The false rail will be moved out three metres after being in the true position at the previous meeting two weeks earlier. With Melbourne’s incessant showers finally abating in the two days leading up to Saturday’s meeting, the Flemington track will certainly be racing in a Good4 or better. Fine / partly cloudy conditions are forecast so firmer footing will be the order of the day.
QUADDIES (races 6,7,8,9)
Skinny Play: 2,3,8 – 1,4 – 1,4,6 – 2,3,4,7
Wide Play: 2,3,4,6,8 – 1,2,4,5,8 – 1,2,4,6,10,11 – 1,2,3,4,6,7
BEST BET: R3 – 4. ANCHOR BID
Next Best Bet: R4 – 8. PORTMAN
Best Roughie: R8 – 6. WHYOUASK
No5 GERVAISE Raced handily first-up and wasn’t knocked around last 150m when solid 3.3-length ninth Nesbo 1400m Caulfield BM84 Good4 July 1. Had strong middle distance form in previous campaign, including a dogged half-length win over Crocodile Rock with 58.5kg over this trip Jan. 1. Fitter for the first-up run and Craig Williams gets the ride here. Has won second-up and won his only start this track and distance.
No1 RIYADH Racing in top form with two wins and a second from three runs this campaign. Too strong for Robert de Hero 1400m Pakenham Heavy9 May 31 with 58kg then powered home along the inside to beat Zagaya over this trip Good4 with 54kg June 24. Kept fresh again for this and has to be respected.
No2 EBEDIYIN Won two of seven starts in the UK where he raced in Group One company. Having his first run for 10 months here but looked good in a St Arnaud barrier trial on July 4. Was tailed-off in both the Irish Derby 2414m at The Curragh and Irish Champion Stks 2012m Leopardstown last September but did beat Kellstorm in a 2414m 3Yr Handicap at Naas two runs earlier Soft track May 11. Obviously has staying ability and should be kept under notice first-up for Darren Weir.
No8 DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR Fought on too well for Grumpy Guru first-up 1416m Balaklava Good4 BM70 with 57.5kg June 21 then favourite again when fading seventh Lady Silhouette 1506m Heavy9 BM75 Gawler with 57kg July 8. Gets back to firmer going here and could pay to overlook heavy track failure last start.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 RIYADH
No5 SEA THE SPARKLE Is working through her classes in fine style and should take another step upward here. Beat the girls 1400m Bendigo Heavy9 and Stawell BM64 Soft7 Oct. 18 then had a tough run as favourite when fading 4.75-length 12th Tavi Bay 1700m Flemington Nov. 3. Most impressive first-up against the boys when she beat Spunlago 1400m Sandown Lakeside BM70 Soft6 with 56.5kg July 12. Will be fitter for that run and suited by the step up to 1600m with only 52.5kg against her own sex.
No3 DULVERTON Improved by recent racing and right at her peak for this. Raced wide when 2.65-length seventh Stylish Miss 1600m Mares BM84 Good4 Moonee Valley June 17 then freshened and too strong for Galaxy Raider 1600m Sandown Lakeside open BM78 with 56kg Soft5 July 12. Back to girls’ grade here.
No1 HELL OR HIGHWATER Very capable mare who should be at her peak following three runs from a spell. Raced handily and battled on strongly for 3.3-length sixth Schism, Tsaritsa 1400m Mares BM90 with 55.5kg June 24 then trailed the lead when grinding 2.3-length fifth Schism, Vital Importance similar high-quality race Good4 with 55kg July 8. Has 58kg with Jake Bayliss’ claim but has class on her side.
No6 DIAPASON Hasn’t been out of a place in five runs to date and should make her presence felt again in this higher grade. Beat Swampland with 56.5kg Cranbourne Mares BM70 good4 May 26 before photo second Phoenix Park 1400m Sandown Hillside Mares BM70 Soft5 with 58.5kg June 14 and unlucky 0.75-lkength second Whirlpool 1800m Sandown Hillside Mares BM78 Good4 with 55kg June 28.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 HELL OR HIGHWATER
No4 ANCHOR BID (BEST BET) Has shown plenty of promise in only three starts and gets the perfect distance here to break her maiden. Caught in a pocket until the final 50m and went to the line with plenty in hand when seventh to Royal Symphony 1400m Good4 here June 24 then was rattling home over final 200m when 4.25-length second behind Royal Symphony 1600m Taj Rossi Final Good3 two weeks ago. Craig Williams takes the ride and there’s no Royal Symphony in this field.
No1 ANTIPAS Worked home well when runner-up Geelong Synthetic June 30 and will get a more suitable distance here. Likely improver.
