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Flemington Saturday – Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Fri, Mar 17, 9:00am by Bren O'Brien

Flemington hosts its third meeting in as many weeks on Saturday as the Group 1 spotlight moves firmly to Sydney for the running of the world’s richest two year old race, the Golden Slipper.

But while the good horses might be headed north of the Murray our focus is still on Headquarters on Saturday for a nine-race meeting with plenty of value.

There was a lot of controversy last week over how the track played, but that should be resolved by the rail moving out three metres for Saturday. Our Best Bet comes up in Race 4, No.1 Arctic Angel.

She’s been well-travelled for a two-year-old having gone to Sydney last start to run an excellent second on a heavy track at Randwick. Prior to that, she ran a good third behind two top class fillies in Catchy and Limestone at Caulfield. She gets back to her home track where she ran a great race on debut back during the Flemington carnival last year. This looks her sort of race and at $3.50 we are happy to be on her here.

My best value comes up in Race 7 No.2 Staviva. Staviva resumes from a spell here and I’m confident that he’ll improve again in this campaign having had nearly 12 months off. He was at three of his five first-up runs, with two of those wins over 1200m. One of the runs he was beaten, he had no luck in a   Listed race in Queensland, so this Bm80 looks entirely suitable.
WATCH: Our Preview of Flemington Saturday

His Flemington stats don’t look great, but he’s only had one run over the 1200m at Flemington, where we was beaten by Supido and Illustrious Lad, who have been Group 1 competitive since then. That measures up nicely to this race. He’ll get back and run home hard. He’s around the $12 mark.

Our Sydney preview covers the Golden Slipper, but for what it’s worth, I’m on Catchy in that race.

Here’s our race by race preview of Flemington on Saturday.

Race 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour Trophy – 1200m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 3. Shakespearean Lass ($4.50)

2nd: 2. Catch a Fire ($4.60)

3rd: 1. Kaniana ($13)

4th: 8. Euston Road ($6)

Summary: This is a match in two for us between Shakespearean Lass, who comes back from the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate, and Catch A Star, who was close up down the straight here two weeks ago. This class is much more suitable for Shakespearean Lass and she gets the nod over Catch A Fire who should improve over the 1200m here. Kaniana returns and is a classy mare who won us a fair bit last campaign and we are keen to follow her this time in. Euston Road turned up for a new stable at Ballarat and smashed them. Definitely one to watch.

Betting Confidence: Reasonably confident that one of the top two tips will win with a preference for Shakespearean Lass.

Race 2 Thanks Greg Miles Trophy – 1400m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 3. Theanswermyfriend ($2.15)

2nd: 4. Wazzenme ($14)

3rd: 5. Violate ($8)

4th: 2. Flying Jess ($7)

Summary: Theanswermyfriend was just gunned down late last time but looks well suited in this race. He has a class edge on these and should be winning. A good tempo will help Wazzenme, who was his usual self last time out. One day, one day, things will unfold for him. Violate was ok first=up and will improve from that run. He can be competitive as can Flying Jess, who beat home a dual Group 1 winner last time at the Gold Coast. That form wins this but her two Flemington runs have been poor.

Betting Confidence: Highly confident that Theanswermyfriend leads them and beats them here.

Race 3 Baden Racing Trophy – 1100m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 3. Hear The Chant ($8.50)

2nd: 7. Leotie ($4.50)

3rd: 6. Merriest ($8)

4th: 5. Kentucky Miss ($5)

Summary: You could run this race eight times and get eight different winners. It’s that type of fillies sprint race with all of these having form around one another at some stage. Hear the Chant has a great turn of foot and was unlucky at the Valley last time. Last time she came off an unlucky Valley run she won a Group 3 race at Caulfield and at $8.50 she’s great value. Leotie progressed very well last campaign before finding the Thousand Guineas a bridge too far. She resumes here and will be ready to fire. Merriest also developed into a nice filly last time in and her form marries up well with the top two selections.  Kentucky Miss is a winner over this course and distance and had no luck in a hot race first=up.

Betting Confidence: Not confident, but if you were to go for value it would be Hear The Chant each way.

Race 4 Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes – 1200m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. Arctic Angel ($3.50)

2nd: 2. Time Awaits ($6.50)

3rd: 3. Ploverset ($6)

4th: 10. Glam Guru ($10)

Summary: Big fan of Arctic Angel here. She was very good on a bog track in Sydney and prior to that her form measures up with the best juvenile form in Melbourne behind Catchy in the Blue Diamond Prelude. Time Awaits broke through at listed level in Adelaide last time and that puts her in good shape for a race like this. Ploverset knocked off highly rated stablemate Madeenaty last time in an impressive debut. You have to include her on that. Intrigued by Glam Guru‘s appearance here. She was good late at her first start and her trainer doesn’t bring them across here unless he rates them.

