Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, September 12th.
The Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes headlines racing at Flemington this Saturday, with a further three Group 2s on the program, making it a huge day of racing in Melbourne.
The track is currently a good 4, but there is significant rain predicted on the day. It's likely we’ll get into the soft range at some point during the day but it’s impossible to tell. The rail is in the true position which should play fairly.
Trent Crebbin has previewed the meeting at HQ with his tips and best bets below!
Best Bet: Race 3 - (1) Arcadia Queen
Best Value: Race 7 - (15) Princess Jenni
The staying race is usually a bit dull, but this is a great contest. The favourite is (4) Schabau who comes here 2nd up after an excellent return, leading the field and fighting on strongly to run 3rd to Al Galayel and Orderofthegarter. He wouldn’t want the rain to have arrived already because he’s a good track horse, but he does look hard to beat here. My only slight knock is that he’s a bit flat here 2nd up off a somewhat taxing run, but he does have the best Australian form in the race. All three runs in Australia before an injury were outstanding. In the 2nd win he easily accounted for Surprise Baby and the 3rd was a track gallop, putting nearly 4L on the field as the $1.50 favourite. He’s a deserved short favourite. (7) Persan just keeps delivering and was 5 weeks between runs heading into his last start win. With the added fitness for the airborne Maher/Eustace camp he’ll be right there again. (6) Double You Tee gets a 2.5kg weight swing on that horse but keeps giving himself way too much to do. With Persan’s extra fitness I don’t think he’ll turn the tables, but it wouldn’t totally shock me. (2) Lord Belvedere comes here off a 10 week let up. We did see with Persan that the camp can do that, but it’s still a fairly long break. He’s a good horse away from heavy tracks and can win with a 2 from 2 record at the T/D. Schabau just looks to get a lovely run one out one back, and if he brings his first up run, he should be too strong. Persan the danger and I could chop/save on him.
Pretty keen on (1) Immortal Love here. I was a touch sceptical going into his 1st up run, thinking he might just be a wet tracker, but his win was enormous. He was a touch slow away and settled well back in the field but got there on the line to beat a pretty handy field. He’s well in at the weights, only 1.5kg above the minimum, he should be right on speed from barrier 6 as he was in his first two career starts and is better suited at the Flemington 1400m, where his huge win came in the Spring. I’ve taken the early price and think he’s more of a $3 chance here. (8) Bartley comes down from Sydney off a very good win at Warwick Farm, powering away late to win by over 2L. It was a good win, but he didn’t beat much- those horses are the 2nd or even 3rd tier Sydney 3yo’s and when he did face the A graders in the Sires Produce, he finished last, although the heavy track probably played a big part in that. He’s not hopeless and gets Zahra aboard from barrier 4, but I don’t think he’s as classy as Immortal Love. (10) So You Can comes over from Adelaide and is crying out for further. By So You Think, he’ll get out over 2000m in time but does get Olly aboard here which is a very interesting booking. Might lack the dash to win this quality of race at 1400m but is going the right way. (13) National Choice was soundly beaten by Immortal Love last start but will love the 1400m and did start $2.20 against Aidensfield the start prior. He probably gets a long way back here but will be finishing strongly. (3) Cherry Tortoni whilst unbeaten still has next to no form and has only really accounted for the proper stayers of the 3yo ranks.
I was so close to declaring (1) Arcadia Queen when I saw they were going to this race. I think it’s a great move to take the easier option over 1400m and get her back on track for the Spring. She ran well enough in the PB Lawrence first up and should have come on from that, but her reoccurring feet issues kept her out of the Memsie. Whilst shaken up, she certainly looked to move well in a Bendigo jumpout, picking up very nicely and extending through the line to win in fast time. From what I’ve read she ran her last 200m there in 11.08 seconds, which isn’t something you do if you’re injured. I desperately hope the rain hasn’t hit yet because I think she’s much better on a good track. If she’d drawn a barrier to sit midfield, I’d be declaring her, but I’m fairly confident they’ll ride her cold to get her to avoid over racing and let her rip down the outside. If she’s going to get back on track, she needs to win this race, and I’m confident if she brings that jumpout form she will win this. The obvious danger is (2) Savatiano who won that PB Lawrence, thanks to a gun ride from Mark Zahra. She also missed the Memsie after a race day incident and whilst she’s not hopeless 2nd up by any means (7:2-5-0) she is generally better first up. The huge advantage she has here is the map because there’s not much pace on paper. She might even end up leading this field by default and is a classy mare who won’t be easy to run down. Hopefully a few jockeys decide to chance their hand and inject a bit of pressure. Those two have lengths on these mares, but the two next best would be (3) Pretty Brazen and (7) Bonvicini who finished 1-2 at this T/D in February.
