We’re back to Flemington on Saturday for another talent-packed nine race program that is headlined by the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.
The rail will be set out nine metres around the entire course and at publish, we’re faced with a track rated in the Good (3) range.
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Race 1 – 12:10PM – Listed Maribyrnong Trial Stakes, (1000m)
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be keen to get involved in a race full of two-year-old debutants, but Rampant Lion looks to have ability, and I am going to have a nibble.
The Frankel colt went straight to the lead and cruised home in Cranbourne trial, and he is drawn to receive a lovely run under Luke Nolen.
Race 2 – 12:40PM – Listed Super Impose Stakes, (1800m)
Hitotsu looks well placed to win this year’s Super Impose Stakes.
The Maurice colt showed glimpses of ability during his short two-year-old campaign, and he resumed this time for an easy win in maiden company.
This is a rise in class, but he has plenty of upside and with even luck, he can make it two in a row.
Race 3 – 1:15pm – Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes, (1610m)
Yearning looms as a key winning chance in this year’s Edward Manifold Stakes.
The Snitzel filly needed her first two starts back this time to tune up, but she strode home to record an eye-catching win at Newcastle last time out.
This is obviously a rise in class, but she looks up returning another strong effort, and we can have an each-way play at around the $8 mark.
Race 4 – 1:50pm – Group 2 Gilgai Stakes, (1200m)
Zoutori will enjoy plenty of improvement from his competitive fresh effort in the Bobbie Lewis here a few weeks ago, and I think he’ll take a power of beating in the Gilgai Stakes.
The Zoustar gelding has been the stable star for the Ellerton & Zahra camp for a few seasons now, and after poking around the mark several times, he broke through for a maiden Group 1 victory in this year’s Newmarket Handicap.
His second-up record is excellent, he absolutely loves racing down the straight and he is my best bet on the program.
Race 5 – 2:25pm – Group 2 Danehill Stakes, (1100m)
I am happy to stick with Ingratiating ahead of this stacked edition of the Danehill Stakes.
Ingratiating was nothing short of outstanding during his two-year-old season, and placed in both the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Golden Slipper most notably.
He returned to the races in August to score a dominant win in the Vain Stakes, and he was last seen finishing a head season in the Poseidon at this track and trip.
Fitter third-up, he needs only even luck to win again.
Race 6 – 3:05pm – Group 2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes, (1410m)
Mystic Journey returned an outstanding performance to only just miss in the Let’s Elope Stakes when fresh, and any improvement on that would see her winning the Rose Of Kingston.
The Needs Further mare won the Australian Guineas and the All-Star Mile during her three-year-old season, and while she hasn’t reached those peaks since, she has continued to race well in strong black type company.
Her resuming effort suggested that she might be back close to her best, and this looks the next logical race for her.
Race 7 – 3:45pm – Group 1 Turnbull Stakes, (2000m)
This year’s Turnbull Stakes looks to be a flip of the coin between Melbourne Cup favourite Incentivise and nine-time Group 1 champion Verry Elleegant, and for me, it has landed on the former.
Incentivise was far too good for his Queensland counterparts through the autumn and winter, and booked his ticket south and into the care of Peter Moody for his current prep, aimed at the Cups.
He was headed at the 300m by Tofane after taking up the running in the Makybe Diva, but fought back bravely to score an impressive win.
He’ll only improve for that effort and out to 2000m, and I am happy to stick with him until he gives me a reason not to.
Race 8 – 4:25pm – Group 3 The Bart Cummings, (2520m)
Ballot-free entry into the Melbourne Cup goes on the line in The Bart Cummings and there is a case to be made for many of these stayers.
She hasn’t shown much in her two back from a spell, but I think that the sharp rise in trip and return to Flemington will see a vastly improved performance for the already-qualified Realm Of Flowers.
Realm Of Flowers found career-best form during her autumn prep this year, and she was completely luckless in the Group 1 Sydney Cup, but ended her prep with a dominant win in the Andrew Ramsden here.
She should get every opportunity in this contest, and we can have an each-way play at her current price ($21 at publish).
Race 9 – 5:05pm – Listed Paris Lane Stakes, (1410m)
It’s not the easiest way to end Turnbull Stakes Day from a betting perspective, but it’s fair to say that Aysar has improved with each of his first three starts back from a spell, and this looks a lovely race for him.
Aysar finished a close-up second behind Ole Kirk in last year’s Caulfield Guineas, and he was a model of consistency during his autumn prep this year, finishing second behind a couple of good ones in the Manfred Stakes and CS Hayes Stakes most notably.
He was just a length behind Sierra Sue in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes a fortnight ago, and this is obviously a decent drop in class from that contest.