Diamond Day certainly sparkled, giving Flemington a very hard act to follow as it launches its Autumn Carnival with Saturday’s Australian Guineas meeting. The appearance of the mighty All Too Hard in the feature keeps the quality high but, in honesty, it is difficult to be wedged between Caulfield’s fantastic day and next week when HQ hosts Super Saturday.
By normal standards, however, there’s much to look forward to on the 9 race programme, with 3 Listed races and plenty of interesting Handicaps scheduled to support the G1 Guineas and the G3 Frances Tressady for fillies and mares.
Shane Templeton will already be in raptures calculating G.Boss’ odds for the Jockeys’ Challenge – he certainly has some plum rides but has slaughtered a few recently.
Punters will put their faith in the “Boss-man” from the outset (MR1, 1000m, Listed, 2yo), hoping Indulgence (7), smashed in early betting, can get them off to a flyer. If forced to bet, I’d risk him and try E/W Le Mans (2) @ 14/1.
Boss also pilots the fancied Shewan (1) in the next (MR2, 2000m) and bookies seem to rate this as a race in two (2 Keep Cool, 2/1).Very skinny.
The fillies and mares race down the straight in the next (MR3, 1100m) and I’m a bit keen to lay Loveyamadly (7) at the shorts (6/4). I do, however, seem to repeatedly underrate this highly consistent performer so am interested in others’ opinions on the market. I think Avoid Lightning (1) might be very, very good. Is Lady Antebellum (4) overs at 33/1 or is she just ordinary?
Unfortunately not many of the girls have accepted for the Frances Tressady (MR4, 1400m, Listed, fillies and mares) which might mean a dawdling pace and a leader dominated outcome (waiting for Gator’s speedmap!). There’s Only One (1) is the best horse and deserves to win.
The stayers get their turn in the Roy Higgins Quality (MR5, 2600m, Listed) – should be a highweight to commemorate The Professor! Bossy is on another shorty here that I’m keen to lay (1 Tuscan Flyer 5/4).
A really good race (MR6, 1400m, Listed) opens the Quaddy. Callanish (3) is deserved fav but there are plenty of others in contention – Launay (2), Excluded (4) and British General (8 – Boss again) have serious claims. Good horses. Really interesting race. Wait for a bias to emerge and bet accordingly.
The Australian Guineas (MR7, 1600m, G1, 3yo) makes it a treble with All Too Hard about $1.28 and clearly classes above his opponents. It is good to see a full field but, unfortunately, the best of the rest of the promising staying colts – such as Fiveandahalfstar and Super Cool – are steering clear of Helsinge’s latest super progeny and taking on all-comers in the G1 Australian Cup next week.
The Bob Hoysted (MR8, 1000m, Listed) is an interesting race. Punters will have to make up their mind about Mick Price’s lightly raced and highly rated filly Isabella Snowflake (10). I am certain that some punters will risk her as favourite up against some good older opponents and go wider in the Quaddy. Others will go “one out”! Moody’s acceptors seem to hold the key. Toppy Ready To Rip is a seasoned and successful Group sprinter and if his more recent acquisition, former gun Qld filly Karuta Queen, can rediscover her form, she too will play a major role down the straight – though I’m skeptical first up for nearly a year! Perturbo (4) might be the one for value.
I reckon you go thin in to the last leg (MR9, 1700m). Practiced (6) is very promising and the likely winner. If your div looks healthy you can lay off as he’ll be pretty tight for the Lloyd and Craig Williams combo. Boss fans will load up on Under The Hat (8) and Shadows in the Sun (1) is another you’d like to have running for you.
There’s also a good Valley Nights card this week, with better prizemoney = better horses and hopefully better weather = better crowds. I’ll be there.
I’ll also get out to Oaklands Junction on Sunday for the opening sessions of the Sales…. A recommended outing at a purpose built venue just past the Airport. Kid friendly (for a while).Grab a catalogue, wander around the stalls and watch the bidding.
It’s a great time of the year in Racing. Hope you get the chance to enjoy it – and to share your thoughts here.