THE Winter Championship is one of many good races on the Flemington card this Saturday. The $150,000 feature includes some potential Melbourne Cup entrants and even though we’re in the middle of winter as the name suggests, punters can feel spring peeking its head around the corner.
The Rivette Series Final earlier in the day features some talented three-year-olds headed by Euro Angel which is looking for three wins from four starts.
Plenty of big-field action which starts early at 11.45am and punters get a bonus bet of up to $50 if your horse runs second in any race at Flemington with Sportsbet.
Race 1 – Silver Bowl Series Final 3YO (1600m)
Jerilderie Letter didn’t let its backers down last start when it finished fourth at Caulfield. The Tasmanian-trained gelding was backed in from $23 to $11 and it flashed home late to narrowly miss the prize. Bookmakers have been much more respectful in their price this week, setting it at $5 on the second line of betting. The six-time winner looks hard to beat, but watch for late market drifts.
Galaxy Raider is the current $3.80 favourite, but it has only won a maiden at Sandown. The Greg Eurell-trained gelding flew home last time out which is why the bookmakers are confident, and the light weight of 54kg with Craig Newitt riding is a big factor. We can’t have it at that price based on what we’ve seen, but consider for multiples.
Lady Selkirk defeated Galaxy Raider last start with a flashing late burst. The Matthew Williams-trained filly had been unlucky when seventh behind Euro Angel prior and it justified that form with a scintillating win last start. The inside draw with Craig Williams riding will help, so don’t discount at the $4.50 price.
Race 1 tip: Jerilderie Letter to place ($1.95) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 2 – Rivette Series Final 3YO (1600m)
Daniela Rosa was an impressive last start winner which is stepping up in grade for this. The Michael Moroney-trained filly had two runs in stakes grade, but it plugged home in both and it comes up against some talented types in this. We’re not doubting its ability, but place chances at $1.40 seem best.
The Hawkes-trained Euro Angel is a standout bet in this at $1.85. It opened at $1.90, but has already firmed in for support following its last start win at Flemington. The three-year-old filly carried only 53kg to its 3.25-length victory and it rises up to 60kg for this, but it should be respected and any easing of the track will only help its chances. $1.85 looks spot on.
Not much can be said about Avenue Whisper’s last start effort when seventh behind Dulverton at Sandown. The soft track might have played a part in the failure as its form prior was very handy. The Darren Weir-trained filly finished second behind Euro Angel a start after winning a maiden by 3.5 lengths. Currently $8 in the betting and a market push would take it close.
Race 2 tip: Euro Angel to win ($1.80) at Crownbet.com.au
Race 3 – VRC-Cup Tour Trophy Handicap (2000m)
Nesbo is a past winner on this track, but it does mix form and that makes it hard for punters to follow. The Michael Kent-trained gelding is best suited to heavy tracks with a 2.25-length win recorded at Sandown just two starts back. It drops significantly in weight to 54kg and that brings it into winning contention at $4.40.
Killarney Kid is a nine-win gelding which loves running over this distance. The six-year-old has had eight races over the 2000m distance for five wins and one placing. It put three wins on the board earlier this preparation and that form will stack up nicely for this with Brad Rawiller in the saddle. Current favourite at $4.20.
Magic Consol is an interesting runner for Paul Preusker which ran third at Flemington last start behind Royal Rapture and that form should stack up nicely. Its wet-track form reads well and it gets Dwayne Dunn in the saddle at a luxury weight of 54.5kg.
Race 3 tip: Nesbo to win ($4.40) at Bet365.com.au
Race 4 – Taj Rossi Series Final 2YO (1600m)
Trenchant was a strong winner in this grade last start at Flemington. The John O’Shea-trained colt won by 2.25 lengths over Curvature and its form prior came in behind a potential top-liner in Artie Dee Two. The Godolphin colt is bred to handle this distance and its early quote of $3 has drifted out to $3.20.
Cobbmore was a two-length winner on debut before running fifth behind Trenchant last start. The Tony McEvoy stable is red-hot and it was running on well last time out which suggests the extra distance will suit nicely. It had plenty of support as a $3.10 chance last start and punters are getting $4.50 for this. Looms as a major winning threat.
Fast ‘n’ Rolling has had three starts for three placings and it’s bred to be breaking maiden grades very quickly. The two-year-old colt boxed on well behind Trenchant last start and it would have matured nicely from that. The son of Fastnet Rock has astute owners and the $6.50 looks like a value price.
