn’t shock to see him storm over the top of them.
One for exotics: Lucques ($26)
Race prediction: 3-2-6-5
Verdict: Pin Your Hopes to keep building the picket fence, too short to back at 2.40. No bets.
Race 4 Open Handicap 1700m
Cannot believe Royal Rapture was $15 last start. He had a stack of weight and did it easy over the mile. Drops 4kg and is drawn to get the run of the race, surprised bookies are offering $3.80. Petrology is a nightmare for followers but he does have claims in this event. Not getting my money. Falago is dropping back in distance and has been in work for a long time but he does have claims at double figure odds. Taiyoo will probably need the run first up with this weight but he is all class when right. Lord Durante does his best racing elsewhere and happy to risk.
One for exotics: Falago ($10)
Race prediction: 4-2-5-1
Verdict: Royal Rapture to go back to back, Petrology could blow them away or run last. Royal Rapture W@3.80
Race 5 Open Handicap 1400m
It was hard not to be impressed by Ulmann last start. He was given the gun run by Williams, stalked the favourite, took over at the 150m mark and never looked in doubt. Don’t take too much out of his Flemington record as his efforts have been behind Malaguerra and Turn me Loose. Duke of Brunswick was a sitting duck last start and beat all bar one. He is building quite the record of finding one better but should have every chance from the good barrier. Gracious Prospect generally runs well here and should be fitter third up. His best is good enough. Pilote D’essai is the big query runner. One run in Australia for a dominant win, unbeaten fresh. Sadaqa is capable of a form turnaround.
One for exotics: Gracious Prospect ($26)
Race prediction: 6-5-9-11
Verdict: Think another last start winner can go on with it. Ulmann W@4.00
Race 6 Benchmark 90 1000m
What a way to start the quaddie. The lightly raced O’Malley hasn’t been seen for a while but he ticks all the boxes. Rough Justice is a proven straight tracker and flies fresh. Runsati wasn’t suited at weight for age but looks a big chance on his run prior. Profit Share is untried at this trip but he’s a big talent. Trevinder doesn’t usually run well here but its hard to ignore his fresh run in stakes grade. Valiant Warrior is unbeaten second up and has performed well down the straight. Wary of Shaf, Risen From Doubt, Hard Romp and Le Bonsir. Cannot justify the sub $5 for Gun Case.
One for exotics: Rough Justice ($11)
Race prediction: 12-3-14-5
Quaddie selections: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 14, 15, 17
Verdict: One of the most open races on the card. No bets.
Race 7 Aurie’s Star Handicap (G3) 1200m
Another tricky straight race. Mighty Like was terrific first up over this track and distance. He usually runs just as well second up and will take a stack of beating with the handy weight drop. Ruettiger looks the biggest danger. They both have formlines through Voodoo Lad and although Ruettiger has more upside I think Mighty Like is the more talented horse. Finally broke through last start and can go on with it. Magnus Reign had a cruisy run last start and should only benefit from a drier track. Not suited by the relative weights though. Mr Chard has had his fair share of problems but is a talent when right. Also wary of Smart Volatility. Beirut and Sooboog are dual acceptors in a G3 in Adelaide, both seem under the odds but are chances. Sooboog with the blinkers back on is the pick of the two.
One for exotics: Magnus Reign ($17)
Race prediction: 4-9-10-7
Quaddie selections: 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13
Verdict: Think Mighty Like is worth a bet at the current odds. Mighty Like W@7.50.
Race 8 4YO+ Mares Benchmark 84 1200m
Miss Softhands was scratched last week and looks well placed here. She was just warming up late first up and has an excellent second up record. Has won at this track and distance and $10 is overs. Lahqa is 7 weeks between runs and usually runs well fresh, must be included. I thought Nadeem Lass would be in the finish last week but she was quite disappointing. Giving her one last chance back to Flemington. My Sister Lil didn’t have the best of luck last start, don’t know if she would’ve tested the winner though. Kaniana had the best closing splits at her last start but she was entitled to run on. Cannot justify $5.50. Just Stellar goes in next.
One for exotics: Miss Softhands ($10)
Race prediction: 1-3-4-2
Quaddie selections: 1, 2, 3
Verdict: Another mares race with a stack of chances. No bets.
Race 9 Benchmark 78 1200m
Tyrranize was 6 weeks between runs last time and was just run over by the 101$ pop Astro Castro. Oliver will give him every chance here and the extra 100 metres suits. Heza Ripper was backed off the map last start and led all the way; the form from that race has been good. Untried down the straight but looks the biggest danger. Badajoz looks a danger with the nice weight swing, he did have every chance last start though. It wouldn’t shock to see Camdus bounce back, he was awful last start. Take on trust but he looks short enough at $6. Blithe Belle impressed last week and can go on with it.
One for exotics: Blithe Belle ($12)
Race prediction: 17-3-7-11
Quaddie selections: 3, 17
Verdict: Might have a bet on both Tyrannize and Heza Ripper. Tyrranize W@4.40. Heza Ripper W@7.00.