The Mounting Yard heads back to Flemington this week and yet again, we are happy about it.
There is some good racing in store for punters, with the last race on the program the most anticipated with some smart types taking part. The rail is out 8 metres for the entire circuit which will generally favour those on the speed, but Flemington still usually gives every horse their chance.
The track should be rated between a Good 4 – Soft 6 which are generally ideal racing conditions. Let’s try and find some winners!
RACE 1: HANDICAP, 1000 METRES
Interesting little race here to kick off the program. Spirit of Aquada must be respected down the straight where he does his best racing.
Last preparation over 1100 metres down the straight he was unlucky not to finish closer to Halvorsen when running a length away, and that horse won a Group 3 subsequently before running two lengths off them at Group 1 level, so the form stacks up.
He went out for a spell and resumed at Sandown on a Heavy 10 when never getting into the race, before coming to Flemington last start and running a head away from the very handy Alfa Oro after clocking the fastest last 800m of the day.
He reaches this race third – up and finds a race where he can break through for an overdue win. Preazdo has found his niche down the straight over the 1000 metre scamper. He beat a smart one in the Inevitable two – back before repeating the dose last start when beating King of Hastings.
He has been well found in the market but looks to be the clear danger. Raven’s Blaze is the blowout hope. She was outclassed at Group Level at the end of her last preparation, but her form before that was good.
I loved the way she jumped out leading into this and she has gone well fresh in the past.
Recommended Bet: With Spirit of Aquada going out, #9 Raven’s Blaze looks value at $21.
RACE 2: 2-Y-O, FILLIES, HANDICAP, 1100 METRES
This is a cracking race for the juveniles with plenty of smart ones going around. I’m happy to be with two runners here and one of them is Safeeya.
The McEvoy Filly wasn’t disgraced on debut when running home strongly to finish four lengths off Hanseatic, who subsequently was the runner up in the Blue Diamond. She went out for a spell and has jumped out impressively at Caulfield in readiness for this run.
She looks like a horse that will relish the wide expanses of the Flemington straight and she will be powering home late. Pentangilli seems over the odds. I thought she jumped out well before her debut run when finishing alongside Jabali Ride and Cross Haven.
She then come here and ran down the straight on debut when she was cluttered up for room for basically the whole race.
She managed to run within two lengths of Divine Caprice there and with the four-kilogram weight swing and natural improvement, she can easily turn the tables on her.
Zesty Belle has been fantastic in both jump-outs leading into this first-up assignment. Her debut run was poor, but they can bounce back hard, and she can win this.
Recommended Bet: Each way plays on #14 Safeeya at $5 and #6 Pentangilli at $12.
RACE 3: 3-Y-O, HANDICAP, 2000 METRES
Very interesting race here over the staying trip. The early snipers have come for the favourite in Coolth but I couldn’t have him at anything under $4 so I am happy to back a couple to beat him. Hypercane is flying this time in and he is flying under the radar again here.
If you disregard his second-up run, which is starting to become a pattern, he should be the equal favourite. He came from last to win on resumption over 1250 metres, before going to the Adelaide Guineas and running on strongly from last to run second and two lengths off Game Keeper, who subsequently came to this track and won. The form out of that race is great, with Done by Me and Really Discreet both recording wins since.
The 2000 metres looks ideal and he is a horse on the up. Highland Jakk is the other I want to be on. He generally takes a few runs to get going and his last two efforts have been good.
He got flushed out wide at the 800-meter mark two – back which made it hard, before coming to Flemington and running on strongly to finish a length off Game Keeper. From the rails draw (1) he can be more prominent and run a bold race.
Coolth is very progressive and there is a big boom around him. He has been fantastic in his two starts but I think he is well found in the market. Independent Road maps to get the run of the race and goes in all the multiples.
Recommended Bet: Each way plays on #3 Hypercane at $6 and #6 Highland Jakk at $9.
RACE 4: BENCHMARK 78, HANDICAP, 1400 METRES
The less said about this race the better from my viewpoint. It’s $6 the field, the bookmakers haven’t got a clue and either do I.
Eureka Street makes appeal if you are desperate to bet into this. This is probably a bit short of his ideal distance, but his form from last preparation when running a length off the likes of Aktau, Salsamor and Skelm reads well.
He will need a good ride from Melham but goes well fresh and can fire. Secret Vega is another at odds who must be respected. He was tremendous two – back on the Synthetic when beating the handy Villa Sarchi by five lengths, before coming to this track and running three lengths off Sikorksy.
He maps well and can bounce back here. Outside of them, it is a complete raffle. The overseas import in Mount Popa brings over solid overseas form but probably needs further, while Gold Mag is always around the mark and commands respect.
Recommended Bet: Staying right out of this one.
RACE 5: BENCHMARK 84, FILLIES AND MARES, HANDICAP, 1400 METRES
Interesting race here in the fifth and I’m happy to be with So You Swing, who I think has a bit on these. The query is the fact that she draws out wide (12) but a few horses should provide her with some cover in the run.
Her form from last preparation was excellent, evident by running second to Nudge at the end of last preparation and finishing narrowly ahead of Affair to Remember. Both of those horses haven’t been far away at Group 1 level so obviously, the form is good.
She resumed after a six-month spell at Caulfield and was terrific late when running the fastest last 200 metres of the meeting.
