Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, March 2nd.
We have a nine-race card on a Good 4 track with the rail out 2m. It will be important to recognise any potential patterns early in the day as they’ve put a record amount of water on the track because of the heat.
The Group 1 Australian Guineas is the feature race of the day (Race 8). We have betting tips and comments on every race below!
Best Bet: Race 8 Amphitrite
Best Value: Race 6 Violate
A 1000m straight race for two-year-old’s is hardly an ideal way to start a card but nevertheless, we’ll bet. Yulong Savings was very impressive on debut at Bendigo, winning by 3.5L, despite sitting three-wide without cover. Looks right up to city grade and she’s trained at Flemington by Tony McEvoy so I’m sure he would have given her a look at the straight. She goes on top at $4.20. Dalaataat could be the one to beat. The stable is in form and they always have their juveniles up to the mark, especially when they kick off in races such as these. Mark Zahra is a strong jockey booking and I’ll be saving on her at $5.50. Cheer Leader went very close on debut but I have major concerns over how the Snowden stable is tracking at the moment. I’m prepared to risk her here. Isa Rocket could be over the odds at $19. She trialled well before debut and started hard in the market behind Andrassy Avenue who ran in last week’s Blue Diamond. She knuckled at the start on that occasion and comes into today’s race with blinkers on for the first time.
Schabau picks himself here but he’s short enough at $1.75. He looks a really promising stayer on the rise. He won his final two starts in Germany by a combined 14L and he’s won his first two starts in Australia. He’s had to dig in both times so he’s shown plenty of toughness, my main query is the jump from 2000m to 2600m. He won over 2200m in Germany but stepping up 600m in distance is never easy, hence the concern at the price. With that said, he’s drawn to get every chance from barrier 3. Naval Warfare looks the logical danger.
This is a sticky race with the potential to have a blowout result but on first look, She’s So High stood out from the rest. She’s undefeated first up and won by 3.25L first up last preparation over 1100m down the straight. She returns over the 1000m trip today but that won’t be a problem for her. She’s trialled well and if she brings the same kind of performance as what she did last prep, she’ll win this. Moonlover could be the value at $11. She’s got a good first up record and a good record at this distance. Whether the inside is the place to be in the straight races remains to be seen. Thermal Current is always around the mark at this sort of level, while Kemono had a big boom on him when he came over from Japan. Perhaps now, in his second Australian preparation, he can start to deliver on that. I Am Someone is flying and brings some solid straight track form to the race. Granted, this is harder, but he’s won his past two races by a combined 7.25L.
This is a tough race. I could make a case for about six of the eight runners here. I’m going to take a punt on Beauty to roll these first up from a spell. I just have some queries over the form of some of the others and I think Beauty is still largely unexposed. She’s won three of her four career starts and when she failed last time we saw her, she started a $6.00 chance behind the likes of Pohutakawa and Madam Rouge. Island Daze is going very well for new trainer Grahame Begg, winning her first two starts for the stable. She beat Soul Star two starts ago, who then went to Sydney and really should have won if it weren’t for terrible luck in running. She has to carry 59kg today which could be a tough ask, but it’s hard to knock her form. Khulaasa returned with a nice win first up at Moonee Valley. She beat Charlayne by 0.75L on that occasion but gives her a 2kg swing in the weights today. She did go very close at her only start at this track and distance which is a positive. Miss Toorak Flyer produced a huge run from the back of the field at Moonee Valley last start. I have queries over the form out of that race but she was clearly the run of the race. Swift Sis has a terrific record at this distance.
Sticking with last-start winner Brilliant Choice, who returned from a spell with a dominant win at Moonee Valley. Tbilisi finished 3rd behind her and that horse came out last night at Moonee Valley and won. Last prep Brilliant Choice defeated Nakeeta Jane, who could be a potential star after winning first up in Sydney a couple of weeks ago. The Hawkes stable is absolutely flying at the moment and this horse draws to get all the favours from barrier 5. Think he can go on with it today. I think a couple at value are Helmaz and Mr Quickie. Helmaz won first up at Wodonga and then ran 2nd to the hugely promising Terbium last start, only beaten 1.25L. We saw a horse that was beaten by Terbium come out last night at Moonee Valley and win, so the form is obviously very good. Craig Williams jumps on today and $26 looks over the odds. Mr Quickie is probably looking for further and there’s some queries over him given he did all his winning under Darren Weir, but it’s hard to knock his record. On top of that, he is ‘The People’s Horse’ to me as we’ve been on him throughout his career. Winning Partner was solid in winning at Sandown last start. Way up in grade today, jumping from a BM64 to a 3YO Handicap, but he’s drawn the inside barrier and that gives him his chance. No knock on the favourite Age Of Chivalry, would just prefer to be on Brilliant Choice at the prices.
