1 January 2018 (Group 3 racing at Flemington)






Racing at FLEMINGTON with fine weather forecast, hence currently looking at a GOOD (4) surface.

RAIL: +6M (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMNGTON for the first day of racing of 2018. Happy new year to you all, especially those loyal subscribers who been part of our journey since the early days. It is very much appreciated. Rail comes out +6M, hence expecting no major disadvantage to be on pace / closer to the fence, however given limited racing here in recent times very important to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the two year old fillies down the straight over 1000m. Hayes/Dabernig have a strong hand with three runners, including two debutantes (DARK CONFIDANT and KHULAASA), both of which I think will be better over longer, however that’s not to say they can’t win here. In saying that, going with the stablemate with the race day experience in GRACEFUL STAR @ $5.50+ (most operators) who was luckless on debut at Moonee Valley and should be better for that experience. Barrier 4 smack bang in the middle allows Andrew Mallyon to head wherever he pleases, hopefully on the back of a decent walk down the straight prior to identify best ground. Note, no third dividend.



Race 2: Next is a benchmark 78 over 1400m with pace/tactics/how track is playing key. There doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper and as a result, looking to play those who I expect to settle right on the pace, starting with top weight NIKITAS at a generous $12+ with CENTREBET. Was poor at Sandown, but was on a heavy track, and if you put a line through that run, then excellent form for a race like this as long as he can cope with the 60.5kg after the claim (62.5kg allotted). Has run well in much better races than this and should be able to pinch a break on the turn which hopefully ends up being a race winning one. Went to Adelaide last time to get a confidence building win and can go on with it here. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, a secondary play on longshot KING KOHEI at a juicy $41+ with UBET and CENTREBET. Gets right down in the weights here and form when at this weight is good. Last start wasn’t bad after working early, but concede this is a decent step up in grade, but at the price, happy to take the punt. Main danger WISE HERO, the step up to 1400m the slight query at the shorter price.



Race 3: Next is an open handicap over 2000m. Good, even, competitive race here and again not a great deal of tempo on paper so will be i9nteresting what a few do here. Leaning towards STRAIGHT JACKET here at $8.50+ with CROWNBET and UBET. Returned to the winner’s stalls last time at Moonee Valley and similar to Nikitas in the previous race can hopefully bounce off that confidence building win and back up here. Should be able to dictate up front from barrier 3 and any advantage to on pacers will obviously be most appreciated. Gets in with featherweight of 51kg after the 3kg claim off Tahlia Hope. Then, a secondary play on GOLDEN MANE who looks over the odds here at $12+ with BET365. Racing well, can hopefully settle much closer than recent runs and if so can be right in the finish here. Main danger stablemate in AL HARAM also at a decent enough $8.50+ with BET365. Literally every horse in the race can win (I’m effectively playing around the two/three longest priced runners in the race) but hopefully for good reason. Note, no third dividend with just the seven runners.

SUGGEST: STRAIGHT JACKET (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $8.50+, GOLDEN MANE (WIN / EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $12+, FIRST FOUR (roving 4, 5, 7 / F), (4 / F / 5, 7 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 4: Final leg of the early quaddie is a benchmark 70 over 2000m. The three year old colt CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE @ $4.80+ (CROWNBET) gets in very well at the weights here with 54.5kg given he carried 57.5kg in the same grade three back when just missing at Sandown and after winning a BM64 last start, now comes down to 54.5kg here. From barrier 8, hoping Lane can get to a prominent enough position better than midfield and if so should be hard to beat here. Then, want to play SHANGANI PATROL at a generous $13+ with most operators. Form is simply excellent for a race like this, ultra-consistent and I dare say had the gelding be trained by a top line trainers, we’d be looking at closer to half the odds. Main dangers the Hayes/Dabernig pair of YOUNG HOSTESS and RAINDROPS ON ROSES, both drawn awkwardly but look very well suited here at decent prices themselves at $13+ and $8+ respectively. If either jockey uses initiative and looks to settle on pace from the wide gate, then chances instantly increase significantly. Could be an option for live betting, especially if any on pace advantage evident from races 2-3.

