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The Mounting Yard: Australian Guineas Day preview at Flemington

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Roar Guru
25th February, 2021
6

The Mounting Yard has been in fantastic form in recent times and we are hoping to keep that going on Australian Guineas day, where last year’s Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa has been awarded favouritism.

The Blamey Stakes is the other headline event on the program where the winner gets an entry into the All-Star Mile at the Valley. The weather is predicted to be perfect from now (Wednesday) until Saturday so expect the track to be firm and allow all runners a chance if they are good enough. Let’s get into it.

Race 1: Festival of Racing 1000, listed race, two-year-olds, 1000 metres
A wide-open affair awaits the punters in the first and without much-exposed form to go by, especially down the straight, I’m prepared to back a couple at odds. The first starter in Extassy looks over the odds after being exposed to Flemington in her jumpouts. She won both with relative ease without ever really being put under much pressure (while the horses behind her were being ridden along) and I think she maps to get a nice spot in the run behind the anticipated leader. Lindsay Park know how to get them firing on debut and she looks to have plenty of ability.

Zanzibar Gem is the other who is over the odds. She had the one run before spelling and she never really had much luck when getting into a bumping duel around the turn and then being cut off for a run. Her jumpouts in readiness for this run have been good and the form coming out of that maiden (Anamoe and Extreme Warrior) read well for a race like this.

Tycoon Humma was very impressive over a couple of smart ones on debut but looks too short at $3, while Decent Raine was without luck last time in before being caught three-wide and without cover on debut. She might appreciate the Flemington straight.

Recommended bet: Small E/W plays on #9 Extassy at $15 and #7 Zanzibar Gem at $18.

Race 2: Roy Higgins Quality, listed race, 2600 metres
The only staying race of the program arrives here in the second and with the way the race looks to set up, Skymax looks hard to beat if he can handle the Melbourne way of going. You can pretty much disregard his run two-back when on a Heavy 8 as he completely resents any give in the track at all.

On either side of that run, he has been fantastic, winning a Benchmark 72 by five lengths, before winning the Listed Australia Day Cup by a neck over the talented Wolfe. He put three lengths on the third horse in Kaapfever who subsequently won a 78-rating race by nearly three lengths franking that form. From the ideal draw (4) he will either lead or sit just off the leader and prove very hard to run down.

Mosh Music is interesting. She flashed home late two-back at Sandown to beat Double You Tee who has franked the form in Tasmania, but she was awful last start without many excuses. She can bounce back.

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Nelson worked home well first-up over 2500m at the Valley and goes well second-up. He might have the class edge over most of these so it wouldn’t surprise to see him run a big race with some added fitness.

Recommended Bet: Win bet on #3 Skymax at $3.

No Restriction ridden by Declan Bates wins the World Horse Racing Desirable Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

(Reg Ryan/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Race 3: Shaftesbury Avenue, Group 3, handicap, 1400 metres
The time-honoured Shaftesbury Avenue awaits the punters in the third race and I’m keen on Bam’s On Fire. The Maher and Eustace mare was excellent last preparation, winning the Group 3 Victoria Handicap over Seabrook, before going too Adelaide and running third in the Group 1 Tab Classic behind some very good ones in Bella Vella and Lyre. She carries less weight in this race than she did in that Group 1 and her first-up effort behind Probabeel was desperately unlucky and that form has been certified since.

From the perfect draw (4) she should camp behind the leaders and prove very hard to hold out.

Sierra Sue is the main danger. I have had a big opinion of this mare for a while now and she proved me right when winning the Group 2 Rose of Kingston at this track in the Spring. Her first-up effort was poor, which I’m finding hard to get out of my head, but if she is at her best, she goes very close here.

The Harrovian has won 11 on the bounce but that Queensland form seems inferior, while Sansom draws tricky (9) but does have the talent to win a race like this.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #5 Bam’s on Fire at $3.80.

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Race 4: Benchmark 90, handicap, 1200 metres
One of the more difficult races to assess on the entire program confronts punters here. Without much confidence, I put Laverrod on top. The form this gelding brings over from Western Australia is fantastic, running three lengths off Kementari at Group 3 level over 1400 metres. He was then given a ten-week freshen up and come down the straight in a Benchmark 84 when running 1.75 lengths off I’m Telling Ya. He beat Celebrity Queen in Western Australia last time he was second-up and that form reads superior compared to his rivals here.

Subedar went fantastic as a three-year-old, running multiple placings to the likes of Shadow Hero and Just Thinkin’. He went out for a long spell and resumed with a fast-finishing second to All-Time Legend at Randwick. He draws out (11) which is a big positive and should be fitter now.

Groundswell was very good last preparation winning two from three. He sat on the speed at both Cranbourne and Moonee Valley and never looked like losing, before going to Flemington and running four lengths off outrageous. He has jumped out well and is a winning chance. I’m Telling Ya beat a few of his rivals here last start and $15 looks a big price considering that fact. If they go quick out in front, he will be rattling home late.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #3 Laverrod at $4.20.

Our Bottino ridden by Damien Thornton

(Leonie Grbic/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

Race 5: Bob Hoysted Handicap, listed race, handicap, 1000 metres
Another race down the straight awaits punters here and it’s a race in two. Hopefully I’ve pulled the right rein by putting Muntaseera on top. This filly was excellent on resumption last preparation, flashing home late over this distance to beat Valaquenta by a long neck at Caulfield.

She then stayed at Caulfield and was 0.75 lengths off Swats That at Group 3 level over 1200 metres, before battling away for a long fifth in the Coolmore behind a potential superstar in September Run. She trialled well leading into this first-up assignment and her strong first-up record (3:1-2-0) inspires confidence that she will be at her best.