She should be fitter here and with even luck is the one to beat. Seewhatshebrings is the danger and is over the odds. She won two from four last preparation which included a huge run at Group Three level when a neck away from Amangiri.
She goes well fresh, draws well (5), and maps to get the run of the race. It’s hard to knock the form of Shahzade.
She is gunning for three in a row here and even though this is harder, she can improve. Something Silver and Supre are the best of the rest and go into exotics.
Recommended Bet: #12 So You Swing E/W at $5.50.
RACE 6: 3-Y-O andamp; UP, HANDICAP, 2520 METRES
It is probably the most intriguing race on the program for mine. I am happy to take the odds on offer for the Waller import in Masaff.
This Gelding ran 2.25 lengths off Downdraft last preparation and that horse come over here in the Spring and won the Hotham before running in the Melbourne Cup, so the overseas form line reads well.
He ran on strongly late in his Australian debut when 2.5 lengths off Grand Piano over a mile who the market had as a strong chance in the Stradbroke, before coming to Flemington over 1800 metres and powering through the line to run a length off Savaheat.
The rise to the 2500 metres looks ideal and with even luck he should be winning. Kiss and Cry shapes as the main danger.
She is gunning for three in a row here and has been impressive in recent starts when beating Declares War and Highland Jakk who I am tipping in an earlier race. She maps well (5) and must be respected. Starcaster getting back on to firm ground makes some appeal.
I thought he was fantastic on resumption, before facing two bottomless tracks which aren’t his go. Chapada doesn’t win out of turn but has claims after a good run last start.
Recommended Bet: Win bet on #8 Masaff at $3.60.
RACE 7: BENCHMARK 84, HANDICAP, 1800 METRES
It’s a wide-open affair here but I do like a couple at an each-way price. No Say in It Is a Western Australian galloper who has come over for a preparation in Victoria and has been very good this preparation.
On resumption, he ran on strongly to finish second and half a length off Eugene’s Forest, before going to Caulfield and flashing home to finish 0.75 lengths off Sikorsky. I think this galloper can turn the tables and the price differential seems silly when you consider the improvement yet to come in their preparations. He will enjoy Flemington and the pace on upfront looks genuine.
Southern Rock is the other I want to have something on. He put together a good record for himself over in England. He faded quickly and was poor on resumption at Caulfield, before being much improved at this track last start when doing his best work late.
Getting back on to firmer ground suits and he maps to get a lovely run. Sikorsky has been terrific this preparation and must be respected. He won well with relative ease two – back at this track, before going to Caulfield last start where nothing went right. He draws a tricky gate (10) again but he can bounce back. Aussie Nugget is the best of the rest.
His run two – back when storming home from last against the pattern was fantastic and he got caught on the wrong part of the track last start at this track. He can bounce back with a bold showing here.
Recommended Bet: Each way plays on #7 Southern Rock at $19 and #8 No Say in It at $6.
RACE 8: HANDICAP, 1400 METRES
The bookmakers have this as one of the more open races on the program but I tend to disagree with them here. I am happy to be with A Shin Rook at a price. He has been underrated for a while now the Freedman trained Gelding and goes around at the wrong odds again here.
He was super first – up in the City of Adelaide when coming from near last and a seemingly impossible position to win by a neck. He then come to this track when again getting a long way back and doing his best work through the line to run a length off Iconoclasm.
From the better barrier (7) he can settle a bit more forward ad he fires third – up generally. The team Williams import in Kenya is the danger. He has been gelded since coming out to Australia. He was fantastic in his first racing preparation, winning at Group 3 level over this distance.
This is a target race first – up and his jump-outs point towards a strong showing. Iconoclasm is a last start winner at this track and trip but a couple more things are going against him today, while Vassilator should go into all the exotics after a fast-finishing fourth at this track last start.
Recommended Bet: #3 A Shin Rook E/W at $9.
RACE 9: SUPER VOBIS, 3-Y-O, HANDICAP, 1400 METRES
Hopefully, you aren’t on the chase because it looks like a difficult way to finish up the program. I will be on the ultra-talented Triton Rising.
He showed a stack of ability last preparation, beating the likes of Kamo before running a length away from the likes of Soul Patch and Banquo, all at this track. He went out for a pretty long break (nearly seven months), was gelded, and came back an easy winner on the Synthetic at Pakenham.
This is harder but he should improve off that and he maps well in the run.
Could just be too good for them this bloke, the only thing that concerns me is that I need to see he has learned and matured from last preparation.
Jolly Sailor looks like the main danger. He was dominant in a Donald maiden when winning by five lengths, before being the hard-luck story of the weekend two – back at Donald when just never seeing daylight.
He bounced back with a very tough win at Sandown last week. Draws well here (3) and with any improvement can repeat the dose and go three from four.
Hi Stranger, is probably going around at the wrong price. He was a fantastic winner on resumption before having plenty of excuses last start when second and two lengths off the winner. Rising to 1400 metres suits and he can win. Orienzel and Done By Me are the best of the rest and should be included in the quaddie.
Recommended Bet: #9 Triton Rising E/W at $6.50.
BEST BET: Race 6 #8 Masaff
NEXT BEST BET: Race 3 #3 Hypercane
BEST VALUE: Race 8 #3 A Shin Rook