Track: It played terrific on Cup day and with the weather today (Wednesday) sunny at times with some light winds and not much rain expected tomorrow it should race very well again on Thursday. Credit to all involved so far. Great for punting.
Impi has gone up short here to get the punters off to a hot start. Too short for mine, though. Comes through a hot race and is the most likely winner here but looking elsewhere for value. Main Stage comes from the same race and I think returning to Flemington is a plus. Mr Money Bags next best but I fancy the form from the Geelong race is the one to stick with.
Verdict: Quinella with Impi and Main Stage
Arctic Ice did enough on debut and returning to her home track likely to be a plus against some of the others. Tagaloa went ok when winning a trial at Moe. A few from the Hayes squad are unseen at the trials which is a bit of a worry as is the Maher/Eustace trained Rathlin. Keeping powder rather dry here.
Verdict: Arctic Ice
Mr Tipla looks a Flemington horse and is at the right distance to produce something near his best. Wide draw not a concern will go back and build into the race. Platinum Angel class mare that gives the entire field five kilos. Bumper Blast lightly raced and running good times. Have him in the mix too.
Verdict: Mr Tipla EW
High variance race I don’t want to get involved in from a betting point of view. Nudge is top pick, though. She comes from a soft Group 2 on Cox Plate day and maps well for this. Affair To Remember presents on the freshen but did have a trial in between. Sovereign Award likely goes forward and also maps well, would include if playing multiples.
Good race with some talent in the bunch. Prefer Ball Of Muscle around a bend but he is class. Should have won the Schillachi. Crystal Dreamer loves the straight and 1000m races. Drawn to be in the right part of the track stalking the speed. Happy to be against the Godolphin runners at current prices, especially Soothing. Thought Tavisan could roll along on speed and give them something to catch.
Verdict: Crystal Dreamer EW
Harbour Views building a nice little picket fence and this has been the race they’ve targeted. Very hard to beat. J Allen might be positive from barrier one and sit very close to the speed to avoid getting into a tricky spot. Starspangled Rodeo will run well for sure. Ticks enough boxes but I think more of a place hope. Good to see J Mott getting a few decent Cup week rides. O’Tauto will have some admirers but will need a good ride from the Wizard D Oliver out wide.
Verdict: Harbour Views
Pancho’s Sydney form will measure up here. He is top pick, comes down to price. Russian Camelot looks short enough in the early play. Very promising horse but paying a premium against some battled hardened B-graders. Quick Thinker ticks enough boxes to run well. Journica is a promising type. Adelaide form has been holding up as we know. Maps well and a positive jockey change may see the horse step again. Big odds and a knockout hope.
Verdict: Journica EW
As is becoming the norm, the Oaks isn’t exactly the highlight of the week but this year it is a pretty even bunch and a decent betting event. Miami Bound stepped nicely on Saturday. Only has to hold that number to be a serious contender. Should get the trip. Moonlight Maid the obvious danger. Mitch Freedman has his stable stars flying. Market has them both about right. Song Brocade will appreciate getting back to a dry track I think and should stay well. Vegas Jewel I am happy to be against at the end of her first prep and the fact she will spot the main few too big a start. Gamay can bounce back, the champ Ryan Moore jumps on too. She is third pick.
Verdict: Miami Bound
California Zymbol is a very very smart horse. Her work down the straight last week was Group 1 stuff and she is still on the up. I think the fact they bypassed the Coolmare shows how immature she still is. Loving Gaby form is there for all to see. I think we will see her become a real star in the Autumn. Absolute Flirt has experience down the straight and looks the most likely runner to run second to the favourite. Nice jumpout last week. Taraayef and Sisstar would be others to consider in wider multiples.
Verdict: California Zymbol to beat Absolute Flirt in the quinella