12 March 2016 (Australia Cup & Newmarket day racing at Flemington)






Racing at FLEMINGTON with the penetrometer reading 4.91, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +3M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMINGTON (HEADQUARTERS) on the quick backup after we raced here last week when the rail was in the TRUE position. 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.


Race 1 (updated at 9:55am AEDT 12/3): We start with Group 3 Breeders Stakes for the two year old fillies over 1200m. Was actually super keen on this race and similar to Kinglike last week, was going to really crack up the confidence % despite tidy each way odds being available, however has unfortunately been scratched. Not sure what went wrong in the Blue Diamond, but CONCEALER really disappointed. Would normally want to be all over her here, back down the straight where we successfully backed her on debut at 20/1, but just can’t get the latest run out of my head, especially now at what is a skinny $3.70+ price tag.  ZAMZAM was meeting her 2.5kg better for actually beating CONCEALER by 4.4L in the Blue Diamond, hence my confidence in ZAMZAM, however with ZAMZAM out, CONCEALER’S chances obvious rise. In saying that given the poor run last time, can’t rush into the $3.70+, although no surprise to see her win this well. Instead prefer smaller play on value runner GLORIETTE @ $19+ (SPORTSBET) who was on the wrong part of the track last time in decent race and has form down the straight finishing alongside Flying Artie on debut. Also gets blinkers on first time. Main dangers CONCEALER (put a line through last start and his form is brilliant for this), SOVIET SECRET and EMPHATICALLY. -> GLORIETTE also scratched and will replace with a somewhat speculative small play on JOAN CONSTANCE who was not far behind MERIDIAN STAR who has headed up to Sydney and they both beat the much talked about Override. At $41+ worth a small each way play.

SUGGEST: JOAN CONSTANCE (EACH WAY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5, 6 / F / F / 10), (F / 1, 5, 6 / F / 10), (F / F / 1, 5, 6 / 10) (CONFIDENCE 25%)


Race 2: Group 2 Sires Produce for the two year olds over 1400m and a very tricky and competitive affair with many legitimate winning chances. Slight lean to **DETECTIVE** @ $6.50+ (BET365) who looks ready to break into the winner’s stall after three consecutive 2nds from as many starts. Needs a touch of luck from the gate (8), but trust gun hoop Blake Shinn to find a spot and assuming he does, should be right in the finish here. His three losses have come at the hands of Capitalist (Golden Slipper fave before last week’s flop), French Fern and Kiss And Make Up (respective 2YO group winners last Saturday at Randwick). Given the odds, will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main danger the Tassie invader HOT DIPPED @ $4.20+ (most operators) who is striving for 4 wins from as many starts and the Tasmanians have a good record when they decide to head north across the Bass Strait. Include the latter in savers/multies and/or a narrow early quaddie first leg. Next best REVOLVING DOOR, SEABURGE and JACKSON.

SUGGEST: **DETECTIVE** (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (8 / 3 / F / F), (8 / F / 3 / F), (8 / F / F / 3), (2, 4, 5 / 3, 8 / F / 3, 8) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 3: Listed event for the three year olds over 1100m down the straight once again. Keen on one here who looks big overs in the form of *CERTAIN ELLIE* @ $23+ (LUXBET). Underrated filly who looked to be bolting behind them with nowhere to go last time at the Valley. Gets a 4kg drop against several rivals here. Given the odds, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Then want to have a speculative bet on SOOBOOG @ $31+ (most operators) despite recent sub-par form this prep. We know his best is much better and may be one of those Hawkes runners who grows a leg down the straight. Given the price, a secondary play shouldn’t hurt the bank. Main dangers led by the top weights BASSETT and BROCKHOFF, one we were all over last prep in SUPER CASH and the bottom weight for Lee and Shannon Hope SANDRELLI @ $26+ also after smashing his rivals in a weak maiden last time. Massive class rise, but you can only beat what’s up against you, and be particularly wary of any monetary support.