Quality edition of the Bobbie Lewis. I backed (7) Bold Star at $8 when markets went up for this race off the back of an excellent first up run at Caulfield. You could argue he should’ve won that race, running the fastest last 800, 600, 400 and 200m of the entire meeting with 58kg. He’s clearly come back very well and drops to 54kg here with Willo retaining the ride. Looking at his record, he’s undefeated when 2nd up from a spell, including a win down the straight over 1000m in December last year. His racing style is suited to the straight track as it allows him to build revs and show his huge turn of foot, which is evidenced by his outstanding Flemington record with 2 wins and 2nd from 3 starts. That 2nd was at the 1200m where he started $3 favourite and ran 2nd to the airborne Halvorsen, who won three in a row at the track. Hopefully the track isn’t too wet by now because I think a firmer surface suits him, although he isn’t hopeless with a bit of give in the ground. He draws perfectly in barrier 8 and will be hard to hold out late. (3) Zoutori is a very good fresh horse and ran enormously in the Oakleigh Plate when first up last prep. He’s also run very well down the straight with a 4th to Bivouac in the Newmarket and a narrow 3rd in the Gilgai to Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane. He’s probably the horse to beat and a fair enough price. (1) Tofane came along in leaps and bounds last prep, culminating in an All Aged Stakes win over Pierata. She generally takes a run to blow the cobwebs out, but it is interesting she’s first up at 1200m rather than the short course. She has to carry top weight and draws inside which may not be ideal, so at the prices I’m inclined to take her on. (4) The Inevitable draws barrier 1 which again may not be ideal, but he’s a very good horse when fresh. As I’ve already backed Bold Star, I’ll be saving on Zoutori. Come race day there’s a chance Bold Star will get out a touch so look to play him late and chop out on Zoutori.
One of the tougher races on the card. I was keen to have something on (13) Prince Ziggy before he was scratched last week, so I’ll go again here. 4th up is generally when this horse fires, and after a couple of indifferent runs to start the campaign he improved drastically 3rd up when running 2nd to Al Galayel. The tactics last week were to go back from the wide barrier, but surely from barrier 2 they show intent and sit handy to the speed. He handles all ground, draws well and looks a touch of overs at $21. (8) Shot Of Irish was obviously not in the race last week after rearing in the barriers, so effectively comes here fresh. He’ll come across from the barrier and if the rain has come by this point, I’ll be having something on as he loves the wet. He started $2.80 when setting a brutal tempo at this track and ran very well for 2nd, ahead of (5) Django Freeman who started $11 on his Australian debut. That horse hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations of a potential Cox Plate or Cups path, but I think we’ll see him improve at his 2nd prep. If we’re still on a relatively dry track, I think we’ll see the best of him which is certainly good enough to win. They do look the three that appeal from a betting perspective, with other horses looking for further and to peak later. I’ll definitely be backing Prince Ziggy, and then having something on Shot Of Irish and Django Freeman- more on the former if it’s wet, and more on the latter if it’s dry which looks a nice little book for the race.
Keen to bet here in a two horse play. Coming as no surprise the first is (14) Windstorm. In hindsight there were enough negatives to stay away first up at Caulfield, although I do think he got out to a more than backable price in the end. He actually jumped quite well there but the brakes were slammed on and he settled a long way back, making a long sustained run into the breeze with 60kg and apprentice Liam Riordan on board. He still ran the fastest last 200m of the race after that effort and is better suited here despite the tougher race. He draws barrier 3 which can be looked at two ways. You could argue that he might struggle to find clear galloping room and be buried near the inside. You could also argue that he can settle closer, perhaps even midfield, and be very hard to hold out. Whilst he doesn’t have the tactical speed of a Showmanship, he’s not an out and out backmarker, and at his most recent WA run did settle 6th of 11 from an inside gate. He’s much better suited at 1400m and at Flemington, which will allow Pike to put him through his gears. I also think a fast race will suit this horse, which he’s likely to encounter here. I’m not sure what the market does with him off that savage drift 1st up, but I hope he does get out again because I’ll be doubling down if he gets to $3. The other horse I want to back is (5) Tshahitsi who comes here 2nd up off a good run in the Regal Roller, where condition just gave out late. I still think that race is a fairly solid form reference, and the key to this horse is 2nd up. He’s won an outstanding 5 races from 8 attempts 2nd up, and 8 from 15 at the 1400m. He likes to roll along in front so will be right on speed and making it a truly run race. I found it interesting that Melham sticks with him over (8) Yulong January too, who is another speed influence in the race. He’s another box ticker and was wide last start so I’m prepared to forgive that run. They’re fairly similar horses but Tshahitsi is double Yulong’s price. (3) Iconoclasm is another one that loves the Flemington 1400m and was solid in the Memsie last start. He draws barrier 1 here so if the inside hasn’t chopped up, he can be right there. (11) Bumper Blast will appreciate a stronger run race on a better surface and can bounce back for sure. Pretty keen on Windstorm again, and also think Tshahitsi is a big price.
