5 November 2016 (Group 1 racing at Flemington - Headquarters)






Racing at FLEMINGTON with the penetrometer reading 4.86, so currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +3M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We return to headquarters (Flemington) for the final day of cup week, the final day of the 2016 Melbourne Cup carnival. Rail remains out +3M after it was in the same position on Thursday, when we experienced a strong bias towards those closer to the fence and natural closer to the pace, given backmarkers who had to swing wide couldn’t get close enough to the rail to be a chance. There is a risk similar occurs Saturday, however surely they will be doing everything in their power to try and even things up to ensure most horses get their chance, pace dependant. Fingers crossed it plays fairly but unfortunately don’t have confidence after what happened Thursday and in turn have to assume backmarkers may struggle again. As usual, important to keep a close eye on the track and how it’s playing in the early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start the day with the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate for the two year olds over 1000m. Bit of guesswork like usual, however loved the tough effort from WAIT FOR NO ONE on debut and don’t see any reason why he can’t make it two out of two here at $5.50+ with most operators. Barrier 11 will ensure Baster gets to the outside and until we see a horse win anywhere else, then we must assume the outside rail is the place to be in these straight events. Main dangers led by AZAZEL and RESIN, ahead of CAO CAO and ASPECT.

SUGGEST: WAIT FOR NO ONE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $5.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 15 / 2, 4, 5 / F / F / 2, 4, 5), (1, 4, 5, 15 / F / F / 2) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 2: Next is a benchmark 90 over 2000m and this looks to be a tactical battle, with the track and how it’s playing to be key again. Finding it hard to split two here, both drawn wide, but expect to push forward and cross easy enough to settle ion front or just behind the leaders. The two in question are HIPPARCHUS @ $3.20+ (most operators) and KILMACURRAGH @ $6+ with WILLIAM HILL. Happy to simply play around the two, HIPPARCHUS on a WIN only basis, and KILMACURRAGH on an each way basis. Main dangers MASTER ZEPHYR, SHAMKIYR, CURRAGH and LITTLE WHITE CLOUD.  

SUGGEST: HIPPARCHUS (WIN) @ $3.20+, KILMACURRAGH (EACH WAY) @ $6+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4, 8, 13 / 5, 14 / F / 5, 14) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is the Queen Elizabeth run over 2600m and TOM MELBOURNE @ $2.70+ (BET365) looks terribly hard to beat here, especially if any advantage on/close to rail and/or to on pacers persists. Doesn’t look to be much pace on paper, so should dictate and be hard to run down. Took a monumental performance by Oceanographer to reel him in, in the Lexus and don’t think there’s any Oceanographers here. Just a standalone play, pace/tactics key to the chances of others.



Race 4: Listed Hilton Stakes over 1400m for the three year olds and a very tough race. Pace/tactics and how track is playing is key, not to mentioned most likely luck in running. As a result, don’t want to put all our eggs in one basket and consequently want to spread bets across three runners in particular. Slight lean INSIDE AGENT @ $9+ with most operators who will most likely be near the rail from the inside draw, but will need gun hoop Bowman at his brilliant best to weave a path home. We’ll leave that in Hugh’s usually safe hands. Next is PALLADIAN @ $21+ with UBET, LUXBET and BET365 who can hopefully settle just behind what looks a hectic pace up front and hopefully find the right gap at the right time. Finally, *SIMPLY INVINCIBLE* @ $51+ with most operators. Had excuses last time and wasn’t far behind top pick two back at Flemington. Given the price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers ENIGMAN, TESSERA and DAM READY all of which at $17+ themselves. Obviously, hoping for them to go a little crazy up front.

SUGGEST: INSIDE AGENT (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $9+, PALLADIAN (EACH WAY) @ $21+, *SIMPLY INVINCIBLE* (EACH WAY) @ $51+. FIRST FOUR (2, 10, 14 / 2, 6, 10, 13, 14, 16 / F / 6, 13, 16) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 5: Next is a benchmark 96 over the mile (1600m) and this looks a tricky, ultra-competitive affair with pace/tactics and any track pattern key to the outcome here. Scarred about those getting back needing to peel wide after Thursday and as a result have tried to stay away today, but they obviously come into play if things even out. Slight lean to BOOM TIME @ $10+ (SPORTSBET) who I wanted to back Thursday, but has been saved for this, however will need some luck from the widest gate (13), given barrier 14 is now scratched. Williams needs to be on his toes and try and find a spot near the rail. The other I want a play on is *HELL ON EARTH* @ $23+ with LUXBET and SPORTSBET. Importantly should get the right run from the good draw and the question will be whether he’s good enough, however is in form, but this is a jump in grade. Given the odds will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers LUCKY PADDY, LAST BULLET and FLOW METER, however doesn’t end there in a deep race.

