7 November 2017 (Melbourne Cup Day racing at Flemington)

PUNTING DUNGEON

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FLEMINGTON

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2017

 

Racing at FLEMINGTON with some light showers happening as we speak, but radar looking clear and only up to 2mm expected which should be ideal for the track itself. Currently looking at a GOOD (3) surface.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMNGTON for ‘the race that stops a nation’ which has definitely improved over the years after once being a one race card, with plenty of substandard undercards. The rain keep staying away (as it did with Caulfield and Moonee Valley) and I dare say Flemington would ideally like a bit more rain, however it looks unlikely at this stage. Rail remains in the TRUE position, as it was Derby Day hence expecting no disadvantage to be closer to the pace/fence (pace dependant), similar to how it played Saturday. But as always, be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.

NOTE: The day always seems very tough, and this year is no exception, looks as tough on paper as ever, so be sure to have a play, especially with the massive pools on offer, but I wouldn’t necessarily be unleashing with confidence levels on most races lower than usual. In saying that, hope we’ve found a couple to ensure a profitable day.

 

Race 1: We start with a Group 3 for the two year old fillies over 1000m down the famous Flemington straight. Always plenty of guesswork with these races, with only the top two to have raced to date (but importantly both winners), while still issues with some barrier trials not available to view making things tricky in Victoria. Not ideal for us punters, that’s for sure. We were to have one play in the race and it was to be LAKE DISTRICT GIRL for McEvoy/Currie who love these two year olds events, however disappointed to see her scratched this morning. Instead will run with YULONG MONOCEROS at $11+ (most operators) and HAVANA HEAT at $18+ also with most operators. Both looked to trial (unofficially) well enough for good stables, with steady support for a first up run. Main dangers the two to race/win in QAFILA and SETSUNA, as well as ROOBEENA and ROCK THE WORLD at a price.

SUGGEST: YULONG MONOCEROS (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $11+, HAVANA HEAT (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $18+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 10, 11 / 6, 13 / F / 6, 13) (CONFIDENCE 25%)

 

Race 2: Next is a mares’ handicap to be run over 1700m and this is tough. Pace/tactics set to be key and as much as I was tempted to simply run with the obvious in INVINCIBELLA (who does look hard to beat), it doesn’t normally end up so straight forward on Cup Day and as a result playing a couple, but would recommend INVINCIBELLA for your multies. Instead looking for an each way price and have landed on MILES OF KRISHAN at $7.50+ (BET365). Has got too far back from average barriers first two runs this prep, but from barrier 3, surely Dee pushes forward and as long as we are settling on pace, just behind the leaders, then should be giving a great sight here each way. Then, want a secondary play on *ROCK AWAY* at a juicy $34+ with UBET. Has returned surprisingly well this prep winning first up at 100/1 and then just missing by a nose at 30/1. Similar to MILES OF KRISHNAN has gone back from bad gates (which has worked well), however hoping they take advantage of the much better gate (5) which will only enhance chances. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main danger INVINCIBELLA and happy to leave it there.

SUGGEST: MILES OF KRISHAN (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $7.50+, *ROCK AWAY* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $34+, FIRST FOUR (3 / F / F / 8, 11), (F / 3 / F / 8, 11) (CONFIDENCE 30%)

 

Race 3: Next is a benchmark 90 over 1400m. Pace/tactics/how track is playing set to be key here with more than decent pace expected up front. Can’t go past **NEW UNIVERSE** here at $4.60+ with most operators. Looks perfectly suited this grade and the pace on paper should only play into this gelding’s hands. Looks above average and with even luck in running should be winning. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, a secondary play on BOGGOMS at a tidy $19+ (LUXBET). Stokes/Tourneur have a knack of popping up this time of year in these races and form and pace on paper seems to line up here, especially given the price. Main dangers DIVINE QUALITY and LAND OF PLENTY.

SUGGEST: **NEW UNIVERSE** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.60+, BOGGOMS (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $19+, FIRST FOUR (3, 12 / 2, 6 / F / 2, 6), (3, 12 / F / 3, 12 / 2, 6) (CONFIDENCE 35%)

 

Race 4: Next is a benchmark 96 over 2800m. Similarly, part of me says GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY with the form around key Melbourne Cup hopefuls, notably Almandin and Amelie’s Star, however another who looks a good option for multies and/or even a one out early quaddie leg. Instead going with a couple of plays at each way price tags instead. Primary play SWACADELIC at $11+ (SPORTSBET, LUXBET) who looks set to relish the extra trip but we definitely need the pace on with several key chances, all set to go forward, including GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY. Then, a secondary play on FANATIC at a juicy $26+ (BET365) who just showed me enough late in the Geelong Cup to make me think if the pace is on and can get to the extreme outside (and track is allowing runners to come from behind towards the middle of the track), then can see a blowout. Several “ifs” but at the price, happy to take the punt. Main danger GRANDDUKEOFTUSCANY, ahead of SIN TO WIN, SHERLOCK HOLMES and UBIN THUNDERSTRUCK.

