Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, August 8th.
The Group 3 Aurie's Star Handicap headlines the nine-race card at Flemington this Saturday, with a number of Spring horses returning to the track! The track is currently rated a Soft 6 and the rail is out 11m.
Trent Crebbin has assessed every race of the day at headquarters below!
Best Bet: Race 4 - (10) Tavidance
Best Value: Race 3 - (7) Dubai Moon
I would’ve been against Lord Belvedere, but he’s been scratched which leaves a very easy top pick in the form of (4) South Pacific. This imported galloper is third up now and looks the horse with the right set up. He ran over 2000m first up before jumping sharply in distance to 2800m and the money for him was relentless, starting a heavily supported $3 favourite despite having no platform to win. Drops back to the 2530m here third up, he should be spot on for this. He’s a winner over 2400m on similar ground over Constantinople at Royal Ascot and a repeat of that performance wins this on the bridle. (3) Double You Tee arguably should’ve won last start, getting shuffled back to last on the turn and running on behind Mahamedeis. He keeps getting too far back and could be suspect at the end of 2500m, plus doesn’t have the improvement or upside of South Pacific. (8) Blandford Lad is flying but this is a huge step up. Pretty keen on South Pacific as he has the platform to improve significantly here which will see him incredibly hard to beat.
Pretty thin race for the 3yo’s. (6) Yes Baby Yes broke her maiden in fine style at Seymour. The 1400m should be no issue off that win, but the form out of it isn’t great. (2) Galactic Fury has ticked the 1400m (and mile) box. Last start he somehow ended up leader’s back early to three back the fence, with the winner Flinders River getting the run he should’ve had, only getting clear air for 100m but still running the equal fastest last 200m of the race. (3) Fatigues had no hope in that race, trapped wide and trying to improve the entire race, understandably dropping out. Olly replaced Brad Rawiller here but I’m not sure his prior form is good enough regardless, despite that inconclusive run last start. (1) Diesel ‘n’ Dust is the interesting one on the quick backup from last week. He jumps from the 1000m to 1400m which is generally quite tough, having never raced further than 1100m. I think he’s probably the best horse in the race, but Galactic Fury has the runs on the board and will be right on speed from the inside.
Straight up to 1800m for the 3yo’s. Some probably won’t run the distance which is tricky. (1) Flinders River won the Galactic Fury race last start, so hopefully the form is franked in race 2. Does go Willo to Will Price and still goes up 1kg despite the big claim. (4) Royal Filly won well on debut over 1400m, but that form is very suspect. She does seem to have some talent but also races on turf for the first time which will be very different to the synthetic. A few of these come out of a Sandown 1300m race won by (2) Frankie’s Two Angels. Not far away in 2nd was (3) Reuber and a further 1.3L back was (7) Dubai Moon who ran the fastest 800m and 400m sectionals. Dubai Moon then went to Bendigo and got shuffled back to last before grinding home, beaten just over 5L. Of all the horses in the field I think he’s the one crying out for 1800m, and a soft track looks to suit too. He also meets Frankie’s Two Angels and Reuber 3.5kg and 2kg better off respectively. (6) Cafe Rizu brings different form and is another that should appreciate the extra distance. She was very good from last at Geelong on a difficult day to make ground before proving too strong over 1500m on the Ballarat synthetic, running every sectional the quickest of the race. I don’t want to lose on her, but mainly backing Dubai Moon.
What to do with (10) Tavidance… He bolted in two back at Caulfield and looked a moral on paper last start, starting a heavily supported $1.85 favourite but didn’t let down in the straight and was beaten 3.9L. He’s obviously a horse with a few issues and was slow to recover last start. My only query before last start was the firm ground and that run has convinced me that he needs soft ground to be effective because a firm deck jars him up too much. Drops back in the weights today, does no work from barrier 1, and with the long straight should get every chance. (4) Heavenly Emperor beat him home last start and was unlucky in that race but did start $9 there and is nearly half the price here. I think the danger at odds could be (5) Naivasha. She returns off a 3 month let up so should have some residual fitness, and the 1720m is an ideal starting point, but I was hoping for a bit longer. (7) Winning Partner and (8) Five Kingdom are both on the back up from the same race at The Valley but both look unders to me considering Tavidance put nearly 6L on the latter two back.