Another really good little race. Widgee Turf goes on top here but I’m terrified by the tactics this stable use with him, especially from wide barriers. He’s likely to be dead last in the run, so he’s going to have to be at his very best to get the job done today. He was huge first up, charging home to get 3rd after starting from barrier 10 of 13. Today, he’s drawn barrier 14, but senior rider Billy Egan takes over (notoriously negative with his tactics). Regardless, the horse has a terrific record at the track and distance and he’s won two from three when second up. He looks very well placed, just needs to be put into the race at the right time. Furrion makes his stable debut for the Lindsay Park team, who are flying. He’s obviously a very talented horse with six wins from nine starts. There’s the obvious cloud over his head being a former Weir horse, but most of Weir’s good horses have continued their good form for their new stables. He’s undefeated first up and undefeated at this distance so he rates highly. I think the value in the race is Violate, who won by 2L first up last prep. He’s a bit of a non-winner with just three wins from 30 starts, but maybe fresh is best with him. He’s won twice and placed twice from six starts when first up, and his win first up last prep was over this track and distance. I think $11 is a good price. Grunt is the class runner in the race but carries 61.5kg as a result so gives plenty of weight away. It took him a couple of runs last prep to really hit his straps, but Flemington is his pet track, so perhaps he can go close fresh today. Looks for him second and third up at the mile.
Pretty keen on my fellow West Aussie Material Man here. He drops in grade after running at Group 1 level in two starts in Melbourne so far this prep. He really hasn’t been ridden very well in either of those and probably should have finished closer than he did on both occasions. He drops to Group 2 level today and rises in trip to the mile third up from a spell. All of those are big positives. He’s finished 1st and 2nd in his two Group 2 starts, has five wins from seven starts at 1600m and has three wins from four starts when third up. Drawn barrier 1 which isn’t really ideal as he may be held up as he was last start, but he’ll be right up on speed. Hopefully the gaps come and Lucy Warwick can squeeze him through. Johannes Vermeer makes his long-awaited return to the track. He’s first up since finishing 2nd in the 2017 Melbourne Cup. The stable have advised that the long spell was due to him having tendon issues. Surely he is a huge query here. First up for 480 days coming off tendon issues, at a distance short of his best. With that said, you wouldn’t be surprised to see him belt this lot as he’s the clear class horse in the field and the stable would have done plenty of work with him. He could star $3 or $10 and neither would surprise me. At this stage, I’ll be taking him on. Theanswermyfriend bounced back to form last start in his first start for Chris Waller. He’s got a great record at the track and a great record at the distance. He’ll be in front for a long way. Bring Me Roses gets blinkers reapplied third up from a spell. She appears to be out of form but you only have to look back to last prep to see that she ran 2nd to Shillelagh at Group 1 level at this track and distance. Expect sharp improvement from her. She’s the value at $15.
The Group 1 Australian Guineas. Pretty keen on Amphitrite here. I’m sticking with her after her terrific win first up at Caulfield over 1400m. She carried 58.5kg on that occasion and drops to 54.5kg for today’s race. She’s had two starts at this track and distance; one was a dominant win at Group 2 level and the other was when she started favourite in the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes and never saw an inch of daylight. I think she’s a terrific chance here and I’d be very surprised if she wasn’t right in the finish. Drawn to get a beautiful run too. Mystic Journey is the Tasmanian filly that has won eight of her 11 career starts. She’s returned better than ever this prep with a dominant first up win followed by a very brave win in wet conditions last start against the older horses. Barrier 1 might be a touch problematic for her, though. She tends to get back in the field, so if she’s trying to find her way through traffic while Amphitrite is in clear air, she might be giving away too big a headstart. Hawkshot bolted in last start on his stable debut for Lindsay Park. He’ll zoom across to the front from barrier 17 and he might be able to run them into the ground. The step up to the mile should suit him given he’s bred by Fiorente. Stars Of Carrum and Chapada might both be looking for further (Derby) but they’ve got the ability to run over the top of them if this is run hard. Ringerdingding looks primed for this third up and dropping back from WFA Group 1 company. Extra Brut another that’s not hopeless.
I think Clarice Cliffs is one of the better bets on the card here. She’s returned in terrific form and comes into this off a 6L win at Pakenham. This is obviously a big step up in class, stepping up from a BM70 at Pakenham to a Group 3 at Flemington, but she looks capable of making the step up. Another key to her chances, in my opinion, is the fact she comes up against a lot of horses that look unsuited. Eight of her rivals are first up today and not many of them have great first up records. In terms of value outside of her, I think Sheezdashing is one to have something on at $9.50. She was outstanding in the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes first up last preparation behind I Am A Star. She was beaten less than a length on that occasion and finished the race off with clearly the best final sectionals. She really should have more than one career win to her name – I would have loved to have seen a very strong jockey booking – but hopefully she can be given a chance today, because she’ll be motoring home late. Shoko will go forward and be there for a long way, while La Tigeresa can be competitive.
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