17 February 2018 (Group 1 racing at Flemington - Headquarters)






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

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to FLEMINGTON with the rail back to the TRUE position. Hoping for an even track (pace dependant), but as always be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the two year olds down the straight over 1100m and can’t go past **KHULAASA** here at $4.20+ with BET365. Just missed on debut, importantly was down the straight, has been working well and many will get scared with barrier 1, however personally not so worried with the inside barriers until I start seeing the outside dominating once again as was the case for a while. Happy to start in her corner each way, and actually make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Be sure to respect significant market movers given the inexperience of several of these two year olds. (www.plungeapp.com.au/download)  

SUGGEST: **KHULAASA** (EACH WAY) @ $4.20+, FIRST FOUR (F / <market movers> / F / 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 2: Next is a benchmark 84 over 2000m and sticking with THE MIGHTY JROD here at a respectable enough $8.50+ with CENTREBET, BET365 and SPORTSBET. Was on last time when led and reeled in, however gets important 3kg swing in the weights v KHUTULUN who was the victor last time, defeat THE MIGHTY JROD by 2L. Also, can see VELOX returning to form here at a juicy $17+ with BET365. Just been working back to right fitness and right distance range and wasn’t actually far away last time. Top weight the query but does get important 2kg relief with the claim.

SUGGEST: THE MIGHTY JROD (EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, VELOX (EACH WAY) @ $17+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 8 / F / 1, 8) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 3: Next is another benchmark 84, this time for the fillies and mares over 1400m. Even race and SHARING does most definitely look the one to beat here, but at a short enough $2.60 with most. Especially given there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of pace on paper and hence might need some luck from barrier 1. I’d be more confident had they drawn somewhere closer to the middle. As a result, will instead spread the play across two at better odds in the form of TYKIATO and BELLARIA at $9+ (UBET) and $8.50+ (most operators) respectively. Both will settle in better spots than the fave and importantly shouldn’t need as much luck. Both in good form and well suited in this grade, in a very even affair on paper. Main danger most definitely SHARING.

SUGGEST: TYKIATO (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $9+, BELLARIA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, FIRST FOUR (F / 6 / F / 5, 7), (roving 5, 6, 7 / F) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 4: Yet another benchmark 84, this time over the mile (1600m). KINGS WILL DREAM looks to have these covered here so happy to take the short but value enough of $2.15+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR on a WIN only basis. Two from two, looks on a big upward spiral, will only appreciate the extra trip, and from the very strong Weir stable. Enough boxes ticked there, and several here just returning with pet trips over much longer. Secondary play for mine is THE AVENGER at a tidy $13+ (NEDS) after dropping an important 3kg from last start defeat of key rival here SO POYSED who looks the main danger. Happy to leave things there.

SUGGEST: KINGS WILL DREAM (WIN - PRIMARY) @ $2.15+, THE AVENGER (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (roving 5, 7, 9 / F), (F / 5, 7, 9 / F / 5, 7, 9) (CONFIDENCE 55%)


Race 5: Next is an upgrade to a benchmark 90, down the straight over 1200m. Fairly open race with plenty of chances, but going to stick with HANDSOME THIEF on top here at $3.40+ with most operators. Flashing light runs at both runs this prep, but drops significantly in weight here up in grade, but think that might be the recipe for success. Also want something on LEODORO at $12+ (most operators) who had been racing well without winning, until last start when went to Sale (in a decent race) and got a confidence building win. Might just be the tonic to now return to town and get the job done. Main danger KEN’S DREAM, however doesn’t end there.

SUGGEST: HANDSOME THIEF (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $3.40+, LEODORO (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $12+, FIRST FOUR (roving 3, 6, 13 / F), (F / 3, 13 / F /6) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 6: First leg of the main quaddie is the first of the features, in the form of the Group 3 TAB Vanity for the three year olds fillies over 1400m. Cannot believe the odds on offer for *RIMRAAM* at a massive $31+ with BET365. Big overs, no idea why. Surely the money will come so I’d suggest a play early. Yes, is a known bridesmaid, regularly finding one better, but we’re talking about top grade races in the Spring. At the price, definitely happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day! Tough race across the board, especially with varying fitness levels expected, but of the rest best value lies with BRING ME THE ROSES at $8+ with SPORTSBET. Hasn’t done much wrong and legitimate queries on those shorter in the market, especially from a value perspective.



Race 7: Next feature is the Group 3 CS Hayes for the three-year-old colts and geldings over the same 1400m trip. Can’t go past **CLIFF’S EDGE** here at a more than respectable $6.50+ with each of LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR. Surprisingly was fit enough to win first up and as a result will only derive improvement here. Arguably the ‘best horse’ rule with the obviously query barrier 13, hence a bit will depend on how the track is playing. Hopefully class can prevail regardless and at the price happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Happy to then have a secondary play on *MAIN STAGE* at a very juicy $26+ with most operators. May need a run or two, but did little wrong last prep when really stepping up to the plate and vividly recall very impressive win against CLIFF’S EDGE at Flemington three starts back as I was pinned to the fence waiting to see the superstar WINX that day. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers CAO CAO, PEACEFUL STATE and GRUNT.

SUGGEST: **CLIFF’S EDGE** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $6.50+, *MAIN STAGE* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (F / 5, 13, 16 / F / 1, 4) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 8: Penultimate event is the main feature of the day, the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes over 1000m. Cracking race as you’d expect and although I’d love a better price, punters have finally realised how good RENZEL is. Many will know we’ve loved this sprinter for a while now, regularly taking advantage of much better than expected prices, but that definitely ended last prep when the gelding stamped itself as the best sprinter in the land, bar none. $1.85+ (CROWNBET) good enough (just) but hoping as it’s a big group 1 we can at least try and double our money on a WIN only basis. Then, totally respect for HEY DOC @ $10+ (SPORTSBET, CROWNBET) who owes us nothing after we were keen at a big price in the Manikato and won duly saluted. Main dangers FORMALITY and TERRAVISTA who importantly is a very lightly raced eight year old.   



Race 9: We finish with an open handicap over 1400m and in a wide open finish have landed on best value lying with CHAMOIS ROAD at $9.50+ (UBET) and HE’S OUR ROKKII at $15+ also with UBET fixed odds markets. CHAMOIS ROAD is an underrated galloper for mine, very consistent and there doesn’t look any absolute stars here. Connections will be keen to return to the winner’s stalls after many good runs in recent times without winning, never far away. While HE’S OUR ROKKII brings the best class of race form here, however was disappointing last prep and needs to return to prior form to win this, however after a break, most definitely can first up at odds. Main danger MANOLO BLAHNIQ who we were on last time and won easily, however only knock here is the short price of only $3.50 with most in what looks a much more even affair than that. And that’ll do us for Headquarters.     

SUGGEST: CHAMOIS ROAD (EACH WAY) @ $9.50+, HE’S OUR ROKKII (EACH WAY) @ $15+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 7, 16 / F), (F / 16 / F / 1, 7) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 



Average odds $10.92+ per suggested runner!

** BEST VALUE **: KHULAASA @ $4.20+, CLIFF’S EDGE @ $6+