Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing on Saturday, July 4th.
It’s finals day at Flemington, and a high quality but very competitive nine-race card will take place. The rail is in the true position, and the track is rated a soft 5 but with rain about I’d expect it a touch wetter on the day.
Trent Crebbin is looking to continue his good form with his preview and betting tips below!
Best Bet: Race 4 - (1) Persan
Best Value: Race 3 - (3) Super Yulong / (7) Burleigh Boy
Down the straight for the 2yo final. Obviously all of these have shown some talent. The clear horse to beat is (6) Sense of Honour. Dominant on debut, this filly got back to last at The Valley on a very tough day to make ground, flying home in the fastest last 600, 400 and 200m of the day. Barrier 2 shouldn’t be too much of a negative given it’s race one and the rail is true. The x factor is (4) The Felon who won easily on debut beating older horses, which is never easy to do. Another interesting runner is (5) Savannah Cloud who backs up from last week at Caulfield. This colt profiles as a horse that will get over much further, but he closed off very well against the bias last week. I was very keen on (2) Ilovethegame on debut and he duly saluted, but he jumps in weight and wasn’t exactly dominant. (1) Jabali Ridge has the straight track win, but I’d be very shocked if he beats Sense of Honour home off their last start.
Straight up to 2600m for the Banjo Paterson final. I gave a decent push for (4) Lord Belvedere at double figures and he prevailed over (3) Chapada. Lord Belvedere was suited by the race shape that day but was pulling away easily from Chapada late. I think they’ll fight it out again, it just comes down to what price you want to take for either. Not sure what to do with (5) Alfarris who I was keen on last start. They went forward, which is against his usual racing pattern, and it backfired. The pace was on, a horse decided to whip round them mid race, and he pulled up lame, so it’s a clear forgive. He was building towards a win before that. I have a slight query on Alfarris and Lord Belvedere on soft ground, but I’ll lean the way of Alfarris at the odds, because I think you’ll get close to double figures on the day and save on Lord Belvedere.
It’s hard not to be taken by (1) Cherry Tortoni who has looked good at both starts. He did get the perfect run last start- 3 wide with cover, tracking into the race perfectly and presenting at the right time with clear air. That could eventuate again here, but he does have to carry 61kg. I think he’s a touch short here and there’s a few at big odds that can knock him off. (7) Burleigh Boy ran well last start behind the favourite, being tight for room for some of the straight. I’m very wary that Williams sticks at this time of year, and Danny O’Brien horses 2nd up can improve lengths. His $2.40 SP on debut in a good race is interesting too. (6) Alcyone will get over further in time but was given no hope from the back here last start. He’ll get a long way back again. I think the blowout chance is (3) Super Yulong. He was dominant at Pakenham beating Impetus, who broke her maiden easily next start. Super Yulong was slowly away in the Cherry Tortoni race from a wide barrier and had no luck in the straight trying to weave through. He ran the fastest 1200-1000m and 1000-800m splits of the race and maps much better here. Incredibly tough race and I could look silly if Cherry Tortoni blitzes them again, but I’ll be specking Burleigh Boy and Super Yulong.
Staying final for the 3yo’s and it’s a pretty average race. Many of the good horses in the lead up races aren’t here over the 2500m, so we’ve got a lot of horses with maiden form, or no wins at all. The exception is the favourite (1) Persan who has won both the leadups over 2000m. He was left in front a long way out last start but kept kicking, beating Right You Are, with nearly 4L back to Coolth and over 7 lengths to Independent Road and Hypercane. Persan has to concede 3.5kg to most of the field, but he’s a superior animal, even with the step up in trip. Banking on class to get him home, and he does have the platform to run out 2500m. Two to consider coming off midweek form that can run well are (7) Nama Dude and (9) Zoffmira who look stayers of some promise. No queries on (3) Sign Seal Deliver at the trip, but I have and will continue to take on anything from that St Leger. The horse is 1/12 and has had every chance in its last two.
