Almanac Racing: Sal’s Preview – Derby Day, Not Quite Christmas for Punters

Greetings All,

For many years this piece has opened up declaring it is Christmas Day for punters, however some changes in programming and challenges from Sydney has reduced the quality of this program.  Somewhat self-inflicted in moving the McKinnon to the final day, but probably gets a better field in that race. The introduction of the Eagle in Sydney takes away plenty of up and coming stars, in particular Amelia’s Jewel.  Not sure exactly how Racing Victoria counters V’landys but they need to do something creative.

Nevertheless we have nine group races, three at the top level and the last ticket into the cup available.  So it might not be Christmas but still a pretty good celebration!




Race 1 – Carbine Club Stakes (G3, 1600m, SWP)


CJW has a great record in this race and has engaged JMac on Influential (4) last start was off-broadway but did win well.  Has to beat Brave Mead (1) who was a dominant winner last start at Moonee Valley and obvious favourite.  The Snowdens also target this race so Heman (2) could be stronger than them all and come over the top and giving the progressive filly Ersa (7) some chance.

Selections 4-1-2-7


Race 2 – Archer Stakes (G3, 2500m, HCP)


The original cup winner would be horrified by the quality of this field racing in his honour.  The five outside the top 24 for the cup all line up here for the ticket to the dance so while the quality might not be great, it will be competitive.  Going with the weather forecast in the one with Mostly Cloudy (4).  Has win over this course and closed out the Bart very well.  Athabascan (3) is still stuck in the pocket from the MV Cup if he gets and gets clear running here then he might be there on Tuesday.  United Nations (5) raced on the torrid speed in the Caulfield Cup and still managed to hang on up the straight, will be fit enough here and is up to this while Kalapour (2) has been running consistently in the Sydney staying contests.

Selections – 4-3-5-2


Race 3 – The Begonia Belle (G3, 1100m, Mares SWP)


Winning form is good form and Lempicka (5) is in outstanding form.  Some concern about her record here but she has come back so much better and will probably get the speed on this race to mow them down again.  If we are judging on winning form then Dancing Alone (10) will be the main danger and does have a win down the straight.  Red Card (4) will deliver the speed has failed to run out 1200m last two starts but might be able to hang on over 1100 and must give the consistent Rose Quartz (6) some chance, but wary of the inside draw.

Selections – 5-10-4-6


Race 4 – Rising Fast Stakes (G3, 1200m, HCP)


Not much between It’s Our Time (4) and Triple Missile (5) here and just going with the former with the outside barrier down the straight where he is so effective.  Not that Triple Missile (5) is any slouch and there is clearly intent with the engagement of JMac.  C’est Magique (9) was not far off him last start and the best of Chain of Lightning (2) wins this.

Selections – 4-5-9-2


Race 5 – Wakeful Stakes (G2, 2000m, Fillies SWP)


The fillies on trial for the Oaks on Thursday, so many similarities between John Sargent’s previous winner Kirramosa and his charge this year Harlow Mist (4).  Won the Oaks Trial here before a 3rd against the older mares and stepping back in trip in Sydney.  Looks ready for this.  Clear threat from Zardozi (1) strong winner here last start and gets JMac on board and Konasana (3) for CJW has been around the mark in the fillies’ races.  A definite watch on Aethelflaed (10) a winner over this distance last start and the M Smith D Oliver combination has a very good strike rate.

Selections – 4-1-3-10


Race 6 – Coolmore Stud Stakes (G1, 1200m, 3YO SW)


A big field to contest the stallion maker however there are three fillies contesting who might repeat the dose of last year when In Secret won.  After a solid win at the Valley last Friday connections were quick to commit Celui (15) to this race.  Clearly they have a high opinion of him at the price on offer certainly worth and each way ticket.  From there we look at the obvious Shinzo (1) and Cylinder (2) contested the Everest so must be in contention here, from all reports Shinzo (1) put in an excellent gallop down the straight this week.  It might come down to the barrier and whether the insde or outside is favoured.  Can’t ignore Stretan Angel (18) who was terrific in winning the Danehill and will love the speed on.  Could have missed the lot – great contest.

Selections – 15-1-2-18


Race 7 – Victoria Derby (G1, 2500m, 3YO SW)


This has been the target for Verdad (2) all along, got it horribly wrong last week leading into the breeze and a sitting duck for Apulia (1) taking a sit off the pace should see him close out well over the 2500m.  Would be great to have those Deane Lester colours get up!  The $1.30 for Riff Rocket (4) was poisonous and proved to be so, pundits have blamed the farcical pace of the race but reckon he had every chance to get past the winner.  Nevertheless his previous performance here was the reason for the poison and a repeat of that will see him right in the finish.  His conqueror Sunsets (5) is very consistent but has a tough draw to contend with while Apulia (1) backs up for the third week in a row and should relish the journey.

Selections – 2-4-5-1


Race 8 – Empire Rose (G1, 1600m, Fillies & Mares WFA)


While we are missing some of the 4YO mares this is very much a NSW vs Victoria contest.  With Pride of Jenny (10) and Deny Knowledge (11) in the field we should get a genuine tempo.  Wishlor Lass (14) takes the step up to group one but have seen nothing to sway against her and a 6 from 8 record is handy.  Of the visitors putting Atishu (4) as the best of them gets JMac on board and has a win here.  Foxy Frida (6) is drawn well and meets her frequent rival Barbie’s Fox (8) on better terms and can’t leave out Wrote to Arataki (9) who will run on the pace and always hard to get past.

Selections – 14-4-6-9


Race 9 – The Damien Oliver (G2, 1400m, HCP)


What a raffle to close out the program with!  Kalino (12) won over this journey last start with Antino among the beaten brigade that day, McNeil stays so happy to be with him.  GSOB has a couple in here with Vilana (1) trying to complete the fairy tale for Ollie and win his own race, I prefer the chances of his other runner Tamerlane (5) who also has a victory over this journey.  Robbie Griffith likes to pull off a coup so giving King Magnus (2) some chance and would probably have Munhamek 8) on top but for the wide draw.

Selections – 12-5-2-8


Quaddie Time


Well we got in last week and hope who ever got on managed to make some sort of profit.  It may not have paid much but it’s better to get them than not to!  This week is typically tough for a Flemington meeting, we will try and stay alive as long as possible and stay skinny in the last hoping to hang and get a dividend.

Leg 1 – 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 18

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 4, 5

Leg 3 – 3, 4, 6, 9, 14

Leg 4 – 2, 5, 12

We will up the spend by a few dollars to get to 10% of the dividend.

 Represents 360 combinations, a $36 investment returns 10% of the dividend.


Play Misty for Me!


Cheers, Sal


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