The venue hosts the first meeting of the New Year, with a nine-race undercard highlighted by the Listed Bagot Handicap (2000m) and Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m).
All races have been brought forward due to the warm weather and the first is scheduled for 10.35am. M.
The Flemington track is rated Good 4, but we will certainly see improvement throughout the day. The lane is out of 6 m throughout the circuit.
Check out our preview and tips for each race 👇
We started with a small field of six 2YO fillies, four of which have no races. There wasn’t much between the Godolphin pair when they met on debut, but it’s no surprise to see Kin as a favorite based on the encouraging debut effort. Lambda and Latizia have impressed on the jumps, but it’s always difficult to assess when they haven’t been under race pressure.
Going with Relative (1) here. She was an unfortunate second in her debut with this T / D on December 11 when she was stopped for a critical stage run. Expect it to improve from that exit and with Kah from an ideal gate (3), it’s hard to find a hit.
Lambda (5) is a beautifully bred filly who showed some first steps and traveled within herself in an 800m jump victory at Flemington, while Latizia (6) it has also looked good in rehearsals.
Nothing would surprise here and it looks a bit like a raffle off the favorite.
VERDICT: Kin if you are willing to gamble or if you don’t keep your gunpowder dry.
It costs $ 6 a field in this open BM70 for fillies and mares. There seems to be a rhythm drawn throughout the track, so I hope we see a genuine tempo.
Siding with the favorite Sippy Lady (6) He’s hitting the door for a win with four under-five run placements in this setup. It was a real draw from the back of the field on this last T / D outing and I think the race will be a useful reference. She doesn’t need to stray that far from barrier six and Josh Richards seems like a good back-up with the claim.
I’ve loved what I’ve seen of Hot Girls (1) this preparation and there is nothing wrong with the Outlaws Revenge form. She should have finished near the last start on the Xmas Handicap and is ready for a 1400m race. She is another returning to her races, but with a comfortable run and the right breaks, she should be attacking the line late.
Way to go Paula (12) He appears to have lost his way, but the team is casting shadows in a last-ditch attempt to rediscover his best form. She is also down in the weights now and her best effort would be for her to win this.
Beautiful Tiara (7) He garnered attention in the last outing from Sandown and can feature here despite the sticky draw.
VERDICT: Mrs Sippy with a saver at Hearty Lass
Another really open race that attracted a field of ability. There are some featured runners, but you can defend a lot of them.
I like the way Moral strength (12) He has been making progress in this preparation and seems poised for his first victory in the city. The Mitch Freedman-trained 4YO was three wide at the last start of the ride, but still paid them off with ease – it was smooth on the line there too, so the climb to 1600m shouldn’t push it up. His only other attempt of more than a mile was at the VOBIS Sires Guineas at the end of his last preparation when he lost the race at the start. The only doubt is the strength of its shape lines.
Will include the NSW gallop New King (6) throughout. Its shape has diminished, but the drop to 1600m suits a month’s break and blinders for the first time could turn it on. Trainer Matthew Dale is earning over 20% at Flemington and I doubt he brought the horse for a vacation.
If I give Moral Force a chance, I can’t rule out the other key fantasy in Unanimous (15), who beat MF by just two defenses in the ‘Bool. He was impressive crouching down and weaving to a final third of the start, and if he watches the mile, he’s going to be competitive again.
Take a chance here and defend the outsider of the field in ex Qld Galloper Seeing not believing (1). He was not far from Unanimous (15) in his stable debut and struggled there when he crawled down the straight. Flemington should adapt and the Templeton yard seems to be doing well at the moment.
VERDICT: Moral strength
I’m really looking forward to this 3-year sprint that pits a couple of classy promisers against each other in Squid Game and Clemenceau.
I can not pass Hunting squid (2). His debut win was very impressive and he backed it up with a good win here over six furlongs of slow running. The way he won at a slow pace only strengthens my belief that he is a good horse. The descent to 1100m does not worry me, as there should be more speed, which will help its cause.
If there’s a knockout hope at a price, I think it’s the toppie Acute response (1). He has only run on rain-affected surfaces, but his work prior to this suggests that it is just as effective on top of the ground. He carries the weight well and his jumps suggest that he will run well fresh.
