There's nine races on the card, with the first getting underway at 11.50am AEST.
The track is currently rated Soft and the rail is in the true position.
My thoughts on every race on the card are below.
Best Bet: Race 8 - (1) Sure Knee
Best Value Bet: Race 6 - (7) El Vincitore
Sticking with (4) El Questro to win again today after two convincing wins to open her campaign. She steps up to Saturday company now, with those two wins coming in midweek metro grade, and she's also up to 1400m. I see no reason to jump off her today - she should be able to sit third behind (3) Pria Eclipse and hopefully run over the top late. Pria Eclipse should be able to lead at her own leisure here, so she'll get her chance, but I just worry that the long Flemington straight doesn't favour her.
This is a two-horse race. (3) Masculino is on the quick back-up after leading all the way to win over 1800m at Caulfield last weekend. He steps up to 2000m now which should suit him even better. He's finished in the top two at four of his five starts at the distance. He should find the lead comfortably here and be very tough to run down with race fitness on his side. (7) The Statesman resumed with a sound effort when 3rd over 1600m at Sandown. He's yet to miss the placings from three starts when second up and his only start at this track and distance was a win. Big jockey change with Craig Williams taking over today. If he's within striking distance on the turn he'll be hard to hold out.
I suspect (1) Buffalo River will be winning this. He's been impressive in his two Australian starts to date, including a 3.5L victory at Sandown last start. Third up and up to the mile today, he rises 4.5kg in the weights from his last start win, but he meets the horse he beat (2) Asgard Massif equal at the weights. Should kick through to lead from barrier 1 and I'd be surprised if he wasn't the winner. (5) Heavenly Emperor was an impressive winner last start, storming home from the back of the field at huge odds over 1400m here at Flemington. It looked no fluke and if the two leaders cut each other up out front, he'll be the one charging home over the top.
Really tough race with a number of chances. I'm interested in jumping on (5) Beau Balmain today at each way odds. He's had two runs in Australia and has placed in both. Straight up in trip from 2100m to 2600m, which I think will suit and he's third up today so should be peaking. I think he's got more to come. (1) Chouxting The Mob has won his past four races and his last two have been over 2500m here at Flemington. He carries top weight today which is the main concern, but it's hard to knock his form. (8) Future Score comes off a 2400m win on heavy ground at Sandown last start. He carries just 54kg here so he's weighted to win. Notably, Damien Oliver jumps off today to keep the ride on Chouxting The Mob, but Craig Williams jumps on so there's nothing lost there.
(3) Rubisaki looks quite clearly the one to beat here after a dominant victory over 1400m here last start. That followed a similarly dominant performance at Seymour two starts back after a luckless debut run at Warrnambool. She should be undefeated and she'll take plenty of beating in this field based on what we've seen her do. The slight query, if any, is the 59kg but I think she can handle it and win again.
Another competitive race with a number of chances but there's two I'll be having something small on at each way odds. (7) El Vincitore was only beaten 0.4L at Sandown last start by Tysonic, with (1) Dogmatic in 3rd. Dogmatic is a $3.90 chance today while El Vincitore is $8.00. El Vincitore's best two runs have been on soft ground, which he gets again today, and barrier 6 should see him get a nice run. (8) Peace Brother has been running well without a lot of luck in recent starts. He battled on for 3rd behind Tavirun and Dogmatic last start, despite covering plenty of ground in the run. From barrier 1 today he'll have no issues, so as long as the splits come, I expect him to go well again at double figure odds.
Keen to stick with (3) Milwaukee who has a fantastic record at this track and distance, with three wins and a 2nd from four starts. He's also won three of his five starts on soft ground. Was 2nd in this grade two starts back behind Order Of Command and that performance split two wins down the straight, so he's in the right form to be winning this. (11) I'm Telling Ya is also running well, with three placings from his last three starts, all less than a length off the winner. He was only beaten a nose by Milwaukee last start so the $16 looks big odds. Craig Williams takes the ride on (6) Invincible Al who was only a length off Milwaukee last start. Willo could ride a rocking horse home at the moment so don't leave him out. (4) Holy Blade and (2) Malibu Style will run well as always.
Probably the toughest race of the day. (10) Romancer goes on top for me at each way odds. He surprised at big odds last start, winning her over 1400m. That followed a run that was probably better than it looked first up, when caught wide withut cover near the back of the field throughout, in a race that's proved to be very stong form-wise. Third up today, up in trip and gets the soft ground he needs to win a race like this. (1) Mr Marathon Man carries top weight but comes off a strong win and should be competitive with Oliver on board. (6) Radipole was sound first up from a spell. His record here isn't good but he can be thrown into exotics. (13) Royal Order won first up and has two wins from three starts when second up so he can be included. (4) Waging War went close last start and gets Craig Williams on today, while (9) Reykjavik represents an astute stable.
Hoping (1) Sure Knee can send favourite punters home happy. She was dominant last start in very similar conditions - she carried 60kg, it was soft ground and it was over this track and distance. Craig Williams sticks with her and if she reproduces the same sort of performance, she'll win again today.
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