Almanac Racing: Sal’s Preview – Stakes Day Preview: It’s 3/4 Time – need a big finish!


Greeting All,


After a very competitive footy season and similar spring carnival this will the final prognostications for 2023.  After a great Caulfield Cup win M Zahra pulled the right reign and was able to repeat the dose in the Melbourne Cup.  All that while yet another highly spruiked favourite fell by the wayside, one day the favourite will win but there is a need to ignore the hype – especially from me.  Otherwise it has been a brutal carnival for the punters, with a couple of shorties getting up in the Derby and Oaks but barely another favourite saluting.  Overall the average starting price for the winners over $9.


Whilst brutal the racing has been exceptional and the track played superbly, lets see if we can make a big recovery in the final quarter.  With the rail out 8m and over 30 races it is expected the winners will be coming and down the centre of the track.


Von Hauke (R1, #6) would have been well supported in the Country Championship but did not get a run so expect him to be well suited in the opener.  The second is over 1100m down the straight and It’s Our Time (R2, #2) gets the outside gate.  He was good on Saturday and that form was franked with two of his conquerors running 1-2 in the sprint on Oaks Day.  Schwarz (R3, #6) was good at the Valley after missing the start, looks tough to beat if he jumps well – but that is the risk and we have seen what is happening to short priced favourites.  Reckon Snapback (R3, #1) or Quickster (R3, #7) might provide better value each way.



Race 4 – Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G3, 2600m, HCP)


Duke De Sessa (2) finished midfield in the Caulfield Cup and we know what a good form reference that race is so looks well placed here.  Probably would have Muramasa (9) on top but there is some doubt about getting the journey.  Hezashocka (6) is good here and at his best can win this, just how close to he best is he while Taramansour (13) is very consistent and comes off a 3rd in the Bendigo Cup behind Interpretation who ran so well on Tuesday.  At a much longer price there is Port Philip (12) not in the best of form but is capable and noting the engagement of KMac.


Selections – 2-9-6-13



Race  5 – Matriarch Stakes (G2, 2000m, Mares SWP)


The mares stretch out to 2000m which looks ideal for Steinem (4) after a good effort in the Coongy.  Back amongst the mares she looks well placed.  Thalassophile (5) is a danger, she rarely puts in a bad race as is Papillon Club (7) who looks well suited with the extra journey.  Pearl of Alsace (8) brings a great record from across the Ditch, and they put JMac on board, all wins have been on rain affected going which drops her down the pecking order.


Selections – 4-5-7-8



Race 6 – Champions Sprint (G1, 1200m, WFA)


What a race to kick off the Quaddie!  Imperatriz (8) has been imperious winning three sprints easily in the campaign.  However, they were at Moonee Valley and this is down the straight.  Provided she handles the straight reckon she gets there.  The major threat is In Secret (7) a proven G1 performer down the straight and comes off an outstanding run in the Everest where she overcame a poor barrier to finish fourth.  Based on price differentials she might be the better bet.  Buenos Noches (2) was considered a chance against the favourite last start but was withdrawn at the barrier, he is capable down the straight as is Star Patrol (4) taking a big step up but proven over the journey.


Selections – 8-7-2-4



Race 7 – Champions Mile (G1, 1600m, WFA)


Suspect we will see a repeat performance from Pride of Jenni (7) where she dominated out in front in the Empire Rose.  Might be a bit harder to hang on here, especially with the likes of Mr Brightside (1), Alligator Blood (2) and Fangirl (6) in the field.  Fangirl (6) got the dry track in the King Charles and was got over Mr Brightside (1) and likely to get a similar scenario here so putting her on top.  Alligator Blood (2) has never been out of the placings over this journey and must be a chance and reckon Pride of Jenni (7) can keep the rest out.


Selections – 6-1-2-7



Race 8 – Champions Stakes (G1, 2000m, WFA)


As stated there is not much better form than the Caulfield Cup so West Wind Blows (4) is very well suited here.  The main dangers come from the mares, the Kiwi Prowess (11) has a terrific record and looked so impressive winning at Moonee Valley.  M Zahra stays on board and he is a pretty good judge!  Duais (9) is ready to win again and has done here and under WFA conditions – would be a nice send off for Ollie in his last G1 ride.  CJW chose this race over the Matriarch for Atishu (10) so she rates highly and can’t ignore the defending champ Zaaki (1) who is undefeated over this journey.


Selections – 4-11-9-10-1



We might just have the ultimate get out!  Mr Yu Shu (R10, #5) is a dry track specialist coming here first up with Zahra engaged.  A couple more in the Quaddie!


Quaddie Time


Going straight up the middle with the first three legs and could consider a second quaddie with West Wind Blows one out in the third leg.  Might need a few in the last.


Leg 1 – 7, 8


Leg 2 – 1, 2, 6


Leg 3 – 1, 4, 9, 10, 11


Leg 4 – 2, 5, 9, 10


120 Combinations, a $30 investment returns 25% of the dividend.


Wishing everyone a great Christmas and festive season as we look forward to 2024 with hope and joy,


Go Blues


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Thanks for another year of these Sal. Always a Friday highlight. See you in 2024!

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