20 February 2016 (Racing at Flemington - Headquarters)






Racing at FLEMINGTON with the penetrometer reading 4.82, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMINGTON (HEADQUARTERS) after last racing here 3 weeks ago on January 30, 2016 when the rail was out +9M. Hoping for an even track, pace dependant. As always, be sure to keep a close eye on the track and how it’s playing in the early races for best guide, especially given the issues experienced Cup week last year. Fingers crossed they were a once off.


Race 1: We start with a benchmark 90 for the fillies and mares over the mile. Tricky opener, with a very evenly matched bunch and pace/tactics will be key. Looks to be decent pace up front with one we’ve had a lot of luck with recently ALL CERISE expected to lead again from MARLI MAGIC and WRITTEN. Be interesting as to how much pressure the latter two put on ALL CERISE as I think it’s in their best interests to ease the pressure. If they leave ALL CERISE alone, she’ll be hard to run down again, but given even tempo or stronger, thinking VITAL IMPORTANCE @ $7+ (SPORTSBET) may have the nice sit and given a touch of luck as they straighten can turn the tables on the back of a 2.5kg weight swing. Throw a blanket over the rest, most with legitimate winning claims, main dangers led by the one we’ve had plenty of luck with of late in ALL CERISE.



Race 2: Now for the two year olds down the straight, hence always an element of unknown, especially now that the one we were keen on OVERSTEP is out. Was pretty keen, but not to be today. Take first four saver with any they back close to jump time. Now, slight lean WANT TO ROCK @ $12+ with BET365. Proven down the straight for red hot stable and ran well in high class 2YO event last time. Main dangers PEARL CONGENIAL, WEATHERLEY and BRITTANY. Add any others they back late into your savers/multiples.

SUGGEST: WANT TO ROCK (EACH WAY) @ $12+, FIRST FOUR (3, 9, 11 / F / F / 8) (CONFIDENCE 25%)

Race 3: Another benchmark 90 for the fillies and mares, this time down the straight over 1000m and another tricky and ultra-competitive affair with little between most runners. Slight lean **JAPHILS** @ $7+ (WILLIAM HILL, CENTREBET) first up for Sadler with Zahra aboard. Given the odds on a tricky card, will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also want to have a smaller play on best longshot *PRETTY POSSUM* whose best is good enough to be in the finish here at a very juicy $41+ with SPORTSBET. Given the odds will make a BEST LONGSHOT of the day. Main danger ESTAMINET who is the one to beat, but rock bottom odds in my opinion and AFLEET ESPRIT.

SUGGEST: **JAPHILS** (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $7+, *PRETTY POSSUM* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (1, 8 / 3 / F / 5), (1, 8 / F / F / 3, 5) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Benchmark 90 over 2000m and this one looks straightforward in the form of PEMBERLEY @ $2.90+ on a WIN only basis. Loved the way he got moving quickly after finding a run in the straight and hit the line well. Nicely weighted due to being ‘up in class’ but this is no harder than the benchmark 84 contested last time. Drawn awkwardly (11 of 11) but Stackhouse to have plenty of time to find a spot over 2000m. Main dangers AZURITE, FALAGO and TUFF HOST who gets weight swing to beat GOLDEN MANE here.

SUGGEST: PEMBERLEY (WIN) @ $2.90+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5, 9 / 11 / F / F), (F / 1, 5, 9 / 11 / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 5: Now for the Group 3 Vanity for the three year old fillies over 1400m. Really hard race for mine, with plenty of guesswork given several first up or first time in Melbourne. Pace and tactics to be key with no pace on paper, hence someone could steal a soft lead and potentially race winning break by using some initiative. Sure to be a great form race with bigger fish to fry for several runners. You could do worse than watch and learn, however do think ALASKAN ROSE is a touch of overs @ $10+ (SPORTSBET) after a great first up run and did race on pace when dominant 4.5L winner on debut. Throw a blanket over the rest, led by those at the top of the weights. Note, no third dividend.