The sprint series final has dished up a good field, albeit one with horses that have met numerous times. There’s two I want to make good cases here for. The first is (4) I Am Someone. He put the writing on the wall first up and backed it up with a good win here last start. He’s unbeaten 3rd up and maps to find the best ground again. The unlucky runner in that race was (3) Rich Charm who was basically stopped dead in his tracks 300m out. He wasn’t touched over the last 100m yet was still making ground late and through the line. From barrier 7 with the rail true, Moloney has acres of space so any traffic issues would come as a shock. (1) Great Again beat Rich Charm here two back before pulling up lame at The Valley. Rodd replaces Caserta which is worth a few lengths and he’s got claims. Happy to take on (7) Tavisan who is way too short at $5. He had every chance at The Valley with the bias and was beaten on his merits. He’s also never won down the straight. Leaning the way of Rich Charm, but wouldn’t be surprised if I Am Someone or Great Again win.
Another incredibly open race at $5 the field. That favourite is (5) La Tigeresa who I was keen on last start but was given no hope. She was shuffled back and found plenty of traffic. Back to Flemington definitely suits this mare. There are about 2 lengths between this entire field of mares, so it’ll come down to the best ride. I gave a chance to (9) El Questro last start and thought she ran very well, doing substantial work early and only being beaten 1.6L. She ran a very narrow 2nd in this race 3rd up last year and with a bit of luck early can go one better. (1) Great Duchess is flying but has to carry 61kg and will need a great ride from the wide barrier. Literally nothing would surprise in this race but La Tigeresa is probably the best horse and gets in well at the weights. She’s ready to win as is El Questro, so I’ll back both at the odds.
Last race was $5 the field, here it’s $7 the field. (2) Smoke Bomb was suited by the pattern at The Valley and under a great building ride from Kah he won very well. He won’t get it that easy here, but he can definitely win again. I think (6) Garimpeiro can turn the tables. He kept closing out wide after beginning poorly, which wasn’t easy to do that day. M Rodd for L Smith is a hot combo and he normally settles closer so expect that if he jumps as usual. (3) Walking Flying is airborne but has been the beneficiary of two outstanding J Mott rides. He sticks here but barrier one presents a whole new set of challenges. (9) Grinzinger Allee came home in the best sectionals last start in the race where Smoke Bomb missed the start. He’ll love Flemington and can settle closer but will need a bit of luck from barrier 2. (4) Selica is suited up to 1600m and did beat home Walking Flying by 2L in Adelaide (albeit with a much kinder run). I know he had the pattern last start, but he maps perfectly again and will be tough to get past. Grinzinger Allee is the danger, followed by Garimpeiro.
The highlight of the day is the winter championship final, and again it’s very open. I can’t have (5) Plein Ciel at $5 or shorter in such a race. (8) Shot Of Irish just keeps racing well and will roll along and try to kick away. He tried to do that at a very fast pace here two back and (1) Reykjavik was the beneficiary, who bolted in by nearly 3L. Reykjavik has to carry 62kg here but will appreciate getting back to Flemington. I took on (2) Heptagon last start and got burnt. He’s flying and can absolutely win again. I wish (16) Victoria Star had got a run last week and not just because he was my best bet. I’m a big fan of the horse but he’s missed a run. The key to him is a wet track, which I think he’ll get here. The camp seems quite confident he’ll run a strong 1600m and he gets in on the minimum. There’s so little between these as seen in the leadups. The best ride has won most races, and there’s been incredibly bunched finishes. Something on Reykjavik despite the weight and Victoria Star.
Doesn’t get much easier to finish. (1) Splendoronthegrass is favourite off a slashing run at Caulfield last week. She was the only horse to make significant ground out wide all day and had won her two prior well. Does have to carry 60.5kg here against some handy horses. (6) Ocean Miss is very lightly raced and returned off a VRC Oaks campaign at Seymour, beating a handy colt. She drops 3.5kg for this and draws well. (2) Beauty Bolt was good off a 5 week freshen, railing up the inside from the back to just miss. She’s been kept fresh for this but staying at 1400m is some concern. Olly sticks with (7) Cordilla who is flying. She was less than a length off impressive subsequent winner Jolly Sailor two back, running the best sectionals of the race, before winning comfortably as an odds on pop next start, just not sure she should be $5.
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