2017 Emirates Stakes Day: Tips and preview

Cameron Rose Columnist

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    The Flemington carnival is a week all racing fans look forward to, but it can also feel like a long one when in the midst of it.

    After this writer built up a half-time lead at the completion of Cup day, the bookies bounced back in the premiership quarter on Oaks Day, and pummelled me from pillar to post. The match is in the balance and Stakes Day will be the decider.

    Two big Group 1 races await, with quality fields assembled, and there are some handy support races where winners are just begging to be found.

    Emirates Stakes
    Formerly known as the Mackinnon, the Emirates Stakes is now a 2000m WFA race on the final day.

    The Cox Plate is always going to be the pristine form for this race, and this year we see three runners coming out of it.

    Folkswood was the pick of the runners behind Winx and Humidor that day, ultimately outclassed but sticking to his guns right to the line after racing on the pace. He may not have been right at home at Moonee Valley either, and is sure to find Flemington more to his liking. Barrier 15 is the concern.

    Gailo Chop was solid enough in fifth in the Cox Plate, a couple of lengths behind Folkswood after setting the pace. He won the Caulfield Stakes the start prior, and is lethal at 2000 metres when not taking on the absolute best. He’ll get his chance again.

    Happy Clapper finished sixth in the Cox Plate, but wasn’t disgraced despite only beating home the two 200-1 shots. He isn’t at his strongest at 2000 metres, about 2-3 lengths below his 1600-metre form, and if this race is truly run, he might be found out. Six runs in a campaign is a new mark for him too, and he was a tired horse when flopping in this event last year at his fifth run.

    Outside of the Cox Plate, last week’s Kennedy Mile is the other key lead-up.

    Tom Melbourne found one better (again!) in the Mile, but beat the rest of the field by three lengths plus. He really is flying, and 2000 metres is no problem for him. Expect him to be ridden conservatively from a wide draw, rather than push forward as he has done at times.

    Tosen Stardom, Sense of Occasion and So Si Bon were back in the ruck in the Kennedy Mile, all failing to make an impression from back in the field. Tosen Stardom looks the best chance of these, better suited at WFA and with a likely genuine tempo being set, he has the turn of foot to round them all up if on his game.

    Gingernuts and Cliff’s Edge provide some x-factor to the race, given the former has only raced in New Zealand this campaign, while the latter is a three-year-old.

    Cliff’s Edge is both fast and genuine, and will certainly make use of his light weight by leading. It would be a surprise to see any of the older horses truly take him on, and he has the talent to keep going if he gets his own way.

    Gingernuts hasn’t seen a good track since March, and but has won two Group 1s on wet ground since then, and it probably should have been three. Exactly how he lines up against the rest of these is hard to assess, especially on firm ground. Is $6 enough to find out?

    Not sure It’s Somewhat is going well enough to back just yet. Perhaps one more to see, assuming a Perth trip is on the cards. Samovare might be ridden quietly from an awkward draw due to the likely hot speed, and this might be one run too many for her.

    The Taj Mahal is probably one to throw in the quaddie at odds, just in case. Harlem has been disappointing since his superb win in the Naturalism Stakes. Odeon is in form and still on the up, but the class will surely test.

    Selections
    1. Cliff’s Edge
    2. Folkswood
    3. Tom Melbourne
    4. Tosen Stardom

    Darley Classic
    The Darley Classic used to be the sprint of the spring, but The Everest has come along to take that mantle.

    Five runners are making an appearance here after running in Sydney’s marquee event, four of them enjoying a month between runs.

    Redzel was a worthy winner of The Everest, and what a horse he’s become. He’s now won five races in a row, and six of his last eight. The two misses were by a combined long head. He won at his only go down the straight, he’ll lead, and is clearly the one to beat.

    Vega Magic was second in The Everest, and was the run of the race after getting in a sticky position thanks to an awkward draw. He didn’t show much resilience in the Manikato Stakes two weeks later, and is an unknown down the straight. Clearly he has the ability to win.

    Chautauqua ran his usual closing sectionals in The Everest, into fourth this time. We’ve marvelled at what he does, but he’s finding it harder to reel in the next generation of sprinters. Also of note, it’s been a year and a half since he won on a good track.

    Clearly Innocent and Redkirk Warrior ran eighth and 10th respectively in The Everest.

