Race 1 - 10:50am
Group 3 Bumble Stakes (1000m)
Champagne Boom stamped herself as a serious horse with a most impressive win in the Debutant Stakes. Craig Williams settled her at the tail of the field and she showed an outstanding turn-of-foot when she was asked for an extra effort. On exposed form, she is clearly the horse to beat in this field.
The issue is that there are a number of horses in this field set to make their racing debuts and a number, including Sisstar and Still Single, have been very impressive at the barrier trials. Champagne Boom is clearly the horse to beat, but it is tough to dive in at the current price in a race that has this many unknowns.
Race 2 - 11:30am
TAB APP Trophy (1700m)
It has been a long time between wins for Mamzelle Tess, but she does find herself in a very winnable contest. She finished third behind Invincibella and Savatiano in the Blazer Stakes and she proved that was no fluke with a close second in the Powerflo Solutions Stakes. This is a genuine drop in class and she does map to get a lovely trail into the contest with Jye McNeil in the saddle. This is her chance to return to winning form.
2 Units Mamzelle Tess
Race 3 - 12:05pm
Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy (1400m)
Fifty Stars will start this race as a dominant favourite, but I can’t get him as short as his current price. He has been costly for punters this campaign and he will need some luck in running from the wide barrier draw.
I am keen to back both Masculino and Haunted at their current price. Masculino was nothing short of outstanding last campaign and he does have a strong first-up record. Jake Noonan will have plenty of options from barrier six and $9.50 is definitely over the odds.
Haunted was not disgraced behind Superhard at Moe last start and he has since come out and won in impressive fashion. The Lonhro gelding still has a fair amount of upside and with even luck in running, he should be right in this race.
1 Unit Masculino
1 Unit Haunted
Race 4 - 12:40pm
Ronald McDonald House Charities Plate (2800m)
Shraaoh will make his Australian racing debut in the Ronald McDonald House Charities Plate and he does meet a fairly middling group of stayers. He didn’t win out of turn in the United Kingdom, but he did run in some decent races and the fact that trainer Chris Waller is willing to throw him into this contest suggests that he is going well. Kerrin McEvoy is a great rider of stayers and that could prove to be the difference in this contest.
1.5 Units Shiraaoh
Race 5 - 1:15pm
Schweppes Flemington Fling (1000m)
This is another race where the favourite does look under the odds. Roosevelt was only fair in the Brian Crowley Stakes and he did fail to fire in his only previous race start over 1000 metres.
Nomothaj showed plenty of speed as a two-year-old and she recorded two wins from as many starts over this track and distance. It remains to be seen whether she can replicate that form as a three-year-old, but I am willing to take the gamble at the current price.
1 Unit Nomothaj
Race 6 - 1:50pm
Listed Jim Beam Black Stakes (1400m)
The Jim Beam Black Stakes is one of the deepest betting races of the day and there are a stack of winning chances. This is a step-up in class for Notation, but there is no doubt that she has upside and she could not have been more impressive at Cranbourne last start. The fact that Ryan Moore goes into the saddle is no disadvantage and she makes her own luck right on the speed.
The value runner in this field is Into The Abyss. She wasn’t beaten far by Beauty in the Crockett Stakes at The Valley on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day and she had no luck in running whatsoever. The wide barrier draw is far from ideal and Damian Lane will need to be at his very best, but she is still over the odds at the current price.
1 Unit Notation
½ Unit Into The Abyss
Race 7 - 3:00pm
Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m)
Melbourne Cup betting is always fascinating and the 2018 edition is no exception. Yucatan will start the Melbourne Cup as favourite and there is no doubt that he is the horse to beat. His victyory in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes was nothing short of outstanding and that form was franked when A Prince Of Arram won the Lexus Stakes at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day. He has drawn wide, but he does have early speed and James McDonald should be able to get him across to take up a forward position. A repeat of his first-up effort would make him very tough to beat.
Best Solution was excellent in the Caulfield Cup and the big weight in the Melbourne Cup should not be an issue. He is an incredibly versatile galloper and he can be a factor in the Melbourne Cup whether it turns into a genuine staying contest or if it is a sit and sprint. His form in Germany before he came to Australia was strong and he is a genuine chance to complete the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double.
The Cliffsofmoher was one of the best closers in the Melbourne Cup and before that he ran well in the Ladbrokes Stakes. 3200 metres is an unknown, but he gives the impression that it won’t be an issue and he could very well be the class horse in this field. He maps to get a lovely run in transit and he is another that will settle in the first half of the field.
A Prince Of Arran secured his place in the Melbourne Cup field with his win in the Lexus Stakes and before that he ran well behind Yucatan in the Ladbrokes Herbert Power Stakes. Flemington definitely suits him and if he can handle the quick back-up, he is a genuine contender in this contest.
2 Units Yucatan
1 Unit Best Solution
1 Unit The Cliffsofmoher
1/2 Unit A Prince Of Arran
Race 8 - 4:05pm
Listed Furphy Plate (1800m)
The Furphy Plate is another race with a host of winning chances. Take It Intern has impressed since he arrived in Australia and $10 is well and truly over the odds. He has form around Cliff’s Edge and the way that he savaged the line at Caulfield last start was excellent. The wide barrier draw isn’t ideal, but he has displayed some tactical versatility during his racing career to date.
1 Unit Stampede
1 Unit Take It Intern
Race 9 - 4:45pm
Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m)
It doesn’t get any easier for punters and the MSS Security Sprint is absolutely packed full of talent. Snitzkraft returned to the races with a nice fourth in the Ladbrokes Village Stakes and he should take good improvement from that run. He produced a couple of high-rating performances during his Summer campaign in Queensland last year and if he is able to replicate that level, he will be right in this contest.
The first-up run of Stellar Collision was better than it looked on paper and he was able to make up ground late against the pattern of the day. He will take good benefit from that run and he is a horse that is capable of a high-rating effort on his day. The $21 is well and truly over the odds.
1 Unit Snitzkraft
½ Unit Stellar Collision
Race 10 - 5:20pm
Group 3 The Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes (1400m)
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have two runners in this field and both of them represent good value at their current odds. Savapinski was extremely well-backed before her first-up run at The Valley and she did have a genuine excuse in that race. The step-up to 1400 metres suits and she has run well at Flemington in the past.
Our Crown Mistress is slowly returning to her best form following a third place finish in the Cape Grim Beef Steaks and if she does bring her best she is right in this contest. She has the early speed to take up the running from the wide draw and she is a much better chance that her current price suggests.
1 Unit Savapinski
½ Unit Our Crown Mistress