SUGGEST: SWACADELIC (EACH WAY – PRIMARY) @ $11+, FANATIC (EACH WAY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (3, 6, 15, 16 / F / 3, 6, 15, 16 / 2, 4), (3 / 6, 15, 16 / F / 2, 4) (CONFIDENCE 30%)

 

Race 5: Next is the Flemington Fling for the three year olds down the straight over 1000m. And finally a runner I’m keen on and jumps out as a clear top pick, in the form of **PROPERTY** at $5+ with CROWNBET and BET365. ‘Best horse’ rule for mine and was no chance first up on a track where you needed to be on pace and closer to the fence. Total forgive which hopefully flies under the radar somewhat here. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Main dangers PARET, MADEENATY and PIRACY.

SUGGEST: **PROPERTY** (EACH WAY) @ $5+, FIRST FOUR (4, 5, 9 / F / 4, 5, 9 / 1), (4, 5, 9 / 1 / F / 4, 5, 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 

 

Race 6: Now for the Listed Lexus Hybrid Plate for the three year old fillies over 1400m. Was very keen on RIVER JEWEL last time at a juicy 20/1 when we ran 4th against saving play who is the favourite here in OUR CROWN MISTRESS. Happy to give another chance at $19+ (BET365) with a 2kg swing in the weights to try and offset the 2.0L defeat. Then, happy to play another at a double figure price (it’s that kind of day) in TARCOOLA SPIRIT at $12+ with BET365. Gave us a scare last time when we were aboard Blondie at a juicy 20/1 at Moonee Valley Cox Plate day, but thankfully fell short. That run was super and can go close here. Main dangers OUR CROWN MISTRESS, COUNTERPLAY, BOOROOJ and WARRANTY.

SUGGEST: RIVER JEWEL (EACH WAY) @ $19+, TARCOOLA SPIRIT (EACH WAY) @ $12+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 6, 12 / F / 2, 3, 6, 12 / 4, 8) (CONFIDENCE 30%)

 

Race 7: And now for the feature, the race that stops a nation (or many in the nation), the Group 1 Foster’s Emirates Melbourne Cup run over the two mile (3200m). And importantly the first leg of the main quaddie. And arguably one of the most open fields I personally can ever remember. It’s taken a while, but after a lot of splitting hairs, predicting fitness levels, settling positions, etc I have returned to the last year’s winner who we were on in the form of ALMANDIN at $10+ with TOPBETTA and CENTREBET. Will be suggesting a few given the field/markets, however those at “shorter” prices, let’s just play WIN only. After narrowing it down, this guys just ticks more boxes than the rest, and his only failure over the staying trip (last start in the Bart Cummings) wasn’t “that” bad. This so called flop, was a 3.4L 4th to a real up and comer in AMELIE’S STAR. Many are knocking the weight, but weighing (pardon the pun), everything up including a Melbourne Cup win, 56.5kg doesn’t scare me, especially given the 8YO gelding has carried 60kg, 61kg, and 61kg at past (and only) three starts since last year’s Cup. Dettori rides and yes he made an absolute meal of things two years back (it was downright disgraceful), but the man “can” ride despite what many are saying and despite many misses in the past, many of which have been very “near” misses mind you. Then, it’s the other I mentioned above in AMELIE’S STAR at a juicy $26+ with CENTREBET. The Bart Cummings win was sensational and there was an obvious excuses in the Caulfield Cup ridden completely upside down. One of many recent brain farts by Craig Williams since taking out the jockey’s premiership. If I’m backing ALMANDIN, I need to be backing AMELIE’S STAR as the victory was comprehensive and they meet at the same weight differential here. Then, there’s BOOM TIME at $41+ with TOPBETTA. Yes, there is a legitimate query on the Caulfield Cup form, but this guy did have a short lived battle for position at the top of the straight with Damien Lane on HUMIDOR and came off second best. Parish was quick enough to release it was not worth pursuing, promptly ducking towards the rail which proved the race winning move. Then, I have two real longshots in LIBRAN at $67+ (CROWNBET) and WICKLOW BRAVE at $81+ (TOPBETTA). LIBRAN is one of my faves, will be much better here at Flemington, was super on Cox Plate day coming from last in a slowly run MV Cup on a day many struggled to make ground from the rear, and I really expect him to peak here. That man Waller goes alright and despite not winning the Cup, has a knack of good runs at odds with the likes of WHO SHOT THEBARMAN and KELINNI. Then, finally WICKLOW BRAVE, who I’m hoping gets out to 100/1+ on the day. The Caulfield Cup run was not the worst Melbourne Cup trial I’ve seen, copping a big check rounding the bend (which can never help) and hitting the line well, but importantly post the finish line was seen right on the heels of the placegetters. Happy to have a small dabble and throw into the multiples. Main dangers JOHANNES VERMEER (was to be the top pick until late, the only query is running a strong 3200m), MARMELO (Bowman just needs to be on his toes from a sticky gate), VENTURA STORM (big odds, not ideal had a foot issue in C/C but had an excuse and can only trust stable that hasn’t missed any work), BIG DUKE (I know Weir’s only concern is the very light lead up run in the slowly run MC Cup) and finally WALL OF FIRE (no knock, just can’t have them all). And plain and simply doesn’t end there. In an attempt to cull what is the most open field EVER, I’ve gone with history and put a line through every international who hasn’t had a lead up run in Australia. You could argue they’re due, but it has been 24 years since Vintage Crop created history and changed this race forever. Enjoy!   

