Welcome to our preview and horse racing betting tips for racing at Flemington on Saturday, May 25th.
We've got two feature races on today's card, with the Listed Straight Six accompanied by the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes, with automatic Melbourne Cup entry up for grabs.
The track is rated a Good 4 with the rail out 3m. We've got tips and comments for every race on the card below!
Best Bet: Race 2 - (1) Fidelia
Best Value Bet: Race 3 - (3) Like To Think So
Tricky betting race to kick things off with, with six horses on debut. Mostly interested in Godolphin's (2) Archery Butts, who won a recent jumpout at Flemington very impressively. He jumped to the front and raced keenly but soon asserted a space on the rest of the field, and maintained it to the line without much urging. It was a stylish piece of work and if he can just settle a touch better on race day, he'll be hard to beat. The value could be the Danny O'Brien-trained (9) Miami Bound with Damien Oliver in the saddle. He was given a very quiet jumpout on the same day as Archery Butts, in a later heat. He pulled himself to the front but was quite clearly under a stranglehold late on by Ollie. It was a nice jumpout without being asked to do anything.
(1) Fidelia is racing in terrific form and will be aiming to make it four wins straight today. She won a similar race to this last start over the same track and distance, with the same weight. She takes on the boys today but that shouldn't stop her winning run. With even luck, she'll probably win again. (2) Muswellbrook wasn't beaten far in Adelaide last start. There's some doubts as to whether he runs a strong mile, but he's drawn to get every chance today with Oliver on board from barrier 2. He's not out of it at each way odds. (4) Adversary is another that's strung a couple of wins together. He's aiming to make it four wins from his past five starts here. Drawn well and can certainly measure up in this. (5) Asgard Massif appreciated the drop back in class when leading all the way at Sandown last start. The mile is some query and Craig Williams isn't on board today, but he does drop 8kg in the weights and should give a sight out the front.
Good lord, this is a lottery. (3) Like To Think So could be a value throw at the stumps at $26, in a race that could end up with any result. He's first up here and has never finished out of the top two from three previous first up runs, including a 2nd placing over this track and distance last preparation. That was behind Haunted, with Bravo Tango back in 3rd, so the form out of the race is very reasonable. He's certainly not the worst hope at a big price. (4) Parsifal hasn't looked like losing for new trainer Will Clarken, with three wins from as many starts. This is his first go down the straight and it's probably the toughest race he's faced this prep, so I'll take him on, especially from the inside barrier draw. (6) Celtic Blast is a winner of five of his eight career starts and must be respected off that. (8) Fill The Flute returns from a spell after winning four of her six starts last prep. She was beaten a head at her only start down the straight, so there's no worries there. Wouldn't shock me to see her win this fresh. (9) Eurack is back at the races after a spell. She was undefeated going into last prep but then failed in her two runs back. She's back with her original trainer (who is back from a suspension) and she's trialled exceptionally well ahead of her return today. Craig Williams is a notable jockey booking. Chances don't end there.
Pretty happy to take on the top half of the field and focus on the bottom five runners here. (8) Another Dollar goes on top. She returned with a good run first up behind Fastnet Tempest, beaten 0.4L, and Fastnet Tempest then went and won easily in Adelaide at his next start. Up to the mile second up should suit and so long as she gets a good enough tempo, she is more than capable of running over the top of these. (7) Strategic Demand finished 3rd in that same race behind Fastnet Tempest, about a nose ahead of Another Dollar. He was also first up and he has three wins when second up, so he has to be rated highly today. (9) Insta Erma was very well backed at big odds on her Australian debut. She didn't show much that day but improved slightly last start, when 2.4L behind Fastnet Tempest in the race mentioned above. She's up to the mile now, which is the distance of her best victory, and she's third up here so if she's going to go close to winning one, today could be the day. (10) Spunlago has been right around the mark in his past two starts at the track and should run well again today. (11) Tan Tat Trusting produced a big effort to win in Adelaide last start despite sitting wide throughout the race. Probably looking for a bit more cut in the ground than what he's likely to get here. Happy to back Another Dollar ($3.80), Strategic Demand ($8.50) and something very small on Insta Erma ($26).
Good little race. (10) Fabric goes on top after two luckless runs behind Fidelia. She's run into backsides for the majority of the straight on both occasions and prior to those, she won first up at Geelong. With a bit of luck today, she should give this a good shake. (6) Vanuatu dropped back in trip and back in class last start and they proved to be smart moves as she won easily at the midweeks. She drops back in trip again today to 1400m and my biggest concern would be barrier 1 for a filly that likes to wind up from off the pace. (13) Neighbourhood won on debut and was beaten only by Fidelia last start, which we know is a good formline already. She should still have natural improvement to come and that should see her competitive once again. Damien Oliver takes the ride on (17) Shamal Lass, who bumped into a smart one at Warrnambool two starts back, but atoned for that defeat with a smart win last start. Up in class and drawn wide, but not hopeless.
Another race with a large number of runners, so without going through all the chances, we'll highlight the two standouts I want to be on. (9) Dr Drill really gets his chance to win his first Australian race today, third up and up in trip to 1800m. He was beaten half-a-length first up and then just under a length last start over the mile. Craig Williams goes on for the first time, he's drawn well, finds a winnable race and should go very close. (6) Sir Pippin was good in defeat last start over the mile here at Flemington. He got a long way back from the wide barrier and ran home in the fastest final 400m of the race to be beaten 1.4L. Prior to that he'd won his first two starts in Australia. He goes up in grade today but drops in weight, draws much better and Michael Dee goes back on board. $8.50 looks a decent price.
Good little race. Leaning towards (5) Haunted, who I backed in Adelaide last start when he was beaten by subsequent Group 1 winner Despatch. I don't think things necessarily went his way in that race as he was clogged up from barrier 1 at a crucial stage. He's had one previous go down the Flemington straight, which was a dominant victory, so this looks a good race for him. (4) Order Of Command bounced back with a strong victory last start at Caulfield. On that performance, he'd rate pretty highly in this, but his third up record is nowhere near as good as his second up record, so that leaves me a bit unsure about him today. I think the value is (6) Milwaukee, who is undefeated from three starts at the track and distance. (1) Bandipur is an each way chance, with a good record at this track and a good record at 1200m too. (7) Swift Sis produced consecutive victories at big odds down the Flemington straight back in March. This is the first time since then she's raced down the straight so be wary of her at a big price once again.
Adelaide Cup winner (12) Surprise Baby was enormous in defeat behind (2) Steel Prince last start, where he carried 60kg first up from a break, copped a check at the 500m courtesy of a horse breaking down, and then ran into traffic before balancing up and charging home. He was clearly the run of the race and looked to have the horses in that race covered going forward. Barrier 18 makes things interesting, but it's a 2800m race and he'll get his chance to wind up. Steel Prince is looking for his fifth win on the bounce. He draws well in barrier 3 and gets Oliver on board today, so he shouldn't be underestimated. (11) Runaway could be a runner to include at big odds. He's had two runs back from a spell and he's never finished out of the top two when third up. He won the Geelong Cup third up last prep and he'll make his own luck up on speed. (16) Sheezdashing should appreciate the trip.
Another big field and open race to close out the card. There's only one I'm really interested in backing here and that's (1) Anjana. She won first up over this track and distance, then followed that with another victory at Moonee Valley, and comes into this off two good efforts in Adelaide. She drops back from Group 1 company, where she was beaten 3L by Spright in the Sangster Stakes. She recorded the fastest final sectionals outside the winner and this is a significant drop in class from that sort of race. Drawn wide but that shouldn't matter down the straight. If she brings her best she'll go very close here.
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