Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for Derby Day at Flemington on Saturday, November 3rd! Derby Day kicks off the biggest week on the Australian racing calendar as Day 1 of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
We have a full preview of the nine-race card at headquarters, with the track likely to be a Good 4 and the rail in the True position.
Best Bet: Race 8 Land Of Plenty EW
Best Value Bet: Race 6 I Am A Star
Competitive way to kick things off with a big field of 16 and $4.80 the field. Primarily following the form out of the Gothic Stakes here. The favourite is Ranier who atoned for a horror show two starts ago to win the Gothic over 1400m last start. Bowman rode him a treat from the inside draw last start. Barrier 1 isn’t going to be easy here, especially at Flemington where they can tend to really bunch up on the corner. In terms of form he’s right in this of course, but the barrier makes things tricky. Perhaps now Winx is out of the picture, Bowman will be more inclined to take a few more risks. Wild Planet did a huge job to be beaten just 0.6L by Ranier last start after sitting wide without cover throughout the race. He gets a 2.5kg weight swing on Ranier and his two starts at this track have resulted in a win and a 2nd placing. Looks a big chance again. Yulong January split those two horses last start and it was a terrific effort given he was given no peace by the loose horse up on speed. He’s drawn wide in barrier 15 here but he’ll surely cross to lead and I think he’s quite a big price at $12 given Wild Planet is $7 and Ranier is $4.80 favourite. Zoutari ran 4th behind the above three horses but wasn’t ridden out in the last 50m due to the riderless horse. Was only beaten 1.1L so $15 looks a big price with Damian Lane sticking with. Good ‘n’ Fast gets back to Flemington which should suit him better than Caulfield.
Looks awfully hard to beat here, Verry Elleegant. She was impressive in winning the G3 Ethereal Stakes at Caulfield last start when she stepped up to 2000m for the first time. Stays at 2000m now (probably even better off with that run under the belt) and she could be even better at Flemington with the chance to wind up. She pulled her head off for the first half of the race last start so it was a great effort to still reel in the leaders, so if she settles better today she’ll take plenty of beating. Barrier 6 ideal. El Dorado Dreaming was sound in the Fillies Classic at Moonee Valley last start, coming from last to run 3rd over 1600m. Up to 2000m at her fourth run this prep suits and I’d expect a big run here. Aristia has obvious claims after running 2nd to Verry Elleegant last start. Drawn wide today which is some query as to where she gets in the run. Sizzleme ran 3rd behind Verry Elleegant and Aristia last start which was a good effort after three weeks off. Barrier 1 here could see her lead and give a good sight once again.
Really does look a very good race for Osbourne Bulls who ran out of his skin in The Everest last start. He found the fast lane down the outside fence which perhaps flattered him a touch but there is a few knocks on some of his main opposition here so if he reproduces that effort he deserves to be winning. Havasay could be a value chance at $16. He ran 8th first up but if you look back to last preparation, he produced a similar effort first up before winning second up. His overall second up record is very consistent and he’s got a terrific record at the distance so with 53kg and Craig Williams on board, he could be a blowout chance. Winter Bride steps up in class but has won two from two this preparation and five of her last six. She’s actually never missed a place at the distance and provided she handles the straight, she rates a decent each way chance once again. Runson has caught the eye by winning his past two starts impressively. He’ll jump and make his own luck but his record at Flemington (four starts, no placings) means I can’t back him here. The Monstar gets blinkers back on and has the ability to run a cheeky race while Savanna Amour and Bons Away are both rough chances.
Intriguing version of the Lexus here with a few horses trying to gain entry into the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday. Jaameh is the way I’m going here. He’s had three starts at this track and distance for two wins and a 2nd placing where he was beaten a nose by Avilius. I think that form behind Avilius is superior to most of the formlines involved in this race. Avilius probably would have won The Metropolitan, which was ultimately won by Patrick Erin, so if Jaameh and Avilius went across the line together, I think Jaameh can get the better of Patrick Erin, Brimham Rocks and the rest of The Metropolitan runners. Patrick Erin has also had five weeks between runs which surely isn’t ideal for a 2500m race. A Prince Of Arran was very solid first up in Australia behind Yucatan. Sure to be improved with that run under the belt and he did win second up last preparation, albeit over the further trip of 3200m. W all know the European stayers are generally superior to the Aussie stayers so you have to be very respectful of this horse. It’s notable that Michael Walker chooses to ride A Prince Of Arran over Jaameh. Sixties Groove comes off a Moe Cup victory which you wouldn’t think is strong enough to win this but he’s undefeated from two starts at the track and will improve again third up. If the track is favouring leaders early in the program, Runaway will come in for support after an all-the-way victory in the Geelong Cup.