SUGGEST: CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE (EACH WAY – PRIMARY) @ $4.80+, SHANGANI PATROL (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (boxed 6, 9, 10, 15 / F), (F / 6, 9, 15 / F / 10, 15) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 5: First leg of the main quaddie is another benchmark 70, this time for the three and four year olds over 1700m. Very tough race, as illustrated by the market with $6+ the field. Slight lean here for FOUND OUT @ $10+ (POINTSBET, BET365) for the in-form Ellerton/Zahra stable who got the chocolates for us Saturday with one of our best for the day in Light Romance at the same price. Hopefully a touch of déjà vu here. Has the right form, just missed behind Civil Disobedience three back so will be interesting to see how he goes in the race prior (hopefully very well) and importantly despite often settling right on the pace, can also settle just behind the pace here as there does actually look to be a bit of pace on paper here. That will only be amplified if on pacers are getting the chocolates in previous races, which we’re obviously hoping to be the case. Hoping that’s what happens here, as we’re not interested in getting involved in any speed battles up front. Then, want to give *MY BAD* another go at a big $41+ with UBET, LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR. Simply got too far back last start and can hopefully be ridden a lot more positively here and if that occurs, can give a great sight at a huge price. Happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Deep race, plenty of chances, happy to play around the two at double figure price tags.

SUGGEST: FOUND OUT (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $10+, *MY BAD* (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $41+, FIRST FOUR (F / 15, 16 / F / 15, 16) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 6: Next leg of the quaddie is the feature of the day, in the form of the Group 3 Standish Handicap to be run down the straight over 1200m. And it must be said, a very poor edition of the race which is pretty disappointing to see. In saying that a pretty cheap Group 3 win up for grabs and given what has been served up, cannot go past **MISS WONDERLAND** at $5.50+ with most operators. Has never done much wrong, obviously had a long lay-off, returned for a win on a heavy track at Sandown and then freshened for this. Allows us to see has hopefully returned well enough and if she can recapture 75% of here previous form then could be enough to win here. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Secondary saver on LORD OF THE SKY at $17+ with BET365. Not a noted Flemington 1200m horse however has the class and proven ability to beat a field like this. Am effectively running with the ‘best horse(s)’ rule in this instance. Main danger FLIPPANT.

SUGGEST: **MISS WONDERLAND** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $5.50+, LORD OF THE SKY (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $17+, FIRST FOUR (F / 3 / F / 1, 9), (3 / 1, 9 / F / 1, 9) (CONFIDENCE 40%)


Race 7: Penultimate event is the Listed Bagot Handicap to be run over 2800m. Time will tell but I’m taking on the form out of the Caulfield race won by ETAH JAMES which looking at the market is a polar opposite to what the bookies are doing. What that does mean is excellent value is on offer for those coming from different formlines, allowing us to actually create a three pronged play to this event. Primary play is ORMITO at a generous $8.50+ with BET365. Doesn’t win (or place) out of turn, with only a 2nd to its name from 9 starts, but that 2nd was last start over 2500m at Moonee Valley and has been slowly but surely building form and fitness and this now looks ideal. Happy to play there ahead of two runners at juicy prices in DARABAD at $26+ (most operators) and *ANEMOI* at $35+ with UBET. DARABAD was not far behind LIKE A CAROUSEL at Pakenham and only goes up 0.5kg for that run, so gets in very well here. For comparison LIKE A CAROUSEL goes up 6kg. Then dropped back to the unsuitable 1700m which I don’t mind as a ploy to get some spring back in their step before returning to a genuine staying distance of 2800m. While, *ANEMOI* similarly only goes up 0.5kg from that same Pakenham race after only being beaten 2.1L, however given the lesser known trainer, we get $35+ which is simply big overs and too good to pass up. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers ETAH JAMES, IMPERIAL AVIATOR and DANDY GENT.

SUGGEST: ORMITO (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $8.50+, DARABAD (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $26+, *ANEMOI* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $35+, FIRST FOUR (F / 2, 3, 6 / F / 4, 5, 12), (2, 3, 6 / 4 / F / 5, 12) (CONFIDENCE 25%) 


Race 8: Final event is yet another benchmark 70, this time for the fillies and mares over 1400m. Tough finish, big field, plenty of pace drawn wide, so pace/tactics and how track is playing, especially after seven races prior, set to be key. With many you are banking on luck, predominately regarding settling position with a tough speed map to nail. Despite not being extravagant odds, I think the safest play is SO FAR SOKOOL at a good enough $4.40+ with POINTSBET. Gets in well at the weights with 58.5kg given handicap rating of 71 (only JESTER HALO is higher at 73 and has to lump 61.5kg). The other three 71 raters have 60.5kg, however have all claimed with apprentices, so back to near level, however with the added advantage of Ben Allen riding which is important in a race like this. Barrier 8 looks ideal, to stay off the fence, but close enough to hopefully take some luck out of the equation. Happy to play there and throw a blanket over the rest in a tough finish outside of him, however to narrow down for multiples will run with main dangers being SOHO RUBY, HECTOPASCAL and PEARL DE VERE.

SUGGEST: SO FAR SOKOOL (EACH WAY) @ $4.40+, FIRST FOUR (F / 6, 8, 16 / F / 13), (F / 13 / 6, 8, 16 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds $16.28+ per suggested runner!