Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, December 22nd.
We’ve got nine races on a Soft 5 track with the rail back in the true position having been in the 10m position last week.
Check out our betting tips for every race on the card below!
Best Bet: Race 7 Haunted
Best Value Bet: Race 3 French Girl / Teodora
I don’t particularly like Moonee Valley form when a horse’s next start is at Flemington but the style in which My Pendant has won her past two races suggests she’s up to winning this. She carries the big weight today but she’s really hit the line powerfully in her two wins over the 1200m and the step up to 1400m today looks ideal. Queen La Diva is another that comes into this off back-to-back wins. My query with her is the drop back from 1600m to 1400m (both her wins have been at the mile) but Weir wouldn’t be running her over 1400m if she wasn’t able to win. The big track at Flemington should really suit her and she will be motoring home from the back of the field. Covert Miss looks the value at $8.50 after wins at Dunkeld and Terang; Birdwing isn’t hopeless. Money back promos available.
Tricky little race and the straight always throws curve balls. The 1200m might prove to be a touch short for Hawkshot but he looked a pretty talented horse in his debut preparation and he resumes as a gelding today, first up from a 34-week spell. I think he’s drawn to be in the right part of the track and if he’s improved during his time off (and with the gelding operation) then he may well prove very hard to beat. Phaistos could be the value at $7.00. He saluted on debut at Kyneton and there was a 6L gap back to the 3rd horse, which is always a tick for the form. He’s also drawn to be in the right part of the track and he can make the progression to this grade. Poised To Strike showed some talent in his first campaign and he resumes today off the back of a good jumpout win at Flemington. Williams is in the saddle and he looks a legitimate winning chance. Mischa is a value chance at $17. Completely forget it went around at the Valley last start when she blew the start and assess her off her two wins prior to that. O’tauto next best. Money back promos available.
Looks a fairly even race on paper with nothing really catching the eye. I’m with two at a bit of value here. French Girl goes on top. She’s racing in good form with a win and two 2nds from her past three starts. She might well press forward with the light weight and I hope she does because she could be tough to run down. The stable is flying at the minute and at $9.00 she looks a good each way bet. Supre actually ran down French Girl last time she stepped out. That was over 1400m and she’s back up to the mile today but she’s yet to really perform over the distance. French Girl also gets a 1.5kg weight swing in her favour today. Even so, Supre must be included. The value looks to be the Weir-trained Teodora at double figure odds. I’m surprised she’s that long in the market. She didn’t quite live up to her early promise last prep but you wouldn’t put it past her to recapture her best form. If she did, she’d win this. Her first up run was probably better than it looks on paper. She only really got going in the final part of the race and the step up to the mile is what she needs. She’ll be coming from last but expect her to get to the outside and let rip.
Absolute plodders race and no need to get heavily involved here. Lycurgus has a god record at the track and distance with two top-two finishes from as many starts. He was good two starts back but probably wasn’t suited by the Valley last time out. Ollie goes back on today and there’s no reason he can’t win this. Often in 2400m+ races, the horses that are best suited are those that have had a 2400m+ lead up run. The two horses here that bring that platform to today’s race are Berisha and Pilote D’Essai, who both ran in the Pakenham Cup last start. Berisha ran a cracker to finish 2nd, while Pilote D’Essai pulled up with Heat Stress near the back of the field. Both go up in the weights today but it certainly wouldn’t shock to see one win. Both Weir horses – Andrea Mantegna and Master Zephyr – could win this without surprising; his stayers always seem to be competitive regardless of the form they bring. Etymology is the current favourite and I wouldn’t be touching him at that price (or any price really). It’s been a fair old time between drinks and he comes into this off a 1700m race which doesn’t appeal to me at all. Oncidium Ruler doesn’t seem to be going anywhere near his best but he’s got a lethal third up record and Williams goes on today. As you can see, it’s a bit of a lottery here.
