Race 1 - 12:15pm
The Melbourne Cup Carnival On Sale Handicap (1400m)
There are a number of winning chances in what is a very open race. Lindsay Park has a very strong hand with Dusty Jack and Cannyescent, but both look to have found their right price. Battlecamp has oodles of potential and was finally able to return to winning form last start. The horse that does appeal at juicy odds is Time To Test. He very rarely produces a poor performance and he does have a strong first-up record. There is no way he should be $14.
½ Unit Time To Test
Race 2 - 12:50pm
My Kitchen Rules Handicap (1800m)
Red Alto just keeps on winning this preparation and there is no reason that he can’t make it four wins on the trot. This is the toughest test that he has faced this campaign, but there are a number of horses in this field whose best days are behind them. He is the only horse in this field that has any real upside and he is great value at his current price.
1.5 Units Red Alto
Race 3 - 1:25pm
Listed Incognitus Stakes (1100m)
Ken’s Dream looked like a potential star during the spring and if he brings that level of form to the races he will be very tough to beat. He won the McKenzie Stakes in impressive fashion and he has form around both Benz and Flying Artie. First-up over 1000 metres looks ideal. I can’t work out the price of Sweet Sherry. She has produced a number of high-rating performances during her racing career to date and her first-up record is excellent. She is a much better chance than her current price suggests.
2.5 Units Ken’s Dream
½ Sweet Sherry
Race 4 - 2:05pm
Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)
The Lindsay Park team just keeps winning two-year-old races and Eshtiraak looks extremely well-placed in the Sires’ Produce Stakes. He has recorded three wins from his past three starts and he has always been a horse that looked as though he wouldn’t be at his best until he got out to 1400 metres or the mile. On his exposed form he has a clear edge over the rest of this field, he has Damien Oliver in the saddle and he looks like one of the best bets of the day.
3.5 Units Eshtiraak
Race 5 - 2:40pm
Group 2 Kewney Stakes (1400m)
This looks like a trap race that I am more than happy to stay out of. I Am A Star is the class horse in this field and a deserving favourite in Kewney Stakes betting, but the fact that she is jumping from the 1100 metres of the Oakleigh Plate straight up to 1400 metres is a genuine query. I don’t want to bet against her, but I can’t get her as short as her current quote.
Race 6 - 3:15pm
Group 3 Schweppervescence Trophy (1600m)
Abbey Marie was not suited by the tempo in the Mannerism Stakes and she has the chance to return to winning form this weekend. She ran the fastest closing sectionals in the Mannerism Stakes and she is crying out for the mile. If the Redoute’s Choice mare is able to peak third-up she will be right in this race at a nice price. One horse that represents value at double-figure odds is Lardy Selkirk. Her performance in the Mannerism Stakes was much better than it looks on paper and she maps to get a lovely trail into this race.
1.5 Units Abbey Marie
½ Unit Lady Selkirk
Race 7 - 3:55pm
Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m)
Races do not get more difficult to analyse than the 2017 edition of the Newmarket Handicap. There was very little separating the field in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes and it is tough to take that form on merit as they went so slowly in the early stages of the race. Spieth was the unlucky horse in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes, but that could happen once again from barrier one.
Both Sheidel and Extreme Choice come out of what was a strong edition of the Oakleigh Plate. Sheidel did it at both ends to claim a maiden Group 1 victory, but whether she is able to do that over 1200 metres is a genuine question mark. Extreme Choice got too far back in the Oakleigh Plate, but he did run some tidy closing sectionals. He will be right in this race as long as Joao Moreira settles him right on the speed.
The Quarterback won this race last year, Voodoo Lad has talent and both Tivaci and Super Cash are both coming off impressive last-star wins.
This may be a Group 1 event, but it is a nightmare race from a betting standpoint and I am keen to save my bank for easier races.
Race 8 - 4:30pm
Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m)
The majority of this field ran in the Peter Young Stakes and that is the obvious form guide. The United States loomed as the winner in the Peter Young Stakes before a lack of fitness told late. He will have taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run and he is more than capable of producing a performance over 2000 metres that is good enough to win this race.
Humidor and Jameka are locked in a battle for favouritism and out of that pair I am keen to side with Humidor. He has improved each time that he has been seen at the races this preparation and if he had run straight in the Peter Young Stakes he would have won. Darren Weir will have him ready for his grand final and I don’t want to oppose him.
Tom Melbourne was given a shocking ride by Joao Moreira in the Peter Young Stakes and with Glen Boss on board I expect him to take up a forward position. On his best form, Tom Melbourne is capable of reeling off some impressive sectionals and if he leads he will be in the race for a very long way.
1.5 Units The United States
1.5 Units Humidor
½ Unit Tom Melbourne
Race 9 - 5:20pm
James Boag’s Premium Handicap (1000m)
This is a fairly average race in which to finish the day and is not one that I am keen to get involved in. Rocket Tommy is a deserving favourite following his past two wins, but it is tough to get him as short as his current price. I will be going incredibly wide in the quaddie and all but stay out of this race from a betting standpoint.