Race 4 tip: Fast ‘n’ Rolling to place ($2.25) at Crownbet.com.au
Race 5 – All Victorian Sprint Series (1200m)
Alberto Magic didn’t fire last time out at Flemington, but its start prior was handy and it’s about due to show its best again. It showed handy form in Sydney and it has won five from eight on a rain-affected track. Getting the inside running from barrier two will be a big assist and $7.50 is a nice price.
Darren Weir-lines up Voodoo Lad which hasn’t finished out of the money in all 11 career starts. The son of I Am Invincible was a strong last start winner by 1.5 lengths and that form should stand up nicely here. The four-year-old has excellent wet-track form and staying at the weight of 55kg makes it a very tough horse to beat. $2.25 looks a fair price.
Ruettiger is a consistent gelding which has won four from 14 starts with six placings. The four-year-old had no luck last start after getting blocked in the straight and it’s nearing a win. Craig Williams rides at a luxury weight of 54kg and its opening price of $5.50 has come into $5.
Race 5 tip: Voodoo Lad to win ($2.25) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 6 – Banjo Paterson Series (2600m)
Master Of Arts is a classy Darren Weir-trained horse which won well last time out. The four-year-old has won its last three from four and its only start on this track. The son of Mastercraftsman won at handicap level last start and stepping up in distance will only suit perfectly. Currently $2.35 with bookmakers which looks a good price.
Araldo Junior is a five-win gelding which recorded a 3.75-length win last time out. The 2500-metre win last start is a good sign leading into and it’s in the right stable. Michael Moroney knows how to train stayers and this horse could be running towards a possible Caulfield Cup start. $2.70 price has dropped in from $3.20.
Bold Sniper runs for the Queen and it’s doing it quite well. The six-year-old gelding won well two back when beating Master of Arts and it battled on well last start when fourth. It hasn’t run well in three starts on this track, but it could fire up with Dunn in the saddle at $6.
Race 6 tip: Araldo Junior to win ($3.20) at Crownbet.com.au
Race 7 – VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m)
Chance To Dance had the flashing light on it last start when it sprinted home for fifth behind Onpicalo. The Robert Hickmott-trained gelding has never won or placed on this track, but it looks a chance at races like the Caulfield Cup and its breeding suggests so. Current bookmakers favourite at $4.80.
By The Grace won five starts back and its most recent form has been solid in behind Jacquinot Bay. The Andrew Noblet-trained gelding goes well on rain-affected tracks and the weight of only 54kg will make it tough to beat. Looks a logical each way chance.
Jacquinot Bay must be included on its past two wins. It has started this campaign in the form punters knew it possessed and carrying 60kg isn’t the biggest weight in the world. It has won three times at Flemington and it shouldn’t be discounted at the value price of $8.50.
Race 7 tip: By The Grace to win ($7.50) at Crownbet.com.au
Race 8 – A.R. Creswick Series Final (1200m)
Odyssey Moon is finally living up to expectations with back-to-back wins. The Robert Smerdon-trained colt has now won three from 17 with seven placings and it has matured nicely over this preparation. Drawing barrier 12 will force to to settle midfield, but expect a top effort at odds of $3.40.
Sooboog has been a punters nightmare recent with extremely inconsistent form. Now with Darren Weir, the three-year-old finished fifth behind Odyssey Moon last start and its effort for 10th in the Goodwood Handicap was only 5.7 lengths behind Black Heart Bart. Needs things to go its way, but we can’t have it at $3.90.
Prince Of Brooklyn flashed home late for second behind Firsthand last start and its form came in tough grades. It defeated the likes of El Greco by 1.75 lengths at Caulfield and it has won and placed on a soft track. The Mick Price-trained colt has plenty of talent and it shouldn’t be left out of calculations at $6.
Race 8 tip: Odyssey Moon to win ($3.40) at Sportsbet.com.au
Race 9 – Leilani Series Final (1400m)
Punters are still waiting for She’s Clean to show some form after a series of poor efforts. The seven-year-old mare hasn’t won for some time now, but its last start placing will give punters some confidence. The 10-time winner is lethal at its best, but place chances seem best here. $6.50 for the win.
Darren Weir lines up Telopea which is coming off two consecutive placings. The five-year-old is a five-time winner from 12 starts which has three wins at this distance. Carrying 54kg will make it very tough to beat in this, especially with Craig Williams in the saddle and it should run well at $3.20.
A Lotta Love is a last start winner which has now scored six wins from 19 starts. The four-year-old flashed home late to score last start and dropping down to 54kg will only make it more of a threat. Looks a solid chance at $4 in this.
Race 9 tip: Telopea to win ($3.20) at Bet365.com.au