SUGGEST: ALASKAN ROSE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 3, 4 / F / 6 / F), (1, 2, 3, 4 / 6 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 6: Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes and another select crop of three year olds. Again, there doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper, hence the opportunity is there for a jockey to take the initiative which may prove a bold and potentially fruitful move. Top pick is one we have been on since first coming to town (when we got close to double figure odds) in PALENTINO who looks above average and could be a future star. Keen for a primary WIN only play here at $4+ (WILLIAM HILL, CENTREBET – significantly better than all other operators!) on the wider expanses of Flemington which should suit. Can also settle midfield or a touch closer from the good draw. Best value TOP ME UP @ $21+ (SPORTSBET, LUXBET, BET365) who missed the jump last time, before hitting the long very well from close to the rear. Hoping they elect to lead (which he’s done in the past) from the tricky gate (10) and if so, can give them something to catch, especially if nobody elects to put on the pressure. Main dangers RIVER WILD who will definitely be right on the pace and VOSTOK who won’t be far behind either. Deep race.

SUGGEST: PALENTINO (WIN) @ $4+, TOP ME UP (EACH WAY) @ $21+, FIRST FOUR (6, 9 / 4 / F / 8), (F / 6, 9 / 4 / 8), (6, 9 / F / 4 / 8), (F / 4 / 6, 9 / 8) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 7: Now for the feature, the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, with a small but very select field assembled. Following the scratching of KINGLIKE only 6 runners remain and I actually think every single runner has a chance as you’ll see by suggestions below. Don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know CHAUTAUQUA and EXOSPHERE are the ones to beat, both breathtaking at various moments in the past and with arguably the best sprinter in the world, against the up and comer who could be anything. Both currently $2.50+ which is the right price, however am going to save them through skinny quaddies/multies instead of big standalone investments given the red hot opposition they face here. Actually think JAPONISME is the main betting proposition standalone, having got the job done down the straight last time in the Coolmore and we are quick to forget he opened last prep with 4 wins from as many starts before EXOSPHERE knocked him off when going for 5 straight. Just thinking might bet a few lengths on the two favourites before they start warming up, which could be significant enough to reel in. At $11+ (SPORTSBET) happy to play. Then want to have something small on the rank outsider of the field in VA PENSIERO @ $91+ (CROWNBET) after two good, solid trials. Might just have the fitness edge on a few year and give them something to chase at any old odds. Awesome race, can’t wait. Note, no third dividend.

SUGGEST: JAPONISME (EACH WAY) @ $11+, VA PENSIERO (EACH WAY) @ $91+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5 / 1, 5 / 6 / 4), (1, 5 / 6 / 1, 5 / 4) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 8: Open handicap over 1400m. On the assumption all runners are getting their chance, in particular leaders/on pacers, then think this is another where on pacers could dominate due to minimal natural on pacers engaged, although CHARMED HARMONY always ensures a truly run race. Can’t split CHARMED HARMONY and the red hot DAN ZEPHYR, both at $5.50+ with most operators. Given the skinnier odds, suggest taking both on WIN only basis’.



Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 96 down the straight over 1200m and an ultra-competitive affair in my opinion, following the scratching of SUPIDO who gave them whiplash last night, hence looking to play around a few at juicy odds now. Slight lean TANSY @ $12+ (LUXBET, BET365), ahead of best value runner **HARD STRIDE** @ $21+ (SPORTSBET) and best longshot *FLOW METER* @ $41+ with most operators. TANSY should now be ready/no excuses, **HARD STRIDE** was beaten for speed early last time, but love how he got going late so expecting more improvement over the more suitable 1200m and *FLOW METER* has more than decent form for a 40/1 pop. Given the odds will make **HARD STRIDE** a BEST VALUE of the day, and FLOW METER a BEST LONGSHOT of the day. Main danger who I just couldn’t squeeze in was JIMANDO @ $14+, as well as YESTERDAY’S SONGS, LONROCKSTAR, ONEROUS and WE’VE GOT THIS in a very deep race.

SUGGEST: **HARD STRIDE** (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $21+, TANSY (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $12+, *FLOW METER* (EACH WAY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (1, 3, 5, 9, 14 / 1, 3, 5, 9, 14 / 1, 3, 5, 9, 14 / 2, 11, 13), (1, 3, 5, 9, 14 / 2, 11, 13 / 1, 3, 5, 9, 14 / 2, 11, 13) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 



Average odds a juicy $19.46+ per suggested runner!