SUGGEST: *CERTAIN ELLIE* (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $23+, SOOBOOG (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $31+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 9, 13 / F / F / 3, 10), (1, 2, 9, 13 / 10 / F / 3), (1, 2, 9, 13 / F / 10 / 3) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Group 2 Blamey Stakes over the mile. Have looked long and hard for value here, but unfortunately the bookies look to be thinking along the same lines as me and I just can’t go past STRATUM STAR again, after we just missed behind Turn Me Loose last start in the Futurity @ $17+, however this time we need to settle on a much skinnier $2.90+ (most operators). However, do think that is a decent enough price on a WIN only basis in a much easier affair here. Main dangers TRUST IN THE GUST (who can’t draw a gate 10, 12, 15, 10 and now 11 past 5 starts), THE UNITED STATES who was brilliant last time in the Futurity and blinkers on first time which is a very interesting gear change, and HE OR SHE who drops back to the better suited mile from 1800m last start. Would be surprised if the winner is not mentioned above, hence 4 max in early quaddie leg. 

SUGGEST: STRATUM STAR (WIN) @ $2.90+, FIRST FOUR (1, 5, 10 / 2 / F / F), (1, 5, 10 / F / 2 / F), (boxed 1, 2, 5, 10) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 5 (updated at 9:55am AEDT 12/3): Now for the Group 2 Kewney Stakes for the three year old fillies over 1400m. Intriguing race, with many key chances drawn wide, hence jockeys are worth their weight in gold and luck in run set to play a part. Had DON’T DOUBT MAMMA drawn a gate (has drawn the outside 16 of 16) would have played there, but $5+ too short given the luck needed to win from there. Similarly PASADENA GIRL who gets weight relief on most rivals who contested the Armanasco last time, however will need luck from barrier 13. Instead keen to play around two, firstly BADAWIYA first up @ $6.50+ (UBET, WILLIAM HILL, LUXBET, UNIBET), has hardly put a foot wrong in career to date in top class events and as long as she arrives wound up and ready to fire after a break, then want to be in her camp. Be sure to monitor betting for a gauge on stable confidence and do take a decent look in the yard. The other I want to give another chance to is LET HER RIP @ $12+ (LUXBET, PALMERBET, BET365) after repeatedly running into dead ends last time in what was a total forgive run. Simply, didn’t get a crack at them last time and as a result we get a price here. Main dangers the two mentioned in DON’T DOUBT MAMMA and PASADENA GIRL, who will both be hard to beat if they can find a spot from wide gates, as well as CATCH A FIRE who is flying. -> LET HER RIP scratched, hence removed from all suggestions.

SUGGEST: BADAWIYA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 4 / 3 / F / F), (1, 2, 4 / F / F / 3) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 6: Now for the first of the Group 1 features, with the mouth-watering Newmarket handicap. The world’s best sprinter up until now has been CHAUTAUQUA and rightly so, but this proves a massive test with the weights not on the champ’s side. Stable are saying he is going as well as ever, and he simply needs to be to overcome weight swings against several key rivals here notably JAPONISME and DELECTATION. And I’m predicting a changing of the guard here with 3YO JAPONISME to hopefully turn the tables on the champ CHAUTAUQUA predominately on the back of the 2.5kg swing in the weights for only a 0.2L defeat. Yes, this is an extra 200m and many will argue CHAUTAUQUA is better over 1200m, however I’m not 100% convinced. DELECTATION also gets the right swing against CHAUTAUQUA on both of last two starts. While the third of the Waller trio COUNTERATTACK gets in with an ultra-light 50kg and gets decent weight relief on JAPONISME for their battle in the Coolmore. Had COUNTERATTACK elected to wear blinkers, I’d be playing there, however given they haven’t, I’m sticking with JAPONISME as the top pick here @ $4+ (UNIBET), just ahead of main dangers CHAUTAUQUA, COUNTERATTACK and DELECTATION. Taking the four only in the quaddie. Super race as expected.

