Race 1 - 12:15pm
Nasdex drops back to 1000 metres after he was beaten over 1200 metres at Flemington last start. He finished third in the W.J. Adams Stakes the last time that he ran over 1000 metres and this race is much weaker than that. The Not A Single Doubt gelding has five wins from 11 starts over this distance and he makes his own luck right on the speed with Damian Lane in the saddle.
2 Units Nasdex
Race 2 - 12:50pm
Kings Will Dream has now recorded three wins on the trot since arriving in Australia and his last-start win at Flemington was very soft. He should continue to improve as he steps-up in trip and he maps to get a lovely run right on the speed. The Darren Weir-trained import will be very tough to beat and is worthy of his place as a short-priced favourite.
The x-factor in this field is Macedon Lodge-trained Harrison. This is short of his best trip, but the Macedon Lodge team has made a very strong start to their Autumn campaign and he did produce a couple of high-rating performances in the United Kingdom.
5 Units Kings Will Dream
1 Unit Harrison
Race 3 - 1:25pm
There are plenty of winning chances in what is one of the most open betting races of the afternoon. Portman will start this race as a clear favourite and she is the horse to beat, but she does look to have found her right price at the current odds. King’s Command, Downhearted, Sunday Pray, Simply Invincible and Notio could all win this race and there are too many chances in this field to bet with any real confidence.
Race 4 - 2:05pm
Sanctimonious has done plenty of travel during his maiden racing preparation, but as long as he hasn’t gone over the top he does look well suited in the Sires’ Produce Stakes. He has always looked like a horse that would be better over further and his last start effort in the Inglis Classic was extremely tough. The wide barrier draw isn’t an issue as he gets back anyway and he can finish over the top of his rivals.
1.5 Units Sanctimonious
Race 5 - 2:40pm
Seannie has been crying out for 1400 metres and she is simply outstanding value at her current odds in Kewney Stakes betting. The way that she hit the line at The Valley first-up was unbelievable and she ran the best closing sectionals behind Tulip in the Typhoon Tracy Stakes. Flemington does look like the ideal track for her and she can settle closer to the speed with the in-form Regan Bayliss in the saddle.
Summer Sham is a filly that just keeps on winning and she still has plenty of upside. Daniel Moor will take her straight to the front and she will have the chance to run her rivals ragged once again. She does have the benefit of a start over 1400 metres under her belt and she is the main danger to Seannie.
1.5 Units Seannie
1 Unit Summer Sham
Race 6 - 3:15pm
This is a stellar edition of the Newmarket Handicap. Merchant Navy is on top of our Newmarket Handicap betting market and he really does look like the horse to beat. He has failed just once in his racing career – when he was sent to Sydney for the Golden Rose – and the way that he won the Coolmore Stud Stakes was nothing short of extraordinary. This race was always his target and he will take plenty of improvement from his fast-finishing effort in the Rubiton Stakes. He has a similar profile to Brazen Beau – who flogged Chautauqua and Terravista to win this race in 2015 – and he really does tick every box.
Redkirk Warrior, Brave Smash and Booker are all dangers, but look to have found their current prices. It wouldn’t surprise to see So Si Bon produce a big effort, but you can back a horse with such a poor record.
2 Units Merchant Navy
Race 7 - 4:00pm
Spanish Reef has always had plenty of potential and she went to another level with her impressive first-up win. She was caught wide throughout, but she was still able to hit the line strongly and she looks set for a big campaign. The Lope De Vega mare now has two wins from three starts at Flemington and the step-up to a mile suits.
Samovare will start this race as favourite following her second place finish in the Silent Sedition Stakes. The Savabeel mare always seems to find one horse better than and I am more than happy to oppose her at the current price.
2 Units Spanish Reef
Race 8 - 4:35pm
Like the Newmarket Handicap, the Australian Cup is an excellent betting race. Gailo Chop will start the race as a clear favourite and he has been in excellent form this campaign. In saying that, he is a horse that has produced his best performances when he has been able to take up the running and control the race, which he is unlikely to be able to do in this contest as Supply And Demand as well as Homesman will likely go forward.
The Taj Mahal has flown under the radar ahead of the Australian Cup, but he looks excellent value at his current price. It took him a while to settle in Australia and he failed in the Ladbrokes Stakes, but he was only narrowly denied in the Ladbrokes Stakes and he was outstanding in the Zipping Classic. He beat Almandin by three and a half lengths in that race and there is every chance that he has gone forward ahead of his second campaign in Australia.
The x-factor in this field is Ambitious. He has form around some of the best horses in Japan and on his Japanese form he would likely have an edge over the likes of Tosen Stardom and Brave Smash – who have both had plenty of success in Australia. He will likely benefit from the run, but we know just how good these Japanese horses can be and he is worth the gamble at the current price.
1.5 Units The Taj Mahal
½ Unit Ambitious
Race 9 - 5:20pm
Twilight Song is a horse that has a fair amount of upside and she takes on a few horses in this field that may have found their level. She has shown plenty of early speed in both her race starts and she should be able to get a fairly soft lead with Regan Bayliss in the saddle. This is obviously a big step-up in class, but she is worth the gamble at current price.
1 Unit Twilight Song