Tough edition of the Danehill. The track will be key by now because the rain has likely set in. I’m going to have something on (7) Ranting who I think is ready to win here 3rd up. Both runs back from a spell have been good, firstly sitting outside the lead in the Vain Stakes and boxing on well. He was then ridden cold from a wide barrier in the McNeil Stakes, was forced wide around the turn but ran on very nicely once balanced in the fastest last 400m and 200m of the race. I think that race is the form going into a Caulfield Guineas, hopefully with Immortal Love winning earlier in the day and Flying Award and Tagaloa looking a serious group of 3yo’s. That was the only time he’s been ridden cold in a race, so I’d expect him to be somewhere close to the pace again from barrier 5, and with that added fitness under his belt he looks a good bet. (4) Doubtland is the interesting one. He looked like a star in Sydney during the winter, bolting in by 4L and stamping himself as a Golden Rose or other group 1 player. His trial leading into his 1st up run was quite poor, although he did a similar thing last prep so perhaps, he’s a race day horse, but his first up run in the Rosebud was average at best. He was taking on the A grade there but finished 7.7L away from Anders in 5th of 6. The key to him might be wet ground as both of his career wins came on rain affected tracks, so if the rain has set in he might be able to bounce back. (5) Extra Time was very good in the McNeil after sitting wide and just going down late. If Ranting is ridden as usual and within striking distance, he probably wins that race though so I can definitely see the tables turning. (1) Prague comes over from Sydney and brings some quality form from the Sires Produce and the Golden Slipper. Wet ground poses no issue for him and he’s trialled well. He’s the one I’ll be saving on in the race. I really liked the debut win of (11) Annavisto at Mornington and have had something on her for the Thousand Guineas at around $51. She’ll be suited up in trip and isn’t without a chance here.
Fillies’ race to end the day, and my suggestion would be to go wide in the quaddie. (9) Swats That has trialled very well and won impressively on debut beating Bella Nipotina, who beat a lot of these fillies comfortably in the Quezette. She certainly looks to have come back well. (6) Parlophone has this awful habit of buck jumping at the beginning of her races. The theory is that she’s a real feminist filly and needs the touch of a woman. Jamie Kah was booked to ride but has been suspended, so Jye Mcneil takes the ride. Her talent is evident but I’m not sure you can back her when she keeps doing so many things wrong. I think this is a race where a roughie could bob up, and there are a couple I want to take a look at. The first is (13) Yosemite for Pikey in the last. Whilst her maiden win was only at Bendigo, the win had merit and the clock backed it up. She ran the fastest last sectionals of the day, significantly faster than the 1100m BM70 later on the card, which admittedly was on a deteriorating track. The form out of that race is solid with 2nd placed Poland running a very good 3rd behind two smart ones in Aysar and The Brumby at Sandown on Wednesday, and Pike should find a nice trailing position midfield and get her to the outside. The next horse that interests me is (15) Jenni’s Rainbow. She looked like a star on debut at the Pakenham synthetic before coming to The Valley and not really having a hope on the bog track. From what I can tell off her jumpouts she’s much better on a firm track, so she’ll be hoping the rain hasn’t hit too hard and we’re still on a soft 5. Either way she looks a big price at $17 considering the dominance of her first up win and her two SP’s. The third horse I’m going to have a very small wager on is (10) Standoff, who is currently $71 and will probably start in triple figures on the exchange. The trainer/jockey combo is very unfavourable for a Saturday metro race, but she does have a win down the straight and ran a good 3rd at the T/D behind Sense Of Honour and Savannah Cloud who I think are both fairly handy horses. This does look a big step up but at the expected prices you could do worse than have a couple of dollars on her each way.
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