Betting Confidence: Highly confident that Arctic Angel has the class edge here.

Race 5 Incognitus Blamey Stakes – 1600m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Palentino ($2.70)

2nd: 6. Tosen Stardom ($1.90)

3rd: 3. He Or She ($10)

4th: 5. Real Love ($15)

Summary: This race has been changed with the scratching of Black Heart Bart on Friday. Darren Weir has the two favourites plus Real Love in a six-horse field. Maybe you are better to ask Weiry rather than me! Palentino was a little flat again last time, but we are giving him one more chance. He was beaten two lengths by Tosen Stardom but is a two-time Group 1 winner over the Flemington mile. Tosen Stardom’s first-up run was fantastic and he is the one Palentino needs to beat. Will throw He Or She is as third pick as he was good first-up and was third behind BHB and Palentino in the Makybe, while Real Love can also figure in the placings.

Betting Confidence: Think Palentino is the best value and wouldn’t surprise to see him improve significantly into this.

Race 6 New York Racing Association Hcp – 2000m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 1. Hursley ($3)

2nd: 11. Wheal Leisure ($5)

3rd: 5. Goodwill ($7)

4th: 13. Lachie’s a Star ($41)

Summary: Will Hursley’s day come at last? He’s been beaten less than 1.5 lengths his last four runs, including close seconds his past two starts. Feel he’s ready to win now and he drops back significantly in class. Brad Rawiller rarely rides for Chris Waller, but clearly the master trainer sees something worthwhile trying here. Snitzelwood has been well backed off a brave second-up run behind some nice horses in the Wangaratta Cup. Has two wins third-up from three tries. Wheal Leisure looks a staying filly off promise and she was good in the Tassie Oaks last time out. Carries just 53kg. Goodwill was a tough winner at Caulfield and will improve of his last start second at Bendigo.

Betting Confidence: Can you ever be confident with Hursley? Probably not at the $3, but he’s the one most likely to win it.

Race 7 York Racecourse Hcp – 1200m  

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 2. Staviva ($12)

2nd: 3. Boomwaa ($6.50)

3rd: 4. Rich Charm ($7.50)

4th: 6. Big Effort ($7)

Summary: Like Staviva here for all the reasons listed above.FFirst-up may be a slight risk, but he has a powerful finish and could storm home over the top of them late. Certainly keen on the price. Boomwaa loves the Flemington straight and is in great form. He’ll be out in front and take catching. Rich Charm had a deserved win at Caulfield, beating Boomwaa home that day. Has been freshened and does run well down the straight. Big Effort comes over from Adelaide where he won impressively last time out.

Betting Confidence: Staviva each way all day

Race 8 Goodwood Racecourses March Stakes – 1400m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 9. Zebrinz ($8)

2nd: 6. Hellova Street ($4.80)

3rd: 4. Entirely Platinum ($10)

4th: 3. Jacquinot Bay ($11)

Summary: Isn’t this a nice little race. Eight of the 16 come into this first-up, so there is plenty of unknowns about how this will pan out. The thing we do know is Zebrinz is back in winning form and at $8 is luxurious odds. He won well this track and distance two back and then was tipped out by a couple of G1 competitive types her last time. With 54.5kg he is up to his neck in this. Hellova Street got within a half a length of Burning Front when he was last on the mainland, went back and won two listed races in Tassie and will fly the flag well here. Of the first-uppers, feel Entirely Platinum will appreciate this class of race fresh. He has twice been placed first up over 1400m in Group 1 company, while last time fresh he was third in a Group 2 over 1400m. Looks good form for this. Jacquinot Bay has three first-up wins and was successful this track and distance fresh last time.

Betting Confidence: Think Zebrinz is great value as are Entirely Platinum and Jacquinot Bay. Take your pick.

Race 9 The Curragh Hcp – 1600m

Tips (Odds: Sportsbet)

1st: 7. Portman ($3.60)

2nd: 4. Aurum Spirit ($34)

3rd: 5. Queen of Wands ($13)

4th: 13. I Boogi ($7.50)

Summary: Tough race to finish off with. If it’s not Portman, it could be any of them. So I guess it’s Portman. Was left with too much to do last time as the leader got away with a good early sectional and he made consistent ground late. In super form and is the one they have to beat. Aurum Spirit won over this track and distance in December and does not know how to run a bad race. This is 32nd run this campaign! Remarkable. Ma Jones has issues with luck and fitness here last two, but if you go three back here form lines up well for this. She’s another at good odds. Then there’s Queen of Wands, who will be charging home late as she always does. One day she might even get over the line first!

Betting Confidence: Portman if you must for a win, otherwise look for value in the others.


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