Australia commemorates its fallen with the ANZAC Day ceremonies around the country.
Flemington holds the traditional ANZAC race day meeting for Victoria with the feature race being the running of the time honoured VRC St Leger (2800m).
There is a good support card of eight races and winners don’t seem to be as hard to find as they have been at city meetings in the past few weeks.
The sting will be out of the track (Soft 6) for the return to Flemington after it was strongly criticized for its bias during the Australian Cup meeting last month.
The rail has been shift out to nine metres, which is a good thing and the weather is forecast to be overcast.
QUADDIES (races 5,6,7,8)
Skinny Play: 1,7,8 / 1,2,11 / 1,2 / 4,6,7
Wide Play: 1,3,5,6,7,8 / 1,2,3,8,10,11 / `,2,4,6,10 / 4,6,7,10,11,13
BEST BET: R4 – 2. MERCHANT NAVY
Next Best Bet: R7 – 1. MILWAUKEE
Best Roughie: R8 – 7. SPREADEAGLED
No3 AMELIE’S STAR has an outstanding record and is a Group 3 winner. Was first-up when finishing fourth over 1600m at Morphettville on April 8. This mare will get the 1.5kg claim of apprentice Beau Mertens to carry 55.5kg. She is racing in top fettle and Mertens is hot so expect good showing.
No5 NEVERLAND gave owners consecutive Perth Cup quinella when finishing a close second to stable-mate Star Exhibit in the Perth Cup (2400m) at Ascot on December 31. She is the stablemate to top weight Real Love and now with top Victorian trainer Darren Weir. Respect fresh with no weight.
No2 TOM MELBOURNE gets a big drop in class here on last start 10th in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 11. He has proven a smart though somewhat wayward stayer but comes into strong calculations here. He romped home in a trial over 1550m at Cranbourne on April 3.
No1 REAL LOVE has proven to be a high grade mare and with Mitchell Aitken’s 3kg claim does get some weight relief dropping to 57kg here. This is a big drop from Group 1 Mares’ class where she ran 11th in the Coolmore Classic (1600m) at Randwick on April 8 on a bog track. Pay to respect here.
No5 HANS HOLBEIN punters who took the short odds at $1.85 last Saturday get their chance here to get some money back after he ran third to the in-form Boom Time over 2425m at Caulfield. The Robert Hickmott stable hold the key to the race also saddling the smart Assign. Has no weight on 52.5kg.
No1 ASSIGN he won the Neville Sellwood (2000m) to be one of the main fancies for the Sydney Cup on a bog track at Randiwck on March 25. He strikes rain-affected ground here and on his recent form looks to be right in the mix. Jack Martin’s 3kg claim reduces his weight to a more comfortable 58.5kg.
No4 ANGELOLOGY was the warm favourite when winning over a 3600m hurdle at Oakbank on April 17. He goes back to the flat here but his form is first class over the middle distances and he is as fit as a Mallee Bull. Has no weight with Ben Thompson’s claim reducing his handicap to 52.5kg.
No6 ROCK ON is the New Zealand St Leger winner and come off a strong third in a Group 2 at Randwick over 2600m on April 1. He has been gelded and trainer John Sargeant has booked top Victorian jockey Dwayne Dunn to ride here. He has no weight dropping 1.5kg to 54kg and would respect.
No4 PETITION made an auspicious return to racing with an outstanding 3¼ length win against her own age and sex in a 1220m maiden at Geelong on April 4. Top jockey Craig Williams takes the reins from Mark Zahra here and she drops a kilo to 56kg. She has been placed at four of her five starts and is from the stables of Lee and Anthony Freedman, who will have her cherry ripe for this.
No7 RIDGWAY was the $2.10 favourite in a strong maiden and gave a good effort to run second over 1200m at Pakenham on March 30. Has been freshened and will have the services of top Melbourne jockey Damien Oliver this time around. Placed second four times at five starts.
No5 SET THE BAR HIGH there is much to like about this lightly-raced gelding. He ran a top second over 1300m at Stawell on April 16. That was first-up off a long break and he gets top apprentice Beau Mertens to ride here. Mertens’ 1.5kg claim reduces his weight to carry a mere 54.5kg.
No9 THAT RINGS A BELL had no luck last start when trapped in a traffic jam before finishing fifth as a $3.60 favourite against her own age and sex over 1300m at Sandown on April 5. She gets the high flying Damian Lane to replace Damien Oliver here and from gate seven should get a cosy run.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 RIDGWAY
No2 MERCHANT NAVY (BEST BET) is a well-bred two-year-old who has an unblemished record at two for two. He posted an easy win as a red hot $1.50 favourite over 1400m at Sandown on April 5. The stable had him earmarked for the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) in Sydney. Expect him to be hard to beat with a weight drop of a half-kilo down to 57.5kg.
