Melbourne specialist Tim Kennedy is here to give you his weekly metro racing preview.
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Race 1 – 1000m Darley Maribyrnong Trial Stakes
Tough start to the day for punters, with 9 out of the 12 two year olds having their first start. General Beau is one of the few who has been to the races and he did it in style when bolting in by 2.3L down the Flemington straight. The colt also ran some slick closing sections to back up the visually impressive win. He will take natural improvement from this experience and I expect him to be very hard to beat again. Of the unraced brigade, I believe the best trials have come from Excela Bella, Fake Love and Cloudy.
Selection: General Beau @ $2.50
Race 2 – 1200m Seppelt Wines Poseidon Stakes
Any punter who backed Portland Sky last start would have felt ill, just never got a crack at them and looked to have a lot to offer. Eventually got right across heels and flashed home but it was far too late. With the split at the right time I believe he would have won the race. The second place getter Valaquenta goes around in this race Saturday. The other runner I like in this race is Minhaaj, she can turn the tables on her 1.2L defeat by September Run meeting her better at the weights and with improvement to come second up.
Selection: Portland Sky @ BOB, Minhaaj @ $4.20
Race 3 – 1400m Furphy Paris Lane Stakes
This is by far the easiest race the Group 1 winner Begood Toya Mother has faced in a long time. Since that Rupert Clarke victory in 2019, he has struggled with injury and hasn’t seemed the same horse. Dan Bowman has suggested he is back injury free this prep but did come in a little underdone, fitness wise. Whilst on paper this prep doesn’t look impressive, his last 2 starts he has only been 3L off the champ Bohemoth. That form is good enough to be winning here. He has drawn well, will be up on speed and tough to run down.
Selection: Begood Toya Mother @ BOB
Race 4 – 1200m Gilgai Stakes
Some of the country’s best sprinters going down the straight here. Only 0.4L split Zoutori, Tofane and The Inevitable last start same track and distance. The other big question mark is how the old champ Santa Ana Lane will come back, on his way to The Everest. I’m happy risk him first up. I thought The Inevitable first up was going to kick away last start but just died on his run the last 50m, possibly was in inferior ground as well. Will be fitter second up and I am expecting a big run with Benny Melham in the saddle. Tofane is just too good of a horse to leave out, with Olly booked I would be very surprised if she wasn’t in the finish. She gets a nice weight swing and is a proven second up performer.
Selection: The Inevitable @ BOB, Tofane @ 3.15
Race 5 – 1600m Edward Manifold Stakes
One of the toughest races for the day. A lot of lightly raced fillies trying to step up to that next level. Thermosphere has been unlucky with barriers, chasing home Dame Giselle/Hungry Heart in Sydney her last 3 starts. Succeed Indeed ran some slick sections when winning a BM70 at Sandown, looks to have nice ability. Queen of Rocks was stakes placed on debut, but hasn’t really gone on from that since. Miss Guggenheim comes off a maiden victory, will appreciate the step up in trip and has Ollie booked.
Selection: Treat yourself to some lunch and a cold beverage and wait for the next race. No Bet.
Race 6 – 2510m The Bart Cummings
The field of 16 will go around here chasing a ticket into the Melbourne Cup. As far as incentives go, they don’t come much bigger than that! Shared Ambition has become one of those ‘get back, run on, too late’ types, but I think this is his race. The step up to 2500m suits and the big track/long straight of Flemington will be perfect. Craig Williams booked to ride and drawn well in barrier 9, will get back with some cover and be running on strongly. Steel Prince was well backed last start and ran accordingly, coming from well back to run within 0.9L of Orderofthegarter. Step up in trip helps and has a great record at the track. South Pacific has given punters nightmares last two starts, when well backed and too bad to be true. Off a freshen up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him run a much improved race. Admire Robson also value.
Selection: Shared Ambition @ $4.40, Steel Prince @ BOB
Race 7 – 2000m Turnbull Stakes
In the feature race for the day, I am siding with the Melbourne Cup favourite Surprise Baby. He was massive first up over the mile, when having to go wide. Looked the winner but was pipped by Humidor, who then chased home Russian Camelot which franks that form. The step up in trip and the move to Flemington will naturally give him every chance to run well here. Craig Williams will just have to navigate that tricky inside draw. King of Leogrance has completed some very nice pieces of work on the track, appears he is ready to go first up. No doubt Danny O’Brien is one of the best trainers of stayers in the world. Could see Superstorm running really well but 1400 up to 2000 the query.
Selection: Surprise Baby @ $6.60, King of Leogrance @ BOB
Race 8 – 1400m Rose of Kingston Stakes
Perfect Jewel just went down to Mystic Journey last week. Quick back up here and drops back 200m. Rubisaki was too bad to be true first up, has been freshened since then and I am expecting to see a much improved performance here. She loves this track and distance, will get back and be flying late! Pretty Brazen was super impressive two back at this track and trip when beating Arcadia Queen, backed that up with a 1L third behind Behemoth. I am expecting another big run here from a good draw, will probably have a head start on the previous two horses mentioned. Madam Rouge also should run well, but we can’t back them all!
Selection: Rubisaki @ $6.10, Pretty Brazen @ BOB
Race9 – 1800m Super Impose Stakes
A tough race to finish the Get Out Stakes. Young Werther goes around as favourite after an impressive debut win at Geelong over 1500m. With a nice draw and Ollie on board, you would think Danny O’Brien would be confident going into this race and obviously has a big opinion of the gelding. However I believe the price is a little short considering he has only won a maiden against not much. I’ll be having small plays on two horses. Alcyone never got going at the tight turning Valley track, before that had some nice form around Cherry Tortoni who looks set for a big Derby run. Drawn barrier 7, I think Johnny Allen can just blend into the race at the top of the straight and be running home strong. Khoekhoe also has form around Cherry Tortoni, after a very impressive first prep has only just been a pass mark this time in. Third up this colt will be hard fit and I believe is looking for the step up in trip. He has drawn the car park, so will be back but I am expecting him to be strong to the line late.
Selection: Alcyone @ BOB, Khoekoe @ BOB
LEG 1 – 2, 4, 5, 12
LEG 2 – 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14
LEG 3 – 2, 3, 5, 6
LEG 4 – 2, 3, 4, 14
Good Luck Punters!