The Mounting Yard heads back to Caulfield this week after a three-week hiatus.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.
The Mounting Yard heads back to fabulous Flemington and I must say, it’s good to be back! There isn’t any Group racing on the program, but there is some brilliant black-type racing on display, headlined by the Victorian St Leger, a race older than the Melbourne Cup, and the Anzac Day Stakes for the juveniles.
The rail is true for the entire circuit so the track should play fairly and the long straight at Flemington should give every horse their chance.
Race 1: Anzac Day Stakes, listen race, 2YO, Handicap, 1400 metres
One of the features arrives here in the first with the listed Anzac Day Stakes for the juveniles. It’s an open race, evident by it being $5 the field, but I’m happy to be with Grandslam again here.
He ran on strongly on debut when only getting warm late behind Lunar Fox who subsequently won the Flemington Sires Produce, before going to Adelaide and beating a couple of smart ones with relative ease due to a brilliant steer by Todd Pannell. By breeding, the 1400 metres should suit him here, he draws to get a lovely run behind the speed and he will prove hard to hold out at Flemington.
I have to have something on Ain’tnodeeldun as well. He hit the line nicely on debut behind Crown Mint over 1300 metres before being outsprinted last start, but hitting the line strongly to run a length off Flying Award who is half his quote in this race. He should strip fitter for that, is a horse that will love Flemington and they should go a little bit quicker here than they did last start.
The two who battled that race out in Itzhot and Flying Award also have to be big chances considering they ran good time in that race.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on #1 Grandslam at $5.50 and #6 Ain’tnodeeldun at $11.
Race 2: 3YO and up, Benchmark 84, fillies and mares, Handicap, 1600 metres
An intriguing race here with a few different form lines coming into it. My main bet will be on the Archie Alexander import in Lamu. She comes over from France where she has been placed at listed level and was terrific in her first Australian start when charging home late to run a length off Viral and Zaidin which reads well for this.
That race was over 1300 metres, so she gets out in trip to the mile here which will suit her down to the ground and Williams jumps off Extreme Pride to be on her which is a good push. Only needs even luck from the inside gate (1) to be winning.
I had Part-time Lover rated at a similar price to the second elect so I have to have something on her at the big quote. She hit the line well two-back behind Pierro Belle, before never getting much of a look at them last week at Caulfield behind Clarice Cliffs.
I don’t think that is the inferior form line like the market seems too and she can be running a big race on the quick back up here.
Nerve not Verve was good last preparation and there was nothing wrong with her close-up third on resumption, while Cryptic Jewel has to be respected on her form prior to that Sydney run last start.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #7 Lamu at $4.40, with something on #14 Part-Time Lover at $21.
Race 3: Syper VOBIS, 3YO, Handicap, 1400 metres
It’s probably the best race on the program, but it is hard from a betting perspective. I’m going to spec a couple at odds here and one of them is Fundraiser.
I was about to launch into him at Pakenham on Thursday night but he’s been scratched there and will participate in this. He has gone from strength to strength this campaign. He resumed in a Pakenham maiden and won with complete ease over Deep Breath who has won since, before going to Sandown and charging home late to finish a length off Charleise who he faces again here. He draws well (4) to get a lovely run behind the speed and reaches this race third-up and should be ready to peak. Williams on board is a big positive.
I think Regardsmaree is overs in the current market. He ran well last preparation when putting two on the trot before spelling. He resumed in just even fashion in the Albury Guineas, before putting in a brilliant display against Leale running a neck away, and that galloper went down by a head last weekend in a similar race to this.
He should be able to cross and get a lovely run on the speed, and he has won at his only attempt third-up. He is one for the roughie punters. Heyington Station reaches this race third-up and draws perfectly (2), while Run to Perfection can run a big race fresh.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #12 Fundraiser at $7.50 and #4 Regardsmaree at $19.
Race 4: 4YO and up, Handicap, 2600 metres
It’s an intriguing race this one with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare taking his part, and it’s hard to believe they are betting anything over $2. He carries around the big weight (61kgs) but deservedly so as he is the best horse in the race and by a fair way.
He had a brilliant spring which culminated in the Melbourne Cup victory when being third-up, which he also reaches today in this preparation. His run resuming was terrific in the Australian Cup behind Fifty Stars and Regal Power, with the latter winning the All-Star mile in his next start.
He was flat when second-up in the Queen Elizabeth which isn’t completely out of character, so I’m prepared to forgive that run on a Heavy track in Sydney. He drops in grade from the best race of the Autumn too a pretty average type of staying event in the offseason. He draws perfectly (6) and should be winning.
Haky goes well third-up and was impressive last start when running on strongly behind Inverloch. He draws a tricky gate (10) but should sit on the speed and be the one Vow and Declare has to get past. Mirimar was strong last start when beating Inverloch and draws perfectly again here (6), while Good Idea shouldn’t be discounted.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #1 Vow and Declare at $2.05.