    Clearly Innocent is super honest, and is one that can pop up at odds with the right run. As for Redkirk Warrior, what is it that made him so devastating when winning the Newmarket and Bobbie Lewis – is he just a gun straight horse, or does he need to be first up? Let’s find out.

    In Her Time didn’t run in The Everest, but probably should have. She won the Sydney Stakes for the second-stringers on the same day, and followed it up with a good second in the Manikato. She’s flying, but barrier one won’t be her friend by race 35 in Cup week.

    Impending ran a blazing second behind In Her Time in the Sydney Stakes after beating her in the Stradbroke, and is the spruik horse of the race. You can easily see him settling back and stealing runs up against the rail. Is he ready to confirm his A-grade status?

    Malaguerra won this race last year, and was excellent in the Manikato, right on the flanks of In Her Time. He’s won the last four times he’s stepped out at Flemington, and has drawn in the right spot. On his day, he can figure.

    Spieth has become an enigma. Missrock is in a similar boat, but was very good down the straight in the Linlithgow on Derby Day. Rock Magic is tracking OK for the Winterbottom.

    Terravista runs nearer to last than first most of the time these days. Man From Uncle appears to have accepted for the wrong race. Super Cash can’t be the worst 40-1 chance, but first-up is really her main go, which she isn’t here.

    The speed doesn’t look particularly hot here, but they won’t be dawdling either. Everything points to another Redzel win, and if he doesn’t, whatever beats him will.

    Selections
    1. Redzel
    2. Impending
    3. Vega Magic
    4. In Her Time

    Looking elsewhere on the card, it looks like Gallic Chieftain’s time in the Queen Elizabeth. The class is at the top of the Matriarch, and one of Heavens Above or Prompt Response should be winning.

    Backing the horses dropping back from good runs Group 1 level is often the easiest thing to do at this time of year. With that in mind, Andaz will have a lot of money on him in the final race of the Flemington carnival. His Coolmore Stakes run is enough to win.

    Cameron Rose
    Cameron Rose

    Cameron Rose is a born and bred Melbournian, raised on a regime of AFL, cricket and horse racing. He likes people who agree with him but loves those that don't, for there's nothing better than a roaring debate. He tweets from @camtherose.

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • Roar Guru

      November 10th 2017 @ 9:15am
      kv joef said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:15am | ! Report

      What an impressive raceday to finish the carnival.

      You right about Tom Melbourne. He is flying and he has been trying so hard. I’ve always thought of him as a fast middle-distance stayer. Many forget this day last year he ran third in Queen Elizabeth after finishing 2nd in the Lexus and Coongy.

      Wonder if Walker will send him along if they try and drop the pace, maintaining a good clip – make ’em stay … but then he’ll have things like Taj Mahal to worry about. The O’Brien horse has finished within a cooee of some v.good horses that would start long odds-on to win this. shaping as a great race on first look.

      The reprogramming of the carnival is working out great for my money.

      • Columnist

        November 10th 2017 @ 10:10am
        Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        I think this is the first time I’ve seen Tom Melbourne ease in two years. Probably means he’ll win!

    • November 10th 2017 @ 9:16am
      no one in particular said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      I was waiting and waiting and there it was, old Tom Melbourne. You’e a masochist

      Only one Cox Plate placegetter has won the Mackinnon in the last 20 years (So You Think). That might have something to do with horses peaking on that day. Not sure if the 14 day gap and not 7 makes any difference. Harlem is a good e/w bet there.

      Not sure who is riding Vega Magic, but whoever it is will do a better job then the last two starts. Malaguerra beat him home and finished alongside In Her Time and is double and triple their prices. He or In Her Time are the ones here

      And hopefully they let Surjin have his head in the last

      • Columnist

        November 10th 2017 @ 10:15am
        Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        Are you aware 8 of the last 9 winners of the Mackinnon were coming off a Cox Plate run? Apart from So You Think, they all finished between 5th-10th. It is basically the strongest precedent in racing (one which I’ve ignored in putting Cliff’s Edge on top!).

        In the last 15 years, the Mackinnon winner had its lead up: 11 x Cox Plate (only one place-getter), 2 x Caulfield Cup, 1 x Epsom, 1 x Norman Robinson.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 9:30am
      Razzar said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      Get back off the Ropes Cam, there’s one more round to go. Track raced quite well from what I saw, winners coming from all parts. The re shoeing of Aloisia just before race start, didn’t help her chances in the Oaks. But Pinot’s Win was impressive, able to work around field, settle, then that quick let down. Looks already a mature racehorse.