Nice little field assembled for the Coolmoore Stud Stakes. It might be at my peril but I’ll be taking on Written By here. He’s a favourite of mine but I just think there is other form in this race superior to what he’s done this preparation. With that said, he’s won six of his seven career starts and his only defeat came on soft ground in Sydney where he finished 4th behind Estijaab, Oohood and Sunlight. They’ve purely targeted him at this race all preparation so expect him to be in A1 order for this. The Waller pair will take plenty of beating. Zousain comes off a 2nd placing behind The Autumn Sun in the Golden Rose last start. He’s had six weeks between runs now so should be very fresh dropping back to the 1200m. He’s drawn to get a trail behind the leaders and I’d expect him to be very hard to beat. Lean Mean Machine gets Hugh Bowman on and also has the blinkers and the tongue tie going on for the first time. He’s a bit of a smokey. He holds a win over Zousain last preparation and also beat him in the Run to the Rose first up. He’s obviously had six weeks off like Zousain, but he’s had a public trial since then to keep him ticking over. Sesar is a horse I’m very keen to have something on at $10. He actually beat Lean Mean Machine last preparation and ran 4th to The Autumn Sun in the JJ Atkins. Resumed with a highly impressive win in Sydney and could run a big race here. Diplomatico is somewhat the new kid on the block and is perhaps flying under the radar. He only had one start as a juvenile before returning as a 3YO this prep. He was dominant first up in midweek company before winning again last start in Listed grade in Sydney. This is a much tougher race than what he’s been facing but his overall form is very good and they’ve clearly had their eye on this race for some time. Sunlight was desperately unlucky in the Manikato Stakes last Friday night and backs up quickly here. I’ll be taking her on today at her current price. Hard race to form a confident betting strategy but Zousain goes on top. Attractive prices about Lean Mean Machine, Sesar and Diplomatico. Likely to leave Written By and Sunlight alone.
Wide-open edition of the Myer. I thought the double figures available for I Am A Star was quite appealing. She’s won her past three starts now, including a win over this distance at Caulfield last start where she carried top weight. She gets a weight swing in her favour over a few horses she beat last start and she’ll once again go forward from barrier 3 and run a very bold race. She’s won four of her eight starts at Flemington, five of her 10 starts at the mile and she’s a Group 1 winner already. Thought $15 was good. The complete blowout in the race could be Bella Martini who actually ran 2nd to I Am A Star three starts back. Since then she’s had two starts and has been caught wide without cover on both occasions. You can practically rule a line through those two runs and if you look back to her form prior to those, it isn’t bad at all. Better drawn today, positive jockey change and $51 is a huge price. Aloisia has gone a full year without winning, which is obviously a big negative, but she ran home eye-catchingly last start in the Tristarc. She ran home in the fastest final 200m of the entire meeting and comes into this ready to peak third up. Is she looking for 2000m? Amphitrite is an obvious chance. She won the Group 1 Thousand Guineas last start to make it four wins from four starts this prep. She also beat subsequent winner Verry Elleegant over this track and distance two starts back, so her overall form is pretty deep. Down to 50kg and drawn well in barrier 8, she’ll be very hard to hold out. 3YO’s have won the past two editions of this race so she deserves favouritism. Kenedna gets blinkers back on and is coming back into form. Plenty of other chances too!
The Derby! Fascinating race because our favourite is Thinkin’ Big who will of course be looking to find the lead and run them into the ground. Whether he is allowed to do that is the issue. The jockeys will all be well aware of what he’s capable of if he’s allowed to get things his own way in front, so I doubt he’ll be given a great deal of peace. Weir has two runners in the race and one is a frontrunner drawn wide – I think we can expect him to make sure this is run at a genuine pace and basically set things up for his stablemate Extra Brut. Extra Brut started the $2.30 favourite last start but probably wasn’t suited getting back in the field in a slowly run race. Prior to that, his form was very good, including a convincing win over 1800m at Flemington. Getting back to the big track is sure to suit. He just needs to find cover from the awkward gate and needs the race run at a solid tempo. Aramayo was very heavily backed at Moonee Valley last start but had to come about eight-wide on a track that favoured front runners. His run was enormous and it continued his good form this preparation. I think $6.50 is a reasonable price about him too. Home Ground and Farooq ran the quinella in the Geelong Classic and should be included in numbers.
Another competitive race for the Kennedy Mile. Sticking with the Weir horses here. Land Of Plenty has barely put a foot wrong all preparation and comes off a terrific win in the G1 Toorak Handicap over the mile at Caulfield. He beat Hartnell by 1.25L on that occasion and despite giving the Godolphin horse a 2.5kg weight swing, I think he’ll be able to keep him at bay again. He’s drawn much better in barrier 8. Hartnell himself continues to race in great form and although he carries top weight again in this handicap, he carried top weight in the Toorak and ran a cracker. He’ll be thereabouts again but I think he’ll find one or two too good again. Peaceful State has had three runs back from a spell now and gets the blinkers back on for today’s G1. Drops down to 52kg and I think he’ll be very competitive at double figure odds. Le Romain jumps from 1200m to 1600m after running in The Everest. He’s had a very unorthodox preparation but it was only two starts ago he ran 2nd to Winx over the mile so there’s every chance he can be very competitive in this field at $15.
Not an easy way to finish the day. She Knows ran a cracker last start behind Eduardo in the Caulfield Sprint and trainer Danny Williams has said all along she’d improve into this race. She looks a genuine each way chance at $11. Quilista is proven up the straight and the outside draw could be the place to be at this stage in the day. She hasn’t been too far away recently and should run well again. Stablemate Grey Shadow started favourite last start at Caulfield but failed. She can bounce back. I Am Excited came with a booming run to defeat Eduardo last start over 1200m here and that form has obviously been franked with Eduardo winning his next start. Resin comes down from Sydney on the back of two dominant wins on wet ground. She failed down the straight as favourite on debut but this is the first time she’s bee back to Melbourne since then. From Within has won four straight including a win at Caulfield last start and should be right up on the speed again. Divine Quality the knockout at big odds. Tough to split a handful of these but I’ll stick with I Am Excited and She Knows.
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