The Mounting Yard heads back to Caulfield this week for a bumper nine-race winter program.
The Melbourne metro meeting for this weekend is at the famous Flemington Racecourse.
We started getting into the early spring action last week and it continues on here with the Makybe Diva Stakes over the mile which is worth 750,000 dollars. Melbourne doesn’t look like it is going to put on a show for us with showers predicted with eleven degrees.
Let’s get cracking!
We begin the day with an intriguing race for the stayers over 2500m. Very open race here with a lot of these horses facing each other in the lead up to this race.
JAAMEH was progressing very nicely towards a cups campaign but put in a shocking effort finishing last when odds on last start. He is more of a Flemington horse to my eye and if you disregard last start he would be a heavy favourite here.
HUSH WRITER is an interesting horse here, he done nothing right in his first Australian start at the valley, over racing basically the whole race and he placed in a group two at Chantilly the start before he came over here which is an impeccable form line for a race like this, could surprise.
HIGH CHURCH and TIFFANY’S LASS next best after promising wins last time out.
Recommended bet: Wouldn’t be too keen to invest in this race but if forced maybe go for #4 Hush Writer Each way.
The second race on the card is for the three year old fillies and is a listed race down the straight over 1100m. One of the better races on the card here in the second with some extremely talented Fillies going around and it is pretty hard to past SMART MELODY.
The Lees and Avdulla combination goes very well and they’ve brought her down from Sydney for this after absolutely dominating some country races up there. The win that stood out to me was definitely the win at Canterbury when she won by five lengths stretching away. This is her biggest test but if she can repeat that form, she probably wins.
MULTAJA is the other really hyped horse in the race coming out of the godolphin stable. Was really dominant in her first two starts but was really disappointing at the Valley, getting beaten by Sweet Rockette who she has to again come up against here, looks to my eye a Flemington type horse and wouldn’t surprise if she got up.
SATIN SLIPPER could be one at odds that could run a handy race fresh here as well, showed a heap of ability in her first preparation beating horses like Fiesta and just finishing behind Sandbar, outside hope.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #7 Smart Melody and if Satin Slipper opens at any more than $15 she might be worth a nibble each way.
Another very good race here is the Sofitel handicap over the 1400m, this one however, isn’t as open as the first two and we should be able to narrow it down to a few live chances.
FLOW for James Cummings and Godolphin is over the odds currently at the $4 quote, this gelding has brilliant form lines for this race, in Sydney he beat Prized Icon and was narrowly beaten by Mister Sea Wolf which are two very good horses. He comes back to the 1400m which is his best distance and maps really well to get a good sit on them, very hard to hold out.
THEANSWERMYFRIEND is the only other danger really, he is a very good front running horse and has beaten some very smart horses in his past three wins on the trot.
The only query is that in those three races he had pretty soft leads throughout and in two of them just scraped home, there looks to be a lot more speed on in this race with the likes of Cliff’s Edge and Sadaqa which could set it up for the backmarkers.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #3 Flow.
The fourth race on the card is the listed Exford Plate over 1400m for the three year olds, this is probably the most open race on the card with plenty of chances. Feel like the Brent Stanley trained Colt THE AUGUST is over the odds here though, I had him rated at a $5 chances and he has opened up a bit better than that.
He’s been racing very well as of late and he really looked like he needed the 1400m after last, they will set a really strong pace and he will be running on very strongly. That means I’m going against the most hyped horse of the spring in BRUTAL.
Not tipping against it with much confidence but his win last wasn’t overly impressive and he didn’t race much in that debut win where he bolted in, could leave me with egg on my face though after this race.
GOOD ‘N’ FAST has to be the third selection, has started his career brilliantly for the Hayes team and I don’t think we have seen the best of him yet, could surprise.
Recommended bet: Wouldn’t be overly keen on investing anything here but if forced would go with an each way bet on #6 The August.
First group race on the program comes here in the fifth with the Bobbie Lewis Quality down the straight. A few chances here in a pretty small field and I’m leaning towards HEY DOC.
He is a group one winner previously so we know he is up to this class and he ticks a lot of boxes, Brilliant second up record and has won down the straight previously which is vitally important in these straight races, looks the one to beat.
RICH CHARM is probably second best here and like Hey Doc, ticks a lot boxes regarding good straight form and a good second up record, anything can happen in these races and if they go hell for leather early he will be the one storming home.
FIRST AMONG EQUALS and KEMONO both hit the line strongly in The Heath and wouldn’t completely surprise.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #1 Hey doc.
Here in the sixth is another group race, this time it is the group two Let’s Elope stakes again over the 1400m, and it is where my second best bet on the card comes from at each way odds.
I really like the Danny O’Brien trained mare in MERRIEST. She is an ultra-consistent mare who barely ever puts in a bad race and I don’t expect that to change today. She is drawn (7) to get some favours here today as she should just aim to push up early and either lead or ideally just sit off the leaders.
Think a few of the other chances might find either trouble in the run or be drawn wide and have to cover too much ground. One of those is BELLA MARTINI who was really impressive last preparation winning the Kewney Stakes, was a pretty good run first up in this preparation too finishing behind Osborne Bulls, may have to do to much work to get to the front though from the wide barrier (14).
PETITION is another who is due for a win and returned really well last start coming off heels in the Cockram. If she gets a spot with a bit of cover she might be the big danger to be running on.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on #8 Merriest.
Here we are in the seventh race, and the one that everyone is looking forward to, the Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600m, named after the great mare. My best for the day anywhere in Australia is in the biggest race in Australia on the day, ironically.
Can’t see KINGS WILL DREAM being beaten here, has been crying out for the mile for basically this whole preparation and he finally gets it here.
You won’t find any better runs without winning than hers in the PB Lawrence and then in the Memsie and she will love that long straight at Flemington which she hasn’t had at Caulfield. On topper. HUMIDOR won the Memsie last start in a very unexpected win and looks to be going as well as he ever has, loves Flemington and looks to be the danger.
GRUNT might be worth a spec if he gets out to near $20s, another horse who absolutely loves Flemington and might be ready to start stringing some really promising races together this preparation.
Recommended bet: Pretty big win bet on #10 Kings Will Dream.
Another group two race here and this time it is the time honoured Danehill Stakes down the straight, this race has been a very good form line in the past for the two year olds in the spring and this year I’m going with MARCEL FROM MADRID. He didn’t get any luck in the run last start being three and four wide the whole race last time against Brutal which will most likely be a very good form line race.
The Lane and Ellerton and Zahra combination go well in the spring, will be sprouting wings late. NATIVE SOLDIER was all so impressive last start winning by four lengths against some very good horses in Seabrook and The August, was building steadily into his campaign before that and it wouldn’t be a surprise for him to go on with it again here. EF TROOP and TAVISAN next best if there is some bias to leaders.
Recommended bet: win bet on #2 Marcel from Madrid.
The lucky last on Makybe Diva stakes day and the “get out” is a handicap over the 1700m with some promising stayers either preparing to go over further already or just coming back from a spell.
I’m going with a bit of value here in SEABURGE, this horse is way overs in the market currently at the $16 quote, he has placed in better races over the mile and I don’t think the extra 100 meters will do him any trouble.
Barrier is obviously the concern but I can see him dropping back to midfield and getting a nice spot, if he does that, he will be coming home very strongly, good each way bet. Both imports ORDEROFTHEGARTER and FURRION could run very good races relatively fresh here, you would probably give the nod to Furrion because of his race experience here, whereas Orderofthegarter is first up in Australia, but undeniably a better horse.
Recommended bet: Each way bet on #9 Seaburge.