Stakes Day

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Melbourne form analyst Tim Kennedy is here to give you his weekly metro racing preview.

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All prices correct at time of writing.

What a huge week it has been at Flemington, I hope everyone has found plenty of winners. We now come to the last day of the carnival, ‘family day’ as it is well known. It looks like a great card and I am very keen we can find some more winners!

Race 1 – 2000m Special Kids Pin & Win

Australian Bloodstock have Almania making his Australian debut in this race. An import from Europe, this horse has form around Twilight Payment and Buffalo River. This gelding was originally spruiked for some of the bigger races throughout the spring, so they obviously have a big opinion of him. Whilst he may be looking for a longer trip and there is always a query how these internationals settle in, I think on ability alone he should have this Bm80 covered and looks a great way to start the day.

Selection: Almania $4.00

Race 2 – 1400m Amanda Elliot

On paper this looks a very tough race for punters with many different form lines. I have landed on the undefeated Deep Field gelding out of the Mcevoy yard. They have a big opinion of this horse, Deep Speed. He has lead and won both of his starts, from an inside draw I expect him to do the same again. His last start at Moonee Valley he really wobbled around the corner and was star gazing a little, but was far too good. With more experience this boy could become a star, he has so much raw ability.  

Selection: Deep Speed $3.70

Race 3 – 1400m Chatham Stakes

This is a very tough race for punters with many even chances. Morrisy continues to run consistently well without winning. Bold Star goes very well at Flemington, only missing a placing once from five attempts. Reykjavik comes out of stronger races than this, but there has to be question marks on how well he is going.

Selection: Bold Star EW $6.00

Race 4 – 1600M Nova100 Trophy

Right You Are looks a clear on top selection here, having won 4/7 and not missing a placing in the other three starts. Goes well at the track, trip and first up. Back to benchmark level here and with Olly on board, looks a really good chance. Beehunter looks the value, I think he will appreciate stepping out to this trip. Forgive last start when pulled up with vet issues.

Selection: Right You Are $3.30

Race 5 – 2600m Queen Elizabeth

I believe this looks a race in two between Pondus and Le Don Da Vie. Pondus brings form from the Bendigo Cup where he probably should have won. Was well back and hampered by a horse that broke down in front of him, to fly late and only just miss. Le Don was tough on speed in the Geelong Cup, which Steel Prince and Ashrun then went on to run well in the Melbourne Cup. I believe Pondus has the bigger upside and the money has certainly come for him. Out of the Melbourne Cup winning Joseph O’Brien stable, I expect him to be taking home another winners cheque.

Selection:  Pondus $2.50

Race 6 – 1200m Darley Sprint

The enigma Nature Strip goes around here and I’m giving him one last chance to prove he’s still got it. Whilst putting in some poor performances lately in Sydney, I believe these races haven’t suited him, with there always being a high speed element to those races. He is 4/5 down the Flemington straight and I believe there won’t be that high speed in this race, with Fabergino being the only other horse likely to want to lead. If he can settle and gets things his own way in front for the first few hundred metres I think we could see him back to his best. If they do go too hard, I think Libertini will be the one to come over the top of them late.

Selection: Nature Strip $4.00

Race 7 – 2000m Matriarch Stakes

I have found a couple at value that I like in this race. The first being Affair To Remember, she was super last start running second at the Valley. I believe the Flemington track suits her racing pattern, she will be back and need time to reel them in. The other value runner I liked was Greysful Glamour, the key to this horse is a dry track which he will get on Saturday. From an inside draw she will lead and take off the turn and if she has had it easy enough in front, she will take some catching. No knock on the favourite Chaillot, she is flying but I query whether she will stay the trip.

Selection: Affair To Remember EW $10/Greysful Glamour $12

Race 8 – 2000m Mackinnon Stakes

To my eye this looks a race in three. Mugatoo and Arcadia Queen coming out of the Cox Plate and Melody Belle coming over from NZ after two group one wins. Arcadia Queen ran super in the Cox Plate, on an unflavoured wet surface and also clipped heels during the race. But she was super late, really hitting the line hard. Aq has had a long prep now, I worry whether they have gone for one run too many here, but at her best she will certainly be in the finish. Mugatoo was also a big run in the same race when three wide the trip and forced very wide on the corner, running into fourth place. They key to Mugatoo is getting him going early, he isn’t a sit and sprint horse. He need to get going from the 600m and takes time to hit that top speed, I think Flemington is perfect for this. Then we have Melody Belle who went home from Australia with an injury, won two group one races and is now back and looks to be absolutely flying. I query whether her favoured surface might be soft, but she still goes super on a good surface and I expect her to run really well.

Selection: Mugatoo $6/ Melody Belle $4.50

Race 9 – 1100m Drumborg Grand

Tough way for punters to finish the day here but hopefully the Sportsbetting accounts are already full! We have a three joint favourites here in Express Pass, Meteorite and Plaquette. All three are absolutely flying this prep and they are really tough to split. I’ve gone with the horse I believe has the biggest upside in Meteorite. He has absolutely bolted in both runs this prep and seems to have gone to a new level after the ultimate gear change. He has drawn an outside barrier which I believe will be the place to be coming down the straight in the last race of the Flemington carnival.

Selection: Meteorite $5


LEG 1: 2 Nature Strip, 3 Bivouac, 9 Libertini.

LEG 2: 2 Toffee Tongue, 3 Vanna Girl, 4 Greysful Glamour, 6 Paradee, 12 Affair, 13 Chaillot.

LEG 3: 5 Mugatoo, 8 Melody Belle, 9 Arcadia Queen.

LEG 4: 3 Express Pass, 5 Can’t Be Done, 11 Meteorite, 16 Plaquette, 17 The Gauch.

Good luck punters!