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By Darren Winningham | Friday, March 9, 2018

Well the feature racing is at Flemington this weekend – the so called SUPER STAURDAY program – the Group 1 Newmarket and Australian Cup for 2018.

The track is rated “GOOD” and the rail will be out 4.0 metres the entire course this weekend.

There are some wonderful support races at Group 2 and Group 3 level – premium racing this weekend!

NB: As this form assessment was made prior to raceday, please check final fields and track conditions for any changes on the day.


Race 1

We start the program with a 1000 metre dash up the wonderful Flemington straight!

Demonstrate (2) has won here before and comes off a solid win at Moonee Valley over 955 metres.

The danger looks like the Tony McEvoy trained Concealer (8) who is first up this weekend. McEvoy would make sure she is ready for this first up assignment and will be a solid challenger.

Selections: 2-8-3-4


Race 2

The Darren Weir trained Kings Will Dream (5) has been working through his grades well and looks well placed here.

Coming off a solid win last start here over a mile when he was sent out a $2.05 favourite. I can see no reason why he cannot string two wins together.

Sin to Win (3) is from the Hayes and Dabernig stable and normally performs well second up. He is the logical chance to win the race.

Wheal Leisure (6) is another good performer second up and I think will appreciate the longer 1800 metres of the race.

Selections: 5-3-6-7


Race 3

Portman (6) was very good last start over 1200 metres here three weeks ago. He has won over 1400 metres before and the run looked like he was looking for the longer distance he gets this weekend – a nice bet for mine.

Prima (7) is another that will be better suited over this distance. His second up record is solid and at the nice odds of $15 he could fill a place.

Selections: 6-7-2-12


Race 4

The Sires’ Produce at Group 2 level is a race for the two-year old’s.

It is a tough race – some of these coming out of the Blue Diamond whilst others coming out of interstate races.

I like Seberate (5) from the Hayes and Dabernig yards who was working home well four weeks ago in the Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield. I think that the wider track at Flemington and the numerous gear changes that have been made place this Sebring colt ready to improve and crack another win.

Sanctimonious (2) comes out of the Inglis Classic in Sydney a month ago when sent out as favourite and I think it is fair to say got too far back and didn’t handle the Warwick Farm circuit – look for an improved effort here this weekend.

Godolphin has Tin Hat (6) in – he will race handy and should be thereabouts at the finish.

Selections: 5-2-6-14 rough chance 10


Race 5

Another Group 2 race – this time for the three-year-old fillies.

Not a race I can get keen on to be honest.

It is a tough race – with an open field with many chances. Given the right run and breaks in the straight any one of the 15 runners could salute!

Summer Sham (3) from the Danny O’Brien stables has had three career starts for 3 wins! Winning form is good form, so I am staying with this filly.

Dominic Tourneur is aboard Counterplay (4). She ran a nice race last start at Caulfield in the Armanasco Stakes when she got caught a little wide and fought on well. Maybe an improved runner at $17.

Selections: 3-4-5-7 rough chance 8


Race 6

The Group 1 Newmarket – one of the feature races on the program.

I am a massive fan of Rich Charm (4) and Catchy (15) and I am finding it difficult to split them here.

Rich Charm (4) was super unlucky in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield when he was held up and hampered around the 300 metres and then again at the 150 metres.- but somehow, he just kept on coming, flashing home late to be beaten by 1.4 lengths. This is his maiden Group 1 race. Some people may say he will need the experience, but I am keen on him shaping up to this grade here. His second up record is solid as well and at $9 I think represents great each way value.

Catchy (15) is the other runner I am struggling with. I was so keen on her first up in the Oakleigh Plate (Group 1) and she was caught up behind them and was held up late as well and really didn’t stretch out. This weekend Hayes and Dabernig have removed the blinkers and put winkers back on her again. She has been successful in the past with the winkers and I expect this will make her race more truly this weekend. Down at 50 kilograms, drawn in the middle of the field and at $12 I am having something on her each way all day!

The stable mate Redkirk Warrior (1) resumed with a dominant performance in the Group 1 Lightning three weeks ago. He has a solid second up record and will be flashing home late.

Merchant Navy (11) has a 100% record at the Flemington track and distance. First up got too far back and was set an impossible task to real in the leaders at Caulfield. This three-year-old Fastnet Rock colt always gets back and surges home late – with the expected speed in this race I think he will be motoring home here.

Selections: 4-15-11-1 rough chances 6 and 12


Race 7

Samovare (3) is unbeaten second up and loves the mile. Whilst she has not won at Flemington she has raced and run some solid runs finishing second on two occasions – let’s hope this weekend that she can crack her maiden Flemington win in this Group 3 race.

As for the rest of the runners Spanish Reef (5) looks a solid chance to continue her winning form. She is the likely danger to Samovare (3).

Selections: 3-5-1-8


Race 8

The last Group 1 race on the program – the 2018 Australian Cup.

I think that Liam Howley and the Williams team have the race sewn up here.

It is hard to split there two top runners – Almandin (2) and the last start winner Homesman (10).

I think they will fight out the finish again here this weekend after finishing 1 – 2 in the Mornington Cup Prelude last start at Caulfield a fortnight ago.

This week I am tipping that Almandin (2) will turn the tables on the stable mate and just pip Homesman (10) who at this stage is my long-range tip for the Caulfield Cup.

Darren Weir trains Gailo Chop (4) who was great winning at Caulfield last start. I just think that the win at Caulfield may have been over rated due to his liking for the track, however, I do have a healthy respect for him again here this weekend.

In that race he beat Hartnell (1) conclusively – watch for Hartnell to bounce back here this weekend and turn the tables on Gailo Chop (4). He has some sensational third up form (7 starts – 4 wins – 2 seconds) and I think he races better at Flemington.

Selections: 2-10-1-4 rough chance 11


Race 9

The last race on Super Saturday!

I tipped and declared Preazado (1) last start in the Rubiton Stakes at Group 2 level. He ran a super race and drops back dramatically in class this weekend on a track where he has tasted success. I am heading back into him this weekend – I hope Chris Symons can get him back on track and win the last race.

Godolphin has Regimen (3) second up here after not handling the Moonee Valley track last start. Look for a bold improvement on the Flemington circuit.

She’s So High (7) resumes from a spell and normally races fresh – keep her safe in this class.

If you are looking for one at odds to fill your empty wallet in the last – be on the watch for Freeze Over (5) who is third up and does normally run a nice race third up. She is around the $9 mark in some of the markets and represents good value.

Selections: 1-3-7-5 rough chance 2


Jockey Challenge

Looks like a battle between Craig Williams and Damien Oliver. I think it may all come down to the last race – but Damien Oliver does have a solid book of rides this weekend.

Early Quaddie (races 2 to 5 NSW only)

3,5,6 / 2,6,7 / 2,5,6 / 3,4,5 - cost is $81 to $1

Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

1,4,11,15 / 1,3,5 / 1,2,10 / 1,3,5,7 - cost is $144 to $1

Value Quaddie (races 6 to 9)

4,15 / 3,5 / 2,10 / 1,3 - cost is $16 to $1

Treble (races 7 to 9)

1,3,5 / 1,2,10 / 1,3,5,7 - cost is $36 to $1

Good luck and good punting!

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