It's the biggest day in the racing calendar and Tom Gilmore is on hand with his race-by-race guide.
Flemington R1 No.1 - MISSROCK
Was a winner in sizzling time on debut at Caulfield when reeling off some huge splits to storm over the top of them (against the pattern of the day!) three weeks back. Race has proved a good reference going forward and suggest she will only be better for the debut, query down the straight (drawn wide a worry?) but think she could have a class edge on most of these.
Flemington R2 No.2 - ZARZALI
Thought this was very good second up at G3 over a mile at Randwick, got back and really hit the line hard off a pretty moderate tempo. Speed in the race here looks ok and the extra 100m will no doubt suit. Has previously run Winx to 5 lengths (Cox Plate winner since), if they can make ground she will be mighty hard to beat.
Flemington R3 No.10 - JIMS JOURNEY (each-way)
Promising style of horse from South Australia who has continued to improve with each start of late, was utterly dominant over 2600m at Morphettville recently when held up rounding the bend, got a split late (worst part of the track) and just smacked them. Will love the expanses of Flemington and should get the right run midfield/with cover, 54 kgs and the step to 2800m suggest he might be hard to hold out.
Flemington R4 No.8 - DURENDAL
Was very good first-up in a hot race (wasnt far off Sabatini & Kuro) and then went to Pakenham and managed to win well in good overall time, like the step to 1400m and the soft draw. D.Lane sticks with him, he looks a great chance at genuine each-way odds in a very open race.
Flemington R5 No.3 - SPILL THE BEANS
Really promising colt who was good in an electric Roman Consul (overall time slick!), the blinkers then went on in the Brian Crowley and he lead/stuck on really well considering he set a genuine tempo - wasn't far off Counterattack (since 3rd in G1 Coolmore Stakes) and he should manage to cross them here and reach the fence (A ground) considering his early gate speed.
Flemington R6 No.5 - DONT DOUBT MAMMA
This is a serious filly who was a complete forgive in the Manifold (didnt handle the mile), drops back to the 1400m where she has previously beaten the G1 Crown Oaks favourite at Caulfield. Speed looks quite genuine early and is another who will need the track to be favouring run ons to win, but with that in mind she has a lethal sprint and will be the one storming home over the top of them. Arguably unlucky not to beat Thousand Guineas winner over 1200m!
Flemington R7 No.3 - FAME GAME
This is an amazing field, but I think this Japanese raiders Caulfield Cup run put the writing on the wall that he is ready to eat the two mile at Flemington. Got back over the 2400m and never really looked to get into the race until late when he reeled off some huge late splits (under minimal riding!) to fly home. Didnt look to handle Caulfield at all and his best form in Japan (on the heels of Gold Ship in the G1 Tenno Sho) were on spacious tracks where he could win up. Draws beautifully in gate 12 and will be the one flying home late to pick them up.
Flemington R8 No.11 - TALL SHIP (each-way)
Like the way this fella has come along this campaign, was good fresh over 1400m then went to the mile in the Seymour Cup and never really had a chance (pattern against/on-pace dominated), with that in mind he still managed to hit the line well and gave the indication he wasnt far off saluting. 1800m at Flemington should suit him down to the ground, just needs a genuine tempo. Has been a dominant winner over 1700m previously.
Flemington R9 No.4 - GRIANTE
Really talented mare who was super flashing home in G1 Moir Stakes, then fair in very hot Manikato Stakes (winner a freak!). Drops back in grade and looks well weighted to tackle this lot, drawn out wide which could be concerning considering the pattern against those down the centre/wider on the track of late. Has been on the heels of Politeness (G1 winner last Saturday) over 1200m earlier this spring.
Flemington R10 No.4 - WAWAIL (NAP)
Comes out of outstanding form race where she was just nailed by resulting G1 winner Politeness, has been freshened somewhat for this progression to 1400m since, was a winner at G2 level earlier this year at the very track/trip/conditions she meets today. Draws favourably for a soft run one out/one back, with that in mind looks very hard to beat and possibly one of the best bets on the card.