No5 PLATINUM Godolphin-trained juvenile who gets a nice weight drop of 2.5kg.
No3 CASINO FOURTEEN was a strong winner at his debut at Echuca and gets ace rider Craig Williams.
No1 SPEED STREET was a fighting winner at Bendigo in the Gold Rush. Wears blinkers first time.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 CASINO FOURTEEN
No1 SINGLE NOTE was heavily backed into a $3.60 favourite before landing her third straight win at Sandown on April 5. That was against her own sex when carrying 58kg. She has the in-form Beau Mertens to ride and his 1.5kg allowance sees her carry a half-kilo less on 57.5kg. She must cross from 12.
No8 TYPHOON MONACO was heavily backed into a $1.80 favourite and cruised to an effortless 2½ length win over 2040m at Moonee Valley on Macrh 24. She gets Michael Dee to ride here and will drop 2.5kg to a mere 54kg. She has drawn the rail and rates as one of the main fancies here.
No5 KANSAS SUNFLOWER was strongly backed into a $3 favourite and won easily over 1500m at Bendigo on April 19. She keeps top jockey Damian Lane as her pilot and she gets a significant weight drop of 3kg to 55kg here. She does have to combat gate 11.
No7 QUILATE ran a good second over 1600m as a $3.90 favourite at Caulfield last Saturday week. She is racing well and has the strong senior jockey Dwayne Dunn as her now rider and she rises only a 1.5kg to 54kg on the weight she carried last time. She has drawn well (2) to get a soft passage.
VALUE RUNNER: No5 KANSAS SUNFLOWER
No1 LYCURGUS was easy in the betting drifting from $14 to $19 but showed great courage to win by 1 length over 2400m at Caulfield on April 8. Daniel Moor keeps the ride and the three-year-old looks able to handle the rise to 2800m here on 57kg under the set weight and penalties conditions.
No2 BAYKOOL is racing in outstanding form but the gap of 35 days between runs is a query. He claimed a second provincial win over 2000m at Ballarat on March 26. This three-year-old is from an astute staying stable and he carries 56kg, which is a kilo more than last time under the special conditions here.
No11 MISS STRATHALLAN was highly fancied before going down to Lycurgus in the Galilee Final (2400m) at Caulfield on April 8. She is rock hard and she keeps the strong rider Dwayne Dunn at her step up to 2800m for the first time. Nice filly and carries 54kg again.
No10 PARTHESIA could not match motors when third in the Galilee Final (2400m) after leading down the home stretch. That was her first try at 2400m and is sure to strip much fitter for the outing. Trainer Darren Weir has booked the red hot Damian Lane to ride here. She should get a nice run from two.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 PARTHESIA
No1 MILWAUKEE (NEXT BEST BET) can keep up momentum from the front. Landed successive wins when beating Sword Of Light in the Bendigo Guineas (1400m) on April 1. With apprentice Jake Bayliss’ 2kg claim the three-year-old drops to 56kg here against his own age. He has not finished further back than second at four starts this campaign.
No2 EGG TART is bound for the Queensland carnival so would expect a forward showing to warrant.
No4 SPANNER HEAD smashed her rivals second up at Sandown and rarely out of the money.
No10 SERACENA most promising filly who has been in the money at three of her four starts.
VALUE RUNNER: No10 SERACENA
No6 LAKE COMO she won impressively first-up against her own sex at Flemington before finishing sixth over 1200m at Caulfield last Saturday week. She has a good strike-rate and punters who took the tight odds can redeem here where she carries 58kg – 3kg more than last time – but down in grade.
No4 CAMDUS is an Irish bred import who is racing first up off a 174-day break He does have a great first-up record of a win and a second at two starts and trainer Darren Weir has booked the in-form Ben Allen to ride. Allen’s claim sees him carry 57kg and he is drawn to be prominent in gate three.
No7 SPREADEAGLED (BEST ROUGHIE) ran a cracking first-up third over 1200m at Mornington on March 25. That day carried 59kg with apprentice Ben Thompson’s claim. Top Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn rides here at 58kg and he will wear winkers for the first time. Has an imposing second-up record too.
No10 BOOMWAA was steady through-out betting at $9 before running a good second to Miss Gunpowder over 1200m at Caulfield last Saturday week. Jumps 2.5kg to 56.5kg here for a drop in class and will get a cool run in gate seven. Rarely wins but is worth much thought as a place chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 SPREADEAGLED