Thu, Aug 9, 1:41pm by Staff Writer
Melbourne racing heads to Flemington on Saturday. The rail is out seven-metres, and the track was a good-3 at acceptances although there are showers forecast up to and including race day.
The Group 3 Aurie’s Star (1200m) is the feature of the day with a field of ten set to tackle the Flemington straight.
Godolphin unveiled an impressive import last week in Sydney with Avilius and this week Home of the Brave ($3.90) makes his Aussie debut in what will be the seven-year-old’s 19th career start. He’s won six of those, with a further six minors and he comes into this off two trials in Sydney.
Along with Home of the Brave, Rich Charm ($5.50), I Am a Star ($10) and Poetic Dream ($4.80) all resume from a break. Rich Charm only has one win from five first-up attempts but he is a three-time winner at Flemington, one of those at G2 grade. I Am a Star was a G1 Myer Classic (1600m) winner two years ago and she’s also a three-time winner at the track while Poetic Dream has only had the six career starts and one in Australia – that being in March when strongly backed into favouritism only to finish midfield (beaten just over 1L) and he’s been well supported in early betting for this.
Brave Song ($6) made his Flemington debut three weeks ago, beating Order of Command in a photo-finish and he drops four-kilos to be on the 54kg limit here.
Voodoo Lad ($3.80) was an impressive G3 Monash (1100m) winner two starts back – last start he was no match for Vega Magic in the G3 Bletchingly (1200m) when beaten 3L, both those runs being at Caulfield. He’s had five runs at Flemington and although yet to win, he’s been placed three times here and one of those was at G1 level. He’s joined by stable mates Camdus ($13) – who’s won two from four this prep while Man from Uncle ($35) has had five of his ten career starts at Flemington, only to finish third once.
Chamois Road ($19) is enjoying a fruitful preparation with three wins from his four runs this campaign while Ability ($46) is yet to recapture his form that saw him put four-straight together last campaign – two of those down the Flemington straight.
A small but select field of stayers open the day with seven runners lining up in race one over 2510m – Darren Weir and Liam Howley, each lining up with two.
Top weight Sixties Groove ($1.85) is working his way nicely through the grades and a win here would give him three-in-a-row, his most two recent wins being over the Flemington 2000m. Stable mate High Church ($15) doesn’t have a similar liking for ‘headquarters’ with no wins or placings from his seven starts here.
Kiliminjaro ($7.50) and Crocodile Rock ($4.60) are the two Team Williams horses and both have a similar profile. Both are lightly raced seven-year-old geldings with ten and nine starts respectively, Kiliminjaro winning two while Crocodile Rock is a winner of three. Both come into Saturday off last start fifths, with both having three-run campaigns last time and while neither won, they were fairly consistent.
Jaameh ($10) burst onto the Aussie scene with a win at big odds in April and he’s second-up after finishing 4.5L behind Sixties Groove last start. My Nordic Hero ($21) has finished behind Sixties Groove, and Pacodali and Sixties Groove at his two most recent runs but was a Moonee Valley winner before that, with Serenade the Stars ($7) coming off a strong 2500m win at Flemington last start and she is certainly a winning chance.
Suggested Bet: Prezado ($2.30, race 2, number 6) has had strong early support and while he’s short enough now, he’s had a positive jumpout leading into this and gets some weight relief off his main danger Bandipur ($3.40) – who he beat over this track and distance last spring. So in a race with limited chances, happy to side with Prezado although be cautious if any rain does hit Flemington as he’s yet to run on anything bar a good track.
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