      The Emirates looks to have a very solid speed/tempo here, Gallo Chop, Samovare &; Cliffs Edge look to be the pacemakers.

      Gallo Chop has a chance, but a front runner in this sort of tempo, could easily take its toll. $10 rating

      Tosen Stardom, backs up from The Kennedy, track worked against backmarkers last week, looking for this dist, will race with cover, big chance for mine. $5.50 rating.

      Folkswood. His performances have been very Solid, box ticker, if gets nice run in pack, should power home hard. $4.50 rating

      Gingernuts. Meets some seasoned gallopers here, would prefer some sting out of ground. Lesser chance for mine.$12 rating

      Samovare will be up steaming along up front, if got the right breaks has a slim chance to steal it, but slim. $16 rating.

      • Columnist

        November 10th 2017 @ 10:17am
        Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        Pinot was too good. I found reasons to take a set against her, as we have to do in this game, and paid the price!

        I wonder if the fact there is such a strong tempo on paper means it will go the other way. I’d ride TM and Samovare colder. I do agree that Folkswood is the absolute box-ticker, and is probably the right bet, but I do like 3yo’s in the WFA races at this time of year. Seaburge ran a great race in this last year.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 12:46pm
          Razzar said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

          I didn’t back Pinot either Cam. Just bit too short for mine. I only donated to the first four pool. It’s my charitable spirit.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 9:33am
      Jim said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      Definitely feels like a long week when your on a bad run on the punt like I’ve been this week haha! But there is always tomorrow to turn it around, and I always enjoy the second Saturday of the Flemington carnival.

      As you say, often there are horses dropping back from Group 1 level that are decent shouts on the Saturday. Haven’t yet done the form for tomorrow, but as always a good write up on here is a nice starting point when I get to it later.

      • Columnist

        November 10th 2017 @ 10:18am
        Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        Thanks Jim. Let’s hope we both fight back!

    • November 10th 2017 @ 10:35am
      Addington said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

      Well done labelling the sprinter on Thursday Cam ….I put a line through that race but with your confidence and with the horse on the drift I took the $2.80 and was toasting your judgement after the effortless win.
      Well done mate…..and roll on tomorrow.

      • Columnist

        November 10th 2017 @ 8:36pm
        Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:36pm | ! Report

        Thanks mate. It was nice to get that one right. He really did look a good thing.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 10:56am
      MAX said | November 10th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

      Hi Cam,

      Sorry to read of your reversal of fortune. Impending can change all that.

      I would love to see Impending in the flesh. From video observation he has furnished into
      a magnificent specimen of the Australian thoroughbred.

      The Sheikh is doing it tough at the moment and another G1 on Impending’s race record
      means millions $ more in the breeding barn. His jockey John Hugh Bowman needs a win
      to prove he can still ride. I love his sire Lonhro as though he were family.

      This race belongs to Impending. He has been set for this. The straight six is perfect.
      He will win. The last 50m will be a heart tester.

      As for the rest of the card…Tarquin and Consommateur.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 12:39pm
        Razzar said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

        Don’t want to be a knocker of Impending in any way Max. I love Impending, but I think the tempo would have to red hot for him to win down the straight. There’s know Doubt he’s furnished well and proving to be a handy sprinter. But he will get back, so high early pace will be his friend. Really need to have a speed map of 3 or 4 runners going hard to help get a suck run late. But freshened, he’s in the mix.

        • November 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm
          Razzar said | November 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

          Just did a speedmap. Got Redzel and Super Cash right on speed. Both of these are specialist 1100m gallopers. That’s a plus to get tempo going early. Miss Rock and Redkirk Warrior look to be racing very handy to the other two. Tricky races down straight. Sprint races with bends often tend to race more genuinely.

          • November 10th 2017 @ 2:46pm
            MAX said | November 10th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            Hi Razzar,

            I know it is crazy to get carried away with a horse,but Impending won’t let me sleep.

            It would be great to get G1 trainer Darren Beadman’s opinion of his chances.

            • Columnist

              November 10th 2017 @ 8:38pm
              Cameron Rose said | November 10th 2017 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

              Good luck Max. I’ll be with Redzel, I can’t knock him, and his price is fair. If he doesn’t win, he will only just get nutted. And bad luck won’t be a factor for him, as it could be for Impending…

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