Fabergino loves the Flemington straight, winning three from four over this track and distance while beating the likes of Prezado and Sword of Mercy. She was fantastic in the Group 1 Lightning, going to the outside on inferior ground to only end up finishing 2.5L off Nature Strip. That form reads very well for a race like this.

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Humma Humma goes very well first-up (6:3-1-0) and draws out (9) which is a big positive. She maps to get the run of the race with some cover, but I query whether she is up to these. All Banter is a speedy customer who could give you a bold showing if they don’t go along too quickly.

Recommended bet: #10 Muntaseera E/W at $5.50.

Race 6: Blamey Stakes, Group 2, 1600 metres
It’s a ballot-exempt race into the coveted All-Star Mile yet again the Blamey, and although it’s an incredibly weak edition of the race, Buffalo River looks very hard to beat. The last time he was second-up he was second in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap behind Mr Quickie and that form reference looks incredible for what is a weak edition of this race. He went out for a spell after running a couple of lengths off Junipal and resumed a couple of weeks back when getting nutted on the line by Regardsmaree who is airborne.

Jamie Kah sticks, and he should be near peak fitness and prove incredibly hard to run down.

It’s pretty much a raffle outside of him. Best of Days should be able to cross from the wide gate (9) with the anticipated lack of speed and was very good winning the Carlyon Cup over this distance at Caulfield. He can run a big race.

Star of the Seas has good form around him and strikes one of the easier races he has seen for a while now. Draws a tricky gate (8) but is good enough.

Fifty Stars is an interesting runner. He was poor on resumption over 1400m in Sydney, but he comes back to a track he loves, and he should be a lot fitter for that off a high-tempo type of race.

Recommended bet: Win bet on #11 Buffalo River at $2.80.

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Brian Park riding horse Jamaican Rain

(Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images)

Race 7: Australian Guineas, Group 1, three-year-olds, set weights, 1600 metres
It is a wide-open Australian Guineas and if you can find the winner you might just end up in front on the day. It’s not the type of race to be investing too much in but I will have a couple of small plays.

Jet Propulsion is one that can run a race at big odds. This colt was very good last preparation, breaking his maiden before going on to run 1.5L off the talented Mo’Unga and half a length off Peltzer. He was then spelt, and his return at Caulfield in the Autumn Stakes was very good without much luck late.

He seems to have grown into his body over the break and he might be ready to peak here.

Cherry Tortoni is another who I want to be with at a big price. He is incredibly talented this bloke and he has already shown he can win over this trip (one from one at this track and trip) and I thought his first-up effort here when running on without much luck was impressive. He peaked over the last 100m there, but he should be fitter now and I expect them to go quick which might set it up for a horse like him.

The two who fought out the CS Hayes in Tagaloa and Aysar are the two main hopes but I wanted a bigger price for both. They come out of a high rating race which is far superior to their rivals and all they must do is stay at that level and they will be hard to beat.

Recommended bet: Small E/W plays on #12 Jet Propulsion at $31 and #4 Cherry Tortoni at $13.

Race 8: Inglis Dash, three-year-olds, set weights plus penalties, 1100 metres
I’m happy enough to play around two runners in the penultimate event and both are over the odds. Bella Nipotina should be ready to fire second-up today. If you go back and look at her form from last preparation, it reads very well for this race. She was 0.75L away from Portland Sky at the Valley (who won the Oakleigh Plate last week), before running a length off Written Beauty over this track and trip.

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She draws the outside gate (15) which is never a disadvantage in these straight races and with William Pike on board, she looks a good bet with that straight track experience and added fitness after a hard first-up run.

Celestine is the other I want to be with. This is a filly that beat La Mexicana with ease last preparation down the straight and that horse is now well in the market in a Group 1 in Sydney. She then finished off her preparation in the same race as Bella Nipotina and beat her home. She has the class over a number of these and always puts herself in it.

Lord Olympus is a speedy customer who has trialled well in preparation for this race. The Newnham camp have a big opinion of him.

I’m not overly keen on the two favourites in the race in Rocketing By and The Bopper. I query the form lines and would rather see horses down the straight for the first time.

Recommended bet: Win bets on both #6 Bella Nipotina at $8.50 and #13 Celestine at $8.50.

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Race 9: Frances Tressady Stakes, Group 3, fillies and mares, 1400 metres
In bad news for punters, the open fields don’t get any narrower in the ‘get out’ stakes. It is $5 the field here and yet again I want to back a couple at a big price. Greysful Glamour goes on top for mine. The Newnham mare has been in a rich vein of form lately, winning the ATC Cup by 2.5L over Laure Me In, before going on to win the Villiers Stakes at Group 2 level over Best of Days, who has since franked that form by winning at Group 3 level. She draws perfectly (3) to go straight to the front and dictate the terms in what should be a slowly run affair.

Mamzelle Tess is the other I want some of my hard-earned on. She can pop up at a big price as she did last preparation when beating Bam’s on Fire at the Valley over a mile, and that came after only running 0.4L off Sylvia’s Mother. Her first-up run here was okay without being spectacular, but she goes better second-up (6:2-1-1) and maps to get the run of the race.

Paul’s Regret likes this track and I thought her run was good behind Probabeel last start. She would want to be quick out of the gates though with the low draw (2).

Affair to Remember and Grand De Flora will get back and be running on strongly late.

Recommended bet: Each way plays on #2 Greysful Glamour at $10 and #3 Mamzelle Tess at $21.

Best bet
Race 6 #11 Buffalo River

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Next-best bet
Race 2 #3 Skymax

Best value
Race 9 #2 Greysful Glamour