Welcome to our horse racing preview and betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, June 6th.
We’re back at headquarters on Saturday for a tricky day of racing. Big, open fields means there’s value to be found. The track is currently rated a soft 6 but I expect it to improve, and the rail is out 8 metres.
Trent Crebbin has dissected all nine races below!
Best Bet: Race 6 - (8) Masaff
Best Value: Race 3 - (2) Independent Road & (8) Persan
Straight course dash over the five furlongs to kick us off. There’s a few of the usual suspects here, none more than (1) Prezado. This galloper loves the track and distance, with 4 wins from 8 starts including his last two runs, beating better fields than this. He remains at the same weight here, and only has to concede a maximum of 3kg to the field. Williams takes over from Kah which is fine, he draws well and if he repeats any of his last two performances he’ll win. The danger is clearly (3) From Within who got within a length of the favourite last start. Oliver takes over from Williams and she’ll be in it for a long way, but a length is fair amount to make up in a 1000m race. I’d be shocked if anything else won, as the two horses mentioned are the only straight 1000m specialists.
One of the toughest races of the day for the 2yo’s over 1100m. The form between a lot of these ties in, but I think (14) Safeeya is the one to beat. This filly debuted in a hot race at Sandown in the Spring, finishing 4L adrift of Hanseatic. She draws well in the middle of the track and has upside. Behind her that day was (1) Divine Caprice who got the money for us last start. She rises 5kg in weight here and this is probably a tougher race, so I have to be against her today, but she does love the straight. (3) Pocket Goddess handed in a good debut, taking a sit and running 2nd to Chrome Angel, who was poor here last week in the Divine Caprice race. I think Stackhouse will try to utilise her cruising speed and run them into the ground here. (15) Zesty Belle started $4.20 on debut, also against Divine Caprice, and whilst she ran poorly, she has jumped out well for this first up assignment. Even respecting those factors, she looks a touch short here in an open race. Another one that ties in is (11) Suprina who ran 4th on debut to yep, you guessed it, Divine Caprice. Since then this filly has been close up behind Immortal Love, who won for two weeks back, and Island Joy who started favourite in a comparable race at Caulfield. Tough race but playing Safeeya and Suprina.
The favourite here is the unbeaten (5) Coolth for Damien Oliver and Tony and Calvin McEvoy. You have to respect the combination, and the horse has looked very good winning two races in South Australia. The step up to 2000m will only help this Dundeel gelding, but the map is a huge negative. In a race with little pace, he’ll likely be near last and the fact is it’s a low percentage play, even at Flemington. Outside of Coolth, the race really falls away. (8) Persan could be ready for this trip now. He’s been settling forward and racing okay lately. This will be a slowly run race, and he could even take up the running. The other horse who can lob into a good spot is (2) Independent Road, on the quick backup. The fence clearly wasn’t the place to be at Caulfield and he was only beaten 2 lengths. On a drying track and back up in trip he can win. (3) Hypercane was good behind Game Keeper last start, who won impressively here two weeks ago in a similar race but also maps rearwards. (11) Art Heiress had a good run but won well at Cranbourne. Tahlia Hope replaced Billy Egan and this is a big step up, but she has a future.
It doesn’t get any easier here at $6 the field, with many in the ‘tough to catch’ file. I don’t think back to 1400m is any negative for (8) Secret Vega, who bolted in by 5 lengths from last on the synthetic two back. He’ll need luck from barrier 1 but he’s up to this. The big improver looks to be (7) Never Again who has been crying out for this trip after two average efforts over the sprint trips. His 1400m form is good. (16) I Could Do Better is first up in Australia for Oliver/Waller which is an interesting combo and one that screams intent. On debut this horse won over 1400m beating a horse called King of Comedy, who has run well in some of the best UK group 1s behind Benbatl and Japan. He looked to travel fairly well in a recent jumpout here but does map towards the back. Based off their last start SP’s, neither (9) The Master Speed nor (14) Honey Esprit deserve to be the odds they are. They started $4.60 and $5.50 against Secret Vega’s $12 at Pakenham and cut at each other in the lead. It’s the sort of race to speck a few at odds who could start nearly triple figures on the exchange, so I’ll be playing numbers 16, 9 and 14.
These mares races are usually very often and this is no different. The favourite is (13) Shahzade, who is coming off two good wins at Sandown and Ballarat and has upside unlike most of these. The form has been good out of her last win with 2nd horse Moscow Red winning since. On to a drier deck may pose a slight problem as her last two have been on quite heavy decks. I’m not sure staying at 1400m is ideal for (12) So You Swing but she’s come back very well, running the 2nd fastest last 400m and fastest last 200m of the entire meeting. Her form around Affair To Remember last preparation is good enough to win this and I’d have her favourite here. The horse at double figures than looks overs is (5) Seewhatshebrings, who is first up here. She won her first two runs last preparation before a narrow 2nd to Amangiri at Moonee Valley, comfortably beating home a few of these, including (10) Queen La Diva who was dominant last start but gets Chris Caserta. Seewhatshebrings maps to sit off the pace from barrier 5 and can run well.