No2 JUSTICE FAITH Has been doing best work late in two runs. Blinkers go on here.
No3 ST VADUZ was in worst part of track when second Octabello 1300m Bendigo 2Yr Maiden July 7. Forward showing expected.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 ST VADUZ
No8 PORTMAN (NEXT BEST BET) Eye-catcher first-up when he took time to hit top speed in straight before powering between runners to finish 0.7-length third Leodoro, Wind Force 1200m Caulfield BM84 Good4 with 55kg July 1. Had three wins and three placings in six runs previous campaign up to 1600m this track. Has won second-up and the extra 200m here looks ideal. Arguably Craig Williams’ best ride today.
No6 ORIENT LINE Has won his last two starts in fine style and drawn to get a good run in transit. Respect.
No4 KEN’S DREAM Blinkers went on when close third Highland Beat 1200m Creswick Stks this course two weeks back. Chance to run the trip if he can get cover from wide draw.
No11 REBELLIOUS LORD Has won his only two starts at Warrnambool but faces a big jump in class here. Place chance.
VALUE RUNNER: No4 KEN’S DREAM
No11 BALCAZAR At his peak following four progressive runs in this campaign and looks perfectly placed over this trip. Came from last and doing best work at finish when 1.55-length fifth with 59kg Willi Willi 1400m Bendigo 3Yr BM64 Soft5 June 21. Raced erratically and eased at 1100m then held in pocket by winner and forced around heels when fast-finishing 3.3-length fifth Willi Willi, Urban Ruler, First Approach Bowl Series Final this strip two weeks ago. Williams goes on and will give him every hope.
No5 FIRST APPROACH Promising type who has been working toward a win with two close-up placings since beating Seattle Park 1400m Wangaratta Maiden June 6. Finished well for half-length third Willi Willi 1400m Bendigo 3Yr BM64 with 58.5kg June 21 then carried 54kg when gritty 1.95-length third Willi Willi, Urban Ruler over this course two weeks back. Meets Balcazar on worse terms for last two runs but did beat him home.
No7 RUBY SEA Racing very well against her own sex and can measure up to the boys here with only 54kg on her back. Burst clear at 200m to easily account for River Goddess 1600m Sandown Hillside Fillies BM64 June 14 then overhauled close to home when 0.75-length second Spanish Reef 1600m here two weeks ago. Bound to give a good sight.
No6 LOVANI Improved by recent racing and couldn’t have been more impressive in beating Precious Journey 1600m Sandown Lakeside Mares BM70 Soft5 July 12. Close second to in-form Spanish Reef 1600m Sandown Hillside Fillies BM70 previous run. In sparkling form and will measure up to the jump in grade.
VALUE RUNNER: No11 BALCAZAR
No3 ROUGH JUSTICE Honest sprinter who has figured in the finish at three runs this time in and deserves a win. Game 0.75-length second Lake Como 1000m here June 10 before courageous third Ability, Husson Eagle 1100m here June 24. Led and fought on well with 54.5kg when 1.4-length fourth Ability Sprint Series final over this straight track two weeks ago. Brooke Sweeney’s 3kg claim is an advantage.
No8 DIVINE MR ARTIE Improved by solid 1.3-length first-up fifth Leodoro 1200m Caulfield BM84 Good4 July 1. Won down the Flemington ‘Straight 1200m’ in the style of a very good horse last December and his liking for this circuit brings him right into contention. Has won second-up.
No2 RUETTIGER Improved by three runs from a spell and cherry-ripe for this. Chased hard for third Lord da Vinci, Camdus 1200m Moonee Valley good4 June 17 then sat outside Rough Justice and beat him home narrowly when 1.2-length third Ability, Duke of Brunswick 1200m VIC Sprint Series Final this trip two weeks back. Meets Rough Justice on same terms and will make his presence felt again.
No4 MOSS ‘N ‘ DALE Noted wet-tracker whose two wins and two seconds from last four starts suggest he will be handy again. Favourite and overcame early trouble when nose second Liapari 1500m Rosehill 1500m BM85 Heavy8 June 17. Fresh for this and has two wins on Good surfaces so he’s more than just a mud-runner.
VALUE RUNNER: No3 ROUGH JUSTICE
No4 KILIMANJARO High-class former UK galloper who impressed on Australian debut when he settled last and finished powerfully for one-length third Bullish Stock, Zourkhan 1800m here June 10. That was his first start for two years and the way he powered to the post suggested he will be further improved here. Ran sixth to Golden Horn 2015 Group 1 Epsom Derby and fourth to Jack Hobbs 2414m Irish Derby at The Curragh June 27/15 before extended break. Only needs to run up to that form to win this.