SUGGEST: ALMANDIN (WIN) @ $10+, AMELIE’S STAR (WIN) @ $26+, BOOM TIME (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $41+, LIBRAN (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $67+, WICKLOW BRAVE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $81+, FIRST FOUR (5, 7, 10, 13, 20 / 2, 12, 15, 17, 23 / F / 2, 12, 15, 17, 23), (F / 2, 23 / 5, 7, 10, 13, 20 / 2, 12, 15, 17, 23) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 

 

Race 8: Next leg of the quaddie is the Listed Premium Stakes over 1800m. Been a fan of LIFE LESS ORDINARY since we backed it with super success at Australian debut when absolutely flew from the rear first up at only run the Melbourne way of going. All subsequent runs have been Sydney way of going. Almost caused a boilover against the very handy Comin’ Through first up this prep, hence have a feeling this gelding likes racing fresh/after a break. The concern is was heading towards bigger and better things (and longer distances), however they have reassessed after failing last time and following a 38 day break the drop to 1800m isn’t as much of a concern, not to mention the stable he’s in (Waller) who just know what they’re doing. Primary play at $8+ (UBET), but also want to play a couple of others at juicy odds in *TASHBEEH* at $31+ (BET365) and ARTICUS at $21+ (BET365). Both more than capable on their day, *TASHBEEH* finished alongside one we liked Saturday in Eckstein (who just missed behind Shoals in Group 1) and at the price happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. ARTICUS has run some bottlers and recent racing has been mainly in black type events. Last start too bad to be true, and blinkers off first time. Time for some Weir magic? Main dangers MAURUS, BALF’S CHOICE, LUBITON and PURE PRIDE  

SUGGEST: LIFE LESS ORDINARY (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $8+, *TASHBEEH* (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $31+, ARTICUS (WIN / EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $21, FIRST FOUR (4, 7, 11, 12 / 6, 9, 10 / F / 6, 9, 10) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 

 

Race 9: Penultimate event is the Listed MSS Security Sprint over 1200m. I’ll be honest, when I checked the fields Saturday, DERRYN was the one that jumped out at $18+, but what I then instantly did was check the forecast in the hope for rain and plenty of it, which would have meant the $18+ was 3-4 times the correct price. Unfortunately not much rain at all, hence my comment was “wouldn’t be surprised if they scratched again”, and that has occurred. Slight lean here to SO YOU TOO who has always looked a handy type and might be ready to take the next step at $10+ with most operators. Form is good for a race like this and gets in well enough at the weights again. Also, want a play on another from the same race, who wasn’t too far behind in the form of OBERLAND at a juicy $31+ with BET365. Not sure why such a discrepancy (and joint favourite CALANDA comes out of the same race), and can improve further to be right in the finish here for that man D K Weir. Finally, want something on KURO at $18+ with BET365. Best might be behind him but despite the Listed status, arguably drops in grade (opposition wise) here and was caught wide most of the tip last time, hence entitled to fold late, which he did. With a clear run in transit and a clear shot at them is most definitely capable on his day. Main dangers CALANDA, FAATINAH, PRINCESS OF QUEENS and NANCY.   

SUGGEST: SO YOU TOO (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, OBERLAND (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $31+, KURO (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $18+, FIRST FOUR (3, 6, 8, 16 / 1, 12, 17 / F / 1, 12, 17), (F / 3, 6, 8, 16 / 3, 6, 8, 16 / 1, 12, 17) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 

 

Race 10: And we finish one of the biggest days on the Australian racing calendar with a Group 3 for the mares over 1400m. Cannot split two here on top so will simple run with them both in the form of MISS GUNPOWDER at $10+ (most operators) and PEDRENA at $8+ (UBET, CROWNBET, POINTSBET). Both come out of the same form line for this, slight change in the weights brings them level, with upside, fitness and the increase to 1400m the keys, but think all factors work for both. So instead of flipping a coin, I suggest playing both. Main dangers SWAMPLAND, WHITE MOSS, FUHRYK, QUILISTA and QUILATE. Wide finish.

SUGGEST: MISS GUNPOWDER (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $10+, PEDRENA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8+, FIRST FOUR (1, 4, 5, 9, 11 / 6, 13 / F / 6, 13) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 

 

 

SUMMARY:

Average odds $22.05+ per suggested runner!

** BEST VALUE **: NEW UNIVERSE @ $4.60+, PROPERTY @ $5+

*BEST LONGSHOTS*: ROCK AWAY @ $34+, TASHBEEH @ $31+

#happypunting