The Mounting Yard heads back to Flemington this week, and aren’t we happy about it! We historically have a good record at headquarters, and after a poor week last week, hopefully we can bounce back.
It’s an action-packed day of racing, with the Andrew Ramsden as the feature, which is a ballot free race into the Melbourne Cup.
The first race kicks off at 11:45am and the last is scheduled for 4:45pm. We should have a track rating of somewhere around a Good 4 due to the drying turf, and hopefully we get fair racing throughout. Let’s find some winners!
Benchmark 84, fillies and mares, handicap, 1200 metres
I’m happy to be with Mystery Love here. She is a handy type for the Price yard. She won her first three starts, which included a win in the Bendigo Guineas, before running three lengths off Tofane, which obviously reads well now. She resumed at Caulfield off a seven-month break and was a dominant winner before never handling the heavy track at Sandown last start. The query is that this is her first time down the straight, but she draws out (10), which is ideal in these straight races and she shouldn’t have any excuses.
Lankan Star looks like the overs in the race at $16. I wasn’t overly impressed with her run on resumption, but her last two efforts have been good. She got shuffled back around the bend two back at Sandown and made good late ground behind the likes of Street Icon and Wild Vixen, which is a good form race, before going to Caulfield and winning well over Paul’s Regret. She was good over 1100 metres down the straight here last preperation at listed level and has to be respected.
Gododdin was a strong winner on resumption over Lieter before having excuses in Adelaide when running four lengths off Garner and Shamino. She went quick out in front last start at Sandown and fought on well, I thought, to run a length off More than Exceed.
O’ So Hazy has an okay fresh record and was good down the straight last preparation when beating home Bam’s on Fire. Not the worst.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 1 Mystery Love at $4.20, with a saver on No. 4 Lankan Star at $16.
Two-year-old plate, 1000 metres
The weekly race for the juveniles arrives here in the second. It’s not a race I’m keen to play in, but I put Miss Bosetti on top. She was unlucky on debut when never really getting a look at them – Jerle came out of that race, which reads well for this – before going out for a break. She has jumped out well leading into this and she has speed to burn and should give them something to catch.
Chrome Angel has the race experience on her side and has now won two from three. She was outclassed two races back in the Showdown behind some smart types, but she was excellent last start at Warrnambool and should have won by further in the end. She draws out (11) and should be on the best ground.
Nantucket jumped out well before his debut at Sandown when narrowly beaten by Our Playboy. He gets a drier track today and with any improvement is right in the mix at big odds.
Recommended bet: Leaving this one alone. Nantucket is best value at $14 if you are desperate.
Three-year-olds, benchmark 78, fillies, handicap, 1600 metres
It’s a wide-open affair here but those shorter in the market are worth risking. Sandsation has been building well this preparation and I think she gets the conditions to suit here. Her run two back was pretty good behind Oasis Girl on a Heavy 8 – that galloper won by six lengths last weekend – before going to Geelong and running on well behind the talented Let’s Get Tramped. She draws the inside gate (1) and has enough early speed to put herself in the A1 position.
November Dreaming is an intriguing runner and she has opened up as favourite. She was no match for Final Man three back on a heavy track before going back to a Class 1 at Pakenham and gapping them to win by 3.5 lengths. I’m prepared to be forgiving of her last run in Adelaide, and I think she gets a nice spot in the run.
If you forgive the run of Flandersrain two back on a heavy track, she has been running well. Her last run when flashing home late behind Betcha Flying in a race dictated by those on speed had plenty of merit. They should go a bit quicker today which will help her cause. Merited is the best of the rest and can improve with the gear change today.
Recommended bet: No. 13 Sandsation each way at $17.
Benchmark 78, handicap, 1600 metres
This is one of the races on the program I am keen to bet into, and I like two gallopers both in the betting. Sikorsky was only three lengths off them in the Victorian derby last preparation and after a long lay-off has come back in fantastic order. He had no luck on resumption when finishing two lengths away from Beautiful Flyer and Arctic Shock – both have run well since – before going to Caulfield and flashing home to run 0.75 lengths off Jumbo Ozaki, who had the dream run in the race. As long as he can get some cover in the run, he will be hard to hold out stepping up to the mile.
Duke of Plumpton is the main danger, and I’ll be on him as well. This gelding was sent to the in-form Patty Payne yard after a few good runs in New Zealand, and he won like a very good horse at Echuca in his Australian debut. I made him my best bet last start at Sandown but unfortunately he ran into the red-hot Shot of Irish on a day that favoured leaders, which was a recipe for disaster. Shot of Irish has won since that race, which franks the form, and as long as Billy Egan can find him some cover, he will be hard to hold out.
If there’s a danger to those two, it is probably Diplomatic Measure. He was beaten by only a neck last start at Morphettville and draws well (6) to get a lovely run. If they crawl in front, which seems unlikely, he will be the one they have trouble running down.
Recommended bet: Win bets on both No. 7 Duke of Plumpton at $5 and No. 9 Sikorsky at $4.40. Confident the winner comes from one of them.
Handicap, 1000 metres
This race is pretty good, with some handy sprinters either resuming or reaching the end of their preparation. I’m having a double play here, and one of the two I’m backing is Causeway Girl. I was surprised she came up at anything over $5. Her form from last preparation is better than basically all her rivals. She was beaten by a nose by Bold Star at this track and distance before being beaten a length by Jungle Edge on a Soft 7. The end of her preparation was a relatively luckless run behind Anaheed at Group 2 level. She goes well fresh (4:2-0-1) and she finds a winnable race here.