Race 5: Super VOBIS, 3YO, Handicap, 1700 metres
Another short-priced favourite goes around here and it is the boom horse in Russian Camelot. There isn’t a chance I could take the $1.90 on offer for him at the moment considering he didn’t jump with them on resumption and still does a bit wrong in his races.
I think Betcha Flying is a better proposition and should at a minimum run top three. The last time she was at this track was on Cup day when she got nutted on the line by Akari to dump me out of a decent-sized group quaddie! Her last two runs have been impressive.
I thought her run at the Valley behind Paradee at Group Three level was outstanding when coming from near last to finish two lengths away before putting in another huge effort in the Adrian Knox after travelling wide and near last to run home for fourth, finishing behind the three who subsequently ran the top three in the Oaks a couple of weeks later.
She will get back in the field, but she should be rock-hard fit fourth-up and ready to show her best. Russian Camelot is the obvious danger. He has a ton of natural ability and he showed that when winning by seven lengths last start at Pakenham. I just don’t want to jump in at the $1.90 quote.
Highland Jakk only ran half a length off Russian Camelot in the Spring and I am prepared to forgive his first-up run. The Lifeline could give some cheek up on the speed.
Recommended bet: #3 Betcha Flying E/W at $9. More units on the place.
Race 6: VRC St Leger, listed level, 3YO, set weights, 2800 metres
Potentially the race with the richest history bar the Cup in Victoria comes here in the sixth. In a wide-open race I’m prepared to have a couple of speculative bets.
One of those will be on Sign Seal Deliver. I’ve had an opinion of him for a while now and was on him in the Geelong Classic last preparation when he ran three lengths off Southern Moon. He has been building well this preparation and thankfully for connections, finally broke his maiden at Sale last start over 2200 metres.
He reaches this race fifth-up and rock-hard fit, draws well and the 2800 metres shouldn’t bother him. I’m happy to have something on Saint Eustace here as well. He has clearly been targeted for this race. He was never going to win first-up over 1400 metres, but I thought his second-up win at Geelong was impressive.
He was outclassed in the Port Adelaide Guineas last start when running seven lengths off Dalasan, but this is much easier and he should be ready to peak fourth-up. Sacramento was outclassed in the Derby, but still managed to beat half the field home. From the good draw (4), he can dictate out in front and be hard to run down, while Tarn’s Prince finished off well in the Galilee and will appreciate the 2800 metres.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on both #7 Sign Seal Deliver at $15 and #10 Saint Eustace at $34.
Race 7: 3YO and up, Handicap, 1000 metres
The only race down the straight on the program comes here, something the punters will be thankful for. I’m happy to be with Esperance. At his current price we can back him each-way and I expected him to be closer to that $3.50 mark, and wouldn’t be surprised if he is come the jump.
His form from last preparation was very good when running 0.75 lengths off Halvorsen when on the inferior ground. The run on Ballarat Cup day was a complete forgive after he pulled up with a throat issue and he was excellent when coming back here at this track and trip to run second – a length off Bold Star. There should be a very genuine tempo engaged in this race with a heap of speed demons in it which will suit him well, and I thought his jump out a fortnight ago pointed towards a strong showing here first-up.
The Inevitable is the clear danger, but I have some queries on whether he has come up well this preparation. He was far from disgraced in the Group 1 Lighting on resumption, but his jump out at Kyneton didn’t inspire much confidence. At his best he is probably the one to beat.
Milwaukee and Miss Iano are musts for exotics and are the only other two that can win.
Recommended bet: #13 Esperance E/W at$5.
Race 8: Handicap, 1700 metres
It’s not an easy way to ‘get out’ here! In a wide-open race I’ve stuck the country cups king in Rupture on top. His run in the Bendigo Cup was enormous after travelling wide throughout last preparation, which culminated in a win in the Werribee Cup over Double You Tee.
He resumed after a 17-week break in the Warracknabeal Cup when drawing away late to win over Vungers, over 1600 metres. In his last six runs he has won the Hamilton Cup, Werribee Cup and Warracknabeal Cup which reads well for a race like this. He draws a tricky gate (10), but has enough tactical speed to push more forward than usual and he should strip fitter for that first-up hit out.
Masculino was terrific first-up when being posted wide. He stuck on really well to finish a length off a few who he faces again here. Wouldn’t be surprised if he turned the tables on them. Hang Man is one of the class runners in the field but might just be a run short, while Kentucky Breeze has to be respected after winning over most of these last start.
Recommended bet: Win bet on #11 Rupture at $4.60.
Race 4 #1 Vow and Declare.
Race 8 #13 Esperance.
Race 6 #7 Sign Seal Deliver.