7 October 2017 (Group 1 racing at headquarters - Flemington)






Racing at FLEMINGTON with fine weather forecast and currently looking at GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +9M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMINGTON with the rail out +9M. Hoping and expecting an even track, pace dependant. Upon walking the track Friday, it seemed relatively even (despite the usual Flemington patchiness, which created guesswork), however was quite firm and windy, so expecting them to water Saturday morning which may change things up slightly, hopefully not. In saying that, no official penetrometer reading for Flemington, which makes things tricky. Not sure why we have different rules/processes for all besides one track. Very odd. Be sure to keep a close eye on the track and how it’s playing in the early races for best guide, especially given recent uncertainty over how the track will play.


Race 1: We start a cracking day of racing with the two year olds in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes over 1000m. As you’d expect plenty of guesswork, with not one, but a full complement of debutants, although trial form to work from. Tough gig here, but think best value lies with two in the form of NOMOTHAJ @ $8+ (BET365) and LADY BITHIAH @ $11+ with UBET, CROWNBET, BET365. Both have trialled well, expecting to go well down the straight, look ready for a first up tilt (while some others seems to have targets later) so happy to play around the two. Main danger SUN LIGHT.

SUGGEST: NOMOTHAJ (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8+, LADY BITHIAH (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $11+, FIRST FOUR (roving 8, 9, 11 / F), (F / 11 / F / 8, 9) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 2: Next is the Listed Antler Luggage Stakes over 1400m. Would have been all over CHAUFFEUR, and after he was out, I was all over TAKING AIM, who is now out. Actually had as bets of the day L. Good, competitive race, with plenty of legitimate winning chances. Will replace with the stablemate (possibly part of a plan?) ICON OF DUBAI @ $6.50+ (UBET, CROWNBET, BET365) here who was dominant at the provincials last time, but has been competitive in good races previously and now hopefully has the confidence to go on with things here in this step up in grade. Then, want to give PLUTOCRACY another chance at a juicy $15+ with BET365. Was super down the straight last prep, very good first up, then too bad to be true last time. All gallopers are allowed a forgive run (especially second up), so going to just put a line through and hope to simply return to previous form here. Little reason why he can’t. Main dangers HULME, RELLSON and ESPERANCE.

SUGGEST: ICON OF DUBAI (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, PLUTOCRACY (EACH WAY) @ $15+, FIRST FOUR (7, 10, 11 / F / 7, 10, 11 / 4, 6), (7, 10, 11 / 4, 6 / F / 4, 6) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Yet another Listed event, this time the UCI Stakes for the three year olds over 1800m. Found it hard to split CLIFF’S EDGE and ESHTIRAAK, however have landed in **ESHTIRAAK**’s corner at $7+ with BET365 and LUXBET. Poor ride by Oliver last time, get forced back to worse than midfield and seemingly impossible position, before weaving passage late. Also, gets 2kg drop in the weights which should be very important here. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Also, something smaller on SILENT COMMAND at $31+ (BET365). Jumps in grade, however like the small freshen up since winning in listed grade last time in Adelaide. At the price, happy to take the punt that the colt can lift and surprise at this level. Main dangers CLIFF’S EDGE, MAIN STAGE and SUNQUEST. Doesn’t end there, another deep race.



Race 4: Next is the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes over 1200m and some top class gallopers here. Going with one I’ve always rated very highly from the very beginning and I think a Group 1 is only a matter of time (fitness permitting), hence a Group 2 here should be a stepping stone to that, although there is Group 1 form/winner here. SPIETH is his name and the price on this occasion is $2.65+ with BET365 and CROWNBET. Has obviously been unlucky down the straight before but despite missing, was ultra-impressive hence the straight holds no concerns. Main dangers are obvious in THE QUARTERBACK (Group 1 Newmarket winner here) and SILENT SEDITION. I’d be leaving multiples and/or early quaddies to the three only.

SUGGEST: SPIETH (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $2.65+, FIRST FOUR (1, 6 / 4 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 45%)


Race 5: Now for the feature, the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes with the star of the show the queen of the turf WINX, however with a legitimate contended here in HUMIDOR, meaning another legitimate race for the champ. In saying that, the worries experienced past two (especially last start) screams of a horse screaming out for the extra distance, ideally 2000m, which we get here. Alternatively, HUMIDOR heading towards a Caulfield Cup and I dare say looking to be cherry ripe ‘after’ this run and over the 2400m. If the track wasn’t so hard, I’d so throw the kitchen sink at the superstar mare, however my ever so “very, very, very” slight query is the potential for jarring up on a firmer track, something of which I’d expect would be carefully checked early tomorrow. No doubt Waller would’ve had his say, and I’d expect relevant levels of water to be added in the morning. I have no issues with this, as I personally think all tracks should be aimed at a GOOD (4) as opposed to a GOOD (3) but that is a debate for another day/ another pub. As a result, this is pretty much a no bet race and one you want to simply sit back, watch and hopefully admire a champion in full flight. With one exception, just in case a disaster occurs I’d be taking a first four without the champ in early placings, just in case and given there won’t be many tickets without her hence extremely amplified dividends. But as racing fans and purists, let’s hope to God that doesn’t happen.   