Wagner was the other horse that opened up overs. I respect the Blazejowski form from two back, and he didn’t have much go right for him last start at Canberra behind Handle The Truth. He drops six kilos from that run here and stays at a similar grade. We’ll get a lovely run from the good gate (5).
King of Hastings shapes as the main danger. He was a good winner down the straight last preparation before going up to the Gold Coast and being far from disgraced behind Alligator Blood. He draws well (8) and is another who is well-weighted.
Eduardo has been kept safe and rightfully so. His best form would win this with ease, but there are queries on whether he has come up this time in.
Recommended bet: Each-way plays on No. 8 Causeway Girl at $8 and No. 6 Wagner at $17.
Listed level; three, four and five-year-olds; weight for age; 2800 metres
The feature of the program arrives, with the winner getting a ticket into the Melbourne Cup. I’m happy to be with two runners firmly in the market, and one of them is the favourite: King of Leogrance. He has taken a while to adapt to Australian racing but is in full flight now and looks like a live chance in the Cup. His run two back over 2600 metres at this track was outstanding when being eased down on the line before going to the Adelaide Cup and winning with arrogance over a couple he faces again here. He draws perfectly (5) and will be hard to beat.
Oceanex is the only danger, and I’ll be saving on her. She loves Flemington and was a strong winner at Group 2 level here at the end of her last preparation. She was in Sydney for the autumn and she just seemed to resent it before coming back down to Adelaide and beating Sopressa with ease. She maps to get the run of the race and it’s hard to see her not running top three.
Too Close The Sun is going for four in a row after doing the Terang-Warnambool double. He has the pattern that punters love – he puts himself on the speed – but I have queries on whether he can run out the trip. He looked to be labouring late last start and he has been up for a long time.
Super Girl is the blowout chance. She was on the inferior part of the ground last start in the cup and her win before that was excellent over some smart types.
Recommended bet: Win bet on No. 2 King of Leogrance at $2.50, with a saver on No. 12 Oceanex at $6.50.
Three-year-olds and up, handicap, 2000 metres
This is one of the more intriguing races of the day. The favourite, Rupture, is too short, and I’m prepared to play around him. I’m going to spec a couple at big odds. Masculino is a tough on-pacer who has a great third-up record (4:2-1-0) and has to be respected. He was tough first up when being posted wide and battling away to finish a length off Kentucky Breeze before putting in a shocker second up at this track, which isn’t unusual. Damien Oliver jumps on, he draws perfectly (1) to sit on the speed and he ticks the boxes.
Chapada was okay last preparation when running three lengths off Another Dollar and Tally, and he is building well this time in. He was never going to feature on resumption over 1400 metres, but he was much better last start when running on to finish three lengths behind Rupture over 1700 metres. Rising to the 2000 metres suits today and the in-form Daniel Stackhouse should get him into a good spot.
Rupture is the one to beat. He was terrific on resumption when giving the rest of the field a few kilograms in the run before coming to Flemington and leading all the way last start. The 2000 metres isn’t an issue and he draws well (3) to sit on the speed again.
Fidelia is the best of the rest but needs everything to go right in the run.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on No. 9 Masculino at $20 and No. 13 Chapada at $19.
Handicap, 1400 metres
This is one of the more wide-open races on the program. I’m going to spec a couple at odds again here. Manolo Blahniq has been racing very well of late and is well overs in the market. I understand he is a bit of a non-winner, but his effort two back when running on to finish three lengths off Bam’s On Fire, now Group 1-placed, is an excellent form line. He went up to Sydney last start and ran okay against better opposition than he faces here, finishing two lengths off Amangiri. He can be a bit more forward from the low draw (2), and if he has any luck in running, he will be in the mix.
Blaze Forth is another I will spec. I thought his run in the Thomas Lyons three back was excellent behind Mandela Effect and Hellova Street, the latter who has franked that form since. He came down to Melbourne and was faced with a heavy track, which he doesn’t like, and he ran okay to finish five lengths off the winner, Buffalo River. Back on a drier surface, he can run well.
Iconoclasm was excellent last start at Caulfield behind So Si Bon, who has won again since, and maps perfectly, while Achernar Star was enormous last start behind Buffalo River at Sandown and only needs to find a spot to be right in it.
Recommended bet: Each way plays on No. 10 Manolo Blahniq at $19 and No. 8 Blaze Forth at $34.
Three-year-olds, handicap, 1400 metres
What a cracking race to finish the day! I’m happy to be with two runners again here. Broadwayandfourth has been brilliant in her last two runs. She hit the line well at Caulfield two back behind Lankan Star, who I give a good chance to in the first, before going to the Euclase at Morphettville and running on strongly to finish within a length of Xilong and Garner. She will love Flemington, and as long as they don’t crawl up front, she will be rocketing home late.
Talented is overs. Disregarding her run two back, she has been terrific this time in. She won well on resumption at Sandown over Debt ‘n’ Deficit before flashing home last start to run a length off Lunakorn. She is another who will appreciate Flemington, and as long as she gets some luck in the straight, she will be in the mix.
Beehunter was unbelievable last start against lesser types than this when making up about six lengths in 150 metres. Oliver jumps on and can’t be underestimated.
Final Man will run well. I have queries about whether he is as effective on dry ground, but he will cross from the wide gate (9) and try and dictate the race.
Recommended bet: Each-way plays on No. 2 Broadwayandfourth at $6.50 and No. 8 Talented at $17.
Best bet: Race 6, No. 2 King of Leogrance.
Next-best bet: Race 9, No. 2 Broadwayandfourth.
Best value: Race 1, No. 4 Lankan Star, and Race 8, No. 10 Manolo Blahniq.