Out to 2520m here and it’s an intriguing contest. We were on (8) Masaff each way last start, who ran an excellent 3rd at big odds. He came home in the fastest everything of the race, by around a length for most splits in a pretty good race. His UK form around Downdraft and Twilight Payment who both ran in the Melbourne Cup last year would win this eased down. There are a couple of negatives stopping me from declaring this horse. He goes 1800m up to 2520m quickly and gets barrier 1. These UK stayers are used to racing fresh at long trips, unlike our stayers who build over unsuitable distances. Craig Williams replaces Michael Poy here, and there’s no one in Australia who rides inside barriers better. I think he’ll be midfield on the fence, and Willo will get stuck into him early and find the gaps. Outside of Masaff, (7) Sin To Win is racing very well but keeps getting too far back to threaten. Maybe from barrier 3 he can settle closer, but he’s been showing no early speed at all recently. (6) Sasko is flying and will land on speed but a drier track is probably against him. (11) Indiana Lily could lead for Dunn which can often mean a slow tempo. The horse is in great form winning easily at Cranbourne last start, but this is a huge step up. Keen on Masaff.
I was keen to stick with Sikorsky at the prices, but he’s been scratched. Running the fastest sectionals of the race behind him last start was (8) No Say In It. He’s ready to win and his WA form is good enough for this, but the jockey is a huge issue. Chris Caserta hasn’t won a race since March last year and that alone is enough to put me off. The other main form race was won by (1) Savaheat at monstrous odds. 6th in that race was (11) Aussie Nugget who didn’t have the best run. A firmer deck is in his favour too, as is the case for (4) Nobu and both of them will run well. The value out of that race could be import (7) Southern Rock, who beat Aussie Nugget home yet is 3x the price here. Ideally he’d be up in trip, but he’ll be fitter and on speed from a good gate, plus his best UK form is on good tracks. (10) Arty Lucas bolted in for us last start and will run well but back in trip isn’t ideal and this is a harder race. After the scratching of Sikorsky, I’m happy to just play Southern Rock each way.
Very interesting contest over 1400m. There’s the usual sort of even stakes class gallopers here, who generally win when they strike a purple patch or get the right run, and there’s one import first up for the Freedman camp in the form of (10) Kenya. This horse has excellent UK form over this distance range, including a 2yo group 3 win, a 3.5L win first up last preparation, and a 2nd to I Can Fly in a group 2, who has raced very well in some top level group 1’s. Put simply, he’s the best horse in this race on ability. His three jump outs have been solid, not put under a lot of pressure but travelling strongly. I think he’ll appreciate Flemington and should settle in a lovely spot forward of midfield with just 56.5kg. Outside of him, (1) Iconoclasm nailed our best bet Achernar Star last start and loves the Flemington 1400m with 3 wins from 6 starts. Does have to carry the weight but will be thereabouts. (3) A Shin Rook was only beaten 1.3L by the topweight last start. I’d prefer him up to 1600m now but can definitely win. I’d be very shocked if (6) Haunted wins as it races much better fresh and has been poor the last two. (11) Sirius Suspect and (12) Vassilator were both good last start and are around the mark. This is a simple race because there’s so little between the 1, 3, 11 and 12 and if Kenya is wound up, he should put them away.
Last race of the day is a solid, open 1400m contest. The form guide doesn’t read well for (4) Alburq but I’m convinced the horse is flying. It’s been striking heavy tracks recently and I’m not convinced it enjoys the wet. Last start down the straight it went to the line completely untested having never gotten a run. It’s ready for the 1400m here, and last time it raced at the track and distance was a 1.8L fourth to Rubisaki after starting $5.50. Narrowly ahead of Alburq there was (2) Hi Stranger who is flying and also ready for 1400m. Alburq gets a 3.5kg weight swing, had the SP over Hi Stranger when they met and draws to sit midfield with cover. (9) Triton Rising is the favourite coming off an easy win at Pakenham first up starting $1.40. His Spring 3yo form should measure up here but he seems short enough given how open the race is. (8) Kuramae won at this track/distance two back on good ground, and you can forgive its last start on heavy. It’s a huge step up in class but I liked the win of (17) Scantoon last start. It’s 3rd emergency but if it makes the field it could start $50 on the exchange and wouldn’t be the worst horse to speck.
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