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The Mounting Yard: Mid-week racing at Flemington preview

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Roar Guru
3rd March, 2020

The Mounting Yard stays at Flemington for a rare Wednesday meeting.

In one of the best weeks of racing across Australia, going all the way through to the Adelaide Cup on Labour Day, hopefully we can kick the week off with a few winners. The rail is out four metres for the entire circuit and we have an eight-race card in store for us, with some very progressive types going around.

Let’s get cracking.

Race 1
We kick off the day with a two-year-old Handicap down the straight. It’s pretty hard to be confident in this race with a few first starters without a trial, but Pioneer River looks suited.

The son of Snitzel was pretty good on debut in the Talindert down the straight when finishing off nicely to finish two lengths off Ole Kirk. He’s got race experience, experience down the straight and the 1200 metres should suit him here.

Squami hit the line nicely on debut at Ballarat. He came from last to eventually finish within a length of the winner. It wasn’t a high rating maiden but I don’t think this is too crash hot either so he isn’t without a chance.

Outside of those two, I would watch the market. Any push for the first starters could mean they have more ability than the experienced types.

Recommended bet: Prepared to leave this one alone.

Race 2
Another race down the straight awaits punters with a fillies and mares Benchmark 70 Handicap. It seems a race in three to my eye and Magnesium Rose is who I landed on as the on top selection.


I thought her first-up run was pretty good in a decent race at the Valley, before battling on really well to finish within half a length of Delusions last start at this track and distance.

She faces her again here, gets a 2.5 kg weight swing in her favour and should be ready to peak third-up.

Delusions, the horse who was just mentioned, shapes as a big danger. She was unlucky not to win three-back at Sandown, before winning at this track and distance two-back and then having no luck at Sandown last start. She shouldn’t have any excuses this time.

Golden Halo is the only other chance. She ran Gytrash to within two lengths last preparation and a repeat of that form would win this race. She was very poor last time out at this track but she could improve sharply third-up.

Gem Song

(AAP Image/Albert Perez)

Recommended bet: #4 Magnesium Rose E/W at $6.50

Race 3
We’ve got a Benchmark 64 Handicap for the three-year-olds here down the straight. I’m happy enough to be in Cielo D’oro’s corner. He was very impressive on debut at Geelong in his first preparation when winning by 0.75 lengths, before running third behind Rumble Doll and Varda in a good 64-grade race at Bendigo.

He was outclassed in the Red Anchor but he won’t face any of those types here. He gets the blinkers off today, has been gelded in his break and has trialled brilliantly leading up to this first-up assignment. With a good tempo on upfront, he will be hard to hold out.


Predicated can run a bold race. He got nailed on the line two-back at Warrnambool, before travelling three wide without cover and getting nailed on the line again last start. Coming back to 1200 metres suits and at least he won’t be caught wide here.

Igniting went pretty well last preparation in a better grade than this and resumed well at Warrnambool winning by a neck. He can’t be discounted.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #10 Cielo D‘oro at $5

Race 4
A Benchmark 70 Handicap over the mile is the next race to assess. There’s going to be plenty of winners that come out of this one, and in a tricky race, I landed on Paradee.

She had a few excuses in her first couple of starts but she has been very impressive this preparation. She resumed well at Bendigo over Wairere Falls when winning by a length, before rattling home at Sandown to finish third behind Selica, clocking the best last 400 metres of the day in a highly-rated race.

She gets in well at the weights and should only need even luck to be in the finish. Laundy shapes as a big danger. This is a big step up in grade from a maiden at Kyneton, but he was very impressive there and he’s another who gets in well at the weights. The race sets up perfectly for him and he could take some running down.

There’s a host of other chances which include Relucent who was strong when resuming at Pakenham and Hey Mighty who could bounce back from a bad run first-up.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #10 Paradee at $4.50


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Race 5
A Benchmark 64 Handicap over the mile is the next on the program. A pretty poor race for a Wednesday anywhere really.

Not overly keen to jump in, but Firstclass Dreamer is probably the value in this. He fought on okay two-back at Sandown in a similar grade to this before having no luck at the Valley last start. He draws the inside gate here (1) and in a race that is devoid of any speed, he should be able to get an economical run and then sprint home late.

