14 January 2017 (Racing at Flemington)






Racing at FLEMINGTON, currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +3M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We return to headquarters (Flemington) after the rail was in the TRUE position here on new years’ day, and now comes out +3M. Hoping for a level playing field, pace dependant, but as usual, important to keep a close eye on the track and how it’s playing in the early races for best guide. Note, westerly and south westerly winds are forecast which may have an impact with a potential head wind in the straight, hence cover early in the straight and in particular in the straight races could be important.


Race 1: We start the day with a benchmark 78 for the three year olds over 1400m.  Slight lean WIDGEE TURF here at $2.70+ with BET365. Just think he’ll get the right cover which will be important, especially if there’s a headwind in the straight. Patient ride needed to peel out as late as possible and given the smaller field, should be afforded the luxury of doing just that. Handy claim by Beau Mertens, hard to beat. Main dangers OAK DOOR and EMPTOR, ahead of KENEDNA.

SUGGEST: WIDGEE TURF (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $2.70+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 4 / 1 / 2, 3, 4 / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 2: Next is a benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares over 2000m and don’t see any reason why **VANDANCER** can’t get the job done again at $4.20+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR. Loved the way she powered away late last time and again importantly gets the luxury of additional cover in the straight with the likely chance that main dangers and favourites HELL OR HIGHWATER and HONEY CARA lead the way up front, in this instance hopefully into a headwind. Just needs an ounce of luck to avoid doing extra work early, but over 2000m in a small field, that shouldn’t be an issue. Keen and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day.

SUGGEST: **VANDANCER** (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.20+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 2 / F / 3) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 3: Next is another benchmark 84 for the fillies and mares, this time over the shorter 1400m distance. Very competitive affair as illustrated by the market with 7 of the 9 runners currently in single figure odds. In saying that, like **NEW SUMMER NIGHT** here at a tidy $7.50+ with BET365. Has the low percentage, get back racing style, however I think will be benefitted by the smaller field, meaning dead last on the turn is only a few lengths behind instead of 6-7. Is in great form, despite what form guide suggests. Keen, each way and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Throw a blanket over the rest.



Race 4: Next is an open handicap for the three year olds down the straight over 1100m and this is a race that is close to my heart. As many of you would know, I am a part owner in IF NOT NOW WHEN who resumes here after a long layoff, last racing in Adelaide back in April. She actually jumped into a fence which took longer than expected to heal, including a false start in trying to get ready for late Spring, but the wound hadn’t quite heeled. She now seems over that issue (fingers crossed), however goes into tomorrow’s race underdone, having just one very soft trial (untouched), but hitting the line nicely. As a result, she hasn’t been put under much pressure with the first button push being tomorrow. Whatever she does tomorrow, she will improve on. I’ll personally be vbery happy if she runs a ‘nice’ race and isn’t too far away. A placing would be fantastic in what is a very competitive field. As you may have guessed given the fitness factor we won’t be tipping her and despite there are many legitimate winning chances, I have BARTHELONA on top at $3.90+ (most operators) which is the primary play, ahead of CAPANELLO @ $6+ (UBET) which is the secondary play. Given the odds, happy to simply play both on a WIN only basis, however shop around and see what you can find. Throw a blanket over the rest, and fingers crossed our girl can be there and thereabouts. The aim if all goes well is to head to the Inglis Dash on January 28 at Flemington over the same distance, but worth $250k.



Race 5: Next is an open handicap over 1000m and another small, yet competitive field assembled. I think best value lies in the form of GRANE @ $15+ with LUXBET. Well weighted here, is going well without winning, get back style may work okay here (especially if there’s a head wind) and is proven down the straight. Probably went as good as any here two back behind Decision Time, which was obviously a very profitable race for dungeon followers! J Then, the key runner is without doubt DIVINE TEN and the money so far says he may be ready to fire. Skinny enough odds for mine, but must respect and a must include in quaddies, multiples, etc especially if money/support continues. Next best ROCK’N’GOLD, GENERAL TRUCE and BEAU RADA but very even race.

SUGGEST: GRANE (EACH WAY) @ $15+, FIRST FOUR (3, 4, 9 / F / F / 5) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 6: Now for a benchmark 90 over 2500m and like SOVIET COURAGE here at $4.80+ with LUXBET. Will appreciate any give and given the rain that fell Friday, not expecting anything firmer than a GOOD (4) which will be ideal. Outside draw, but there doesn’t look to be much pace on paper, which should allow Oliver the ability to cross and get a spot, possibly just behind the leaders and most importantly get some cover early. If he does, then should be right in the finish against another even lot. 7 of the 9 runners in single figure odds once again. Very competitive. 



Race 7: Next is the feature of the day, the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes over 1400m and this is tough. Most runners here with legitimate claims at varying levels and should be a good race. Going with the handicapper here and leaning towards two at the top of the weights. Firstly, LORD ASPEN @ $6.50+ with most operators who I prefer back to 1400m where he won over this same track/distance three back ahead of Rough Justice and Lucky Liberty who have franked form since. Also want to play *TONOPAH* at a juicy $19+ with UBET. Went well first up and will only improve second up over the longer trip. Most likely still looking for longer, however at the price, think he’s worth the gamble with proven second up form. Will be hitting the line hard, hopefully not once it’s all over. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers GRANDE ROSSO, AIRALIGN and DIVINE MR ARTIE.  

SUGGEST: LORD ASPEN (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, *TONOPAH* (EACH WAY) @ $19+, FIRST FOUR (4, 6, 8 / 2, 3 / F / 2, 3) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 8: Penultimate event is an open handicap over 2000m, another even affair. Going with MASTER OF ARTS at $4.60+ with SPORTSBET, who looks to be flying this prep running well over unsuitable shorter distances. Now gets to right trip and should be ready to fire. Also, want to give KOURKAM another chance, despite having every chance last time. $13+ is a good each way price and is capable of improving here. Main dangers GALAXY RAIDER, FLYING LIGHT and CHANCE TO DANCE but doesn’t end there.

SUGGEST: MASTER OF ARTS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $4.60+, KOURKAM (EACH WAY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (2, 5, 13 / 1, 7 / F / 1, 7) (CONFIDENCE 40%) 


Race 9: We finish with a benchmark 78 over 1100m and a tough finish to a card which seems to start relatively straight forward but quickly becomes quite tough and competitive. Want to play three here with decent enough value on offer. Firstly, RICH CHARM @ $5.50+ and considering the triple play here, will go with a WIN only play. Very consistent galloper, who loves the straight. Ahead, of LITTLE INDIAN @ $10+ who won brilliantly for dungeon followers last time. No reason why he can’t do similar here and given the way he finished, the extra 100m should suit. Finally, a secondary play on *I’M ABLAZE* @ $26+ with most operators. At the odds, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers DOMESDAY WARRIOR, INVINCIBLE HEART and WALL STREET WOLF, but again doesn’t end there with many legitimate winning chances.

SUGGEST: RICH CHARM (WIN) @ $5.50+, LITTLE INDIAN (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, I’M ABLAZE (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (7, 10, 12 / 3, 8, 15 / F / 3, 8, 15) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds $9.19+ per suggested runner