It’s 3/4 Time – just one more

Greetings All,

Hope everyone is enjoying cup week.  The last quarter runs on Saturday where we drag ourselves up for a couple of fabulous Group 1 events.  In the meantime we have had the cup run and won by Gai with Fiorente and Ollie on board.  A worthy winner who had a great preparation but had to get over the hoodoo and for the first time in 25 years a loser from the previous year saluted.  My knockouts are gone, picking the winner just got much harder!  Then Kirramosa repeated her outstanding run from Saturday to win the Oaks – once again this race being one for the favourites.

So it is straight into the program of group racing.  The day begins on a ridiculous note with a 2yo scamper and rated as a Group 3 Maribynong Plate (G3, 1000m, 2yo Set Weights).  This is a joke!  6 of the 9 runners have not even been seen at any trials let alone the races, I have no issue with the prizemoney (well I do a little) but surely not a group race yet for the babies.  The other tough thing is the predicted wind will be into them and will favour the outside barriers, makes it tough for the babies trained to run with the fence on their left.  Can’t really give any selections and this is one to watch the market or listen for tips.  For what it is worth Good Prince (4) clattered home at Caulfield but failed at Moonee Valley – some horses just don’t handle the tight track.  Of the unraced it is pretty rare that Snowden puts one in a the carnival that can’t run – he has Alaska (2) and Oblast (6).  I reckon I’ll back Alaska (2) from the outside stall, but can’t really give selections here.

Selections Race 1 – Dartboard!

In the SecondBite Plate (0-96, 1600m, HCP) Robert Smerdon has scratched Electric Fusion (8) often, he is still in this so they might think he is right.

Selections Race 2 – 8-3-4-5

Russell Cameron saddles up Supremacy (7) for a bunch of old Kangas in the Antler Luggage Hcp (0-96, 2000m, HCP), I don’t pick the Roos often and the form does not read that well.  However with the rain expected I note he triumphed at headquarters over 2000m on slow ground.  1 and 8 would feature highly, but I don’t expect them to run after competing in the Kyneton Cup.

Selections Race 3 – 7-3-6-10

The Hilton Stakes (Listed, 1400m, 3yo HCP) sees Barbed (1) venture down from Sydney where he is still trying to find his way out of the pocket.  Pretty open after that.

Selections Race 4 – 1-3-7-5

The race known and loved as The Matriarch is now the Momentum Energy Stakes (G2, 2000m, Mares SWP) sees another great field as usual.  Lake Sententia (4) has been targeted here is 4th up and has progressively worked up in distance.  Zonza (9) can bounce back after a fair effort in the Myer Stakes and reproduce her form from Caulfield.  Queenslanders should always be treated warily at this time of year and Dolly Dolly (11) closed well behind Catkins in the Tesio and has a good record on wet ground.  Whoever wins will have to get past Queenstown (7) who will be rock hard fit for Gai.

Selections Race 5 – 4-9-11-7

The first of the main events is the VRC Sprint Classic (G1, 1200m, WFA) and the weather and conditions need to be taken into account, I reckon we will have a rain affected surface and a headwind.  Will be favouring runners that look for cover and closer to the outside rail, unfortunately knocks out one of my favourites in Buffering.  Platelet (12) is in great form with a great record in affected ground and is my top selection at this stage.  C Williams has not found the winners stall in the carnival yet but has a great chance here in Unpretentious (11), wide barrier with a booming finish but this is his biggest test.  Temple of Boom (4) will have perfect conditions, loves the straight and is a Queenslander!  There are plenty of other hopes and there has to be respect for the international raider Lucky Nine (1).

Selections Race 6 – 12-11-4-1

Followed up by the Emirates Stakes (G1, 1600m, HCP) one of the classic mile races in Australia, form from another classic mile the Epsom is strewn through this race.  A wide open affair where winners are regularly not at the top of the weights or the top of the markets.  The Epsom winner Boban (2) is carrying 4kg more in this race, yes he carried the grandstand to win last start but this is Group 1 not Group 3.  Can win but not in my top 4 and neither is another favourite of mine in Solzhenitsyn (1) where I reckon the Mr Carpenter has nailed him.  Strike the Stars (15) ran a massive race on Saturday and is down in the weights here and I expect him to butter up again.  Speediness (9) has been running against the best, has won here and can handle any surface.  Sacred Falls (3) is a consistent performer and anything trained by CJ Waller must be a chance. Then putting in Mull of Killough (6) great run on Tuesday, huge drop in weights and D Oliver.  Hopes don’t end there but you can’t have ‘em all.

Selections Race 7 – 15-9-3-6

Will we be looking at the 2014 Melbourne Cup Winner in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G3, 2600m, Quality HCP)?  History says unlikely, the great Makybe Diva won the race in 2002 before winning the next 3 Melbourne Cups.  The last winner of the “Lizzie” to prevail in the following Melbourne Cup was Rain Lover in 1968 and that was after he won the Cup 5 days earlier!  Saab Hasaan had a plan to get Shoreham (7) into the Melbourne Cup, didn’t run in the Lexus as he knew he only had one run left.  This is the consolation prize, but back on his favourite track I reckon he is a great chance.  Precedence (2) has returned in great form and while his strike is poor, he is always running in the best races this one is a bit below his normal grade.  Forgotten Voice (3) was training very well prior to the Geelong Cup failure, but could improve with that run under his belt.  Ironstein (9) ran second last year and is primed for another good run.  A few other interesting runners to note Sertorius (4) – Bendigo Cup winner, Rothera (10) – include if it gets really wet, La Amistad (14) – half-sister to Makybe Diva, spooky!

Selections Race 8 – 7-2-3-9

Deep into time-on with Emirates Airline Hcp (1400m, HCP) the final event before the siren sounds for the end of the carnival.  After 36 races they will be spreading wide by now, so I am going with the second up specialist By the Way (4) in yet another open affair.  Just what we need to close the Quaddie!

Selections Race 9 – 4-5-9-3

Quaddie – they should be tough at the best carnival but this is so very wide open!  We will apply the same formula, but skinny down the last leg.  Some of my selections are at longer odds, which makes it tougher but hopefully with a better pay off.

Investment 1 – $30


840 Combinations, Dividend 3.5%


Investment 2 – $15


72 Combinations, Dividend 20.8%


Investment 3 – $5


8 Combinations, Dividend 62.5%


But really it is all a guess!

Hope you all have had a good week.  Will be taking a rest until the tests begin, but if anyone wants my view of the Sandown Classic meeting next week let me know and I’ll send them to you.

Cheers, Sal

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