Race 1A (Flemington), BM78 (think N1x allowance), 5.5 furlongs (straight course), 8:25 pm EST. Purse = AUD $50,000.
My picks 6 (chalk) and 9 (value)…#6 Supido (2/1 ML) won in July 2015 going down the straight leaving from post 1and won easily, keeps top Melbourne jock Craig Williams, but has not been seen since. If he is ready to go his 2015 speed figures indicate another blowout win could be possible. It is USUALLY an advantage in these straight course sprints to draw a wide barrier (posts 9-10-11, etc), closer to the fan’s side of the course. The outside draw lets a horse “work into a race” without having to use too much energy or having to avoid a lot of traffic. #9 Chivari (ML 10/1) appears to be the main early speed drawn well in post 10. This one can add a lot of value to your horizontal wagers.
Race 2A (Flemington), BM90 (think N3x allowance), 6.0 furlongs (straight course), 9:00 pm EST. Purse = AUD $80,000.
My picks 7 (upsetter) and 4…Generally an unappealing race. #7 Not A Happy Camper (11/1 ML) can compete with this group of underachievers after drawing post 5, and #4 Zupacharged (5/2 ML) has run three fast races in a row. Having said that, I would not be surprised if anyone won this race.
Race 1C (Doomben), Open Handicap. 5.25 furlongs (bend clockwise), 9:28 pm EST. Purse = AUD $65,000
I am pretty excited about #2 Itz Alrite (5/1 ML). This horse ran OK for 3rd in its first start, then gets a nice vacation and comes back with a 46.40 trial for 4.25 furlongs on Jan 19th, which is really moving. Breeding is top notch (espcially for a Doomben-based two year old) and the apprentice that rode for the fast trial takes the mount. Usually the Australian crowd is pretty savvy when it comes to juveniles, I expect this horse to be in the 2/1 range at post time.
Race 3B (Rosehill), Canonbury Stakes, 2yo Colts and Geldings, 5.5 furlongs 9:55 pm EST. Purse AUD $150,000
Races 3B (colts and geldings) and 4B (fillies) are to help identify runners for the A.A.M.I. Golden Slipper, a AUD $3,500,000 Group 1 stakes at Rosehill in late March. Australians take their two year old racing nearly as seriously as we take the Triple Crown, and the races are very competitive.
In Race 3B I feel confident in tossing #2, #3, #4.
My picks 8-1-5: I am going to stake a shot with #8 Star of Monsoon (7/1 ML). I love to see Danehill in an Aussie pedigree and his trial time was comparable to the other first time starters. The fact he only got one trial tells me his connections are “quietly confident.” #1 Tessara (4/1 ML) is fast but will have to go wire to wire from the rail and the speed figure from his one win was nice but not overpowering. #5 Defcon won two of his three trials in good time. I would have much preferred to see Blake Shinn ride for Team Snowden, but Brenton Avdulla is also a top rider. #6 Guard of Honor (9/1 ML) is in good hands and #7 Pewter (9/1 ML) comes from a barn that has had success in the Golden Slipper series before. Certainly can’t eliminate either #6 or #7.
Race 4B (Rosehill), Widden Stakes, 2yo Fillies, 5.5 furlongs 10:30 pm EST. Purse AUD $150,000
A lot of good fillies are lined up in this race.
My picks 1-9-10: #1 So Serene (7/2 ML) ran an insane early pace figure in a $504,000 restricted race, and lost the lead late. Trainer Gai Waterhouse saw enough and switches to top stable Jock Tommy Berry. Gai is “double handed” here and goes to her second jock Tim Clark on #9 Global Glamour (7/1 ML). Usually Gai uses two trials to get her first time starters ready. #10 Honesty Prevails (8/1 ML) is bred to be a very good horse and is training like a very good horse for the obscure Rick Worthington. Can’t eliminate.