It is difficult to criticize the work of Clemenceau (3). I loved Valley’s victory in the last outing over 1200m and he has the tactical speed to do what he wants here. The only query is the first time in a straight line.
Star Spirit (10) she resumes and her judgments indicate that she is ready for a forward projection.
VERDICT: Squid Game with something small in Sharp Response (each way)
This looks like one of the easier races on the card with Bermadez a well-deserved favorite and the market seems to be right on its main pitfalls.
Bermadez (2) look this up to his ears and he should be very close to his peak in his fourth run of this setup. Importantly, it has become a model for consistency and the only real question is where Ollie is going since the draw. At the end of the day, you’re a versatile customer and you can do better here with the same T / D you made on Oaks day.
The dangers seem to be Somerset Maugham (5) Y High ‘n’ dry (4). The latter produced a grand finale to win the last outing here in the same grade on the same trip, while the former was just 1.6L away on the same race after Kah hit a bunch of traffic cones. It is very difficult to divide the couple.
Designer Chef (8) is the hope of knockout.
VERDICT: Bermadez (BEST BET)
Another big and open stakes race, this time over 2000m.
Siding with the toppie Irish Butterfly (1) after two really encouraging efforts, the last one here at over 1800m on a BM84. The significant drop in rating brings him up in weights, but Richards’s claim (2kg) makes up for that. He’s ready for the 2000m now and he’s ready for a comfortable run, but he’ll still need the breaks to be late.
Sam the convict (3) he is competing very well and is more than ready to move on to this grade. He easily eliminated them on the last outing at Sandown, despite having covered ground in the race. The winning form is good form and he is more progressive than many of his rivals.
Lost Impact (11) is certainly capable of running a race, but can be a bit unpredictable, while La Spezia (13) has the ability to appear in the end.
VERDICT: Irish butterfly
Bagot’s handicap is the feature of the day and Smokin ‘Romans is the popular pick among punters. It’s not a race you’re particularly interested in gambling on (possibly crazy after the great Skelm charade a fortnight ago …). I can’t even entertain money (or more or less) for Smokin Romans despite the horse’s solid form and the highly acclaimed Maher & Eustace stable record in 2000+.
Go out to risk here and defend Long arm (7) with great odds. He hasn’t been that far from Good Idea in his last two games and didn’t get the right stuff in either outing. If there’s a decent mid-pace here I think he can run a race at odds and he gets good on the weights.
I don’t think there is much between the first two, but I am leaning towards Good idea (1) as the more experienced of the pair, especially with the weight swing. Smoking Romans (2) it is clearly the one that must expire, but I prefer to be with the first in the current quotes.
Rogue (5) is the other with minor claims.
VERDICT: I am not willing to bet, but will have a shot to the stumps with Long Arm each way
It’s a really intriguing edition of the Chester Manifold, with the market concentrated on the American Import Lighthouse, which is unbeaten in three starts since moving to Aus. There seems to be genuine speed here with players like Yulong January getting ahead of Age Of Chivalry, Crosshaven, and Second Slip.
There is a lot of speed on paper and one horse that you will enjoy is SA Raider Farooq (10) who is competing better than ever for coach Sue Murphy. He has been outstanding in two 1200m races in this setup (both behind Oulaws Revenge) and he’s crying out for more. It is a large animal and Flemington should adapt. Look for it to be launching late if they are working.
Lighthouse (9) Has done nothing wrong in three starts here and is a deserved favorite after a convincing last outing win over this T / D. She looks like a bomb-proof galloping traversing any terrain and giving a great account of herself at every outing. . Destined to be at the finish line, but the price tag and the potentially sticky door are the detours.
Winner of the last outing Second slide (8) is drawn to get an ideal run and tends to hold its shape when found, while Blazejowski (4) he is almost always competitive in these types of races.
VERDICT: Farooq in every way (BEST VALUE)
It’s a tragic affair to end up with an ability field rushing down the straight to close the card.
I’ll go wide on the quad but Pioneer River (10) going up. He beat a couple of pilots on the last outing and clearly enjoys the straight. The dose can definitely be repeated despite the grade increase.
Fundraising (2) it has jumped well and flies fresh. Being new to straight racing is a little doubt, but you should cope well.
Prophet of the Rock (4) Y Japery (13) Both are capable of running a race with great odds, while Evening (20) you have claims if you win a start.
VERDICT: Pioneer river