SUGGEST: FIRST FOUR (1, 3, 6 / 1, 3, 6 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 5%) 


Race 6: First leg of the quaddie is the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes for the three year old fillies over the mile (1600m). Pace/tactics set to be key here, with not a great deal of pace on paper, hence assuming that eventuates going to play a few here at big prices instead of having all our eggs in the one basket. We’ll start with *PAGEANTRY* at $31+ (UBET, SPORTSBET, BET365) who we were on last time and had little luck in what was effectively a forgive run. As a result, if I liked there, no major reason to be jumping off here and happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Next is ANGELIC SPIRIT at $19+ (UBET) for the very capable Busuttin / Young yard. Drawn awkwardly but should be able to slot in on pace and comes out of decent form race which is hopefully confirmed on the back of race 3 earlier in the day. Finally PRES DE TOI at $27+ with SPORTSBET. Another drawn very wide (the extreme outside gate), but can hopefully slot in on pace and also be franked by the form out of race 3. Main dangers LEATHER ’N’ LACE, ANCHOR BID and HIYAAM (at odds, should she get a run), then throw a blanket over many others. Always an exciting race.

SUGGEST: *PAGEANTRY* (EACH WAY) @ $31+, ANGELIC SPIRIT (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $19+, PRES DE TOI (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $27+, FIRST FOUR (F / 3, 4, 17 / F / 8, 10, 16) (CONFIDENCE 25%)


Race 7: Next is the Group 3 Bart Cummings run over 2500m. Obviously, always about identifying value but in some instances the market is right and we still need to find a way to try and generate a profit. Clear two on top here in ALMANDIN at $1.90 and HARLEM at $4.20+ with most operators. Price differential pretty much spot on, making this hard to split. As a result, happy to simply play around the two who I think have a class gap over the rest.



Race 8: Penultimate event is THE Group 2 Blazer Stakes for the mares over 1400m. Difficult race as you normally expect with these Group mare races with very little between many of them. Absolute stack of chances, however after a lot of back and forth have landed on a two pronged play on PROMPT RESPONSE at $9.50+ (CROWNBET) and *ECKSTEIN* @ $18+ also with CROWNBET. Just liked how PROMPT RESPONSE got going very late last time just when you expected her to drop away and can most definitely improve second up. *ECKSTEIN* is an underrated galloper in my opinion, has done very little wrong and raced very well in grade at least equal of this. If part of a bigger stable, would be half the odds. Happy to play around the two in a tough race. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers MISSROCK, PETITION, SWORD OF LIGHT and MERRIEST.

SUGGEST: PROMPT RESPONSE (EACH WAY) @ $9.50+, *ECKSTEIN* (EACH WAY) @ $18+, FIRST FOUR (4, 9, 11, 16 / F / 4, 9, 11, 16 / 1, 5) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 9: We finish with the Listed Paris Lane Handicap over 1400m. Importantly there looks to be decent pace on paper here, hence pace/tactics and how track is playing key. NEW TIPPERARY looks hard to beat here at $5+ with most operators. Looks very well suited in this grade and returned very well first up in good Group 3 race in Sydney. Normally takes a run and goes better second up and although is arguably better over longer, does have 2 wins from 3 starts over 1400m. Will also appreciate the conditions. As long as he handles the Melbourne way of going, should be very hard to beat and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day to finish things off. Also, want to have a secondary play on PAY UP BRO at a juicy $27+ with SPORTSBET. Looked to be running on well last time when peaking on run late, should be fitter here and will appreciate a decent tempo up front, should that eventuate. Main dangers GOOD PROJECT, TASHBEEH and PURE PRIDE all at double figure odds themselves.

SUGGEST: **NEW TIPPERARY** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $5+, PAY UP BRO (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $27+, FIRST FOUR (2, 6, 13 / 8, 15 / F / 8, 15), (F / 2, 6, 13 / 2, 6, 13 / 8, 15) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds a juicy $14.79+ per suggested runner!