3 March 2018 (Group 1 racing at Flemington)






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 remaining in the TRUE position, as it was here two weeks’ ago. 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 a Listed event for the two year olds over 1000m. Near raffle with a lot of guesswork involved here. Slight lean NOMOTHAJ at $5+ (SPORTSBET) who beat Sunlight home on debut when victorious over this track and distance, and that alone combined is enough to lean that way here. Main danger OLLIVANDER, both these runners failed last time but did nothing wrong prior and are entitled to one miss early in their respective careers.



Race 2: Next another Listed event, this time the Roy Higgins over 2600m. Another tough race, despite the small field. Slight lean DOUBLE BLUFF at $4+ with most operators. Aiming for three in a row, and no reason why he can’t bring up a well-deserved hat trick here. There doesn’t look to be a great deal of pace on paper, hence hoping they elect to be midfield, which in this small field should be just behind the leaders. Note, no third dividend.



Race 3: Next is a benchmark 84, for the fillies and mares over 1100m. Best value for mine lies with the two Ellerton/Zahra runners in the form of ESSENCE OF TERROR at $7.50+ (BET365) and CLUB TROPICANA at $11+ (BET365). ESSENCE OF TERROR been running very well without winning and has a decent 55 day let up coming into this. While, stablemate CLUB TROPICANA similar and as long as she handles the straight can be in this a long way. Main dangers FRAGONARD and HEAR THE CHANT.



Race 4: Next is the Group 3 Tressady Stakes for the fillies and mares to be run over 1400m. Looks like the theme of the day, but a another tough race on paper. Looking at the two at the top of the weights here in the form of OREGON’S DAY at $3.30+ (most operators) and DEJA BLUE at $12+ with BET365. ‘Best horse’ rule in place here with OREGON’S DAY who should be too good for these if ready to fire first up. Doesn’t look to be much pace on paper so hoping both runners are positive, as you know DEJA BLUE will definitely be. DEJA BLUE is more than capable on her day, however does lack the consistency of a very good horse, hence happy to play at a tidy $12+ in the hope today is one of those days she rips out an improved run, and if so can go very close here. Main danger HARLOW GOLD.

SUGGEST: OREGON’S DAY (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $3.30+, DEJA BLUA (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $12+, FIRST FOUR (F / 5 / F / 1, 2), (roving 1, 2, 5 / F) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 5: Next is a benchmark 70 over 2000m. Keen on **ZANDARRAL** here at a juicy $12+ with most operators. Just missed last time behind rival here in top weight MUTARAKEM and gets vital 2kg swing in the weights here for a 0.2L defeat. Drawn well, will be prominent and should give a great sight on an each way basis. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, also want something on the one right at the bottom of play here in MAHALANGUR at $7+ with BET365. Hawkes stable up and about after a bit of a quiet patch and they look set for a decent Autumn, hopefully starting here. The Sydney form is good, especially at this level in a race like this.

SUGGEST: **ZANDARRAL** (EACH WAY) @ $12+, MAHALANGUR (EACH WAY) @ $7+, FIRST FOUR (F / 12, 15 / F / 12, 15) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 6: First leg of the main quaddie is the Group 3 Autumn Handicap over 1400m. Good race, with many legitimate winning chances. Despite the big weight, going with the clear form horse here in top weight TSHAHITSI at $4+ with UBET and SPORTSBET. Only beaten 3.5L in Group 1 last time behind Hartnell, Single Gaze and Brave Smash and just think what price they would be here. Can be in prominent position from barrier 1 and hard to catch late. Then, want a secondary play on COOL CHAP at a tidy $14+ with most operators. Can surprise here first up after average trial but from all reports has galloped very well since then. Somewhat speculative play, but at a decent price and on a secondary basis. Main dangers COLDSTONE and POETIC DREAM.

SUGGEST: TSHAHITSI (EACH WAY – PRIMARY) @ $4+, COOL CHAP (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $14+, FIRST FOUR (4, 7 / 1 / F / 6), (F / 4, 7 / F / 1, 6) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: Next is the feature in the form of the Group 1 Australian Guineas for the three year olds over the mile (1600m). Cracking event with plenty of legitimate winning chances. Looking at a three-pronged play here starting with CLIFF’S EDGE at $4.80+ with UBET. Had he drawn a barrier I’d have been going to declaring, but still with the wide gate (as was the case last time) can win. Was sensational for us last time as one of our best of the day, when wide the trip, tough late and just missing. Gets in well at the weights here dropping two kilos and meeting GRUNT 3.5kg better for narrow defeat. Primary play, ahead of two others I’ve always had time for in MAIN STAGE at $17+ (BET365) and *HOLY SNOW* at $20+ with most operators. Both returned superbly last time in belting lead up runs for this. At the price, happy to make the better priced *HOLY SNOW* a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Happy to play around the three in super race.

SUGGEST: CLIFF’S EDGE (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.80+, MAIN STAGE (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $17+, *HOLY SNOW* (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $20+, FIRST FOUR (roving 2, 7, 9 / F), (F / 2, 7, 9 / F / 2, 7, 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 8: Penultimate event is the Listed Hoysted Handicap over 1000m. Open race as the market suggests, with almost every runner at 10/1 or less. Going with the class runner here in **FELL SWOOP** at $4.60+ with UBET. Has been so good in the highest grade without coming out on top, but can more than truly do that down in Listed grade. Last four runs lesser than Group 1 or Group 2 grade (a while back now) resulted in four out of four wins. The class runner! Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Throw a blanket over the rest.  



Race 9: We finish with an open handicap for the three year olds over 1400m. Looks to be plenty of speed on paper here and in another wide open affair looking to play a few again at juicy prices. The tastily named BARBEQUE looks well suited here at $8+ (BET365, TOPBETTA, CROWNBET), ahead of the Hayes/Dabernig pair of ESHTIRAAK at $17+ (most operators) and *MURAAHIB* at $26+ (UBET, BET365). BARBEQUE ticks many boxes here in terms of weight, barrier, pace in the race, form, jockey and as I’ve said in recent weeks, think the stable is starting to finally find their feet. Then, to ESHTIRAAK who will appreciate the expected tempo and will be finishing strong, hopefully strong enough to run over the top of them. Finally, *MURAAHIB* is similar should settle midfield, ideally three wide with cover and be ready to pounce at the top of the straight, and importantly down in grade here. At the price, happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day.

SUGGEST: BARBEQUE (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8+, ESHTIRAAK (EACH WAY) @ $17+, *MURAAHIB* (EACH WAY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (roving 4, 5, 9 / F), (F / 4, 5, 9 / F / 4, 5, 9) (CONFIDENCE 30%) 



Average odds $10.42+ per suggested runner!

** BEST VALUE **: ZANDARRAL @ $12+, FELL SWOOP @ $4.60+