Almanac Horseracing – Turnbull Epsom Day Preview: The view from the north

Greetings All from the Sunshine Coast,



A safe place to be after a Tiger flag but pretty devoid of much other news too – perhaps a good thing!


So everything had to go right for the Giants and in the end nothing did.  That worry about looking like 2017 came to bear early in the second quarter, a few minutes later it was more like 2007!  The Tigers timed their run to perfection and made the most of their good fortune, the Giants were simply too battered and bruised to be competitive.  Would the result be different with the addition of Coniglio, Ward, fit Phil Davis…?  It may have made it closer, unless a team comes up with the kryptonite to curb Dusty then not sure anyone has the artillery.  If he is fit and motivated – as he was through the back half of the season he is unstoppable.  The annals need to be reviewed as to where he will fit in the pantheon of greats.


Let the Carnival begin


While footy will continue to grab news space through the trade period racing gets its prime time.  One of the great days of the turf takes place this weekend at Flemington and Randwick.  The Turnbull and a great support card at headquarters while three group one races headline the Randwick program.


Fabulous Flemington


The program kicks off with the babies having their first start then a couple of listed events before the Blazer Stakes (R4, G2, 1400m, Mares SWP).  Have been waiting for Fidelia (8) to get back to Flemington and come over the top with the long straight.  Also expecting improvement from Haut Brion Her (9) a Sydney mare that did not handle the Valley or Caulfield, the expanses of Flemington might see her run on her merits here.  Good Race!  The Gilgai Stakes (R6, G2, 1200m, HCP) sees the sprinters in preparation for either The Everest in Sydney or the big sprints over the next few weeks in Melbourne.  Sunlight (7) and Santa Ana Lane (1) provide the class and one of them should win if they are a chance in The Everest.  Would not discount Zoutori (4) to repeat the dose of last start if the outside barriers are favoured again.  Ignore the WA raider Vital Silver (6) at your peril.


Race 7 – Turnbull Stakes (G1, 2000m, SWP)


Not a WFA race but has all the WFA players in the field, although a certain amount of consternation about the quality of those this season.  We have seen upsets in both the Makybe Diva and Underwood, could we get another boilover?  Mystic Journey (4) beat all bar Gatting home in the Makybe Diva, she loves Flemington, the first time out to 2000m a question mark.  She is not treated well by the conditions of the race either, I expect her to run well but might have some challengers.  Chasing her home in the Makybe Diva were Mr Quickie (3) and Hartnell (1)who both meet her at better terms on the weight scale and are both proven over the distance, Kings Will Dream (8) gets even more relief and if he has genuinely recovered could be right in the finish here.    Really tough race and just think the question marks on Mystic Journey (4) make the price poor value, reckon she needs to be at least $4, so going with Kings Will Dream (8) to win in a very good race.


Selections – 8-3-4-1


The Bart Cumings (R8, G3, 2500m, HCP) has the big prize of a ticket into the Melbourne Cup.  Surprise Baby (3)just missed the ticket in Andrew Ramsden in May and has been set for this race ever since, for a bit more valueAlfarris (6) is in good form over the longer journeys.  The last is the Edward Manifold Stakes (R9, G2, 1600m, 3yo Fillies SW) where they start to put up their credentials for The Oaks.  Sydney form is often good form here and CJ Waller is presenting Subpoenaed (11) and makes an interesting runner, Danny O’Brien has made no secret thatMiami Bound (7) is Oaks bound so expect her to be closing well.  The other of interest is Bonvicini (2) especially if the outside gate is not a hindrance at the end of the day.  Overall a very competitive day of racing and a couple of winners should make it a good one.


Royal Randwick


A day of group racing with a couple of small but select fields.  It opens with two baby’s races as Group 3 – just does not make sense when they are all first starters so leave me out!


Race 4 – Flight Stakes (G1, 1600m, 3yo Fillies SW)


The Flight is one of those small fields, Funstar (1) beat the boom filly Libertini and looks well placed here.  Probabeel (2) will appreciate the extra ground was not far away in that race and may present as better value, just think Funstar (1) did all the work to soften up the hot pot.  Putting in Girls Are Ready (3) and Foxborough (5) for the other holes.


Selections – 1-2-3-5


The Premiere Stakes (R5, G2, 1200m, WFA) is run over the same journey and conditions as The Everest will be, many of these heading towards that race.  Thinking the top two fight it out but not discounting the credentials ofBrutal (6) who might just be the best of them.  If Osborne Bulls (1) is to be the seed for Godolphin then I think he wins this over Classique Legend (2).  The Hill Stakes (R6, G2, 2000m, WFA) kicks off the Sydney quaddie and it’s D-day for Verry Elleegant (9) her best beats these.


Race 7 – Epsom Hcp (G1, 1600m, HCP)


Always look to the bottom in these big handicaps, challenge here is that most of the field is 51kg or under.  Interesting that GSOB has selected this race for Best of Days (2), however going with the Randwick Mile Master G Boss and Kolding (9).  Some interest in Junipal (20) but for the wide draw.  Rock (10) is racing in great form for Team Hawkes and could be for the Epsom what Brutal was for the Doncaster.


Selections – 9-2-10-20


Race 8 – Metropolitan Hcp (G1, 2400m, HCP)


A tough affair this year with some handy stayers getting closer to their main target races.  Don’t think they will letStampede (5) get away with the easy lead out in front.  Brimham Rocks (12) was outstanding in the Naturalism and gets weight relief here, will be very hard to beat if he runs to that level.  Wu Gok (6) is up in grade here, in winning form and gets the services of JMac, while Scarlet Dream (15) should be ready for a big run third up with a light weight.  Gallic Cheiftain (2) ran well behind Brimham Rocks (12) and can improve and will be watching how Sydney Cup winner Shraaoh (1), Nuefbosc (4) and Big Duke (7) perform.


Selections – 12-6-15-2


Quaddie Time


A really tough assignment this week, typically at Flemington there is value if you can nail it.  The Gilgai opens it up with what looks like a match race between Sunlight and Santa Ana Lane, reckon there are a couple of others that could cause a boilover.  Going with just the selections in the Turnbull.  While Surprise Baby is a solid favourite in the Bart there have been surprises lately so going a bit wider here but will leave the last leg to the two top picks.


Leg 1 – 1, 4, 6, 7, 9

Leg 2 – 1, 3, 4, 8

Leg 3 – 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Leg 4 – 7, 11


200 Combinations a $30 investment will return 15% of the dividend.


Go Fidelia, Go the Bull,


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Sal Ciardulli says

    An error in the Quaddie Numbers

    First leg should include #7 Sunlight and not #8 I am Someone.

    I guess we know what happens now!

  2. Colin Ritchie says

    I’ve amended the number in your quaddie. [Ed.]

  3. Late great Peter Roebuck story as young Somerset pro/12th man asked by Brian Close to put 50 quid on 2 dogs at track next to ground. Race 4 #5 and R5 #6. Close stationed himself at fine leg to listen. Roebuck handed him 400 quid at tea and copped a bollockng. Roebuck had backed Race 5 #4 and Race 6 #5 which duly saluted. Never asked to place bets again. Can’t please some people. Hard men those old Yorkshire pros.

  4. Peter Fuller says

    Hot tipping Sal, on a tough day. At Flemington, one outright winner plus three in your top two in three other races, just the one miss.Two winners plus one honourable mention from four races at Randwick. Good going, and the quaddie was virtually impossible with the roughie in the last.

  5. Kings Will Dream. If only I’d listened Sal.

    Nice analysis all round.

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