Skip to main content

Flemington Super Saturday preview

Autumn carnival time in Australian racing and it's Flemington's great day, comprising the Newmarket Hcp, the Australian Cup and a support card of all black type races (incl. three Group 2s). Far less crowded than the spring carnival but not too far short of the quality. Tasked with the previews is astute local punter Michael Courts, @mtcourts.

------------------

Flemington’s ‘Super Saturday’ remains one of my favourite days on the racing calendar anywhere in the world. Yes, the lustre might have been lost somewhat when the VRC bizarrely decided to shift the Australian Guineas to the previous Saturday a few years ago, but the day is still up there with meetings in the Melbourne spring for its all-round quality.

So, without any further ado, let’s go about hopefully finding the winner of Saturday’s two Group 1 races – the country’s best sprint, the Newmarket Handicap, and the weight-for-age Australian Cup.

Race 6 – G1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m)

The day's first Group 1 - also the first leg of the quaddie - is Australia's best straight track race, the Newmarket Handicap. Often attracting big fields (and with $1 million on offer, it's not hard to see why), it has been won in the past two years by two of the biggest stars of the Australian turf, Black Caviar and Hay List. This year however we're presented with a disappointingly small field of 14 that lacks a marketable G1 star - save for the globetrotting Ortensia and the unbeaten WA raider Barakey, who remains an unknown quantity after his late scratching before the Oakleigh Plate last month.

That said, there still has to be a winner and there is money to be made from the punt, so let's see if we can find the winner. To narrow it down, I'm potting a number of horses based on my analysis and historical precedent. The Oakleigh Plate last month was a very weak race for a G1 following the barrier incident involving Barakey and Shamal Wind – the top two in the market – resulting in Barakey coming out and Shamal Wind running poorly. I am drawing a line through the race, so G1 winners Lone Rock, Ortensia and Woorim are out, as are two horses that ran nice races at odds at Caulfield – Undeniably and Spirit of Boom.

Look, it’s almost legend now that a horse hasn’t won the Newmarket first-up in almost 90 years. My pick for the race in Barakey therefore has an enormous historical hurdle to jump, but I think he can do it. Simply put, he would have probably won the Oakleigh Plate had he not suffered that misfortune and been odds-on in this race as a result – so close to $5 represents enormous value for an unbeaten G1 winner. He was never meant to go first-up into the race and I have no doubt cunning WA trainer (responsible for Hay List’s early successes, remember) will have cranked him up to be fit and firing for this assignment despite missing his lead-up run.

I think Satin Shoes will run a very nice race at odds. She does her best work early in preparations, good second-up, looks overs at $17 the place in a thin race. Moment of Change is the race favourite, albeit at poison odds, and while you can't completely pot him (and he's a winner), I feel he’s better over further (7f to a mile). And the unknown Queensland raider Better Than Ready has red flashing lights over him with the booking of C Williams, so keep safe.

5 – 11 – 2 – 13

Race 7 – G1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m)

I have a strong lead in the day’s other Group 1, the weight-for-age Australian Cup which has attracted a nice field including last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon. I’m really keen on Mark Kavanagh’s three year old Super Cool to take it out. He’s a real untapped type and I am taking a massive lead with Kav’s stable jockey Michael Rodd – who is known to struggle with his weight – getting down to 54.5kg to ride him when there would have been no shortage of quality jockeys ready to take the ride.

He didn’t quite stay the trip in last year’s Victoria Derby but his form is otherwise excellent against his own age. He’s the one on the up with a stack of untapped potential, and is on top for me here.

For a roughie, I’m going with Adelaide visitor Eclair Surprise. He was dynamic first up over there (admittedly not against much) with 62.5kg before the pace of the race and pattern of the day in the traditional PB Young Stakes lead-up at Caulfield went totally against him. Importantly, he’s 2/3 at Flemington including a listed win over 1800m on Melbourne Cup day last year (god bless him!) and at $31 it’s worth saving on him.

Green Moon is hard to toss, sure, and it’s probably my Cox Plate bitterness still coming through but he’s still a wfa risk to my eye. Do Team Williams seriously want to turn him into the next wfa star or do they want to have another crack at the big one in November? Glass Harmonium looms as the likely leader and he’s shown the ability many times before to be strong at the end of 2000m. If the race breaks his way he could definitely pinch it with smart jock Steve Arnold engaged.

13 – 8 – 1 – 3

Good punting!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

lay the field - my favourite racing strategy

Dabbling with laying the field in-running at various prices today, not just one price, but several in the same race. Got several matched in the previous race at Brighton, then this race came along at Nottingham. Such a long straight at Nottingham makes punters often over-react and think the finish line is closer than it actually is. As you can see by the number of bets matched, there was plenty of volatility in this in-play market. It's rare you'll get a complete wipe-out with one horse getting matched at all levels, but it can happen, so don't give yourself too much risk...

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

It's not just about the Tingle Creek tomorrow at Sandown, there's a Grade 1 Novice Chase amongst the rather decent supporting card. Lining up for the preview is astute NH enthusiast Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

---------------------

Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
Likely going Soft, Good to Soft in places


With doubts concerning the fitness of last year’s Queen Mother Chase winner Sire De Grugy and of the two mile chase king Sprinter Sacre (despite bullish remarks from Henderson) there is a chance for another to step into the limelight. Both have won the feature race of the day, The Tingle Creek Chase and that will more than likely throw a few into the hat. However, I have chosen to take a look at the Henry VIII chase, which was changed to a grade 1 in 2011 and has been won by some nice prospects in the past (Somersby and Al Ferof to name but a few). Let’s hope that a potential Champion Chase contender of the future will feature in this …

Kentucky Derby preview

It's America's big day of racing, where 90% of them will be there to be seen and most won't have a clue what difference Churchill Downs Inc's latest takeout hike does to shaft them on every bet placed. Throw in the standard arguments about race-day medication in the US and the recent New York Times/PETA expose on yesterday's Oaks-winning trainer Steve Asmussen, and racing in North America could be in better health.

Still, it's one of the elite races and great occasions of the world, and stepping up to the plate is Jon da Silva again, @creamontop, with his preview in a very American style. (No I don't understand Brisnet figures either...)

------------------------------

The Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum Brands

They say you should avoid food additive E-numbers which you can’t with Yum Brands…

Yum! Brands, Inc. or Yum! is a United States-based Fortune 500 corporation. Yum! operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwid…