The weather should be perfect with a maximum of 28C forecast for one of the country’s best feature meetings. The Newmarket Handicap and Australian Cup are time-honoured races at Flemington. Three-year-old Extreme Choice gets his chance to enhance his sire potential by claiming a vital Group 1 win in the Newmarket while Stratum Star is chasing a fourth straight win in the Australian Cup. There is a strong support card with the best two-year-olds going head-to-head in the Victorian Sires. The track is rated as a Good 3 and the rail is at the True position.
QUADDIES (Races 6-7-8-9)
Skinny Play: 1,2,9,14 / 2,6 / 1,3,11 / 2,10,12
Wide Play: 1,2,3,7,9,12,14,15,16 / 1,2,4,6,10,12 / 1,3,5,6,10,11 / 2,4,6,7,10,12,13
BEST BEST: R7 – 6 EXTREME CHOICE
Next Best Bet: R8 – 1 STRATUM STAR
Best Roughie: R5 – 6 MODERN WONDER
No7 DUSTY JACK Racing at peak and is chasing a fourth straight win here. Latest scored a half- length win at Sandown over 1400m on February 15. Damien Oliver rides again and drops a half kilo to 56kg.
No10 BATTLECAMP Was plunged into a $1.90 favourite when posting a clever win over 1600m at Sandown on February 15. Top jockey Damian Lane rides and he drops from 59kg to the minimum on 54kg. Rates highly.
No9 CANNYESCENT Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira rode eight winners at Shatin last Sunday and rides this fellow today. He drops 6kg to 54kg on his last start win over 1200m at Ballarat and with Magic aboard must respect.
No2 SADAQA Gets former Singapore jockey Corey Brown replacing Damien Oliver who sticks to Dusty Jack. He backs up here off an eighth in a Group 3 here over 1400m last Saturday. Can rebound.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 SADAQA
No10 HURSLEY Was swamped in the last stages but fought hard when finishing second over 2000m here on February 18. With Craig Williams suspended Hong Kong star Joao Moreira gets the mount and he drops from 57kg to 54kg.
No1 ALOFT Is an Irish import who has a great first-up record of four starts for a win, a second and a third. Was stretched to 2500m in the Group 3 Bart Cummings and ran ninth on October 2. Ben Melham rides.
No3 HIPPARCHUS Disappointed last start when finishing seventh as a $2.70 favourite over 1800m at Caulfield on February 11. Chris Waller has booked top Sydney hoop Hugh Bowman to ride here and can bounce back.
No9 RED ALTO Is absolutely flying this campaign and chases his fourth straight win here after posting a smart victory over 1500m at Moonee Valley on February 17. Drops 3.5kg to 56kg for the rise in class and worth thought.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 RED ALTO
No6 MATTY He is unbeaten at his three starts, but this is a very deep three-year-old event. He fought hard to win over 1000m at Moonee Valley on February 24 and Damian Lane sticks to him. This is the acid test.
No7 PERPETUAL CRISIS The form from those who were behind him stacks up well on his last win over 1100m here on January 28. Land Of Plenty ran a great race in last week’s Australian Guineas. He won at $41 but it was no fluke.
No2 KEN’S DREAM Will be running down the outside from his gate in 10 and he has an unblemished first-up record. Ran fourth in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire (1200m) at Caulfield at his last run on October 12. Respect.
No9 MAGNATTI Sports a tongue-tie for the first time after being swamped when seventh over 1200m in the Group 3 Typhoon Tracey at Moonee Valley on February 24. Her previous form was first class and watch here.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 MAGNATTI
No3 ESHTIRAAK Has been outstanding landing three wins and a third at his four starts. Team Hayes won the Blue Diamond and go for the big double here with this two-year-old. He has won impressively at his past three starts and is suited under the set-weights.
No7 TOGO PICTA Was a heavily backed debut winner over 1300m at Wyong. The son of Lonhro has been set for this by Team Godolphin and he has been supported in early betting. Drawn well in seven at his Melbourne debut.
No11 UNDOUBTABLE MISS She is a maiden at two starts but she has chased home two clever winners at her only two starts. Latest she ran second to Justice Glory over 1200m at Sandown on February 15. Well-bred and could show.
No2 COLESBERG Is a Sydney trained juvenile who has yet to strike firm ground. He won at his debut at Warwick Farm and then ran a solid sixth in the Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on February 25. Sydney’s top rider Hugh Bowman is on board.
VALUE RUNNER: No2 COLSEBERG
No2 I AM A STAR Ran a great second to Super Cash in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes before again running very well against the older horses in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m). She is back in her own grade and looks hard to beat.
No3 ELLICAZOOM Made a fabulous Victorian debut when raced on the pace and ran a fighting second in the Group 3 Angus Arminasco Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 25. Steven Parnham rides again at her Flemington debut.
No6 MODERN WONDER (Best Roughie) Has been placed at Group level at her past two starts. Latest ran second to Hear The Chant in the Group 2 Typhoon Tracey (1200m) at Moonee Valley on February 24. Back against her own age here and respect.
No8 FRAGONARD Magic Man Joao Moreira gets the ride on this Sydney filly who earned her ticket with a smart win over 1300m at Rosehill on February 22. She is a well-bred filly out of the powerful Godolphin camp. Has claims.
VALUE RUNNER: No8 FRAGONARD
No14 PURE PRIDE Has ran some ripper races in top shelf mares’ races. She had no luck first-up when finishing third over 1400m against her own sex here on February 18. She has a sound second-up record and Ben Melham replaces the suspended Craig Williams.
No2 ABBEY MARIE Ran a solid fourth to Silent Sedition in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 25. She drops a kilo to 57kg here but does have an awkward draw in 13 to combat. Will rally.
No1 MISS ROSE DE LAGO Likes to race forward and drops a grade here on her first-up run in the Group 1 Orr Stakes. Underlined that form with a good third in the Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield and she is to carry 58.5kg.
No9 CIRCULAR Has the Magic Man Joao Moreira to ride and can improve on her sixth in the Group 2 Millie Fox (1300m) at Rosehill on February 18. She is out of the powerful Godolphin yard and is on the 54kg limit.
VALUE RUNNER: No9 CIRCULAR
No6 EXTREME CHOICE (BEST BET) Was the $3.70 favourite but was not disgraced when he charged home to snatch third place behind Sheidel in the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 25. Reported to be thriving on the work tracks and as a three-year-old he looks suited under the handicap here on 53kg and has Magic Man Joao Moreira to ride, which is a big bonus.
No2 SPIETH Ran a cracking second to Terrivista in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) here on February 18. He has not missed a place at three starts here.
No9 STAR TURN Class three-year-old who ran a good third in the Lightning and blinkers are off.
No10 SUPER CASH She was super imposing at her first-up win in the Rubiton. Respect.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 SUPER CASH
No1 STRATUM STAR (NEXT BEST BET) Is racing on a career high. He does not win by big margins but he fights tooth-and-nail and it is his heart that gets him home. He fought hard to land a feature hat-trick in the Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 25 and he is again under weight-for-age conditions. Mark Zahra rides again and is well drawn in gate two.
No3 THE UNITED STATES Was off a 112-day break and peaked in the Peter Young. Fitter here.
No10 HUMIDOR Fought hard to go down to Stratum Star last time. Can avenge.
No11 JAMEKA Caulfield Cup winning mare who had no hope in the Peter Young.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 STRATUM STAR
No2 SHAF Has a great record down the straight and goes well fresh. He has not started since running fifth down the 1000m here on November 3. Top jockey Mark Zahra rides for Team Hayes and makes appeal.
No12 ROCKET TOMMY Has early support with bookmakers. He has been an impressive winner at double-figure odds at his past two starts including last start over 1100m here on January 14. No luxury odds though this time.
No10 SUNDAY ESCAPE Has been consistent and on 55.5kg makes some appeal. Latest ran a solid third to Lady Esprit over 1000m at Caulfield on February 4. Has Dwayne Dunn riding and is worth a place thought here. Honest.
No7 ORUJO Ran a good second first-up over 955m at Moonee Valley on February 24. That was off a 115-day break and he defied a betting drift from $8 to $12 that night to finish runner up to Beau Rada. Each-way.
VALUE RUNNER: No78 ORUJO