Last day of a fantastic carnival or racing at Flemington headed by the Group 1 Mackinnon and Darley Sprint Classic.
The weather is going to be fine and the track good. There may be a reasonably strong south easterly which is a headwind up the straight, like what we saw on Derby Day when leading was not easy. Other than that, the track should race well with the middle more likely to be the place to be. With the rail out 7m most of the damage from the week should be avoided. Expecting the track should play fairly.
Rosehill has an interesting meeting headed by the Golden Gift for the two-year-old’s and the Hot Danish. The track there is currently a heavy 9 and even though there is very little rain predicted it is unlikely to dry out much either. With a drying track there is likely to be some bias so it could be a difficult meeting to bet confidently into prior to race day.
Fantastic race with multiple different form lines and a market that looks about right. Mugatoo was excellent in the Cox Plate after spinning around the outside fence and making a long and sustained sprint.
He rated down on his Metrop win which given the run is to be expected. With barrier nine of 10 there is some risk he is once again caught wide. However he is still some value in the race against my $3.80.
Melody Belle went back to New Zealand after a couple of indifferent runs in Sydney to cement her dominance winning another couple of Group 1’s to make it five local Group 1’s on the trot. I do hold some concern that she has now still only won one from eight in Australia. On the positive side she does seem to go well at Flemington.
Arcadia Queen performed well in the Cox Plate, particularly given the wet track. She ran an equal career peak prior to that on dry ground and is the deserved favourite while still being just a touch under the odds compared to my $3.50
Shout The Bar is interesting. She was a blow out winner of the Empire Rose and holds some value.
DARLEY SPRINT CLASSIC
A nice field has been gathered for this race and The Everest looks to be the starting point. The form out of The Everest has been mixed but with a 21-day break there is really no doubt these horses should be fine.
Very difficult to dismiss anyone in the field as not capable of winning the race. The pair I am focusing on though are Bivouac and Libertini. Bivouac was excellent in the Everest finishing second after settling third last.
He comes into this third-up off a very similar rating to when he exploded to a very high rating win in the Newmarket in March. If he were to repeat that then he will win. It was a significant peak however and as such there is no assurance he will reach that mark.
Libertini stepped to a big new peak first up off a 210-day break before she was a somewhat forgive run in The Everest where she sat three-wide facing. The concern with her is that she peaked first-up when she was trying to win her way into the race. Against that she is only third-up up here and should be right to go. She is the big value in the race.
I am against Nature Strip. There is not doubt he is capable of winning the race however the market seems to assume he will bounce back closer to his best than I think.
FRIDAY LINE – EARLY BETS
Flemington Race 6 No.9 – Libertini (Rated $4.50 – Price $7) – Bet 9 units
*Tune in tomorrow for the Saturday Line and the final betting strategy
‘Personal’ wins Oliver 6 Oaks
Horse Racing: Personal claims the Kennedy Oaks at Flemington, making it star jokey Damien Oliver’s sixth.
Originally published asPro Punter’s Friday Line: Who are the major players?
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