SUGGEST: BOOM TIME (EACH WAY) @ $10+, *HELL ON EARTH* (EACH WAY) @ $23+, FIRST FOUR (4, 8, 11 / F / F / 13, 14) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 6: Now for the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes for the mares to be run over 2000m and there looks to be a bit of pace up front, with several speed runners drawn wide and expected to be pushing across hard to try and get on/near that rail. Looking at a couple who have drawn very well and will position themselves just behind that lead pack and if the track is given those closer to pace/closer to rail every chance as is our assumption today, then think both should be right in the finish. Top pick **DENMAGIC** @ $6.50+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR, who ran super last time and given the current odds will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Ahead of LADY LE FAY @ $3.70+ with SPORTSBET and BET365. Was obviously on the wrong part of the track last time and don’t care what Waller says, they (Bowman) pulled the wrong rein by staying on the rail regardless of how well she was travelling around the bend. Main dangers AMARELA, ZANBAGH and ALASKAN ROSE who will all need luck (and arguably a much fairer track) from closer to the rear. And will throw the somewhat out of form RISING ROMANCE in as a danger also, has the ability, and has had strong support in early betting.

SUGGEST: **DENMAGIC** (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, LADY LE FAY (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.70+, FIRST FOUR (2, 6, 12, 14 / 8, 10 / F / 8, 10) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: And now for the feature, the Group 1 WFA (Weight For Age) Emirates Stakes (which will confuse some as the old Emirates Stakes was run last week over the mile, but this is what most know/knew as the Mackinnon Stakes run over 2000m). Doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace here (always the risk of over-reaction if on pacers are favoured again today, something that surprisingly never happened Thursday). As a result, VADAMOS @ $4.20+ (WILLIAM HILL, PALMERBET, BET365) looks hard to beat here, after staying on very well in the Cox Plate after doing a lot of work. As long as the race hasn’t taking too much speed out of the legs, then hard to catch/beat. Then, think the three year old GOOD STANDING with a featherweight of 51kg can run a race at $11+ (BET365). Should be tracking VADAMOS from the good draw and the stable elected to bypass the Derby for this, and given they won the Derby it would be the ultimate stroke of genius by young James Cummings should he be able to pull off two of the Saturday features in Cup week. Main dangers THE UNITED STATES (track and how it’s playing out wide is key, if even, then hard to beat), similarly HAPPY CLAPPER who kept running on in the Cox Plate after looking likely to drop out at top of the straight, similarly AWESOME ROCK back on top of the ground, and the big unknown ENDLESS DRAMA.

SUGGEST: VADAMOS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.20+, GOOD STANDING (EACH WAY) @ $11+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4, 6, 8 / 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 12 / F / 5, 12) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 8: And now for a mouth-watering Group 1 Darley Classic down the straight over 1200m. We don’t have a champ such as Black Caviar or Chautauqua here, but what that means is a very open, competitive race. In saying that, leaning towards a past top class galloper who has been very good to dungeon followers over the journey and thought **LANKAN RUPEE**’s first up run with 61kg was brilliant and as a result want to play at $6.50+ with most operators. Gets a favourable 4kg swing in the weights, compared to favourite OUR BOY MALACHI for 2.2L defeat, that normally equates to a turn of the tables, not to mention he was held up for a run until late. Given the odds, will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also, want something on MALAGUERRA who has done nothing wrong (hardly ever), is ultra-consistent and should be right in the finish @ $9+ withy most operators. Main dangers JAPONISME, THE QUARTERBACK, SPEITH and FELL SWOOP, but race doesn’t end there in a great open race.

SUGGEST: **LANKAN RUPEE** (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, MALAGUERRA (EACH WAY) @ $9+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4, 5, 10 / 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 / F / 1, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 9: And then we arrive at the final race of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which started in brilliant style on Derby Day with a brilliant day at the office, followed by two of our poorest days on record on Cup Day and Oaks Day, and this is after years of summaries being provided. Legitimate reasons why, however that’s punting and time to hopefully bounce back today, especially for the short term followers only playing for 1 week of the year, and happened to miss the brilliant day that was Derby Day. Emirates Airlines Handicap over 1400m and been patiently waiting for LUCKY LIBERTY who we tipped on Caulfield Guineas Day before being scratched at the barriers, we then tipped out of the blue on a Sunday when looked an out and out moral at Sale and won accordingly, was then scratched Tuesday and now finally back today. $10+ with SPORTSBET is a great price, however unfortunately due to scratchings, no third dividend, so do take note of that. Not much between the rest.




Average odds $11.39+ per suggested runner

** BEST VALUE **: DENMAGIC @ 6.50+, LANKAN RUPEE @ $6.50+