No1 KILLARNEY KID Has benefitted from two 2400m Hurdle Trials at Warrnambool and Casterton since eye-catching 1.35-length fifth Petrology 1600m Moonee Valley Good3 June 17. Has a remarkable record of three wins and a third from four runs over the Flemington 2000m and boasts eight wins and a third from 11 starts all tracks at 2000m. Will be rock-hard for this and, despite giving 5.5kg to Kilimanjaro, he will be hard to beat.
No2 EXTRA ZERO Remarkable old campaigner who has been close-up at two runs since finishing powerfully to beat Haradafull and Self Sense over this trip with 56kg May 20. Not suited by the muddling pace when he worked home resolutely for 1.25-length second Pacodali with 59.5kg 2000m Country Cup Final Good4 here two weeks back. Loves this course and distance and, if given a strong tempo, will be running over the top of them late.
No8 PACODALI Has won two of last three and rates a chance again. Came from well back on Heavy8 with 52kg when 1.75-length fifth Super Mover 1600m Hamilton Aspley Cup June 11 then sat on-pace and too strong for Extra Zero with 54kg over this trip two weeks ago. Will carry the same weight for winning and cannot be ruled out against tougher company here.
VALUE RUNNER: No1 KILLARNEY KID
No6 WHYOUASK (BEST ROUGHIE) Caught the eye first-up when she stormed home to just miss when second Bay Harmony with 58.5kg Mornington 3YO Fillies BM64 Heavy8 June 12 then swamped Gala Moshea with 60kg 1300m Sandown Hillside similar grade Soft6 July 5. Blinkers go back on here to sharpen her up early so expect her to be in a striking position on straightening. Promising type who has a big weight drop and has proven herself against the best fillies previously. Rates highly.
No4 PRINCESS OF QUEENS Drove through the pack late to just miss when first-up photo second to Unique Lovely 1100m Caulfield 3Yr Fillies Good4 July 1. Proved her class in beating Summer Wind and Kenedna 1400m Caulfield Fillies BM78 two runs earlier Jan. 26. Fitter for this and bound to appreciate the extra distance.
No1 MOONLITES CHOICE found to be lame in off-foreleg after courageously hauling-in Hot Dipped with 57.5kg 1200m Caulfield 3Yf Fillies Good3 last Saturday. She’s backing up here so the leg couldn’t have been too bad. The way she hits the line suggests the extra 200m of this will suit. She only rises 0.5kg for winning and Williams sticks with her.
No2 INVICTUM DOMINA Two runs from a spell have been first-rate and the 1400m of this suits. Beat Sneakers first-up with 58.5kg 1200m Sandown Lakeside Fillies-and-Mares BM70 Soft5 June 7 then sat deep with no cover when game two-length sixth Unique Lovely 1100m Caulfield Good4 with 59kg July 1. One of the main chances.
VALUE RUNNER: No6 WHYOUASK
No4 KNOWABLE Showed tremendous potential in first campaign and has been ‘working the place down’ at Flemington in preparation for this, including impressive jump-out July 7. Had two wins and two placings before tracking wide without cover and weakening to ninth Mr Sneaky 1400m Flemington Good3 with 57kg March 4. Beat Widgee Turf and Mr Sneaky 1400m 3Yr BM78 two runs earlier Jan. 28. Nicely weighted and rates highly.
No7 HAY BALE getting better as he gets fitter and should be right at his peak for this. Sprinted too far out and swamped when four-length sixth Overstep, Invincible Al with 51kg 1100m here June 24 then fought on strongly when neck second Highland Beat 1200m Creswick Stks here with 56kg two weeks ago. Meets Highland Beat 5kg better for a neck and Invincible Al 2.5kg better for beating him by nearly 3-lengths. Excellent chance.
No3 INVINCIBLE AL Interesting jockey change with Michelle Payne going back on. She rode him to win three runs back over Sacred Sham 1000m this track June 10. Pulled hard first half of race and unable to accelerate when 3.15-length seventh Highland Beat with 57.5kg 1200m Creswick Stks Good3 here two weeks ago. Has a devastating turn of foot but needs to settle early. Meets Highland Beat 2.5kg better and is worth another chance.
No2 HIGHLAND BEAT Had no luck when length third Revovling Door 1200m Moonee Valley 3Yr Hcp with 56.5kg Good4 June 17 then freshened and finished too well for Hay Bale 1200m Creswick Stks Good3 here with 56kg two weeks ago. Chance to go on with it now that he’s found winning form.
VALUE RUNNER: No7 HAY BALE