Handy race with a few good horses returning. The WA galloper (9) Coming Around started favourite in the Mildura Cup first up in Victoria and ran well for 2nd, running the fastest last 200m of the race behind an all the way winner on a day that was tough to make ground. His 2nd up record is outstanding in WA with 2 wins and a place from 3 attempts. He’s run well behind a smart horse on a soft 6 so I don’t think the ground will be an issue and if Riordan shows any intent, he should land one out one back. (1) Iconoclasm is the class of the field and is treated so, carrying 62kg first up. The Flemington 1400m is his absolute bread and butter with 3 wins, and Lane should get him right on pace with no worries, but his soft track record is poor, and he might struggle resuming with the weight. (6) Laburnum should be ready 3rd up at 1400m but that mare’s form is suspect in my opinion. Oaks winner (3) Miami Bound was awful in two runs last preparation and you’d have to see her perform to back her first up here over just 7 furlongs. Didn’t mind the run of (4) Rivet Delight first up in Australia but he maps near last again and soft ground is an unknown.
The feature of the day down the straight six and it’s an interesting contest albeit a touch light on star power. The fit horses are (5) Great Again who narrowly defeated (2) Home Of The Brave at this T/D a few runs ago. The latter gets 3kg off but hasn’t won in forever while the former is excellent down the straight but seems to have reached his mark. I’m looking for something fresh on the scene and there are a couple that pique my interest. Last year’s winner (1) So Si Bon is first up and has been backed early after beating a stronger field last year. Since then he’s only raced in group 3 company or lower 5 times for 2 wins. He’s actually turned into a pretty consistent galloper in this sort of level, especially on wet ground and in strongly run races which he should get here. Potentially the most talented sprinter in this race is (8) Trope who is first up after a stable change. He’s stuck on the one win (a Kenso maiden) but has run some huge 2nds in much stronger company behind Deprive and Arcadia Queen. His three Melbourne runs (all in group one company) have been poor, but at his best he’s got a booming finish. The jumpouts were very quiet so it’s hard to read where he’s at. Not sure what the market will do with him, but I can’t let him be a loser. Next best (4) Widgee Turf who has jumped out very well, should enjoy the straight and loves soft ground. He’s potentially better over 1400m but can sprint very well fresh.
(5) Skyman was an impressive winner at his Australian debut in a messy race. Should only improve up to 2000m and soft ground shouldn’t be a worry. He did start $26 there whereas (10) Denero started $10 and went to the line completely untested, never getting clear air. Impossible to say what Denero would’ve done with a perfect cart and momentum like Skyman, but I don’t want to take 1/10th of Skyman’s last SP. I think the one at double figures that’s ready to fire is (2) Dogmatic. Third up is when he starts to perform, and his run from near last when third up last preparation at Caulfield was enormous in a stronger open handicap. Draws barrier 4 here, and in the past a good barrier has meant he settles midfield or better rather than at the tail. He loves soft ground, comes out of a very strongly run race and should be ready to fire. Personally I rarely bet each way, but if you are inclined, I think he’s a great each way chance at $3.30 the place.
Really keen to see what (6) Octane can do over the 1000m dash. This SA gelding won all three starts last preparation and has won his last two very impressively, the more recent as the $1.55 favourite basically under hands and heels. Two back he actually beat subsequent Moonee Valley winner Dexelation. Draws well in barrier 7, he should be able to sit just off midfield where comfortable and get to the outside, where nothing can match him late so long as he’s close enough. Not much between (1) Snitzkraft and (3) Mister Mogul from their clash at this T/D last start. Snitzkraft draws to find the best ground but seems to hate wet ground, whereas Mister Mogul draws barrier 1 which could be tough. (2) Chicago Cub has some 1000m form but in lower grade. He’s not hopeless and does have a good first up record but they might be a touch sharp for him here. (7) Elite Legacy and (11) Sword Of Mercy are both flying and were a nose apart at Sandown but I’m pretty keen Octane blouses them late.
Ah (12) Pinyin. She lured me in last start down the straight but once again found one better in Sakura. She’ll be back near last again and probably leaves herself too much to do, so I’ll jump off before I fall under her spell again. There are three that interest me here, starting with (7) Savvy Lad. He was very good first up behind Mystery Shot, who actually gave Savvy Lad a decent check rounding the bend. No worries about him on soft ground and any improvement will make him tough to beat. Two of these come out of a strong race at Sandown over 1300m which was won by (9) Lord Markel who returned as a gelding. His run last preparation at The Valley behind Overkill beating home Splendoronthegrass and Beehunter was very good. Finishing 9th in the Sandown race was (16) Antagoniser, but he was only beaten 2.1L in a bunched finish. First up last preparation he put in a similar indifferent run, before improving markedly 2nd up to run Rubisaki to a half-length 2nd, beating home stakes Hi Stranger and Alburq. Antagoniser also gets 2.5kg off Lord Markel. (15) Shush brings solid mare’s form and ran a good 3rd behind Chassis last start. The way I’ll be playing is equally staking Antagoniser and Lord Markel whilst saving on Savvy Lad.
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