Fri, May 19, 12:29pm by Senior Writer
While the Adelaide and Brisbane carnivals continue, Flemington hosts a very strong card this Saturday, with excellent fields for an off-season meeting.
The feature is the Andrew Ramsden, the other 3200m Flemington race, where De Little Engine is a short-priced favourite.
I’m fairly confident De Little Engine will be winning, but I’m not in the habit of picking $2.60 shots in two-mile races as my bet of the day.
Instead, I’ve gone for Race 4, No.4, Spanner Head.
Not sure about the name, but you can’t doubt her form. At her last start, she was beaten by Egg Tart, who came out her next start and won the Group 1 Australasian Oaks in super impressive fashion.
She may have been beaten three lengths, but there was another five lengths back to third, and those big margins usually means the form holds up.
She is drawn well here and a repeat performance should see her prove too classy for these lot of three-year-olds. She’s currently $3.10, which will look pretty good when she surges clear in the last 300m for a big win.
My Best Value come up in Race 7, No.11 Demonstrate.
Now, regular watchers will remember that Demonstrate was our best value at his last appearance four weeks ago at Caulfield. On that day, he was trapped four wide the trip and finished only 2.5 lengths from the winner in what was an excellent run, but unfortunately for us, not a very profitable one. He has had a soft trial since just to keep him going.
What he needs in this race is enough pace to ensure he can use his late sprint to maximum effect. He is currently $14 in this race and I think that’s well over the odds for a horse of his ability, who comes in on the limit. Happy to be on him at those odds.
WATCH: Our Preview of the weekend’s racing
As for the Group 1s. How can you not be on Black Heart Bart in The Goodwood. This guy’s is a freak, winning five Group Ones in the space of 12 months. His form is exceptional, and he is greatly under appreciated in an era where we have been blessed by the presence of Winx.
He may have top weight but at his current price of $3.50 is a steal for me. He’s lengths better than these and should find no trouble from a good barrier and just win.
Not as confident about the Doomben Cup, but think Darren Weir can make it a G1 double, not with his favourite Articus, but with Star Exhibit, who was so impressive in its win at Caulfield.
Star Exhibit is currently $13, which seems way overs when you look at his record.
Here’s our race-by-race preview of Flemington.
Race 1 Saintly Hall of Fame Trophy – 1400m
1st: 3. Indernile ($5.50)
2nd: 2. Grandioso ($3.50)
3rd: 4. Hecta ($12)
4th: 1. American Genius ($18)
Summary: Indernile returned from a let-up with a good run at Caulfield last time and looks like a horse who will be winning shortly. He Is drawn to be close-up here and should be in the finish. Grandioso was super-impressive winning at Wagga and while this is a step-up, will be hard to toss again here. Hecta was very good setting the speed at Warrnambool and will be improved from his first start. American Genius will again run his usual consistent race, having had five starts for five placings so far.
Race 2 Light Fingers Hcp – 1200m
1st: 5. Divine Quality ($2.10)
2nd: 2. Wasabi ($26)
3rd: 3. Moonlites Choice ($7.50)
4th: 1. Motown Lil ($6.50)
Summary: Hard not to be impressed by what Divine Quality has done in her two career runs to date. She’s won by three lengths at both her starts, including down the straight here last time. She could be very, very good. Wasabi has also won her past two, albeit in lesser company, but she is silly odds considering her form. Moonlites Choice has been taking on some handy fillies lately and this is arguably a step back for her. She can figure in this as can Motown Lil, who comes back from a listed race in Adelaide into this.
Race 3 JJ Miller Hal of fame Hcp – 1800m
1st: 12. Alamonteel ($17)
2nd: 4. Gallic Chieftan ($3.60)
3rd: 14. New Graduate ($6.50)
4th: 8. Curragh ($5)
Summary: Really tough and even race. For the sake of value, happy to go with Alamonteel here. Beat Hot Ruby last time out, who came and won here a couple of weeks back. Before that, split Elite Tiger and Steggler. Carries just 51.5kg after the claim heer and is a terrifically consistent horse. Gallic Chieftan’s best form measures up well to this. Was a bit unlucky first-up and should be in the finish here. Stablemate New Graduate has won her past two by big margins and looks well-placed in this from an inside barrier. Curragh has been waiting for the 1800m and looks ready to win.