Mount Madeira is the best horse in the race and therefore is a chance. He never had any luck three-back at Sale before running into a couple of smart ones in Iowa Hawkeye and Viscosity in his last two starts.


Coming back to the mile suits and if there is any speed put into the race, he’s clearly the one to beat. Outside of them, there are a host of chances including Global Sanction, Brother in Arms and Magnossiva.

Recommended bet: Going to shoulder arms here in what is a pretty poor race.

Race 6
An absolutely cracking Benchmark 78 Handicap over 1400 metres awaits the punters in the sixth. In a wide-open race, I’m prepared to back Polanco.

I’ve been a fan of this bloke for a while now and even though he’s been up for a long time, he is still going very well. He got too far back three-back at this track and distance behind Mamzelle Tess and Reflectivity, before suffering by that same token at Caulfield behind Great Duchess and Ken’s Dream.

He won in a tough result at the Valley last start over Mirimar and I think he can go on with it here. He draws perfectly (7) to get a good run off the leaders and he could take some holding out late if they go at a decent clip.

Wham has to be given a chance. He’s absolutely flying at the moment, winning two on the trot – one by two lengths and the other by four. He draws to do no work and there’s no reason to suggest he can’t win again.

Outside of those two there are still a few live chances such as the ever-hyped Jumbo Ozaki, who seems unders in the market and Orleans Rock, who could provide a blowout.

Recommended bet: #8 Polanco E/W at $13

Tarquin races

(AAP Image/George Salpigtidis)

Race 7
A Benchmark 78 Handicap over 2000 metres is the penultimate event on the program. I’m prepared to back a couple at each-way odds and one of them is Jack Regan.

He’s been pretty unlucky this preparation and arguably should have won at least a couple of races where he finished within a couple of lengths of the winners. His effort at the Valley two-back was very good when losing a plate and being tight for room around the bend, before nothing really went right at Sandown last start.

He will get back from the wide gate but they’ll go at a decent clip which should give him his chance to run over the top of them. Clementina is the other I want to be on. She went to Sydney as a three-year-old and only ran two lengths off Amangiri and Aliferous before running in the Australian Oaks. She resumed at Flemington after another stint in New Zealand where she ran three lengths off Just Benjamin and Aktau, before clocking a good last 200 metres at Ballarat in a slowly run affair.

They’ll go quick here, she gets in well at the weights and she will have her chance to run all over them. The Western Australian in Too Close the Sun can’t be underestimated, and either can Skelm who has been low flying of late.

Recommended bet: Each way plays on #8 Jack Regan at $11 and Clementina at $23

Race 8
A Benchmark 64 Handicap for the fillies is the last on the program, down the straight over 1100 metres. Punters are going to find it hard to ‘get out’ in the most open race on the program.

Again, I’m prepared to have a crack at a couple at decent odds. One of them is Debt’n’deficit. The query is the 1100 metres first-up, but she might be one of the better horses to come out of this race. She ran home nicely at Caulfield behind the very talented Pretty Brazen over 1400 metres last preparation, before flying home at listed level at this track over 1400 metres again to finish a length off the winners.


The third horse in that race, Xilong, was placed in a cracking Group 1 race on Saturday. They are going to go very fast here which should give her every chance to run over them late.

The other one I’m backing is Namino. She won well when second-up at Sandown, before nothing went right two-back when stepping up to 1300 metres. The Hayes camp might have stumbled on something last start down the straight when she got back in the field and hit the line really well to finish 2.75 lengths off the winners.

She has good tactical speed and maps to get a lovely run behind a hot tempo. Outside of those two, it is wide open, with Toffee Doll, Maktabba and Rotator all live chances.

Recommended bet: Each way plays on #2 Debt’n’deficit at $17 and #6 Namino at $27

Our Bottino ridden by Damien Thornton

(Leonie Grbic/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Best bet
Race 3 #10 Cielo D’oro

Next-best bet
Race 4 #10 Paradee

Best value
Race 6 #8 Polanco and Race 8 #2 Debt’n’deficit


Early quaddie numbers
R1: 4, 5, 3, 1
R2: 2, 3, 4
R3: 10, 3, 4, 8
R4: 10, 9, 1, 2

Regular quaddie numbers
R5: 4, 8, 11, 16, 2
R6: 5, 8, 15, 7
R7: 4, 6, 8, 14, 1
R8: 1, 2, 6, 8, 17