It’s fairly notable that Mark Zahra jumps off the Weir-trained Cash Affair to ride Renegade first up for Tony McEvoy. Renegade bolted in to win her maiden first up last prep and then went on to be competitive in some decent races. I doubt Zahra would be jumping off Cash Affair to ride a horse that had no hope. Cash Affair has returned in great form, winning first up at Bendigo before going down by a nose down the straight here last week. She comes into this on the quick back-up and steps up in trip to 1400m. Fallen Empire ran 3rd behind Cash Affair last start but they basically went across the line together. Her run was enormous, coming from last and storming home to be beaten a head. Williams takes over from Damien Thornton today and she’s drawn well in barrier 2 so expect to see her ridden a touch closer. Souffrant could be a blowout chance third up. The horse that beat him last start came out and won again at the Valley last night. Cincinnati Red was scratched from a race last night to be saved for today. She bolted in first up at Geelong and then ran 2nd at Sandown last start. Ocean Deep has come out of that race and won at Caulfield on Wednesday so the form has been franked. Would have preferred a better jockey booking.
Good little race. Order Of Command goes on top after he resumed with a good win down the straight during Carnival week six weeks ago. He’s been freshened for this and should prove very hard to beat. He’s run 2nd to the likes of Nature Strip and Brave Song down the straight so he’s up to better races than this. He’s got a good second up record, Ollie sticks and he’s drawn better today than what he was when he won first up. Demolition was good first up at the Valley. He drops back to the 1000m today after resuming over 1200m but that doesn’t really worry me. Godolphin usually get it pretty spot on with their horses in these sorts of races. Expect a big finish from him. Prezado comes off a good win at Pakenham over Saint Valorem. I’m prepared to risk that form but I think Saint Valorem is actually value at the $14 he currently is. Tango Rain shouldn’t be completely dismissed. Gerald Ryan wouldn’t be sending him here for no reason. Kyzamba the complete blowout first up.
Five that interest me here. Haunted goes on top. He’s a pretty good horse with a very good strike rate. He’s won five of his 10 races and placed in another four, meaning he’s only ever missed the money once. He’s drawn a bit awkward and carries a big weight but he comes off a solid win at Ballarat and if the track is still soft by the time this race comes around, it probably suits him even better. I think one at big odds that is clearly set up to run well here is King’s Command. The jockey booking doesn’t fill me with confidence and nor does the barrier, but there’s a few things that indicate to me he’s been targeted towards this. He’s first up off an eight-week break and his first up record is outstanding (three wins and two placings from six starts). He gets the blinkers back on today and he’s got a great record at this track and distance. Antah was dominant at his first start for Jason Warren last start, who has his stable flying at the moment. He bolted in by 3L at Pakenham and on that form he should be measuring up here. Kazio has returned in good form with a 2nd placing first up followed by a win last start. Drawn well and should run well, while Mr Money Bagsis also knocking on the door. I’d be backing Haunted here with something on both King’s Command and Antah.
Pretty keen to bet here. Creedence did everything but win last start when he completely threw the race away near the line. Mr Quickie was the horse that beat him that day and we all know how good that form is! He’s really returned in good order this preparation and Williams takes over from Fred Kersley today. Expect him to go very close once again and $3.90 seems pretty reasonable. Savaheat is knocking on the door. He was 1.5L behind Creedence last start and he’s ready to win now on the big track at Flemington. $6.50 about him is a good price too. Friedensberg comes off back-to-back wins at Sandown and should measure up, while Lamborghini ran 2n to Friedensberg last start and gets a nice weight swing third up today.
20 runners going down the Flemington straight to end the day, not ideal! This race will probably go one of two ways. Mastering will win, or there will be a blowout result. Mastering bolted in first up at Kilmore by 6L and the horse he beat then came out then came out and won its next race. He won second up last prep and provided he handles the straight, he’ll probably win. Rox The Castle was a dominant winner at the Valley last start, which took his record to three wins from five starts. First time down the straight is a little query, especially from barrier 2 which is unlikely to be the best part of the straight. Outside of those, there’s a few that could win at huge odds. Vainstream was sound first up at Cranbourne and is undefeated second up. Gets blinkers first time and at $20 can run well. Exceltara, Beacon and Brahmos are others that could go well, while Bord de Gain is a blowout chance first up. Then you’ve got the Weir runners who can never be discounted. Tough way to finish the quaddie!
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