Race 4 Winx Hall of Fame Trophy – 1600m
1st: 4. Spanner Head ($3.10)
2nd: 3. The Passage ($6.50)
3rd: 12. Kaptive Hero ($18)
4th: 2. Greviste ($5)
Summary: As mentioned earlier, this looks a very suitable race for Spanner Head. If she reproduces her last run, she just wins this. It’s not a deep race. The Passage is a half to Tycoon Tara who was very impressive winning at Warrnambool. Has considerable scope going forward. Kaptive Hero doesn’t win very often, but never ever runs a bad race and is big odds. Greviste‘s form is also pretty strong for this race.
Race 5 Lloyd Williams Hall of Fame Hcp – 1400m
1st: 2. Charmed Harmony ($7)
2nd: 15. Noela’s Choice ($26)
2nd: 5. Well Sprung ($15)
3rd: 14. Mr Individual ($5.50)
4th: 4. Now or Later ($3.60)
Summary: Charmed Harmony may not have won yet this campaign, but his last two runs have been very good and he’ll be there on the pace giving them something to chase again., he may prove too hard to run down.
Really liked Noela’s Choice’s run in the Wangoom. Ran home well from the back and gets up to 1400m here which should suit. Well Sprung was also great in that race and with rain predicted, the $15 on him also looks good. Mr Individual was good last time and should enjoy coming back to the 1400m, especially if there’s sufficient pace on. Now or Later had no luck in her first start in Australia in a Group 1 and has been well backed here.
Race 6 Andrew Ramsden Stakes – 3200m
1st: 1. De Little Engine ($2.60)
2nd: 11. Just Junior ($21)
2nd: 9. Renew ($7)
3rd: 2. Mujadale ($13)
4th: 6. Refectory ($6.50)
Summary: Always an interesting race this one but De Little Engine looks to be a clear top pick. He got a deserved win by a big margin last time and looks well placed into this race, even at the top of the weights.
Just Junior hasn’t won in over three years, but his run at Warrnambool was very good and he has won over the long distances before. Renew comes back off a win in the Galleywood, but that’s no knock and this distance should suit. Mujadale will sit on the pace and fight on, while Refectory has been very consistent over the longer distances of late.
Race 7 Hilton Nicholas Straight Six – 1200m
1st: 11. Demonstrate ($14)
2nd: 4. Malibu Style ($4.40)
3rd: 7. Stellar Collision ($9)
4th: 2. Thermal Current ($11)
Summary: These open Straight Six races are always tough to pick. I do like Demonstrate, even though he let us down last time, when he was trapped deep. No probs here, he should get a bit of cover and unleash late. Malibu Style has been good in his Victorian campaign and you’d expect he’d be in the fight here. Stellar Collision lost few friends in the Wangoom where he has runner-up. His record at 1200m is very good. Thermal Current is Mr Consistency, beaten less than two lengths his past three, including a close-up finish in a Group 3 last time.
Race 8 Archer Hall of Fame Trophy – 2000m
1st: 14. Hursley ($4.80)
2nd: 13. Haradafull ($4.50)
3rd: 4. Second Bullet ($4.80)
4th: 2. Observational ($8.50)
Summary: There’s not much between Hursley and Haradafull in this, but have gone with Hursley after he broke through last week following a run of seconds. He drops five kgs on that win and not sure this is that much tougher a race. Haradafull chased home Articus last time and he’s one of the favourites in a Group 1 on Saturday, so that form looks very strong. Now gets to his right distance. Second Bullet is in great form, winning well last time and his record over the 2000m here is outstanding. Observational has had a great campaign to date and there’s no reason he can be competitive again.
Race 9 Carbine Club Hcp – 1600m
1st: 6. Guizot ($16)
1st: 10. Brown Ben ($17)
2nd: 11. Kellstorm ($8.50)
3rd: 5. Amarela ($5)
This is an extremely difficult way to end the day, with a host of chances. Have gone with Guizot as my top pick on his good win first-up and his effort to split two very handy horses at Warrnambool last time out. He will be a good horse this guy. Similar story for Brown Ben, put together some impressive wins late last year, sweeping home from back in the field. Hasn’t really got the races to suit him in Adelaide this time around, but he looks a real Flemington horse and if they are getting home from the back, you’d like to be on him. Kellstorm won well at Warrnambool and looked like he’d take a big improvement from that run. He’s a well-related Irish-bred galloper who can keep on winning. Amarela broke our hearts last time out in a race she should have won. She has a habit of doing that, but I’m loathe to leave her out. Stormsabrewing won that race and looks a progressive type who can win again here.
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