SUGGEST: JAPONISME (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4+, FIRST FOUR (1, 10 / 6 / F / F), (boxed 1, 2, 6, 10), (roving 2, 6, 10 / F), (roving 1, 6, 10 / F) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 7: Now for the other feature, the Group 1 Australian Cup run over 2000m and a cracking race on paper, far from easy to decipher. Made even trickier by the fact the two that jump straight out (PREFERMENT, BOW CREEK) are drawn to two outside gates in 10 and 11 respectively. Not much between many of these, however slight lean to the proven Flemington 2000m galloper in PREFERMENT @ $6+ (PALMERBET, SPORTSBET) who has been set for the race and Bowman I dare say has made the trek south predominately for this ride, despite a decent book across the card. The barrier is a slight concern, however have faith in one of the best in the business in Hugh Bowman being aboard and navigating the right run accordingly. Also, want something on FENWAY @ $11+ (most operators) on a secondary basis, then call me crazy but want a peanut each way on *EXTRA ZERO* @ $51+ (BET365) after going down a pimple last year at 100/1. Given the odds, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers led by BOW CREEK (suggest saving one out quaddie leg/multi. Hard to beat, but will need some luck from the gate/usual racing pattern), OUR IVANHOWE, RISING ROMANCE and SUAVITO. All are musts for fatter quaddies.   

SUGGEST: PREFERMENT (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $6+, FENWAY (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $11+, *EXTRA ZERO* (EACH WAY) @ $51+, FIRST FOUR (6 / 2, 11 / 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11 / 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11), (5, 6, 9, 10 / 2, 11 / F / 2, 3, 11) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 


Race 8: Group 3 for the fillies and mares over the mile and as is the case with many of these middle distance events for the girls, as competitive affair on paper. Probably would have been on SACRED EYE’S CAMP here, however another Hayes runner who looks set to embark on arguably tougher challenges north of the border. Not normally a big fan of NOBLE PROTECTOR as it always seems to start ‘unders’, however on this occasion NOBLE PROTECTOR does look hard to beat on the assumption she’s wound up and ready to fire after 3 trials. When she won this race last year, she only had the one trial, although latest trial you wonder why they bothered as she sat last the trip and was never touched, a clear last in the end. Pace/tactics here key with a distinct lack of pace on paper, hence the evenness of the track crucial to all horses getting their chance, given it has been quite up and down at headquarters in recent times. We can only assume all will be fair. Fingers crossed. If the pace is on or they are making up ground, then I rate METAPHORICAL highly. Her racing style (to get back), means she needs a bit of luck on her side each time, luck that she simply hasn’t had in recent times, despite very good runs given the situations presented. As a result, looking at primary WIN only play on NOBLE PROTECTOR @ $3.60+ (BET365) and secondary each way play METAPHORICAL @ $13+ (SPORTSBET). Happy to play around the two who I think are the best two in the race, hence enforcing the ‘best horse(s) rule’. Main dangers ANAPHORA, FELICIENNE and MISS ROSE DE LAGO especially given the lack of pace expected up front and solid support early ($4.80 into $3.30!).

SUGGEST: NOBLE PROTECTOR (WIN - PRIMARY) @ $3.60+, METAPHORICAL (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (2, 10, 11 / 1, 6 / F / 1, 6), (2, 10, 11 / F / 1, 6 / 1, 6) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 9: We finish with a listed event over 1400m and another even affair with many different form lines to try and match up. Given the odds on offer, leaning towards **CORONATION SHALLAN** @ $10+ (most operators) who I believe is an underrated galloper well and truly good enough to win here at listed level after being very competitive at group level at past 4 starts, including a Group 3 victory over Azkadellia on Cox Plate day, which is brilliant form, even when you take the on pace bias into the account on that day. Has had a trial, which is tricky to line up how wound up she is here, as she was beaten 8.5L, however the first two went hard and gapped the rest and she finished alongside very good types in Politeness and Noble Protector. Each way play at nice odds and given the price will make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also want a WIN only play on JESSY BELLE @ $6+ (BET365) with the blinkers on first time. Main dangers YESTERDAY’S SONGS and SMOKIN’ JOEY.

SUGGEST: **CORONATION SHALLAN** (EACH WAY) @ $10+, JESSY BELLE (WIN) @ $6+, FIRST FOUR (1, 8 / 4, 6 / F / 4, 6), (1, 8 / F / 4, 6 / 4, 6), (1, 8 / 4, 6 / 4, 6 / F) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 




Average odds $16.11+ per suggested runner!